Draft Diary III: Trust The Process
It’s my third annual running diary of the NBA draft! Protip for all of those following along: listen to ESPN radio instead of watching it on TV; they have better interviews since they’re not pressed for time, better analysis since they don’t have a graphics package to bail them out, and you can actually be productive instead of sitting in front of your TV. I’m going to ignore that entire last sentence because I’m a masochist, so here we go—
4:01PM – In case you’re as bored as I was while waiting between picks, here’s a picture of Rihanna with LeBron’s number written on her stomach with some lotion. In related news, LeBron is married to his high school sweetheart.
4:05PM – Excited to see whether the #NBAisRigged blowback means that Adam Silver is getting booed tonight
4:06PM – If you mute Chris Broussard, his mouth looks like it's trying to speak broken Spanish to someone who doesn't understand English
4:09PM – Boston’s eight picks are the final payoff from the Garnett-Pierce haul, which was the trade that broke Bill Simmons on live TV. Speaking of Simmons – whom I love – did anyone see that travesty of a show last night?
4:13PM – Brandon Ingram looks like the Count from Sesame Street in that outfit
4:15PM – During the commercial, let’s get some drinking games going. Any time…
— D’Angelo Russell or Sam Hinkie are mentioned
— The hosts use some weird touchscreen CNN-esque technology to explain something they could have just done with graphics
— You giggle to yourself when you mispronounce his name as ‘Dragon Bender’
— You roll your eyes at a Jalen Rose player comparison.
4:25PM – On cue, a montage of how much the New York crowd hated the Kristaps Porzingis pick. They should have looped in video of Stephen A Smith while they were at it.
4:28PM – Opening Woj’s Twitter in case I want any spoiler alerts, since this draft is going to chaos after #2
4:32PM – This year’s draft theme seems to be ‘Staring at Determination’ which tops ‘I Am Not The Hype’ from two years ago.
4:34 PM – “The NBA Finals were the most watched ever” except in all those 3rd and 4th quarters, right Adam?
4:36PM – While we spend five boring minutes waiting for Philly to choose Ben Simmons, who’s going to drop? Jaylen Brown? I hope we get a Jaylen Brown sad-face-camera. It’ll remind me of Nerlens Noel a few years ago. Or how Jaylen looked in the tournament this year.
4:38PM – Do Philly fans leave after the first pick? They’re used to leaving early during Sixers games anyway.
4:45PM – Welcome to the family, Brandon.
4:49PM – I hope Boston takes Kris Dunn just to spite Philly even though they’re loaded in the backcourt.
4:53PM – Jaylen Brown?? Does anyone remember that Cleveland took Dion Waiters at #4 and no one knew how to feel? Did LeBron get Nike to destroy tapes of the last 2 weeks of the NCAA season? Are the Celtics the anti-Spurs when it comes to drafting? Their last 8 first-rounders: MarShon Brooks, Jared Sullinger (overweight), Fab Melo (cool name), Kelly Olynyk (weird hair), Marcus Smart (hasn’t channeled his inner Artest in a full year), James Young, Terry Rozier, and R.J. Hunter.
4:59PM – After four picks, Kris Dunn is still on the board because Ryan McDonough (currently suffering from heatstroke) just took Dragan Bender at #4. Fun fact: Bender averaged 3 points, 2 rebounds, and half an assist in Euroleague. I actually made those stats up, he actually averaged 2 points and 1 rebound. He did half a full half-an-assist though!
5:03PM – We’re an hour in, so here’s another Rihanna picture, this time of her pretending to kiss the married-with-kids LeBron.
5:07PM – Minnesota begrudgingly takes Kris Dunn under the sacred mantra of ‘best player available.’ I hope Ricky Rubio’s renting! I also can’t tell if he’s crying because it’s a big moment, or if his shoes are poking him in the Achilles.
5:11PM – Last minute drinking game: when the analysts say how great a player fits on a team, only to watch hopelessly as he gets traded.
5:16PM – And Buddy Hield falls into the lap of the Pelicans. Great pick. Last year Justise Winslow was in the Buddy Hield mold and dropped to 10… good to see him go this high. Kind of like Brandon Rush in 2008, but that was a different kind of high.
5:34PM – Some general thoughts: Jokic and Nurkic are a weird reincarnation of the Gasol-Bynum duo, or some white power street gang. Making players wear their former team’s hat even if they’re being (proposedly) traded is as dumb as wanting a four-point line. The way Jay Bilas raves over these ‘physical specimens’ has some weird Donald Sterling vibes. New York just hemorrhaged its last pick from the Isaiah Thomas era (where they got big white guy Andrea Bargnani) to give Toronto big white guy Jakob Poetl.
5:42PM – Thon Maker joins the Lakers’ 2011 second-round pick Chukwudiebere Maduabum of African players with really cool names.
6:02PM – The Kings (via Suns) take some dude named Papagiannis, which is fantastic because (a) his name is Papa Giannis, (b) he’s at best rated in the 30s, (c) they have Cousins and Cauley-Stein at the frontcourt, and (d) they’re discussing his food preferences. Yes, we’ve reached that point in the draft.
6:48PM – I woke up for a few minutes just to make Skal Labissiere was on the board (he is). Sidenote: If we put Ben Simmons and Finals-edition Harrison Barnes in a Texas-style quick draw, I’d put the over/under at 10 minutes for someone to die. That, or Caris LeVert will destroy our eyes with that jacket.
8:30PM – After praying to Larry Bird that Brice Johnson or Skal to fall to #32, I remembered that I was a Lakers fan. Prayer not answered. The Lakers end up taking Ivica Zubac with that pick, a player who apparently engenders Vlade Divac comparisons, is a Lakers fan, and wants to play this year (!) for the team. That means we have almost $60 million to throw at Hassan Whiteside, Al Horford, and Demar Derozan.
9:25PM – And Cal’s Tyrone Wallace becomes this year’s Mr. Irrelevant, hopefully more on the Isaiah Thomas track than the Robert Sacre one.
The Lakers can get LeBron right? Oh wait he said he’s staying. Good, I hate him anyway. KD wants to leave! Even though his team just upgraded on the wing… Steven Adams’ mustache is ugly! Dwight? Wait, what am I saying? Parsons… is he still on The Bachelor? It sounds really cool when the announcer says BEES-MACK BEE-YOM-BOW! Anyone?