Welcome to the 2008 NBA Draft, where the Bulls overcame historic odds a little more than a month ago to win the No. 1 pick.
in Chicago wants Rose. It makes a good story: He's a home-grown kid with fantastic point guard skills. He won the state title twice for Simeon and led his Memphis Tigers to the national championship game last season. Then this happened, but Rose almost had the shot of the game with his off-balance three-pointer (later changed to a two) late in the second half. And yes, I have the whole game memorized. I think I'm at seven viewings. Completely normal.
And I retain tons of useless info: UCLA super frosh Kevin Love's uncle is a member of the Beach Boys. USC super forsh O.J. Mayo has a creep moustache. And Eric Gordon has many admirers in the state of Illinois. I even remember when Kelvin Sampson wore only khaki pants and denim shirts.
So I'll be here to document the first round of the draft, which would be the top 30 picks starting with the Bulls.
Stay tuned. New Yorkers boo David Stern and his announcement that the Bulls have the No. 1 pick. Shocker.
NO. 1 The Bulls select Memphis freshman Derrick Rose. No shock here. He wore No. 23 for the Tigers, but for obvious reasons can't wear it in Chicago. Rose looks sharp in a grey-ish suit with grey and purple stripe tie. At least from my tiny TV on my desk at work. It's the Bulls first No. 1 pick since 1999. His nickname is "Pooh" from his grandma becuase he likes to eat sweets a lot. And it's fun to say. He has "Poohdini" tattooed on his shoulder. Oh my.
Jay Bilas tells us that Rose "can dunk with his elbows." This guy is good! Here comes the interview with the soft-spoken Stephen A. Smith. Nothing doing there. Doris Burke chats with him mom...she's happy he'll be nice and close.
NO. 2 The Miami Heat select Kansas State freshman Michael Beasley. That Pat Riley is sneaky; tons of reports yesterday said Miami had soured on the Big 12 Player of the Year. Guess not. Bilas tells us he's "very bouncy" and can score/rebound in traffic. ESPN followed B-Easy around last week...he said he was going to go shirtless when shaking David Stern's hand. But not. He wore a normal suit. Party pooper.
NO. 3 The Minnesota Timberwolves select USC freshman OJ Mayo. He's sporting a three-piece suit and some tiny glasses. OJ = Ovinton J'Anthony. That's a mouthful. Jeff Van Gundy tells us that Mayo is "very nasty" on the court. Is that a good thing? Mayo becomes the highest Southern Cal player ever drafted (the last one was at No. 10).
NO. 4 The Seattle SuperSonics select UCLA sophomore Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant, in attendance, claps and smiles. "Finally, someone to pass me the ball!" 2008 Pac-10 Defensive player of the Year is Westbrook. He was fairly quiet his freshman year, averaging 3.4 points per game. But last season he upped that to 12.5 ppg. His UCLA squad was knocked out of the NCAA tourney this season by Rose's Memphis team. It was a pretty solid beatdown.
And no, we don't have an auto-refresh button...it's a whole template issue that we forgot about. So sorry!
NO. 5 The Memphis Grizzlies select UCLA freshman Kevin Love. Back-to-back UCLA picks. Love enjoys the chest pass. Bilas tells us that Love is a "pick and pop" player and is understated as an overall athlete. Love can shoot the three-pointer, and he's a very awkward runner. Love also is sporting the three-piece suit, this one is in navy (Mayo's was a tan-ish color). Love's suit matches his new Memphis hat. Fancy.
The Knicks are on the clock. And their fans are booing.
NO. 6 The New York Knicks select Danilo Gallinari from Italy. Guess how the crowd reacts? His dad played professional ball in Italy with new Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni. Gallinari is nicknamed "The Rooster" and he already has his own shoe by Reebok named...wait for it...wait for it...the Rooster. Stephen A. interviews Gallinari: "New York is the best city in the world." (crowd boos, crowd boos) "I just want to try to win." (crowd boos, crowd boos). Well, this is starting well.
NO. 7 The Los Angeles Clippers select Indiana freshman Eric Gordon. He's the fifth freshman taken tonight; he's wearing a white jacket and shirt with black pants. Gordon is 6-3, 222 pounds. But Bilas says he's got an "elongated reach." Gordon was the Big 10 Freshman of the Year and he likes to travel to the Bahamas. And he hates the Illini, no wait, I just made that up. Maybe it will stir controversey on our quiet, quiet message boards. Get enraged people!
NO. 8 The Milwaukee Bucks select West Virgina forward Joe Alexander. Alexander had a super Big East tournament and NCAA tourney, playing under Bob Huggins. I wonder if has Kevin Pittsnogle's phone number; that guy ruled! Bucks also acquired Richard Jefferson from the Nets today, getting rid of Bobby Simmons and Yi Jianlian. Bucks haven't drafted an American-born player since 2003...Alexander was born in Taiwan and speaks Mandarin. I would love it if he spoke to Stephen A. only in Mandarin. But sadly, no. Wow, this dude has a really deep voice and says "he can't wait to get to Milwaukee." Oh, poor guy! Just kidding, Milwaukee has yummy beer.
NO. 9 The Charlotte Bobcats select Texas sophomore D.J. Augustin. Larry Brown and MJ's pick. Bilas thinks he's better than T.J. Ford (the Naismith Award winner, oh, three or four years ago?). Bobcats picked North Carolina's Raymond Felton last season, so I guess Augustine would be his back-up? Augustin is wearing a three-piece gray suit with a pink shirt. He looks sharp. I approve. And I never say that about things in Texas.
My TV Rules: I know! Bilas is sooooo not getting a Christmas card from Ford.
NO. 10 The New Jersey Nets select Stanford center Brook Lopez (the one with short hair). That is one tall dude. Bilas has a man-crush on Bilas: "New Jersey ought to wear a mask because Brook Lopez is a steal." Oh Jay, you should be ashamed. So the Lopez twins (barring a trade) will be seperated. Doris interviews Robin and he said he can't wait until his named is called! His girlfriend Michelle Wie will be happy too. Stephen A. says Brook has "a mean streak." A mean streak that wears a tan suit and a white sweater vest. His voice is deep, but a bit oafish.
NO. 11 The Indiana Pacers select Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless. Bilas says he gets to the gym early and leaves late. Hope he doesn't get parking tickets. Bilas also says Bayless reminds him of a young Chauncey Billups. Pacers are in the process of trading Jermaine O'Neal to the Raptors and get T.J. Ford and two other dudes. So I guess Bayless and Ford will be battling for time. White suit and white shoes. My eyes!
NO. 12 The Sacramento Kings select Rider senior forward Jason Thompson...who is not in attendance. Who? Let's see: Here's his bio. And all the analysts are a wee-bit surprised. He was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year but it's said he needs to improve his free-throw shooting. Thompson wants to be a TV host one day. Dude just got paid.
NO. 13 The Portland Trail Blazers select Kansas junior Brandon Rush. His brother Kareem plays with the Pacers; my friend Melinda once saw Kareem at an Albertson's in L.A. back when Kareem played for the Lakers. She harassed him. Brandon put his name into the draft last season but pulled out when he tore his ACL. Rush often passes up shots, and that made coach Bill Self yell at him. Brandon Rush, from your national championship Kansas Jayhawks. He'll be playing alongside the very tall Greg Oden.
NO. 14 The Golden State Warriors select LSU forward Anthony Randolph. He's the last lottery pick and he's the seventh freshman selected. He is also the first SEC dude to be selected. I've said selected like four times just then. Selected. Randolph wears 197 pounds; so he need to gain some poundage. Stephen A.: 'He's long and lean." Ya think? This guy Alexei Ramirez look beefy!
And at the 1 hour, 24 minute mark...ESPN releases Dick Vitale. My ears! It gets worse: Stuart Scott doing an impression of Dick Vitale. I know. I'm sorry for your loss too.
NO. 15 The Phoenix Suns select Stanford center Robin Lopez (the one with the crazy hair, courtesy of Jeff in Philly). His hat won't fit on his head because of all that hair. Oh my. Stu Scott: "How do you think he'll play away from his brother?" I mean, I think they will get into many East-West coast rap debates. But other than that, man up and play the game. Seriously, get that man a bigger hat. Robin is making Joakim look stylish.
NO. 16 The Philadelphia 76ers select Florida forward Marreese Speights...who is not in attendance. ESPN: Must improve conditioning. Isn't that just a nice way of saying he's too fat? He likes to dunk, so he must not be too fat. He was a teammate of Jo-No in 2006 and 2007 when the Gators won the National title.
NO. 17 The Toronto Raptors select Georgetown center Roy Hibbert. Indiana, pending league approval, will get this pick along with Jermaine O'Neal. Hibbert is also not in attendance. Hibbert is a solid dude at 7-2. That's tall, but he's not so fast getting up and down the floor. Hibbert hit a game-winning three against Connecticut last season, but I won't bank on him doing that all the time.
Kansas' Darrell "Shady" Arthur is the last guy in the draft room. Someone give him a hug. One of my favorite Arthur plays comes at about the 50 second mark in this clip.
Dude. Brook Lopez had no clue who the Nets coach is/was. Someone had to prompt him before the pick was announced.
NO. 18 The Washington Wizards select Nevadae forward JaVale McGee. He's 7-0, 241 pounds and his mom played in the WNBA. It's the first WNBA mom-NBA son combo. His dad was drafted by the NBA but didn't play.
There's a proposed trade between the Pacers and Trail Blazers for Bayless and Rush and some other picks. ESPN threw it up fast and took it away fast. I'll keep you posted. Heh: Kareem and Brandon Rush would be reunited.
