The NBA Draft is Thursday night, which means NBA TV is in the middle of one of my favorite things: it’s annual draft marathon. The tapes go back to the early 80’s, when the draft was shown on USA, so you get to watch as the production (andÂ fashion choices) have evolved over the years.
Next up, the famed 2001 draft, which was full of high school busts like Kwame Brown and Eddy Curry. Why am I liveblogging this one? Cause it’s the one that’s on when I had this idea. A better choice would have been the 96 draft, which they showed at 10 o’clock this morning, but I took the day off from work, and didn’t get out of bed until 11, so we’ll all have to settle for 2001. Here Goes:
4:30pm:Â They get right into it. No intro. David Stern hits the podium and announces Kwame Brown as the Wizards pick.Â This is a TNT broadcast, with Ernie Johnson, Hubie Brown, (major upside), Rick Pitino, Barkley and Kenny, and of course, Craig Sager
4:31pm: John Thompson interviews MJ about the pick. MJ says he’s obviously well educated. He also answers questions about whether MJ and Charles Barkley would come out of retirement to play with Brown. Remember when they thought Barkley would come back? And he weighed 400 lbs, and couldn’t. MJ says Brown is a clear indication that Barkley won’t be coming back.Â Then Barkley and MJ trashtalk about it.
4:36pm: Stern makes a joke about Michel and Charles, then announces the Clippers pick of Tyson Chandler at number 2. But Chandler never played for the Clippers, though, you say. Yes. I predict in a few minutes they will trade him to the Bulls for Elton Brand.Â Kenny says Chandler has guard skills.
4:38: Chandler says god put him where he wanted him to be. Does that mean the Clips defied god when they ultimately dealt him to Chicago. That would explain so much.
4:39: Hawks trading number 3, Lorenzen Wright and Brevin Knight to the Grizzlies for Shareef Abdur Rahim.Â Vecsey says, with certainty, Grizz will take Gasol, Bulls will take Eddy Curry, and Warriors will take Eddie Griffin. two out of three aint bad, I guess.
4:42: Pau with no beard looks like he’s 11.
4:44pm: Hubie says the Bulls are almost set with Brand, Artest and Ron Mercer, and the upcoming pick of Eddy Curry at center.Â Let’s see ifÂ Curry looks like a fat bust at the moment he’s drafted:
4:47:Â Well, I suppose the excitement of being drafted might play some factor, but he does look winded after walking up the stairs to shake hands with Stern.
4:48pm: All of these guys are talking about Barkley playing with the Wiz as if it’s a foregone conclusion.
4:52pm:Â Warriors take Jason Richardson 5.Â He’s a sophomore at Michigan State, and the oldest guy taken so far.Â Pitino now says he was guaranteed that Eddie Griffin would go no later than 5. Even Richardson admits he’s surprised.Â God,Â this draft was terrible.
4:55: The Grizz are up next, I’ll predict they take Shane Battier.
4:56: Ok, during this commerical, let’s discuss the important news of the day: Jon and Kate plus 8. I have a number of comments on last night’s developments. First of all, nice move waiting till yesterday to file for divorce, even though that was clearly filmed in May. They are so concerned with ratings that they waited till the day the episode aired to make sure the news wasn’t leaked. Also, Jon complained that he couldn’t believe that society has fallen this far that people are actually obsessed with his life. Of course, he lives his life on TV, where the entire point is to get people obsessed with your life. (Battier got picked, Barkley says he’s happy that they finally have someone drafted whose old enough to drink.) Also, Jon, brought up the fact that people are dying in Iraq. What the hell was that? And why does he all of a sudden have two diamond earrings?That is all.
5:02: Battier calls out Sager for being a cheerleader at Northwestern. There are also rumors that Sager was one of the two kids who ran on the field to slap Hank Aaron on the back after he hit #715. Those rumors are apparentlt false.
5:04:Â As Stern is walking to the podium to announce the Nets pick, Barkley says “Well, they can’t take Griffin.” Obviously, the Nets did draft Eddie Griffin.Â They already have Van Horn and Kenyon Martin. No one on the panel seems to think a trade is upcoming. Barkley says Van Horn will obviously be leaving the team. (HINT: None of these things happen.)
