Welcome to Portland 2012 draftees! Trail Blazer fans are a rough and rugged lot but we tell it like it is.
So NBA Draft Day in Portland is kinda something.
Evidently, my pals from back in the day treat it like Christmas, throw a Draft Party called “Draftmas”, and all sorts of shit goes down. Well, that’s how it historically went down. Now everyone is all growns up, is married, has kids, all that stuff. So what to expect of my first Draftmas was hard to figure out. In the span of two days I was instructed to: 1). take a taxi to the destination (in anticipation of shit goin’ down), 2). Be cool due to it being a family event, 3). Told not to ride my bike because there would be a good chance I would be too drunk to ride home. So…Christ. What should I have done? I ended up getting dropped off by my dad (like any rational, grownup man would do) and played it safe…perhaps a #Burnout hashtag is in order after that last sentence.
The attire was to be Blazers themed, but of the “one-up” variety. Meaning, we had to try and pull off the most obscure, old school, or rare Blazers gear at the party. I was led to believe that if I showed up with my Drexler jersey I would be ridiculed (as Drexler would be too obvious), so instead I rocked my disheveled 1990 Blazers Playoffs t-shirt, that has basically turned into a rag. But some patrons wore Spurs (George Gervin), Warriors (Earl Boykins), Cavs (World Be Free), Sixers (Daryl Dawkins), or Suns (“Thunder” Dan Majerle) jerseys. They were just being awesomely original.
Well goddammit. If I knew that would be accepted I woulda rocked my Drazen Petrovic New Jersey Nets jersey…obvi.
Anyhoo, I tracked this draft with great anticipation, and took great pleasure in knowing that everyone in attendance was just as anxious as me. In fact, my pal Mike damn near passed out five minutes before the draft because he was so nervous of “what could go wrong”. This is the life of a Blazers fan. It’s nice knowing that I’m not the only one. So…I took notes from the draft, picks 1 through 11, went home, and wrote up a saucy diary of the goings on during the draft in real time.
Hello Newark. Your team was relocated under my watch. You’re welcome.
Note #1: GREAT move to hold the NBA Draft in Newark, New Jersey. So, to be clear, David Stern openly allowed for a team to be jacked from New Jersey in a long anticipated move to Brooklyn. As a consolation, he holds an NBA Draft in their city so they can observe other teams/cities gaining new talent. Not knocking the move or anything, but you don’t dump a girlfriend for another woman, then include her in a Facebook group about all the fun things your new GF and new friends are doing in extravagant places. That’s just rude. Anyhoo, David Stern’s reaction to the crowd’s boos? He mocks them. Of course. Because he’s just that kinda guy.
Note #2: When Stern speaks, he stumbles over honest to goodness comments, clumsily reading from his notes…like who will be making the first pick, or when he congratulates future players. He’s totally at ease though when he’s being booed (like when he congratulated the Heat for winning the Championship). The dude is a sadist.
Note #3: Well…shit. ESPN is rolling a clip of #1 overall picks for “big men”. Greg Oden will be mentioned in 3…2…1….
Note #4: Guys. Make note. You can never say “brow” or “unibrow” again. Anthony Davis’ management team has trademarked everything about unibrows. If you’re a proud unibrower, you have been cheated. Write a letter to David Stern, he might help. Or maybe he’ll send you a cellphone pic of his testes with the note: “Suck on deez nutz!”
Stern: “This whole ‘unibrow’ craze has really taken on a life of it’s own, huh?”
Davis: “You just said ‘unibrow’. You owe me $20.”
Note #5: It’s so obvious that Jay Bilas has made a New Year’s Resolution to NOT say “ability” at the end of every word. I’ll help ya out Jay, for old times sake. Davis has hat-wearingability. Grow-fastability. UnibrowTrademarkAbility. Start adding “ability” at the end of words, Jay. You’re messing up my drinking game.
Note #6: They just showed a pic of Michael Jordan with his babe. He looked like hell in the Dream Team documentary. But even still. He’s locked down a TEN even after his playing years. Jordan: 1. World: 0.
Note #7: MKG just got picked second. Sooooo…are we doing a weird new thing this year when we pick the best player available?
