All right, I’m not going to lie to you: I spent the evening watching television with my wife---we finished the sixth season, and began the seventh season, of "Smallville," if you must know---but I had my laptop on with the SB Nation NBA Draft hub open, fully prepared to offer a heartfelt paean to Trey Thompkins once he was selected. What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was having Thompkins’s teammate from the Georgia Bulldogs, Travis Leslie, chosen in the second round with the 47th pick by the selfsame Los Angeles Clippers roughly half an hour later. Pace yourselves, people! Bloggers need their downtime, too, you know.
Fortunately, Leslie is much simpler to summarize, both emotionally and athletically, than his once and future teammate. As a sophomore, Leslie was proclaimed by Rivals.com to be the league’s most improved player; though he was the team’s second-leading rebounder and scorer over the course of the 2009-’10 campaign, he led the squad in assists and offensive rebounds in SEC contests. In a junior season that saw Thompkins become the 40th Bulldog to account for 1,000 career points, Leslie became the 41st.
Leslie made second-team All-SEC in his final year with the Red and Black, amassing a half-dozen double-doubles, two of which came in the conference tournament. Those, though, are mere numbers; the truth is that Travis Leslie is a badass who will electrify a crowd by dunking on a dude with such force that, if the guy he goes airborne over happens to be Japanese, the embarrassed victim will have to commit ritual suicide to restore the lost honor of his ancestors.
Travis Leslie also played with a lot of "want to," which was an aspect of his game---indeed, of his character---that shone through in his final outing in a Georgia uniform. Leslie had a lot of will, which often led him to find a way. Tonight, Bulldog Nation is full of Clippers fans, and we look forward to seeing Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie do in the City of Angels what we were privileged to see them do in the Classic City. Thanks for the ride, guys; it was a lot of fun.