The Dark Tale Of A Forgotten NBA Prospect
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
The NBA draft: One of the best feel-good times of the year. It's a night where we get to witness these young men achieve something that they've worked for since they were children. A night where dreams are realized.
With the realization of dreams comes the storylines. Stories of once in a lifetime type of talents, like Zion Williamson. Feel good stories of defying the odds and overcoming doubts to become the 2nd overall pick, like Ja Morant. But on a day with so much happiness and joy, we ignore the dark side of the draft. What happens to the players who didn't quite make it? For this reason, Mr Bigleys has decided to focus on the forgotten. This isn't a tale for the faint of heart. This is a true story of a player who went from a guaranteed HOF'er, only to become one of the biggest busts in basketball history.
Now, calling him an underdog is both accurate and a major understatement. He grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father. The man was, straight up, a clown. He would later be on the streets, homeless, found and raised by a 12-year-old. He got his first taste of basketball shooting hoops with his father outside. To be a part of his middle school team, he became their mascot. Eventually, he would be called to join the team just in time for the championship game, where he led the team to a historic victory. His new father would later win a custody battle against the abusive clown in one of the most famous custody cases in Washington state history. Everything finally seemed to be falling into place. A biopic, called Air Bud, would even later depict his life. But where the movie ends, a new tale begins. So what happened to Buddy’s promising career?
Shortly after the movie, Buddy would run into some major problems. Buddy was considered a sure thing as he was dominating kids 6 years his elder. Unfortunately, Buddy always relied on his athleticism. Like many athletes who strictly rely on athleticism, he was never able to develop skills like dribbling, passing, or even calling timeouts. He had no jumper off the dribble. He strictly relied on his teammates to pass him the ball so he could shoot. Then, the other players grew taller and more athletic. Buddy could no longer get his garbage shot up over taller players. He constantly picked up technicals for biting other players, something the movie purposely leaves out. He even shit in the middle of the floor following an obvious foul.
By the time Buddy was 8, he was out of basketball. Buddy had sustained major CTE due to shooting with his booper. His hips began to go, as they do on retrievers, and could no longer cut and run like he once did. Buddy would follow the path of his clown father by getting addicted to doggy Vicodin. His life had fallen apart. Buddy would later have his right hind leg amputated due to synovial cell sarcoma. Six months later, Buddy would be pronounced dead from sleep complications. Buddy was only 9.
Buddy was a good boy, no arguing that. A 14/10 would boop again kind of boy. He overcame the odds of being a 3’5” dog to dominate 7th-grade boys basketball. All of this only to be taken away in the matter of a few years. His life was both a miracle and a tragedy. It’s a basketball story of Shakespearian drama. We should take his downfall as a warning tale that no matter how much promise these prospects may show, all it takes is a genetically bad hip and a lack of opposable thumbs to destroy everything.
But as tragic as the good boy's life was it should not be forgotten. Buddy would have wanted these new NBA players to use his story as motivation. So what's the moral that these young players can take from Buddy's story? Well, nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing except the guarantee that had Buddy made it to the NBA and was drafted by the Lakers, LeBron would have traded him. Why? Because LeBron hates his teammates, even the good boys.
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