I'll admit, the NBA Draft does little for me. Four plus hours of sources on sources, tired recycled analysis and speculation, shouting and back-slapping, just not my scene. I do however enjoy seeing our guys make good and the accompanying PR tsunami for the program, and I love the cacophony of boos that greet David Stern at the podium each time while he fights back his signature smirk that says, "next week I'm going to my house in Bermuda, where will you be?"
I enjoy the preceding draft buzz much more than the actual selection process. The onslaught of columns quoting anonymous scouts, GM's and coaches rarely disappoint with viewpoints that range from brutally honest to preposterously inept. So I did a little digging of my own. Cracked open the Rolodex and got on the horn with my anonymous sources. I've tried my best to protect their identities, but alas, some of these guys just give themselves away.
Anonymous GM: High motor. Spongy. Elite shot blocker, quick hands. Of course there are injury concerns and you'd like to see a jumper. Could see him turning into a rich man's Ben Wallace meets a poor man's Patrick Ewing, so, let's call him a middle-class Tyson Chandler.
Anonymous Coach #1: I like to think of myself as a teacher. A molder of men, a purveyor of wisdom. A helluva guy. But sometimes, a player comes around who’s so special, that he teaches me. And I’m just like, whoa...is this greatness? Did greatness just walk into this room? Come over and pull up a chair greatness, we have some catching up to do.
Anonymous coach #2: Well he’s tall. I didn’t get to see him play in person unfortunately because his “program” (ed: air quotes are not mine) just decided that centuries of interstate rivalry isn't quite as important as picking up an extra win.
Anonymous GM: He’s a pick and pop guy, more pick than pop. Ties his shoes before he plays. Runs well. Needs to work on hygiene and spacing. Could do better, could do worse. Reminds me of Keith Van Horn cause he's tall and white.
Anonymous Coach: This guy, wow. He might have come to school on a basketball scholarship but he left as the Dean of Excellence---or, so I'm told. Just pure class, pure heart, pure Indiana Hoosier Basketball.
Anonymous GM: Big guy has skill and quicker feet than you’d think. Every time I watch his film I fall asleep. Could be his lack of motor, could be the gin and valium. When he came in for an interview I aimed a rubber band at his face and he winced, so I gotta question his toughness. From a marketing standpoint though he’s intriguing...potential for another Len-sanity movement with the league’s emerging Asian market.
Anonymous Coach: Well now I think he's a fine player. Vury, vury skilled, vury hongry.
Anonymous GM: Athleticism stands out, like the way he improved his overall game last season. Has the potential to develop into a mid-level executive's D. Wade.
Anonymous Coach: This guy doesn’t care about stats, mmkay? He cares about winning. He cares about his teammates. He cares about the humane treatment of shelter dogs. He cares about you, and he cares about everyone. He’s a scorer with a carer’s mentality. Which is really the embodiment of the Indiana Basketball. From what I'm told.
Anonymous GM: Big time potential and athleticism. Still raw around the edges. Wish he showed more killer instinct on the floor. A panhandler's Ray Allen.
Anonymous Coach #1: Reminds me of Oscar Robertson without the me-first mentality. One of the best I've ever seen.
Anthony BennettAnonymous GM: Great ball skills and size. Girthy. Zach Randolph meets Tractor Traylor meets Hangin' With Mr. Cooper. There's concern about his body language and intensity.
Anonymous Coach: He’s a great player, would’ve loved to have coached him. It’s like I tell my players, you’re here for a reason. You’re not here so you can just sleep on the bench, eat free meals, meet some girls and get on TV. You’re here to win. We’re all here to win because we’re a family. I’m not going to let you down but you can’t let me down, see? I don’t want you to patiently wait your turn. I want you to go out and get your turn. But it’s a process, it really is. But this is what we do. This is life, this is family and you either take it, or you leave it, but once you take it, it's taken.