By Jeff Goodman
Kobe, LeBron and Renardo.
"He's the third-most talented guy who has ever been in my gym, behind Kobe and LeBron," said former NBA player/coach John Lucas. "I had never seen him before, but now I see what all the fuss is about. He's got everything. He can do whatever he wants on the court. He's that talented."
Yes, Lucas was talking about the enigmatic Mississippi State big man Renardo Sidney - who spent about two months this summer working with Lucas in Houston.
Sidney, who was suspended on a couple of occasions last year at Mississippi State, did not travel on the team's trip earlier this summer, instead being sent to work with Lucas.
"He's been allowed to do whatever he wants," Lucas said. "People have been treating him like a pro since the eighth grade. He's been used to being catered to."
Lucas said he went right at Sidney, who has dropped about 20 or so pounds this past summer.
"We battled for a month," Lucas admitted. "It was his will against mine."
Lucas' gym down in Houston has been filled with NBA and college guys - Antonio McDyess, Tristan Thompson, Rashad Lewis, DeAndre Jordan, Thaddeus Young and Derrick Williams just to name a few.
And Renardo trails only Kobe and LeBron in terms of pure talent.
"He's got every component to the game," Lucas said. "He has so much basketball knowledge and I think that's part of the problem. He gets frustrated and mad at his teammates."
There are plenty who have written Sidney off with the lack of effort and discipline he has displayed over the last few years.
But Lucas is still holding out hope.
"I like his chances," he said when asked if Sidney can straighten out his act this season and fulfill that "potential" tag.
I'm still not sold.