Posted 06/28/2007 at 07:34 PM
7:10ish p.m.: Good evening ladies and gents. It's time to break out the Budweisers and catch a buzz watching the NBA Draft, so let's get right to it. In ESPN's first segment, Stephen A. Smith and Dick Vitale both raised their voices. Sweet, they're gonna have a verbal war tonight. This is gonna be fun. You are warned to have the remote next to you at all times to turn the volume down when Stephen A. gets the mike. Let's call Dickie V just DV the rest of the night and SA for Stephen A. (I considered just going with ASS for Stephen A., but in the interest of good taste, we'll stick with SA.)
7:25 p.m.: With apologies to TNT's Craig Sager (so glad he's not involved in this broadcast!), Jim Gray is the biggest chafe dork in sports broadcasting history. We just heard from him for the first time. Although we'd prefer to call Gray by the moniker "Kobe's bit__" or "Do-Boy Jimmy," let's just go with "Jimmy Pink." Seriously, with apologies to the Ahmad Rashad coverage of Michael Jordan, have we ever seen a sports reporter kiss an athlete's ass more?
7:35: Greg Oden to Portland. Given Hall of Famer unless he gets injured seriously or starts using drugs.
7:37: We'll get back to throwing bullets at Jim Gray, don't worry. I mean Jimmy Pink. My bad.
7:38: I'm guessing ABC will be wanting a Blazers-Cavs game on Sunday twice this year. Who'd a thunk that a few years ago?
7:40: Kevin Durant to the Sonics at No. 2. Andy Katz (AK) says Ray Allen is en route to Boston and the Sonics get Delonte West and the No. 5 pick. Hmmm, I love Ray Allen. Now Paul Pierce is happy. On first thought, I think it's a decent deal for both teams. Are the Sonics thinking Mike Conley Jr. or Zi?
7:42: Man, Durant and Oden are classy and from classy families. Good for them.
7:44: Durant will be a perennial All-Star. I won't call 'em a Given Hall of Famer, though. I've only done that twice now (Chipper Jones and Oden). Al Horford to my Hawks! LOVE IT! I'd have been ok with any deal to get Amare Stoudemire or Chauncey Billups, but if that didn't happen, I wanted Big Al. Look at Tito. Love it! GATORS!!!
8:10ish: Allright, I'm back. I had to get a NBA cover up on VI, crop a picture, etc. Ok, we'll catch up in a sec, but Corey Brewer just went to Minny at No. 7. GREAT pick. He's going to be a perennial All-Star.
8:10ish still: Brewer is such a stud. Ask Aaron Afflalo, who saw his stock drop big-time after Brewer OWNED him in the Final Four. Allright, Mike Conley Jr. went to Memphis. Probably a pretty good pick, but I'm not as high on Conley as most. He's gotta become a better 3-point shooter. Back to the Boston-Seattle trade: DV and SA are ripping the Celtics to shreds. Now believe me, I'm first in line in saying that Danny Ainge is almost Matt Millen-like in terms of the absymal job he's done at Boston, but I'm not so sure the Celtics are getting jobbed here. Now certainly, if Ray Allen breaks down with injuries (he is 32), this will be a steal for Seattle. However, Allen is still one of the league's elite scorers and since Reggie Miller retired, he's been the best jump shooter in the league. So although it is a risk due to Allen's age, I think this deal will work out for both teams.
8:17: Brandan Wright to Charlotte. I've been saying it for a month. Brandan Wright is going to be a bust. Dumb move taking Wright ahead of Joakim Noah. And by the way, I'm looking forward to Stu Scott and Noah talking.
8:20: Did we talk about Yi? He went to the Bucks at No. 6. I haven't seen 'em play, but I've got my doubts. Serious doubts! Bulls on the clock...
8:22ish: Joakim Noah to Chicago. Great pick by the Bulls, HORRIBLE wardrobe effort from Joakim, but I don't care. Joakim is the man. Here we go: Stu and Jo...
8:25 Man, it's GREAT to be a Florida Gator. Great pick by the Bulls, Noah is an absolute steal at No. 9. Kings on the clock...they go with Spencer Hawes. Well, I'm glad he's not there for Billy Knight to make a mistake on. Hawks on the clock...(please go Acie Law or trade!)
