How could I have possibly been asked to ignore the NBA Draft Lottery solection show? Bad teams + ping pong balls + Suns = running diary time.
The festivities began with NBA Shootaround at 5PM :
:00 minutes – Apparently NBA Shootaround will be a mix of a Nuggets/Lakers preview and a lottery preview. Stu Scott, Jon Barry, Mike Wilbon, and Magic Johnson are the ship captains. I think Stu’s lazy eye just asked me to commit a crime.
:04 – I swore I’d only handle the NBA Draft Lottery portions of the programming, but Magic Johnson talking about the Lakers is too much to take. He’s like a proud parent talking about their kid – except they pay him to be objective. Does nobody see the flaw in this? In the spirit of equal time, I demand NBA Shootaround adds Dan Issel to their cast.
:06 – We get our first glimpse of Secaucus, New Jersey, which is apparently a place (also the home of NBA Entertainment studios) and the site of Tonight’s action. A brief check of wikipedia reveals that Secaucus was named the 11th best place to live – in New Jersey, this news strikes me as depressing.
:07 – ESPN’s Mark Jones is handling the Secaucus portion of the evening fun. Jones proceeds to show us the Sacramento “viewing party” at Chris Webber’s restaurant in Sac-town. This might be worse looking than the 12th best place to live in Jersey. The “party” consists of about 12 people. 5 less people and they’d consider this an official “Save the Coyotes” function.
:09 – The prize of this year’s draft is Oklahoma F Blake Griffin. Jay Bilas compares Griffin to Robo-Cop. If Griffin is half the player Robo-cop was, the dad from That 70’s Show should be concerned. Mark Jones informs us that Griffin has been working out with former NBA coach Bob Hill. Question to Zim – if Griffin gets close to success will Gregg Popovich step in and take credit?
:11 – Mark Jones tosses it to Lisa Salters, yes that’s right, we need a sideline reporter to cover the NBA Draft Lottery selection show. Salters is standing with Chris Webber, here representing the Kings, who forces a few jokes and informs us that the Maloof’s won’t let him come back to Sacrament if he doesn’t get the #1 pick. I think we all know the Kings will let anybody in the building at this point.
:12 – This virtual basketball thing with Jon Barry needs to stop. I’d say it was one of the worst ideas in ESPN history but as long as “Who’s More Now”, those fake press conferences with Steve Phillips, and the Mount Rushmore bits still exist, it can’t crack the top 10.
:17 – The corpse of Jerry West is talking about LeBron James. Now we’re going to the panel to decide who they’d pick between LeBron and Kobe. I’ll let you guess who Magic picked (hint: not LeBron).
:25 – Lisa Salters is now interviewing David Stern and this could be its own running diary, Lisa is getting absolutely spanked by Stern. She asks a serious question about what happens if the WWE tries to move the Nuggets out of the Pepsi Center for Game 4 and Stern responds with a series of glares and a terse answer about how the NBA never loses in these situations. Salter’s next asks Stern what is a flagrant 1 and what is a flagrant 2. Stern responds by asking his own question and Salters is again dumbfounded. Salters v. Stern was more one-sided than Little Mac – Glass Joe.
:30 – The NBA Shootaround portion has mercifully come to an end – on to the lottery itself.
:31 – Salters is in the room where the ping pong balls get selected. Each individual chair in the room has a generic jersey on it that represents all of the lottery teams. Thank god for that or else where would you know where to sit? My pal Lisa is now explaining the rules and nobody cares.
:33 – The Kings viewing party has exploded to 50 strong. More cowbell!
:34 – Jay Bilas goes over his top 5 players. He lists UConn’s Hasheem Thabeet 2nd, Spanish PG Ricky Rubio 3rd, Arizona’s Jordan Hill 4th, and Memphis frosh Tyreke Evans at 5th. Bilas gives us the rundown of the 19 year-old Rubio, who has been compared favorably to Hall of Fame guard Pistol Pete Maravich. The basis for this comparison? He has floppy hair and he isn’t black. I think that about covers it. Welcome back Pistol.
