This is the saddest post I’ve ever written. Jan Vesely, sixth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, is leaving the NBA to play for Fenerbahce in Turkey, according to Sportando.
— Sportando (@sportando) July 19, 2014
Vesely, or “Air Wolf” as he was known during his brief, all-too-short NBA career, never really figured out the NBA game. Okay, so in reality his skill level and coordination just never caught up to his athletic gifts.
And the shooting never really improved beyond “absolute and complete train wreck.”
And he never figured out how to use his size to his advantage.
And his most famous moment is still making out with his girlfriend upon being drafted.
Still! I’m incredibly sad that Vesely is leaving. For some strange, misguided, terribly stupid reason, I will never give up on his potential, even though he’s shown at this point that there isn’t much. I’ll never forget watching that first highlight tape, as I’m not sure I’d ever seen a European prospect attack the rim with the kind of intensity that Vesely continually did. I mean come on, the guy was nicknamed “the Dunking Ninja” for a reason. At seven-feet tall, he ran the floor with the speed of a guard and the grace of a rhinoceros.
For whatever reason, after flashing the mechanics of a semi-decent shot before getting the NBA, it completely and totally eluded him upon getting to the NBA. His 40.8% free throw percentage would have been the worst in NBA history, had he taken enough shots to qualify. Without that shot, he was saddled into playing more center even though he didn’t have the defensive ability to do so.
So goodbye for now, sweet prince Vesely. I will miss you terribly, and eagerly await highlights of your dunks in Europe. Hopefully one day you can come back to the NBA and brighten our assuredly gloomy days.