Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The weather is hot and sticky... so I watched the NBA Draft instead

Okay, for my 1st real post, I decided to talk about the first round of the NBA draft.
I knew I had to do some blog coverage of the event when the night before the draft, I saw Jay Bilas describe Marvin Williams as "bouncy".
I don't know why, but I just thought that was hilarious.
As a whole, I would say that this class is overall pretty deep, but very unspectacular at the top. And after Bogut, there are absolutely no big men, unless you count Sean May and all of his chins and tits. Well, here are my thoughts and some of my favorite moments of the 1st round:

- Let's start with Bogut - Pretty low risk/medium reward guy. Perfect for the Bucks. But why was his eyesight an issue? Honestly. They've made incredible advances in the field of optometry lately and as much as I'd like to see a 7 foot Aussie/Croat wearing Kurt Rambis style glasses, I just don't think its gonna happen. And he's a fucking center for crying out loud. Its not like this guy's specialty is the 40 foot jumper

- With all the talk about historically ugly suits on the draftees, I think Greg Anthony was just getting into the mood of the draft when he decided to wear the hideous combination of a brown pinstriped suit, a white shirt, and a flourescent orange tie.
- There should be an NBA draft drinking game called "Bottoms Upside". Anytime the words "upside" or "potential" are uttered, take a shot. (If you survive past the lottery picks, you have an iron liver.)

- After I wrote the above sentence, Dick Vitale actually said this: "This guy's got great upside AND tremendous potential!"

- Okay, I grew up loving the Atlanta Hawks with every fiber of my being. Wilkins, Webb, Willis, Koncak. Those were my guys (inexplicably). I stopped rooting for them a long time ago, but I still feel really bad for their fans. What a nightmare of a franchise. I mean, they've totally overachieved the last few years and its killing them. I mean, on paper, they've been one of the worst 2 or 3 teams in the league for what seems like 10 years. Yet they almost never get a top 5 pick. And on top of that, they make the absolute worst selections in the entire league. And remember, the Clippers are still part of the NBA. Take a look at Atlanta's first round draft history of late:

2004 - (6) Josh Childress, (17) Josh Smith
2003 - (21) Boris Diaw-Riffiod
2002 - Don't have a 1st rd. pick - get Dan Dickau, the last pick in the 1st round for a future 1st round pick. Now I love the big Dickau, but think about the logic of that trade: 28th pick for a Hawks 1st round pick (which will NEVER be near 28th)
2001 - (3) Pau Gasol - immediately traded for S-A Rahim
2000 - (6) DerMarr Johnson
1999 - (10) Jason Terry, (17) Cal Bowdler, (20) Dion Glover, (27) Jumaine Jones (immediately traded for a future 1st rounder)
1998 - (20) Roshown McLeod
1997 - (22) Ed Gray
1996 - (28) Priest Lauderdale
1995 - (16) Alan Henderson
1994 - No 1st round picks
1993 - (15) Doug Edwards
1992 - (10) Adam Keefe

Whooa!!! Slow down!!! I'm having a hard time counting all the All-Star game appearances!
Now granted, there were some weak drafts in there, but you would think sooner or later, SOMEONE would have panned out for the Hocks. For their sake, lets hope Starvin Marvin is as bouncy as Bilas thinks he is.

- Martell Webster's grandmother wore what looked like half of a chef's hat. Even Tirico had to point it out.

- And speaking of Martell Webster, is there a worse environment for a rich 18 year old kid than the Portland Trail Blazers? "Oh no! my kid's in a gang! Oh no! My kid's on the Trail Blazers!" I mean, as a parent, which is worse?

- Everyone's head exploded when the Raptors picked Villanueva, and I kinda have to agree with them. I thought Stephen A. Smith was going to throw something. Speaking of Stephen A., anyone got the over/under on when exactly he's gonna have an on-camera meltdown? It's gonna happen, I'm just not sure when.

- Its official. Knicks fans are just booing their pick out of habit.

- Stern was hilarious, as always. For example, for the 3rd pick he paused for almost 10 seconds before calling Deron Williams' name. I thought sure he was about to butcher the pronunciation of some European guy's name. The highlight of the entire evening came when Rashad McCants was picked, went up onstage only to find the Commish staring off into space. McCants then proceeded to sneak up behind Stern and tap him on the shoulder so that they could get the requisite picture taken together. BEHIND YOU!!!

