22 March 2007

Hold the Mayo Please

There was a great article in the NYT yesterday about high school phenom OJ May. Mayo Shows Vision On and Off the Court it was titled, and went about showing the bizarre nature of the star's recruitment. It starts off as if it were the beginning of a Hollywood slasher pic:

A stranger walked into the University of Southern California basketball office one day last summer and asked to speak to the head coach. The stranger did not make an appointment. He did not call ahead. Tim Floyd, the U.S.C. head coach, cannot explain why he agreed to see him.

“O. J. wanted me to come here today,” the man told Floyd. “He wanted me to figure out who you are.”


“Let me call him,” Floyd said.

The man shook his head again. “O. J. doesn’t give out his cell,” he said. “He’ll call you.”

But this is no regular slasher tale. That tale belongs to LA's other OJ. Now a new OJ seems poised to take on Hollywood.

USC Basketball has always been the bridesmaid to its cross-town rival UCLA. 11 national championships for UCLA to USC's zero. USC and Mayo both have a lot to gain from his one year on campus. USC Basketball gets the instant credibility and spotlight that it never would have without it. Mayo, on the other hand hopes to capitalize on the same media frenzy that catipulted Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush to stardom.

“Then why aren’t you at U.C.L.A.?” Tim Floyd asked. It's simple. UCLA is a team, and thrives on defense and cohesion. Even its stars like Arron Aflalo and Jordan Farmar understood the team aspect. They gave up the limelight for teamwork and success, and still receieved the recognition they deserved. Mayo isn't that kind of player. He wants the spotlight. He wants top billing. He wants to be the man.

With all this in mind, is USC better off without Mayo? For all the positives Mayo brings with him, there are far too many negatives that outweigh his one year presence. Look at the shady aspects that surrounded Reggie Bush in his last year, as well as what still clouds the university today. Now imagine that with a guy who has been around such situations since seventh grade. Let's take a look at just a few, in no particular order:

-Mayo busted for suspicion of pot (later cleared)
-Mayo bumps ref, gets ejected
-Mayo gets tosses ball into stands after dunk, gets ejected from final HS game
-In the past six years, Mayo has moved from West Virginia to Kentucky to Ohio and back to West Virginia
-He has been suspended at least three times for fights and other violations

Need I say more?

With all the baggage and complications that Mayo brings with him, the Trojans are better off without him. College Hoops is a team game. The biggest case in point stared USC right in the face last weekend - their defeat of Texas. Kevin Durant has been slobbered all over by media types nationwide, but as good as he is (REALLY good!), it was the team (USC) that beat the individual (Durant). By all indications Mayo is not one of those team players.

Mayo will provide nothing but a massive, temporary distraction for the Trojans. Reporters, documentary camera crews, and wanna-be agents hovering around the campus will do nothing to help advance the team. USC should build on their success this year and attract the kind of talent that will win ball-games and have the team first mentality. Mayo wants USC. Perhaps USC should just pass on the Mayo...

When Floyd put down the phone, he turned to his wife. “This ain’t happening,” he said. “But we’ve got to act like it is.”

Maybe USC should act like it shouldn't.


Anonymous said...

so stupid

extrapolater said...

That was an absurd recruitment process. I can't wait until Floyd tries to tell O.J. to pass the ball to his teammates and gets a temper-tantrum.

Anonymous said...

He is being grossly misrepresented.


MCBias said...

You may be right about it from USC's perspective. But I think OJ's perspective about it is ok; he may be smarter than you think. I don't want to dump my link on your blog without permission, but check my profile for the link to my blog if you want to read my take.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, the "Mayo bumps ref, gets ejected" thing was absurd, as anyone who watches the video can see. O.J. may be an egocentric punk, but that particular incident was in no way his fault.

Jamie said...

Yeah, he seems like he has a pretty big ego, but out of your list of things that suck about Mayo, I don't think that you should have listed his marijuana arrrest or his 'bump' of a ref.
First, on the Nooge, if he was cleared of all charges, then that is that. Guys get busted and put in jail if they are found with pot (at least I think that is how it works in the US). If he had been caught with pot, I am sure that he would have been fined/jailed/etc. Secondly, if you have seen the video of OJ bumping that ref and came to the conclusion that HE was the one at fault, then you probably need to reevaluate how you view things. The ref clearly flopped on that play (seriously, if he bumped a ref on purpose, why the hell wasn't he suspended for the rest of the year?).
I can understand if you don't want a player like that at your school, but dude has been hyped like a m/f (by countless magazines/web sites/etc), and he has been hated on like a m/f (by many of the same countless magazines/web sites/etc).

Anonymous said...

Not sure what's so great about this guy. He dominates West Virgina public schools. This guy is the next Telfair, Marbury. Not LeBron, Kobe. You'll see.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't know how in the world you got on Deadspin? Either you didn't do your research or just really hate the kid. And that's what he is a kid.

1.) What's wrong with him moving around? Plenty of kids move around from home to home and you don't even explain why this is bad.

2.) As a previous poster said he wasn't convicted on any charge. Furthermore, tons of kids either do weed in school....all my rich Jewish friends did.

3.)For the bump on the official, watch the freking video! Shit even ESPN wrote about it and how it was a disgrace to CBB. And ESPN hates the fact that FSN is going to be showing most of Mayo's games.

4.)Fighting in school, ok you have a point. But get his side of the story first.

5.)Finally, before you talk about a kid, visit his house and get to know him. Then you can say whatever you want, but writing shit on your blog doesn't make you qualified to discuss a person's character.

Ryan said...

Don't be blind when you defend the guy either. It's a case of "wrong place, wrong time" happening OVER. and OVER.

This whole "he'll call you" thing is shady to say the least.

Rupert Entwistle said...

USC, I gotta a feeling your whole family is going down.

Anonymous said...

Tim Floyd just shut you down kid on PTI. Its time to call it quits and shut down your blog in disgrace. What exactly did he say that you forgot to report:

1.) He was moved around so much when he was in 7th grade. Did he decide to move himself around?

2.) He called USC and told them that he was going there, because he's a kid with a goal and plan in mind. Furthermore, he didn't want to have to deal with the crap that comes during recruiting, including people running up your phone bill. His mom is a single mom with 3 kids and doesn't have the money to spend on all of this shit.

Overall Floyd shut you down, you shouldn't be so ignorant. By the way what fights did he get in huh? Please do tell.

Anonymous said...

Go to ESPN.com right now and they have the interview in their espnmotion

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