Darrell Arthur continues to chew his gum. Hope this doesn't turn out like Brady Quinn.
UPDATE: The Indiana Pacers have traded their first-round draft pick, Jerryd Bayless, to the Portland Trail Blazers for No. 13 pick Brandon Rush, Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts.
NO. 19 The Cleveland Cavaliers select N.C. State forward J.J. Hickson. He becomes the eighth freshman drafted tonight. He's 6-9, 235 pounds and must improve his work ethic, according to ESPN. Hickson will get to play alongside with LeBron James and Ben Wallace. I wonder if Wallace will get Hickson suspsended if he doesn't work hard enough.
NO. 20 The Charlotte Bobcats (via the Denver Nuggets) select center Alexis Ajinca from France. Fran Fraschilla says Ajinca was amazing last weekend when he played 1-on-zero, but he'll need to pout some pounds on before the dominates in the NBA. He's 7-0, 220 pounds. His wingspan is 7-8. That's like...long. I'm sorry, I've been cubicling since 2 p.m. (White Sox before).
NO. 21 The New Jersey Nets select California forward Ryan Anderson. He's 6-10, 235 pounds. He led the Pac-10 in scoring last season, so take that Jerryd Bayless and Kevin Love! More shots of a sad Darrell Arthur in the crowd. Darrell, this is what I watch when I'm sad.
NO. 22 The Orlando Magic select Western Kentucky guard Courtney Lee. The Indy native averaged 20.4 ppg for the Hilltoppers, who got knocked out of the tourney by the big mean UCLA team. That win over Drake was insane in the first round. I think I screamed (accidently, as I was at work) when that game-winning three went swish.
NO. 23 The Utah Jazz select Ohio State center Kosta Koufos. Another fresshman, he's 7-0 and 265 pounds. Bilas doesn't think he's ready quite yet but has a lot of potential. And that pick set a record for most freshman drafted (nine) in the NBA. Koufos will get to face another big former Ohio State guy in Greg Oden playing in the Western Conference.
NO. 24 The Seattle SuperSonics select forward Serge Ibaka from Congo to go alongside their earlier pick of Russell Westbrook. The 18-year-old is the youngest player in the draft. Fraschilla says Ibaka is likely to stay in Spain for a few more years to develop but he's a really good athlete. 6-10, 228 pounds. ESPN: Must improve experience. Thanks ESPN.
Interview with Arthur. He didn't punch anyone, which is good (I would have punched someone). Way to stay classy.
NO. 25 The Houston Rockets select guard Nicolas Batum of France. Jeff Van Gundy just waxed poetic for about five minutes on Yao Ming. Yo. Yao. Yo. Batum averaged 12.3 points per game in a French league this season. Must improve: Ball Handling.
ESPN says Arthur has an undisclosed kidney issue and that's why his stock keeps falling. His test at Kansas were fine, but the NBA says there is an issue. Scandal!
NO. 26 The San Antonio Spurs select IUPUI guard George Hill. He's 6-2, 181 pounds. Bilas says he's a combo-guard who has only 3% body fat. Watch out Tony Parker, someone is gonna try and steal Eva from you.
NO. 27 The New Orleans Hornets select Kansas forward Darrell Arthur (this pick could go to Portland who bought the pick, pending league approval). Awwwwwww.....and the crowd claps! New Yorkers, classy! If the pick stays with Hornets, he can play alongside of Julian Wright. Ah, Julian. Arthur has a nice jump-hook and he was pretty money from 20 feet during NCAA tourney. David Stern even applauded the pick. Stephen A. interview: Darrell was nervous trying to figure out where he's going...blood tests and kidneys are fine. Dude, Doris interviewing his mom: "Your tears are reflective of what?" Seriously? Shush lady.
NO. 28 The Memphis Grizzlies select Syracuse forward Donte Green. Another freshman. He likes to shoot from the wing, but he shot only 41% from three-point range last season. Bilas: "He's got a lot of tools." Teehee. Yes, I'm 12.
NO. 29 The Detroit Pistons select Indiana forward D.J. White. ESPN: 2008 First team SEC. Really? Indiana is in the SEC? That's a new one for me. 6-9, 251 pounds. White missed some time last season with knee issues (right?) but stuck around all four years. He's the fourth senior taken tonight.
NO. 30 The Boston Celtics (the 2008 NBA champions) select New Mexico guard J.R. Giddens. Finally. They took their sweet time with that pick. Giddens had some off-court incidents while at Kansas. He then transfered to New Mexico where he had some on-court incidents. So that pick was a bit surprising.
Final thoughts: Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts, Kansas' Mario Chalmers and Texas A&M's DeAndre Jordan are still on the board. I'm sure there will be many more trades before the evening is done...but I'm outta here! Thanks for reading!Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun