The 2009 NBA Draft is on June 25th, an important day in so many ways. For one, it’s my birthday….the onset of my last year in my 20s…..but it’s also the day that the Wizards will be selecting Blake Griffin with the #1 overall draft pick (hopefully).
And while Griffin might not be a franchise changer like Tim Duncan, Yao Ming, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Shaq O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, he certainly isn’t a Kwame Brown or Michael Olowokandi.
Griffin won’t magically propel the Wizards to the cream of the crop, but he can certainly be a key cog on a potential contender while keeping the ‘Zards poised for the future.
June 25th is a pretty big date…potentially (Dikembe Mutombo will also turn 43 in beyond-human years on 6/25)….but May 19th is much more important. That’s when the order of the NBA is decided via a lottery.
Let’s learn more about the numbers and Wizards/Bullets relatedness surrounding May 19th…and yes, I pretty much about to get carried away.
May 19th…. 5/19/09
The Wizards had 63 losses.
6+3 = 9
The 09 NBA Draft
The Wiz had 19 wins this year….the same amount they had when they won the #1 overall pick in 2001 (Kwame Cake Slinger Brown)…..’01 was also the last time that a 19 win team was in the draft lottery, period.
19 seems like a pretty important number. Well, the first game in franchise history was played on the 19th day of October in 1961. October 19th is the birthday of Illinois coach, Bruce Weber, who coached former Wizard, Dee Brown. Brown shares an August 17th b-day with former Wizard, Christian Laettner.
In that first season, as the Chicago Packers, Walt Bellamy led the team in scoring (31.6), and averaged 19 rebounds. Bellamy also led the league with a .519 FG%…..5/19. Bellamy, the #1 overall draft pick in ’61 (19 upside down) has a July 24th birthday which he shares with former Bullets, Steve Colter and Andrew Gaze.
63 Wizards losses in ’08-09….in 1963, on March 25th, the franchise moved from Chicago to Baltimore. Two years later, on March 25th, 1965, almost Wizards coach Avery Johnson and Sarah Jessica Parker were both born. Caron Butler once said he didn’t have to “justify his thug” after seeing the Sex in the City movie with his wife. Caron then proceeded to watch the Notebook on his mini-DVD player. The Notebook was released on June 25th (again, ’09 draft day), 2004 and stars Rachel McAdams, who shares a November 17th b-day with Bullet great, Elvin Hayes. November 17, 1994, was also the day that the Bullets traded Tom Gugliotta, and three first round draft picks, for Chris Webber . Webber was born on March 1st (’73), which is also same date that the Baltimore Bullets scored a franchise high 156 points in 1968. Before coming back against the Pistons this year, Gilbert Arenas had previously missed 156 or the team’s last 173 games.
May is the 5th month…Kwame Brown wore #5 during his four years with the Wizards. Kwame shares a March 10th b-day with Chuck Norris and Osama Bin Laden….odd.
Speaking of the #1 bust in 2001, then Wizards assistant GM, Rod Higgins, was present at the draft lottery that year. He evidently found a “lucky penny” at the airport. Higgins shares a January 31st b-day with former Wizard, Tyrone Nesby. Higgins played his college ball at Cal State University, Fresno, now known as Fresno State. Dominic McGuire went to Fresno State, as did former Wizard, Courtney Alexander, who started his college career at UVA, but before Roger Mason Jr. arrived in Charlottesville. Speaking of RMJ, he shares a September 10th b-day with former Bullet, Ben Wallace. September is the 9th month, add that to 10 and you get 19.
Speaking of September 10th, on that date in 2002, the Wizards signed
=”ry6j”>Byron Russell, who shares a December 31st b-day with Javaris Crittenton. Crittenton was the 19th overall pick of the ’07 NBA draft.
May 19th is the birthday of former Kansas guard, and current Heat rival, Mario Chalmers — I kinda wanted the Wizards to draft him last year.
Bill Laimbeer also has a May 19th b-day. According to NBA.com, he once became the 19th player in NBA history to collect more than 10,000 points and 10,000 rebounds. For his career, Laimbeer totaled 1594 turnovers….add those digits up and you get 19.
Kevin Garnett was born on May 19th. He turned the Celtics from crappy to championshippy (and from 24 wins to 66). Some have cited the Wizards for a similar dramatic turnaround. Garnett was also 19 when he played in his first NBA game. May, the 5th month….Garnett was taken 5th overall in the ’95 NBA draft.
Juwan Howard was also taken 5th overall (in the ’94 draft), and wore #5 with the Bullets. Howard shares a February 7th b-day with former Bullets player, and former Wizards assistant, Mike O’Koren. Other Bullets/Wizards who have worn #5 include Darrell Walker and Dominic McGuire. Eddie Jordan wore #5 during stints with the Lakers and Blazers.
Kyle Eastwood, the son of Clint Eastwood, was born on May 19th. Kyle studied film at USC….Nick Young was a Trojan. Also, my name is Kyle.
