Welcome to Draft Diary XVI! Can you believe we’re four away from Draft Diary XX? Either this became a Roman numeral-fueled tradition on par with the Olympics, the Super Bowl and WrestleMania, or I’m freaking old. I can’t decide. By the time you read this column, you’ll have watched the clip of Andy Katz accidentally saying Jared Sullinger had “bulging dicks” during last night’s NBA draft preview show over 10,564,294 times on YouTube. Even if that became the highlight of the night, did that stop me from grinding out another draft diary with help from peanut gallery members Jacoby and House? Of course not! Tradition is tradition — not even bulging dicks could hold me down.
There was another monkey wrench, of course: My beloved Celtics were picking no. 21 and no. 22 last night. Would they trade up to take Doc Rivers’s son even though father-son pairings never work past Little League? Would they take The Guy Who’s Afraid to Fly or The Guy Who Would Have Been a Top-10 Pick If Not For His Bulging Dicks? Er, Disks? Would they get two rotation guys who were better than Marquis Daniels and Ryan Hollins? (Please?) Would they figure out how to add to their team when they didn’t know yet if half their team was coming back? And could I pull off a coherent diary as I was stressing out about all of these things? Here’s what transpired …
7:30 p.m. EST — You might remember last year’s draft telecast on ESPN revolved around Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” This year’s telecast revolves around ladders. You heard me. Ladders. Personally, I would have geared the entire draft around the night’s real star: the one and only David Stern, who only recently regained his mojo after the debilitating lockout and embarrassing Vetogate. Why not own it? What about an open featuring Stern lip-synching the words to Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One” or Vince McMahon’s “No Chance in Hell”?
(Wait, you’re saying that would have been less ridiculous than lottery picks climbing ladders???)
7:32 — Hey, it’s David Ste— Boooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Come on, I’m trying to typ— Boooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Enough, you made your poi— Boooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
Not exactly a warm welcome for the Commish. Of course, he eats it up by mentioning the “world-champion Miami Heat,” then cupping his hand to his ear, soaking in the boos and doing everything short of saying, “In case you’re scoring at home, we have more marketable stars than every other league combined, we have a 10-billionaire waiting list to buy our teams, we’re coming off a 12 rating for the Finals even though Oklahoma City was involved, and our signature guy finally put everything together and seems poised for a Jordan-like run the rest of this decade. (Goes into Dr. Evil mode.) Mwaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaa! Mwahhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaa! Mwhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhha!!!!!” It’s fun to have the Notorious D.J.S. back. I can’t lie.
7:37 — New Orleans takes “The Brow,” immediately becoming a title contender from 2015 through 2028. The Brow hugs exactly five people before walking onstage and having this exchange with David Stern …
Stern: “Congratulations. Don’t ever tell anyone how you really became a Hornet.”
Davis: “I won’t, sir.”
Stern: “I’m not kidding — nobody can ever know. I’m not proud of everything I did. People make mistakes.”
Davis: “Got it, you don’t have to worry about me.”1
7:39 — Working the draft with ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Rece Davis and Jeff Van Gundy, Jay Bilas drops a triple “wingspan” during a Davis-inspired gush session, then acknowledges the infamous Bilas/wingspan draft drinking game by saying, “Tip it back, America.” Jacoby quickly takes three big swigs from a Bud Light. We’re off to a rollicking start.
Speaking of rollicking, we spiced up tonight’s draft by creating a “Jan Vesely’s Girlfriend Memorial Hottest Girlfriend” pool — four rounds, snake fashion, winner takes all. Jacoby went first and took Bradley Beal, explaining, “He’s a good-looking guy who seems clean, and he’s going to be rich.” Oh. Beal was followed by Austin Rivers (BS), Dion Waiters (JH), Damian Lillard (JH), Tyler Zeller (BS), Thomas Robinson (DJ), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (DJ), Harrison Barnes (BS), Perry Jones (JH), Evan Fournier (JH), Anthony Davis (BS) and Kendall Marshall (DJ). Also, we actually argued about whether Davis went too high or too low, culminating in House screaming, “I don’t care if he has a unibrow, he’s gonna be rich!” You gotta love the NBA draft.
7:40 — Speaking of Davis, Heather Cox just asked his parents about his “journey” and all the usual “Can you believe this?” stuff … let’s be honest, wouldn’t you have rather had a two-minute grilling about the unibrow? Did he always have the brow? Did he have it as a baby? Which side of the family did it come from? Did they ever think of waxing it? At what point did they just accept it? Is there anything else you want to know from Davis’s parents except for unibrow-related material? Why are we fighting this?
