Before the NBA draft, we asked whether Nerlens Noel was legit muscle or just a UK-hyped hustle. NBA teams, at least those in the top five, were obviously worried he was more of the latter, and Noel slipped to the sixth pick after most projections pegged him as the first overall pick.
Six spots isn't a huge jump for a lot of guys, but when expectations are high it can seem like a cliff. Nerlens Noel vows to remember what that felt like.
"Oh yeah, I'm going to make them pay," Noel told USA TODAY Sports.
For the record, that's Cleveland, Orlando, Washington, Charlotte and Phoenix. How's he gonna do it?
"I want to work on my mid-range jumper and become a more polished player offensively," he said.
So far, the jury is still out on Noel, but we'll find out in a couple of years whether his determination pays off.