Ah, the NBA Draft is looming.
I love the NBA Draft. Love it.
I love all drafts, really. Well, except for maybe the amateur baseball draft, which has too low of a success rate and too few known names to attract a following.
The NFL Draft is the king of all drafts, but my undying love is for the NBA’s version. There are only 30 teams, only two rounds, and aside from a few Euros here and there, there’s a good chance I’ve come across at least 95 percent of the players selected from watching them play in college.
The NBA Draft has other things going for it, like the player interviews, which have taken on new realms of unintentional comedy since ESPN’s Stuart Scott has begun conducting them. But who can forget an emotional Antonio McDyess telling the world that now his mother can finally have the china cabinet she’s always been dreaming of? Sometimes things aren’t always scripted, and true personalities come through.
And how about the suits? Wow, the suits.
The easy picks, the bad picks, the analysis. Back when TNT was hosting the draft, Charles Barkley would try to insult entire organizations, like the Los Angeles Clippers, while Hubie Brown seemed to call every white player a “good floor leader” or an “extension of the coach on the floor.”
With ESPN having taken over, there is still good fodder to be found, like Jay Bilas’ ever-expanding vocabulary. Words like “upside” and “elevate” (instead of “jump”) have been around a while, but Bilas has added to the lexicon with terms like “long” and “blowbyability” and “ball-friendly” and, one that was only used during the college hoops season — “low error rate”. I’m giddy already.
OK, OK, I need to calm down a little. But the draft is only a couple of days away, and already there’s wild chatter about trades involving the No. 2 and No. 3 picks. Does it get any better than that? These are decisions that will forever be tied to the success or failure of these teams. If the Miami Heat trades out of No. 2 and Michael Beasley becomes the next Karl Malone, that will be remembered like Bowie over Jordan.
It’s a fantastic night, one that doesn’t end until somebody is breaking the whole thing down and telling us which team did well and which team blew it, a full five months before these kids ever wear NBA uniforms.
At the end of the day, the draft is just a crapshoot. Tons of guys, future Hall of Famers, weren’t drafted in the first round, and their stories become the stuff of legend, showing what a lark drafts can really be.
But, no matter how you look at it, a draft is the foundation of a professional sport. The teams that do it well win. The teams that don’t? They fall apart.
And the faults can always be traced back to one 3-hour block of time. And we get to watch.