Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Draft Preview

I sat down to write my NBA Draft preview and something immediately occurred to me: other than Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley, and Gallinari, I don’t a thing about any of these guys. So, instead of pretending like I had any idea what I was talking about, I figured it would be more entertaining to give you a blow by blow report of ESPN’s big Draft Preview Show. Lame? Maybe. More entertaining for you? Hopefully. More entertaining for me? Definitely. So, here we go:

We’ve got Stu Scott and his creepy eye on the far right, the dynamic duo of Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy sandwiched in the middle, and the insufferable Jay Bilas on the far left. Amazingly, Van Gundy and Jackson both made their opening statements without praising Doc Rivers or trashing the Lakers’ defense! For the record, I agreed with all their praise of Doc and all their hammering of the Lakers, but I got the point after the 312th time. I love you Mark and Coach, but I felt it was worth mentioning. As for Jay Bilas, it is going to be hard to listen to him because I loathe him. Hey Jay, how does Josh Smith’s as* taste? I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I just typed that, but I can’t get it out of my head. Thanks, Shaq. I am now much dumber than I was Monday.

Okay, we had some talk about some completely irrelevant trades, including the Raptors reportedly trading T.J. Ford and his spine to two different teams. The other trade involved the Blazers getting some cash from the Hornets as well as Chris Paul…uh, just kidding, but I wanted to make sure you were with me.

Has anybody noticed that Rick Buecher looks just like former Iowa State guard, Shane Power? Yes, the guy’s name is really Shane Power, and yes, I actually remember him. What does this say about me? Don’t answer that.

Andy Katz just informed us that Michael Jordan is enamored with the depth of this draft! Uh-oh. I don’t know much, but I do know that when I only know 7 guys projected to go in the first round, “depth” should not be the word used to describe this draft. At this point, I believe it is legitimate to ask whether MJ’s career as an NBA exec is less successful than Magic’s career as a talk show host. I just died a little inside, let’s move on.

Bilas just used the following words to describe Derrick Rose…”world class athlete”…”superb”….”powerful”….”well hung”. Okay, I’m lying about the last one, but I think you get the point. Jay Bilas wants to have relations with Derrick Rose.

Hold the phone! Coach just declared Michael Beasley to be a future hall of famer. I’m not sure how this happened, but Van Gundy somehow managed to never coach against Glen Robinson, Derrick Coleman, Marcus Fizer, or any other 6’8” guy that has come through the league in the past 20 years that gave you 20-10 a night and somehow made you worse. Okay, I know Marcus Fizer never came close to 20-10 a night, but I had to put his name in there to keep with the Iowa State theme. And, by the way, Bilas just compared Beasley to Roy Tarpley. I don’t know about you, but when I think of Roy Tarpley, the only words that come to mind are “blow” “coke” “cocaine” “hookers” “blow” and “more blow.” Nice, Jay.

I do agree with the whole panel when they all agree the Heat have to take Beasley over Mayo. Everybody has really warmed to Mayo in the past few months, and Bilas loves to call him “NBA ready.” If this is true, why is it that he was a big time under achiever in his one year of college? Listen, for some strange reason, I really would like to see Mayo hit it big, but why should I be expecting this? And, while we are here, after all we have learned about Mayo’s decision making in the past few months, can we all just agree not to gush about his focus, dedication, and decision making ability anymore?

I can’t even keep up with Bilas right now. He’s raving about Kevin Love, he just called Eric Gordon a prolific shooter (I would love to hear what he would have said about him if he had shot more than 33% from the college 3 point line), and I think he just professed his undying love for Joe Alexander. In fact, he just called Alexander the best athlete in the draft. I don’t know about you, but I saw Joe Alexander play, and I thought a lot of things, but “best athlete in the NBA draft” was not one of them.

Some lady with a face for radio just interviewed Mayo. She asked him about the USC investigation, and he said he’s not really paying attention to it because his focus is on the NBA. No kidding? O.J. Mayo didn’t want to comment on this situation? I’m shocked! Why do reporters ask stupid questions? Honestly, I could do my job full time and then go right on tv and do a better job than most reporters. And, in case you are wondering, this is not a compliment to me.

