'Rookie of the Year' Anthony Bennett enters the KBL How former 'super-rookies' have fared in the KBL

Anthony Bennett during the June 2013 NBA Draft. The former No. 1 overall pick is wearing a Cleveland cap and smiling broadly.

The Korean basketball world was stunned when Sono announced on Jan. 1 that it had signed Anthony Bennett (30-203 cm) as a foreign player for the upcoming season. That's because 10 years ago this summer, "the player" who was the first to be called up to the podium at the NBA Draft, a gathering of the year's top prospects, 토토 wearing a Cleveland cap and smiling and shaking hands with former NBA commissioner David Stern (1942-2020), will soon step foot on Korean soil. A Sono official said, "We are going through the visa process in the United States. We expect Bennett to arrive in Korea during the second week of next month."

However, it's unclear if Bennett will be as dominant in the KBL as he was in the NBA. Bennett is a former No. 1 in the NBA, but he's often labeled as the "worst" player of all time. There was no clear No. 1 at the time, and Michael Carter-Williams (32), the 11th overall pick, won the Rookie of the Year award, so it's hard to argue that he was the worst early on. However, as the 15th pick, Yannis Adetokunbo (29, Milwaukee), developed into a superstar who won two regular season MVPs, and Victor Oladipo (31, Oklahoma City-2) and Rudy Gobert (31, Minnesota-27) became the best players in the NBA, the criticisms of Bennett became less and less valid.

There's a "shield" around other players when it comes to the worst No. 1 picks in NBA history. For example, Greg Oden, 35, the 2008 No. 1 overall pick, is assumed to be a "if not for injuries..." player. Kwame Brown (41), the 2001 No. 1 overall pick, also played 13 seasons in the NBA without the burden of the No. 1 title. But Bennett just wasn't good enough in the NBA. His NBA career averages were 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 151 games. When the first Canadian No. 1 player, "King" LeBron James (39-L.A. Lakers), returned to Cleveland in 2014, Bennett disappeared from the NBA landscape, leaving behind the same formulaic phrase: one of two former No. 1 picks that Cleveland held out as a trade card when it acquired Kevin Love (35-Miami) to form the Big Three.

Like Bennett, there have been players in the past who have gone from being a top NBA pick to being forgotten about and then garnering attention in the KBL. The highest-ranked players before Bennett were Emeka Okafor (41, Hyundai Mobis), who was selected second overall by Charlotte in 2004, Thomas Robinson (32, Samsung), who was selected fifth overall by Sacramento in 2012, and Sherron Wright (50, KCC), who was selected sixth overall by Philadelphia in 1994. These players made their NBA debuts with high expectations and attracted a lot of attention when they entered the KBL, but most of them failed to live up to their reputation due to age or injury.

Sheron Wright, the 1994 No. 6 pick who played for KCC.

Considered a "human triumph icon" for his comeback from a career-ending car accident, Wright averaged 13.8 points and 9.8 rebounds in 35 games for KCC in the 2005-2006 season. At the time, two foreigners on the court at the same time and averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds each was considered a success.

Thomas Robinson, a 2012 No. 5 pick who played for Samsung.

Robinson, who wore a Samsung jersey during the 2021-2022 season as a replacement for Isaiah Hicks (29), looked like a top-drafted player in his KBL debut, scoring 31 points and grabbing 14 rebounds against Korea Gas Corp. on Dec. 18. However, a groin injury left him unable to jump properly and his form collapsed, and he was eventually released after 15 games. Although he maintained his stats, averaging 16.1 points and grabbing 10.6 rebounds per game, 안전놀이터 he was criticized for his inefficiency, mainly because his numbers came after the game had been won.

Emeka Okafor, the 2004 No. 2 overall pick, playing for Hyundai Mobis.

Having developed a reputation as a primarily "defensive" player rather than an offensive one in the NBA, Okafor has been successful in showing off his length in the KBL. After joining the Hyundai Mobis as a substitute during the 2019-2020 season, Okafor averaged 12.3 points and 8.4 rebounds in 20.55 minutes per game. He averaged 1.6 blocked shots, which was higher than the official block leader for the season, Chinanu Onuaku (27), who averaged 1.5. Matchups often showed Okafor struggling on offense when he was small and on defense. He left South Korea after playing just 18 games due to injury.

Sono is confident that Bennett will rebuild his reputation, unlike past KBL super rookies. "Bennett was happy to be the 'second option' and took the pressure off. Our first option is Jarrod Jones (33), who has KBL experience. Also, last season, Bennett scored a lot of points in the Taiwanese league by shooting a lot of shots, which is what he wanted to do. We think he'll be a good fit with coach Kim Seung-ki, who is very forgiving with his shooting and knows how to develop foreign players."

Anthony Bennett (#13) in action last season in the Taiwanese League.

As Sono officials explained, Bennett averaged 22.6 points and 12.2 rebounds in 17 games in the Taiwan P-League last season. It was his best performance since averaging 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in 35 games for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2012-2013, the season before he entered the NBA. Most notably, he averaged 10.12 three-point attempts per game, making 3.35 of them (33.14 percent). Last season, when Kim took over the reins of Day One, he introduced "archery basketball" centered around Jeon Sung-hyun and made the most three-pointers ever in a single season (11.5 per game), making basketball more fun to watch. Bennett, who has shown the "qualities" to be a powerful three-point shooter when he gains confidence, 스포츠토토 may also help to add power to Sonofan's archery basketball.

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