The Brooklyn Nets rookie point guard Tyshawn Taylor suspected from the moment he entered the NBA that it wasn't just basketball anymore, it was also a business. For the most part that singular phrase it's a business when spoken by any athlete appears to be as cliché as it gets. Whenever a franchise either acquires or surrenders a player via trade or free agency, a member of the front office or coaching staff always finds time to point out that everyone involved are professionals and that it's a business.
Still, despite hailing from historic basketball powerhouses like St. Anthony's High School in Jersey City and later the University of Kansas, Taylor had two constants in basketball life — his coaches. Whether it was renowned high school coach Bob Hurley Sr. or 2012 Naismith College Coach of the Year Bill Self, Tyshawn Taylor had something a plethora of athletes dream of: stability at the top.
Now just halfway through his rookie season, he's already played for two different head coaches. "It's a little different. You get used to somebody and what they want, and then one day you come in and they're not there. It's just more of a reality of how much of business the NBA really is," said Taylor.
On December 27, the Nets dismissed former head coach Avery Johnson and promoted assistant P.J. Carlesimo. And while the interim tag has yet to be lifted from Carlesimo, the Nets' new headman hasn't changed how the team is trying to develop Taylor. "It's still the same message. When I get my time play hard, be a professional, and just stick with the process. Whatever they [the Nets] ask of me or demand of me, I try my best to do it."
The reality is that Taylor that really didn't have to wait that long to discern just how much of a business the NBA truly is. On NBA Draft night, Taylor was selected as the 11th pick in the second round by the Portland Trail Blazers, only to be traded that same night to the Brooklyn Nets for an undisclosed amount of cash.
That, to come full circle, is how the teams and executives look at players — as assets. The problems arise when a team alters the plan for the development for said asset. The league is littered with young guards who were drafted and developed to be one type of player, only to have the script switched later in the development process. According one Western Conference scout, "We really liked [Tyshawn Taylor]. Offensively we weren't really sure if he's a pure point guard in our half-court sets, but he has the speed and explosion to be a one-man fast break in transition, and from our perspective has the ability to be an elite backcourt defender at the next level…He has the athleticism to be a very good NBA player, if he and they [Brooklyn] are patient, he has the potential to be impact player on a playoff team."
With the Nets competing for the for the top spot in the Atlantic Division, Taylor knows that trying to soak in everything at this point in his career is a must. "I'm in the gym constantly. I'm not traveling with the team now right now so it's giving me a chance to get stronger and really work on my game. So yeah, I'm happy where I'm at, but still got a long way to go."
The lessons about the brutal reality that is the business of professional sports and the hard work to earn his place on the roster are things that Taylor could have been warned about, yet nothing can prepare you for the transition from college to the NBA. So when asked what's surprised him the most about the league, his answer was about the big picture.
"Just the whole lifestyle," he said. "The schedule, in college you played two maybe three games a week now you can play four games in five nights. I knew guys were going to be super athletic and good basketball players, but it's like learning an entire new lifestyle for me."
As the season labors towards the All-Star break, there is plenty of reason to believe that like most rookies, Taylor will continue to learn about the business of the NBA. With the Nets in playoff contention and another 41 games still to play, his journey is just getting started.
Fan Hub Action
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
May 16th, 2013 12:13 PM
May 20th, 2013 9:09 AM
May 16th, 2013 9:45 AM
ALL TIME FAVES
April 16th, 2013 12:15 PM
April 9th, 2013 11:57 AM
March 1st, 2013 8:37 AM