I started following basketball back In 2008(I missed ''We Believe'' and i'm forever sorry because of it) right around the time of the Finals. I'll admit I didn't take an interest in it straight away. I mean for the most part I had just got ESPN America(It's the UK version of ESPN that basically rolls everything into one channel) and I had always loved sport of any kind and was interested to see what basketball, baseball,ice hockey and american football were all like to watch. If there's one thing that should be said when talking about American Sports is you guys do it a way that's so much more appealing. Sport appears more like a historic event then it does in Europe. We just let the game do the talking. You guys make it so much more than that and it's really interesting and fun to watch as an outsider.
One thing I always loved was the draft. I don't know why. Maybe it's the suspense coupled with the promise of seeing the next great talent. It was just something cool to watch. I could never put my finger on why I liked it. Maybe it was the whole scouting and debating about whose better the talent and who fits what team better. It's probably my favourite time of the year. I mean I usually give myself one or two days to really take a good look at all these guys so I had a decent idea of who could do what. I didn't do that this year for a combination of reasons. One Golden State wasn't in the first round and two when you hear that this draft is the equivalent of having a turd in the punch bowl. To me this was a draft that seemed like any pick after the top 10 was not going to be relevant. So when I tuned in to watch I didn't have that many expectations for how good this draft was going to be. How wrong I would turn out to be. This is how I saw one of the most exciting NBA drafts in recent history.
Really? Bennett? Okay if you're sure.
That roughly describes my reaction to Cleveland's 1st overall pick. I mean did I see that pick coming? Hell no. Barely anybody did but then again this is want Cleveland has been doing for the past 3 years. Tristan Thompson was a mid lottery projection. Dion Waiters was also projected to barely make the top 10 due to the fact he had been a sixth man at Syracuse. To be honest I really do think Cleveland are draft hipsters. Think about it. They never go with the consensus guy but with the guy everybody says has one issue that might hurt their stock( aside from Kyrie who was basically a given). I mean Tristan Thompson struggled with consistency, Dion Waiters as I stated above was a 6th man in Syracuse and Bennett had issue with his weight gaining almost 20 pounds while recovering from a shoulder injury. I mean do those 3 guys sound like top 5 picks to you? Better yet does Bennett sound like a Number 1 pick? I've pretty much convinced myself that the entire Cleveland front office wears skinny jeans and bowler hats ironically. As for if Bennett I'm really not sure on what Cleveland has planned. He's a a tweener size wise. Too small to play the pro 4 and is inexperienced when it comes to playing the 3 which would seem like his natural position. Regardless Cleveland have turned most of these draft picks into solid if not very good players. Waiters had a solid rookie season and Tristan Thompson has turned into a double double machine so the idea that Cleveland know something that we do not is entirely possible and we should probably wait and see what they have planned before we start burning
Lebron Cleveland jerseys again.
My sides have left the building.
The Charlotte Bobcats. It's like a never ending punch line. The NBA's version of Andre from ''The League''. Listen I could go into a huge rant/shakespearean soliloquy about how bad the Charlotte Bobcats are but I doubt i'd make it to the end before I died due to the lack of oxygen from all the laughing I would do. Listen the Cody Zeller pick isn't a bad one. Like I said above you could make a case that the No.10 guy and the No.1 guy are almost Identical in terms of how much they could have helped this train wreck of a team. Zeller's not a bad pick. He's probably the most complete big man in the draft. He's good at everything but not great at one thing. He's runs the floor well, good touch around the basket, rebounds well, good athletically, legitmate 7ft and plays solid defense. He's also not injured. Imagine that. Having a rookie that can play straight away. Listen these are just some of the reasons I can guess MJ took Zeller. As for why he actually did, well I think this accurately describes what I think of Jordan when it comes to draft night.
Kahn has company.
