Most years I watch the NBA Draft and am none too sure why. I guess when the dog days of summer begin a crackin’, there are not many entertainment options open during the week. I enjoy the NBA’s version of the draft to the NFL’s. Basketball’s is quicker, the highlight reels are more fun (dunks!), and then you get analysis from jackasses on ESPN on European players that you know damn-well they have never seen anything beyond the twenty second looped clip they are playing while they are talking.
This year is different. It is the year of the Jimmer. If you are not savvy, Jimmer Fredette is a very white guard from BYU who lit up the nation with his whiteness and ability to white the ball into the net. He looks like the farthest thing from an NBA-ready player (even without his ever-pale skin), but that has not stopped the (white) hype machine from pumping up the very white Jimmer Fredette, who is white.
This year also provided me the new opportunity of covering the draft as a member of the press. It was an iceberg of self-appointed responsibility and the very idea made me nervous. If readers took my word as serious as I take ESPN’s analysts’ words, then many people will be yakking on their keyboards as they pour through my prose. Hence, there was only one way of handling this: red wine and a light dinner. Instead of the in-depth coverage that you, the reader, have come to expect from this highly acclaimed news site, I will offer a timeline of my thoughts as the action happened. Without further ado, commence au festival! (all times PST)
2:33 – Found out about the three-trade (via twitter) that sends Stephen Jackson to Milwaukee. Crap, damn, hell! I am still at work and the fireworks have begun. How am I suppose to break this down without booze?! Only if it were the 50s; I’d be able to go to my office and pour a healthy Scotch. Alright, let’s give this a go. Sacramento gets John Salmons (coming off a piss poor season) and move down in the draft? Verdict: Loser. Charlotte gives up Jackson to move up three spots in the apocalypse draft, and has to pay Corey Maggette?! Verdict: Loser. Milwaukee swaps their 10th pick with the 19th, ships out Salmons and get Jackson? If they are healthy next year, they are a playoff team in the East. Verdict: Winner! (largely by default) Your Chicago Bulls benefited more than any of the teams in the trade, seeing as the Bobcats are surely not going to make the playoffs, making the Bulls draft pick from them becoming sexier and sexier (as the more the Bobbycats remain in mediocrity, the higher the Bulls pick moves!).
3:00 – Got off work an hour early.
3:23 – Uncork bottle of Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin to decant and pour a rye on the rocks. Verdict: Winner. Judas Pato is already better off than all three teams involved in the above trade.
4:00 – ESPN’s draft coverage begins! Let the Jimmer hype climb to ridiculous proportions!
4:13 – Already sick of Stu’s wandering eye and the clan of schmucks that ESPN has gathered for this thing. Jay Bilas is the only qualified person on the set.
4:21 – I cannot stand Rachel Nicols’ cadence. It is so unnatural. So unJimmer.
4:34 – David Stern reminds me of Michael Myers’ character from Coffee Talk.
4:37 – Broke out the smoked Gouda and Fontina cheeses. Let’s draft this shit up!
4:39 – Kyrie Irving is selected first overall by the Cavs. You heard it here first: THE NEXT LEBRON! (Hell, no one else will say it.) ESPN’s analysis on Kyrie: he is an incredibly bland talent. Hurrah! I’ll tell you one thing, he’s no Jimmer.
4:49 – T-Wolves grab Derrick Williams, huzzah! Jazz on the clock. I say, fuck it, pick Jimmer! UPDATE: They did not drop the f-bomb and drafted Enes Kanter in Jimmer’s stead.
4:59 – Cavs select Tristan Thomas with the 4th pick. Their two picks have bust written all over them. My analysis: Fontina is one underrated cheese. I am surprised that no one has traded for Fontina. Fontina = the real Jimmer of the draft
5:02 – Raptors select a Lithuanian Jonas Brother (I cannot spell his name) who will surely fade into obscurity in the NBA’s Canadian outpost.
5:08 – The Wiz draft another European, this one is named named Jan. This truly is the apocalypse draft.
5:14 – The Bobbycats selected Bismack Biyombo, not only the coolest name in the NBA, but also a very confused gentleman from the Congo (which does not exist anymore – it is the Democratic Republic of the Congo – but no one seems to care. Oh, African wars, you crack me up!). He is also the most web-hyped player of the draft, a Jimmer for us interwebbers.
5:18 – The Pistons select another Knight who do nothing in the NBA. Lordly, there are tons ‘o teams that are so far from doing anything in the NBA. Glad to see the Pistons are one of them.
5:28 – Kemba Walker’s (9th pick – Bobbycats) mother, Andrea Walker, answers, “How does this day feel?” with “It feels like the day I gave birth to him.” OUCH! I guess Kemba going to Charlotte pains her deeply (deeply being quite literal).
5:29 – Jimmer is going to Milwaukee!!! Jimmer is going to Milwaukee!!! I am genuinely excited about this, as the Bulls have the Bucks in their division and I doubt Jimmer will amount to anything in the NBA. Kudos to Jimmer though, he is as pale-ass-white as most of the ladies in Milwaukee. Seems like a perfect fit for his magical underwear. The whitest chapter of the draft is now over. What will ESPN talk about now? …Jimmer, of course. (Ed. Note: Jimmer is headed to Sac, as I reported in the trade above – see 2:33. It is more fun to imagine him in Milwaukee, though.)
5:34 – Why have I not heard of Fontina cheese before? BTW, the suits blow in the draft, thus far. UPDATE FROM THE FUTURE: The suits continue to blow.
