The 2015 NBA Draft is in the books and now it’s time for us to evaluate the NBA after months of them evaluating players. Some picks were as expected, while others left some of us scratching our heads. Overall, it was a very entertaining night and I’d like to share my observations.
Big Blue Rules
Once again, Kentucky was the theme of the night with a record-tying 4 lottery picks and record-tying 6 draft picks from a single school. Karl-Anthony Towns became the 3rd Wildcat named as the #1 pick in the draft, joining John Wall and Anthony Davis in this elite club. KAT will be headed to the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Willie Trill Cauley-Stein (#6) was taken by the Sacramento Kings. Trey Lyles checked in at #12 with the Utah Jazz and Devin Booker was selected 13th by the Phoenix Suns. The 2nd round saw Andrew Harrison and Dakari Johnson, at #44 and #48 respectively. Drew will be headed to Memphis (more on that later), while Johnson will be donning a Thunder uniform. Despite the history and enormous success of Kentucky players who were drafted, the excitement was dampened somewhat by Aaron Harrison not having his name called. While Aaron was named to the Charlotte Hornets summer league team later, he still has work to do.
Bow Ties and Bedazzled Shoes
Fashion was at the forefront, continuing a trend that has been building for the past several drafts. No longer is a basic suit and tie sufficient. Many players took their clothing to “next level” standards, though some may have gone to levels that bordered on absurd. Not surprisingly, all our Wildcats were just next level dressers, all showing just that extra touch of style and originality while not going too far. WCS had a custom bow tie whose teen designer said it would probably be named “The Trill.” (you must check out this young entrepreneur’s site – Mo’s Bows). Booker was decked out in a Kentucky blue suit, explaining his color choice as something he owed to the BBN. You gotta love that kid!
But can we agree that Kelly Oubre’s shoes were just way too much?
Some Interesting Picks
Maybe Phoenix is hoping they can grow their fan base by tapping into the Big Blue Nation. It certainly seemed that way Thursday night when they drafted Devin Booker, making him the 4th former Wildcat guard (Bledsoe, Goodwin and Knight are the other 3) on the Suns roster. They briefly added Andrew Harrison to give them a full house of UK guards, but he was traded to Memphis.
Meanwhile, the 76ers continued with their recent tradition of drafting big men when they selected Okafor with the 3rd pick. While I am certain Okafor was pleased to be the 3rd overall pick, one would think he had at least a passing thought at what almost looks like a jinx for big men in Philly. If he avoids the injury bug, it will be interesting to see how things play out with minutes for him and for former Wildcat, Nerlens Noel. Maybe Phoenix and Philly need to talk to each other and perhaps manufacture a trade or two to balance out positions
The New York Knicks surprised their fans when they selected Kristaps Porzingis with the 4th pick. A deeper look into the Porzingis resume reveals that he is actually a very good selection and a nice fit for New York. But the fans didn’t care for a deeper look, choosing instead to openly boo when the announcement was made. Not a good look in my opinion.
I have to admit the broadcast was quite entertaining. Teams were making their selections well under the deadline of the clock and everything moved along at a nice, steady pace. This minimized to a degree the amount of commentary provided by the ESPN talking heads. Unfortunately, Jay Williams still had to get a jab in (and a totally inaccurate claim, to boot) essentially saying UK “ran off” players before they were ready for the NBA (apparently referring to the Harrisons and Dakari Johnson). Well, I must say we can always count on a few in the national media to not let facts get in the way of their anti-Cal/anti-UK bias. Hello, Jay! Did you happen to sleep through the 2014-15 season when UK had to use platoons because so many players returned? If we were actually running off players, we wouldn’t have had such an overloaded roster, but keep spewing your narrative if it makes you feel better.
A Social Media Lesson for Everybody
Two players learned a very hard lesson Thursday night — be careful what you post on social media. It can always come back to haunt you, even if you delete it. You never know who has already made a screenshot of your words. Just ask Larry Nance, Jr. and Bobby Portis. As soon as the Lakers selected Nance, a tweet from several years ago was blasted across Twitter, the content of which was some very harsh words about Kobe Bryant. Though Nance has since deleted the tweet, Lakers management has said it will be up to Bryant and Nance to resolve any issues between them.
Things were almost as awkward for Bobby Portis who several years ago had tweeted some unkind suggestions to Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Oops! Portis did own up to his tweet, however and offered an apology of sorts today when he tweeted this:
Bulls Nation sorry for the tweets I sent 4 years ago. I was a boy then. I’m a man now. And a Bull. DRose, Pau, what kinda donuts yall like?
— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) June 26, 2015
The lesson for all of us is to choose our words wisely before posting them on the internet. One can never delete them quickly enough to insure someone hasn’t already saved them to throw back in your face later. For highly rated high school prospects, it would be in their best interest to keep their remarks toward NBA teams and players respectful. You never know when they will be your employer/teammate.
The Tweet of the Night
When the dust settled and the picks were all made, a review of my Twitter feed revealed some entertaining comments. I follow a lot of creative and witty folks, but I have to give the tweet of the night to UK’s own Sam Malone who commented on Jeff Goodman’s appearance on ESPN’s broadcast:
Goodman has a face made for radio
— Sam Malone (@SamMaloneuk13) June 26, 2015
Well, Sam, I say drop the mic. You just went *boom*.
Follow me on Twitter @ForeverBigBlue