NBA Draft 2012 -- The Good, the Bad and the Grotesque.
There aren't more exciting non-game, sporting events then the NBA draft. It's not a 36-hour bonanza like its NFL counterpart and unlike the NHL and MLB drafts, most people have heard of the guys getting drafted. If you were in Bangladesh Thursday night, here's what you have missed from an eventful evening at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Riskiest Pick-- Dion Waiters: Waiters is the Jessica Simpson of this draft. He has superstar potential but right when it seems like he's getting there, something always happens. His arched build, defensive intensity, lack of a left hand, are all major flaws for the 4th overall pick to have. Cleveland passed on a more accomplished player (Thomas Robinson) and a safer pick (Harrison Barnes) to take the sultry Waiters.On the bright side, Kyrie Irving's father Drederick told me his son was thrilled with the choice.
Best Haul -- Boston Celtics: The Hornets don't count, because the team that ended up with Anthony Davis was destined to be the clear winner of the draft. With Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph, Danny Ainge drafted three accomplished, tough college players who fit roles for Doc Rivers' squad. More than that, all three have major chips on their shoulders (Sullinger and Joseph for dropping in the draft, Melo for being banned from the NCAA) that should help them fit right in a feisty Celtic group.
It's a Wonderful Life "Feel Good" Moment -- Thomas Robinson: When Robinson was drafted by the Kings, he offered the quote of the draft. Fighting back tears, Robinson told a national audience, "I aint stopping for nobody, I got work to do." A moment like this is overwhelming for anybody, but for Robinson who lost his mother and both grandparents within three weeks, last year, it was especially powerful. I wouldn't bet against Thomas Robinson.
Million Dollar Baby Most Depressing Moment : Towards the end of the first round, a blackout drunk fan passed out in his seat, much to the delight of his section. When security woke the fan, he tried to fight back, and was quickly handcuffed and led from the arena. If getting hammered and arrested at the NBA Draft isn't rock bottom, I'd like to know what is.
Some Other Memorable Scenes: 1) David Stern getting booed so loudly that it was impossible to hear the picks he was announcing. 2) Knicks fans waiting until 11 p.m. for their pick, only to hear Kostas Papanikolaou, a Greek player who's likely staying overseas. 3) New York native and West Virginia grad Kevin Jones sitting in the stands through 60 picks without hearing his name called. 4) Sign of the power of twitter: I texted congratulations to a player on being drafted after hearing about it through twitter. He didn't hear from the team for another two minutes. Oops.