2008 NBA Draft Live Blog

I’m here a little later than I’d like because our toilet is broken and I had to run to the hardware store to get the part to fix it–I actually did manage to fix it, much to my surprise. Here we go!

4:30 Ah, sweet schadenfreude, as David Stern is getting booed and heckled viciously.

4:37 Derrick Rose to the Bulls. According to Stuart Scott, his nickname is “Pooh.” Yeah, that’s great. All the casual basketball fans who take two hours out of a summer afternoon to watch the draft really wanted to know that.

Now they’re showing highlights from Derrick Rose in high school, hitting the winning shot in the state title game, in overtime. But I look at the score–31 to 29. 31-29? Either Illinois state basketball plays two minute quarters, or it’s the most boring basketball in history.

My roommate David as Rose’s mom is interviewed: “I think it’s safe to say that the only think Derrick Rose and I have in common is that our mothers have the same name.”

4:42 Michael Beasley to the Heat.

4:44 ESPN shows the Heat roster which includes, at point guard, “Jason Williams (unrestricted free agent)”

Me: They’ve gotta sign Jason Williams, he’s the linchpin of that team.

David: I’m sure he’s calling his agent every five minutes. “Any offers yet?”

4:46 My friend Frank who really loves to play Pickleball and Tennis, argues that Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley look a little bit alike. As Obama voters, we are afraid to answer.

Meanwhile, ESPN is running a poll asking “what grade do you give the Heat’s pick.” WTF?

4:48 OJ Mayo to the Heat. Stu Scott: “For the first time ever, the freshman has gone 1-2-3.” And Minneapolis headline writers begin a three year battle against using easy sandwich puns. These interviews with Stephen A. Smith are great–he really did his research–and his research led to him asking every player variations on the exact same question: “What do you think you can bring to the Heat.”

Wait–no interview with O.J. Mayo’s mom? What gives? Stu Scott: “Dwayne Wade, Shaun Marion, Michael Beasley–that’s quite a threesome.” Not exactly my taste, but whatever.

“Sonics” on the clock!

4:54 Russell Westbrook to the Sonics. “I feel like a ghost–is it my team or not my team? Should I be upset? Or not care.” I don’t like this pick one bit. How do you take a guy #4 in the draft who wasn’t the best player on his own team?

Doris Burke with Kevin Durant, who says of Westbrook: “He’s a great defender, and a great guy to be around I’ve heard.”

4:59 Kevin Love to Memphis and Frank says he doesn’t like the pick because Love isn’t that good an athlete. I don’t really buy that, he’s plenty athletic, and he’ll start so many fast breaks to help the rest of the team. Meanwhile, Memphis fans’ two best players are “Love” and “Gay.” Not a lot to like in the replica jersey world.

5:06 Danilo Gallinari, welcome to New York! He’s being roundly booed (a few cheers). Stu Scott: “Remember, his dad, Vito, played professional ball in Italy with Mike D’Antoni.” Oh–I’d forgot! Fran Frischilla: “I told Gallinari two weeks ago, he’d be booed.” Gallinari, who’ll be getting passes from Nate Robinson (maybe) has already played with a former Husky–Will Conroy was on Gallinari’s Italian League team, Armani Jeans Milano, briefly last year.

Stephen Smith asks Gallinari to speak directly to Knicks fans: “I will try to help the team.” Even guys from Italy know to say that. A parrot could conduct an interview with Stephen A.

Jay Bilas says Gallinari is “not laterally good.” What the fuck? You take a guy to play basketball who’s “not laterally good?” What is basketball other than lateral movement? I repeat: If Marcellus Kemp was from Congo, he’s a #1 pick with tremendous upside.

5:12 Eric Gordon to the Clippers. You know he’s thinking “can I go back to college?” That’s one hell of a white suit, though. Jay Bilas talks about him like he’s Dale Ellis–can’t dribble or pass, turns the ball over too much.

5:15 They’re showing Gallinari highlights, and I’m starting to come around–they show him doing an up and under move, taking contact, and finishing with a left-handed scoop.

5:17 Joe Alexander to Milwaukee. I feel like this is the trendy pick. Alexander looked good at #13, but up here? I’m not so sure. Bilas: “He works really hard and he wants to be good.” Oh, ok then.

5:24 D.J. Augustin to the Hornets.

5:25 We’re talking about the Westbrook pick, as my roommate Jason came back.

Me: “How can you take a guy who wasn’t the best player on his team?”

Jason: “The Sonics don’t need a guy who’s the best player on their team.”

True enough. Everyone says he’s a great defender–he was great in COLLEGE. And I feel like great defenders aren’t hard to find–if the Sonics want a great defender, why don’t they just grab Bobby Jones?

5:29 Brook Lopez to the Nets. Yi and Brook Lopez on the blocks…

David texts: “What if they picked the wrong one?”