7:43 — The Bobcats take … Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? WOW! They did the right thing?!?!?!? We’re stunned! I can’t stop using exclamation points! Probably not a good sign for the MJ era when it’s shocking that the team picking second took the second-best player. Great pick. I couldn’t be a bigger MKG fan, as explained here. As Bilas gushes, “You can’t teach relentless.” He’s going to be a killer pro. Think Scottie Pippen crossed with Gerald Wallace, only if they had a hyphen and played every game like it was Game 7 of the Finals.2
7:47 — Washington quickly snaps up Florida scorer Bradley Beal at no. 3. Bilas calls him a “high-character guy” and a “complete basketball player,” and the chairman of the Committee for Cross-Racial Comparisons rules that, yes, you’re allowed to compare Beal’s jumper to Mike Miller’s jumper. What a relief.
“Right player, right spot,” says House, a longtime Washington fan. “It was a very un-Wizard-like pick. We needed a guy who could shoot at the basket and not at his teammates.” Hey now.
7:53 — In Wednesday’s back-and-forth mock draft, Chad Ford predicted that Cleveland would draft Harrison Barnes fourth partly because he was “good friends” with Kyrie Irving. I thought this was ridiculous; apparently, so did the Cavs. They just tabbed explosive Syracuse guard Dion Waiters,3 setting themselves up for an easy “Anytime you can take the Big East’s ‘Sixth Man of the Year’ with the fourth pick in an NBA draft, you have to do it” joke. Didn’t we already go through this with Marvin Williams? Now we’re running it back?
(Note that’s too important for a footnote: I thought the Cavs should have taken Thomas Robinson, but they obviously passed after spending last year’s no. 4 overall pick on Tristan Thompson — same position as Robinson, not as good — so instead of stashing potential stud Jonas Valanciunas abroad in 2011 and picking Robinson this year, they spent two top-five picks on the poor man’s Robinson and Syracuse’s sixth man. The lesson, as always: God hates Cleveland.)
7:59 — The Kings happily snap up Robinson, more of a rich man’s Carl Landry than Carl Landry 2.0, but somebody who could definitely bang the boards with DeMarcus Cousins. Mark Jones easily makes Robinson cry in their interview, then throws it to Heather Cox by saying, “Some things are bigger than basketball, Heather Cox.” That made all three of us laugh. I don’t know why. Heather’s interview with Robinson’s little sister peaks with Cox pushing Sacramento by saying, “Do you know it’s close to Disneyland?” Actually, it’s 411.2 miles away. Did she just inadvertently tip off Sacramento’s move to Anaheim? What just happened there?
8:04 — Picking sixth: the Blazers, thanks to their fleecing of New Jersey in the atrocious-even-as-it-was-happening Gerald Wallace trade. You can only assume this exchange just happened in Brooklyn’s war room.
Mikhail Prokhorov: “We’re on the clock; who are we taking sixth?”
Billy King: “Actually, I traded that pick in March for Gerald Wallace.”
Prokhorov: “I thought Gerald Wallace just opted out of his contract?”
King [after a pause]: “He did.”
Prokhorov [in Russian to his bodyguards]: “KILL HIM!!!!”
8:05 — Questions asked in my living room after Portland’s pick: “What conference is Damian Lillard from again?” … “Has any top-10 pick ever had more highlights that happened against white people?” … “Is it WEE-ber or Weh-ber?” … “Has anyone ever picked a backup point guard this high?” … “Did they just pick Jerryd Bayless again or am I crazy?” … “Are these highlights from Division I games?”
(Answers: Big Sky … no … “Weh-ber” “Wee-ber” … yes, Jonny Flynn in 2009 … it’s unclear … yes.)
8:09 — Tom Penn just threw a slew of advanced points-per-possession stats at us, trying to make the case that it wasn’t completely ludicrous for a two-time Big Sky MVP to go sixth in the entire NBA draft. It’s almost like the ESPN producers said, “What segment could we create that appeals to 125 hard-core basketball bloggers and goes over the heads of literally everyone else watching this telecast?” Here were the points-per-possession stats (I made two of them up) …
Own Pick-and-Roll Offense 1.14 (91st percentile in Division I)
Passes Out of Pick-and-Roll: 1.04 (72nd percentile in Division I)
Against White Dudes Who Walked Onto Their Teams: 4.32 (100th percentile in Division I)
Spot-up Shooting: 1.39 (96th percentile in Division I)
Against Guys Who Walk With a Slight Limp: 3.23 (100th percentile in Division I)
8:10 — Broussard makes a good point: Portland’s point guards last year (Felton and Crawford) couldn’t shoot, so it made sense for them to find someone who COULD shoot to stretch the floor for LaMarcus Aldridge. And Lillard can shoot. I might talk myself into this pick by midnight. I need at least two more drinks.