I hate the Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie. It takes James Dolan esqe talent to take a playoff team to the bottom of the ladder in only 2 short seasons. Remember how good that 76ers team was? It had just had finished it's extremely successful second straight stint in the playoffs by knocking out the Derrick Rose-less Bulls(Who were still a good team) and taking the Boston Celtics to 7 game before ultimately losing. Not to mention they had just drafted Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and Arnett Moultrie over the past few seasons and were looking to build on their playoff success. Can we please use this as a cautionary tale on why not to blow up a team for that one supposed superstar. Never mind it was any superstar but one that was chronically injured at the time. You traded away the contents of a playoff team for a year of Andrew Bynum's increasingly bizarre hair styles. I'm going to use caps for the next part because I cannot state enough how much of an idiot Hinkie is to me and as always caps is cruise control for cool. HOW IN THE NAME OF GOD CAN YOU TRADE THE FACE OF THE FRANCHISE(ANDRE IGOUDALA) FOR A PETULANT 7FT WITH TOOTHPICKS FOR KNEES?!?
Greivis Vasquez and the lost pick and roll:
The more and more I think about the Pelicans and 76ers trade the dumber I think it is. Okay first point I want to get out about this deal. I really like Jrue Holiday. He's one of those PG's that's hovering around the top 10 in the league list. He got screwed out having a playoff team in his prime he looked like he was going to be Philly building block after he re-signed that contract and instead he get's bounced at the first opportunity. 76ers won this deal rather comfortably if i'm honest. They got a first rounder, the player that was widely considered the best player with the highest upside in the draft and they got a replacement point guard who just so happens to be one of the best point guards in the class. They can now go full rebuild mode and take part in the age old NBA practice of tanking for the top pick in next years draft. Okay enough about the 76ers. I want to talk about Greivis Vasquez. I feel semi annoyed with myself for not taking notice of this guy earlier. Okay he's 6'6 with terrific court vision and passing ability not to mention the ability to stretch the floor with his shooting ability. But this isn't even the best part. Pelicans pick and roll game is so fun. Not only does he have Anthony Davis to throw countless lobs to he has one of the best jump shooting 4's in the league in Ryan Anderson. Oh have I also mentioned he's one of the best rebounder's in the league for his position. This basically means Vasquez is a triple double waiting to happen. This is probably one of the reasons that I like him so much is that I like having players on my team who are a threat to get a triple double almost every night. My thought process is you don't lose when someone on your team get's a triple double. I'm convinced you can't loose when someone on your team triple doubles. Okay Greivis Vasquez fanboy moment aside let's take a proper look at this.
Was their any better place for Nerlens Noel to land then NOLA? Think about it. He'd be with his fellow UK Alum Anthony Davis. They wouldn't need him straight away considering Davis and Anderson are already installed at the 4 and 5. He could be spoon fed minutes similar to Andre Drummond in Detroit in order to let him develop. But we havn't even gotten to the best part yet. Think of a Davis and Noel front court. Think of the blocks. Think of the fantastic marketing campaign that can be run around those two. I can see it now ''The Thin Towers'' , ''New Orleans Block Party'' and my personal favourite ''The Brow and whatever the hell style hair this is''. Seriously is the idea of having two elite shot blockers manning the paint not appealing? You could have had it all NOLA but instead
Ya Blew It... (via helchin93)
I <3 Rob Hennigan:
As much as I love bashing bad GM's I go both ways(Please I could hear that joke coming a mile away) when it comes to praising GM's i'm just as passionate. To say Hennigan's has turned a franchise that looked like it got jack crap from the Dwight deal into a franchise full of assets and potential. First off Nikola Vucevic has turned into one of the best rebounders in the NBA. Maurice Harkless began to establish himself as a real talent during the end of the season. One of my favourite moves had to be flipping the expiring contract of J.J Reddick for the young 6'8 SF Tobias Harris(Btw Harris is easily one of my favourite young players to watch.). To add to that they've added maybe the safest bet in this draft in Victor Oladipo. Bear in mind they still have Aaron Afflalo, Doron Lamb, Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O Quinn who are all prospects with some really interesting upside. If they could trade for a PG to replace Jameer Nelson then this team has the potential to be a real contender a few years down the road. I mean they look like the perfect small ball lineup. Harris is a great rebounder and offers a variety of scoring and ball handling options(just look at his box scores from when he moved to Orlando). Not to mention they have the next good defense and 3 wing man in Maurice Harkless(Who also has shown good potential when it comes to taking his man on with his dribble) and they've just added Victor Oladipo who's pretty much already at Tony Allen's level when it comes to being a defensive shut down guy with potential to become a real offensive threat. This team is going to be so interesting to follow over the next few seasons but i do have my concerns for them going forward. Is Nikola Vucevic a legitimate rim protector akin to a Roy Hibbert and can they
become the hero Gotham deserves find a better point guard to run this offense? If they answer to both of those is yes then watch out this team is going places.
