[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 48, Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks; contributors: Rashad Mobley and John Converse Townsend from the Verizon Center, with Conor Dirks from the ATL.]
Some people, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz for instance, have argued that the NBA should kill the draft. The system is broken, teams are tanking, lottery teams stay lottery teams… The fix: End the NBA draft and have all rookies enter the league as free agents. Why? Well, the NBA is a “business,” free market this-and-that, yada-yada-yada…
However, in constant attempts to analyze the NBA as a business — “It’s a business,” often being a canned talking point of players and team personnel alike when unable to explain the real reasons behind a maneuver — people forget that one of the first principles of business is that the customer comes first (or that the customer is always right). Whatever the case, will somebody please think of the children?
Yes, free agency rumors and the current mass, social media dissemination of them can be fun for fans, but only media members (and maybe a few teams attempting to cloud their intentions), really benefit from the noise.
The NBA draft is for the customer. Well, it’s for the players, too. And, it also benefits the league’s marketing of itself and its individuals. So, there’s no need to muddy ceremonial pomp and circumstance with dollars and cents. Because if there are league-wide issues with the way the business of basketball functions, there are other ways to resolve them aside from eliminatingone of the NBA’s most-covered events.
When the Wizards last faced the Pistons in D.C., via TAI’s Adam McGinnis:
This has been quite a week for Coach John Calipari. On Monday night, his Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Kansas Jayhawks to win the NCAA championship. Yesterday, he emphatically declared that Kentucky was the best job in basketball coaching, and he has no intentions of leaving. Today, it was announced that his former All-American point guard (at Memphis), Derrick Rose, may finally play for the Chicago Bulls after nearly a month hiatus. Best of all, tonight Coach Cal can watch two more of his former point guards, John Wall and Brandon Knight, go head-to-head in the Palace of Auburn Hills. Per NBA.com’s David Aldridge, Coach Calipari could be watching his next team play in the Washington Wizards, but now we’re just getting ahead of ourselves. For tonight’s Wizards-Pistons 3-on-3, we have Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) from the Detroit News, Patrick Hayes (@patrick_hayes) from the ESPN True Hoop blog, Piston Powered and Truth About It’s RashadMobley (@rashad20). Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) Kentucky Coach John Calipari has given no public indication that he’s interested in leaving Kentucky for the NBA, but it would be shocking if he didn’t at least privately consider it. On a related note, it seems as if Anthony Davis will leave and be the consensus No. 1 pick, and barring something historic, the Pistons and the Wizards seem bound for the NBA lottery. Which situation would tempt Coach Calipari more? John Wall, Anthony Davis and the Wizards, or Brandon Knight, Anthony Davis, and the Pistons?
GOODWILL: I would think the Pistons because they seem closer to contention than the Wizards, along with Anthony Davis being the closest thing to a perfect complement to Greg Monroe that the Pistons could ever find. Knight, Monroe, Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko looks to be a solid foundation compared to Wall, Nene and…exactly. Also, Calipariwasn’t a complete disaster at New Jersey, taking them to the playoffs in 1998 but with full organizational control it was too much to handle. That’s not the case in Detroit, where although Joe Dumars has had some blemishes, he knows how to put together a championship core. Can the same be said for Ernie Grunfeld in D.C.? If he wants personnel control, I’d assume the Wizards would be the better choice. But if it comes down to roster and how close each team is to contending if you add Davis, it’s the Pistons and it’s not close.
HAYES: If we’re just limiting to those two players from each team, it’s definitely Wall-Davis. Knight has shown some flashes of good play, but nothing to suggest he has the franchise player ceiling Wall does. However, the fact that the Pistons have a potential All-Star big in Greg Monroe in the mix too and Cal’s guy, Worldwide Wes, has Detroit ties too, could maybe swing things in the Pistons’ favor. Fortunately, the Pistons seem pretty happy with Lawrence Frank, and they’ve become too cheap to pay coaches who would come with Calipari‘s asking price, so I don’t think they’ll have to worry about this scenario.
If it weren’t for the NBA lockout, I probably would’ve watched last night’s exhibition basketball game online just the same. It was either on a very small frame with fair resolution or via more disturbed pixels on a full computer screen blow up, but it was basketball. Basketball involving very good players. Namely, John Wall. It didn’t poetically go down-to-the-wire, but for brief spells, it was enjoyable to watch, even on that small screen streaming from the website of www.wkyt.com television station.
The Dominican Republic national team, coached by University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, beat a team assembled of former UK disciples who are now locked-out NBAers 106-88 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Confusing connections? Certainly.
The Pros, a team name eligible to be sponsored by Bud Light in a college atmosphere, featured Wall, his former UK teammates Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins, along with Rajon Rondo, Tayshaun Prince, Keith Bogans, and Nazr Mohammed. They started off with a burst of over-excelled activity, perhaps due to lockout inactivity. They’ve all played in other summertime Pro-AMs, but none of them like this, on a stage against legit, more consistent competition and in front of 24,000. Their desire to give the Rupp crowd a show was clear, but still with knowledge that it wasn’t going to be like their other individual forays into summer hoops, highlights of which courtesy of YouTube mix-videos.
The Dominican Republic team featured some pros themselves — Francisco Garcia, Al Horford, along with another guard familiar with Kentucky, Edgar Sosa, courtesy of time spent playing at the University of Louisville, with Garcia — and they didn’t come to tool around. The D.R. team had been working hard under Calipari’s tutelage for the last two weeks in Lexington. They preparing for international competition at the FIBA Americas tournament set to start in Argentina at the end of August.
The ESPN TrueHoop Network NBA Mock Draft 2011 is going down today. The first five picks are listed below and then it’s the Wizards’ turn, the decision made by a consensual agreement amongst the contributors to Truth About It.net. Keep checking back below the text of this post for updates on the entire first round.
All kidding aside, Wall has been the pick for a long time now. The hype surrounding the assumption he would be taken by the Wizards became so pressurized that even small considerations of taking Turner became unreasonable — potentially creating another situation akin to when the Timberwolves traded Brandon Roy for Randy Foye.
Not saying that the schism between Foye and Roy as players would be emulated by Turner and Wall, Turner could very well be better. But a selection of Turner over Wall would create a situation where you’d have one player being measured in comparison to the other before they ever step on the court (I know, with Roy and Foye it was a little bit different).
Sounds unfair, and perhaps an irrational buy into the hype. So, I guess it’s silly to play this ‘what-if’ game and Wizards fans should just continue with the assumption they’ve been making all along, that John Wall is coming to D.C., and not look back … even though Ted Leonsis says he’s not allowed to talk about Wall. Curious, since barely after the Los Angeles Clippers won the 2009 NBA Draft Lottery, Mike Dunleavy, who severed ties with the franchise in March 2010, said, “Clearly, we’re taking Blake Griffin.” The day after winning the lottery, the Clippers began a marketing campaign featuring Griffin.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, almost since Eddie Jordan got fired from his gig with the Wiz. Well, now that he’s at the helm of the Philadelphia 76ers, this is an appropriate time as ever to publish.
My feeling is that a majority of Wizards fans think Jordan was unjustly fired (or at least weren’t dancing in the streets when he departed), and that even more wish him well.
Count me among both of these groups. Although, when he was terminated, I wasn’t like, “OMG! What an injustice!”
I was more disappointed with the entire landscape of the team, and later resigned to it just being ‘one of those things’, and in the end, maybe it was best that both parties moved on. But we’ll never really know.
In any case, here goes my tribute to Jordan’s basketball career (to date).