On Monday, the Brooklyn Nets waived Anthony Bennett, reportedly signing Quincy Acy to a 10-day contract to replace him.
Less than four years ago, Bennett was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Now he’s being dropped in favor of a former second-rounder who’s averaged 4.5 points a game in his career.
Bennett has now played for four teams in four years, been traded once and waived three times. He has scored 20 points in a game only once in his career and never averaged more than 5.2 points a contest in a season. In his best year, he shot 42.1 percent from the field. This may or may not be the end for him, but at this point his status as the biggest bust in NBA history is pretty much cemented. Even Darko and Kwame had a few passable years. Hasheem Thabeet was bad, but at least he wasn’t the No. 1 overall pick.
It’s hard not to feel bad for Bennett, who has never had any off-court trouble or said anything to suggest he’s a bad guy. His downfall has owed entirely to his inability to play basketball at the NBA level. If he had been drafted 42nd overall, or even 22nd overall, no one would notice or remember him, he’d just be one more NBA washout. Instead he’s a punchline.
That’s pretty sad.
Someone is likely reading this and thinking to himself that we can’t feel bad for Bennett because he has made $15 million in his NBA career. If that’s you, it’s possible that you have an extraordinarily narrow definition of happiness, in which money is the only barometer of self-worth. Because in all likelihood, no amount of money will allow Bennett to fully get over failing spectacularly at his dream profession, embarrassing himself in front of millions of people and going down in history for all the wrong reasons.
Maybe Bennett will get one more chance, experience a breakthrough and show the world why the Cavs drafted him No. 1 overall in 2013. More likely, he’ll sign on in the D-League or in Europe and forever remain a legendary bust. Poor guy.