What happened to OJ Mayo? Exploring former #3 draft pick's sudden exit from NBA

What happened to OJ Mayo? Exploring former #3 draft pick
What happened to OJ Mayo? Exploring former #3 draft pick's sudden exit from NBA

At one point, OJ Mayo was on course to be one of the top guards of the future in the NBA. However, his career ended up hitting a halt due to off-the-court activities. The downfall of OJ Mayo began in 2011 when he was suspended for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

After that, he was banned from the NBA for failing their anti-drug program. Mayo applied to be reinstated in 2016 and got approved, but no team has taken a chance on him since then.

Mayo was drafted third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008. He later found his way on the Memphis Grizzlies, where he was a high-level scorer from the moment he stepped foot in the league. As a rookie, he averaged 18.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

After the 2012 season, Mayo moved on to the Dallas Mavericks. He'd spend one year with them before joining the Milwaukee Bucks. That would be Mayo's final stop, with his NBA tenure ending after playing 41 games during the 2016 season.

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Overall, Mayo played 547 games across eight years, averaging 13.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Before the NBA, Mayo was on track to being a star at the professional level. Along with being named a McDonald's All-American, he was named Mr. Basketball in 2007.

OJ Mayo is keeping his basketball career going

Even though he never got another opportunity in the NBA following his ban, OJ Mayo is still keeping his career going. Like most players who can't secure a roster spot, he's playing professionally overseas.

Recently, footage of Mayo overseas made its way to social media. After seeing him still scoring at a high level, it left many wondering why no NBA team took a chance on him. He's being compared with Phoenix Suns guard Eric Gordon, who's still a starter at age 35.

Given how things have played out, it seems like Mayo's chance to return to the league has come and gone. At the age of 36 now, teams are doubtful to come calling for his services.

Since 2018, Mayo has bounced around multiple different teams and leagues overseas. Currently, he's playing for Zamalek SC of Egyptian Basketball Federation. Some of his previous teams include Atleticos de San German, Hunan Jinjian Miye, Liaoning Flying Leopards and Taipei Fubon Braves.

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Edited by Kevin McCormick
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