The first note of interest about the NBA draft to Duke fans is that Daniel
Ewing went to the Clippers as the #32 pick. But there are some other
things worth noting as well.
First of all: Chris Paul to the N.O. Hornets at #4. Interestingly
enough, they were pretty much the NO Hornets even before they left Charlotte, as
owner George Shinn, and some ugly incidents by Shinn and some of his players
left the Queen City unwilling to support a team they had previously doted
on. Talk about brilliant management.
Can we call it Hodge's Revenge? Chris Paul, who notoriously whacked
Julius Hodge in the testicles last season, goes #3 - but to a team which wore
out its welcome in one city and is working on city #2. Congrats,
Chris! Have fun!
(Speaking of Paul, we went back to watch the Duke-Wake game in Cameron, and
watched him closely - there is no doubt in our mind that he's a dirty, dirty,
player. A partial list of transgressions:
- 14:23 - Paul shoves Dockery, kicks him when he falls
- :22 - shoves defender down
- 13:03 - hits Lee Melchionni in the face w/ the ball, draws a technical.
Three fairly serious incidents in not even a full game is pretty impressive,
even for Bill Laimbeer. Let's see what happens when he tries something on,
say, Latrell Sprewell).
Speaking of Sprewell, whose genius idea was it to put young Rashad McCants on
the same team as that leaky vat of nitroglycerin? There are a few possible
nightmare scenarios for the Timberwolves to consider:
- McCants doesn't get playing time and sulks. His defense further
deteriorates, and his attitude goes south, too.
- McCants supplants Sprewell, and he sulks. Only as we know,
when Sprewell gets mad, it's bad news.
- Despite both guys having big egos and sharp mood swings, they hit it off,
and Sprewell becomes a major influence on McCants. Maybe it'll work
out, but it has the potential of being a highly entertaining train
- The close proximity to Canadian food aggravates whatever stomach problems
McCants has, and the weather completely freaks him out. Like Steve
Francis before him, God sends him a message: hold out for a Sunbelt trade,
Oh, yeah: Bilas on McCants (we paraphrase slightly): "If I had a nickel
for every time he really got down and guarded someone...I'd have...a
Raymond Felton and Sean May both got to be Bobcats, which is great for them
and the Bobs. It's a relatively short trip for the Felton family, and May
campaigned aggressively to be a Bobcat. So have fun, guys!
If going to New Orleans is a stroke of bad luck for Chris Paul, going to
Atlanta is not a much better situation for Marvin Williams. Will he play a
lot? Undoubtedly. Will the Hawks ever be a significant factor in the NBA
again? Well, look at it this way: aside from the Dominique Wilkins era,
has Atlanta ever been a significant factor? They suck, and they may
suck for years to come. Here's hoping the kid doesn't lose his spirit
Julius Hodge moved up to #20, and while he will be making less money than
Chris Paul, he'll be laughing at him every time the Hornets lose to the Nuggets,
which, for the foreseeable future, will be pretty much every time they
play. Call it Hodges revenge, II. And if Paul tries to coldcock him -
wait, poor word choice - bushwhack him - no, no, that's not it either - well if
he hits him in the nuts again, he'll have to answer to Nene, who is big enough
to send Paul halfway back to Winston-Salem.
The Nuggets also took Jarrett Jack, but traded him to Portland for Linas
Kleiza and a second-round high schooler named Ricky Sanchez. He is 6-11,
so who knows.
In the Nuggets, Hodge has an intriguing cast of teammates, from Carmelo
Anthony to Earl Boykins to Nene to Kenyon Martin.
By the way, remember how Nuggets coach George Karl said he'd never draft a
Duke player? In the words of Eddie Murphy - Ha, ha, very funny m-
Well, he hired one - Chip
Engelland will be working with Julius Hodge on his shooting by Wednesday.
Jarrett Jack will be backing up Stephon Marbury, at least in theory.
His size and nose for the game could push Marbury back.
Guys who got lucky:
- Charlie Villanueva. At #7? Based on what? Maybe the Toronto folks,
like Rashad McCants when he visited, were affected by the international food
in New York.
- Andrew Bynum. Okay, you're a Laker, but you're going to have to
prove it. Plus play with Team Me and figure out Coach Obe-Wan.
Being a Laker is cool, but not necessarily easy.
- Danny Granger. The Pacers are a smart, well run team. They'll
find ways to use him.
- Nate Robinson. We're not big NBA fans, but we'd pay to see the Suns
play. Now that's NBA basketball the way it should be. Well, scratch that: he was traded to the Knicks.
Nate Robinson is 5-7, but he can really, really get up, he's strong as hell,
and he can run all day. He's going to fit in very well there.
- Martell Webster. We haven't seen him to speak of, but to give up a
potentially great player at #3 for an unproven high schooler at #6...well,
he'll have to prove it. No more Jailblazers!
- Ronny Turiaf. No doubt he wanted to go first round, but the Lakers
can use him.
Guys who probably blew it:
- Maybe we missed it, but we didn't see John Gilchrist get called. That must hurt. And Jawad Williams wasn't drafted either, but at least he either graduated or isn't too far from it.
- Von Wafer, #37: If he makes the Lakers, we're impressed.
- Chris Taft, #42 Bad attitude cost him plenty. Mike Montgomery
won't put up with it, either.
- Louis Williams, #45. Said he was sure to be a first rounder; now
will have to beat out Allen Iverson for minutes. Good luck with that,
- Andray Blatche, #49: second round pick of the Wizards wasn't what he
was expecting. Better get your passport, you'll need it!
- Ryan Gomes, #50, Celtics. He fell too far, but they got a good
player late. Hey, not every tweener fails.
- Robert Whaley, #51, Utah Jazz. As we recall, Whaley had some severe
problems earlier in his career and was simultaneously listed as homicidal
and suicidal. Utah is an interesting place for him to work. Could be
good, could be disaster. If he can't deal with Jerry Sloan, he might
as well get his passport, too.