In case the anagrammed Timberwolf in the heading doesn't make clear who I'm going to be talking about, here is a playlist to really hammer the point home:
- All the Young Ndudis - Mott the Hoopster
- Hey Ndudi - The Beasles
- Ndudi Looks Like a Lady - Aerjoesmith
Yes, folks, the infamous Ndudi Ebi. One thing that interests me is when fans hate on a player for not being good (see Nick Blackburn). I get it, yet my own tendencies are to go the opposite way and root for the underdog. I mean, if someone is lazy and doesn't try, then by all means boo and get off my team. But for many, it's a case of an excellent athlete who, for one reason or another, is expected to shine at the professional level. It could be based on a player's body type, a Hall of Fame parent, having a hot streak at the right time (NCAA Final Four), etc.
And these guys might work as hard as the next guy - even harder - and just not cut it, leading to even more pressure from fans, media, coaches, and so they work even harder while losing confidence until they wash out of the league. Hard to fault them - fault the person who drafted them too highly, paid them too much money, hyped them too much in their blogs and magazine articles, and so on.
Ndudi was a high school kid, drafted on "potential." Given that he was MN's first 1st round pick in three years, thanks to the Joe Smith debacle, fans were especially eager to add a great young talent. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you all remember, Ndudi just never exhibited anything worth getting excited about while wearing a Wolves' uniform.
Since his time here, he has bounced around internationally, currently playing in Italy. Probably not a bad life, if not what "could have been." But he was drafted 26th, where the odds of getting a keeper are not very high, anyway.
Ndudi played in 19 games over the course of two seasons for a total of 86 minutes, which ranks him as 21st lowest in team history.
Let me end by comparing Ricky and Ndudi's rookie seasons. Of course, RR played a LOT more than NE. But given that caveat, can you tell me on which of the following Ndudi outperformed Ricky?
The correct answer is all of the above. Hurrah for selective stats!