MORGANTOWN - OK, so if you're Devin Ebanks and your world seems to be crashing down around you late one night, what's the best pick-me-up?
Well, how about being drafted by the best team in the world and being given a terrific chance of making the team?
Oh, and as a bonus you get to hang out with arguably the best player on the planet, two buddies/idols from your neighborhood and the rest of the beautiful people who call Los Angeles home.
Uh, yeah. That'll do it.
"I'm happy. I get to play with the best player in the world, Kobe Bryant,'' Ebanks said. "Lamar Odom, my uncle grew up with him and he's from my neighborhood. Ron Artest is there. I'm happy right now. I'm so happy you just don't understand.''
Well, yes, actually we do understand. It's kind of like falling out of a third-story window and finding out when you hit the ground that it's made of marshmallows. There's still the embarrassment of the fall, but hey, the landing could have been a lot worse, right?
And make no mistake, Ebanks suffered a fall. When he decided to leave West Virginia after two seasons and enter the NBA draft, he did so with the notion that he would be a first-round pick. To the uninitiated, that means a guaranteed contract for at least two years and money in one's pocket forever, should you play it right. Even being chosen near the end of the first round means a guarantee in the $2 million range, minimum.
And by many indications, Ebanks was slotted into one of those 30 first-round spots. The problem is that most of the people who do mock drafts and such don't know a 35-second shot clock from one that counts down from 24. One or two guys come up with a list and they are self perpetuating. It's kind of like recruiting - most of what you read is crap copied from someone else's crap. But ain't it fun to read and think you know something?