Mo Sene, part of a triumvirate of miserable picks by former Sonic GM Rick Sund, has inked a deal with Toulon of the French basketball league, the team announced by press release on Monday.Which leads me to posit something: In Sene’s mind, has he failed?
It’s an interesting question to roll around in your mind. Viewed from a North American perspective, he most certainly has failed. Drafted as a lottery pick, Sene has never provided anything remotely resembling a productive NBA career, despite his prodigious wingspan and agility.
Whether due to injury, lack of ability, or poor work ethic, Mo Sene has seen his entire NBA career produce, in three seasons, a total of 47 games played and 103 points.
Three season. 103 points, or three more than Wilt Chamberlain scored in one game 50 years ago.
To return to my point, then, I suppose the majority of basketball fans in this country would most assuredly agree that Mo Sene has had a crappy career.
But look at it from his perspective. Sene has earned in excess of $5 million in three seasons and is, quite likely, set for the rest of his life. He has undoubtedly funneled a great deal of money back to his family in Senegal, a country whose per capita income (roughly $1,000 US) is the equivalent of a week’s worth of per diem for the typical NBA player.
During those three years, Sene spent the majority of his time in two cities – Seattle and Oklahoma City – where he bumped into fellow Senegaleses about as often as he started basketball games. I remember reading a story about Sene after his rookie season, wherein it was told that he spent the majority of that year just wandering around Seattle, eating poorly and lacking any semblance of friends.
Now, after playing poorly for three seasons, he is “punished” by being sent to Toulon, where the African population is quite high, where he’ll have no trouble finding food that he is used to, where he can speak a language – French – which is already part of his lexicon, and where the weather is, let’s face it, pretty damned good.
Toulon, for the curious, is about halfway between Cassis and St. Tropez on the French Riviera.
As opposed to Oklahoma City, which is halfway between Edmond and Midwest City.
Somehow, I suppose Mo will find a way to endure.