FROM #1 PICK TO THE NBDL
Marcus Fizer was the Bulls 1st round pick in 2000, selected 4th overall out of Iowa State. He was a Consensus First Team All-America pick by The Associated Press, the NABC, the USBWA and The Sporting News. That was a first for a Cyclone. He was also named to the Wooden All-America Team and was the Wooden Player of the Year runner-up to Cincinnati’s Kenyon Martin.
He was called the new Charles Barkley. He was the Big 12 Player of the Year as a Junior. He took Iowa State to the Elite Eight. He had 38 against Auburn then threw down 33 against UCLA. He was dominant. And he seemed ready to explode on the NBA scene. Bulls fans were excited to get such a rugged player, especially one who could pour in points.
Then today I read this:
NBA Development League
AUSTIN TOROS-Signed F Marcus Fizer
I was shocked. I just assumed he was still in the league. His career numbers are not bad. Former Bulls coach Bill Cartwright had commented on Fizer showing up for camp out of shape. The next season he blew out his ACL. He landed with ther Bucks last year and I just assumed he would still be there, or somewhere, contributing off the bench.
He certainly has an NBA-body. He had plenty of crafty moves, both facing and back to the basket. He could take the ball off the dribble. He had his shortcomings on defense and in rebounding the ball, but I figured him to be the guy who comes in, bangs a bit and gets some quick points for you. Now he is in Austin. On a team filled with players that even diehard hoops fans aren’t familiar with.
One of the interesting things about being a sports fan is following the career paths of players. Fizer is a perfect example. I’m guessing he’ll be back in the NBA soon enough. And it’s strange to see him listed in the D-League. But there are many like him.
From time to time we’ll look at some of these interesting career paths. Next up, former Bull Dickey Simpkins.