Bernstein: Richmond Story Full Of Losers

By Dan Bernstein– Senior Columnist

You would almost have to do this on purpose, to screw it up so badly.

It’s hard to accomplish, really, when you consider how many other stupid, spoiled babies surrounded by parasitic enablers have successfully gamed the college system for one year. There have been similarly bad kids with similarly bad parents who were able to do the dance right. You fulfill the ridiculous NBA age requirement, occasionally walk around campus with a book, indulge in a little “social life,” play your heart out and get out of there.

Leave it to Jereme Richmond and pretty much everyone involved with him to get every part of it wrong.

One year at Illinois, and Mr. Basketball is Mr. Out-of-Basketball.

The saga has been well chronicled. Recruited in eighth grade by a desperate Bruce Weber, Richmond bounced from one high school to another before becoming Illinois’ top player in 2010 and joining the McDonalds All-American team. He was a constant disciplinary problem, earning multiple suspensions for various insubordinations.

He didn’t have to listen to anybody, because his Illini ride was waiting.

With his belief that his NBA future was similarly certain, the behavior pattern continued in Champaign. He fought with teammates, berated coaches, attended practice and team functions on his own schedule, and didn’t even try to pretend that he was enrolled in any classes.

It ended as all had envisioned, but for the wrong reasons. Richmond was going to flunk out, and a faction of university officials wanted him gone. The jump to the pros provided cover for both the player and the school, with neither side racing out to proclaim that this was their call.

He jumped, and he’s still falling like Wile E. Coyote. All he needs is the sign in his hand that says “Yikes!”

No NBA team drafted him, largely because he chose to disappear from the radar screen by avoiding the important private workout circuit. He was an unknown with some upside and huge downside risk, and he decided, for whatever reason, to make himself even less known.

His angry uncle picked up the phone to make some embarrassing public comments over the weekend, blaming everyone but his nephew for his predicament. Richmond’s father is trying some limp damage-control today.

What would have been nice is for one of the concerned adults in Richmond’s life to tell him to stop acting like an ass and start listening to his coaches, but that might be asking too much.

The NBA looks like it’s going to lock out, so Richmond’s pathetic odyssey of self-destruction will take another turn. The NBDL would seem to be his better option, bouncing through cowtowns and showing over time that he can both play ball and play nice.

An exile overseas would work too, but I doubt the adjustment to Efes Pilsen in Turkey, Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga or Maccabi Haifa would go well, considering the problems he had dealing with the exotic, foreign culture of downstate Illinois.

It will take hard work to rebuild his game and his reputation – the kind of work he has never done. The opportunity will find him if he proves worthy, since the NBA has a short memory. But don’t count me among those expecting he has it in him.

Weber bet on Richmond and lost. The family treating him like a lotto ticket now realizes they missed most of the numbers.

Richmond lost his own bet on himself, and he didn’t even seem to know he was at the high-stakes table the whole time. Reckless, careless, and ignorant, and now busted.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Richmond Story Full Of Losers

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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  • Northwest Josh

    Sad story, but one that has happened before, and will unfortunately happen again.

  • tom Sharp

    With his quickness and agility, he’s a natural for the Flash mobs!

  • Murphs Upper-Lip

    I don’t follow college basketball much at all; I’ve heard some stories about Richmond, but never payed very close attention as this was not someone who interested or excited me very much. But, after taking the time to read Bernsie’s article (admittedly, I probably would not have read this in the past when Dan was blogging every day; I’m not sure if I read this particular piece just because he’s back to entertaining us in print or for the sheer fact that it’s written by’s Senior Columnist!!!), I’ll be shocked if this kid has any type of success in the NBA or life in general.

  • Lil' Bycracke


    With Rock gone (thank God!), you should come up with your own Blog title!

    Something to the nature of: “The Bernsie Blog”!

    Good to see you back.

  • Chet Coppock

    Hey when did Bernsie get back in the business of writing blogs? I sure did miss all the commentary from the peanut gallery here.

    • Jason's Jelly-Filled Donut

      We missed you Chet! Glad to see you’re still reading material that you despise, your intellect has not diminished in the past month and a half!

      • Chet Coppock

        New handle. Larry?

  • hammer

    Another pathetic attempt to rip on Weber. Give it up Bernstein. Richmond was given a chance, he needs to own up to it.

    • Spoon

      Another pathetic attempt at reading only what someone wants to read out of a story. That was a leap of logic that kids in a logic 101 class would point out on day one of class.

    • Jon

      Weber sucks, get off his junk

    • Murphs Upper-Lip

      Did we read the same article, hammer? The blame here is on Richmond and his family, not Weber. (Oh, I get it, today is imaginary website day. Got it.)

      • Spoon

        Apparently the comment; “Recruited in eighth grade by a desperate Bruce Weber, Richmond bounced from one high school to another before becoming Illinois’ top player in 2010 and joining the McDonalds All-American team.” Was somehow a massive slam on Bruce Weber, nevermind that it was accurate, and that Weber was desperate, how dare Bernstein use accurate descriptions!!!

