Robert Swift and Luke Nevill waived
December 4th, 2009

The following real quote is a real quote:

As soon as I heard that Bakersfield had a team, I was hoping I could play for them.”

Robert Swift

Swift played high school basketball in Bakersfield, hence this desire, and he got his wish when he was allocated to the Jam last month, becoming their starting centre. (He also got a haircut.) However, in keeping with the recent theme of Swift’s career, it didn’t go too well. Swift played in only two games for the team – totalling 4 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, 6 fouls and 6 turnovers – and was today waived due to “personal reasons.” The reason cited was due to a family matter back in Seattle.

Now, I have no reason to dispute the validity of that reason, and don’t wish to make it sound like I do. There’s no incentive to lie or reason to disbelieve it. But it does reinforce a worrying fact; Robert Swift’s career isn’t going too well at all. Swift has essentially missed all of the last three seasons, and played only 1,500 minutes and 97 games in a five-year NBA career. He’s still only 24, but he has almost nothing to show for five years. Even his sophomore season, in which he played 987 of those minutes, was not really that impressive.

Here’s what gets me; a cynic would say that Robert Swift should quit playing basketball. I know this to be true because one such cynic said it to me. It’s not true, of course, because even though Swift’s last five years have been unsuccessful (and even though he was never as good as Danny Ainge thought he was in the first place), Swift isn’t a bad player when he’s healthy. And even if he was, you can make a living as a professional basketball player just by being 7’1. You don’t have to be hugely skilled as well, just willing to muddle it up.

But, worse case scenario, what if Robert Swift did have to quit? What if his oft-repaired knee was put out of whack once and for all, and he could no longer get up and down the court at all? What if he had to retire in his mid-20’s and find a new calling in life? What does he do if he no longer wants to do this?

Also, in other news, Australian centre Luke Nevill was released by the Utah Flash due to visa problems. Nevill had played in the season’s opener, totalling 11 points and 9 rebounds, and was pencilled in to be the Flash’s starting centre for the year. (Particularly true after James Lang was released and Garret Siler signed in China.) However, that’s now been put on hiatus due to the visa issue. It’s presumably only a temporary blip, and being released by a D-League team isn’t nearly as big of a deal as it sounds, yet it’s still a page-turner.

Posted by at 9:17 AM