Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft - May 19, 2010

Later I'll play GM but for now I'm mostly gonna do predictions, unless noted otherwise. I'm also not including Donatas Motiejunas because a while back I read that he will likely remove his name from the draft.

1. Washington - John Wall - I've been BEAMING ever since the announcement. I don't care about anything right now except that Wall is going to be a BULLET. He and Gil can co-exist offensively, and I'm not really expecting a contender as long as Blatche is here. And, in all honesty, as long as Arenas' contract is on the books (don't tell anyone, though). BUT JOHN WALL IS A WASHINGTON BULLET! *knock on wood*

2. Philadelphia - Evan Turner - They really should trade out of this slot. Turner and Andre Iguodala are virtually the same player, and I'm not a huge fan. They need outside shooting or a versatile 4...I think Pat Patterson would be a good fit. But what do I know. By the way, look at how Jrue Holiday did his best to stifle his elation when he found out his team wasn't getting Wall. Lolz.

3. New Jersey - Derrick Favors - What a mindfuck. I was sure the frozen envelope would come up Nets, Wall and LeBron would join Phil Jackson, they'd move to Brooklyn and the 2012 doomsday prophecies would come true. I was also sure my Bullets would be in a position to take Favors, the second best prospect in this draft, and instead take DeMarcus Cousins or Al-Farouq Aminu. I'm so confused right now.

4. Minnesota - Wes Johnson - I guess I can't bank on trades, but the T'wolves have two great power forwards and no center, and unless one of them gets traded they're going to give up a lot of points and be more vulnerable to penetration than an inmate at Oz. And actually, I like Johnson more than Evan Turner, as long as he's not the team's best player.

5. Sacramento - DeMarcus Cousins - I like Greg Monroe a lot more, but not many others seem to. Cousins COULD be many red flags, though.

6. Golden State - Al-Farouq Aminu - Who runs this team? Impossible to guess, so Aminu is the pick since he's the best prospect who fits the run-and-gun style.

7. Detroit - Ekpe Udoh - Continuation of many clueless predictions. I'll say Udoh because they need a legit-sized big who can block shots and run the floor, meaning Udoh and not Cole Aldrich.

8. LA Clippers - Gordan Hayward - The Clippers have talent at every position except the 3. And while they could use backcourt depth, it doesn't really exist here. Could've gone Xavier Henry, but he's slipping while Hayward is climbing. Oops...

9. Utah - Cole Aldrich - Greg Ostertag 2.0. Need I say more?

10. Indiana - Greg Monroe - You KNOW Larry Bird would be PISSED if this scenario happens, with both of the top white prospects going right in front of him. But I gotta believe Monroe - who I feel is the 3rd best player in this draft - is too good to pass on here.

11. New Orleans - Hassan Whiteside - I haven't seen this scenario anywhere, and I don't get why. I can't imagine if Whiteside was available that the Hornets' higher-ups wouldn't salivate at the chance to pair him with Chris Paul in the pick-and-roll; like Tyson Chandler but more athletic. Ooh-wee.

12. Memphis - Stanley Robinson - Just a hunch, but I think he'll sneak back into the lottery. With Rudy Gay likely out the door, the need for a SF is big.

13. Toronto - Ed Davis - Can't keep denying him forever, I guess. Toronto needs a replacement for Chris Bosh. But I can tell you right now, when I play GM and if Xavier Henry is here, I'm taking him and hoping that it tempts Bosh to re-sign.

14. Houston - Daniel Orton - I know little about Orton, but he just seems to fit in Houston. What more can I really go by?

15. Milwaukee - Patrick Patterson - Seems like the perfect fit, they need a 4 and Patterson seems like he'd compliment both Bogut up front and Jennings on the break and in pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop situations. Xavier Henry is option #2, Redd will undoubtedly exercise his $18.3 million option, but who knows how good he'll be for the only year he's still a Buck.

16. Minnesota - Xavier Henry - I feel like he'd be too good to pass up on here, right? I mean, who else could they take here that fills a need and isn't too much of a reach? Solomon Alabi? No.

17. Chicago - James Anderson - The Bulls might be the one team that wishes they could draft AFTER free agency starts. Picture this scenario: Sign Chris Bosh, sign-and-trade involving Kirk Hinrich and Joe Johnson, THEN draft combo-guard-X to be another Hinrich, Ben Gordon, or both. If that's the (at least close to) case, Avery Bradley, Eric Bledsoe, Willie Warren and maybe even Dominique Jones come in to play.

18. Miami - Eric Bledsoe - I love the idea of pairing Bledsoe with Dwyane Wade. No question the Heat need a point guard, tho not necessarily one who creates like a Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, etc. Just someone who can defend, knock down shots, and take pressure of Wade. Bledsoe fits the bill, somewhat.

19. Boston - Damion James - I couldn't decide, and I feel like James is likely the best player left.

20. San Antonio - Luke Babbitt - I know next to nothing about this kid. I know the Spurs are old and thus are in need of new blood. Good enough for me.

21. Oklahoma City - Solomon Alabi - OKC needs a high-energy 7-footer who can rebound and especially protect the paint. Combine Alabi's ability to fill all those requirements with the fact that he's a high-character guy and it seems like a match to me.

22. Portland - Kevin Seraphin - Portland needs to add muscle inside. Greg Oden is one of the biggest examples of front-office buffoonery of all time, LaMarcus Aldridge is embarrassingly soft, and Marcus Camby is old. Seraphin is a project, but he has major upside. Good fit in Portland.

23. Minnesota - Donatas Motiejunas - I know I said I wasn't including him, but who else is gonna go here? Expect one of these picks to be traded.

24. Atlanta - Paul George - Could be a steal here, and a perfect fit to fill Joe Johnson's shoes. Or he'll be terrible. Sucks to be Atlanta these days.

