Andrew Bynum and the 15 Biggest Wastes of Talent in Sports Today

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Andrew Bynum and the 15 Biggest Wastes of Talent in Sports

bynum
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

With the recent suspension of Andrew Bynum for "conduct detrimental to the team", the question arises, besides Bynum, who are the biggest wastes of talent in sports today? You see it all the time, players are dubbed "the next big thing" and never live up to the hype because of off-field issues and laziness.

Being given credit as one of the best athletes in the world before even playing a snap can ruin an athlete's career before it even starts. When Bynum came into the NBA, people were saying that he was going to be the next big center to play in the league -- a baby Shaquille O'Neal. He was being credited with having all the potential in the world, but his injury problems and lack of positive attitude has landed him nowhere.

Technically, he is still a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers even though coach Mike Brown said that he won't likely be back. Who are some other wastes of talent in sports today?

There have been many wastes of talent in sports history such as Ryan Leaf in the NFL and Kwame Brown in the NBA. Both were high draft picks in their respective sports that never panned out and both turned out to be nobodies at the next level.

It's too bad that these athletes had to give it their all in their careers to get to the next level and then ended up being huge busts and wastes of talent because of lack of confidence issues and just an overall lack of utilizing their unbelievable potential.

Untapped potential can be a career-killer, and for all of the guys on this list, that's exactly what has doomed their careers thus far. Some are on here solely because of the injuries they have suffered that have held them back from being the superstars that they have the potential to be while others have just never lived up to the hype despite an immeasurable amount of talent.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.

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15. Carlos Zambrano

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Zambrano had one of the most electric arms in baseball, but the starting pitcher also had a terrible temper and a bad attitude. His fiery personality got him into some trouble in the clubhouse which eventually chased him out of Chicago.

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14. Delmon Young

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Delmon Young was drafted first overall in the 2003 MLB Draft and was expected to be a superstar, but has yet to live up to that billing. Young is a career .280 hitter with 100 homers and just over 500 RBI in seven big league seasons -- not exactly superstar-worthy.

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13. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Some people called Michael Kidd-Gilchrist the next big star in the league, saying he has the potential of a guy like LeBron James. He was drafted second overall in 2012 and has yet to play like he's been capable of, averaging 9.0 points and 5.7 rebounds for his career.

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12. Michael Beasley

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Beasley was also a second overall pick in the NBA draft, but he has had a tough time staying out of trouble when it comes to drugs. He has averaged 13.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in his career even though he has possessed all the talent out there and has proven it with a 19.2 points per game average in 2010-11.

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11. Vince Young

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Vince Young was a national champion with the Texas Longhorns in 2005 and was drafted third overall in the 2006 draft before finding his way out of the league in 2012. He started 60 career games and threw just 46 touchdowns and 51 interceptions. It's too bad that such a great talent had a hard time with depression and mental issues.

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10. JaMarcus Russell

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Twitter

Talent was never the issue for Russell as he had one of the strongest arms of any quarterback in the NFL, but his accuracy and weight for a quarterback was a problem. He might no longer be in the league, but he will never stop trying.

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9. Starlin Castro

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Starlin Castro was supposed to be the future of the Chicago Cubs and one of the best shortstops in baseball, but he has seen his average go from .307 in 2011 to .283 in 2012 and then to .245 in 2013. That's not the right type of trend for a guy with his talent.

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8. Justin Blackmon

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Just Blackmon could be one of the best receivers in the NFL if he could just stay out of trouble. Too bad for him, he's been suspended more times than not.

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7. Grady Sizemore

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

If you heard that Grady Sizemore was supposed to be one of the best center fielders of our generation, you weren't alone. The young CF had at least 20 home runs and at least 75 RBI from 2005 to 2008 and that was the best he had. The five-tool athlete then fell off the map after injuries forced him off the field and he hasn't played a full season since 2008.

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6. Trent Richardson

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone in the NFL is wondering the same thing: what is wrong with Trent Richardson? He was drafted as the top running back in the 2012 NFL Draft, but has been suffering through a terrible sophomore slump after being traded to the Indianapolis Colts in 2013. Richardson has averaged just three yards per carry in 2013 and 3.3 for his career.

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5. Derrick Rose

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Before you start yelling at your computer, hear me out on this one. Rose is quite possibly the most talented point guard in the NBA, but he hasn't been healthy since 2011. It's tough to see a former MVP suffer through injuries and land on the bench for two consecutive years after knee injuries. Rose could be the best player in the league if he remained healthy, but it's too bad we forgot what that's like with him. Therefore, he is a wasted talent. Hopefully he can turn that distinction around.

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4. Tim Lincecum

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Lincecum is a former Cy Young winner and was nicknamed "The Freak", but he hasn't been the same pitcher that he was just a few years ago. No one really knows what changed, but it's safe to say he has been a waste of talent recently.

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3. Michael Vick

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Possibly the most electric quarterback of our time, Michael Vick has never been the same after doing time in prison for dog fighting. It looks like his time in the NFL is slowly ticking down after losing his starting job to Nick Foles.

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2. Andrew Bynum

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Bynum is on this list for obvious reasons that were explained earlier. He was expected to be the next great center in the NBA, but injuries and poor attitude has forced him into a suspension. It's tough to see such a bright young star suffer this fate.

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1. Greg Oden

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Oden is one of those guys who never really got a chance to show what he could do. Drafted first overall in 2007, Oden was expected to do big things, but 82 career games, two teams and 9.1 points per game later, he has yet to play a single regular season contest since 2009-10. Tough luck for the big man from Ohio State.


Around the Web

  • Mike Lynch

    How about Aaron Hernandez? He was part of the best tight end tandem in NFL history and scored 18 touchdowns in his first 38 games. Talk about a waste of talent.

  • Kevin Woods

    To call an athlete “a waste” is to somehow imply that the athlete has done something wrong/stupid in order for his/her talent to be wasted. Aaron Hernandez and Chris Washburn (remember him?) are truly wastes of talent.

    I know you caveated your picks by stating that some of them were the result of the athletes’ injury…..but that’s just plain dumb…..which makes it pretty safe to say that this article is “a waste”…..of words and space.