"Big men mature later" - attributed to Bud Grant, NFL Hall of Fame coach
While the early struggles of Bargnani are all too well known to us Raps fans, I didn't jump on the "Amnesty the guy" bandwagon, nor the prior "He's a bust - trade him" version. He was very young when drafted, and since he never tanked like Vince, nor pouted in the press about how nasty everyone was to him, I thought we would do well to be patient. His body was behind his brain for several years, but I think he's over that.
"Potential gets coaches fired" - Sam Mitchell, former Raps' coach
Admirably succinct! You all remember Waiting for Godot, er, Joey Graham to demonstrate that his prodigious raw talent could be translated into a capable, consistent NBA player. It never happened. I think Joey might actually have overtrained, building up his muscles but losing his quickness. His upper body was too wide, and he was constantly drawing offensive fouls, because he couldn't twist around savvy, in-position defenders. Joey passed up routine shots in favour of spectacular ones, and that's really hard to sustain.
"Did you see those meathooks?" - an unknown NBA scout, after meeting a then-unknown Julius Erving
Although we're trying to forget him, we all remember Rafael Araujo. The guy was out of shape, a point conceded by Wayne Embry when I brought it up at a season-ticket holder's event. However, even an in-shape Hoffa would have struggled. Unlike Dr. J, Hoffa had small hands.
"Pick the skinny guy" - Newmarket Brian
The NBA is incredibly demanding on the body, particularly the joints. If you are pre-disposed to carrying extra bulk (like Araujo) you're a candidate to break down. You're also unable to sidestep unwanted contact. From Kareem to Kevin Garnett, from Jerry West to Steve Nash, it's the skinny, mobile guys that have the long careers.