- I think after about the 12th pick ESPN just stopped showing Jay Bilas' BEST AVAILABLE LIST since it was painfully obvious that his rankings had nothing to do with what was going on in the draft.

- Hakim Warrick loves Cookie Crisp. Thank you, quality ESPN journalism.

- Jerry West thought Warrick was "awfully good at Princeton".

- Fran Vazquez looks like a miniature Gheorge Muresan. And he's 6' 10".

- For the record, every draft should have a 5 minute 1st round clock and a 2 minute 2nd round clock.

- Charlotte's GM called in sick so the Bobcats marketing and sales departments had to make their picks.

- I hate Dick Vitale.

- Jay Bilas described every single forward in the draft as "long". I'm serious.

- The most surprising moment in the 1st round: the Spurs drafting a European with the 28th pick.

- Now obviously, the NBA draft isn't the biggest basketball player allocation event of the week. (Its just the only one televised and the only one where I might get to hear Stephen A. Smith say "Slava Medvedenko".) That honor of course goes to today's announcement from Greg Oden & Mike Conley, Jr. regarding where they plan on attending college. Now all indications are that they're both choosing Ohio State, but I'm not gonna flip out until after they actually announce it. Hypothetically though, this COULD be the Bucks' greatest recruiting class of all time, and thus, fucking awesome. Oden, Cook, Lighty, and Conley, Jr. are ranked 1, 6, 12, and 20 in their class in the nation. But again. Eggs. Counting. Hatching.

8 Comments:

At 11:22 AM, June 29, 2005, Blogger Jack Fu said...

Yes, we definitely needed some hot (and sticky) Nipples action up in hee-yah. Or is it “herrr”? I’m always late to get the pop culture memos. Anywhoodle, thanks for the info, as I watched exactly none of the draft. But that doesn’t really matter to me, as the thing is such a damn crapshoot nowadays anyway. You check any team’s draft history over the past 10 or 15 years, and you’ll see 2 or 3 guys who panned out, and 8 or 9 guys who disappeared or flamed out. Unless you’re the Hawks, of course. But yeah, I didn’t watch any of it. I found out this morning that the Pistons drafted Jason Maxiell (somewhat surprising - with no one who can shoot straight and a front line of the Wallaces, McDyess, and Prince, I’m not sure a 6'7" power forward was quite what the roster needed) and two guys I’ve never heard of (completely unsurprising). And I feel for you on the Hawks stuff. No joke, about a half hour before I read your post, I saw a column devoted to the Hawks, written by Atlanta native “The Intern.” It’s available at:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=cott/050628


When the weather’s hot and sticky,
That’s no time to dip the dickie.
But when the frost is on the pumpkin,
That’s the time for dickie dunking!

 
At 3:17 PM, June 29, 2005, Blogger Nipsey said...

Okay MWB faithful, start masturbating...unless you're at work...like I am.
Here's the story from bucknuts.com:



Oden, Conley Select Ohio State

By Steve Helwagen Bucknuts Managing Editor
Date: Jun 29, 2005

Ohio State basketball fans will want to remember the day June 29, 2005.
That is the day a dynasty, quite possibly, took shape for coach Thad Matta.

That dynasty could be built on the back of what may be the best recruiting class in the history of the storied Ohio State men’s basketball program. On Wednesday, two more pieces of this recruiting class puzzle fell into place as Indianapolis Lawrence North teammates Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. announced their intention to play basketball at Ohio State.

Oden and Conley picked OSU over Wake Forest. Michigan State and North Carolina had also been in the running for Oden.


The 7-0, 245-pound Oden is the reigning USA Today and Gatorade national player of the year. He is also the No. 1-ranked senior-to be, according to Scout.com. He would have to be considered – perhaps in line with Middletown, Ohio, standout Jerry Lucas in 1958 – as the biggest recruit in program history – both literally and figuratively.

His decision was hastened by the announcement last week that he would not be eligible for the 2006 NBA draft. The league and its players union had agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement that will prohibit players from entering the league until one year after their high school class graduates.

The 6-1 Conley is also an impact player as a point guard, ranking as the nation’s fourth-best point guard and No. 26 prospect overall by Scout.com.

This dynamic duo convened a press conference at their school to make their announcement, although some of the suspense had been lost when The Indianapolis Star reported last Friday that Oden intended to play at OSU. Subsequently, a number of sources close to the players were unanimous in saying they understood the players would verbal to OSU. Some other prospects said the pair had already begun recruiting players to play with them.


"We have decided for the best place to accomplish our future goals was at The Ohio State University," Oden announced at the beginning of the conference.

