We have seen many instances of this over the years. Robert Parish was considered a troublemaker in Golden State became a Hall of Fame player in Boston. Dennis Johnson was a troublemaker in Seattle and became the glue that held the team together in Boston. Ricky Davis was seen as a troublemaker in Cleveland only to come to Boston to be the perfect teammate. Jermaine O'Neal was seen as a bust in Portland and became a dominant player in Indiana. Darko was a non-entity in Detroit only to become a player in Orlando. And on and on.
There are instances all over the league. A player seems washed up, a troublemaker, a mistake, etc. only to become an All Star on the team they are traded to. Chauncey Billips was a player seen by Rick Pitino as not developing quickly enough. But yet he went to Detroit and developed very quickly. The same can be said of Jermaine O'Neal after he went to Indiana.
In most cases, the difference is in the system or the coaching. Some come from a system that doesn't fit their playing style. Or the coach and the player don't get along and so the player is not given playing time or given a reputation as a malcontent. Sometimes it is just the player maturing and breaking out that coincides with the trade.
This brings me to Sebastian Telfair. He was not the starting PG, or even the second PG, but stuck on the bench as the third option in Portland. Will we see him reach his potential in Boston? Telfair has gotten great reviews from his coach in Portland, so it wasn't a case of a personality clash with the coach. But, the system in Portland didn't fit Bassy's style. Telfair is most effective in an open court when he can run and on the fast break. In Portland, the team played more of a slow down, half court style. In Boston, Doc hopes to run and if that is the case, Telfair should thrive.
Rondo is also coming out of a system that didn't play to his strengths. I can't help but feel that he also will thrive in Boston. He has been impressing people wherever he plays because he has the skills and the talent to become a very good PG in the NBA, in spite of not thriving in the Kentucky system.
For all those who are pointing to Telfair's first 2 years in the league or to Rondo's last year in Kentucky to say that they can't run a team should remember Robert Parish, who many in Golden State felt would never be a very good Center. Or they should think back to those in Seattle saying that Dennis Johnson couldn't run a team. In the right system, and with the right coach, players can reach their potential, even if they have been thought to be busts previously. I think Telfair is coming to a system that will allow him to play to his strengths and will put him back on track to reach the potential that made him the center of tremendous attention coming into the league. And Rondo may be seen as the steal of the draft. Hopefully Doc can be the coach to take advantage of their abilities and play to their strengths.
At first, I was wondering who you were going to be talking about when you were listing your examples of players who had come from other teams, only to really become good players with their new teams. (I'm reading this early in the morning and I'm not fully awake yet). I was thinking, Brian Scalabrine?
But you know, this might also be a prophetic outlook on Iverson, if he comes here. He's had a negative reputation in the NBA from Day 1. He could finally change everything around in Boston with a fresh start.
Here's to hoping that Sebastian Telfair can really make his impact here in Boston. The last time we had a PG come over from the northwest, we ended up winning a championship title (DJ came over from Seattle). Oh, my mistake. It was actually Shammond Williams, who came over with Vin Baker in that awful trade in '01.