A Candid Salute To The Foreign-Born Second-Rounder

It happens every year. A handful of European players who no one but Fran Fraschilla has ever heard of get selected in the second round of the NBA Draft.

With nothing but YouTube videos to help craft their opinions, ESPN’s draft analysts deftly bullshit us into believing that these future YMCA ballers have a great chance at becoming the next Dirk Nowitzki.

Let’s be honest. We’re all sick of this garbage. Just once, it’d be nice to hear a supposed “draft guru” speak candidly about these Andrea Bargnani wannabes.

Here’s how I picture it going down:

Scene: Deputy commissioner Russ Granik comes walking on stage while the crowd chants something awful about his mother. Grinning like an idiot in spite of the fact that he wants to kill everyone in attendance, Granik manages to make the all-important announcement.

Russ Granik: With the forty-sixth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select Nikola Tjksvlijiblab, a center from Uzbekistan.

As Granik begins to walk away from the podium, out from the green room emerges a lumbering ape with a Ricky Rubio haircut. With a look on his face that can only be described as “quizzically surprised,” Granik hustles back on stage and greets Tjksvlijiblab with a handshake. You have to imagine that if this kid spoke English, Granik would ask him what the f*** he’s doing here. And yet somehow these European projects gain admission to the draft every year.

The cameras cut over to ESPN’s draft podium, where Stuart Scott, Jay Bilas, Jon Barry, and Jeff Van Gundy sit rifling through papers trying to find something, anything, on this mystery man. Having never heard of Tjksvlijiblab, they are at a loss for words. A lackey with a headset on hands a post-it note to Stu.

Stuart Scott: So, uh, it says here that Tjksvlijiblab is a 6’11” center from Uzbekistan who played in the highest division on the Uzbek pro circuit last year. And uh…why don’t we go over to Fran Fraschilla for some analysis. Fran, what do you have on this guy?

The screen image cuts over to Fraschilla, who is broadcasting from a gym in the middle of Tel Aviv. Confidently, Fraschilla has been waiting for this moment to arrive. The moment where he can ejaculate his knowledge onto the ample chest of the masses.

Fran Fraschilla: Yeah, Stu, thanks. Well, I’ll be honest. Tjksvlijiblab is a complete mess. He’s slow, he’s soft, he’s adept at flopping, and he’s been known to cheat. He also rarely showers and has a unibrow.

The screen quickly cuts back to an oblivious Stu Scott.

Stuart Scott: That’s great, Fran. Great stuff right there. Jay Bilas, what do you have for us?

Poised, as always, Bilas is ready with his usual arsenal of well-spoken BS.

Jay Bilas: Stuart, I love the value here. I love the value in this pick. The Bucks are getting a solid player who can step in right away and be a contributor off the bench. I love Tjksvlijiblab’s touch around the bucket. He has a great back-to-the-basket game and he shoots the three well. Love the value.

Jeff Van Gundy interjects.

Jeff Van Gundy: Jay, you’ve said that about the last forty-five picks. Do you actually know anything about Tjksvlijiblab, or are you just making all of that up based on assumption?

With a smug grin plastered to his grill, the unflappable Bilas rebuts.

Jay Bilas: I love the value, Jeff. The value here is great.

Angrily, Jeff responds.

Jeff Van Gundy: You’re a real son of a bitch, Jay. I’m glad they keep you around.

Unmoved, and with his smug grin intact, Jay goes for the kill.

Jay Bilas: I love the value in your mom, Jeff. She’s a steal at $10 an hour.

Jeff has been thwarted. Lips pursed, he says nothing. Stuart regains control of the conversation.

Stuart Scott: Okay, well we have Mark Jones standing by right now with the newest member of the Milwaukee Bucks, Nikola Tjksvlijiblab. Mark, take it away!

Jones, who happens to be Stu’s second cousin, which completely explains how he got the job in the first place, sits casually in a love seat across from Tjksvlijiblab.

Mark Jones: Thanks, Stu! And I’ll see you at Aunt Harriet’s 75th birthday next week! All right, well I’m here with Nikola Tjksvlijiblab and I really don’t think this guy could be any happier right now. Nikola, what went through your mind when you heard your name called?

Tjksvlijiblab concentrates, determined to do this interview in English, without the help of a translator. With all the effort of a baby trying to walk for the first time, Tjksvlijiblab manages to find the right words.

Nikola Tjksvlijiblab: I…am…very…very happy…to be…in…this…country…the greatest…country…in…the…world…and also…very happy…to be…in…New York…City.

Beaming from ear to ear as he reminisces about the intern he plowed just a few short hours ago, Jones replies.

Mark Jones: That’s fantastic, Nikola! If you could, describe your game for us a bit.

Unable to comprehend this sentence, Tjksvlijiblab turns to the man sitting next to him for guidance. We all know who this man is. He is his American host father, also known as the guy who smuggled Tjksvlijiblab into the U.S. upon learning of his basketball talent. He briefly provides a translation, to which the Uzbek nods and responds.

Nikola Tjksvlijiblab: I…love…to play…basketball…and…I…am…happy…to…play…in…N…B…A…in the…greatest…country…in…the world…America.

Still grinning while thinking about the hummer he’s about to get from a different intern between commercial breaks, Jones comes to the realization that this interview is going nowhere.

Mark Jones: Absolutely magnificent, Nikola! Thanks for sitting down with us! Stuart, we’re gonna turn it back over to you!

Zipping his pants back up as an intern scurries out from underneath his chair, Stu rapidly pulls himself together just in time to hand off to Fran Fraschilla once more.

Stuart Scott: Thanks a lot, Mark. Fran, anything else to add?

Ready to unload on the world yet again, Fraschilla erupts.

Fran Fraschilla: Yeah, Stu, just a few quick things. Tjksvlijiblab has been compared to Pau Gasol, but come on, we all know that’s not going to happen. Having seen him play four or five times in person, I liken Tjksvlijiblab to a young Paul Mokeski. Best-case scenario, this guy spends ten seasons in the league with his ass on the bench. Worst-case scenario, he’s making you a piroshky in two years. And we can’t overlook the fact that he’s white. His potential is severely mitigated by the color of his skin, Stuart.

Oblivious yet again, Stuart presents Fraschilla with an obligatory inquiry.

Stuart Scott: So let me ask you this, Fran. What are the odds of this young man making an All-Star team someday?

Completely put off by Stu’s lack of respect for his vast wisdom, Fraschilla snaps.

Fran Fraschilla: Let me respond to that with a question of my own, Stuart. What are the odds of you having good vision in both eyes?

Jay Bilas guffaws.

Jay Bilas: Hah! I’ve been waiting a decade for someone to bring that up! Yeah, Stu, what’s up with your eye, man? I love the value in that joke. Good one, Fran!

Noticeably pissed off, Stu neglects to respond to the cracks about his lazy pupil.

Stuart Scott: Before we go to commercial, let’s get something from Jon Barry quickly. Jon?

Matter-of-factly, Jon deflects Stu’s attempts to include him in the conversation.

Jon Barry: I’ve got nothing, Stuart. But your intern already finished me off, so it’s cool.

Shaking his head in disgust, Stu sends the viewing audience to break.

-End scene.-

We can dream, right?

3 thoughts on “A Candid Salute To The Foreign-Born Second-Rounder”

  1. Do you find it ironic that the only Husky drafted (obviously) was taken by Oklahoma City. In the words of texting people everywhere…WTF Good thing they traded him before he refused to sign (or I can dream)

  2. “And we can’t overlook the fact that he’s white. His potential is severely mitigated by the color of his skin, Stuart.”

    So true.

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