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Brain Droppings from the 2009 Draft

The talent available in the 2009 NBA Draft was minimal – after Blake Griffin and Ricky Rubio, it was close to an afterthought for most NBA front offices. Cleveland and Orlando have elected to re-stock their teams through trades, and I don’t think they’re alone in that strategy. Other teams may opt for free agency, but with most teams feeling the heat from an economy going up in flames – we may see the first free agency period where teams are signing players relatively close to their actual value. Although I will miss seeing bad contracts and wondering what the exchange between player and agent was like when the offer was put on the table*. Throw in the deaths of Farrah Fawcett (Wasn’t around, but I hear she single-handedly jumpstarted puberty for any 10-12 year-old boy in the 70’s during her run on Charlie’s Angels) and Michael Jackson (The greatest entertainer of the last 25 years), and you have a completely irrelevant draft. Nevertheless, I needed a basketball fix, so I thought I’d compile some random thoughts on the 2009 draft.

*What did Beno Udrih’s agent say to him? “Beno, the Kings just offered $33 million over six years. Stop whatever you’re doing and get here to sign this – NOW!!!”

Udrih: “Can we get more?”

Agent: “You are a BACKUP point guard at best, and not a very good one. If Sacramento’s front office gets a single brain cell to work before you sign that contract they will pull it. I’m not asking you, I’m telling you – GET HERE NOW!”

With all the aforementioned events of the day, and the fact a nasty thunderstorm was knocking on the door I though I might want to go downstairs in case this was the apocalypse or something. I decided against it, I’d rather watch the draft in HD to see if I could count the liver spots on Dick Vitale’s scalp. Unfortunately he didn’t get enough face time for me to get an accurate count.

Can we agree that Stuart Scott needs to wear sunglasses? It should be in his contract, that lazy eye of his is way too distracting.

Blake Griffin looked shell shocked once the Clippers went on the clock. I think he was upset because he couldn’t track down Eli Manning’s phone number to see how to get out of going to the team that drafted him number 1.

Mark Jackson told us Griffin was going to a “great situation” with the Los Angeles Clippers. Shouldn’t that be grounds for revoking his NBA expert card? I guess it is though, except for their coach/GM. Forget about their history of exploding knees and other freak injuries. Try not to think about the other three players who play under the basket, like Griffin, one of whom was traded by Portland almost immediately after they drafted Greg Oden because he is a basketball Ebola Virus and the Blazer didn’t want their new pick infected. It’s a “great situation” even though Zach Randolph, the player I was speaking of, isn’t the only player on that team who can be described as a “basketball Ebola Virus”(Ricky Davis being the other). Aside from all those things, Blake Griffin is going to a fantastic situation.

During the interview with Griffin’s father, he looked as if he had a plane ticket to LA and was planning on taking out Mike Dunleavy and Donald Sterling – gangland style.

Stuart Scott became the 452nd person to comment on the game when DeJuan Blair “beasted” Hasheem Thabeet. Let’s think about that for a second before we kill Thabeet. He’s 7’3” and Blair is just under 6’7”. Playing in the post is about positioning and getting low. Thabeet is going to get pushed around by Blair not necessarily because Blair is stronger, but because he is able to get lower. Judging him on that game is not smart or fair – how many times will he guard a 6’7” guy as a center in the NBA? I still think he’s going to be on a lot of different posters though.

Harden may develop into a solid player – but Ricky Rubio would have been perfect to distribute the ball around for OKC. I also thoroughly enjoyed Harden’s bow-tie and beard. Didn’t quite understand why someone at the age of 20 would shave their beard to “look younger.”

Everyone keeps calling Tyreke Evans a point guard – we’re sure about this? He averaged a whopping 3.8 assists last year. Just because someone brings the ball up the court doesn’t make them a point guard. How many games of ball domination will we see from Evans before Kevin Martin demands a trade? I say ten.

Before the fifth pick – Stuart Scott goes over the trade that sent the pick to Minnesota from Washington. Washington gives up the pick, Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov. We never hear the last name, Scott didn’t even attempt to pronounce it. I personally think “the player from Russia that no one has heard of and won’t play a single minute” would have sufficed.

Ricky Rubio is going to end up being a great point guard if he ever decides to come over from Spain. I imagine his rookie goals would look something like this:

Lead team to winning season – make playoffs

Average 10 points and 8 assists per game

Make All-Rookie team/ Win Rookie of the year

Hit puberty

Thought Minnesota took Johnny Flynn for a trade – I was wrong. They took Johnny Flynn to piss off Ricky Rubio so much he would refuse to come over to the US and play this season. Great move.

Jay Bilas said Ricky Rubio looked like a tennis player and expected to get big laughs. I miss Charles Barkley.

After Stephen Curry was selected by Golden State, he looked just as depressed as Griffin going to the Clippers. I wonder if Curry used his father’s NBA connections to figure out how to play half-assed until his team is forced to trade him. It’s a shame for him that his Dad was a consummate pro. He’s going to have to wait until training camp to learn how to properly mail in games. Corey Maggette will be happy to lead by example in that regard.

