In college, A.J. Abrams was a brilliant shooter. He holds the Texas and Big 12 records for three pointers made, making 389 of them in 134 games, with three point attempts comprising more than half of his overall field goal attempts. He knew what he liked.
At the professional level, he's still a brilliant shooter. But at the professional level, people aren't going to care about that as much as they care about his size. There are lots of brilliant shooters in the world, and the NBA knows about them all. And so the ones that are 5'11 are forced out.
Abrams is a decent defensive player to go along with his shooting, in spite of his size, and he's OK at pushing the ball. But he shoots about 25 times for every pass, doesn't threaten inside the arc, and spends his life cutting off the ball, trying to work himself open for a deep jumpshot. All this amounts to is a good European career.
All that is fine, of course. But it doesn't get you in the NBA. If you want to get into the NBA at 5'11, you'd better have a career high in assists far in excess of 1.5 per game. And Abrams doesn't.
The NBA is not wrong for this. The NBA isn't prejudiced. They're instead able to choose shooting specialists without huge height deficiencies. So they will.
- 9th August, 2009.