The kid has juice. There is something undeniable about O.J. Mayo. Maybe it’s his magnetic smile. Maybe it’s his polish. Or maybe it’s simply his game. But Wednesday at the Qwest Center (I can drop the Omaha because this is a blog), he captivated those who’d never spent any time around the Southern California freshman guard.
Little kids, especially. They were yelling for his autograph – about an hour before his arrival. But one kid, clutching a basketball in Trojan colors, said, “If I don’t get O.J. Mayo, I don’t care as long as I get Michael Beasley.”
One more person for O.J. to win over.
USC assistant coach Bob Cantu couldn’t believe the media throng gathered around Mayo, who was busy smiling, tossing out “sirs” and “ma’ams,”and extolling the virtues of teamwork and receiving an education. OK, some of it is a little contrived, but it’s amazing to think about how much thought this kid has put into his future in the NBA. Everything he’s doing is geared towards that goal. To have that type of focus, and still be a teenager, is remarkable.
Maybe we’re just used to Mike, and to a lesser extent, Bill. Maybe that’s it. But there is a certain star quality to O.J. Mayo.