The Strange Tale of NBA First Overall Pick from Brampton Anthony Bennett

 

It's always exciting when homegrown talent makes it big.

In recent years, Brampton residents have celebrated the success of such prolific natives as Michael Cera, Russell Peters and, most recently, pop sensation Alessia Cara.

When it comes to sports, the city has produced a few stars. Recently, Bramptonians got to watch local soccer player Jonathan Osorio shine on the Toronto FC roster and, despite some hiccups, locals are still closely following the career of well-known basketball player Anthony Bennett.

That said, Bennett's career hasn't been quite so glossy.

As many of you probably know, it's been one heck of a bumpy ride for the 6'8" Brampton native, who's had his fair share of twists and turns during his abbreviated stint in the NBA. The once-promising player entered the NBA with high expectations, only to struggle in the big leagues and play on a whopping four teams in four seasons.

Bennett made history by being the first Canadian to be selected first overall in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sadly, it was a rookie season that was less than spectacular.

Bennett played 52 games, but never rose to his full potential.

There were constant failed attempts to crack the rotation, as Bennett averaged a mediocre 12.8 minutes per game. It was the beginning of the end with his time in Cleveland, as he was shipped to Minnesota in a three-way deal that saw the Cavaliers receive Kevin Love.

Sadly, things didn't quite work out in Minnesota either.

Minnesota could have been a second chance for Bennett to prove all those who didn't believe he had talent wrong. He played 57 games and had a career best at three starts, yet struggled around the basket, averaging 5.2 points a game. It seemed to be the beginning of the end, as injuries continued to plague the young hopeful player destined for better.

He wrote his own demise in Minnesota and shortly after being waived, he signed with hometown team the Toronto Raptors in hopes that his fate would change. The move was exciting, as it allowed him to entertain fans and audiences a little closer to home.

Sadly, through 19 games, the fans were never able to see his true potential—although tints in the D-League with the Raptors 905 gave Bennett an outlet to become a presence in the paint.

After failing to make an impact with his hometown team, Bennett was waived by the Toronto Raptors. That meant Bennett was playing for his fourth team in four seasons.

The rebuilding Brooklyn Nets took a chance on the big man and saw him as the type of player he is, averaging 5.0 points in 11.5 minutes of action. After being waived by the Nets, he's had to re-group once more and choose a slightly different path.

He is now set to begin a new start in Europe. He's packed his bags and decided to take his talents to the other side of the Atlantic to play in Turkey with Istanbul'da.

Could he be the next Stephon Marbury and make a name for himself overseas? We will soon find out.

Although some might say his career has been a little lacklustre, they can't say it hasn't been an interesting ride.

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