There are few professions more glamorous and valorized than "professional athlete." However, there are many levels of fame and fortune within that very special group. For instance, the life of the superstar differs greatly from that of the rookie. And that's to say nothing of the differences between players in those subsets — Kobe Bryant is not Tim Duncan, just as Andrew Wiggins is not a second-rounder known only by diehards.
So, when a rapper takes a picture with two mainstream-popular All-NBA performers, none of the trio wants a four-year college player and rookie averaing 12.5 minutes per game to join in on the phone. So it was pretty weird to see Chicago Bulls rookie Doug McDermott on the right of a photo involving rapper Kid Ink and Los Angeles Clippers stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul (via SB Nation):
— Scott Albanese (@SAlbanese03) November 18, 2014
What happened here? Was Kid Ink a particularly big fan of McDermott during his Player of the Year campaign in 2013-14 at Creighton University? Did Paul want to acknowledge an opponent in the spirit of friendly competition? Maybe Griffin found out that Dougie McBuckets is taking improv classes in Chicago?
None of the above. It looks like McDermott just tried to jump in the shot without being invited.
It's easy to see why Griffin, Paul, and Kid Ink may have been upset. No one wants some interloper to photobomb a perfectly good image, especially when his version of a photobomb involves making it look like he's part of a circle of friends.
It probably didn't help that McDermott is pretty much the dictionary definition of NBA uncool. He played all four years in college despite earning All-America honors three times, isn't particularly athletic, and boasts a fan base that seems to support him less as a basketball player than as an avatar of various Right Way fundamentals that players supposedly lose when they transfer from college to the pros. (Never mind if McDermott actually exemplifies these characteristics — to the extent they even exist — or actually wants to be involved in these culture wars.) It's not just that McDermott wasn't wanted in the picture. It's that his presence just doesn't make sense based on his relative standing in the social hierarchy of basketball.
McDermott didn't exactly make the case that he deserved to be in the photo with his play in Monday's game — he had no points on 0-of-2 shooting in 10 minutes, during which he logged a -12 plus-minus. On the other hand, the Bulls defeated the Clippers 105-89 even without Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol. Perhaps McDermott's gambit served as good luck.
If so, he should try to jump into another photo on Thursday when the Bulls face the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. DeMarcus Cousins poses with the members of Tesla before every home game, right?
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