The madness of the 2012 NBA Draft, from Dion Waiters' rise to Kentucky's historic six-man draft class.
As always, the NBA Draft started at breakneck speed. Commissioner David Stern came out from behind his almighty Oz curtain and was greeted as he has been for years — with aggressive booing from the Prudential Center crowd.
“Thank you for the warm reception,” Stern said, in a tone normally reserved for Jim Rome.
From there, the parade of bad suits, embarrassing family and awkward TV could not be stopped.
1. New Orleans Hornets
Anthony Davis, F/C, Kentucky
John Calipari’s best recruiting tool is the NBA Draft. The man has produced three of the past five No. 1 overall picks. Kids putting on caps is old hat for Coach Cal, who had one last huddle with the “Uni-blocker” and MKG.
“You hug mom, you hug dad, then you hug me, and I spin you around for the camera,” Calipari told the duo, who became the first teammates to go 1-2 in draft history.
2. Charlotte Bobcats
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
The new-look, Bob-less Cats take a Gerald Wallace-type hustle guy just one year after trading away the original Gerald Wallace.
3. Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal, SG, Florida
The BB gun celebrates his 19th birthday in the green room. Meanwhile, the SEC becomes the first conference to boast the top three picks in the NBA Draft since 1986 — a cursed draft that saw Len Bias die almost immediately after being picked No. 2 overall by the Celtics.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
The first shocker of the night. The “most NBA ready guard” Jim Boeheim has ever coached becomes the highest drafted Orange-person since Carmelo Anthony went third overall — behind LeBron and Darko, but ahead of D-Waiters most-comped pro, D-Wade — in 2003.
5. Sacramento Kings
Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
Heather Cox sets female sideline interviewers back several decades during a butchered conversation with T-Rob’s nine-year-old little sister — asking her if she’s ever seen her brother cry (“No”) and what she thinks about moving from D.C. to California (“It's far away from home”).
She saved the train wreck by telling the little girl that Sacramento is close to Disneyland. That’s right, it’s an easy seven-hour drive, just around the corner from Sac-town. Are we there yet?
6. Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State
Introducing the next Antonio Daniels.
7. Golden State Warriors
Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
Former No. 1 high school recruit joins Bay Area 3-point shooting contestants Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. “Moneyball” has a different meaning for this ABA crew neighboring Billy Beane.
8. Toronto Raptors
Terrence Ross, SG, Washington
One of many players wearing checkered dress shirts that look like picnic tablecloths. Ross also rocks the lime green bow tie to cap his geek chic disaster.
9. Detroit Pistons
Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut
The Drummond family is in tears. Soon, the Pistons fan base will weep over the next Kwame Brown.
10. New Orleans Hornets
Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
Doc’s son has Coach K’s blessing and now Anthony Davis’ protection. The charmed life continues.
11. Portland Trail Blazers
Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
Listen close and you can already hear Bill Walton yelling “Throw it down, big man!”
12. Houston Rockets
Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut
Lots of guys cry after they get drafted. Lamb is the only one that looks like he’s near tears during his college highlights.
13. Phoenix Suns
Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina
Steve Nash’s heir apparent will take over immediately or learn from the two-time MVP for a few seasons, depending on the Canadian icon’s free agent decision.
14. Milwaukee Bucks
John Henson, PF, North Carolina
The last pick of the lottery needs to immediately go on a Wisconsin diet of beer, brats and cheese.
15. Philadelphia 76ers
Maurice Harkless, SF, St. John’s
Went by “Mo” until yesterday, when “his people” let it be known that Harkless is now to be referred to as “Maurice.” Sure, whatever Mo.
16. Houston Rockets
Royce White, SF, Iowa State
Afraid of flying, struggles with anxiety issues, lacks a clearly defined position; Houston may have a problem.
17. Dallas Mavericks
Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
Traded to Cavaliers. “Your older brother won the D-League championship,” Tyler is told after becoming the fourth Tar Heel taken in the first round. Would have been better off leading with, “Your little brother Cody is better than you, right?”
18. Houston Rockets
Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky
The Rockets complete their trifecta of head cases. The law firm of Lamb, White and Jones specialize in malcontent malpractice.
19. Orlando Magic
Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Canadian is a softer version of Ryan Anderson — just the type of pick that should convince Dwight to stay.
20. Denver Nuggets
Evan Fournier, SG, France
The lone international prospect selected in the first round is a French slasher who may or may not have been part of Tony Parker's entourage at the Drake-Chris Brown Rihanna glass fight.
21. Boston Celtics
Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
Big Sully brings his below-the-rim, old man’s game to the graybeard gang in Boston. Could be a rich man’s version of Big Baby if his red-flagged bad back holds up.
