Another piece of the puzzle about to be put in place
Happy Draft Day!
Or, as some of us like to think of it: Third worst day of the year after Pre-camp Media Day (too many people, no real stories, takes forever) and End Of The Season Locker Clean Out Day (it drags, we’re all tired, no one really says anything but you’re there waiting for about three hours).
What happens tonight?
The only quasi-realistic guy who can come in and help fill a need right away is small forward Harrison Barnes but I can’t envision a scenario that has him fall to eight.
Sure, Damian Lillard or Dion Waiters would be nice but I also can’t see either of them being there at No. 8 and the rest are, according to a lot of people I talk to and whose opinion I respect, are okay but hardly difference-makers for this team.
It’s a group of Austin Rivers, Perry Jones and a handful of others and if it comes to that, Bryan has to try to pull some kind of trade magic, give up eight and a player and move back to get a later pick and a better player.
History would suggest not but this is one of the weirdest drafts that I can remember; there’s always chatter and disinformation and smokescreens and speculation but it seems there’s far more this year than there has been.
Who’s going to screw things up? Well, at first glance I’d say Cleveland might do something off the wall at No. 4, I can see Sacramento doing something at No. 5 and the biggest wild card of ‘em all is Houston, which has three picks and a desire to move at least one, probably two and maybe all three of them.
For the HOTH?
This is not a transformative night by any means but it could be significant. If Bryan can somehow solve his small forward issue today or tonight it’s going to be a huge leg up on the free agency season that starts Sunday (a guy can’t get any rest, can he?) and things might be looking better for the future.
But if he has to hold his nose and take someone at eight who’s just a player with some promise, I think it has to be seen as a disappointing night.
Whatever happens, we’ll be sitting around tomorrow talking about it and dissecting it and wondering what it all means when the simple fact is this:
It’s a bit piece in a continuing process of improving this team; no matter what we say or what we think or what others say or think, we won’t know for sure until next fall so I’m not sure there’s any reason to get too bent out of shape regardless of what goes on.
Five things I’d love to hear from a team executive tonight:’
“We have no idea if he can play but he made some shots when he was being guarded by one of our assistant coaches one day.”
“Sure, he’s short but he’s also slow; mental makeup will cover a lot of failings in an athlete, our sports psychologist told us.”
“No, it’s not the guy we wanted, are you on drugs?”
“We don’t think he can come in and contribute right away but we had to take someone.”
“We had no trade talks whatsoever, what do we have that anyone wants?”
Okay, this is official:
Penalty kicks to end soccer games at hugely significant international events is a stupid way to decide a winner.
Let ‘em play!
Sure, they might get tired and play might get ragged and they might be out there for hours but who cares?
You need to find a winner on the field, not from the spot. Watching that Euro semifinal yesterday (aside from the fact it was a boring dive-fest for the first 90 minutes) left me entirely empty when it was over.
I’d rather have ‘em run until they drop and someone scores; I’d like to see coaches have to save substitutes just in case the play 150 minutes, I’d like to see overtime tactics instead of penalties.
(I’d sure have loved to see Ronaldo take one, too; wasn’t that the oddest big-game coaching decision since whoever it was left Gretzky on the bench in Nagano?)
Sure, it’s dramatic and I know the fans love it but, really, it doesn’t make any sense. They need to play those games until there’s a winner.
And five things I’d love to hear from a draft pick tonight:
“I guess I can get used to the city; wasn’t my first choice.”
“I just want to come and get my shots and my minutes.”
“I have no idea what my teammate are like, I only watched good teams last season.”
“I don’t care what style they play, I’m going to get mine.”
“The shortest period of time I have to be here is three years, right?”
I’d love some.
And don’t forget we’ll be here tonight sometime just before 7:30, please join in, it’s fun. No idea how long we’ll stay but it’ll be worth it.
A couple of the all-time good guys decided to hang ‘em up yesterday.
Anthony Parker told folks in Cleveland that his career’s over and it was a pretty good one; played about nine years in the NBA, was one of the classiest Raptors I ever had a chance to write about and I’m sure he’ll do well in whatever he does.
And then I wake up early this morning, check the twitter feed and find out from Jose that it looks like Garbo’s putting a lid on his career.
Can’t think of a better guy – forget player, just a guy – that I’ve had a chance to write about. Sure, he was excellent on the floor, played hard, played smart, could make a shot when you needed it, but off the court, he was cool.
Two good ones:
It’s his rookie year, he wins NBA rookie of the month (the same day he’d won Mr. Europa or something like that) he’s walking out of the interview room after a shootaround.
I get up beside him as he’s going to the locker room, suggest he should be pretty proud and looks at me and says:
“If I am rookie of the month, this league is blanked”
And one day we’re in Madrid as part of the European training camp trip and I’m in the lobby bar of the team hotel waiting for Stumpy or something like that, sitting there having a beer by myself.
Garbo’s over at another table with his agent or someone and after they finish, he walks by to say hello. I point to the brand I’m drinking (it was all unknown to me) and ask him if it’s a good one that locals have.
He looks at me like I’ve got three heads and says:
“That beer is too light for you. You need to have a man’s beer.”
He orders me a Presidente, we sit there and have it and if you don’t love an NBAer who has an affinity for a beer and will help you pick one, well, you’ve got issues.
Love the guy.