I sat down last night with my laptop on the top of my lap, ready to watch a draft that promised to be exciting and pumped for the Celtics to make their picks. Three hours later, I was confused by the Celtics’ pick, the draft had lulled me to sleep, and there was still an entire, boring-ass round to go. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy with last night’s happenings.
Let me explain my thoughts:
Contrary to most NBA bloggers, I’m actually a big fan of college basketball. I love the passion and joy that collegiate players play with. The college game isn’t as talent-laden as its NBA counterpart, but the teamwork and camaraderie is mostly a joy to watch. As such, I’m more qualified than most NBA bloggers to discuss the NBA Draft. And I’ve got to say, when the Celtics drafted Bradley I was utterly disappointed.
It’s not even that I see a bad future in front of him. With a long 6’3″ frame, bunnies to burn, and tenacious defense, Bradley is a good prospect. He was expected to be a lottery pick, so that’s a nice indication of his potential. And Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge had tunnel vision for the kid, so they really, really liked him. But even if Bradley becomes a legitimate player, even if his talent pans out, even if his averages of only 11 points and 2 assists during his only year in college isn’t a miserable sign that should have turned everyone off, I STILL don’t like the pick.
You see, the Celtics had far more pressing needs than a backup point guard. You can say that Bradley is more of a shooting guard, but he’s 6’3″ inches tall. Hardly the height you want out of a two guard, and definitely too short to play any small forward. Not to mention, he’s also pretty frail — this isn’t a diesel 6’3″ player we’re talking about. Regarding a possible Rondo-Bradley backcourt, Doc Rivers told CSNNE, “I don’t think they can play together.” So he was drafted as a lead guard. And the thing is, the C’s needed either a wing man or a big man. With Rasheed Wallace retiring, Kendrick Perkins injured, and Ray Allen and Paul Pierce’s futures in limbo, a backup point guard was the absolute last thing the Celtics needed. ESPECIALLY one who didn’t come close to lighting the NCAA on fire last year. They already have Rajon Rondo, remember? He plays 40 minutes per night, right? That leaves only 8-10 for his backup, you realize?
As a Celtics diehard, I’m trying to talk myself into the pick. I really am. He’s athletic, he’s a great defender, he has the potential to be better than his brief college career would suggest, he was rated higher than John Wall only a year ago, yada yada yada. But as much as I try, this pick makes me sick to my stomach. The Celtics left some reliable, proven players on the board (James Anderson and Damion James come to mind) in favor of a ‘tweener guard who couldn’t even leave a big imprint on the college game. Bradley came into college as the number one high school recruit in the country, then promptly disappeared for a season. He’s got a lot of potential, sure, but the Celtics needed a wing or big NOW. The last thing they need is a point guard who won’t be ready for at least a couple years. They’ve got Rondo wrapped up for five years, remember?
So why in the hell did they draft a point guard project? Danny Ainge himself said before the draft that point guard is “the least of our needs.” Then they go out and sign a point guard who they don’t see being able to play in the same backcourt as Rajon Rondo? Am I missing something here?
I was excited for the Celtics to pick, but afterwards I was simply confused. Why a point guard? Why a player who won’t contribute right away? Why?
I loved Harangody in college. Absolutely loved him. But this is the NBA, not college. And as much as I want ‘Gody to be a hell of a player, as much as I adored his unorthodox game last season, he’s a 6’7 3/4″ power forward with a 28″ vertical and limited (at best) lateral quickness. There are reasons why undersized, slow players don’t succeed in the NBA. Simply put, I don’t see a quality career in his future. Actually, yes I do… just not in the United States.
John Calipari is an idiot
The dumbest thing said last night during the draft was uttered by one of the sleaziest, slimiest coaches in the NCAA ranks — John Calipari. “This is the biggest day in the history of Kentucky’s basketball program,” he said.
I can’t even begin to discuss the ridiculousness of that statement. Sweet, Coach Cal, your team had five players drafted in the first round. I guess that’s far more important than the seven national titles Kentucky has won. By the way, Cal, you had five first-rounders at your disposal and couldn’t even make the Final Four. Oh well, I guess it’s fine that you didn’t: Even if you had made the Final Four, it would have been vacated from history at some point anyway. So you call it the biggest day in the history of Kentucky’s basketball program, I’ll call it another sign that you haven’t been able to buy a national title… yet.
Another Calipari quote from last night — “Right now it feels like we won a national title.” I have just one question: How, exactly, does he know what that feels like?
Nice glasses, Al-Farouq
Those things were thicker than Michael Sweetney’s midsection. I mean, I understand nerd swag is in right now. Dwyane Wade loves dressing in his thick-rimmed glasses and sweater vests and such, and that’s a nice fashion statement. But Al-Farouq Aminu’s glasses were a step beyond fashion. Those things were thicker than Kim Kardashian’s toosh and far, far, far less attractive.
Kevin Durant’s unintentional comedy
Durant showed up to watch the draft last night, and that made me happy. What other superstar would go to the draft to enjoy it, soak it in, and cheer on his team? But there was another reason Durant’s decision to attend the draft was marvelous — how else would I have had the opportunity to watch Durant explain how great Cole Aldrich was for the Oklahoma City Thunder?
Durant sat there being interviewed on T.V., and was asked how he felt about Aldrich. Being on national television and speaking about a soon-to-be teammate, Durant had no choice but to say how much Aldrich was going to help the Thunder, how big a defensive presence he was, and how Oklahoma City can really use him. What I KNOW Durant was really thinking was, “Shit, Cole Aldrich? A big, white stiff? I can’t wait to try to dunk on this oversized goon in practice, but he’ll never help us on the floor.”
Wrapping it all up
Last night was one of the more boring drafts in NBA history. Sure, there were a lot of trades, but excuse me if Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes for Martell Webster wasn’t the blockbuster trade I was looking for. The only redeeming moments were Durant’s interview, Jay Bilas’ continued obsession with wingspan and upside potential, and those weird buttons on Wesley Johnson’s suit. Other than that, the draft was super disappointing. It wasn’t exciting, the trades were weak, Kevin Pritchard was fired/humiliated on draft night, and the Celtics made two picks I have a combined zero confidence in. Though John Calipari might disagree, last night WAS NOT the greatest night in the history of my personal draft experience.