AS far as sporting investments go, the GWS Giants splashing out $6 million to lure Israel Folau away from rugby league won't go down as the wisest.
It didn't look all that bright back then and it doesn't look much better now. For one, Izzy had barely touched an AFL footy before he rocked up to his first media call - the stats show he didn't do it a whole lot of that after signing either.
In the strictly sporting sense it will go down as one of the all-time great flops. However, beancounters look at things through a different lens. The experts in that regard labeled it a raging success the moment he signed on the dotted line.
For a new franchise looking to establish its brand in a foreign - and altogether hostile - market, it was a masterstroke. In exposure and marketing stakes, it paid for itself within months.
Of course it ended poorly, but who really cared? They'd got their free kick and Izzy bailing out early saved them even more cash on their investment.
That saga sprung to mind after LaMelo Ball announced on ESPN that he'd be heading to Wollongong to play for the Hawks. Now, before I set those twitter thumbs abuzz, it's not a like-for-like comparison.
Ball hasn't just touched a basketball, he first got his hands on one before he could walk. He hasn't just played before, he's very, very good at it.
It was well documented that news of his signing saw the followers of the Hawks social media channels quadrupled in a matter of hours. Barack Obama even got in on the act.
SLAM Media have come on board as a sponsor and, with the NBL largely footing the bill as part of its Next Stars program, it's the stuff dreams are made of for a regional battler.
It's why bringing him to Wollongong was a major success long before your columnist and media colleagues got our first look at him at Hawks training on Wednesday.
As I wrote, the answers were brief, but he put on a show on the floor. Still, the interview in the flesh made one thing readily apparent - he was one day shy of his 18th birthday. It's also why fans need to temper their expectations.
There are some out there on social media already proclaiming he'll be the league MVP. It's the hyperbolic at best. The reality is he's a teenager in his first professional league, and it's a man's league.
It's unlikely Ball will be burdened by expectation and scrutiny, he's been part of a publicity juggernaut since he was a pre-teen. It's more likely the burden will fall to the Hawks, in particular coach Matt Flinn.
Ball's presence will put bums on seats, the people those bums belong to will expect to see LaMelo in action. No doubt the Ball camp, including famously outspoken dad LaVar, will have the same expectation in the quest for numbers that improve his NBA draft prospects
Those desires will not always be in direct alignment with what the Hawks ultimate goal should be, that is to win games and compete for a championship.
That's the pressure that will be brought to bear on Flinn in his first season as a head coach. Thankfully, you quickly get the impression that his expectations are realistic.
In the free agency circus, LaMelo's signature was a bonus - a big one - but Flinn was well on the way to the roster he wanted before that announcement.
This week, Flinny was happy to talk all things LaMelo, but perhaps even more eager to talk about his other NBA draft aspirant Sam Froling, the bulldogs he has in Sunday Dech and Daniel Grida or the rebirth of the rebuilt Angus Glover.
The fact he finds that just as exciting is an indication his expectations are in the right spot. The publicity haze hasn't blurred that wider team vision.
To borrow his phrase, he "knows the blowtorch is coming." The greater pressure and challenges are to come. We all have our hopes, but only Flinn's expectations really matter.