25. Memphis - Elliot Williams - Not many options here. Williams is from Memphis, went to Memphis, and could be a good spark off the bench. Free-falling Avery Bradley might be the better fit here, but he doesn't have those Memphis ties. So suck it.

26. Thunder - Quincy Pondexter - Again, so unpredictable, but they could use some depth at the 3 and Pondexter will be a solid contributor at the least.

27. New Jersey - Avery Bradley - Way too good to pass on here. A big part of why he fell here is because it's late and I kinda forgot about him. Sue me.

28. Memphis - Larry Sanders - Another guy who's too good of a prospect to pass on. They need shot blocking; you know, just in case Hasheem Thabeet doesn't pan out for whatever reason.

29. Orlando - Willie Warren - This kid is one of my personal favorites and might wind up as one of the steals of this draft. Orlando desperately needs players who can actually create for themselves, let alone others, and Warren can certainly create for himself and has shown flashes of being a respectable distributor as well.

30. Washington - Dominique Jones - Jones is another of my personal favorites. He doesn't have quite the upside that Warren has, but he stood out on a miserable team where he was constantly the opposing defense's primary concern. He showed the ability to play some point guard as well, and more importantly, the ability to guard both backcourt positions. I wouldn't be surprised to see this name a lot earlier and I'd be thrilled if he came to DC.

As I said, later on I'll play GM for all these teams, but I wanted to make something clear before I end this:

Evan Turner is NOT Brandon Roy, so stop making this reckless comparison. For one, I'm not convinced he can handle the ball adequately yet. For another, HE CAN'T SHOOT. Like I pointed out earlier, he's a lot closer to Andre Iguodala than Roy. He's barely a top 5 prospect in my book, if that, and that's only because he's clearly a good basketball player. MY top 5 reads: John Wall, Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe, Wes Johnson, DeMarcus Cousins/Evan Turner. If you have a problem, turn off your station.

I WILL give myself a backdoor here, something I rarely do. I hate Ohio State. I also, for whatever reason, hate looking at Evan Turner. The site of him makes my blood boil. I do NOT mean to say that he'll be a bust. And after Wall, Turner's production certainly supports his slot at number two. I just don't like him.

Additionally, to the people who want to argue that Wall isn't the best player in this draft, I have one thing to say: you are an idiot. As a freshman, John Wall stood out as easily the best player on far and away the most talented team in the country, from day one. Sure, he struggled at times - what player, let alone freshman, doesn't? But in those games, he never failed to come up big in the closing minutes. Derrick Rose is the easiest name to compare Wall to for obvious reasons, and he wasn't as dominant early in the season like Wall. Simply put, unless the usual roadblocks get in his way (injury, system, or w/e), one thing is certain: John Wall will be a superstar. End of story.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Letters From Vietnam - B.o.B

This is an iTunes bonus off of the album B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray. He performed it live but the actual recording makes for a much more epic sound and feel.

Full album review of coming soon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Steve Nash, Juan Crow, and the Responsibility of Celebrity

**sorry this is late, wanted to get it done May 1, writer's block hit hard ha**

Responsibility of the professional athlete, to be specific. As most of you know, the backwards ass state of Arizona legalized racial profiling this week. (If you feel inclined, go ahead and click on the link and sign the petition.) As the title implies, I won't be attacking this issue directly, since I don't know enough of the specifics; and more importantly, this is an obscenely straightforward issue. If you don't see this as an egregious problem, go ahead and: 1. stop reading, 2. leave this site, 3. take on a Grizzly in a cage match.

As I wrote, this is about the responsibility that comes with being a public figure in the realm of sports. The idea for this came from reading this post on FreeDarko which talked about whether or not Steve Nash had a responsibility to speak out against the law that was put in place. While they exhausted the particular topic, it brought up the question of when is someone responsible to take a public stand, or of that burden even exists.

My initial reaction is the exact opposite of most people; of course they shouldn't be responsible. Do they get paid to make political stands? NO! Do we pay money to watch them make a speech on why racial profiling is bad? Or do we pay money to watch them dunk on someone, catch a touchdown, hit a home run? Obviously it's the latter. Right?

Problem with that is that we don't live 20 - hell, even 10 - years ago. In my perfect world, once an athlete leaves his place of work, that's it. He's a regular person. Problem is the world we live in NOW is becoming progressively more digital, and the internet doesn't have any boundaries. So how do we draw lines?

The first rule should be, job performance should never be effected. You can demand your favorite athletes to have thick skin and be able to take all the shit "fans" throw at 'em, and perform at a consistently high level no matter what. You can also demand them to hit .400, score 100 points, rush for 400 yards, etc. etc. etc. They're human beings, just like the rest of us. They have a little more practice than regular people at deflecting hateful bullshit, but again, they're human.

To get back on point, if someone decides to make a stand, they will be pissing people off. It's inevitable. And when it's Steve Nash sticking up for Mexicans in Arizona, he's pissing everyone off.

The flip side of this argument is very murky, at least to me. For the record, I DO feel that Nash should have (still should) let his voice be heard, but only because I do know that he's a well informed individual and that this issue is such an egregious violation of human decency and morality. But who am I to make that judgement? Who is he to decide what is right and wrong? The issue with a celebrity using his or her voice is that their voice is TOO powerful. What if it were Derrick Rose speaking out against some perceived injustice? No unjust disrespect to Rose, who seems to be a nice kid and genuinely good person, but he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Do we really want that type of influence in the hands of people who shouldn't have it? It's a very slippery slope.

So to be honest, I don't have an answer to this question. It's definitely something to think about. The essential factor, to me, is that what we're truly paying the athletes for doesn't get effected. After that, crapshoot.

P.S. Steve Nash is the coolest person on the planet haha