I can't really say I am surprised. I thought that asking outlandish questions for dramatic effect was more of an NFL combine practice, but - with the undeniable success that football has had identifying high character athletes - it was obviously bound to infiltrate NBA circles. So, am I stunned that a talent evaluator asked a 23 year old to mentally fast forward through his whole career and entire adult life to definitively select a favorite way to expire? Not particularly. I do, however, snicker at the thought of what overly critical scouts could derive from what has to be far and away the most common answer to "how exactly would you like to become a corpse?".
Now, chances are that introducing themselves with an inquiry that would make the average person ever-so-slowly back away is just a tool to gauge how easily flustered a prospect may be. However - in the most non-morbid way possible - I like to think executives are doing a deep dive on preferred deaths and what they say about a potential pro athlete. For instance...
Frank Mason III wants to go out in his sleep? What a chump! Must not have that killer instinct to keep toughing it out through his last breath. Does that sound like someone you'd want with the ball in his hands down two possessions late in the fourth quarter? A guy that doesn't want to be mentally present while battling against the biggest 'L' that life has to offer? Playing at Kansas really must have left this kid feeling entitled if he expects death to be painless. How could he possibly be prepared for playoff basketball if he's already planning on actively avoiding adversity en route to eternal glory. Knock him down the draft board, because - in the good name of Hank Gathers - we can't select a player who doesn't have his heart set on eventually stopping on the hardwood before late in the second round. Dropping six under without even scratching and clawing to stay above ground. Sounds like someone that should be a target for the Clippers.
Strengths: Jump shot, physicality, experience.
Weaknesses: Size, passing, fears tragedy, dreads suffering.