Ashy To Classy: The 5 Players Who Went From Nobody To Somebody In The NBA

This is true story I'm about to tell. I'm probably going to get into my emotions and all but whatever, let me live. I can remember back in the 7th grade, I was a discombobulated preteen with a lack of guidance and polish. I can distinctly reflect on a few things about myself back at the age of 12:

  • I had a wide variety of X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and WWF T-shirts in my arsenal of school clothing. 
  • I hadn't quite hit my growth spurt yet as I was only 5'6", and I was still carrying around a healthy chunk of what they call "baby fat."
  • I had no concern about the following things: My haircut, my kicks, and my dealings with women.

I mention these things because I remember getting no play from the opposite sex as a 7th grader. None of the chicks I liked were giving me the time of day. I was still awkward and was lacking in self-confidence in a major way. Then the transformation happened in the summer of '96.

In the summer between my 7th and 8th grade years, I discovered this place to what the general public describe as "the mall." (Thus beginning my foray into the Tommy Hilfiger/Nautica era, an era I'm not proud of.) I began to dress in a fashion that as an 8th grader looking at a 7th grader, I would deem immature. I also grew 5 inches and played a ton of basketball in the summertime. Now I was 5'11" in the 8th grade weighing the same amount as the year before. I also learned about utilizing the powers of durag, begging my auntie for my first pair of J's" and saying things like "Hi, my name is Eddie and I have something these other guys dont...a mustache." to 8th grade women.

Suddenly, ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL these chicks that weren't giving me the time of day were now telling me how a clock ticked and tocked. Now, I'm not saying that I was beating cute 13-year old women off of me with a stick, but man things definitely changed. Young Ed's stock had risen and it was time for me to cash in.

Similarly, there are five guys in the league that every time I see them hoop I remember how unwanted and overlooked they were. As the homie Darius would say, "you can go from the outhouse to the penthouse just like that." Be it a change of scenery or a development of skills, these dudes are going to stay paid for a long time and will have a long list of candidates who desire their services for years to come. Here are The 5 Players Who Went From Nobody To Somebody In The NBA.

Earl Clark: The Indispensable Cog For The Lake Show

Do you all remember Earl Clark was being described to the general public during the 2009 NBA Draft? Most draft pundits and prognosticators said that Earl Clark most reminded them of...Tim Thomas. Yes, the talent-laden Thomas, who could do virtually everything on the basketball yet never did anything worth a damn when actually on the basketball court. (Well, except for one of the greatest threes in Lakers history...snicker.) Clark, now on his third team in just four years, joined the Lakers as an afterthought in the Dwight Howard trade this past summer. Clark's sat on the bench for all of November and December probably just thinking about how he can beat his high score on Fruit Ninja and all the fine women he can heart on Instagram, or not.

Regardless, I feel like bewildered head coach Mike D'Antoni called on Clark like Rhea Perlman called on Spaceman and things have looked up for the Lakeshow. In 20 games as a starter, Clark's put up 11.3 points and 8.6 rebounds...and the Lakers record? 12-8. When he's not in the lineup...15-21. All hail Spaceman...I mean, Earl Clark.

Danny Green: From Dancing With LeBron To Hitting His Two-Step With The Spurs

There are only two memorable moments I can recollect on Danny Green's career prior to his tenure with the Spurs. They are...

  1. Danny Green put his man regions on the forehead of Greg Paulus
  2. He was dancing his ass off with LeBron James back in Cleveland.

So who in the hell does Danny Green think he is, hitting game winners in the face of Kobe Bryant? Or playing lockdown defense on the opposition's best wing player night in and night out. During many a San Antonio Spurs game, Danny Green will be out there playing crunch time minutes and being a major contributor. Remember, this is the same guy that was hitting some type of watoosie dance with Bron on the sidelines and couldn't get tick with the same man who made everyone better on the court in Cleveland.

Call it the curse of playing in Cleveland vs. the gift of playing in San Antonio maybe, but I never saw this coming from Danny Green's career...and now I think everyone in the league would love to have a player like Green on their roster.

Nikola Vučević: He Eats Rebounds For Fun

Quick, who holds the Orlando Magic record for most rebounds in a single game? Nope, not Shaquille O'Neal. Nope, not Dwight Howard. Nope, not Jeff Kite. The correct answer is Nikola Vucevic, who grabbed 29 (!!!) rebounds against the Miami Heat back in December. The record holder out of USC has stepped in for Dwight Howard in ways that many probably didn't expect, as Vučević has been a guaranteed double-double every night  (12.4 points/11.5 rebounds) for a depleted and downtrodden Orlando Magic squad. Vučević will never be Dwight Howard, but with the lack of drama and almost the same amount of production (the #4 rebounder in the NBA), it's a start for the they just need some actual talent on that horrific squad.

Greivis Vasquez: Everybody Loves Gravy

Folks forget that back in the day Greivis Vasquez was running point back in the day at Montrose Christian High School with the one and only Kevin Durant. Vasquez has always had the knack to make others look good by dropping beautiful dimes, but on the Memphis Grizzlies he just never seem to get his chance to really shine.

Now on the New Orleans Soon To Be Pelicans, Greivis is flourishing. We've documented on here before as to the experience that is the Venezuelan floor general, but to see the man that the hispanic delegation routinely refer to as "Gravy" (go ahead and try to pronounce Greivis with a spanish flare) breakout to be #3 in in the NBA in assists on a frankly putrid squad is awesome. Just imagine if Eric Gordon ever decides to play basketball again or if Anthony Davis decides to learn a post game...things could be interesting the next time TSFJ decides to update their Top 10 Point Guards in the NBA list.

Nate Robinson: The Little Man That Always Could

It seemed like the Chicago Bulls would be doomed once the knee that blew out around the Windy City caused Derrick Rose about 10 months of recovery thus far. I remember when Chicago officially decided to ink Nate Robinson at the end of the summer, the move almost reeked of desperation for a now decimated Bulls backcourt. Yet once again, the little man that could came through in a pinch to give quality production for a Bulls team in dire need.

Lets be real here, there were many of us who thought Robinson would be a mere novelty in this league versus a legitimate player, yet time and time again he's risen up to the occasion for more than just a slam dunk contest or three. From the 41 points off the bench for the Knicks, or single-handedly helping the Celtics win playoff games or stepping in Stephen Curry's ankles last season for the Warriors, Nate Rob's been a convenient band-aid for many. Now if we can just get the man consistent work so we can enjoy his on-court shenanigans all the damn time.

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