So there I am, trying to show some couth and aplomb while chatting for 90 minutes or so with various general managers, assistant general managers, part-owners, chairmen and whoever else was in the big boardroom after the lottery was done and in the dark recesses of my mind, I’m thinking:
“Oooooh, some Irregulars are going to be miffed.”
Let the fun begin.
And by fun I mean five or six weeks of abject guesswork, much consternation and confusion and too’ing and fro’ing about the suitability of basketballers few of us have seen more than once or twice on TV and likely seldom in person.
Really, all that last night did was deepen the pool of possible draft picks and it’s going to create a lot more chatter among, well, among you folks between now and June 23.
And there’s lots to talk about.
Do they go with a point guard like Brandon Knight of Kentucky or do they roll the dice on Kemba Walker of Connecticut, if he’s there.
Do they go big?
Or, as one Irregular e-mailed seconds after I got to turn my machine on:
“I hope all the sports writers in town are good spellers because I feel a Euro big coming at No. 5.”
Let the fun begin.
So, what’s it like in there?
Mind-numbingly boring for the most part but kind of cool.
We’re shepherded into the room about 7 p.m., reps of the 14 teams, a handful of league officials, three very large security guards and five members of the media to act as witnesses, or hostages.
You walk in the boardroom and they want you’re blackberries or phones or whatever you have, as expected, although we could keep tape recorders if we wanted and could use laptops, as it turns out, because they had blocked any wireless access to the room.
But the speed with which it came together was stunning.
A dude from Ernst and Young walked everyone through the process, the balls were dropped one-by-one into the hopper (which looks like a toned-down version of any old lottery machine and was built specifically for the event) and then it started.
Three draws, each taking a minute and it was all over and done with by 7:23 p.m. if the chicken scratch in the notebook can be trusted.
Then? Then we stood around nibbling on cold cuts and cookies and drinking coffee and soda, chatting with the likes of Ernie Grunfeld and Billy McKinny, Marc Eversley and a handful of others.
Nice talks, very long wait while watching the whole process on TV like many of you were.
But you need to trust me on this: It so above-board and impossible to rig and witnessed by so many people with so much vested interest in the process that there’s no way it could be anything but legit.
I’m sure that won’t appease everyone but I really don’t care.
Guy goes down the lobby about 6 a.m. to grab the first of many coffees of the day and the music’s playing and The Temptations are warbling My Girl and now it’s going be in my head all day.
“Even got the month of May, with my girl, my girl, my girl.”
Okay, David Kahn is a goof.
The Minnesota GM, who really hasn’t distinguished himself as, you know, particularly bright in his job and something of a collector of point guards, dropped this quote after the lottery last night:
“This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines. Last year it was Abe Pollin’s widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy. I told Kevin: ‘We’re toast. This is not happening for us.’ And I was right.”
I’m pretty sure David or one of his Henchmen are spinning the old “fine-o-meter wheel” right now.
I’m guessing $35,000, maybe $50,000.
Who should they take?
No clue, really.
The consensus of a couple of people I talked to through the night is that Cleveland takes Kyrie Irving without a doubt, Minnesota maybe picks Enes Kanter and Utah grabs up Derrick Williams, although those last two may flip.
Then? Who knows. One guy thought Cleveland might gamble on a project like Bismack Biyombo or Jonas Valanciunas.
That would leave the Raptors with a lot of choice but I will offer this warning for the first of many times:
Mock drafts are little more than guesswork, teams have a tendency to put out disinformation campaigns and nothing really is as it seems.
RIP Harmon Killebrew.
I never met the man, never wrote about him but everything tells me he was one of the great guys in the game.
And isn’t that one of the greatest names in sports history?
Let me get this straight.
Dirk had 48 points on 15 shots?
That’s one for the ages.
And I think he might have just fouled out Scott Brooks.
Oh yeah, Bryan got his deal done, right?
Two years and an option with incentives to make that option reachable seems to be fair and it’s really not a surprise at all that it got done.
And while I fully expect Jay to be back on the final option year of his deal, Bryan didn’t go nearly as far last night endorsing him as he did at his end-of-season media thingy.
“In the coming days, we’re going to be very busy with the draft combine in Chicago (and) Jay and I will probably have a chance to meet. It won’t be the first time this off-season we’ve met but it will be the first time we’ve really met in earnest talking about the direction of the team, talking about de-briefing on what happened this season and where things are.
“I’m looking forward to those opportunities to sit down with him with what I could call more focus, better quality time together and we have a lot of business to take care of.”
I don’t see a lot of roadblocks in the way but the GM didn’t come right out and say the coach would be back for sure.
Man, this got long in a hurry today. Guess that’s what happens when stuff goes on.
Anyway, it leaves some stuff for later in the week and I’ll put the first call out now for mail. Click, write, send.
Oh, and we’ve got tonight off, too, right?