8:10 — Big smile from Harrison Barnes — he’s headed to the Warriors at no. 7 and can’t hide his toothy “Thank god it wasn’t Sacramento” smile. Why do I kinda like that pick? He’ll definitely disappoint compared to what we expected two years ago, but those days are long gone and he is what he is … and if you need a small forward, and you’re taking him seventh hoping he’s a quality starter (and nothing more), how could he end up disappointing you? Worst-case scenario, they get to relive the Joe Barry Carroll era with a shorter version of Joe Barry, right? Even Joe Barry put up numbers for a few years.
“Nobody under 40 will get that reference,” House says.
“Harrison Barnes is 6-foot-8 but five inches of that is forehead,” Jacoby offers.
“Go with that joke,” House says.
“I think [Barnes] has a chance to be a better pro than a college player,” Bilas says.
“That joke was better than the other two,” House says. He’s not a Barnes fan. We will see.
8:14 — Jacoby and I both notice that Golden State’s starting five (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Barnes, David Lee and Andrew Bogut) looks sneaky-good on paper … right until House says, “You left out the part that Curry and Bogut will get hurt, they’re paying $25 million per year to Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins, and their coach was just involved in a sex/extortion scandal with a stripper.” Yeah, but still.
8:15 — Right as we’re in the middle of a heated “Why would you text naked pictures of yourself to a stripper?” conversation, my mom shows up with meatballs, sausages and homemade pasta. I’m sure there’s a good joke here — I just don’t want to know what it is. Vegas sets an early under of 8.5 combined meatballs and sausages for House. Take the over.
8:16 — I just did a 180 on Andre Drummond, the much-maligned 19-year-old center from UConn who’s been getting savagely picked apart by draft critics. ESPN came out of commercial with the camera right on him — he looked at the camera, gathered himself, smiled, looked away, realized the camera was still on him, then awkwardly tried to look cool while really saying, “I know, I know … you’re probably making fun of me now, just know that I’m not a bad guy, I swear, I’m just a kid.” Sweet moment. I’m rooting for him now. I’m not even kidding. You could just tell he’s overwhelmed by the night. He’s only 12 years older than my daughter. I don’t know.
(You’re right, I’m a sap. I’ll go back to being a snarky, unforgiving a-hole again. My bad.)
8:17 — I really liked Terrence Ross heading into this draft, if only because it’s hard to dislike anyone described as “Nick Young if he played defense.” I just didn’t like him as the eighth pick. Too early. “Not a bad pick,” Broussard says tepidly. The 2013 Raptors … feel the excitement! The good news: We all like Ross’s snazzy blue checkered shirt and green bow tie. Somewhere, Wesley Morris is nodding proudly.
8:23 — Detroit snaps up a relieved Drummond at no. 9. “He’s giving me everything I want,” Jacoby says. “At first, he was super-sad and emotional and vulnerable, and then he seemed happier than anyone when he shook hands with Stern. I’m in on him.”
8:24 — Bilas mentions that Drummond shot 29 percent on free throws last year. “What?????” Jacoby yelps with a mouthful of meatballs. “I’m out on Drummond.” That was fast. You could say Drummond is a combination of Shaquille O’Neal (free throws), Dikembe Mutombo (low-post moves), Andrew Bynum (effort) and Bubba Watson (emotional stability). Still, the Pistons have to be delighted — instead of talking themselves into a 216-pound center (John Henson), they ended up with a 280-pound center (Drummond). That’s 64 more pounds of center! Big win!
8:25 — An increasingly heated “Will Drummond make it?” argument ends like this …
House: “He can’t play! We both watched that Draft Express video!”
Me: “Yeah, but you have to admit, he’s got a nice face.”
House: “HE CAN’T PLAY!!!”