5:36 – Something called a Klay Thompson got drafted by the GS Warriors. Any intrigue in this draft is now over. Time to hit the bottle harder. NB Analysis: Why did GS draft a guard with the 11th pick? Does this mean that Monta Ellis is truly on the block? Does this mean the Bulls are getting Monta?! Please, please! Oh, that’s right, Monta plays no D. Thibs would probably not even start him. Face it Bulls fans, the roster ain’t changing much. Bob Dylan was wrong, the times are not a changin’.
5:40 – If you are excited about the new Transformers movie – you suck. I wish that were just a generalization, but it is the truth. Sorry, suckas! You need less plotless CG in your life and more Jimmer.
5:42 – I think the entire ESPN staff, minus Jay Bilas, has conceded knowing anything about the rest of the draftees (post Jimmer – PJ). With that said, the Jazz drafted Alec Burks – which kinda sounds like Ellis Burks (thus concludes my analysis – I guess I am ESPN material).
5:45 – Let’s just put this to bed and get Stu an eye patch. On top of not having to look at that screwy eye, it would be infinitely hilarious. Someone start a petition. I would instantly go from not being able to watch Stu to demanding seeing Stu in every sporting event. He has the opportunity to completely Jimmer his image.
5:50 – Apparently there are some twins in this draft! One of them the Suns just took, the other cried. Now THAT is the hardcore hitting analysis you come to NB for!
5:55 – The other twin got picked! More importantly, I killed a mosquito on my wine glass. What the Jimmer is a mosquito doing on my wine glass in the desert? It was 110 degrees out today! (Ed. Note: Exclamation points seem to be increasing with the hooch intake.)
5:58 – Question of the Night: Twins’ mother asked if she ever thought that 21 years ago that she imagined her boys going back-to-back in the first round of the NBA Draft. I really was hoping for a, “I expected them to go 1-2,” answer. I guess I will just have to down some more wine in disappointment.
6:01 – Indy picks Kawhi Leonard from the Mountain West’s (UNLV’s conference) San Diego State, easily the best suit of the night (which is good, he will need his accolades being a SF without a shot). As Bethlehem Shoals put it, “Oh gosh. A man capable of such lapels will not love Indianapolis. He will think of where I-65 can take him.
6:10 – Bilas seems to be getting fed up with being paired up with the rest of the ESPN clowns.
6:13 – The Knicks just picked someone called “I Man.” ESPN showed Spike Lee a bunch during the pick, then interviewed him. I expected him to talk about how little he has done since Do the Right Thing, but he talked about defense instead. Bilas talked about the pick being able to do everything well, while the rest of the cast has completely laid down on knowing anything about any of the players being drafted – PJ. I think Jeff Van Gundy even said something like, “Can we pretend that Jimmer was not drafted yet?”
6:18 – The Wiz drafter former White Sox outfielder and color commentator, Chris Singleton. I will go ahead and say that it is a very vanilla pick. If nothing else, Ed Farmer will probably make fun of him.
6:20 – Only nine more picks until the Bulls find the answer to all of their problems. And if they screw that up, have no fear, they have the 30th pick as well.
6:27 – San Antonio has traded George Hill to Indy for the rights of Kawhi Leonard (no word if the suit is included). This is a noodle-bender as the Pacers need an impact player who can make a difference (as was evident with their series against the Bulls) and instead picked up a(nother) role player, this one being a point guard. Huh. I guess the suit was too much for Indy. The Spurs are said to be waving Tony Parker’s name as trade bait. Does this mean the era of the robot dynasty is over?
6:30 – I pack up the cheese. I am still waiting for that blockbuster Bulls trade for Monta Ellis.
6:37 – Wondering if I can stay upright for the Bulls 28th and 30th picks. Maybe skipping lunch and having a cheese dinner was mistake. The booze is chirpin’.
6:53 – OKC just drafted Mr. October!!!
6:55 – Another trade happened. Whateves, I need to decided between another bottle of red or rye. I think the Raymond Chandler in me may win out.
7:05 – These Bulls picks need to happen.
7:08 – Bulls on the board!
7:11 – The Bulls trade their pick to Minnesota for Nikola Mirotic (the 23rd pick overall). Hm. The Bulls have two excellent things going for them with this trade: THING ONE. They are trading with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are awfully, terribly horrible at trading anything or making simple decisions in general. THING TWO. The lad is from little Montenegro, which would make Jay Gatsby proud!
7:21 – The Bulls picked up a second small forward who will also not play in a game next season in Jimmy Butler, from Marquette.
7:23 – Is anyone still reading this? I stopped reading a long time ago.
7:34 – The Pistons drafted a Hobbit from Duke. Good for them.
7:41 – Dallas is involved in a three-team trade that nets them Rudy Fernandez. How Dallas of them. Rudy is a perfect fit for the Mavs, another uppity player to come off the bench.
7:47 – Boeing’s defining plane, and the time that I was convinced Jay Bilas is a college basketball robot. There is not much I like about ESPN, but Bilas is amazing.
7:58 – Another trade happened, this one between the Celts and Nets involving two players who will most likely never see the court. Good for them. Everybody needs their 15 minutes.
8:06 – The Bulls selected Malcom Lee from UCLA, who is supposedly going to Minnesota. Good thing too, they need more guards if they are going to run that four-guard system they are gearing up for. He is no Jimmer. And apparently I have hit my word-count as I am not able to write another line. If you are still reading, bless your soul. Goodnite.