5:34 Jerryd Bayless to the Pacers. He’s also wearing a white suit. They show a highlight of Bayless driving around Russell Westbrook like Westbrook isn’t even there.

5:37 With Portland coming up next, I check their salary situation. Check out their top three salaries for next season. Yikes.

5:40 Jason Thompson to Sacramento, the first guy picked who isn’t at the draft. “Nothing spectacular about his game, he’s just solid,” says Jay Bilas. Bilas says Thompson grew up playing guard. Mark Jackson wonders why you take this guy when you already have Spencer Hawes.

5:42 Stu Scott attempts a joke that falls flatter than any joke I’ve ever heard before. “Jason Thompson wants to be a television anchor when he gets out of college…in related news, Thompson will be hosting the second round of the draft here on ESPN…” Problems with that joke: 1) Long, nonsensical setup (obviously he’s not going to be an anchor if he’s a first-round draft pick). 2) Use of hackneyed “in related news” segue (you may as well say “and here comes a joke I just thought of”) 3) Non-funny punchline. Humor depends on surprise, and, really, would it surprise anyone if ESPN did pick some random college draftee to host the draft? Or some random college draftees’ mom?

5:46 Brandon Rush to the Blazers. Like Blazers’ GM Kevin Pritchard, a former Kansas guard. A 6-6, 210 guard in the backcourt with Brandon Roy? Good luck penetrating, guys. “Your only question with him is his assertiveness.” Now that’s a weakness I can deal with, as opposed to “bad lateral movement.” Besides, who the hell needs assertiveness when you have Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, and Travis Outlaw.

Andy Katz says Reggie Theus told him they picked Jason Thompson because “we desperately need help around the basket.” I assume that means they’re going to make Spencer Hawes a guard?

5:50 Anthony Randolph to Golden State. He’s the only guy in the S.A.S. interviews who says anything interesting. Smith asks whether his strength will be a problem, he says “Watch my film. I guarded the biggest strongest guy on every team.” Then Stu Scott repeats the same thing.

5:53 Dick Vitale hates the Russell Westbrook pick. “I think they’re really gonna regret taking Kevin Love.” Now he’s comparing Gallinari to Darko Milicic. “They bypassed on guys like Bayless, Augustine, Brook Lopez, guys who can really play.” I find myself nodding along with Dick Vitale…I’m a little terrified.

5:56 Robin Lopez to the Suns. As I was telling my roommate earlier, knowing that his brother has the exact same DNA, and isn’t as good, doesn’t that give you pause–that a guy just obviously didn’t work hard enough on his game to be as good as his exact copy? Jeff Van Gundy: “This pick shows you a shift in philosophy by Steve Kerr–going to more defensive-oriented players to give their team more balance.”

6:02 Marreese Speights to the Pacers. “He did not dominate anybody in the SEC, but he didn’t get dominated either.” Scott on Speights: “He shot 62% from the field, that’s ninth in the NBA.” The NBA? Stu sounds tired. I hate to keep railing on him, but he’s been terrible.

6:05 An ad for some new Eddie Murphy movie called Meet Dave, where Eddie plays, apparently, a miniature person who lives in his own body. There’s a scene where they stand–chuckle, chuckle, under a FIRE HYDRANT! Guess what happens when a dog comes by!!! It’s called a “family comedy” which apparently means that it’s “terrible.”

6:07 Roy Hibbert to Toronto, though he’ll probably end up in Indiana.

6:08 They show Darrell Arthur, the only guy left in the green room. “Is he nervous?” asks Stu Scott, as we see Arthur rocking back and forth, demolishing a piece of gum, like a larger, better-dressed version of Leo Mazzone. Yeah, I’d say he’s nervous.

6:11 They just showed Brook Lopez “wired.” Just as the Nets are about to pick him, he asks his agent, “who’s the management at the Nets.” The agent tells him, finishing with “their coach is Lawrence Frank.” Says Lopez “their coach is Lawrence Frank?” I guess Lopez isn’t much of a basketball fan.

6:13 JeVale McGee to the Wizards. Based entirely on my overwhelming bias for Garfield players, I feel confident in saying that Washington picked the wrong Nevada Wolfpack. Stu tells us that McGee’s mom used to play in the WNBA.

6:14 A Blazers trade! Ike Diogu and Jarryd Bayless to Portland for Jarrett Jack and Brandon Rush! So Bayless is the Blazers’ point guard. Nice! The Pacers, according to Mark Jackson, “Get Jarrett Jack, a veteran, so you know what you’re gonna get.” Yeah, a mistake-prone guard who can’t shoot!

6:16 Brandon Rush, still wearing his Portland hat, says that he likes Indiana because they have a more defensive-minded coach. Stu points out that Kareem, Brandon’s brother, also plays for the Pacers. I can’t think of a time when two brothers who played on the same NBA team…(I’m probably forgetting some very obvious team).

