It’s only fair that we review last night’s action while acknowledging the far bigger news of the day. Michael Jackson is dead at the age of 50. Meantime, the NBA has welcomed 60 new players into its ranks and a couple of future hall of famers are switching teams.Â After the jump, It’s the SportsCrackle King of Pop NBA Draft ’09 recap.
Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough: The Minnesota Timberwolves had six picks in this years draft. Apparently, new GM David Kahn decided they needed some help at the point. And then some more. and then some more. and then some more. Yes, the T’Wolves drafted four point guards (though they did deal Ty Lawson to Denver.)
Leave Me Alone: Brandon Jennings showed up at the Garden late in the afternoon, only to leave before hearing his name called. Jennings said he decided he would rather be alone with his extended family back at the hotel. But there were rumblings that he didn’t want to sit there while his stock dropped and he fell out of the lottery. Never fear, Brandon. The Bucks grabbed him at number 10, and he eventually made it back to the Garden to shake hands with the Commish.
Beat It: Ricky Rubio may be saying beat it to the T’Wolves. The Spanish sensation doesn’t sound too pleased about the possibilities of playing in Minny. His father reportedly said Rubio may play in Spain for a couple of years, rather than joining the Wolves. And Rubio himself said his mom doesn’t like the cold.Â Maybe it’s a good thing Minnesota drafted 97 point guards.
The Way You Make Me Feel: Were Jordan Hill’s feelings hurt? The Garden faithful, obviously crushed by seeing dream guard Stephen Curry taken at #7, booed lustily when the Knicks selected the Arizona Forward at #8. He seemed to take it ok, and sounds genuinely excited to be playing in Mike D’antoni’s system.
Smooth Criminal:Â Spurs GM R.C. Buford once again proved his mettle as one of the NBA’s top execs this week. First he practically stole Richard Jefferson from the Bucks, sending over spare parts and washed up vets. Then he scored DeJuan Blair late in the 2nd round of the draft. Blair instantly slots in as Tim Duncan’s backup and could play key minutes as a younger contributor to a solid veteran group.
Wanna Be Starting Something: Don’t look now, but adding James Harden to a nucleus of Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook means the OKC Thunder are on the verge of starting something. Playoffs this year? Probably not, but they could be force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference before too long.
Gone Too Soon: In my humble opinion, both Tyler Hansbrough and Austin Daye were drafted too early. Hansbrough is like a less athletic version of Troy Murphy without the jump shot.Â As for Daye? He would have been a fine pick in the late 20’s, but not at 15.
Moonwalk:Â Before the draft, some experts had UCLA guard Jrue Holiday going as high as #4 to the Kings. Instead, he went backwards, out of the lottery and all the way to the Sixers at #17.Â Not the worst fate for him, though. He could learn from Andre Miller, or replace him in the starting lineup if the team decides to say goodbye to the veteran.
We Are The World: Five international players went in the first round, not counting Hasheem Thabeet, who is from Africa, or Brandon Jennings, who spent the last year in Italy. The global flair was even more prominent in the 2nd round, with 7 more international guys drafted.
Jam: There are two choices here. Demar DeRozan, whose ESPN scouting report focused almost entirely on the fact that he dunked in 8th grade. Or it could work for Bobcats Exec Michael Jordan. Why? Cause he was in the original Michael Jackson video for this song.
You Are Not Alone: This one goes out to Dwight Howard and LeBron James, whose organizations went out and got some big name reinforcements in Vince Carter and Shaq to help the young superstars battle it out for Eastern Conference supremacy last year.
Remember the Time: Remember the time the Pistons drafted Darko Milicic instead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh? Yeah, well now he’s headed to his fourth team. The Knicks traded broken down old Quinton Richardson to Memphis for the stiff best know for inspiring this website. Maybe D’antoni’s European style system will finally help the former number 2 overall pick reach something resembling an impact in this league.
Black or White: Blake and Taylor Griffin. Seriously, I’m asking. Are they black or white?
Bad: The overall quality of this draft, unfortunately, is not good. Is Griffin a future star? I’m not so sure.Â And he was clearly the cream of the crop coming in. It seems we’ve welcomed a huge crop of talented but ultimately flawed players into the NBA tonight.