Why Emoni Bates will not have a good NBA career


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MEMPHIS, TN – NOVEMBER 9: Emoni Bates #1 of the Memphis Tigers celebrates after the game against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on November 9, 2021 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated Tennessee Tech 89-65. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

In high school, Emoni Bates was considered the best basketball player on Earth. He was going to be the next LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan. He had the size, skill, athletic ability, and IQ to take him anywhere he wanted to go. His moves–from flashy passes to incredible shots to highlight reel dunks-were being shown on almost every major platform of social media. Every time he played, the gyms were overflowing with people who were straining their necks to see his greatness. I was one of those fans too, one time even being denied entry into his game by the police because there was physically no room for another human being.

During Emoni Bates’ high school career, he was ranked number one in the country and had it all going for him. Outside of school, he played for Bates Fundamentals, a team on the best circuit in the nation, and he was dominating the competition against the best high school players from around the country. During his senior year, his dad started a prep school just so that his stock would continue to rise. This worked, as he had scholarships from virtually every single Division 1 school. Many believed that he could go straight from high school to the NBA. Because of league rules, he was forced to enroll in college, where he joined the best recruiting class for the year 2021 at the University of Memphis. There was no doubt that Emoni would play one year in college, showcase his dominance, and then be selected for the NBA Draft. Or was there?

During his first game at Memphis, Bates recorded seventeen points, four rebounds, and four assists. This only stirred the pot even more, as it gave false hope to the basketball community. Emoni Bates would not score more than seventeen points for the rest of the season. In fact, he averaged less than double figures and had a less-than-impressive freshman season. This was supposed to be a year of Bates showcasing his talent, taking his team to the Final Four, and then signing a fat contract with an NBA team. However, it was quite the opposite.  His team had an early exit in the NCAA Tournament, and by the end of the season, Emoni Bates had completely fallen off. After the season, two members of the Memphis roster were drafted to the NBA, and Emoni Bates was not one of them.

After this disappointing season, Emoni Bates decided to enter the transfer portal. At this point, only a few colleges even wanted him, as he was no longer a young, overhyped prospect. After making the public wait for much longer than needed, Bates decided to come home to Michigan and enroll at Eastern Michigan University.

Since Bates could not perform at a high-level Division 1 school, he decided to switch things up and play at a school where the competition was not nearly as good. With this being said, the basketball fanbase still had hope that Emoni Bates would be able to carry EMU and turn it into a powerhouse basketball team. This hope has quickly dwindled as EMU’s record sits at 4-16 as of this article, and puts the team in last place in the MAC.

So, how can Bates be expected to perform in a league with the best basketball players on the planet when he can hardly perform in one of the weaker conferences in college basketball? We saw what happened when he was guarded by the best defenders in college, and we saw what happened when he tried to lead a very talented roster to an NCAA title. Emoni Bates could not perform at the highest stage of college basketball.

Good basketball players have the ability to make everyone around them better. After Memphis, Bates had the chance to do this by switching to a team with less talented players. As seen by the team’s record, Emoni Bates is not a good basketball player. He does not make the players around him better and does not make his team better. Each game, Emoni Bates is losing stock by playing selfishly and attempting to improve his individual stats rather than winning the game. It is safe to say that Bates would rather make himself look good while losing than win and look bad. Emoni Bates is a detriment to whatever team he is playing on.

To sum it all up,  since Emoni Bates can not even be considered a good basketball player in college, there is no way that he will be able to perform in the NBA. Maybe one day he will be able to prove me wrong and I will take all of this back, but at this point in his career, it is safe to say that Emoni Bates has already reached his peak.