22. Boston Celtics
Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
The Brazilian big replaces the hotheaded unpredictability and “Flagrant 2” potential the C’s lost after the terrible Kendrick Perkins trade.
23. Atlanta Hawks
John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt
J3’s shooting range already extended from Nashville to Atlanta; now it’s official.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
Jared Cunningham, SG, Oregon State
Traded to Mavericks.
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Tony Wroten Jr., PG, Washington
26. Indiana Pacers
Miles Plumlee, PF, Duke
Larry Bird goes out with his hand raised like he just won a 3-point contest. The Pacers’ strategy of “best available stiff white guy” continues to dominate on draft day.
27. Miami Heat
Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State
Traded to 76ers.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder
Perry Jones III, SF, Baylor
The player everyone was afraid to take and afraid not to take goes to the team that never seems to make a mistake in scouting. If learning from Kevin Durant doesn't maximize PJ3's potential, nothing will.
29. Chicago Bulls
Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky
With Derrick Rose recovering from knee surgery, Jeff’s little brother could see major minutes in Chi-town.
30. Golden State Warriors
Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
The Nigerian nightmare locks down the last guaranteed contract of the night as the final pick of the first round. Stern is booed one last time, then steps aside as Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver is greeted with a standing ovation.
31. Charlotte Bobcats
Jeff Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt
Somewhere, Cats owner Michael Jordan told everyone at the poker table to shut up so he could watch the draft and see who Charlotte took.
32. Washington Wizards
Tomas Satoransky, SG, Czech Republic
Last year, Jan Vesley made out with girlfriend in the green room after being drafted by the Wiz. This year probably got just as hot when JV’s Czech mate Satoransky was picked.
33. Cleveland Cavaliers
Bernard James, C, Florida State
Traded to Mavericks.
34. Cleveland Cavaliers
Jae Crowder, SF, Marquette
Traded to Mavericks.
35. Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green, SF, Michigan State
Chris Broussard tells the world that Magic Johnson “loves” the pick of his fellow Spartan. Clyde Drexler is just waiting for Green to die.
36. Sacramento Kings
Orlando Johnson, SG, UC Santa Barbara
Traded to Pacers.
37. Toronto Raptors
Quincy Acy, PF, Baylor
38. Denver Nuggets
Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor
Back-to-back Quincys from Baylor are taken; too bad neither wore neon suits like the highlighter yellow Baylor uniforms from the highlight-er reel.
39. Detroit Pistons
Khris Middleton, PF, Texas A&M
40. Portland Trail Blazers
Will Barton, SG, Memphis
41. Portland Trail Blazers
Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas
Traded to Nets.
42. Milwaukee Bucks
Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky
43. Atlanta Hawks
Mike Scott, PF, Virginia
44. Detroit Pistons
Kim English, SG, Missouri
45. Philadelphia 76ers
Justin Hamilton, C, LSU
Traded to Heat.
46. New Orleans Hornets
Darius Miller, SF, Kentucky
The fifth-year senior Wildcat makes history as the sixth Kentucky player selected in the first two rounds — the most ever for one school.
47. Utah Jazz
Kevin Murphy, SG, Tennessee Tech
48. New York Knicks
Kostas Papanikolaou, SF, Greece
49. Orlando Magic
Kyle O’Quinn, C, Norfolk State
50. Denver Nuggets
Izzet Turkyilmaz, PF, Turkey
The Turkish spelling bee begins now.
51. Boston Celtics
Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse
52. Golden State Warriors
Ognjen Kuzmic, C, Bosnia
53. Los Angeles Clippers
Furkan Aldemir, PF, Turkey
Could you use the word in a sentence?
54. Philadelphia 76ers
Tornike Shengelia, SF, Georgia
Traded to Nets.
55. Dallas Mavericks
Darius Johnson-Odom, SG, Marquette
Traded to Lakers. Mark Cuban probably wouldn't have yelled at this Odom from the stands. After the trade to L.A., Odom is in the market for a Kardashian reality show.
56. Toronto Raptors
Tomislav Zubcic, C, Croatia
57. New Jersey Nets
Ilkan Karaman, PF, Turkey
Are there any alternate definitions of the word?
58. Minnesota Timberwolves
Robbie Hummel, SF, Purdue
After two ACL injuries, Hummel celebrated gingerly on draft night.
59. San Antonio Spurs
Marcus Denmon, PG, Missouri
60. Los Angeles Lakers
Robert Sacre, C, Gonzaga
Mr. Irrelevant hopes to have an Isaiah Thomas-type impact with the Lake Show. Or at least learn the art of neck-beard from Pau Gasol.
by Nathan Rush