NBA, Where Are They Now? / Oct 6, 2009 / 11:09 am

Where Are They Now: Joe Forte

Joe Forte

Because of the tradition, discipline and high standard of play they have at UNC, it’s not very often a highly-touted player from there becomes a complete train wreck in the NBA. But that’s exactly what happened to Joe Forte. Despite being a consensus first team all-american and a first round pick, his short two-year NBA career was filled with disappointment and controversy. Forte could go down as the biggest bust to ever come out of Carolina.

In the early part of this decade, Forte was one of the nicest guards in college basketball. He was a 6-3 shooting guard who could score at will from anywhere within 30-feet of the basket. Forte was explosive off the dribble and had that mid-range game down pat like Carmelo. As a freshman, Forte helped take the Heels to the 2000 Final Four. The following year, he took the nation by storm averaging 20.9 points, 6.1 rebounds (as a guard) and 3.5 assists. After winning the 2001 ACC Player of the Year award over players like Shane Battier, Will Solomon, Juan Dixon and Jay Williams – the 20-year-old Forte bolted to the draft, where the Celtics selected him with the 21st pick.

From the second he set foot in Boston, things started to go south. Being a skinny 6-3 guard, he was forced to move over to the point guard position. Forte was clearly uncomfortable with the position change and finished his rookie season averaging 0.8 points and 0.8 assists in 8 games.

“As a player I was prepared from a two guard position,” Forte told Elevationmag.com in 2006. “I was asked to play the point guard position up in Boston and I didn’t have the point guard skills at that time to do the point guard duty. As a person I think we have to go back to what I said earlier about emotion. I was a 20 year old emotional kid.”

His ego also got in the way. Forte reportedly had a terrible attitude and even showed up to a Celtics game wearing a Lakers’ throwback jersey. The Celtics were quick to trade Joe to Seattle that offseason. There, Forte continued his immature ways. After a tough loss, he went back into the showers and started singing – a move that earned him an OZ-style beating by teammates. That summer, he was pulled over for speeding and after searching his car, police found a small amount of weed and a gun. He had also reportedly assaulted a man during a pickup game back home in Washington, D.C. The Sonics cut ties with him shortly after and Forte hasn’t played in the league since.

Despite his failed NBA career, Forte has continued to play ball. He has suited up in the D-League, Italy, Russia and Greece. Last season, Forte played for the Italian Serie A team, Snaidero Udine. He has seemingly grown up and has taken ownership of his actions.

“I was a 20-year-old kid with a lot of money and a lot of responsibility,” Forte told the Washington Post in 2005. “I mean, I was used to being cared for, and all of a sudden I’m keeping my mom on a budget. It was too much too soon, and I just couldn’t handle it.”

Check out our Where are They Now? archives HERE

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

Follow Gerald Narciso on Twitter at @Gerald_Narciso.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • goonther

    Any case for redemption? i mean he’s still relatively young & skills and talent just can’t be lost or disappear…..


  • gmoney1184

    Flat out worst video ever…

    Yeah, forte is the classic case of too much too soon. He was past the age limit and still couldn’t figure it out, so I guess its just on a case by case basis. Dude could play too.

  • TJ

    I like how Joe’s highlight tape has girly music and David Hawkins (Temple) throwing his shit out of bounds.

  • Patrick

    Its funny to think that Bogans made the respectable nba career. Coming out of Dematha they were basically the same player with Bogans going to Kentucky and Forte to Carolina. Joe blew up from the start and Keith didn’t do much. Even with the talent you gotta care.

  • Scoob

    Oz style beating in the shower? That sounds kinda….

  • http://www.niketalk.yuku.com/forums/8 NTstateOFmind

    good edition of Where Are They Now, always wondered what happened to this kid

    ..any chance we see a Ronnie Fields one?

  • Promoman

    He should’ve stayed all 4 years in school. He was one of those players that has all the talent in the world but lacked the drive to succeed.

