By: Zachariah Blott
The Fifth Beatle Award
Before the Clippers were on the clock, ESPN kept their cameras trained on … Blake Griffin? No, on Ricky Rubio. Not only do his floppy locks make him look like one of the famed Liverpool foursome, but ESPN treated him as such.
Hasheem Thabeet talked for a minute after his selection, and then it was more shots of Rubio. Sacramento picked Tyreke Evans, and the cameras immediately cut to Rubio clapping. When he was finally selected by Minnesota with the 5th pick, David Stern got into the gushing act by announcing the selection with more gusto than he did with any of the others.
We know whose rookie highlights will make it onto the league’s commercials next year.
The OJ Mayo Draft Night Wardrobe Redux Award
Did anyone else notice that James Harden was dressed like Farnsworth Bentley, Sean Combs’ one time valet/assistant? And did anyone else also notice that OJ Mayo pulled the exact same trick last year, in a very similar outfit? Take a look.
James Harden Photo Courtesy of Larry Brown Sports.
The Drafting Based On Obstacle Course Capabilities Award
Last year, the Milwaukee Bucks selected Joe Alexander with the 8th pick because of his ridiculous athletic abilities that would allow him to outleap, outrun, out (insert athletic skill that isn’t necessarily a precursor of basketball success here) everyone who got in his way.
Well, this year was more of the same when the Bucks took Brandon Jennings, who appears to be the most freakish talent in the draft, but who doesn’t seem to have it all together upstairs when it comes to decision making – on or off the court. (Jay Bilas said, “He’s a freak athlete.” Something tells me the exact same line was uttered about Alexander last year).
The Most Enthusiastic Fans Award
This one is not even close. The two people violently flapping Israeli flags who went bananas when Sacramento took Omri Casspi with the 23rd pick made wrestling enthusiasts look disinterested.
The Least Enthusiastic Fans Award
ESPN showed two fans wearing Syracuse jerseys when Johnny Flynn went to Minnesota with the number 6 pick. That last sentence encapsulates all of the excitement those two fans exhibited.
The Funniest Fan Interaction Award
After David Stern had to do a double-take to make sure the Knicks really were selecting Jordan Hill with the 8th pick, cameras showed a 5-year-old girl in the arms of her father making a thumbs down gesture. Her father reached over and turned the thumb upwards. If Hill turns out to be a complete bust, this girl should use that piece of footage to get a draft analyst gig someday.
More 2009 NBA Draft Awards from the desk of Zachariah Blott after the break…
2007 NBA Draft Photo Credit: Icon SMI
The Physical Education Might Be OK Award
We now all know that DeMar DeRozan did toe raises, push ups and the like before bed every night since the age of 10.
The How About Acting Like It’s Cool to Get Good Grades Award
Apparently Terrence Williams used a Barbie backpack in high school “to be different.” I’m sure being 6-6 and really frickin’ good at basketball didn’t do the trick.
The Should Have Used That Footage Twice Award
As many people already knew, Gerald Henderson’s father was a pretty decent player in the NBA. ESPN showed footage of Henderson Sr. stealing a James Worthy pass in the 1984 NBA Finals to help propel the Celtics to a championship that year. What less people know, however, is that Henderson Sr. is the only real hoops talent to come out of VCU before Eric Maynor went to Utah with the #20 pick.
The Someone Didn’t Learn About the Different Positions Award
The Minnesota Timberwolves held four first-round selections, including #5 and #6. After picking up point guard Ricky Rubio, Minnesota then took point guard Johnny Flynn five minutes later. Twelve selections later, Timberwolves fans learned that their club selected a third point guard, Ty Lawson (who was traded to Denver for a future pick).
With their final pick in the first round, the Wolves would certainly look at adding depth in the frontcourt behind Al Jefferson and Kevin Love, right? Try another guard, Wayne Ellington. Take a guess what position Minnesota drafted in the second round. That’s right, they selected point guard Nick Calathes with the 45th pick, whose rights were later traded to Dallas.
The No Market Is a Small Market To Me Award
Memphis had issues with Ricky Rubio and rumors of others not wanting to play for such a small market club. The Grizzlies found an easy way to fix this issue with their second pick of the first round: they selected DeMarre Carroll of Missouri. Mizzou is located a soul-crushing 2 hours from both Kansas City and St. Louis. Carroll should be in hog heaven in any place with paved roads.
The Team Plane Crashed and Only NBA GM’s Knew It Award
How in the world did Pittsburgh’s DeJuan Blair and Sam Young both last several picks into the second round? Jay Bilas had the Panther teammates ranked as the 14th and 21st best available talents overall, but apparently Blair’s height and injury concerns and Young’s dribbling ability dropped them to 36th and 37th on Thursday night. I’m officially naming both right now as the best two pick-ups in the draft. Congratulations to Memphis for getting a hard-nosed defensive stopper who can score (Young) and San Antonio for adding the best offensive rebounder in college basketball history (Blair).
Zachariah Blott is an English teacher in Portland, not an Amish Charles Dickens character.