8:28 — New Orleans grabs Austin Rivers at no. 10; Stern decides against overruling it. Nice pick. (I’m in the “Rivers will be good” camp — he’s too confident to be a bust.) You have to like the Gordon/Rivers/Brow foundation, right? More important, we’re in the middle of a major “sister or girlfriend?” controversy … who was the pretty girl that Austin hugged? (Frantic Googling.) Dammit! That was his sister! (Thinking.) Wait, were we just attracted to Doc Rivers’s daughter? Let’s move on. Quickly.
8:31 — Biggest loser of the draft so far: Austin’s goatee. He connected on 37 percent of his 3s and 3 percent of his whiskers. House calls for a “MUST IMPROVE: PUBERTY” graphic.4
8:32 — Van Gundy on Austin Rivers: “I love his demeanor. People say it’s cocky, [but] if you’re not strong-willed and [you don’t] believe in yourself in this league, they will eat your lunch.” Totally agree. I’d rather have a 20-year-old Rivers than a 22-year-old Lillard. Quick question: Are Danny Crawford, Marc Davis and Bill Kennedy now obligated to screw over Austin on every call over the next 15 years? Is it like a legacy thing? Does Doc pass this Crawford/Kennedy/Davis curse down to Austin? Is there a ceremony? How does it work?
8:34 — Like everyone else, I get nervous every time Portland spends a first-round pick on a center. It’s like hearing that Larry King got married again. Poor Meyers Leonard. Jacoby thinks Portland drafted a white center to boost Damian Lillard’s confidence during practices. House thinks Leonard should get the “highest insurance policy he can possibly get.” I didn’t mind the pick — at some point, Portland is going to draft a center who stays healthy for more than five years. I can feel it.
8:41 — After failing to package his excess of first-rounders for Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Rudy Gay, Rick Nash, Roberto Luongo, Felix Hernandez, Justin Upton, Joe Mauer and every other All-Star who’s available right now, depressed Houston GM Daryl Morey takes UConn scorer Jeremy Lamb at no. 12, then immediately sticks Kevin Martin’s expiring contract on Craigslist. “Why did Lamb drop?” House asks. “Did he steal something?” Who knew the UConn/stealing jokes had a shelf life of six years?
8:48 — Your Steve Nash replacement in Phoenix … Kendall Marshall! I’ve officially shifted into “Every pick that isn’t Royce White or Jared Sullinger pushes White and Sullinger one pick closer to the Celtics” mode. (My affection for White has been well documented — he’s Antoine Walker with some Anthony Mason and B.A. Baracus thrown in.) “Royce White isn’t gonna be there at 21,” Jacoby hisses. “You need to deal with this.” He’s right. I’m in total denial.
8:52 — Milwaukee’s John Henson pick spawns two separate narratives: We finally have a starting center for the NBA’s all-time Babyface team (along with Carmelo Anthony, BJ Armstrong, Ricky Rubio and Eric Gordon), and we have a new nominee for the “this year’s platoon starters who should be merged into one fantasy basketball player” spot (combining Henson and Sam Dalembert into a shot-blocking stud named Jam Dalenson).
8:53 — Bilas follows through with Wednesday’s B.S. Report promise and mentions Henson’s “Freddie Krueger-like” wingspan, then says, “That was for Bill Simmons.” I feel like we just broke the fourth wall. This is weird. Meanwhile, we’re only halfway through the draft but somehow approaching the “Most teams that have taken a guy in the right spot AND filled a need” record. Let’s see, New Orleans (twice), Charlotte, Washington, Sacramento, Golden State, Detroit, Portland, Houston, Milwaukee … that’s 10 of 14 picks you could describe as “totally logical.” Is the NBA getting smarter? Is the draft getting easier? And what’s fun about “smarter” and “easier?” COULD SOMEONE DO SOMETHING DUMB, PLEASE??????
8:57 — Philly takes Maurice “Don’t Call Me Mo Anymore” Harkless, the St. John’s forward who keeps getting compared to Trevor Ariza (as if it’s a compliment to be the next version of someone who’s been on six teams already). Speaking of comparisons, we crossed an invisible line this year — except for Anthony Davis, every player was described as either a 2.0 version or a rich man’s version of someone. So, “Would you rather have a 2.0 version of yourself, or a rich man’s version of yourself?” We vote unanimously for the 2.0 version for the following two reasons:
A. The “rich man’s version” implies the new version is superior in every way, and that the other version was fairly forgettable.
B. The “2.0 version” gives the older version more credit, inferring that it created the prototype and laid the groundwork for everything after.
