Fortune Faded

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on September 9, 2013 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

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Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Maybe that should actually be, how the perceived mighty have fallen. Remember when Roddy Beaubois was a player that wasn’t available?

“With a few exceptions,” owner Mark Cuban said back in early 2011 when it came to the possibility of holding on to Beaubois.

The reason for the short leash on making Beaubois available was due to his potential, which he displayed in his rookie season back in 2009-10. He averaged 7.1 points in 12.5 minutes per game. He also shot an incredible .518 percent from the field, .409 percent from 3-point range and .808 percent from the free throw line. With those shooting percentages, he became the first rookie in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from 3-point range, and 80 percent from the free throw line.

The ‘Free Roddy B’ campaign commenced in his rookie year as he scored a career-high 40 points and made a rookie record 9 of 11 3-pointers against the Golden State Warriors on Mar. 27, 2010. The Guadeloupian guard had 26 points in the first half, two more points than his previous career high.

Even in a down period for the organization, the mystique of Beaubois continued. As the Mavs were circling the drain in his rookie season, he emerged as a last-minute glimpse of hope. The Mavs were down as many as 22 points to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the opening round of the playoffs. As they were about to meet their end, Carlisle sent Beaubois into the game in order to provide a spark, and he responded by scoring 16 points in the second and third quarter. Dallas would eventually seize the lead in the third quarter before losing the game, with Beaubois sitting on the bench most of the time.

That game drew a lot of heat on Carlisle as he had been reluctant to play Beaubois during the regular season and there was a heavy implication that things would have played out differently if he wasn’t so protective of him during the regular season.

Since then, Beaubois’ stint in Dallas saw continual glimpses of hope immediately followed by a quick hook from coach Rick Carlisle.

The French guard was behind the eight ball of sorts in regards to trying to adapt to the NBA game on the fly. Beaubois only had three years of actual basketball experience before coming into the NBA. The road to consistency was made even more difficult by a broken foot in the summer leading up to his second season. He was working with the French national team and suffered the injury, costing him more than half of that season, the year the Mavs won their first NBA championship. At one point, many had Beaubois pegged as the x-factor in regards to whether or not the Mavs would be able to take that next step as a contender. That was the stance, yet the Mavs won a title with little to no actual help from the enigmatic guard.

He would once again need foot surgery the following summer. In his third year in the league, the flashes continued to come as he scored 22 points, pulled down six rebounds and added career highs in assists (seven) and blocks (four) in a win over the Utah Jazz on Jan. 19, 2012.

The 2012-13 season in Dallas saw him in and out of the rotation once again, unable to gain any consistency due to nagging injuries. It was like clockwork: the second he build momentum, he would have an injury pop up. His season would once again be cut short due to a surgery. He underwent surgery to repair the fractured second metacarpal in his left hand.

Beaubois averaged career lows in points (4.0), rebounds (1.3), field goal percentage (.369), 3-point percentage (.292) and minutes while playing in 45 games last season.

The Mavs, mainly Carlisle, protected Beaubois in his first season and change as the coach played him in situations where he could succeed or when the game was out of hand. As fans demanded that Beaubois played more, Carlisle was ultimately proven right on the situation as the young guard couldn’t be depended on due to lack of consistency and durability.

There were also issues with the guard’s ability to read situations on offense and have proper defensive fundamentals. When fans get consumed with hype, they need to remember that coaches like Carlisle have more information than the fans do. The methods and end game don’t always lead to positive results, but they do more often than not.

Even more doubt swirled around for the guard as he would go into this summer as an unrestricted free agent. In an indirect fashion, the Mavs bid farewell to him.

“It’s probably in his best interest to find a better opportunity out there,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said in July.

With the acquisitions of Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Devon Harris, Wayne Ellington, plans were already made on the team’s end and they didn’t include Beaubois. Rookies Shane Larkin, Gal Mekel and Ricky Ledo further cemented that the time Beaubois had in Dallas was done.

Every Mavs fan wanted one thing: they wanted Roddy B to be free. He is officially free and it appears interest in him is minimal.

Reports surfaced over the weekend that the Philadelphia 76ers will inquire about him and other guards as they continue to fill out their roster. Philadelphia is still well below the salary cap and has to get to at least $49.337 million in salary per CBA rules, so they still have money to “burn” and Beaubois could be a guy that helps. If they decide to go elsewhere, his options will be drying up in a hurry.

Maybe there’s an opportunity for him to play in France. It would probably be an easier life for him back in his native land. The money could be more lucrative for him, the seasons would be shorter and the expectations would not nearly be as high for him.

Was Beaubois a victim of the situation he was in? If he was drafted by a team that was in full-blown rebuilding mode, and not one who was a perennial playoff contender, would he have had a different type of direction given to him? Was the clogged backcourt in Dallas too much for Beaubois to fight through? Would a different starting point for his career ultimately changed the arc of his career? We’ll never truly know. At only 25, there is still time for him to figure out what he wants to do as a player. He only needs to do some homework on his former teammate (Nowitzki) to see how someone can overcome the issues that come with nagging injuries and being wet behind the ears. Not everyone can become a Dirk Nowitzki, but Beaubois could carve out a niche for his career. It’s ultimately up to him.

The Mavs aren’t the first team to fall in love with a young prospect and they certainly won’t be the last one. As it was mentioned earlier, there were times where the thought was Beaubois would be the next most important Maverick next to Dirk Nowitzki. The expectations and hope were clearly through the roof for the young man. It’s very evident now that the idea that he could live up to the hype was very misguided.

Beaubois provided hope for the future. He didn’t live up to that billing, but the guard will certainly provide information for the future. Beaubois will be a cautionary tale. It’s a shame that things didn’t work out for Beaubois. It’s also a shame that the Mavs didn’t strike while the iron was hot.

The Mavs were once buyers on Beaubois. Now it has gone from buy to bye.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University. Bryan channels his inner Clark Kent on a day-to-day basis. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.

  • Henauder Titzhoff

    My take on Beaubois was that he could have been an All-Star – in an injury free world. But he is far to fragile to survive in today’s NBA, where 7 foot tall weight lifters knock the hell out of you every time you look at the basket.

    • beachdrifter

      Interestingly enough, he didn’t get hurt because he was hammered by 7 footers – his injuries were freak injuries, seemingly coming out of nowhere.

      He has shown that he has all the offensive and defensive skills to be spectacular, filling up the boxscore at times in ways that either no one, or only a young Nowitzki, ever could in a Mavs uniform – but I think he has never learnt how to focus.

      He’s either “on” or “off”, but when he’s off, and still wants to do what he does when he’s “on” – he gets hurt. So much desire to excel, so physically gifted, but still that one important piece missing. It’s a shame. I hope I’ll be able to watch him again in the NBA. I wish him the best for the future, and I’m happy I was able to witness quite a few of his spectacular games over the years.

      Always made my day then, and broke my heart the next game when he went down.

      I’ll always be a fan, nonetheless. Best of luck, Roddy!!!