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Memory Lane: Draft day for Andrew Bynum

3/30/2011

Our man Bryan Boatman sent us the video below. Given how Andrew Bynum has blown up over the last few weeks, it's interesting to take a look at how it all began, with footage of Bynum's draft day. Needless to say, the Lakers of June, 2005 were in a vastly different place than today's edition.

A few thoughts, notable moments, and so on:

  • Famous last words- The final words out of Jim Gray's mouth before the pick: "At number 10, they hope to get somebody [in the mold of] Joe Johnson or Paul Pierce [selected with the 10th pick of the '01 and '98 drafts, respectively] who can contribute right away." Or, they'll draft a 17-year old who won't help them for a few seasons. Just goes to show, then as now, the Lakers were very good at holding things close to the vest.

  • Like a lot of people, I was very surprised they didn't draft Danny Granger.

  • Nice work from Bynum on the suit. Pocket square? Serious sartorial sophistication from a very young man.

  • If anyone's interested in scripting a goofy remake of "Twins," casting Bynum with David Stern is a good place to start. Their handshake looks like a forced perspective camera trick Peter Jackson might have used in Lord of the Rings.

  • Watching the names on Jay Bilas' list of top available players scroll by reinforces what a crap shoot the draft really is, even for guys who make a living at it. Just ask the Warriors, who took Ike Diogu just before L.A. plucked Bynum, or the Clippers, who were about seven minutes away from selecting Yaroslav Korolev.

  • Questions about Phil Jackson's acceptance of the pick reminds how his willingness and ability to work with a rebuilding team was a major point of speculation. Plenty of people wondered if Jackson was too much coach for that team.

As long as we're getting nostalgic, take a look a the day Kobe Bryant was drafted, back in '96. Not that he wore it long, but man alive does he look weird in a Hornets hat. Quote of the clip, from Rick Pitino, serving as an analyst for the broadcast: "Jerry West told me that greatness lies ahead for this young man. Thought he was going to be absolutely fantastic."

Might as well trade for him, then, right?