8:32: Hawks go Acie Law. Sweet. Horford and Law aren't Amare, but I love the picks. Good job, Billy. Hawks will finally make the playoffs this year.
8:45ish: My dog is chafing me to go out. She (Arlene Spurrier Edwards) will have to wait. Sixers go Thaddeus Young at No. 12. He's gonna be good, but I woulda gone with Al Thornton out of FSU.
8:50: Hornets go with Julian Wright from Kansas. I'm ok with that. Thornton is the best available right now as we look to the Clippers at No. 14. My second-best available is Derrick Byars, who is going to be a steal and I have him making my pre-season All-Rookie squad.
9:20: Sorry for the break, had to throw down some meat loaf, mashed potatoes, corn and a salad. We'll get caught up real quick. I love how DV keeps calling out SA. They just went split screen with the duo. (Did you have remote ready to kill the volume?) SA is starting to chafe. Mike Tirico is solid.
9:35: The Clippers ended up going with Al Thornton, who I think is going to be a solid player. Pistons go Rodney Stuckey, the kid out of the Big Sky conference. I haven't seen him play, so I'll just trust that Joe Dumars is right (he usually is). Wizards went Nick Young (USC). That's a good pick. New Jersey pulled the first shocker by going with BC's Sean Williams, who was kicked off BC's team in the middle of last year. Williams' off-the-court woes made him more of a late first-rounder or possibly second-round selection in most mock drafts. I give the thumbs down on that pick.
9:44: We're at No. 22 and the Bobcats are on the clock. How is Derrick Byars still available?
10:00ish: 'Cats go Jared Dudley and I love that pick. Like I said earlier tonight on the Power Hours, I love Dudley's game. Great versatility and skills for his size, and Dudley has a soft touch and good range on his jumper. Knicks go with Wilson Chandler out of Depaul, but that's not the big news for the team. They've traded Steve Francis and Channing Frye to Portland for Zach Randolph, Fred Jones and Dan Dickeau. This is a great move by the Knicks, but at the same time, it works for the Trail Blazers too. They didn't want Randolph to have any sort of influence on Oden.
We're at No. 26 and the Rockets just went with Aaron Brooks out of Oregon. Is it me, or is Marc Jackson being critical of every pick? Don't listen to him, he's just trying to get a GM job somewhere. (And I like Marc Jackson, one of the top-five nastiest passers ever. And that leads me into my first top five of the night.
Five Nastiest Passers Ever::
I feel like I left somebody off that list. Pistol Pete should probably be on the list, but he didn't pass enough. Jason Williams could also be on it, but he commits too many turnovers.
10:15: I think Dumars is great, but he's wrong on this one. The Pistons just took UCLA's Aaron Afflalo and that's a mistake. No way is Afflalo is as good as Byars. Not now, not ever. Brewer exposed Afflalo at the Final Four. Spurs on the clock, I'll be back in a bit...
10:40ish: Nice rant from DV as he shuts it down for the night. The first round is over and here's my best available for second round:
1-Derrick Byars (Vandy)
2-Taurean Green (Florida)
3-Demetris Nichols (Syracuse)
4-Glen "Big Baby" Davis (LSU)
5-Carl Landry (Purdue)
I don't understand why Byars is falling. On the other hand, I completely understand why Josh McRoberts is falling (He's softer than my pillows.). Somebody should be looking to trade up and get Byars, who along with Tennessee's Chris Lofton, is the only player I've seen Brewer struggle to stop.
Midnightish: The draft is over. The highlight of the second round? Charlotte traded Brandan Wright -- who again, I say, will be the bust of this draft -- for Jason Richardson and Jermareo Davidson out of Alabama. SA rips Michael Jordan to shreds for this move, citing the guaranteed $48 million on the four years left on Richardson's contract. I bet MJ wants to pimpslap SA. I'm not sure what to think of this trade. It leads us to believe that MJ either thinks Gerald Wallace -- an unrestricted free agent -- is leaving or they don't want to pay 'em. Letting Wallace get away would be a mistake.
Allright, folks. Thanks for joining me tonight. I'm gonna give some closing thoughts/grades and whatnot in a separate column that'll be in NBA headlines on Friday. Over and out...