  • Celts Fan

    Can you really be the biggest bust of anywhere if you were a late first rounder? Terrible pick though. That draft coulda been Joe Johnson(which we got right,) Richard Jefferson (took Kedrick Brown instead,) and Tony Parker/Gil/Tinsley (instead of this clown.) Obviously things worked out, but that could’ve been a really fun team to watch grow together… Screw Joe Forte.

  • JDub

    Classic Lil’ Wayne line from Sqad Up mixtapes….Best of Me (Remix)……………. ” We real playas but we really don’t play like Joseph Forte, got dosha all day!” LMAO

    Listen @ 1:53


  • BCap

    good one. William Avery?

  • Jason

    Gerald, were you an ESL student? I find a lot of typos in your articles, so I’m wondering if the editors are slipping up or you were an ESL student.

  • http://dimemag jeff

    i like these were are they now

  • Ko_Peso

    I will never forgive Chris Wallace for drafting Forte ahead of Parker and Arenas. And don’t forget, dude followed this up by trading a still developing, but solid Joe Johnson mid way through his rookie year and a 1st rounder for Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers (both of whom left Boston as free agents after the season)

  • Henry

    Makes me feel good to be a Gonzaga alum and preventing Forte (and Bogans) from winning the league championship

  • jojo

    What ever happened to Wayne Turner

  • The Real Tyrone

    Who be this cat?

    True thugs NEVER lie.
    The Real Tyrone

  • sh!tfaced

    For all his screw-ups as a GM, it really wasn’t Chris Wallace’s fault in drafting Joe Forte. It was actually Red Auerbach who insisted that the Celtics take him with the 21st pick.

    But you can blame Wallace for drafting Kedrick Brown though…

  • jnuh

    Don’t neglect your studies kids!

  • John

    He was co-player of the year. I little bit of fact checking would be nice.

  • Tommy

    Agreed. He was actually co-player with Shane Battier, the consensus National Player of the Year. And a good example of the total unc-homer idiots who vote on POY in the ACC.


  • Eric

    For the Gonzaga loser… DeMatha won the Chip in ’98 (Keith and Joe’s junior year)

  • bryan

    dat dude was nice at carolina…how i know? – im a duke fan!!!!

  • http://ww.diznuts.blogspot.com Darkness

    I see this same story over and over – tweener 2’s who dominate in college, but struggle to make the transition to the 1 in the league. There are for more cautionary tales than success stories. As “smart” as these head office guys are, if they plan on converting these dudes from 2 to 1, why don’t they evaluate them during the draft process on their projected position, or how you plan to use him? There’s a big difference between being a scoring 2 that has his college team’s offense ran through him, versus transitioning to a 1 and needing to orchestrate a team. Some transitions are easier than others, but the 2 to the 1 is not.

  • Dcam323

    I just thought of a player that was a beast in college and had a good career. Billy Owens. he was a beast at Da Cuse and was ballin in G-State and Sac Town. if we can get him on a milk carton just to see whats up wit him now.

  • George

    The game they lost when he started singing was against the Wizards when MJ was with them if I recall correctly, and he was singing the UNC fight song.

  • joseph forte

    Eat a dick and get off mine Im doing just fine and could care less about what anybody thinks of me! I am not missing i just dont live in that recession soon to be destroyed place u call home of the free but u better beleive i am comfortable and my jump shot is nice! 28 now sand still got it and still make big money! Get over it u people are so stupid wasting your time on sports pacifist see how smart you are when martial law hits. yeah a dropped a dime for real!

  • joseph forte

    and if u must know carolina black balled my career because i left early and they had the worse year after i left 8 and 20. and the only reason i got drafted was because of morgan wootten and his late friend red aurbach. so who is the biggest bust the only person to out score jordan as a freshman! get real! i am in italy now still balling behind the 8 ball cuz thats what they do when u real! u people are a joke and joe forte is legendary!