Friday, June 25, 2010

2010 NBA draft day shows league gone wacko

On the draft day when news leaked the Portland Trail Blazers already had fired General Manager Kevin Pritchard, but he'd continue to conduct their day's dealings, it became totally real the NBA has Gone Wild, Mad and insane.

Wouldn't it have been comical if Pritchard decided to submit a wise-guy name for one of Portland's draft choices? What if he'd traded Brandon Roy to a team he might already have a hookup to join as their new General Manager? And could you blame Pritchard after the stunts owner Paul Allen has pulled with him?

Chicago and Miami traded players and draft choices to create cap room for perceived opportunities to make runs at a free-agency class expected to be highlighted by LeBron James, Amare Stoudamire, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson and possibly Dirk Nowitzky, to name a few.

It's funny to hear observers call the Bulls the winner of the draft and they made no picks.

Part of me wants to see James jack the entire league and stay with Cleveland to see what moves teams who have bet on the come then make.

James appears to be running things all over the league right now. David Stern is the Commissioner but James, should he decide to do so, could indirectly have teams jumping through imaginary hoops.

James seemingly could tell the Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat and New Jersey Nets each that he'll join their team if they follow his plan.

Undoubtedly, James has the NBA in the palm of his talented hands. What he'll do in this power position remains the question.

Who would have believed one of the NBA's alleged bad boys - Rasheed Wallace - is expected to leave $13 million on the table and retire, just because he can?

Kentucky became the first school to have five players - John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton - drafted in the first round. Only Patterson attended Kentucky more than one season.

Orton, who did not start a game for John Calipari's Wildcats last season, was drafted by Orlando after averaging 3.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 13.4 minutes.

Teams have made moves to create salary cap moves to impress these so-called superstars, yet Wade is the lone player to have played an integral role on an NBA title winner. Stoudamire's defensive efforts for the Phoenix Suns during these recent playoffs told me there would be no way I'd give him maximum dollars.

Bosh's Toronto Raptors last season had a 40-42 record and its 105.9 points allowed per game tied New York for the third most points permitted behind Golden State's 112.4 and Minnesota's 107.8.

The New York Knicks are enlisting entertainment stars/celebrities to basically beg and plead James to come to the Big Apple. If the Knicks get James, do these stars get free season tickets? They certainly should.

The Sacramento Kings draft fifth and get the draft's most talented big man in DeMarcus Cousins, who was bypassed by three teams in part because of alleged red flags.

The Kings used the 33rd choice to draft Hasaan Whiteside, a terrific athlete, whose own reported issues caused him to drop like a rock in the draft. Whiteside already has spent time working Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon and plans to do so again before the 2010-11 season begins.

James says he's about winning and that will be his No. 1 consideration when time comes to select a team. We'll find that out if James takes less money than he could get to align with what seems the best situation.

Now this guy is one of the league's top two or three best players and he's purportedly setting himself to be in the best position to win multiple titles. James has yet to win one title and he's allegedly thinking about winning multiple championships.

Ideally, putting oneself in position to win a championship along with maximizing monetary options is what the concept of free agency is all about. However, there are no guarantees. Injuries can take the best laid plans wash them down a drain with immediacy.

Clearly, the league and sports in general have become something we've never seen before. Where sports will go in the future it is impossible to predict.

No longer will a Jerry West toil for the Los Angeles Lakers for more than a decade only for the thrill of winning one title.

No longer will David Robinson hoop with the San Antonio Spurs only to luck into a No. 1 pick of Tim Duncan and win an NBA championship.

For me, there's something quite sad about that. Then again, I've never even tweeted - yet - so what do I know.

To think, when I first snuck into the NBA draft, it was held via conference call in the league offices in a room around a big table with a couple of telephones. If I'm right, the New York Post's Peter Vecsey and I were the lone reporters in the room.

Now a team that doesn't make a draft choice is dubbed the winner.

1 comment:

  1. I was at the Kings first draft in Sac in 1985. It was held at the Woodlake Inn - which is now the Radisson. ...Joe Axelson took Joe Kleine. ...I was there, my pops, Jerry Reynolds, Jim Crandall are OG's too.