Because Jay Bilas’ commentary wasn’t good enough for you, we relive the highlights of the 2009 NBA Draft first round, and let you in on some of the insights you may have missed. Enjoy.
Pick No. 1: Don’t feel bad for Blake Griffin. Sure, he’s going to play for arguably the worst franchise in the history of pro sports, but think about this. The guy is going to be making millions of dollars while playing in front of fans who have zero expectations. He can focus entirely on where he’ll be playing after his rookie contract runs out, who he’ll be partying with after the game, and whether he wants to wake up to a blonde or brunette in the morning. He’s 20 years old, a multi-millionaire, physically fit, and living in L.A. Just point him to the nearest Costco and show him where they keep the Trojans.
Pick No. 2: The premise of the movie Major League is simple. Rachel Phelps, the vindictive widow of the deceased owner of the Cleveland Indians (nay, the deposed son of the king of Nigeria…just kidding, I just wrote the first part of that sentence a little weird), wants to run the franchise into the ground so she can move the team to Florida. She enlists the crappiest players and the worst coaching staff she can find to help her achieve the goal. Things turn tragic for Phelps when the cast of misfits starts winning in spite of their evil owner, and makes the playoffs, ensuring the team will remain in Cleveland.
By selecting Hasheem Thabeet at No. 2, I kind of get the feeling that the Memphis Grizzlies are employing the same strategy as Phelps in Major League. Except that they won’t win, have possibly set the franchise back another five years, and are destined for Seattle circa 2015, pending funding for a new arena. Attention Seattle City Council: This is quite possibly the biggest gimme ever; don’t screw it up!
Pick No. 3: The Oklahoma City Cloudfarts select shooting guard James Harden, an excellent scorer from Arizona State who more closely resembles the “before” picture in a weight-loss ad, than an actual NBA player.
Pick No. 5: It’s safe to say that Ricky Rubio is already in the Ginobili-Parker class of perennial floppers that destroy the game of basketball. I know little about Rubio’s game, but I guarantee you that he flops like a bitch. Luckily, he’s been selected by Minnesota, so no one will notice.
Pick No. 6: Minnesota defies all logic by selecting back-to-back point guards. At No. 6 they go with Syracuse product Jonny Flynn, who, if we were dealing with twins in the womb, would be the more powerful embryo that would engulf Rubio and emerge as a superhuman hybrid force that could overtake humanity. Just sayin’.
Pick No. 7: Knick fans are getting excited now. It’s almost time for New York to select Stephen Curry. But wait! What’s this? Golden State? Golden State?! Golden Effing State?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Damn you, Run TMC!
Pick No. 8: As their consolation prize, the Knicks receive a female teeny pop singer in Jordan Hill. Oh, wait, he’s actually a power forward from Arizona? The name threw me, I’ll be honest. Might as well be Debbie Gibson.
Pick No. 9: The Toronto Raptors select DeMar Derozan, who actually kind of looks like a raptor. Maybe that’s their strategy every year. Draft players that resemble raptors. Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, and now Derozan. I guess if the whole basketball thing doesn’t work out, you can pay your first rounder to be the team mascot.
Pick No. 10: The Milwaukee Bucks select Brandon Jennings. Jennings wasn’t invited to the green room. But he’ll get his revenge. Just you wait.
Pick No. 11: The New Jersey Nets take Louisville product and native Seattleite Terrence Williams. I don’t want to call this the steal of the draft, but Williams will be a pleasant surprise for Nets fans this late in the lottery.
Pick No. 12: The funny thing about drafting a player who has the same name as another player (in this case Gerald Henderson, Jr., son of ex-NBA player Gerald Henderson) is that if you don’t specify who you’re drafting, you never know who might show up on the first day of practice.
It’s like when you get together with your friends for a fantasy football draft and someone takes Steve Smith in the second round. At least one wise-ass will say, “You mean the New York Giants’ Steve Smith, right?” while another will crack, “No, he means Steve Smith, former shooting guard for the Atlanta Hawks.” The reality, of course, is that you mean Steve Smith, wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers and everybody pretty much knows this. Just like everybody pretty much knows that the Charlotte Bobcats drafted Gerald Henderson, Jr., right? Well I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Pick No. 13: The Pacers take Tyler Hansbrough, which has fans in Utah kicking themselves over the fact that they never saw this coming.