5:08: The Cavs draft Desagna Diop. Stern struggles to pronounce it. Barkley says he could end up being Olajuwan.Â They ask Diop about that. He can’t pronounce Olajuwan.Â This makes my head hurt a bit.
5:11pm:Â The Times says 10.6 million people watched Jon and Kate last night. That’s almost a million people more than watched the season premiere a few weeks ago.Â Don’t expect those numbers to last. TLC has also announced that the show will be going on a month’s hiatus, while they figure out what the hell to do. Will They rename it Kate plus 8 minus Jon? Or Jon and Kate plus 8 divided by 2?
5:14pm: The Pistons take Rodney White with the 9th pick. Rick Pitino thinks he could be rookie of the year. Ernie says MJ considered taking him at number 1. I’ll say it again. This is a TERRIBLE draft.
5:17: The Celtics have two straight picks. Joe Johnson goes 10.Â I don’t have much to say about this. The panel discusses how good Johnson is. And they’re spot on.Â Though, of course, The Celts dealt him half way through the season to get Tony Delk, so maybe that wasn’t the best decision.
5:19pm: Kedrick Brown goes to Boston at number 11.Â The Celts draft back to back small forwards, on a team that already had Paul Pierce.Â So, they decided to deal one of them mid-way thru the season.Â What would have happened if they decided to keep Johnson instead? Would he still be there? Would he have teamed with Pierce and Garnett and Ray Allen? That team wouldn’t have lost to Orlando.
5:23pm: Seattle at 12. Barkley says they HAVE to trade Gary Payton, cause they’re terrible. He was right. They dealt him for Ray Allen later in the season. They draft Vlad Radmonovic, who Hubie says can replace Patrick Ewing and Pervis Ellison in the middle for the Sonics. Interesting to hear how wrong he is about that. Kenny points out that he’s more of a 3.
5:30: The Rockets take Richard Jefferson at 13.Â That brings us back to today. Jefferson is on his way to the Spurs in exchange for some spare parts. First of all, that’s a terrible trade for Milwaukee, almost as bad as what Memphis got for Pau Gasol. But, I have some concerns about Jefferson fitting in with the Spurs. He’s a slasher, like Tony Parker, whose jump shot is dependant on guys playing off him. Will he be able thrive as a spot up 3 man in San Antonio? I’m not sure.
5:31: Stern announces the Chandler for Elton Brand trade. Next, he announces the Warriors taking Troy Murphy at 14. Murphy was once my NBA doppelganger (that means we look alike.) That has since changed, because my hair has fallen out and his has not. Facially, though, still similar.
5:38: The Magic pick Steven Hunter at 15.Â STEVEN HUNTER!
5:43:Â Kirk Haston from Indiana goes to the Hornets at 16. Seriously. This must be among the worst drafts of all times.
5:43: Hubie Brown adds an extra syllable to the word “athletic.” He says “ath-a-letic.”
5:44: The Raptors take Michael Bradley from ‘Nova at 17. I’m not sure if he ever even played in the NBA.
5:45: He did.Â Not well, though.
5:46: The Rockets take Jason Collins. Obviously, he will go to the Nets along with Jefferson and Brandon Armstrong by the end of the night. This pick was supposed to go to the T’Wolves, but they forfeited it because of the Joe Smith situation.Â Remember that? Glen Taylor practically destroyed that franchise so he could keep Joe Smith.
5:47: Portland goes Zach Randolph at 19. Vecsey says the Cavs have dealt the #20 pick to someone, but he’s not sure who. Maybe Portland or the Nets or the Knicks. Thanks, Pete. Good tip.
5:49: Hubie seems to think Randolph is nothing more than a big body with limited skill. I think he’s proven to be the most naturally skilled player in this entire draft.
5:53 The Cavs take Brendan Haywood at 20. I guess that means they dealt the pick to Washington. Another great scoop from Peter Vecsey.
5:53: Do you have Time Warner Cable HD?Â These cable boxes are pieces of shit. I have to reset it like twice a week.Â Right now, there is no picture. It’s just a blue screen. So, I have to re-set it now. I guess that means I’ll end the liveblog at pick 20. Hopefully, this year’s draft will be far more interesting than the 2001 edition, which is best remembered for busts, headcases, and, apparentyly, the impending comeback of Charles Barkley as the starting power forward for YOUR WASHINGTON WIZARDS.