Before Daniel Orton begins his pro basketball career next week at the Orlando summer league, the former Kentucky big man felt the need to clear his conscience regarding how his college days ended.
Orton took to twitter Wednesday night to address his decision to turn pro after one season, his failure to complete his spring semester classes and his statement that he regrets choosing Kentucky over Kansas. Here's the text from the Orlando Magic first-rounder's eight-tweet mea culpa:
Okay there are some things that I've been needing to address, but I was trying to focus my attention elsewhere. As far as the classes I want
To apologize for not doing what I said I would. I messed up bigtime and hope I can be somewhat forgiven. I messed up on a few due dates on
My online class and I just lost focus in school. I apologize. Then the thing about the Kansas comment. I was more so set up on that question
We all know the media and how they like to get people but i was asked was there any other school that I would have gone to. At first I said
No because I loved UK and I loved my experience and my teammates there. Then he proceeded to say. I know Kansas was recruiting you hard, you
Never had any thoughts of maybe you should have gone there? Of course I thought that at times I won't lie about that I'm sure atleast two
Players on every college team this year question their decision but in the end I am happy that I went to UK. As far as leavin early. I can't
Really justify myself there. So sorry UK fans love yall and yall are the best Ima miss it!
Good for Orton for speaking up when he didn't have to and taking responsibility for his poor grades, though the timing is probably too late to satisfy Kentucky fans. Not only did he contribute to the negative publicity generated by the Wildcats' poor academic performance this past season, he also could have cost the program a scholarship or two had they dipped below the NCAA's APR threshold.
As for Orton blaming the media being out to get him for the second mini-firestorm, he should be more accountable for his actions. Kansas first came up in a Q&A he did with NBADraft.net in late May. Later Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and Mark Spears reported that he had been telling NBA executives he wishes he'd gone there instead of Kentucky.
Orton is right about one thing, however. Is it really that big a deal that he pondered whether his college career would have gone differently at another school considering his draft stock suffered because he came off the bench at Kentucky and averaged 3 points a night?
The bottom line about Orton is he's not a bad kid, but he has some maturing to do. It may be difficult for him to fully repair his reputation with some Kentucky fans, but his NBA legacy is only just beginning to take shape.