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Jan Vesely exits NBA historically quickly

Jul 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

2011 NBA Draft 2011 NBA Draft

Jan Vesely entered the NBA with a kiss.

He’s now kissing the league goodbye.

After being drafted No. 6 overall by the Wizards in 2011, Vesely has signed in Turkey (hat tip: Ben Standig of CSN Washington).

Spending so little time in the NBA after being drafted so high is rare. Unless Vesely – whose athleticism could never overcome his lack of skills – makes an unlikely NBA comeback, he’s on track to become just the seventh player drafted in the top six to spend three or fewer seasons in the NBA since the NBA-ABA merger.

The other six:

Jonny Flynn

Flynn regressed in two seasons with the Timberwolves, who drafted him No. 6 in 2009, and then a third year in Houston and Portland. He might have left the NBA after three seasons regardless, but a hip injury did him no favors.

Jay Williams

Williams, the No. 2 pick in the 2002 draft, had a decent rookie year. But a motorcycle crash before his second season ended his careerand nearly his life.

Len Bias

Bias infamously died due to a cocaine overdosed the day after the day after the Celtics drafted him No. 2 in 1986.

Chris Washburn

Drafted No. 3 by the Warriors in 1986, Washburn stunk for a season and a half in Golden State and a half season in Atlanta. Then, he was suspended for drugs, costing him his third season. A third failed drug test ultimately got him banned from the NBA for good.

Russell Cross

Cross, drafted No. 6 in 1983 by the Warriors, astoundingly lasted only one season in the NBA. According to the Chicago Tribune, he had a chronic knee problem dating back at least to his time in Purdue.

James Ray

The player drafted highest every out of Jacksonville University, Ray – chosen No. 5 in 1980 – lasted just three years with the Nuggets.

Assuming there are no later revelations to the contrary, Ray was the last top-six pick to exit the NBA as quickly as Vesely without injury or drugs playing a major factor. Just as the Wizards imagined in 2011, Vesely ultimately made history.

  1. tomtravis76 - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    He will be back. He needs to develop more,that is all. He has the talent, but tends to over think everything on the NBA court, which makes him play tentative,ie: zero confidence.

    • shaqattaqer - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      He definitely does not have NBA talent.

  2. theebadguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Another gem from Ernie

  3. unxpexted1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    weren’t they calling him the turkish MJ because of his athleticism?

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:08 PM

      Considering he is Czech I doubt they called him that

  4. granadafan - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Just goes to show that teams rely too much on athletic ability and not enough on actually being able to play.

    • kindasporty - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      I think the fact that it happens so rarely, shows that that’s not the case.

    • detroitbasketballfan - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      Lol all the skilled white players have no athleticism

      all the rare white athletes are lacking in skill

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:06 AM


  5. thethrill1111 - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I believe that on draft night that year he was drawing comparisons to Blake Griffin. Tisk tisk.

  6. djlexluger - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Grand opening, grand closing.

  7. ravenswhat - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Wizards fans should puke when they see which players the Wiz neglected to draft over him in 2011.

    • nolanwiffle - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      Other than Klay Thompson at #11 and Kawhi Leonard at #15, who are Wizards fans really pining for from that draft?

  8. eugenesaxe1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    I can’t remember any other team clamoring for Vesely.

  9. jadaruler - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    He was a mega turd. Good luck to him back in overseas.

  10. mackcarrington - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Given that he never signed a contract, is it fair to say that Len Bias was even In the NBA?

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      When it suits the writer’s whim. Technically, no.

  11. tigers182 - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Is Anthony Bennett still in the league?

  12. longtallsam - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Has Greg Oden played three years. I thought it was more like three weeks!

  13. dacapt704 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    Another foreign bum who drafted off “potential”…when will NBA GMs learn? Unless you see a guy ball out in the Olympics against top tier comp, I wouldn’t touch him. Not saying that all NCAA athletes that are lottery picks are studs but at least you’ve actually seen their body of work against known comp.

    Not to mention the NBA isn’t really the dream for a lot of the foreign guys, they prefer to play in the top Euro leagues so their intensity & focus may not be there…you got a lot of young talented American ball players that would give their right arm to be drafted..but they don’t get the same treatment bc scouts have picked their game apart as opposed to taking the “unknown”…

    Exum #5
    Saric #12



    Vesely #6
    Bismack Biyombo #7 (as a Bobcats/Hornets fan I can tell you he sucks!)


    Rubio, Spain #5 (he’s decent but was taken before Steph Curry & Demar DeRozan)

    Gallinari, Italy #6 (taken before B. Lopez)

    Jianlin Yi, China #6 (taken before Noah)

    Bargnani, Italy #1 (taken before Aldridge)

    Fran Vazquez, Spain #11
    Yaroslav Korolev, CSKA Moscow #12

    Yeah I’m bored tonight…so what!?! Lol

    • atahualpaoxford - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      The San Antonio Spurs think that you’re so fuk**ing right that they want you to help them at the next draft…
      What an a$$$$….

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:08 AM


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