Jonny Flynn is just 23-years-old. He had a great two year career at Syracuse, went on to be the sixth overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft and produced a very respectable professional season as an NBA rookie. It went downhill quickly thereafter and now Flynn finds himself fresh off the plane, in another country, on the other side of the world.
Flynn signed with the struggling Melbourne Tigers of the Australian NBL on Monday, a club which needs a boost in the worst of ways. After recently being cut by the Detroit Pistons before the season began, what would have been his fourth NBA destination in as many years, Flynn met with Tigers' brass Monday and could hit the court with his new teammates as early as tomorrow and may even play in the Tiger’s coming Friday night game.
If you’ve seen him play, you know Jonny Flynn can play basketball. His quickness and athleticism will give him an advantage in the NBL and the Tigers' will give him every opportunity at superstardom. There i sno doubting his name and ability will do wonders for the league. But the curious part of this tale is how Flynn turned from being a promising rookie into a guy that was off NBA.com’s player page quicker than you could snap your fingers.
Flynn dominated the NCAA; he collected tournament MVPs and big scoring games like nobody’s business. As a result the Minnesota Timberwolves picked him sixth in 2009 (the same draft they collected current star Ricky Rubio with the number five pick), ahead of notable names including Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson. He went on to score 13.5 points, dish out four assists and nab one steal per contest in 81 games, all starts. Over the next three years he’d play for three different teams and play in one more game than he had his rookie season. A hip injury limited Flynn in his second season, but the knock on his game has been a lack of playmaking ability and low basketball IQ.
I hope Jonny Flynn enjoys Australia and at the least he will dominate, but it’s probably safe to say it’s not the place he thought he playing four years into his professional career.
Photo courtesy of NBL.com.
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