The Brass on Bassy

Sebastian Telfair was selected in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Trail Blazers. Learn what players and executives around the league think about this young phenom from interviews performed by our writer.

Rex Chapman
Director of Scouting, Phoenix Suns
NBA Guard, 1989-‘00

Chapman and the Suns had Bassy out for a workout before the draft. Though a groin injury kept Telfair from performing, Chapman did have a chance to form an opinion about our lottery pick after talking with him:

“As far as court vision, he is one of the top 3, 4 or 5 (passers) in the league. He PASSES the ball like Jason (Kidd), (Shaun) Livingston, (Steve) Nash and Lebron…Guys are going to love playing with him because if you get out and run, he will find you."

“His strong suit is he is a LEADER, you can tell he is a natural leader, he’s wise beyond his basketball years.”

Chapman also said he thought Bassy would have to learn to finish a little better and work on his jumper it he wanted to be an NBA star.

Kirk Snyder
Rookie, Utah Jazz
University of Nevada, ‘05

Snyder, drafted #16 this year, 3 picks after Telfair, had the college experience that Bassy won’t get. He hasn’t seen much of our guard yet, but still feels he has a good chance to succeed:

“Since he was a high draft pick, he has good skill and will get the repetition he needs… He’s just got to really want to PLAY basketball, all he has got to do is LOVE basketball and he’ll keep getting better and better."

Snyder said the only way Bassy won’t succeed is if he can’t take criticism well.

Dominique Wilkins
Atlanta Hawks, Vice President
NBA Forward, 15 seasons, 1983-‘99

‘Nique, at press date, had not seen Bassy play. Still the “Human Highlight Film” offered his opinion on what he thought it would take for our PG to be successful in the league:

‘Nique said any PG had to have super quickness and the ability to see the floor; the ability to run the floor and break people down.

When scouting a point guard, ‘Nique said, you look for a different skill set than when you scout another position. You’re not so worried about his jump shot as much as you are about his PG-specific skills; that super quickness and ability to see the floor.

Bob Medina
Strength and Conditioning Coach, Portland Trail Blazers

Our own muscle guru on how Bassy’s physical development will affect his performance:

“Bassy is a pretty STRONG kid… he already understands the benefits of lifting…(nevertheless) we have to try to enhance his SPEED and QUICKNESS; his (gifts), and work on his durability and strength.

“It is important for him to understand the demands of the position. (For example) there are a lot of point guards who will try to post him up (because of his size), like Gary Payton. (So) it will benefit him a lot to be around Damon because Damon is probably our strongest player.

“He can also benefit from the work ethic of Damon.”

Larry Bird
Indiana Pacers, President
NBA Forward, 1980-‘92

Bird had only seen Bassy play for one quarter and, admittedly, didn’t know a lot about his game. Bird had, however, seen enough to comment:

“He’s gotta lotta SKILL, gotta lot of TALENT. Like all of ‘em (players at the Rocky Mountain Review), he’s gotta get better.”

Rolando Blackman
Director of Player Development, Dallas Mavericks
NBA Guard 1982-‘94

Blackman, who went to high school in New York like Telfair, has seen our lottery pick play on numerous occasions in high school and summer league settings:

“He has the ATTITUDE to be able to weather the challenge that will come over an 82-game season. He’s playing a tough position…but there is no doubt he as the SPEED, QUICKNESS and VISION… he is a very good basketball player. “He’s going to have to play with maturity to lead MEN through an 82-game season.”

Darius Rice
NBA Rookie, Portland Trail Blazers Summer Roster
University of Miami ‘04

Rice, who has random players and coaches buzzing about his net-tearing shooting at the Rocky Mountain Review, heard the Utah Jazz talking about Bassy in their opening game:

“A Utah coach told one of his players, ‘stay up on him (Telfair)!’ during the game. The player responded, ‘he’s too FAST!’

Mark West
Assistant General Manager, Phoenix Suns
NBA Center, 1984-‘00

West, like Rex Chapman on his staff (see above), had favorable things to say about Telfair:

“He’s probably always been told ‘he can’t do this,’ or, ‘he can’t do that,’ (because of his diminutive stature)… I don’t think he could be his size of a player and get this far by being a follower, he is a LEADER… He has a tremendous amount of CHARACTER… At some point, you have got to say this kid has IT!”

About Matt Parker
Matt Parker is currently an Account Sales Manager for the Trail Blazers. He also worked in this capacity for the "High Class 'A' Affiliate" of the Diamondbacks and the Lancaster Jet Hawks. Parker has written for Rip City Magazine, for the Arizona Diamondbacks team journal and for The Whatcom Watch while attending Western Washington University.

While at Western, Parker pursued course work in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, working with spinner dolphins, Hawaiian green sea turtles and endangered Hawaiian monk seals. He also completed an internship with ReTech Group in Seattle while working towards his degree in economics.

Parker is from Seattle Washington, where his parents reside and where his brother is pursuing Sports Management post-graduate work at the University of Washington.