In other words, Mo Harkness can be the rich man’s Trevor Ariza. He can’t be Trevor Ariza 2.0, because that would imply that Trevor Ariza 1.0 was memorable. But Bradley Beal could be Ray Allen 2.0 because Ray Allen 1.0 was undeniably memorable. Got it? Got it. And as we’re hashing out these details …
9:05 — Houston takes Royce White.
9:05 — Stomach punch. That was my guy.
9:05 — Still keeled over.
9:06 — Muttering things to myself like “We won in 2008,” “He IS afraid to fly” and “It could be worse, I could be a Cleveland fan.” Not totally working.
9:09 — Best players remaining: Perry Jones, Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger, Andrew Nicholson, Terrence Jones. The Celtics are four picks away. Brutal. If we can get Jones and Sullinger, I won’t sulk for the entire weekend. Anything else? Sulking.
9:10 — The Mavericks take Tyler Zeller at no. 17 … if he’s on their team in November, I’ll give you $500. That leads to ESPN flashing a picture of Tyler and his brothers, Cody and Luke, that only needed a sailboat, croquet sticks, a yoga mat and/or someone holding the Friends Blu-ray boxed set to realize its potential as the whitest picture of all time.
9:12 — We’re stupefied that there hasn’t been one hot girlfriend sighting tonight. Were girlfriends banned this year? Were they collectively psyched out by Jan Vesely’s lady and stayed away? Our Hot Girlfriend Pool fell apart faster than James Harden’s max contract.
9:17 — Nice night for the Rockets: Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones (who fell about five spots too far to no. 18).5 Meanwhile, we have our first trade: Dallas traded Zeller to Cleveland for picks 24, 32 and 33. That means the Cavs just parlayed four top-33 picks (including the no. 4 overall) into a sixth man and a backup center, winning this year’s Baxter Burgundy Award for the team that pooped in the fridge and ate a whole wheel of cheese, only you can’t be mad at them because it was kind of amazing.
9:22 — “With the 19th pick, Orlando takes a Canadian physics major who went to St. Bonaventure.” Somehow I liked that pick. Even ESPN flashing a “Highest Canadian-Born NBA Players Drafted” graphic that featured Tristan Thompson (4), Bill Wennington (16), Leo Rautins (17), Jamal Magliore (19), Andrew Nicholson (19), Rick Fox (24) and Stewart Granger (24) couldn’t deter me. That Nicholson is a little Antawn Jamison-y.
9:27 — Unhappy with the current Rudy Fernandez, Denver takes “The French Rudy Fernandez” (Evan Fournier) at no. 20. They now have five foreign-born players: Fournier, Fernandez (Spain), Timofey Mosgov (Russia), Danilo Gallinari (Italy) and JaVale McGee (Mars). “He’s handsome,” Jacoby says, then adds, “I mean, I’m just saying, he’s a handsome guy” before self-consciously swigging a beer. That might have been the highlight of the draft so far.
9:29 — The Celtics are on the clock. We’re in Sullinger Range. As I detailed in Wednesday’s mock draft, I’m totally fine with it. Totally.
“What are you thinking?” Jacoby asks. “Sullinger?”
“He’s the best scoring forward in the draft,” I said. “Besides, can you really go wrong with a guy named Sully in Boston?
“How’s the back doctor in Boston?” House asks without a trace of irony.
(In 10 years, that exchange will either be amusing or eerily, poop-in-your-pants prophetic. I’m hoping for the former.)
9:32 — Bilas on the best available fit for Boston’s roster: “Sullinger because he knows how to play, but he’s 6-foot-9 — even though he’s long-armed, he’s not a great athlete that elevates over people and he’s not a great defender, and he’s not a great runner, but he’s a 6-foot-9 guy that knows how to play, he knows how to play … ” He just obliterated the backhanded compliment record. I don’t know if I feel better or worse about the Sully Era.
Isn’t this destiny? A top-seven lottery pick falls to Boston at no. 21, his name is Sully, he can play that Big Baby role and score on the block against anyone, he has “bulging dicks” in his back that can easily be fixed with a few months of Pilates … why am I fighting this? This is the right pick. Sully knows how to play. He knows how to play.
9:34 — “With the 21st pick, the Celtics take … Sully!” Good. Now what? Perry Jones? Do we roll the dice twice? If you’re basing everything on the question, “What do we need to beat Miami?,” then they need to take someone else who’s taller than, say, 6-foot-8. The Celtics need size. Fellow Celtics fan Jacoby wants Jones, explaining, “Even if we go one for two, that means we turned 21 and 22 into a lottery talent.” House thinks Jones should be the pick because “Who else is left at this point, Fab Melo?” For once, I don’t have an opinion … as long as it’s not Fab Melo. I just watched Miami and Oklahoma City basically say, “The league is getting faster, you don’t need centers anymore, you need athletes.” Where does Fab Melo fit into that last sentence? And why do I have the sinking feeling we’re taking him, anyway?