Matta's presence and the rest of the OSU staff played a big part in the decision, as Oden stated that he had a good idea he wanted to go to OSU in April after the staff came to school for a visit.

"I kind of knew after they came into the school, but (Mike Conley, Sr.) told me to calm down and give every school a chance," Oden said.

Conley added that Matta's ability to relate to the players helped him feel comfortable with the coach.

"When I'm around him, I feel like I'm talking to one of my friends," Conley said.

Oden commented on the fact that Ohio State is a school that is fairly close to home.

"It's far enough for my mom not to come there every day, but she can come when she needs to," Oden quipped.

Conley seemed relieved to have his decision over with, but Oden said he never felt too much hassle over the constant questions about where he was going to college.

"Just a little bit of pressure," Oden said. "All it is, is a two-minute question in an interview, so it's not that bad."

The players were asked about possible sanctions that might be coming Ohio State's way as a result of NCAA violations committed under the tenure of ex-head coach Jim O'Brien. Conley's father, Mike, weighed in with a vote of confidence for the new staff from the parents and said that barring unforeseen circumstances, the players are set to sign with Ohio State.

"We feel very, very comfortable with the new AD, the new coaching staff," he said.

Oden was asked about how long he would stay in college before declaring for the NBA draft. He replied by saying that academics come first and did not give a timetable for when the NBA decision might come.

"From a basketball standpoint, however long it takes to feel that I'm developed enough to be an NBA-type player," he said.

Oden and Conley were pursued by home state favorite Indiana University, but the two decided to play elsewhere. Oden didn't seem too worried with his choice to play elsewhere in the Big Ten, with one exception.

"The only thing that worries me is, we play at Bloomington next year -- Bloomington South -- so that might be a little rough," he said.

Oden and Conley become the third and fourth members of OSU’s 2006 recruiting class. They join two other national top-30 players in Dayton Dunbar guard Daequan Cook (ranked eighth nationally) and Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph wing David Lighty (ranked 21st). Cook is a teammate of Oden and Conley on the Spiece Indy Heat AAU team.

Cook's commitment had a definite influence on the final decision.

"It was an influence because before then, Ohio State wasn't at the top of my list but when he committed, I took a deeper look and found out that maybe this is the place for me," Conley said.

Conley feels the quality of the recruiting class could mean big things to come.

"I hope that the other recruits that Ohio State is getting is as good as people say and we turn out to be as good (as people say)," Conley said. "With Thad Matta coaching, I feel we can get as far as the national championship."

Oden added that playing with his friend Conley will be a big part of his growth as a player.

"It's important for me because he makes me better," Oden said. "I just know that being with Mike will help me develop to the player I want to be."

The verbal commitments made today are non-binding. These players are expected to sign letters-of-intent for OSU in November and would enroll at OSU in the fall of 2006.

And the prospect of signing four national top-30 players is almost unprecedented. Only one class in recent memory has had as many as four players so highly rated: Duke’s 2002 class had four top-20 players in Shelden Williams (No. 5), Shavlik Randolph (9), J.J. Redick (14) and Michael Thompson (17) to go with Sean Dockery (30).

Duke’s 1997 class of William Avery, Shane Battier, Elton Brand and Chris Burgess was known as the Fab Four, although they did not have four top-30 players.

The nickname, of course, comes from Michigan’s Fab Five. That group had three top-five players in Chris Webber (No. 1), Juwan Howard (3) and Jalen Rose (4) to go with top-75 talents Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.

Oden and Conley helped Lawrence North win a second consecutive Class 4A state championship this past March.

As a junior, Oden averaged 20.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game. He earned USA Today, Gatorade and Parade magazine national player of the year honors. As a sophomore, Oden averaged 13.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

Conley averaged 10.9 points and 5.1 assists per game as a junior.

As sophomores, the duo helped Lawrence North go 29-2. Oden had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Conley had nine points and five assists in the team’s 50-29 state championship game win over Columbia City.

This past season, they led Lawrence North to a 24-2 mark and a No. 6 national ranking in USA Today. In the team’s 63-52 state title game win over Muncie Central, Oden hit 14 of 19 shots from the floor and finished with 29 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots. Conley had seven points and four assists in the title game.

Oden blocked 18 shots in Lawrence North’s 60-45 sectional semifinal win over previously unbeaten and nationally ranked Arlington.

In earning the Gatorade award, Oden joins LeBron James as only the second junior to win that honor.

