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Robert Swift - C, 7'1, 245
Retired - Retired after 2012 season
       Date of birth: 12/03/1985
       Country: USA
     Drafted (NBA): 12th pick, 2004
     Out of: Bakersfield High School
  NBA Experience: 4 years
  Hand: Right

From blog:


   The best of what's left after what was the best of what's left has gone and is no longer left
2010-08-21

Robert Swift signed in Japan with Tokyo Apache, alongside Byron Eaton and Jeremy Tyler.

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   The best of what's left
2010-07-30

Robert Swift - After five years and only 97 games played due to injury, Swift fell out of the NBA last summer and went to the D-League to play for the Bakersfield Jam. Swift was born and raised in Bakersfield, so it was a logical unison; however, after only two games with the Jam, Swift asked to be released for personal reasons. The Jam obliged him, and their head coach Will Voigt said that it appears Swift is done with basketball aged only 24. If he has a re-think, it is worth a team seeing if he was healthy, for, on the rare occasions that he was, Swift showed signs of usefulness. But if he isn't, and if he just doesn't want to do this any more, then it's a non-starter.

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   Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 64
2010-04-29

- Robert Swift

Swift's story is somewhat similar to that of Sweetney, but not as far along, and with more injuries along the way. He too was drafted high - the 10th pick in 2004 - and didn't do a lot with it. He spent much of his rookie season on the inactive list, totalling only 15 points, 5 rebounds, 7 blocks and 16 fouls; 10, 3, 4 and 3 of this came in the Sonics' season finale. He showed some signs of life in his second year, demonstrating some offensive talent, activity (that old chestnut) and defense mobility, and averaged roughly 6/5/1 as a 20 year old centre. And that's not bad going.

Then, it started to go wrong. Swift grew his hair out, got tatted up, and severly injured his knee. There followed only 8 games in two years as the knee recovery was repeatedly set back, not helped by other injuries. Swift played with the Thunder in 2008-09 on his qualifying offer, but was still only healthy/good enough to play in 26 games, averaging 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds, making a total of only 34 games in 3 years, and 97 games in 5 years (47 of which came in his sophomore year).

Swift joined up with the Celtics for summer league 2009; Danny Ainge finally got his man. But by this point, he's couldn't the very things in Swift that used to drive him wild with desire. In the summer, I wrote the following about him:

A year in the D-League to recuperate his injuries and revive his CV wouldn't be a bad idea for Swift, if he can tolerate going from a $3 million+ salary to the mere pittance that D-Leaguers get.


Swift did just that, joining the D-League and being assigned to the Bakersfield Jam. Swift was born and raised in Bakersfield, so it was a logical unison; however, after only two games with the Jam, Swift asked to be released for personal reasons. The Jam obliged him, and their head coach Will Voigt said that it appears Swift is done with basketball aged only 24.

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   Sham's unnecessarily great big draft board: Centres
2011-06-21

Jeremy Tyler - Tyler's squirly route to the NBA took him from high school to Israel (where he averaged 2/2 for Maccabi Haifa and thoroughly disappointed) onto Japan (where he was coached by former NBA head coach Bob Hill). Playing for the Tokyo Apache in the BJ League alongside Byron Eaton and Robert Swift, Tyler averaged 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds, improving considerably during the course of the season. [As an aside, Eaton averaged 17.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game, while Swift averaged 13.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.]

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   Bookkeeping The Retired Guys, 2013 Edition
2013-03-19

Robert Swift - Sad face.

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   Robert Swift and Luke Nevill waived
2009-12-04



As soon as I heard that Bakersfield had a team, I was hoping I could play for them."

- Robert Swift


Swift played high school basketball in Bakersfield, hence this desire, and he got his wish when he was allocated to the Jam last month, becoming their starting centre by default. (He also got a haircut.) However, in keeping with the recent theme of Swift's career, it didn't go very well. Swift played in only two games for the team - totalling 4 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, 6 fouls and 6 turnovers - and was today waived due to "personal reasons." The reason cited was due to a family matter back in Seattle.

Now, I have no reason to dispute the validity of that reason, and don't wish to make it sound like I do. There's no incentive to lie or reason to disbelieve it. But it does reinforce a worrying fact; Robert Swift's career isn't going too well. At all. Swift has essentially missed all of the last three seasons, and played only 1,500 minutes and 97 games in a five year NBA career. He's still only 24, but he has almost nothing to show for five years. Even his sophomore season, in which he played 987 of those minutes, was not really that good.

Here's what gets me; a cynic would say that Robert Swift should quit playing basketball. I know this to be true because one such cynic said it to me. It's not true, of course, because even though Swift's last five years have been incredibly unsuccessful (and even though he was never as good as Danny Ainge thought he was in the first place), Swift isn't a bad player when he's healthy. And even if he was, you can make a living as a professional basketball player just by being 7'1. You don't have to be skilled as well.

But, worse case scenario, what if Robert Swift did have to quit? What if his oft-repaired knee was put out of whack once and for all, and he could no longer get up and down the court at all? What if he had to retire in his mid-20's and find a new calling in life? What does he do if he no longer wants to do this?

Answer: he shouldn't quit even if his leg falls off. He can scratch out contracts just by being that size for a good few years yet. See, Meg? These. These are the questions.

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   The NBA's middle class: where fringe stars now hang out
2013-10-18

[...] And this is probably a good thing. Of the 106 players from 2008, 31 of them had an average salary for the duration of between $3 million and $9.3 million, and only two of them (Ben Gordon and Robert Swift) were one year deals. Included in there were four years deals for the likes of Eduardo Najera ($12 million) and James Posey ($25,020,800), five-year deals for the likes of Ryan Gomes ($21,175,000) and Daniel Gibson ($20,054,000) and oversized three-years deals for the likes of Sasha Vujacic ($15 million) and Stephen Jackson ($27,769,500). Of those players, only Gomes has ever received another deal and is still in the league, an unguaranteed minimum salary one with OKC. You know your contract was too long when the player never gets another one afterwards.

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Note: Non-US teams that the player has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League split in Japan.


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