Pick No. 14: The Phoenix Suns take Louisville standout Earl Clark, who isn’t in attendance to share the momentous occasion. But guess who just arrived? It’s No. 10 overall pick Brandon Jennings! And he’s walking in on the middle of David Stern speaking! Right off the streets of New York and into your television sets! We love you, Brandon. Thanks for making a fool out of David Stern.
Pick No. 15: Gonzaga forward Austin Daye goes to Detroit where he will undoubtedly frustrate Pistons fans for years to come with his soft play and inability to put on weight. Somehow, I don’t see this working out.
Pick No. 18: Seconds before the Minnesota Timberwolves make their third first-round pick, I receive a text message from a friend who says, and I quote, “I wonder if minnesota drafts another pg haha.” Seconds later, they do just that by taking Ty Lawson. Only no one in Minnesota is laughing.
A few minutes, the Wolves front office learns the error of their ways and sends Lawson to Denver. Ricky Rubio is pleased.
Pick No. 20: The Jazz surprise us all by not drafting B.J. Mullens. Instead they go with Eric Maynor from Virginia Commonwealth. The fans of Salt Lake are irate.
Pick No. 23: The Sacramento Kings use their second first-round pick on Omri Casspi, a forward from Israel. I’m sorry, but if I was an NBA GM I would never, ever, ever draft a guy that a) looked like Casspi and b) came from Israel. Does anything about Casspi’s physical appearance or nationality make you think “NBA player?” He’s tall I guess, but that’s about it.
Why do GMs continually make these selections (which piss off the fans, for one), then act all surprised when it doesn’t work out? It’s like going to McDonald’s, ordering a Fishwich, and walking away disappointed that you received little more than an oversized fish stick on a bun. You knew what you were getting into. Don’t act like you didn’t see this coming.
Pick No. 25: The Cloudfarts strike again by drafting Rodrigue Beaubois, a guy with one of those names that suggests the team may have seriously screwed up their draft board.
Unfortunately, Bennett’s Bandits quickly turn around and deal Beaubois to the Mavericks. Fortunately, the Blunder receive B.J. Mullens in return. He’ll have big shoes to fill in OKC. Robert Swift, Johan Petro, Mouhamed Sene. Good luck with that, kid.
Pick No. 26: The Chicago Bulls take forward Taj Gibson, which has the Raptors front office in an uproar.
Pick No. 27: The Grizzlies spend their second first-round pick on forward DeMarre Carroll from Missouri. That’s not the story here, however. The real story is the shot of the one Memphis fan in the crowd who actually had the testicular fortitude to show up in a replica Grizzlies jersey.
Further research reveals that the fan is wearing a Marc Gasol jersey. What an indictment on your organization when fans have to purchase and wear Marc Gasol jerseys. Twenty years from now, this will be the equivalent of owning a Paul Mokeski Cavs jersey.
I guess we know why the fan was cheering the selection of Carroll. If you read his lips carefully, you can clearly see that he’s saying, “Now I can get a new jersey!”
Pick No. 28: The Wolves spend their fourth and final first-round pick further shoring up their backcourt by selecting UNC product Wayne Ellington. That’s four picks, four guards, in case you’re keeping score at home. Somewhere, Sebastian Telfair is sobbing like a baby.
Pick No. 29: The Los Angeles Lakers select Toney Douglas, then promptly trade him to the New York Knicks. You know what that means, Madison Square Garden? It’s Toney Douglas Time!!!!!!! Live it, love it. TDT, baby.
Pick No. 30: The Cleveland Cavaliers make their obligatory first-round pick by drafting the same guy that Kevin Bacon’s character recruited in The Air Up There. “You all right, Jimmy Dolan?” Don’t worry Christian Eyenga, Jimmy’s fine. He just had his pubic region cut open in a tribal ritual so he could play basketball with your team tomorrow, but he’s good. Rub some dirt on it, dude. Walk it off. You’ll be okay.