Oden and Conley have been busy this spring and summer, competing with the Spiece Indy Heat in AAU events, attending the USA Basketball Festival in San Diego, participating in an all-star exhibition series against Indiana’s top graduating seniors and attending team camp with Lawrence North at Purdue. They also plan to attend the Reebok ABCD Camp July 5-9 in Teaneck, N.J.

The USA Basketball Festival, held in mid-June, serves as a feeder program for USA Basketball as it prepares players for future competition in the World Championships and Olympics. Oden helped lead his team to the tournament championship, besting a field of two other U.S. teams and four squads from abroad.

In five games there, he averaged 17.0 points (fourth overall), 7.6 rebounds (fifth), 2.8 blocks (second) and shot 74.4 percent from the floor (first). He also averaged 26 minutes a game. Conley averaged 6.6 points and 3.6 assists (fifth) per game.

The players returned home and participated in a three-game exhibition series against Indiana’s graduating senior all-star team. In that series, Oden averaged 20.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game. Oden had 29 points and eight rebounds in a thrilling 119-112 triple overtime loss on June 21.

Conley averaged 15 points and five assists in that series, including a 24-point, 10-assist, zero-turnover showing in the juniors’ 109-96 upset win on June 23.

 
At 3:21 PM, June 29, 2005, Blogger The Diddy said...

-Yes, I saw the orange tie...it was awful.

-Bogut's favorite all-time player is drazen petrovich. They had footage of him at the grave. It was touching and bizarre all at once.

-If Ohio St. gets all those guys, it wouldn't just be the greatest recruiting class in OSU history, but in the history of college basketball. I'm not joking.

-The Hawks...What are they doing? Look at their roster. I'm just not sure what you do with a team with 10 small forwards. The most amazing thing is that Kevin Willis is on their roster. This season was his 20th...which means that his pro career started BEFORE not one, but TWO of his teammates were BORN. Mind boggling.

-Also, I don't think I could be more bored with sports right now. I stand by it.

 
At 4:43 PM, June 29, 2005, Blogger Nipsey said...

First of all, I can't believe I didn't mention Kevin Willis earlier. I loved him when I was 8. I love him now.

One more thing on the draft that I forgot to mention:
When all the anal cysts start talking about who the biggest winner in the draft is, do not be fooled. It was NOT Boston, Atlanta, or Indiana. The biggest winner was Chris Paul's brother. Allow me to explain. Right after getting picked by the Hornets, Stu Scott asked Paul how he was gonna be able to stay focused and out of trouble in a place like New Orleans. Paul replied that his big brother was going to live with him to act as a "mentor". So think about it. You're Chris Paul's brother. You plan on living with your millionaire little brother for the next decade or so doing nothing but spend his money. Where's the best place to do this? Among NBA cities, I think there's little doubt its Nawlins. Talk about a sweet deal just getting sweeter.

Oh, and in case you missed it, we totally got Oden & Conley, Jr.

 
At 9:38 AM, June 30, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basketball sucks and so do you guys. What is more important is that Evan is yet to email the pictures from cuervo and I am getting anxious. Also, Jackson spoke earlier of a trip to Cedar Point " America's Roller Coast" at some time later this summer. I am thinking that's a great idea which should not be overlooked and we should should plan something concrete soon. Let me know what you think. Fags...Cave

 
At 9:55 AM, June 30, 2005, Blogger Jack Fu said...

Yes, I think a trip to Cedar Point would be fantasmagreat. From what I remember, the Cave can only go in like late July. Are you guys okay with that? We do need to put something concrete together. And Todd’s not invited, because his current vaginal condition doesn’t allow him to ride roller coasters.

 
At 3:10 PM, June 30, 2005, Blogger The Diddy said...

Don't listen to the cave...he'll change his mind a week before an event happens. It's what he does. And yes, my vaginal condition is severe. Bleeds with visual of a roller coaster. Especially on the "roller-coast".

Eat the cave.

 
At 12:23 PM, July 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need, need, need to head to America's Roller Coast. Went to Six Flags Magic Mountain last year and was SEVERLY let down. Though I doubt Cedar Point will be open Thanksgiving Weekend, which is the next time I'll be in the Midwest (though I might venture to the MICHIGAN/ohio st game) Too Bad. It should totally open for Thanksgiving. I can't think of anything that goes together better than Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce and The Blue Streak... Since the white man came together with the india...er, Native Americans. The combo worked out well, didnt it?

B of D

 

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