Note #8: Bradley Beal just got selected #3 overall on his 19th birthday. On my 19th birthday, I got attacked by some dorm room pals who threw me into the LMU fountain (a birthday tradition) and ended the night getting shitfaced drunk on Coors Light and Charcoal Filtered Vodka. Hey Bradley Beal…I WIN.
Note #9: Ha! Dion Waiters at #4. Not sure what to say. Reach comes to mind.
Note #10: Waiters just said he’s got a lot of trust in his agent. As he should. A 6’3” sixth man going fourth overall.
Note #11: Coach Calipari is mic’d up. Thank God for that.
Note #12: Sacramento just picked the best story of the draft: Thomas Robinson. As my buddy Mike pointed out – how’s he gonna react to playing with bozos like Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins?
Note #13: King’s management may have just screwed themselves. If there’s one man’s man superhero (in the guise of a common man) out there that will force the Maloofs to keep the Kings in Sacramento…it’s Thomas Robinson. He’s the closest thing to Batman I’ve seen since I looked in the mirror and lied to myself.
Note #14: Heather Cox is forcing an interview upon Robinson’s little sister. Note to Heather Cox: Disneyland is not close to Sacramento.
Note #15: There’s this “holy shit!” moment going around at the draft party. Everyone half-hoped that Drummond would be swooped up by the #5 pick so the Blazers brass wouldn’t have to think about it…they’d just take Lillard. But now, we can choose between Drummond and Barnes. The vibe around here is the same. It goes as so: “Please…for the love of God…choose Lillard. Call it a hunch. Save this rant forever in case it backfires on me. I don’t care. Give me Lillard!”
Note #16: Reaction at the draft party when Damian Lillard was selected: cheers so loud that the little kids started to cry. We seriously scared the piss outta them. I broke down why I wanted Lillard way too much in my post with Endo’s Garage. Although there were great picks available, this was the perfect pick for the Blazers…hopefully I’m not drinking any Kool Aid.
Lillard is an All Star!
Note #17: Text exchange with Endo after Barnes fell to the Warriors:
Me: “YUGE pickup for you guys”
As anticipated, this was Endo’s reaction to the Warriors pick.
Note #18: Terrence Ross just went to Toronto at #8. As a Portland native, it is my obligation to say kudos to the young man, and wish him the greatest of success. But…Christ meng. A bit of a reach? Maybe. But this is good. Is there a chance that Andre Drummond falls to #11?
Note #19: Dag nabbit you, Detroit.
Note #20: Austin Rivers goes to New Orleans at #10. THANK GOD. I did not want to be in a position in which we had to consider Rivers. He may be a scorer, he may be a baller, he may have the genetics…but he strikes me as a guy that fancies himself a Kobe when he is really a Jerryd Bayless.
Note #21: A new pal of mine has just declared that he will leave if The Blazers choose Meyers Leonard at #11. Reason being: he hates guys that have “two last names” and hates “stiff white guys”. Our host counters the argument, and says, “I love stiff white guys, especially if they’re lefties”. The booze is kicking in at the party, obvi.
Note #22: The Blazers select Meyers Leonard. My new pal buries his face in his hands. He disappears for several minutes, and we all believe he has left until we glance out the window and see that he is shooting layups by himself in the driveway, with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth. It’s a very “funeral” thing to do. In fairness, this is the general reaction to Meyers Leonard being picked:
The “WTF” Award: Cleveland
Greaaaaaat job Cav’s Dan. You could’ve traded down for Waiters, got more picks out of it, or maybe some cash. But no. You reached very far for an undersized shooting guard that never started in college. Kudos. Also, you could’ve not traded for Tyler Zeller (and actually kept Jared Cunningham, Bernard James, and Jae Crowder) but no. And you wonder why LeBron ditched you.
The “GODDAMN!” Award(s): Houston, Boston, and Dallas
Seriously? How did you do this? Three highly respected teams with respectable/good records coming out winners with some very legit late picks? It’s criminal. You’re taking advantage homies. Don’t do that. Houston & Boston, you were savvy. Dallas…you basically rufi’d Cleveland. They’ll feel ashamed tomorrow. How dare you.
Next day Note: I have officially convinced myself that the Meyers Leonard pick was excellent (a complete 180 from yesterday). Between Lillard, Leonard, and Will Barton I kinda felt like doing this when I woke up.