6:19 J.J. Hickson to the Cavs. According to Stu Scott, we’ve broken the record for most freshman selected in a draft.

6:25 A break to get some water–no beer in the fridge, apparently I said we shouldn’t drink in the house anymore.

6:26 Alexis Ajinca to the Hornets. He is so long and skinny, he looks like Frankenstein. Fran Frischilla thinks he should stay in Europe for a couple of years. Huh.

6:27 Ric Bucher says Josh McRoberts also goes to Indiana. Andy Katz is talking to Jerryd Bayless, who thinks that Portland just needs a few pieces.

6:31 The scene at Darrell Arthur’s table is terrible. Nobody’s talking to each other, some kid is actually asleep, everyone looks miserable.

6:32 Ryan Anderson to the Nets! That’s the eighth Pac-10 guy picked!

6:34 Courtney Lee to the Magic. Jeff Van Gundy was just saying that the Magic need guard help, and here he is. Bonus in the footage–the Western Kentucky mascot appears.

6:38 I think Kiki Vandeweighe just said that if you look at the stats, Yi is one of the best shooters. He shot 42% last year. Hrm.

6:41 Kosta Koufos to the Jazz, and now the Sonics are on the clock!

6:43 A new Mr. Bill “Priceless” ad that’s pretty funny; but how many people under 30 know who Mr. Bill is?

6:46 Stu Scott mentions what I’d completely forgotten, which is that the Sonics got this pick, along with Kurt Thomas, from the Suns. Nice! The Sonics are taking a long time to pick, Stuart Scott has to improvise, and starts displaying how woefully uninformed he is about the Sonics situation. “Some people in Seattle want them to stay there, the vote was actually going to happen tonight.” Huh? Vote? What is he talking about? The court case ended tonight, but vote?

6:49 Serge Ibaka to the Sonics. “Forget this name for about three or four years. He is one of the most athletic players in this draft.” So this is about stockpiling talent that might be good someday like the Blazers do. Apparently, Ibaka has 17 brothers and sisters.

Nathaniel Friedman of FreeDarko saw Ibaka at Nike Hoop Summit and has this to say: “I’m in love with the guy. But his agent told the team not to draft him first round. Ibaka is an athletic freak who has been coached some and cares about learning.”

6:58 Ric Bucher reports that no-one’s picking Darrell Arthur because of a kidney problem discovered in workouts.

6:58 Mike D’Antoni talking about the Gallinari pick. On why they didn’t take a point guard: “Point guards a hard position…we were drafting on potential, and we think he has the potential to be a star.”

7:00 George Hill of IUPUI to San Antonio. Never doubt the Spurs. Stu Scott says he (Hill) has 3% body fat…is that even possible?

BLAZERS ON THE CLOCK! (ESPN shows the pick as New Orleans’ but Portland bought this pick.)

7:05 Darrell Arthur! to the Blazers. Maybe out of the goodness of their hearts? And he gets a standing ovation. Blazers have got to be happy about getting a talent like this that late in the draft…and all because of some kidney problem that Bill Self says isn’t even a problem.

7:11 Doris Burke interviews Darrell Arthur’s mom, and asks one of those long-winded “I’m now asking a very important question” questions, and Mama Arthur doesn’t understand what she’s saying.

OKAY, that’s quite enough of this. Time to eat!

7:41 Back now, with the Sonics on the clock, and the Blazers next.

7:41 Aw hell, not really, this pick is for Detroit, who traded #29 pick D.J. White to the Sonics in exchange for this pick and the #46 pick. White, a 6-9, 251lb. forward, averaged a double-double as a Big-10 post player last year, no small feat. He also shot 60.5%, 13th-best in the NBA.

Blazers on the clock!

7:44 Joey Dorsey to the Blazers. And his mom (or somebody) starts screaming. Dorsey looks angry. Bilas “He doesn’t have an NBA body, he has an NFL body…he can rebound.” That’s something the Blazers need–rebounding–for sure.

Blazers again in a couple of picks.

7:51 DeAndre Jordan finally gets picked, going to the Clippers. An ESPN clip shows him abusing Jon Brockman. Jordan had 8 points and 11 boards against the Dawgs last November, right there at MSG.


7:58 Omer Asik to the Blazers. Hollinger’s stats projected him as a first-round pick–Frischilla says this guy is going to sign a five-year deal with a Turkish team, so the soonest he’d put on a Blazers’ uniform is 2013? Is that right? Wow. Well, it worked with Sabonis…

8:00 Kyle Weaver to the Bobcats! “His greatest strength is as a defender…he’s a specialist…really love his defensive ability.” Just wondering–how is Weaver that much different than Russell Westbrook? I guess Westbrook is younger and more athletic, but Weaver is longer, and maybe just as good of a defender.

Sonics don’t pick again until #50, so I’m done. Night, night!

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