Greatness was a birthright for OJ Mayo. He began his basketball career by playing for the varsity squad at Rose Hill Christian High School where he averaged 23.1 points per game...He was also in the seventh grade. After moving to Cincinnati to live with his grandfather, OJ went on to earn the title Mr. Basketball of Ohio. He appeared on several magazine covers and Dime Magazine even crowned him "The Next Lebron". He later moved on to Huntington High School in West Virginia were he along with Patrick Patterson would lead the team to the State Championship. After signing his letter of intent to USC, Mayo scored a 29 on his ACT. OJ Mayo won high school.
Next Lebron? So he’s gonna start balding at 23?
Side Note: That’s right, another Lebron bald joke. Deal with it.
After leaving USC in a wake of fire and destruction, Mayo was selected 3rd in the NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. OJ plus some rag tag spares were then traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Kevin Love featuring some more rag tag spares. In his rookie season, OJ started every game playing 38 minutes a contest. He averaged 18.5 ppg 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assist and shot 38% from three. He was the runner up to Derrick Rose in Rookie of the Year voting. By the end of the season it appeared that David Khan had been outsmarted...yet again. Ovinton J'Anthony followed his strong rookie campaign with averages of 17.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assist. His career was off to a great start. Perhaps not "Next Lebron" great, but still very good.
July 12, 2010: The Memphis Grizzlies sign Shooting Guard Tony Allen.
The arrival of Tony Allen meant the Grizzlies would be getting the NBA equivalent of a honey badger in their back court. Allen’s defense on the perimeter added an element that was sorely lacking from the Grizzlies. By Mayo’s third season he had lost his starting job. Lionel Hollins envisioned Mayo as a Jason Terry like 6th man who would come off the bench and be instant offense. However, it was obvious that he struggled with this new role. His shooting percentage saw a decline from 45% down to a dismal 40%. Future Bron was now only scoring 11.6 ppg. Fun fact: In the 2010-2011 season OJ Mayo went scoreless 4 times. Also, he scored 6 points or less 18 times. None of which can top the embarrassment of having your ass kicked by the guy taking your minutes. That’s what happened in January of 2011. While on the team plane, Allen apparently ordered Mayo to pay his debt from a card game, but Mayo refused. Mayo then began to berate Allen. And then Allen did what any bad ass would do in that situation. Kick the shit out of the shit talker.
Starting job taken: check
Minutes taken: check
Ass kicked and I’ll assume passed out on the floor and pockets rummaged through: check
(That last bit probably didn’t happen but the mental image is hilarious)
If this were the TV show Oz, Allen would be Schillinger and Mayo would be Beecher
Last season Mayo was thoroughly relegated to 6th man duty. After starting 17 games the previous season, he started zero games this go around. He managed to improve his scoring from 11.6 to 12.3 points per game. The Grizzles went 41-25 in the lockout shortened season and where matched up against the Clippers in the Playoffs. There is no way to sugar coat it. OJ Mayo was downright atrocious. After shooting 31% for 6 games, Mayo went 1-11 in game 7. SMFH. 1-11 equals 9% from the floor. NINE PERCENT. With that, Mayo punched his ticket out of town. The Grizzlies declined to sign him to an offer sheet and Mayo became an unrestricted free agent
Must. Not. Suck…ARRGGHHH!!
This past July, Mayo signed a 2 year 8.5 million dollar contract with the Dallas Mavericks. The second year being a player option. The way this contract is set up tells me that OJ sees himself as a player who is worth much more that what he’s currently playing for. With what is basically a 1 year deal, he gives himself a chance to sign a large contract next summer. The Mavs need for a reliable second option in the wake of Jason Terry’s departure, gives Mayo the opportunity to shine in the starting role he once thrived in. So far as the number 3 pick, OJ has been a bit of a failure. I however feel it may be a little too early to label him a bust. Mayo is at a bit of a crossroads in his career. Going into his fifth season he hasn’t been able to establish what he may become as a professional. This upcoming season could potentially make or break his legacy.