9:41 — Yup … Fab Melo. His averages for Syracuse last year: 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds. “He’s still coming on as a player,” Bilas says in the understatement of the last five centuries. Unbelievable.
9:42 — My dad texts me, “Hey, at least we know Fab will be better than Ryan Hollins.” Time to start drinking.
9:43 — I wish I was making this up … ESPN just cut to a commercial, but not before running one of their ladder promos with Sullinger, who lifted the ladder on his back, walked away from the camera, put the ladder down, then grimaced slightly and hobbled off-camera. Is there a pill to take to help me forget that I ever saw that? Should I roofie myself?
10:00 — The next three picks: Vandy shooter John Jenkins to Atlanta (liked it); combo guard Jared Cunningham to Dallas (blah); Tony Wroten Jr. to Memphis (sleeper). In the old days, we’d be watching a catatonic Perry Jones sitting by himself in the green room wondering what just happened. In 2012, they’re smart enough not to invite potential free-fallers, so you can only keep refreshing their Twitter accounts hoping they’ll tweet something depressing. Perry Jones hasn’t tweeted for seven solid hours. Here were his last two tweets:
Tweet 1: “If you in Jersey and you need a ticket to the draft my cousin has 8 of them.. tweet @killakole if u want them”
Tweet 2: “They for sale. Not free”
Well, I couldn’t resist checking out the @killakole account — her tagline reads, “My s***’s straight like 9:15, nahmean?”
(Hmmmmm … it’s all starting to make sense … )
10:03 — There’s Perry Jones! He’s in the stands. Who else wants to see if @killakole is really as straight as 9:15? Can we get a wide shot, ESPN? Perry has one of those “If I canceled my post-draft party right now, would I get my deposit back?” looks on his face. I keep waiting for Bilas to say, “You can’t teach relentmore.” Nahmean?
10:04 — Instead of taking Miles Plumlee at no. 26, Indiana should have just walked over to Perry Jones and dumped a bucket of manure on him. That’s tonight’s first pick that elicited outright laughter from everyone in my living room. It’s almost like they knew Larry Bird was leaving and wanted to take one last white guy in his honor, only all the white guys got taken and they still stubbornly stuck to the plan. Nope, we promised we’d do it for Larry … just take Plumlee, it will be fine …
10:09 — The Notorious D.J.S. gleefully milks the boos for an extra few seconds before announcing that Miami selects Mississippi State rebounder Arnett Moultrie.6 I’m still reeling from the dawning of the Fab Melo era. When should I waste an hour figuring out if there’s ever been a decent NBA center who averaged fewer than six rebounds a game in his final college season? Now or later? A much more compelling subplot: After putting down two big bowls of pasta and meatballs, House inexplicably moved on to salad, prompting this exchange …
Jacoby: “Whoa, going with a salad! That was as unexpected as the Fab Melo pick!”
House: “Only not as disappointing.”
Me: “Too soon.”
Important note: Because I’m a full-fledged homersexual, by mid-July, you can count on me talking myself into tonight’s Celtics draft and convincing myself that we dodged a bullet by not getting Royce White. But tonight? I’m bummed. I can’t lie.7 Of course, I couldn’t have been as bummed as Perry Jones — Oklahoma City finally ended his misery at no. 28, inadvertently qualifying him for “Nobody believed in me!” status. What was better for Jones — going ninth (redeeming him for not reaching his potential at Baylor) or going 28th (the kick in the ass he desperately needed)? The latter, right?
Jones hopped out of his stands for a Stern handshake and chewed gum through an impromptu interview with Mark Jones. It was everything you ever wanted from the NBA draft — disappointment, hope, unpredictability, quirkiness, potential, you name it. Before the last pick of the first round (Golden State’s Festus Ezeli, who followed Chicago’s Marquis Teague), the New Jersey fans seized one last opportunity to lustily jeer at Stern. The Commish milked the moment as always, telling everyone, “I really want to thank all of you for your wonderful enthusiasm.” You could say they were acting like bulging dicks. Can you think of a better way to end another entertaining draft? Me neither. Until XVII.