We’re told that DeMar Derozan’s favorite part about Toronto will be the public transit system. That can’t be good for recruiting free agents. Yeah, the taxes are a lot higher and hockey is the biggest ticket in town. The winters are really cold, too, but we have a top flight public transit system.”

Brandon Jennings was picked at 10, but wasn’t there because he feared his stock had slipped too far. At first I was disappointed because Jennings has an enormous ego and I expected a Freddie Mitchell moment (Remember him, he thanked his hands for being so great after a playoff game) during the interview. Then he showed up four picks later – phenomenally entertaining – and laid an egg during the interview. He also got rid of his high box flat top haircut, very disappointing. I have high hopes for you Brandon Jennings – you haven’t gotten off to a good start.

Can’t tell you the exact number of times I heard “potential” or “raw” in the first ten picks, but it had to be pushing triple digits. For those of you who don’t speak Scout Lingo, that means this draft sucks and most teams are grasping for straws.

Terrance Williams, who reminds me of a skinny Biz Markie, wore a suit so shiny that I swear I saw David Stern’s reflection.

After hearing “overrated” chant after his selection, I thought Tyler Hansbrough might immediately become the white Ron Artest and charge into the stands throwing haymakers. Indiana got a solid energy guy with a chip on his shoulder at 13. Not a great pick in a normal draft, but that was as good as they were going to get this year.

Detroit selected Austin Daye from Gonzaga, who is 6’11” 192 pounds. Stuart Scott informs us that he has grown seven inches since the 10th grade. Unfortunately, he has not gained a pound since the 7th grade. Also, after the draft a stiff breeze picked him up and carried him somewhere into the New Jersey forest. The Pistons are confident they will be able to locate him by training camp.

During his interview, Steve Kerr, who received orders to cut as much payroll as possible, looks as if owner Robert Sarver asked him to take his dog out back and shoot him like Old Yeller.

After the Timberwolves drafted their third point guard of the night, Ty Lawson, I whole heartedly expected to hear about a trade, which happened, or an announcement that their primary target in free agency was Allen Iverson and field a team in the Minneapolis Kiwanis 6-feet and under league.

This move caused Jeff Van Gundy to reminisce about the time his Knicks drafted three similar forwards – Walter McCarty, John Wallace, and Dontae Jones. He admits, “We should have broken it up,” because not all three players could get playing time at the same position. I think they should have broken it up because all three of those players sucked.

One thing that stuck out to me during Shaq’s interview – he didn’t bash his former team on his way out the door. Maybe he is finally maturing at the young age of 37. Side Note: I’m giddy about him teaming up with LeBron, this team is going to be all sorts of fun. They still can’t defend big guards, versatile forwards or the pick and roll, but they will most definitely be more fun than a barrel full of monkeys.

BJ Mullens out of Ohio State is another “raw” prospect. All of the complements given to him are about either his “soft hands” or his size. They do all but announce, “this guy has the skills to work at a Home Depot in Columbus getting things off shelves that are too high for average-sized customers to reach.”

Memphis drafts Demare Carroll from Missouri, who will need a liver transplant in 20-25 years. Vegas has named Vin Baker a 2 to 1 favorite over Carroll for the first NBA player to need a liver transplant prop bet.

Darko Milicic was traded to New York for Quentin Richardson. Scott, Bilas, Jackson and Van Gundy rave about how Milicic provides the Knicks with a shot blocker and will be able to stretch the floor as well as supplies an inside presence. What am I missing? Is this 2003?

The Lakers selected Toney Douglas, a shoot first point guard, for New York. It’s a shame the Knicks no longer have Steve Francis or Stephon Marbury to mentor him during his rookie season.

I must admit, I was thrilled when the Cavs got on the clock with names such as Sam Young, DeJuan Blair and Jermaine Taylor still available. Stern took his sweet old time coming out for the pick, causing me to fear for his health. After announcing the pick, I understand he was just calling the Cavs back to make sure Christian Eyenga was actually the selection and not a prank call. He feared for my health as a Cavs fan, that’s why he’s the best commissioner in sports.

After thinking about Christian Eyenga, a no name from the Congo, for a couple days, I like the pick. This is exactly how it happened. Danny Ferry was watching some sort of home movie about a philanthropy trip and noticed a game in the background where a guy that was taller than everyone else was skying and dunking on everyone in sight. He took a pilgrimage to the jungle to find the player, who turned out to be terrible at first. He stayed and tried to teach him about the game, only to find out that he was being hustled the whole time. Then, the player’s tribe was going to be exterminated unless they beat a rival tribe in a basketball game. The player’s tribe recruited Ferry, the former NBA player, to play for their tribe in the big game. He had to go through all of the initiations before being cut just below the belly button to become blood brothers, or something of that sort. Then Ferry plays in the game, Eyenga’s tribe wins it, and Ferry brings him back to the US to become a star. Christian Eyenga is the African player from The Air Up There and Danny Ferry is Kevin Bacon. I am convinced and no one will ever tell me different. If you don’t believe me, watch the movie.

Patrick Bauch


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