Remembering Ron Mercer
Ron Mercer was a high school great in Tennessee, a college great at Kentucky and a productive but disappointing player in the NBA.
Drafted 6th by the Boston Celtics — who were trying to recreate a Kentucky team with Mercer, Coach Pitino and Antoine Walker — Mercer had a standout rookie year but was traded after just two seasons in Boston (blame the emergence of Paul Pierce).
After a brief stint in Denver and a briefer stint in Orlando, Mercer landed in Chicago, where he averaged a career-high 19.7 points a game for the awful Bulls. Unfortunately for Mercer, the most memorable highlight of him in MJ’s house was a highlight of MJ, with the Wizards, pinning his shot to the backboard with two hands and then talking trash to him as he ran back down to the other end of the court.
Mercer would go on to play with three more teams over the next fives seasons but never made much noise outside of his first year with Boston and time in Chicago. I’m not sure why either. He could shoot, jump out of the gym and had a nasty spin move. He just never became that star many of us believed he was going to be coming out of college.