      • hammer

        It was the comments of calling Weber desperate, and also insinuating that he didn’t handle the situation properly. From what I remember, Weber was far from an enabler, and punished Richmond quite often.

        I don’t think Weber is a great coach, but we could do worse.

    • Mike

      How was it a rip on Weber? If anything, Dan and Terry have defended him to a certain extent against Illinois fans who have been overzealous in their criticism of him.

  • mike in davenport

    This is why everyone involved in recruiting or evaluating 8th graders should be taken out back and shot.


      No, the NCAA is too busy “discovering” that OSU linemen had expensive tattoos.

      They sure beat up on USC didn’t they? Oh, come to think of it, USC had a decent record last year. Better take away another national title.
      I think the

  • Devil's Goatee

    So this is what you mean by a loud and persistent rapping at someones backdoor.

  • Bronzo

    Wow… glad to have Bernsie back. Chet I see your still busting Larry’s balls even though he hasn’t posted today.

    I agree with Dan on this, Richmond has nobody to blame but himself and his “handlers” who seem to have lost their meal ticket.

  • Mr. Pouty Pants

    I read both the tribune articles from the weekend and today. Jereme’s uncle totally thought that kid was his meal ticket and was throwing the blame at everyone else, especially Jerance Howard. At least Jereme’s father admitted that the last year or so didn’t pan out the way everyone though and that Jereme could have worked harder.
    Weber may have been desperate to recruit him but that was at the same time he lost that kid that had all but signed a commitment letter and then went to Indiana, I forgot his name but Weber HAD to land a big recruit after that because the campus was ready to run him out of town.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Was the recruit in question Eric Gordon?


    Two words describe Jereme Richmond and his decision to leave Illinois early: Big mistake! I can’t say I’m surprised that Richmond went undrafted in last Thursday’s NBA Draft. Simply put, Jereme’s not NBA ready and he should’ve stayed in school. He has no one to blame but himself, pure and simple.


      I don’t know if UofI would have let him return. Maybe, transfer to E.I.U.

      You just can’t tell a thirteen, fourteen year old he is going to be an NBA superstar. You have no idea what is going to happen in high school.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    I have been stuck in out-of-office meetings all day.

    Bernsie nailed this story, very sad.
    I predict he will play in Turkey…fitting for this turkey and the turkeys who advise him.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Breaking news….Blago guilty.

    In other breaking news, dog bites man.

    • Bronzo

      Great news about Blago did you catch Chet’s comments earlier today? He just won’t let up.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        yeah, kinda funny
        I mean, I can’t always be the first horse out of the gate!!!

        glad to see you posting over here Bronzo

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    Richmond even deleted his twitter account. He had previously just made it private (I made it in under the gun before he did so).

    Apparently he doesn’t think that people will care about his NBDL or third division European exploits.

  • JM

    Everything surrounding this game, from coaches, to players, to street agents, is one big joke. Legends in their own mind. I would like to buy them for what they are worth and sell them for what they think they are worth.

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    Was i the only one, who heard Murph on “Talkin Baseball” with Fred a few Sundays ago? Anyways are anybody elses ears still bleeding?

    • Murphs Upper-Lip

      Every Sunday, Jaimie, every Sunday…


    How were they able to select an impartial jury for Blago? Congratulations, soldier, you just returned from Afghanistan (or Korea). Now, would you help us run this trial of the former governor of Illinois? From one nothing count to seventeen?

    And no Illinois politician ever took money from the public again.
    I’d have just had him go through ancient trials. Walk over coals, wrestle a bear, ring bells warning the British, swim the English Channel. That sort of thing.

  • Jose G

    In Dec ’09 I attended a game that Deerfield played vs. Waukegan when Richmond was a Sr. Even though he showed a level of talent on the floor but I felt his focus on the game and maturity level was not up to par for a College Bound Recruit in how he handled the heckling by Deerfield Fans by putting his hand to his ear so that he can hear directly what the crowd was saying to him. If he could not handle the heckling at the HS level then he sure as hell was not going to have thick skin @ U of I much less the Pros.

    We all hate to see ppl fall hard and be made an example of but I would hope other Blue Chip Recruits in IL and around the Nation as well as Coaches from the Youth Level to the College Level and the Player’s Family and anyone else who’s around the player growing up “Looking Out” for the Kid’s Best Interest take a good hard look @ the short and long term and that 1 is responsible for their own actions and not only is it your talent that will get 1 to the Next Level but being responsible and mature in order to succeed.

  • Burn Zee

    So, if this drives 8th grade scouts out of biz, I’ll have a monopoly. Excellent!

  • Shee Bro

    Did Richmond make an ‘appearance’ fee at yesterday’s parade?

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