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Archive for the ‘Busts’ Category

Alex Kowalsky

Alex Kowalsky, in many ways, is the epitome of what it means to be mediocre.  Over his the span of his life, Alex has displayed an unbelievable and unparalleled pattern of excellence in mediocrity.  He has seen his fair share of peaks and valleys, but he never has strayed too far from that line right in the middle.

Born to poor, Polish immigrants in Bisbee, Arizona in 1984, Alex was a man of humble beginnings.  He struggled with the language barrier in rural Arizona and spent most of his formative years watching cartoons and eating a steady diet of fish sticks.  As he grew (both in size and mediocrity), Alex became a BIG fish in the small bowl that was Bisbee.

When Alex was eight, his family packed up their Aerostar van and moved cross-country to Connecticut.  It was in Connecticut that Alex began to mature as a young boy and as a writer.  It was in 1993 that Alex wrote his first short story.  It was a story entitled, “Bruno Goes to Market” and it was a sad little story about a boy named Bruno who got lost in the supermarket.  Now, you may guess that while at the market a bunch of interesting stuff would happen.  But, no.  It was literally a story about this boy Bruno going to the market, buying some groceries, paying, and then going home.  That’s it.  It remains, to this day, one of the most boring stories ever written.

Alex was late bloomer physically.  By the time he was 15 years old, Kowalsky stop at only 4’5” but was a pudgy 187 pounds.  This obviously made him the target of his classmates insults.  It was at this time that Alex began to further withdraw from reality.  He spent most of his free time alone in his family’s basement.  There he spent hours talking with his imaginary friends, reading, writing, and playing Mario Kart.

Alex would often challenge his siblings and parents to Mario Kart races.  Later in his life, he would challenge students that he worked with to matches.  Over his 12 year career of Mario Kart, Kowalsky has a career record of 877-878.  Nearly perfectly mediocre.  He usually beats who he should beat and seldom pulls of an upset.  He is to Mario Kart as Miguel Batista is to Major League Baseball.

In 2004, Alex finally hit a growth spurt and shot up to six-feet in height.  That 190-some pounds was able to spread out and Alex hit the gym.  Hard.  He replaced his video games and television with a Chuck Norris Total Gym and turned his disgusting body into that of a middle linebacker.

Late in 2009, Kowalsky became the co-founder of this website.  He has been all over the map with his productions.  He once carried the site for a month straight and turned out some absolutely dazzling posts.  He covered the career of Vinny Testaverde, Dan Cortese, and Anthony Mason.  He revolutionized the site by bring some sex-appeal to the site with provocative posts about Anna Kournikova and Danica Patrick.  However, he also hit some lulls with lazy posts consisting of polls and nothing else.

The sad ending to the mediocre tale is that Al appears to be finished.  He completed that Testaverde post back on June 16th and has since produced nothing.  Nothing.  His career arc resembles that of Pete Incaviglia or Terrell Davis.  Say it ain’t so, Alex.  Say it ain’t so.

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Worst Top Pick in NBA History

Get used to this Portland...

Today’s topic is draft busts.  The MLB draft is a tough nut to crack, while the NBA and NFL draft usually get most of the headlines.  I’ve never been a huge NFL guy, so I’ll focus on the NBA.  There have been some memorable draft busts over the years from Darko Milicic to Sam Bowie.  However, those guys were number two picks and the guys in the poll today are top picks, so that narrows things down.

Your duty as visitors of this fine site is to chose the worst top pick of the lottery era (since 1985).  Here’s the rundown on your choices:

  • Greg Oden (2007):  Oden went as the top pick to the Blazers and was seen as a “can’t miss” sort of prospect.  Oden missed all of his rookie season with an injury.  In 2008-09 he got another shot as a “rookie” and played in 61 games averaging 8.9 ppg a 1 block per game.  He was amongst the league leaders in fouls and averaged a staggering 6.5 fouls per 36 minutes.  This season he appeared in 21 games before going down to a season-ending injury.  Picked before: Kevin Durant, Al Horford, and Aaron Brooks.
  • Kwame Brown (2001): Kwame is nearly out of chances.  The Pistons made the mistake of giving him a 2-year deal which expires in June.  That really could be it for this guy.  Brown was drafted by Washington right out of high school and had his confidence obliterated by an aging Michael Jordan.  In his four seasons in DC, he averaged 10ppg only once.  Luckily for the Wizards they were able to trade him for Caron Butler.  Picked before: Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, Tony Parker, Zach Randolph, and Gilbert Arenas.
  • Michael Olowokandi (1998):  The Kandi Man was a disaster from the start, averaging 8 points per game on 43% shooting as a rookie for the hapless Clippers.  Kandi was highly-touted for some reason even though he played his college ball at the University of the Pacific.  In nine NBA seasons, Olowokandi averaged a pedestrian 8 points and 6 boards a game before falling out of the league in 2007.  Picked before: Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Dirk Nowitzi, Paul Pierce, and Rashard Lewis.
  • Pervis Ellison (1989): I just went over Ellison in a post the other day.  Picked before: Glen Rice, Sean Elliott, Vlade Divac, and Shawn Kemp.