:36 – The bottom line informs me that the Suns last lottery pick was Luol Deng in 2004 (whom the Suns proceeded to deal to Chicago). The haul the Suns recieved for Deng was a future first round pick and Jackson Vroman. Seriously. I’ll find a joke in there once I stop crying. In case you’re curious, Vroman played a total of 10 games for the Suns and the future first rounder turned into 2005 first round selection Nate Robinson – who was dealt to the Knicks, along with Quentin Richardson and cash for Dijon Thompson and Kurt Thomas. Just because this game is so fun I’ll continue. As you may remember Thomas was dealt to Oklahoma City (then Seattle) along with the Suns 2008 and 2010 first round picks in exchange for a 2nd round pick. So there you have it – The Suns basically traded Luol Deng for Jackson Vroman, a couple years of average ball from Kurt Thomas, and the right to give OKC a few first round picks. Sell the team Mr. Sarver, I’m begging you.
:40 – Senior VP of NBA Security Bernie Tolbert is escorting Martin Shannon ,a partner at Ernst & Young, to the stage. Shannon is the guy holding the lottery results. Is there really a threat to Shannon’s safety here? Better find out what level of combat training Tolbert has before you try and fix the lottery.
:43 – Lisa introduces the team representatives:
- Phoenix Suns: Head Coach Alvin Gentry – the newly minted head coach looks as smooth as ever.
- Indiana Pacers: President Larry Bird – Larry’s aging process has inspired me to never grow old.
- Charlotte Bobcats: Guard D.J Augustin – I didn’t see Sgt. Zim tonight, thus I can only assume he was felating Augustin under the table.
- New Jersey Nets: President Rod Thorn
- Milwaukee Bucks: GM John Hammond
- Toronto Raptors: GM Bryan Colangelo – Seeing Colangelo and the Suns franchise here reminds me that the two parties should have never broken up. Remember the good times?
- New York Knicks: Assistant to the President Allan Houston – Houston has brought along Mr. October Reggie Jackson . According to Houston, Jackson basically invited himself. Pretty pathetic Reggie.
- Memphis Grizzlies: Coach Lionel Hollins – Hollins was just named the permanent head coach of the Grizz. I’ll always have fond feelings about Hollins since he was a Suns assistant during the ’92-93 NBA Finals year, so good for him.
- Golden State Warriors: GM Larry Riley – Lisa Salters introduces Riley who has brought his wife along with him for good luck. Salters then tells Mrs. Riley that the fate of the organization rests in her hands. No pressure.
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Forward Kevin Love – Love claims he is going to take credit if the Wolves snag the number one pick. This obviously pre-prepared line suffers from strained presentation. It appears that performance ability skipped a generation. Wasn’t feeling the good vibrations on his joke (I’ll be here all week).
- Los Angeles Clippers: President Andy Roeser – this is the one event where former mainstay Elgin Baylor is missed most.
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Head Coach Scotty Brooks
- Washington Wizards: Head Coach Flip Saunders – apparently Flip Saunders quietly became the coach of the Wizards. Who knew?
- Sacramento Kings – Former Kings forward Chris Webber – with a 25% chance to get the first pick, the Kings can’t possibly fail right? I mean when has C-Webb not come through in the clutch?
:46 – NBA Deputy Commish Adam Silver is reading the results –
:48 – No surprises until Pick number 6.
- In keeping with their illustrious draft history, the Suns of course do not move up. Gentry is puzzled. Lyle Lovett not walking through that door.
- I’m not certain it is possible for Larry Bird to care any less about this event. Did Indiana really need to send the guy who reacted to the Pacers making the NBA Finals in the same manner as he likely would have had he received an extension on a business loan.
- The Warriors fail to move up, Mrs. Riley had failed her husband, the Warrior organization, and the Riley namesake.
- The Grizzlies have moved up! Either Hollins is playing it cool or he doesn’t realize it. He has no reaction to this.
- The Wizards go 5, Kings go 4 and the final 3 is set.- C-Webb comes up sort again. Fortunately he is the only team representative at this event without an actual job with the organization he represents, so I can’t imagine that he cares that much.
The final 3 have moved onto a seperate stage in anticipation of the results…the tension has built. The Association knows how to build the drama.
- The Thunder go at pick number 3. I’m sure Griffin wouldn’t have been popular in the state in which he played high school and college basketball anyway. No big loss.
- The Grizz get the 2nd pick. Which means….
- The Clippers have won the lottery. Some popular (and handsome) writer called that. Clips president Andy Roeser gives us the double thumbs up – clearly double thrilled with the result. NBA Deputy Commish Adam Silver walks over to congratulate Roeser. At this point I’m convinced Silver is from another planet. He might be this guy:
:55 – Jones interviews Blake Griffin about the opportunity he has to be a Clipper. Griffin claims he will make the best out of whatever situation he is put in. He already has the right attitude to be a Clipper.
Enjoy your prize Clip fans: