I also know from plenty of people around the program that he did work hard, it just didn’t translate on the court.
If you're going to make excuses like that, then you better not call my statements "ridiculous."
If he worked really hard and still produced the results we saw, then that's even stronger evidence that he couldn't play at this level and he should have realized that.
Let's run a little further with your ridiculous idea.
If nurses told you that a particular doctor works really hard but is one of the worst doctors in the hospital (in terms of malpractice), would you trust him to do your surgery?
People aren't entitled to jobs or other positions just because "it's their dream" and "they work really hard." They have to have some talent/aptitude for what they are doing.
The problem you have with my views is that I don't share your sappy white bread sentimentalism and midwestern need for social acceptability.