NEWARK, NJ: Chris Singleton said the Wizards considered picking him at six. That would’ve been a big reach, but the lengthy wing out of Florida State, touted by ESPN.com’s Chris Ford as the best perimeter defender in the draft, didn’t expect to slip to Washington at 18. Now he has the honor of being the last Green Room invitee selected in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Of course, the NBA no longer embarrasses the undrafted by making them sit by their lonesome. Those who have already been taken and their guests usually go back to their Green Room tables after the horse and pony show of post-selection interviews. Still, athletes often concoct all sort of reasons to self-motivate, and the moment didn’t seem lost on Singleton.
“I’m marking that,” he said when I asked him if he was making a list of all those that passed on him. “That’s all I can say, this day is marked in my history.”
What was lost on Singleton, in his interview video above, was exactly how many teams passed. I can’t blame him. Covering the draft live, it’s quite the whirlwind with picks flying off the shelves left and right. I can’t keep up, so we certainly can’t expect an anxious draftee to keep up. But for the record, 14 teams passed on Singleton, including the New York Knicks at pick 17 (much to the seeming chagrin of the local media).
Nonetheless, Singleton seems content, no, happy, despite the disappointment of slipping. He know’s Washington is ripe with opportunity for him to establish himself as “the” perimeter defender on the Wizards… because well, they don’t have anyone else.
“[Defense] is already my mark. It’s already something people know me for. But [the Wizards] just saw my potential,” Singleton said. “They could’ve picked a lot of other people that are athletic and all that, but it’s really hard work that determines everything.”
A hard worker. A guy who’s making a list for motivation. A draft pick slipping big for the Wiz. What did Ernie Grunfeld do to deserve this? Who knows and it doesn’t matter. Washington fans are happy, it’s time to celebrate.
And what will Singleton do to celebrate? Well, I just had to ask him…
“To celebrate? Well, I’m just going to go mark off the teams. Just go cuss them out in my own words, and I’m just going to move on from there,” he said with a smile.
And on any disappointment from being the last player left in the Green Room?
“You never want to be the last of anything. But I feel like I’m in the right position right now. I’m happy.”
Judging by a recent tweet from Singleton’s Twitter account, @C_SING31, I believe him.