Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Edited by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
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Every year once the college basketball season is over, we prepare ourselves for the next crop of early exits from the college game to the NBA. There was no surprise when Andrew Wiggins said he was leaving Kansas and nobody was really shocked when Jabari Parker decided to leave Duke after one year, but when a sophomore from New Mexico State University named Sim Bhullar declared for the NBA Draft, everybody was up in arms.
There is no doubt that Bhullar isn’t in the same category as Joel Embiid or Parker, but the 7’5” 360 pounder from Toronto, Canada definitely can play some ball. After a successful freshman season where he averaged over 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks per game for the Aggies, Bhullar averaged 10.4 points, almost 8 rebounds and over 3 blocks per game as a sophomore. Oh yeah, and he won the WAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player award two years in a row. The Aggies may not be going up against Duke or Syracuse, but it still takes some talent for a big man to do what he does.
To be honest, I thought it was a joke when I first heard that Bhullar was leaving college early for the NBA. I’m pretty sure that I “laughed out loud” and said that there was no way in hell that he was ready for the next level, but after reading Jeff Eisenberg’s recent article from Yahoo Sports, I was convinced that this may be the right time for Bhullar to take that leap.
Eisenberg mentions that Bhullar’s size can be both a blessing and a curse for the big man. Being 7’5” is going to be wildly attractive to many NBA teams out there and one of them will probably take a chance on him, but being the veteran age of 22 in the NBA nowadays, it might be best for Bhullar to get paid while he can.
We have seen it with many big men in the past as their size and weight takes a toll on their bodies and what looked to be a promising career only lasted a few short years. From the likes of Greg Oden to Hasheem Thabeet, there was so much hype when they entered the league and now they are just lucky to see minutes in the NBA. It is because of the constant pressure and pain put on those joints for bigger guys that will likely end Bhullar’s basketball career much earlier than others, and coming from someone that used to be 360 pounds, I completely understand why Bhullar is doing what he is doing.
There was a point after graduating from college that I took to food to repress my hardships of not finding a job. At one point I weighed 367 pounds and after my doctor told me I needed to change my lifestyle or I would die in 10 years, I decided it might be time to cut the crap and get my life back on track. A year and a half later and 60 pounds lighter, I still have a long way to go, but I know what the big man is going through. Anytime that you are carrying that much weight, it is a constant pressure on your body and to combine that with his height, his basketball career is already on a short leash. I may not be 7’5”, but after dealing with the same amount of weight, I know what it does to you and Bhullar’s decision to leave for the pros is as smart as you can get.
Sim Bhullar may not be on Chad Ford’s NBA Draft Big Board, but who really cares. The media may think that Bhullar is a joke, but at the end of the day, the only people it really matters to are the NBA organizations out there that see a 7’5” basketball player that has some legitimate talent. Bhullar may not have a long career ahead of him and that is ok, but as long as he plays each decision in his future like this one, Bhullar could use his size to his advantage in more ways than one.
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