Thursday, June 13, 2013


Opinion: Tyshawn Taylor cautions about vultures


It was nice to see Wednesday afternoon that the Tyshawn Taylor we all saw grow up before our eyes during his time in Lawrence, highlighted by a big emotional growth spurt late in his career, has continued to mature.

His look, his game and the words that spilled from his mouth could best be summed up by one word: professional.

As is the case with impending high-lottery pick Ben McLemore, Taylor came up rough, McLemore in St. Louis, Taylor in New Jersey and Florida and back to New Jersey. Now Taylor makes big money and wears a big gold target on his back, one the vultures can see from miles away.

Taylor didn’t get much playing time as a rookie, twice scored in double figures and averaged 2.2 points. He made six of 13 three-pointers. He’s so quick that he’ll get a good shot to stick, and he works hard at improving his game. Just as important, it sounds as if he’s taking the right precautions to prevent himself from getting fleeced.

Taylor and McLemore never were teammates in games, but they did practice together daily for one semester. Naturally, they got along well, given that they are two of the friendliest college basketball players I’ve ever covered.

Taylor, like the rest of us, is rooting for McLemore not to lose his future fortune to bloodsuckers.

“Ben’s going to have a lot bigger problem with that than me,” Taylor said. “His paycheck is going to be a little bit bigger than mine. But I think it’s all within yourself. You’ve got to be able to tell people no. You have to be able to have some good people with you that can tell people no. But when you’re in a situation where you come from little and you get enough, you want to be able to help as many people as you can.”

But not nearly as many as want to be “helped” by you. It sounds easy to all of us to just shut people down, but Taylor doesn’t make it sound easy.

“Ben being the young, nice kid he is, I think Ben is going to try to do that,” Taylor said of helping as many people as he can. “But you have to do that within limits. You can’t overdo it. You can’t go broke yourself trying to help other people. I think that hurts a lot of people in this league.”

McLemore enters the world of big money a couple of years younger than Taylor, and saying no hasn’t been easy even for Taylor.

“You don’t necessarily feel like you owe people, but you always want to help, especially if you know you can, but it can be overwhelming at times,” Taylor said. “I’m dealing with that myself. It can be overwhelming. I think he’ll be fine, though.”

Taylor said he hired an agent to negotiate his contract and selected a separate person to serve as his financial adviser. Here’s hoping he’ll be drawing a big NBA check for a long time. He doesn’t strike me as a guy who ever will turn arrogant.


Phil Leister 9 years, 5 months ago

Where's the second half of this article?

HawksWin 9 years, 5 months ago

Good one Overseas. Would have spilled coffee all over had I read it in the morning!

Tim Hill 9 years, 5 months ago

ok usually I just read these "opinions" by Keegan and let the board rats say what I'm thinking...but REALLY?! One of the worst ones yet...

Bville Hawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Jeeez, you guys would bitch if Kate Upton wore flannel pajamas to bed with you.

Mike Skiles 9 years, 5 months ago

Ah, great comment! One of the best this month for sure! Made me smile

Brad Farha 9 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for that comment -- that constant TK bashing gets annoying.

jhox 9 years, 5 months ago

I didn't think it was that bad but, keep in mind, it is golf season. Keegan has more important things to do with his time, this time of year.

Jeremy Paul 9 years, 5 months ago

If you just do what I do and only read the headline, then like me you'll spend the rest of the day thinking that Tyshawn addressed all the freshmen and told them about his life, about his freshman year, about his immaturity, about his poor decisions, about his butting heads with Coach, and about him sticking with it and playing hard and working to get better and maturing and becoming a leader and now living the dream. And he told them about the vultures and leeches in Lawrence and everywhere who just want a piece of you and to stay away from them. And he told them about the amazing opportunity they have, and that while they might not always agree with Coach or with the system, he is living proof that the system WORKS and don't make the same mistakes he did. And that they were all brothers now because once you're a Jayhawk you're in the family forever. And then he said Rock Chalk and they all clapped.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 5 months ago

I like to hear about our guys who have moved on after college and it's always nice to hear when they turn out to be mature professionals. Not every article has to have a lot of meat. This one is a nice, feel-good report on a very nice young man. Thanks for the article.

Robin Smith 9 years, 5 months ago

It's just that there are fans, students, and unemployed graduates who could write better pieces (and more of them), who have a greater understanding of the game (i.e. better opinions), and who would do it all for less (if not pro bono).

One could write from the exact same interview and premise, maintain the same "nice, feel-good" quality, and do it with as much brevity, but with greater substance, flow, and insight.

I'm just saying, we could pay the same (time, bandwidth, advert subsidies) and get more. There are other writers on this site who do in fact provide more in both quality and quantity. There are commenters, board rats, and hobbyist bloggers who do the same (and whose content is frequently lifted by a certain someone). That's why poor articles are such a disappointment.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 5 months ago

Interesting combination of the article's intent to highlight Tyshawn's "professional" growth by describing words as "spilling from his mouth."

