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Terrell Brandon on being hyped as the best point guard in the 90s: "It's a little embarrassing"

Unlike other soaring NBA stars, Brandon stayed in tune with reality and did not let the hype get him
Terrell Brandon on being hyped as the best point guard during the 90s

Terrell Brandon

In the 90s, an array of backcourts was widely labeled as underrated. The long list includes well-rounded point guards such as Rod Strickland, Kevin Johnson, and Kenny Anderson. Looking back, they can blame it on the media as only a select few were highlighted on TV and print ads back then. Or maybe the likes of Gary Payton, John Stockton, and Jason Kidd were just too good for them to have their share of the limelight.

Regardless, former Cleveland Cavaliers star Terrell Brandon did not have to deal with that.

Patiently waited for his time

Drafted by the Cavs as the 11th pick in the first round in 1991, Brandon did not immediately reach the heights. With Mark Price still the main floor general, “Tee Bee” had to wait for his turn to take over. Instead of being stubborn, Brandon patiently waited for his time to shine and after four seasons of being a backup point guard, it finally paid off.

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After the Cavs shipped Price to the Washington Bullets in 1994, Cleveland banked on the 24-year-old Brandon, who only needed one full season to adjust. In the 1995/96 season, “Tee Bee” finally made his mark on the team and earned his first All-Star appearance.

Brandon addresses the hype

Brandon was in the zone for two consecutive seasons, having racked up his career-best averages from 1995 to 1997- 19 points, 6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. All told, it’s safe to say that fans recognized Brandon as one of the most talented point guards in the league. However, Sports Illustrated took it to another level when they hailed the 5-foot-11 scoring playmaker as the “best point guard in the NBA.”

Unlike other soaring NBA stars, Brandon stayed in tune with reality and did not let the hype get to him. Instead, he just laughed off the compliment and acknowledged that there were guards who rightfully deserved the title.

"The best point guard? [laughs]" Brandon told Chicago Tribune in 1997 of being hyped as the NBA’s best point guard. "It's a little embarrassing, and it's also just their opinion. Personally, I think Penny is the best, then I'd say Payton and Tim Hardaway, John Stockton… the list goes on and on. I don't have the superstar hype, the commercials, the high-priced tennis shoes. But what a team is all about is playing team basketball. I think I'm a decent player."

"I think I'm just a decent player," he added. "I'm not that good, really. I have to play really hard."

The 1996/97 season was Brandon’s last All-Star year. Nevertheless, those who were delighted by Terrell Brandon back then would surely say that what the famed sports magazine once said about him was somewhat true and accurate.

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