By Andrew Johnson
Before the draft, Davis was projected to be a top 14 pick by most mock drafts and at worst in the late teens. ESPN analyst Jay Bilas had David ranked as the tenth best prospect before the draft began in Brooklyn.
With Davis slipping to the second round Thursday night, some felt validated in their opinion that Davis should have returned to Michigan State and Coach Tom Izzo for his sophomore season.
It’d be easy in hindsight to say that Davis make a mistake by leaving Michigan State after one season, but that isn’t the case if you look at the surroundings of his decision.
While I don’t know Davis personally, as a college student with just a few bucks in my pocket, I feel like I can relate to him.
Davis likely felt that he had an opportunity to not only chase his dream of being an NBA player, but an opportunity to be paid millions of dollars to play a game he loves.
That isn’t the kind of money that most people make at their jobs – it’s life-changing money. When Davis had the chance to make that sort of living for himself, he had to take it.
By choosing to return to Michigan State, Davis could have put his future in jeopardy by risking injury. If you need an example of how quickly a basketball career can change due to injury, look at the recently- traded former MVP Derrick Rose.
While some people will argue Davis should have stayed and finished his education at MSU, they ignore that the NBA will educate Davis with a mandatory rookie transition program.
According to Jon Krawczynski of NBA.com, the program covers “everything from managing one’s image to nutrition, all the way down to driving safely.”
While we’ll never know if Davis would have improved his stock with another year at Michigan State, we do know a few facts:
Davis will get a chance to be an NBA player with the Memphis Grizzlies.
He will have the chance to make money that can change not only his life, but his family’s life.
He’ll also likely be mentored and trained by former Spartan Zack Randolph, who has played the last seven years in Memphis while completely cleaning up his image problems.
So before you decide that Davis slipping in the draft was an obvious sign he should have stayed at Michigan State, realize that life changing opportunities don’t come every day – Davis had to jump towards his while he had the chance.