Levi's/Dime Draft Suite - Earl Clark Q&A
Open Thread: 2009 NBA Draft

Live @ NBA Draft ’09: Picks 1-5

By 06.25.09
Blake covers Dime #49

Blake covers Dime #49


The f***-a-recession opulence that is Earl Clark‘s watch tells us it is about 45 minutes from the start of the draft, and the Dime contingent is all over Madison Square Garden to bring you the coverage.

Andrew Katz is on the media floor right in front of the big stage and next to the Green Room (which, as you know, isn’t actually a room anymore). Pat Cassidy is posted backstage with Jonny Flynn, waiting with our Dime draft diarist to hear his NBA dreams realized. Aron Phillips is in the crowd at MSG’s WaMu Theater, hopefully keeping a safe distance from the flubbery dude wearing a sweaty John Starks jersey with no shirt underneath. And Austin Burton is on his couch in Seattle, getting as “all-access” as you can get 3,000 miles away; we’re guessing he refused to make the trip to NY because the Sonics are officially not involved in this process anymore.

Stay with us right here and in the comments section, as we’ll be keeping track of everything from picks 1-through-5, then check DimeMag.com afterward for posts chronicling picks 6-10, then 11-15, etc. throughout the draft.

ANDREW KATZ: Here in the orchestra pit, my greatest hope is to eavesdrop on the conversation that Stu Scott, (the real) Andy Katz, and their production team are having. All I’ve been able to pick up so far is that one of the sound technician needs bigger pants. This is the first – and perhaps only – practical application for those hearing devices that they try to peddle to the elderly on daytime TV.

Roy Hibbert is in the building, reporting on behalf of the NBA. I think he’s going to interview some guys in the green room. I can’t hear what he’s saying, but it looks like he just asked one of the producers if he’s supposed to hold the microphone up to his face.

Oh, and here’s a piece of paper that was just handed to me.

Bill Duffy Statement on Brandon Jennings
“Because we do not have strong grasp of Brandon’s draft position, Iv’e advised that he and his family enjoy this day in a more private setting with the people he loves the most. Brandon Jennings will have a very illustrious career in the NBA, and at the end of the day, that is all that is important.”

— Bill Duffy, President and CEO, BDA Sports Management

I’m sure that Pat doesn’t mind the grammatical issues of that statement – he’s probably juiced about the idea that the Sixers could feasibly grab Jennings at No. 17.

AUSTIN BURTON: Live from my couch. I have to admit, I’m still kind of shell-shocked over the news of Michael Jackson‘s death. I was on the phone with my sister and she brought up a good point: Whenever they have Mike’s funeral — which is either gonna be in L.A., Gary (Ind.), or some obscure island in the middle of nowhere — there could be about 1 million people there. The airports this week are gonna be INSANE, ’cause Mike had fans literally everywhere in the world.

KATZ: We’re about 10 minutes away. I just saw Ricky Rubio swiftly abducted from the green room and taken towards the interview stand, smiling and blushing like the girls who have been fawning over him all week… Turns out he was just going to talk to Mark Jones.

Here are a host of rumors that we’ve heard within the last couple of minutes:

* Despite predictions that the Blazers would deal him to the Knicks, it looks as though Sergio Rodriguez is headed to the Kings for the 31st pick.

* Minnesota might not even get a chance to take James Harden at No. 5. Rumors are that he’s going somewhere in the Top 3. Word is that Tyreke would go to the Kings at No. 4, and the Wolves are really high on Jonny Flynn at 5. If the cards fall like that, there’s a possibility that Curry would end up with the Knicks – and this place would go bonkers.

* While everyone else in the green room is either faking a smile, outright sweating, or typing furiously on their phone, Blake Griffin looks totally unfazed. That guy is a rock.

BURTON: Just as I was wondering if any announcer has a bigger crush on a player than Jay Bilas does on Blake Griffin, ESPN reminds us that Dickie V is going to talk about Stephen Curry after the break. Break out the lotion and tissues.

BURTON: Recap of the Clippers history of #1 picks, including Danny Manning and a montage of Kandi Man‘s six positive NBA highlights.

BURTON: Blake goes #1, as expected. My fiancee calls his purple-and-black ensemble “flat” and says he should have gone with wine or burgundy. I do like the black Clippers draft hat, though. “He’s yellow, so he has to watch what he wears,” she says. Now she’s talking about blues and yellows and lilacs or something and I’m not paying attention anymore.

KATZ: There aren’t any pretty girls to converse with from my vantage point. But there is some rumbling that the Kings are going to pull the first surprise of the draft and take Jonny Flynn at No. 4. When we were in Minnesota, Jonny – who is legitimately one of the coolest, most humble guys you’ve ever met – talked about how he thought it went well in Sacramento. But he also said that the Minny workout was even better.

The ESPN cameras have no idea who to point at right now. One guy is watching Thabeet, another guy is videotaping the ceiling, and the third guy might as well have his camera focused on his pants.

BURTON: Stern’s voice cracks twice announcing Memphis’ pick — once when he says “Grizzlies” and again when he says “Hasheem.” We’re trying to figure out if Thabeet’s suit is gray or silver. Fiancee says it’s “shiny-ass gray.” Who is the midget in the middle of Memphis’ war room? That dude was shorter than Muggsy.

KATZ: Happiest person in the building when Stern announced Harden to OKC – Ricky Rubio.

Let’s backtrack for a second to the Thabeet pick. Minnesota now has five 7-footers on their roster. Is there any way that this draft wraps up without Chris Mihm or Darko Milicic being traded? In Kill the Messenger, Chris Rock does this bit about how he keeps a bag packed by the door because he always feels like the real owner of his house is going to walk through the front door and kick his ass out. That’s exactly how Mihm feels every day of his life.

Kevin Love seems to be the most reliable source of breaking news. His latest tweet: “its gonna be rubio.”

BURTON: James Harden wins the O.J. Mayo Grown-Ass Man award for his bowtie, facial hair and sophisticated outfit. Harden is one of my favorite players in the draft, and this is definitely the right pick for the Thunder (although I hate them). I question Mark Jackson’s logic that taking Rubio would have been OKC’s best option because “it allows you to take Russell Westbrook off the ball,” as if that’s a problem. Jackson does know that Westbrook is a very good PG, right?

BURTON: Tyreke goes to Sacramento at 4th, and we’ll never know if he cried because he pulled his hat down almost completely over his eyes. Rubio goes 5th to Minnesota. He seems happy, but is Minnesota really that much more ideal than Memphis or Oklahoma City?


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