Being a professional basketball player seems like a pretty sweet gig, but for most of his rookie season, Nets point guard Tyshawn Taylor’s Twitter account has chronicled a man of constant sorrow.
Dec. 1: “Don’t feel good … Don’t feel like myself.”
Dec. 15: “And it never stops … it jus keep getting worse.”
Dec. 19: “I’m forever in lose / lose situations.”
Jan. 17: “Dreams into reality … reality into nightmares.”
Jan. 26: “Woke up on the wrong side of the bed … so ima take a shower and go back to sleep … hope I wake up in a better mood.”
Feb. 2: “And at the end of it all … what you really got anyway?”
Whether his online missives are the product of general 22-year-old angst or the insomnia he occasionally mentions, we don’t know. It might have something to do with the fact that he helped lead Kansas to the NCAA championship game last year and now finds himself playing five minutes a night.
Whatever the reason, this week things started looking up for Brooklyn’s Eeyore.
With Deron Williams sidelined due to ankle problems, Taylor logged 34 minutes in the Nets’ Monday victory over the Indiana Pacers. After checking back into the game midway through the third quarter, he never left, and Nets Coach P.J. “Peej” Carlesimo entrusted him to manage the game into overtime.
Taylor had 12 points on 5–9 shooting, adding two assists, two rebounds, and two turnovers. He attacked the rim and played serviceable defense. His back-to-back baskets in overtime — a turnaround jumper as the shot-clock expired and a torso-twisting runner in the lane — were improbable shots, which could be interpreted as great touch or blind luck, depending on your level of fandom.
While some first-year players break out immediately, for most an NBA rookie season is about building confidence. Tyshawn’s Monday night doesn’t answer the question of whether his college success will translate into a productive career in the league, but it did result in this update on Tuesday morning — a quote from a song by fractional Nets owner Jay-Z: “Er’body look at you strange, say you changed … like you work that hard to stay the same.”
Matt Spolar is a nearly 6-foot-1 journalist with a middling high school basketball career who is sure the Nets win thanks to team’s top-tier guards.