NBA / Jul 8, 2009 / 4:03 pm

The Mysterious Case of Marcus Haislip

Marcus Haislip

Maybe I wasn’t watching basketball too carefully when Marcus Haislip was averaging 16.7 points and 6.7 boards per game at Tennessee. Or maybe he just didn’t make that much of an impression on me.

But now that the Spurs signed him to play on their summer league squad, Haislip is being re-hyped as a 6-10 heap of potential. It could be that R.C. Buford and San Antonio’s management is really a step ahead of the rest of the League, or we’re all just buying into a false mystique about the Spurs.

Ball Don’t Lie’s Kelly Dwyer wrote a genius column to the point about San Antonio’s mythical scouting powers. He wrote a fake dialogue between Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford. Here’s an excerpt, in which Buford asks why Pop wants to sign Haislip.

Popovich: I just want to [mess] with people.

Buford: That’s admirable. In what way?

Popovich: Signing Marcus Haislip.

Buford: Not admirable. Why?

Popovich: I want to keep them on edge. They think we do everything right. We’re so fundamentally-sound. So, how do you say, internationale? We got Richard Jefferson for expiring deals, we picked up DeJuan Blair in the second round, we made monsters out of Parker and …

Popovich: Nobody’s supposed to be as good as us. We’re, essentially, in Cincinnati with better food. I’m awesome, you’re hidden, Duncan‘s underrated, Ginobili and Parker came out of nowhere, and we still scare the piss out of people. You think we’re doing anything with Jefferson next year? Probably not. But the rest of the league still thinks of us as the mean computer that gets everything right.

Hypothetically Haislip signed with the Knicks instead of the Spurs. If he wasn’t already written off as a colossal bust, coming to New York would somehow cement that legacy for him. No one would expect him to come off the end of the bench, even though he’d be competing against guys with little to no measure of basketball skill. But now that he’s with the Spurs, teams around the League are frantically searching through Wikipedia to see if there are any other 6-10 former Lottery picks who are playing overseas.

The irony of the situation is that Haislip could actually be really good. Aron had been following his progress overseas – on the Turkish powerhouse Efes Pilsen and the Spanish team Unicaja Malaga. He worked his tail off over there, and put up 16.5 points per game in Spain last year – astronomical numbers given the style of play over there.

If Antonio McDyess ends up signing in San Antonio, Haislip will have a hell of a time trying to get time off the bench. But even if he doesn’t see any burn, signing with the Spurs might have been the best career move possible.

Source: Ball Don’t Lie

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  • Rafa23

    “He worked his tail off over there, and put up 16.5 points per game in Spain last year – astronomical numbers given the style of play over there.”

    also known as not isolation basketball, also known as team ball, also known as : last seen in the nba 20 years ago.

  • Ian

    LOL rafa and im not even a (insert whatever fan)

  • Kudabeen

    I said it before…people can balk at the deal, but he is the type of big guy San Antonio never had. The influence of Duncan and a quality organization can only help.

    Jodi Meeks got signed already…3 year deal…I still feel he should have went in the first round and people are missing out on a taller Ben Gordon/Eddie House, but we’ll see if he puts it all together.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    8 years later can we still use the word “potential” with this player? Any player? Is Mike Sweetney still a 6’8″ pile of potential? No.

  • Rafa23

    just JOKING, i love the nba…
    and this coming from a euroleague fan…LMAO

  • Ian

    lol oh shit good one there

  • dk

    Marion to Dallas is basically a done deal, its nice to have some comp for dem Lakers!

    I guess Ill hold my breath until AB writes a blog about ZaZa’s new contract….

  • dk


    Kidd ( Id have Harris, but Im an idiot )
    Terry ( STFU I know he dont start )
    Howard ( Id trade him )
    Dirk ( The Clutch )
    Gortat ( My third string center both fantasy dynasty’s, fre of d wire )

  • dk

    Anyways that looks solid.

  • dk

    @ 4 Please allow me to insert the following obvious comment to your quote, thanks.

    ” Pile of shit ” in reference to Sweetney.

  • omar

    what ever happend to darius washington…….he had one monster game and then…………idk

  • dk

    he chznged his name to darius miles…. and then….

  • Kobeef

    Haislip looks like a monster. He’s been working out for sure. Apparently he is winning dunk contests in europe.

    Maybe the knicks should send Eddy Curry to Turkey for a year so he can learn how to exercise and return to a credible basketball player..

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    haislip was what hill from arizona was, a lanky athlete. I remember him dunkin on kmart as a buck..now if he got some actual skill to go with it? spurs could look even smarter

  • http://www.saltytexan.com rangerjohn

    2 minutes ago from twitter

    spursThe Spurs have come to a verbal agreement with free agent Antonio McDyess. More to come on spurs.com once the deal becomes official.

  • Tim

    I’m happy for Dyess…maybe he’ll finally get that ring.

  • http://nerditry.com nerditry

    @dk: I agree you have to trade him if they pickup Marion, but I don’t think he’ll be part of that trade unless something crazy happens and it turns into 4-5 teams involved. Marion is no good off the bench because he can’t create his own shot or be a #2 scorer.

    Where does Howard go?

    He’d be a good fit in Milwaukee, but they gave up the farm to Redd/Bogut and somehow Dan Gadzuric makes $14M GUARANTEED the next two seasons. Otherwise, he’d be an upgrade to the Knicks, Nets, Pacers (if Granger is SG), Heat, Hornets, TWolves, Blazers, Clips, Suns, and Kings.

    Pacers, TWolves and Blazers have the best players to return back.

  • sh!tfaced

    yep. dyess is going to the spurs…


  • Arno

    I’ve seen Haislip play in the Euroleague. He can help, great atheticism, but there’s nothing to write home about in his game.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    spurs also took on james flight white — he turned into an All-Star . . .

  • Seven Duece

    The sad thing is he didn’t even make it through his rookie contract. Son got waived, damn.