PTI posed this question today, and as much as it pains me to say it the NBA is a "slam dunk" to quote George Tenet. Even overlooking the absurd one piece suits, the more recognizable college basketball names, the shorter draft time and Adam Morrison's mustache the NBA draft beats down the NFL's version for one simple reason, Tremendous Upside Potential. Bill Simmons coined this phrase a while back and it sums up how absurd the NBA draft is.
Every year some foolish GM ignores tell tale signs such as the player disappearing in March (i.e. Rudy Gay), lack of production in college (Tyrus Thomas) or an inability to speak English (Adam Morrison and any Eastern European) instead focusing on potential. Consider this the Jordan effect, every GM is afraid to pass on the next great player. So you get guys like Darko going much higher than they should have, almost solely because Pau Gasol went much later than he should have.
One of my favorite side games with the NBA draft is predicting which player will outplay his draft position and which will be busts. This year I like Brandon Roy (no brainer except for his knee injuries) and Jordan Farmer (March has to count for something). Rudy Gay is the bust waiting to happen.
Switching over to live blogging mode for the moment.
7:55 - Let me throw in Thomas as a potential bust at #4. If he had gone lower I wouldn't throw him in the same category as Gay. And yes, I'm completely ignoring LSU's Final Four run...Big Baby Davis was/is the heart of that team. Thomas is a great help defender but will get eaten alive in one-on-one.
8:00 - I am loving this five minutes per pick in the first round. If this was the NFL Draft we would still be waiting for the third pick. If Tagliabue is half as smart as everyone claims he is the NFL would shorten the the amount of time a team has to pick in the first round.
8:05 - Who guarantees to draft Sheldon Williams with the fifth pick? The Hawks of course (but only because the Knicks don't pick in the first round this year).
8:06 - I normally can't stand Stu Scott but I enjoy the unintentional comedy he brings to live interviews. The two white guy interviews (the Italian and Morrison) stand out for me. In the middle of interviewing the Italian Scott stops the interview to point out how all the New Yorkers are booing the Italian and then expects the guy who barely speaks English to respond. Priceless.
8:14 - Really confused right now. Dan Patrick just said Houston is on the clock, but the ESPN ticker says Boston is up next. But I thought Boston agreed to trade the #7 pick for Telfair?
8:16 - Boston selects Randy Foye for Portland. That clears it up, kinda.
8:23 - Going back to the Morrison interview it's interesting how much his PR people have shaped him in the last couple of months. Back in March CBS had Reddick and Morrison on the pre-game set for the Final Four, and Morrison could not have looked more uncomfortable and spoken more unintelligbly. Three months later and he's at least able to form complete sentences on live T.V.
8:25 - Random question, does anyone know if it's possible to create folds in blogger? This post has already become unreadably long (and filled with spelling errors).
8:28 - Dick Vitale, the NBA genius that he is, questions why Houston would consider trading Rudy Gay to Memphis. Apparently Dicky V is not aware of Tracy McGrady.
8:30 - Patrick O'Brien is black? I hear center from Bradley and automatically assumed the guy is another white stiff.
8:34 - Jay Bilas, a guy I normally like, offers some really insightful commentary on O'Brien. To paraphrase Bilas, O'Brien is a hit or miss player, he'll either be really good or he'll just be OK." Captain Obvious points to Bilas.
8:37 - Seattle Supersonics select Saer Sene from Senegal. Say that five times fast.
8:51 - This might be a bad omen but just as I'm typing the words "Redick is a good fit for Orlando" my computer freezes.
8:56 - David Stern teases us all by announcing a trade just as the 76ers are on the clock. Everyone in the audience is expecting Stern to announce the Iverson trade when the Commish breaks everyones heart by instead making the Boston-Portland trade official. Stern would make a horrible prom date.
8:59 - Just stepping back for a second (and I know I'm beating a dead horse) I'm loving the quick pace of the NBA Draft. Just as I finish up commenting on the previous selection David Stern is announcing the next pick.
9:00 - Dan Patrick on David Stern hiding backstage while waiting for the next pick, "You rascal you." Stern's response? "Dan, I always look forward to your pithy comments." And I did that exchange absolutely no credit.
9:04 - If Patrick and Stern were characters from Deadwood, Patrick would be the greasy hotel owner/Mayor and Stern would be Big Al. Did that do the exchange justice?
9:06 - I suspect ESPN is just bringing Dicky V on to talk about ACC players.
9:15 - Chicago is stocking up on young talented players. They still don't have a go to guy, but they have enough pieces to trade for a go to guy.
9:19 - Wait a second, Marcus Williams is still left in the green room? The same Marcus Williams who was suspended early in the season for stealing computers? The same Marcus Williams who got bounced by George Mason? The same Marcus Williams who was out of shape for his workouts? (You see where I am going here.)
9:26 - I'll use the Bullets pick as an excuse to mention how much I like Gilbert Arenas. This hasn't received much press but Arenas recently announced he was willing to take a salary cut if the Wizards used that money to sign a good free agent. Of course if LeBron had made the same announcement it would have been front page news.
9:30 - He he, Quincy Douby.
9:33 - Turns out I was wrong Knicks do have a first round pick. And while ESPN reviews Isiah Thomas' moves all the Knicks fan start booing.
9:34 - And the Guido Knicks fan demands his team select Marcus Williams because New York doesn't have enough guards.
9:38 - Note to random Knicks fan, if you're holding a sign that says "A depressed Knicks fan" you can't be jumping up and down with a smile on your face after your team makes a horrible pick.
9:42 - One of the things that bugs me about the NBA (and MLB) is how teams can just pay money in a trade and receive a player. It just seems to encourage bad owners to sell off their best players.
9:44 - Your Marcus Williams mood update: Annoyed.
9:49 - ESPN.com has a draftcast where fans can interview players who have just been selected. Somebody asks Gay what he needs to improve to be an All-Star, and Gay response is, "My hunger. My versatility will help me a lot, but I need to get more hungry." And Denny's Big Slam Breakfast sees a sponsorship opportunity.
9:51 - And Marcus Williams is off the board at 22 to the Nets. And he still does not look happy.
9:53 - I'll be the first person to make the obvious "did the Nets scouting team just watch U Conn highlights?" joke.
9:55 - And while we're on the subject U Conn now has four players drafted in the first round. The fact that U Conn lost to George Mason just goes to show how little heart that U Conn team had (and how good of a coach Larranaga is).
10:09 - It's getting late and I stopped bringing the funny about two hours ago so I'll just quit now. At some point I plan on throwing in my two cents on the Bucs quarterback situation which is very quickly becoming a mess. I had hoped to do that tonight but the NBA Draft sucked me in, so consider this your teaser for tomorrow (or possibly later depending on my internet situation).