O.J. Mayo, Prima Donna

By Chris Le

 

You hear about this kid O.J. Mayo? A consensus top-5 high school basketball recruit, he has been touted as a future NBA lottery pick before he even had his driver’s license. Accolades and accomplishments — you name it, he has it: All-American standing, full-ride scholarships to any university of his liking (he will be attending USC in the fall), three straight Class AAA West Virginia state championships and nationally televised games on ESPN. Oh yeah, he also happens to be an arrogant punk.

Earlier today, The New York Times published an article telling of USC head coach Tim Floyd’s “acquisition” of Mayo. At first, Floyd hadn’t done a thing to recruit the high school star, viewing such an act to be an exercise in futility. He figured, why would Mayo want to come to USC when he’s getting offers from UNC, Duke, UCLA and UConn?

Well, Floyd thought wrong.

Everything changed once Ronald Guillory, a representative and friend of O.J., stepped into Floyd’s office and voiced Mayo’s interest in the program. To no surprise, Floyd instantly began to salivate, but he was still wondering why Mayo liked USC over the national powerhouses. Guillory explained that O.J. wanted to market himself before heading to the NBA, and what better place to do that than Los Angeles. Excited by the prospect of obtaining such a high-profile player, Floyd wanted to call Mayo personally so he asked Guillory for his phone number. Guillory denied him saying, “O.J. doesn’t give out his cell. He’ll call you.”

Firstly, what the hell is wrong with Floyd? Does he even have a pair or is he just going to let O.J. do his own thing without any discipline? When a kid wants to attend your university for the sole purpose of marketing and notoriety, you need to drop him as soon as possible. Having a player with no humility, sense of teamwork and personal growth can only lead to bad things, no matter how good he is with the basketball. And O.J., what about honing your skills, learning the game and making the most of your exceptional talent?

He hasn’t proven a damn thing to earn the right to speak as if he’s in a position of power. Oh, just because he can dominate high schoolers, he can bark orders at his coaches and other superiors? You don’t see Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, Kyle Singler or Kevin Love, all of whom are rated higher than Mayo by rivalhoops.com, acting like Rick James, do you?

But I can’t be naïve. I know Mayo isn’t the only high school kid who has delusions of grandeur, thinking he’s the next LeBron James. It’s just that he’s so blatant with it. Just look back last week, when Mayo led his Huntington High School team to their third straight state championship. Up by forty points and with time running down, Mayo was on a breakaway and threw the ball off the glass for a dunk, a la Tracy McGrady. He then proceeded to throw the ball into the crowd like it was an AND1 game and raised his hands as he was showered by the adulation of screaming fans. Of course, he was quickly charged with a technical foul. What great sportsmanship. And let’s not forget his suspensions for bumping a referee and charges of marijuana possession.

O.J. Mayo is shaping up to be the Terrell Owens and Randy Moss of basketball.

Here’s a clip of his antics:

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