The entire panel just spent three minutes gushing over what a good teammate and person Mayo is. You know, these guys are talking about him like they know him, so I am going to assume they do. Therefore, I’m going to take them at their word and believe Mayo is a good guy. All of the sudden I no longer care if he succeeds in the NBA. What does it say about me that I was rooting for him five minutes ago when I thought he was a bad guy, and now that I’m convinced he’s a good dude, I have no use for him? I think it just says that I don’t want good guys and legit refs going and screwing up the league I love!

Hey, we’ve got a Fran Fraschilla sighting! We are talking about Gallinari right now. Fraschilla loves him. Based on the clips they are showing, I see why. Honestly, I’ve spent a lot of time on Youtube over the past week watching clips of this guy, and I’m a believer. I’m very excited about the prospects of him going to the Knicks. This guy will run through all the aspiring “models” and “actresses” in NYC in a matter of months. I took him at even money to nail an Olsen twin in the next six months.

Oh, boy. The Gallinari discussion naturally leads to a larger conversation about the Knicks. Mark thinks they need to “change the culture”, and the Coach things they need to find a leader to “inspire” his teammates. Hold on a minute. Isn’t his why drafted Renaldo Balkman 87 picks too early a few years ago? The Knicks are the Lindsay Lohan of the NBA, and they are one more horrible draft choice away from being the Britney Spears of the Association.

Right now, ESPN has a poll question on the right side of the screen asking who is the best small forward in the draft, Alexander or Gallinari? In other words, an overrated white dude from West Virginia or a white dude from Italy? Can I please have option (C)?

Bilas just said he thinks the T-Wolves should take Brooke Lopez with the third pick. Can somebody please cut his mic. Seriously, what more does he have to do to be removed from the Garden?

Holy, Colleen Dominquez! She just said a lot about the Seattle/Oklahoma City Sonics, but I didn’t hear a word. It’s rare you see an actress make the jump from Cinemax to ESPN reporter so easily.

We are now seeing random interviews of Chicago fans expressing their views on who the Bulls should take with the #1 pick. The last guy they interviewed said that if they don’t take Rose there will be problems in Chicago. Nobody wants problems in Chicago. Do the right thing John Paxon and Vinny Del Negro, take Derrick Rose! Yes, Vinny Del Negro is a head coach in the NBA. The NBA…where insanity happens!

Van Gundy just told a hilarious story about passing on Ron Artest in the ’99 draft and taking “some stiff from France” instead. Moments like this are why Van Gundy has quickly become one of my favorite announcers of all time! That stiff was, of course, Frederic Weiss, who happened to not only be French, but injured. How did Scott Layden manage to keep his job for 5 more seasons?

BTW – Brook Lopez looks like Ivan Drago with a curly half-fro.

We are back from the break and we are talking trades. Apparently, the Knicks are dangling David Lee at the Heat for the #2 pick. Wow, if you are Pat Riley, do you politely say “no”, or do you get on a plane, fly to New York, and punch Donnie Walsh in the face?

Nice little peace on Kevin Love. He seems pretty likeable. He even made a funny crack about “California Girls” being one of his favorite songs for “undisclosed reasons.”

Now we are talking about the potential of raising the eligibility requirements to require kids to attend college for 2 years. Mark Jackson declares that this would be a “crime.” Really, Mark? Is it a crime that you require doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, stock brokers, financial planners, realtors, etc…to attend college, take accreditation examines, and satisfy continuing education requirements to continue to ply their trade? C’mon, Mark get some perspective. Again, I love Mark, but arguing that any person has an absolute right to work in a certain field without some education or age requirement is absurd. I could go on for 1,000 words about this, but I’m tired, so you just caught a break.

The show comes to an end with the news that the Raptors have traded T.J. Ford to Indiana for Jermaine O’Neal. Apparently, the Pacers agreed to take T.J. and his spine. Good for them. You hate to see a man separated from his spine by anything other than marriage. And yes, I am the only single guy I know.

That’s it and that’s all. I’m pretty certain we are no more prepared for tomorrow night’s draft than we were before this hour long “preview”, but it was fun, right?