I sat in my room watching the 2008 NBA Draft Lottery. My favorite team, the Chicago Bulls, were slated to get the ninth pick in the draft and had a measly 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery.
Officials began announcing the draft order, and through the last four picks the teams went in the order they were expected—until my team's supposed spot.
The ninth pick in the 2008 NBA draft will go to...the Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats? Wait, I thought it was the Bulls' pick.
Because the Bobcats had gotten the ninth pick, the Bulls had sky rocketed into the top three picks. Talk about luck.
As the last three picks were listed, my heart raced. The Bulls had a chance to get a superstar. As it was announced the Bulls would get the first pick in the draft, my first thought was—Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose? Let the debate begin...
Throughout the entire college basketball season, Michael Beasley was the frontrunner for the first pick—until this little thing we call March Madness occurred.
Beasley was eliminated in the second round, while a freshman from Chicago, Derrick Rose, was taking his team deep into the tournament. As it would turn out, Rose would take his team, Memphis, all the way to the National Championship game.
In Beasley's defense, the Memphis Tigers were a much more talented team than Kansas State, but the fact remains—Derrick Rose had taken his team to the National Championship game as a freshman.
The Chicago Bulls were a team that looked destined to finally make it deep into the playoffs this season, a destiny that never happened. Blame it on contracts, blame it on coaching. It never happened, plain and simple.
A season of failure was turned around by the drop of a single ping-pong ball.
In past years, analysts and fans both agreed the Bulls were a big man away from being serious contenders. Michael Beasley could be that guy.
Beasley is a strong 6'8" power forward who has it all. He can dominate the inside, he can stroke the ball from the outside—the type of superstar potential the Chicago Bulls have been looking for.
Seems like an easy decision, right?
If you look at Bulls general manager John Paxson's track record of drafting players, he selects players that led their teams deep into March —Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, and most recently Joakim Noah. All winners.
Add into the equation that Derrick Rose is from Chicago, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who is notoriously cheap, can already feel his pockets swelling from the dollars of locals who want to see the hometown hero play.
Now comes the icing on the cake—Rose's maturity and lack of character concerns. He seems well on his way to being a top three point guard in the league in a few short years.
Beasley—well, that's a different story. While this kid is only 19 years of age, he has been labeled with "character issues."
Unfortunately for Beasley, he also didn't take his team to the National Championship—not exactly the track record Paxson usually drafts.
With the number one pick in the NBA draft, and knowing that you are about to invest millions into the future savior of your franchise, you better pick the right guy...and that is why...
On June 26, at the Washington Mutual Theatre at Madison Square Garden, I expect to see Derrick Rose selected number one overall, and playing in a Chicago Bulls uniform next season.