According the ESPN’s Anonymous Player X, the NBA and the rest of the American coaching community is letting players fall through their finger tips like kids in impoverished schools. They use Chris Wilcox as an example:
A guy like the Pistons’ Chris Wilcox — who can barely dribble or shoot after all these years — simply wouldn’t slip through the cracks over there. Had he grown up in Europe, Wilcox, with his size and athleticism, would be a serious force. Players are beginning to realize that if they go overseas, even for a season, they’ll come back with more skills, and that translates into greater success and better contracts back here.
I think there’s a difference between the training European and American players receive growing up, but I’m not convinced someone like Wilcox, at his age, could play overseas for year and have his game transformed by foreign coaches.
This is actually really interesting and now we know player X plays (or played) on the Pistons, Sonics, Thunder, Clippers or Knicks. Aside from Player X’s identity, the truly astounding thing I learned is Pistons Powered writer Dan Feldman actually thinks Wilcox could have been an all-star with some more refined skills.
"If Wilcox had more refined skills to go with his athleticism, we wouldn’t be talking about a role player. We’d be talking about an All-Star."
"Refined skills." Things like dribbling and shooting, which he supposedly can "barely do."
For the record, Wilcox has averaged 8.8 ppg and 5.1 rpg in his career. His highs in both categories were 14.5 and 8.1 respectively, with the Seattle Supersonics (RIP) in the ‘05-‘06 season.
Also, Wilcox was coached by Gary Williams at Maryland when they won an NCAA title in 2002. As of March of 2010 Williams was the 5th winningest active coach in the country, so he probably didn’t need Wilcox to shoot or dribble for his championship squad.
[ESPN Insider; piston powered; pic via Need a Sheed]