Inside the Draft Rooms:
GM: Ah NBA Draft Night. Time to put that first round exit to the Heat behind us and concentrate on more important matters. Such as who we are going with tonight.
Assistant GM: I think we should go Indian, Chinese gave me the brown rain last time we got it.
GM: Agreed, that Kung Pao Chicken is nothing short of explosive, and not in the good way.
*A young looking intern looks up from his laptop and clears his throat*
GM: What is it?
Intern: Sir, shouldn't we start talking about who we are going to pick in the draft tonight?
GM: Pfft. Nobody would be stupid enough to pay that guy the money he's asking. By the way when are you going to submit that qualifying offer to his agent?
Assistant GM: It's in the post boss. Also got in contact with J.R Smith and Monta Ellis and J.R Smith's agent also.
GM: Perfect. Think about the team we would have if we signed all three of those guys.......
MEANWHILE IN A DRAFT ROOM SOMEWHERE IN SACRAMENTO......
*The Sacramento GM sits at the top of a long table with with all of his executives surrounding him as he chats to the owner of the team*
GM: Yes sir, of course I will.
*The GM puts the phone back on the cradle*
GM: Okay guys we are taking Ben McLemore.
Rest of the room: WHAT?
GM: You heard me. The boss says he wants McLemore so we take McLemore.
Exec No.1: Does he realize we already have Marcus Thornton and have already submitted a qualifying offer for Tyreke Evans?
GM: Yes.....but this is what the owner wants so that's what we are going to do.
Exec No.2: Hey Boss you okay you're sweating quite a bit.
GM: NO I'M NOT WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, SHUT UP, I NEED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!
*The GM runs out of the room and slams the door after him leaving the room in a stunned silence*
Exec No.1: Man, I did not see that coming.
*Exec No.1 turns to Exec No.2*
Exec No.1: I can't believe we are taking another shooting guard. It's almost like the owners are trying to piss off the fans....
*Exec No.2 looks sheepishly at Exec No.1*
Exec No.1: OH YOU GOTTA BE SHITTING ME. REALLY? WE ARE REALLY? DOING THIS?
Exec No.2: We thought you knew. I mean we all copped it years ago when we started Isiah Thomas, gave and extension to Marcus Thompson and traded Thomas Robinson only 6 months after taking him 5th overall. I mean we've basically been tanking the team so it was financially impossible to keep the team here so the league would be forced to move to Seattle.
*Exec No.1 stares on shocked*
Exec No.1: I can't believe.....this is......WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THIS EARLIER SO I COULD HAVE HELPED?!?
- Utah finally got the PG they so desperately needed in Trey Burke. All Utah needs to add is another guard and I REALLY like that team. Kanter and Favors are two monsters and Hayward and Burks have the potential to develop into some serious players. All the while this is being run by the best point guard in this rookie class. Something to pay attention to as the season goes on.
- Portland are hoarding assets at a rate that even Daryl Morey would be impressed with. Myers Leonard and Jeff Withey are both 7ft who have shown ability in particular areas of the game. Not to mention they have the reigning rookie of the year in Damian Lillard and drafted C.J McCollum who reminds me a ton of Stephen Curry and to finish it off they have Will Barton who's showed some glimpses of the great potential he has as a combo guard. I proposed a trade earlier on that would send Kevin Love to Portland for Meyers Leonard and Nic Batum along with a future 1st rounder. I don't think anybody declines this trade.
- As for the whole Bill Simmons draft experience let me just say this. Journalism or analytics is first and foremost impartial. One of Simmons biggest pulls is that he's such a big Boston homer, and he doesn't make any attempt to disguise it either. So if you're going to blame anyone for this then blame ESPN for basically saying ''fuck it'' to impartially and journalistic conduct. Don't get me wrong Simmons is a writer who I enjoy reading. Regardless of what you think of him look at it like this. You can put any fan of any team in the situation Simmons was in and the chances they handle it in any way as well as he did are extremely slim. Also screw the reporter that interviewed Doc Rivers. There were a TON of questions you could have asked but instead you go straight to the school yard ''He called you this, whatcha gonna do about it''?
Hope you all enjoyed the read.