How did former South Oak Cliff star Darrell Arthur fall so darn far on draft day? A kidney issue. Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn as the details of Arthur’s fall from lotto pick to almost out of the first round.
The gist of it, according to Arthur’s agent, Jerry Hicks: During medical examinations at the Pre-Draft camp in Orlando at the beginning of the month, Arthur’s blood was shown to contain higher-than-normal levels of creatine, which can be a possible indicator of kidney failure or malfunction. “Three teams inquired about those lab results,” Hicks told SI.com. “One called, we talked about it for 3-4 minutes, and they expressed no real concern. On the 24th [of June], Philadelphia asked about it, and I asked them, rather than doing additional bloodwork for them that day, when he had his final workout with Washington on the 25th, we’d do it in Washington.
“We did the bloodwork on the morning of the 25th, and by noon, [Arthur’s kidneys] were determined to be completely normal. I received a message from Washington — which is still saved in my voice mail in my office — that everything was normal. Philadelphia received word that things were normal. How this became an issue around the league is puzzling, to say the least.”
It appears that only two of the NBA’s 30 teams had the full story on Arthur’s kidneys; the rest were working off of the rumor mill, the details of which hit the airwaves by the time the first round hit the mid-20s. ESPN broke into its draft broadcast with a report that Arthur was slipping due to an “undisclosed kidney issue.” Arthur’s mother, Sandra, who was sitting beside him in the Green Room, looked up at one of the Garden’s video screens and shook her head. “I knew something had to have happened to make Darrell not get taken higher,” she said, “and that stuff was just not true.”