Archie Manning, yet another May 19th birthday…he’ll be 60 this year. He attended Ole Miss. I do not like Ole Miss. Archie’s son, Eli, also attended Ole Miss and plays for the NY Giants. I do not like Eli Manning. Eli was a #1 overall draft pick in 2004, the same draft that produced the late great Redskin, Sean Taylor, drafted 5th overall. Archie’s other son, Peyton, shares a March 24th birthday with Chris Bosh. It’d be kinda cool if the Wizards were able to land Bosh for something like Andray Blatche, the #2 overall pick (if that’s where the Wiz fall), and the expiring contracts of Etan Thomas and Mike James — the Wiz would, of course, have to agree with an extension with Bosh….and I think the Raptors would want more for him anyway….just a thought.
Grace Jones was born on May 19th. My GF’s cat is named Grace Jones. The real Grace Jones appeared in Conan the Destroyer with the governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain. The Governator shares a July 30th b-day with former Bullet, Jim McIlvaine. Wilt the Stilt died October 12th, which is the same b-day as Marco Jaric. Jaric is connected to one fine ass woman. Adriana Lima was born on June 12th, she shares a birthday with Antawn Jamison. June 12th, 1990 is also when Bob Ferry resigned after being GM of the Bullets for 17 years, which at the time came as a pretty big surprise to many people.
Former Tar Heel, Ed Cota , was born on May 19th. Cota played with Jamison at Carolina.
Current Redskin, London Fletcher, was born on May 19th. He hails from Cleveland (yuck!) and attended St. Francis University of Pennsylvania, then John Carroll University. Fletcher played football and basketball at both schools. The late Tim Russert, a well-known fan of the Wizards, also attended John Carroll University. Russert was born on May 7th and shares that b-day with former Wizards Calvin Booth and Mike Wilks. Russert passed on the b-day, June 13th, of Juan Carlos Navarro, an almost Wizard.
Last year, Wizards TV play-by-play guy, Steve Buckhantz, spent his May 19th as the Honorary Chair for the Cardinal Bank Charity Classic in northern Virginia. Buckhantz was born on the 19th day of a month, but not May, July. The day after Buchantz’s b-day in 2006, the Wizards signed Darius Songaila. Songaila was born on the 14th of February in 1978, Valentine’s Day. Former Wizard, Rip Hamilton was born on the exact same day in the exact same year. Gheorghe Muresan also celebrates a Feb. 14th b-day, but was born in ’71. Some think that Big Gheorghe should be thw Wizards representative at the draft lottery.
On May 19th, 2005, Juan Dixon testified in front of Congress about steroids…still not sure why that happened. Dixon shares an October 9th b-day with last year’s second round draft pick, Bill Walker, as well as another former Terp, Keith Booth, who averaged 19.5 ppg (5/19) his senior year at Maryland.
Iranian NBAer, Hamed Haddadi, who once laughed at the Wizards, was born on May 19th, as was former Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq. On August 19th, 1963, Mosaddeq was removed from power by a coup d’etat, which was supported by Britain with some help from the U.S.. Mosaddeq died on March 5th, which is Scott Skiles‘ b-day. On March 5th of ’77, Wes Unseld became the 13th player in NBA history to grab 10,000 rebounds.
Malcolm X was born on May 19th. He was black, as are most of the Wizards. The only white guys are non-Americans. Blake Griffin is a Half-White, Half-Black American.
Another former Terp, Terrance Morris, was born on January 11th. Some French politician, Camille Jordan, was also born on January 11th. Jordan died on May 19th. Michael Jordan really effed shit up when he drafted Kwame Brown.
Famous wrestler, André the Giant, was born on May 19th and died on January 27th, 1993. Caron Butler scored a career high 40 points on January 27th, 2008. Another wrestler, Kane, has some sort of infatuation with May 19th. Kane, aka Glenn Jacobs, played basketball at Northeast Missouri State University, now known as Truman State U. Jenna Fischer aka Pam Beesly of The Office also went to Truman State. The Office made its debut on March 24, 2005….March 24th, that aforementioned shared b-day of Chris Bosh and Peyton Manning, is also the day the Wes Unseld became the second rookie ever to be named MVP.
Marilyn Monroe sang her infamous “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy on May 19th. Kennedy’s wife, Jackie Onassis, also died on May 19th. Monroe and Nick Young were both born on June 1st. Monroe may have been murdered/overdosed and died on August 5th, 1962….which happens to be the very same day that former Wizard, Otis Thorpe, was born. Thorpe was involved in one of the worse “Curse O’ Les Boulez” trades in franchise history when he was acquired from theSacTown Kings, along with Mitch Richmond, for Chris Webber. Former Wizards assistant coach, Patrick Ewing, and former Wizards/Maryland Terp, Laron Profit, were also born on August 5th. Profit was part of the trade, along with the Wizards former #1 overall, for Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins.
Johns Hopkins was born on May 19th in 1795 in Maryland. His philanthropic efforts helped found multiple institutions/universities dedicated to the medical field. The Wizards, under the cloud of the ‘Curse O’ Les Boulez’, really, really, really, really, need to stay healthy. Unfortunately, Hopkins was an abolitionist and boned his first cousin.
Anne Boleyn was beheaded on May 19th in 1536. She has/had the same initials as Andray Blatche…..will AB’s reign with the Wizards be over after May 19th? (as mentioned, I’d bee cool with trading Andray this off-season)
May 19th, get ready for it.
And that’s all that I got.
[photo source: flickr/United Blue]