NBA Draft Recap – A Mix of Hilarity and Bewilderment

Greg RiotAnalyst IJune 26, 2009

BEIJING - AUGUST 24:  Dwyane Wade #9 of the United States dives for the loose ball over Ricky Rubio #6 of Spain in the gold medal game during Day 16 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium on August 24, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

NBA Draft – “I Am Ricky Rubio”

To be honest, the 2009 NBA Draft was a little lackluster. It was, however, filled with absurd hilarity. From Griffin’s atrocious choice of clothes to Rubio getting the quote of the night to James Harden sporting a freaking bow tie, I can’t tell if this draft will be remembered more for its comedic value over its actual league impact.

Let’s breakdown some of the highlights:

Quote Of The Night

Hands down this goes to Ricky Rubio who shattered the scale when asked by Mark Jones whom he plays like. Rubio answered, without hesitation, “I’m Ricky Rubio. I’m not like anybody else.” Yes, the Spanish cousin of the Jonas brothers is certainly not like anyone else. He’s an overhyped, overrated, 18 year-old, “passing phenom” that has never been truly measured against the beasts of the NBA.

I know I give this Rubio kid a hard time every chance I get, but one thing was glaringly clear during his highlight reel: they don’t know how to play defense in Europe. I’m serious. Go look at his highlight reel on YouTube and tell me that opposing teams are defending his teammates properly. I can’t wait until Rubio’s quote gets expanded to, “I’m Ricky Rubio. I’m not like anyone else. I’m a defensive liability that is really good at passing, but I’m not athletic enough, fast enough or strong enough to be effective in the slightest. I’m Ricky Rubio, a poor man’s Jose Calderon”.

Best “Needs Improvement” Recommendation

When the number-two pick gets tagged with “needs to improve offensive game” you have to be worried. Really. You have to be. Especially if you’re the Memphis Grizzlies who were the second worst offense in the league last year. On second thought, Hasheem Thabeet fits right in! Forget I said anything!

Best Back Story Of The Night

Granted, I don’t know much about Tyreke Evans but when you hear the words “getaway car” and “nick named after Hurricane Hugo”, that’s not a good thing. How did this not come up in the screening part of the scouting report?

“He was driving a getaway car, coach.”

“That’s my guy. I like his gumption.”

“Seriously, did you hear what I just said?”

“Draft him now. Somebody call Stern, inform him of our decision.”

Dumbest Pick Of The Night

Congratulations, Minnesota! You went from having no point-guard, to having a point-guard controversy right off the bat! I understand the logic – the T Wolves aren’t sure if Rubio will pan out so they take Jonny Flynn as well. My favorite part about Flynn is that he has the largest feet of any guy registered at 5’11. A freak accident to his growth plate in the eighth grade caused Flynn to stop growing, so now he stomps around with size fourteen shoes at barely six-feet tall.

I would’ve done anything to be right next to Kevin Love and Al Jefferson after Stern announced the picks. “Did that just happen?” I await your tweet, Mr. Love, with baited breath.

Dick Move Of The Night

You just knew it was going to happen with Golden State picking right ahead of New York. The Knicks fans were out in droves and booed the crap out of Curry when the Warriors took the sharp shooting Spawn of Curry. It was fantastic. I love watching the Knicks fans suffer. Good news: all you have to do to alleviate any pain that Knicks fans in attendance are enduring at the draft is to show them on TV.

Best Pick Outside Of Top-5

Tyler Hansbrough, the leading UNC scorer of all-time and one of the most decorated college players of all time, went to Indiana with the eleventh pick and I could not think of a better place for him to be. Hansbrough is a tough-as-nails rebounder, scorer and team player. Joining T.J. Ford and Danny Granger, Hansbrough joins an influx of young talent in Indiana that Larry Bird can ride out for the next ten years. I love this pick.

Best Second Round Pick

DeJaun Blair went to the San Antonio Spurs in the second round and that is the best possible destination for Blair, who will get to be mentored by the game’s best power-forward (Tim Duncan) while being groomed by Popovich to join a championship caliber team that now totes Richard Jefferson as well. Fantastic pick-up in the second round, and the steal of the draft if Blair becomes a 10-8 type bench player.

Luckiest Guy In The Draft

Besides “all of them”, the actual guy who lucked out the most is Ty Lawson, the former UNC standout who got moved to Denver for a future first-round to Minnesota. Lawson is a fierce leader and competitor, and now gets to learn from one of the best point-guards in the business – Chauncey Billups. Solid night for Lawson.

Most Misleading Tag Line

“Brandon Jennings is a terrific scorer.” Really? This loud-mouthed idiot played in Italy and averaged 5.5 points per game. Granted, that’s better than Adam Morrison did in the pros, but holy crap can the experts cool it a little.

And that really sums up the draft. Your tenth pick averaged 5.5 points per game. Your second pick has no offensive skills and was destroyed in the tournament by the 37th pick. New York got a guy who vanished in March Madness and has to work on, essentially, “every part of his game”. Your first overall pick was bullied by the eleventh overall pick.

For those of you who are toggling between this rant and the draft line, here’s a breakdown: Jennings scored 5.5 points in Italy (again…Italy! ITALY!). Thabeet was beaten up by DeJaun Blair during the 2009 March Madness tournament. Jordan Hill was drafted by the Knicks and Mark Jones literally had to ask him if he’s happy…and Hill couldn’t properly answer the question. Fantastic.

Finally you have Griffin, the first overall pick, who was embarrassed by Tyler Hansbrough in the Final Four by Hansbrough’s intangible toughness, grit and energy. I know this is the worst draft class in nearly a decade, but aren’t you excited to see where this goes? I know I am!