Athletes who turned their careers into an April Fools joke on all of us

Athletes who turned their careers into an April Fools joke on all of us

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Johnny Football
Photo: Getty Images

Happy April Fools Day to all. I hope everyone reading this hasn’t already gotten duped by one of their friends or loved ones. If you have, it’s okay at least you didn’t get fooled like these organizations did when they picked the “star” of their franchise. There’s been so many examples of these players throughout the years so we had to limit it to the 21st century.

On this April Fools Day, we’re taking to take a look back at some of the athletes that fooled fans and even fooled some teams into putting their hopes and dreams into them.

Let’s get into it.

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Jonny Flynn

Jonny Flynn

Illustration for article titled Athletes who turned their careers into an April Fools joke on all of us
Photo: Getty Images

Flynn was drafted with the 6th overall pick in 2009 by the Minnesota Timberwolves after a pretty good two-year career at Syracuse. Flynn averaged 17.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game in his final season under Jim Boeheim. However, his pro career was a completely different story. After fooling the Timberwolves into drafting him in the top ten, Flynn played three seasons in the NBA with three different teams. Granted, it’s not all Flynn’s fault. It was clear that the Timberwolves had no idea what they were doing in the 2009 Draft. They selected two point guards with back-to-back picks in Ricky Rubio and Flynn but failed to take Steph Curry, DeMar Derozan, or Jrue Holiday, who all were taken later in the first round.

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Jose Contreras

Jose Contreras

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Contreras was a highly-touted prospect coming from the Cuban National Series who made it to the Major Leagues in 2003. The New York Yankees got the rights to Contreras after a bidding war and suited him up in the pinstripes. The belief at the time was that Contreras would be a significant difference-maker from the Yankees, but he turned out to only be an average pitcher at best. In his 11 seasons in the big leagues with 5 teams, he had a record of 78-67 and an ERA of 4.57.

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Matt Leinart

Matt Leinart

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Leinart was drafted by the Cardinals with the 10th pick in 2006 after balling out at USC. With the Trojans, Leinart was a Heisman Trophy winner and threw for more than 28 touchdowns each season at USC while bringing home two national championships. He put together a resume that’s as impressive as almost any other quarterback in college football. Then he proceeded to show us exactly who he was on the pro level. In the pros, he only threw for 15 touchdowns throughout his 6-year career. His completion percentage was only 57.1 percent and he was a backup for many of his years in the league.

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Blake Bortles

Blake Bortles

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Bortles is one of the biggest QB busts in NFL history. At UCF he was dropping dimes and proved that he had NFL-level skill, even though he was at a school that didn’t compete in a power five conference. Bortles threw for more than 3,000 yards in each of his final two seasons and had a passer rating of over 144. Jacksonville took the bait in the 2014 draft and took this man with the 3rd overall pick. Needless to say, it didn’t work out so well for either party. Bortles finished the last two seasons as a backup for the Rams.

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Adam Morrison

Adam Morrison

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Morrison was a star at Gonzaga when the Zags were starting to make their climb to relevance in the modern-day. In his last season at Gonzaga, Morrison was giving you 28 points a game and shared the national Player of the Year trophy with J.J. Redick in 2006. He was also a consensus first-team All-American. The Charlotte Bobcats took Morrison with the 3rd overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft. Morrison only played in three seasons, he has a knee injury that kept him out of the entire 2007-2008 season but was never able to significantly contribute afterward. Morrison didn’t even play when he was on the roster of the two championship Laker teams in 2009 and 2010.

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Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

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Manziel was one of the most electric players that college football has ever seen. He won a Heisman Trophy and completed one of the biggest upsets in the last ten seasons when he beat Alabama in Bryant Denny stadium. His pro career never lived up to the hype that he was given, mainly because of his alcohol abuse and other substance problems. He was also accused of abusing his girlfriend, those charges were dismissed in 2016. Manziel was brash and flashy which caused him to make a lot of headlines but in the pros, his play just didn’t back up his bravado. He played only two seasons in Cleveland after being drafted in the first round of the 2014 draft.

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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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This is one of the most interesting selections on this list. Kidd-Gilchrist was a highly sought-after player coming out of Kentucky because of his length, athleticism, and versatility. The man just could never really shoot the ball that well. He has one of the ugliest shooting forms in NBA history. He was a good defender during his 8 years in the league, but should have never fooled anyone into drafting him over Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard.

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Trent Richardson

Trent Richardson

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Richardson was a workhorse back at Alabama. In his final seasons with the Crimson Tide, he had over 2,000 yards from scrimmage, 24 touchdowns, and was a Heisman Trophy Finalist. He was drafted by Cleveland with the third overall pick in 2012, but it was very clear after a few games that Richardson lacked many of the qualities that it takes to be a good back in the league. Mainly, it was his ability to see the holes that stopped him from becoming a formidable back in the league, along with the lack of breakout speed. It seemed evident that Richardson was the beneficiary of a powerful offensive line at Alabama rather than his own elite skill.

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Jamarcus Russell

Jamarcus Russell

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Russell fooled everyone and their mama about his willingness to be an NFL quarterback. This man literally lied about watching film. Russell had all the tools necessary to be a good player in the league, except the dedication. In his last season at LSU, Russell threw for 28 touchdowns and a 167 passer rating. However, he only lasted three years in the league after being drafted with the number one overall pick in 2007 by the Oakland Raiders. He tricked everyone into believing he actually wanted to be great but didn’t do anything to back it up.

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Anthony Bennett

Anthony Bennett

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This one is the most egregious of them all. No one in the world thought Bennett should have been the number one overall pick coming out of UNLV. I still don’t understand why the Cavaliers chose this man with the first overall pick in the 2013 draft. He was giving you 16 points and 8 rebounds a game in college. They were good numbers, but not great numbers, yetthe Cavaliers randomly pick this man. Bennett made it to the NBA, but averaged 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds a game over his 4-year career. Bennett suckering the Cavs into taking him first of all and definitely made Cleveland look like the biggest fool in the room for that draft pick.

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