No matter how well a rookie plays in his first season, there invariably comes a moment where he gets somewhat humbled on the court by an NBA veteran. Here at All Ball, we’ll do our best all season to keep track of these moments, which we’re calling “Welcome to the NBA” …
By Jeff Case
This might be our best (or, if you’re the victim, worst) one yet.
A quick look at the Draft bio for center Jeff Withey tells you all you need to know about his days at Kansas. As a senior, he racked up second-team All-American and NABC Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors, broke his own Big 12 and school record for blocks (146) and led the league and was No. 2 in the nation in blocks.
Basically, the man knows where to be in the paint on defense.
Such was the case last night at Staples Center for Withey, who is a backup center for the New Orleans Pelicans. Nick Young drives the paint and looks to dish to Chris Kaman, but Withey cuts off Young and forces a pass that Kaman nearly loses out of bounds. Kaman kicks the ball out to Shawne Williams, who then dishes to Xavier Henry at the top of the key.
All the while, Withey is sticking close to Kaman while monitoring the paint. He sees Henry fake a pass to Jordan Farmar on the right wing and start his drive. Withey tries to get set outside the charge circle (his heels are on the line, though), readies for impact, and then … yikes … posterized by Henry!
VIDEO: Xavier Henry posterizes rookie Jeff Withey
Perhaps even worse for Withey is this was all done to him by a fellow Jayhawks alum in Henry. In fact, the two were teammates during the 2009-10 season at KU. Who knows, maybe this happened at practice or at countless pickup/alumni classic games at Allen Fieldhouse. But now, surely to Withey’s dismay, it’s been saved for all the world to see over and over again.
BONUS!!! Hat tip to the folks at Ballislife.com for this additional angle of the Jayhawk-on-Jayhawk crime last night: