Kentucky Basketball -- Chicago Sun-Times Reporter Michael O'Brien Returns to the Scene of the Crime

Anthony Davis went from the guy nobody wanted on their team to the #1 NBA draft pick.

Everybody remembers the shoddy rumor-mongering of Michael O'Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times back in the heady days of August, 2010 when Anthony Davis was the hot commodity, having recently received offers from the likes of Kentucky, Ohio St., Illinois and others to go along with his offer from Cleveland St. Davis eventually committed to Kentucky a few days after his defamatory report.

Well, O'Brien is back (actually, he never went anywhere as far as I know) with another article on Anthony Davis from a few days back, this one rehashing the now well-known story of Davis' rise from obscurity. O'Brien has a couple of interesting things in his piece although given his previous reporting, one can be forgiven for casting a skeptical eye at their veracity:

Davis was the kid no one really wanted on the team.

‘‘Most of the coaches on the South Side knew him as the little guy who would shoot threes from the corner in junior high,’’ Simeon coach Robert Smith recalled shortly after Davis’ rise to prominence in the summer of 2010. ‘‘There weren’t schools dying to get him on their team.’’

Imagine the irony of this. Here are coaches in high school in 2008 who don't even want this young man on their team, and this kid becomes the #1 draft pick in the NBA 4 years later. All those guys had the chance to say, "I coached Anthony Davis in high school," and yet they passed. I know hindsight is 20/20, but this has to be truly delicious for Davis, if he ever has time to actually think about it.

Another fairly interesting thing O'Brien reports that I haven't seen elsewhere:

There were doubters everywhere. Until they saw him play, no coach or reporter or analyst seemed to really believe the hype. Yes, it’s possible to grow that fast, but to become a polished basketball player, the best in the country? It seemed so unlikely.

This actually rings true, and explains why Davis was such a surprise to so many. He quite literally exploded onto the AAU basketball scene unannounced and almost virtually unknown, as if he came from some remote foreign country to primitive to care about basketball, or sprang fully-grown out of his mother's womb without so much as a "By your leave."

The really ironic part of this article is that O'Brien mentions the imbroglio he created, but avoids mentioning that it was his reporting that produced it:

That’s exactly what it was, a lightning-quick evolution — something that hadn’t been seen in Chicago basketball before and likely won’t be seen again. Shortly before his senior year, Davis was embroiled in controversy. The Sun-Times reported Davis’ college commitment was for sale. He went to Kentucky and put the story behind him, turning in a magnificent freshman season that put to rest any doubts about his game.

"The Sun-Times reported... ?" Seriously, Michael?

Then there was this tweet he used to announce his article:

We were already disappointed, Michael, and now we're even more disappointed that you didn't properly attribute the reporting in this most recent case to yourself. You own it, and you can't escape it.

The Sun-Times pulled your fat out of the fire by putting their corporate imprimatur on your false rumor to help you hide behind the high bar for defamation litigation afforded to the media, but everybody who cares knows that you own it.

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