P.S. Yes I would be pissed if Kate Upton wore flannel pajamas to bed...I'm allergic to flannel!! Now leather or that would be different!! :)

brooksmd 9 years, 5 months ago

Once had a girlfriend that had a pair of leather pants. Loved how she looked in them but geez they were a pain to get off.

Ludwig Supraphonic 9 years, 5 months ago

Maybe I have the air conditioner set too low but I can't imagine anything negative about Kate Upton in flannel.

Bville Hawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Makes Oakville itch, apparently. Maybe it's sneezing instead of itching. I can see where THAT could be a problem...

KemDooKU 9 years, 5 months ago

I prefer Kate Uptons birthday suit - but that's just me!!!

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

"Thoughts with the Outboard Idling"

Tyshawn, learn from the oligarchs and basketball coaches. Never hire one of anything. Always hire two and pit them against each other. Two financial advisors competing based on rate of return each with knowledge of the other, just like a coach with two point guards and always a third coming. Always two lawyers, one reviewing the others work. always two agents, one for certain endorsements, one for others. And clear your wake of mistaken choices. It sends a clear message to those you retain. It's all about competition to serve you. Never one. Always two. And never ever let everyone know all of what you are doing. Next.

How many KU fans still think there won't be blow back from Adidas and Self signing reputed former Nike lean Wiggins?

Wiggins playing international ball was the dumbest idea from Wigs brain trust ever. Compliment he and his parents for seeing through that misguided path; that was risking injury without payback. Represent Canada AFTER the money. From now till his pro contract, the only risks to take are for the Adidas-KU joint venture that apparently yielded the most promising compensation horizon in the apparent Nike-Adidas auction bidding for Wigs that was this past recruiting season's longest deferred outcome. Note: I am not suggesting anything illegal or inappropriate occurred, just business and risk management as usual in the competition for the next great endorsement player.

Wigs, remember the quote from Cole Thornton/John Wayne in El Dorado: "I get paid to risk my neck, so I decide where and when I will do it."

Is summertime still the grand time it once was in a sleepy Midwestern college town, when you talk your parents into a summer term and then take a light load and ski and swim and romance and road trip to the coast? Ah, I hope so!

Santa Barbara is still a great place to idle.

jhox 9 years, 5 months ago

He can get injured playing pick up ball in Lawrence, just as easily, but I do agree it is wise for him to get to Lawrence and learn the system, not to mention start working with Hudy ASAP. If the ultimate goal is be a one and done and go number 1, and get a big pay day, then it is wise to become familiar with his teammates, and the system, and get stronger.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

Exactly, jhox, there is never a zero risk path, but there is always a preferred risk return trade-off. And he chose wisely and correctly.

Steve Brown 9 years, 5 months ago

Nice chowder upstairs at the wharf, wish I was with you this weekend . . . the Mission, Los Olivas for wine then the soup. Enjoy!

Bryce Landon 9 years, 5 months ago

Tyshawn has gone from biggest jackass ever to don the crimson and blue to a grown man with a solid head on his shoulders. Ben should definitely PAY HEED.

Ryan Michael 9 years, 5 months ago

What Taylor did you watch? How many suspensions did he have in an 18 month period? If that doesn't qualify for "jackass status" I don't know what does.

Charles Shirley 9 years, 5 months ago

The number of suspensions does not indicate whether you are a "jackass" or not. Your attitude determines whether you are a jackass. Tyshawn said and did a bunch of stupid things, but no reasonable person questioned whether he had a goal to win or whether he wanted all of the Jayhawks to succeed. People did question his judgement though. Questionable judgement does not equate to being a jackass.

Kevin Kelly 9 years, 5 months ago

Biggest Rumble this side of Westside Story. When you're a Jet your a Jet all the way, Tyshawn. The team I care about never recovered from that. And for that I wish him nothing but the worst.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 5 months ago

What are you writing about specifically?

ittyandpace 9 years, 5 months ago

I would give that title to Giddens or Giles.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 5 months ago

Except Giddens and Giles never grew up or got themselves right.

jgkojak 9 years, 5 months ago

Where is the rest of this article? This ends kind of abruptly.

Jeffrey Nelson 9 years, 5 months ago

Once again Keegan serves us with an absolutely brilliant piece of writing! God we're so lucky to have him!

KansasComet 9 years, 5 months ago

It appears Tyshawn Taylor has matured and is now a grown man, making money and is long past his day as a young immature college kid. He has moved on, seems very focused on his career, and still finds time to come back and support KU. Continued success for Tyshawn.

Jack Jones 9 years, 5 months ago

Been away to Hollywood ~ didn't see Kate Upton ~ but agree the "flannel pajamas" is a great, new to me, twist on a popular theme.

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