Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Memory Lane: Draft day for Andrew Bynum
By Brian Kamenetzky
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."