Now do your civic duty and VOTE:

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Pervis Ellison

Does this man look nervous?

Who is Pervis Ellison?  A lot of people don’t know the name.  Would you believe he was the number one overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft?  Seriously.  Ellison averaged an incredibly-mediocre 9.5 points per game for his NBA career after being a top pick.

The 1989 Draft was weak, but in retrospect, the Sacramento Kings could have made a better selection with that top pick.  They missed out on Glen Rice, Sean Elliott, Tim Hardawawy and Shawn Kemp.  However, Danny Ferry went with the 2nd pick.  So, yeah, the 1989 NBA Draft’s top two picks were Pervis Ellison and Danny Ferry.  The NBA, it’s FANNNNtastic!

Back to Pervis.  Ellison was a darn good college basketball player at Louisville.  He was a freshman on the Louisville team that won the National Title in 1986 and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.  This was all as a freshman.  In many ways it was all downhill from there.  As a four-year starter at Louisville, Never Nervous Pervis averaged 15-8.  While in college he played 139 games, one of the top totals in NCAA history.

When he arrived in the NBA the problems began to pile up.  During his rookie season with the Kings, Ellison suffered through injuries and questionable play.  During his rookie season, Mr. Number One average a modest 8-6 in just 34 games.  Apparently the Kings knew what they had and traded Ellison to the Bullets once the season was done.  In return they received two white stiffs (Bob Hansen and Eric Leckner, 2 second round picks (amounting to nothing), and the 23rd pick of the first round (Anthony Bonner).  So, they essentially got nothing.  Way to go Pervis.

The following season, Ellison showed some heart.  He averaged 11 a game, primarily off the bench.  The next season, his third, Pervis won the Most Improved Player award as he poured in 20-11 a game for the 25-57 Bullets.  The following year, Ellison again struggled with injuries while averaging 17 a game.  After that Ellison never again appeared in more that 70 games in a single season.  He was released a few times in the following years and was out of the NBA by the time he was 33.

Ellison entered the league as a 6’9” 205 pound center.  However, later in his career with the Celtics and the Sonics, he was clearly much bigger, grew out some dreds, and looked tired all of the time.

Ellison ended up making over $20M as a pro athlete and currently coaches various basketball teams in Southern New Jersey.

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Derrick Coleman

This says almost everything you need to know about DC.

Derrick Coleman was once considered the pride of Detroit…I think.  Coleman was a high school legend in the D but then took his college game east to Syracuse where he was a total monster.  He averaged a double-double in each of his final three college seasons including an 18/12 line as a senior.  All of that hype just continued to build up towards the NBA Draft has he was considered the consensus number one pick.

The New Jersey Nets sat with the top pick and did not deviate from the plan, selecting Coleman #1.  Coleman immediately drew rave reviews.  He was a “can’t miss” prospect.  He was compared to everyone from Elgin Baylor to Karl Malone to Charles Barkley.  He was  a force in the post whose outside shot extended out beyond the three point line.  He was Danny Ferry with game.

Coleman retired with decent career numbers, averaging 16/9 for his career.  However, he fell short of almost every expectation and is seen as a posterboy for unrealized potential and laziness.  The same things have been said about Rasheed Wallace.  Like Wallace, Coleman could dominate down low, but found it easy to hoist jumpers away from the basket.

Coleman had his best years in New Jersey but wore out his welcome there due to his bad attitude, laziness, an alcohol problem and injuries.  He could have been so much more.    He went on to have some good seasons with the Hornets and the 76ers before ending his career with a five-game stint in Detroit with his hometown Pistons.

His honors as a pro inlcude an All Star game and Rookie of the Year trophy.  He retired from the NBA during the 2004-05 season having made close to $100M as a pro.

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Welcome!

Welcome to Fans of Mediocrity.  This site is dedicated to the athlete who never had what it took to become a real superstar, the sort of guy you think about once every three or four months only to laugh at his  futile attempt to ever do anything significant. Then when your buddy brings him up you laugh to yourself having forgotten that said player ever existed. Our goal here at Fans of Mediocrity is to honor all the careers (whether short lived or  painfully long) of players who were really really good backup quarterbacks and starting pitchers such as Gus Frerotte or Jamie Moyer, draft busts such as Ryan Leaf and Rick Mirer, and the timeless wonders such as Vinny Testaverde and Steve DeBerg.

You will read about athletes from all the major sports.  Look forward to exciting posts and pictures of Steve Trachsel, Bernie Kosar, Jeff George, Paul Pressey, Jeff Ruland, Esteban Yan, and many more!

The site will be run by me (Blake) and Alex.  We both live in Connecticut and we both get a chuckle when debating the Hall of Fame candidacy of Drew Bledsoe.

If there is an athlete you would love to see covered here, just leave the suggestion as a comment and we’ll get right on it.  Enjoy!

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