June 29, 2005
Andrew Bogut:
Symbolized the story of the draft: Need trumped "Best Player Available," pushing several top BPAs into the teens (and to some lucky takers). Time will tell which camp was right.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

The biggest winner of the 2005 NBA Draft was ...


Based on the record number of prep picks and Euros (particularly in the second round), it felt like teams were drafting more for Ashville or Roanoke than Toronto or New York.

Make no mistake, for all the hand-wringing by the NBA over an age limit, last night its finest talent evaluators took MORE PREPS THAN EVER BEFORE. And that doesn't even consider the foreign projects.

For every instant contributor that fell into playoff teams' laps in the middle of the first round, there was notable after notable college player who joined the Roll Call of the Damned, otherwise known as "Undrafted."

Matt Walsh and Anthony Roberson, Randolph Morris and Kelenna Azubuike, Kennedy Winston, Dwayne Jones, Sean Banks, John Gilchrist, Eddie Basden, Will Bynum, Jawad Williams. Ouch.

When your "untouchable" draft status makes even the sorry second-rounders look blessed, you've encountered a serious career problem.

Fans, meet your new and improved NBDL, keeping the NBA safe from prospects and projects everywhere.

High Heels
Well, no wonder UNC won the national title!

With four NBA Lottery picks on the floor, the Heels could have played in the NBA and finished higher than the Hawks or Bobcats.

So Charlotte smartly decided to simply import as much of the in-state talent as possible. Call it the "Can't Beat Em, Join Em" strategy.

They plugged holes at PG with Felton and PF with May -- but also capitalized on UNC cachet in a Tar Heel crazy city. Sellouts soothe losing.

Bogut may have been the top pick, but the Tar Heels owned the night.

College hoops cheerleaders can't claim a complete victory for "college experience" over those pesky preps and Euros. After all, top UNC draftee Marvin Williams was a mere freshman reserve.

But as pro teams and newly minted pro players check the day-after accounting for the draft's big winners and losers (next item), it's amazing that the one of the biggest winners was a college program.

Moonlight Graham: 100th anniversary of one game in majors
Curt Schilling: Makes rehab start tonight (AAA Pawtucket)
Augusta Nat'l: Expanding to 7445 yds (2nd longest major)
Oliver Perez: PIT SP on DL, broke toe kicking laundry cart
Lavar Arrington: Police looking into shooting at his party
NASCAR playoff fan vote: France stands by points system
Draft Winners/Losers
Winner: Danny Ainge, Celtics
Loser: Rob Babcock, Raptors
TOR should axe Bab, hire Chad

W: Danny Granger at No. 17!
L: Charlie Villanueva at 7?!
Pacers rule; Raps? Huge mess

2nd-round Sleeper:
W: Ryan Gomes to Boston at 50
L: Von Wafer to Lakers at 39
Celtics balance Green teen

W: Andrew "Babyface" Bynum
L: Monta Ellis, Lou Williams
None will get any PT anyway

Draft Cliche:
W: "Bouncy"
L: "Upside"
Runaway winner: "Length"

W: Frenchie Mikael Gelabale
L: Coaches in golf shirts
See P2's Fashion Report Card!

Yankee Summit
No changes to coaching staff, according to Cashman (via USA Today).

But read between the lines and the Yankees are under pressure to please the Boss and produce some results.

Naturally, on the same day as the summit in Tampa, the team goes out and loses to the Orioles on a walk-off HR by Brian Roberts.

MLB Tuesday
All-Star voting: Lee surging on Pujols at NL 1B! (Only 60K behind and closing fast). In another wild turn, Abreu now leads all NL OFs.

Slam-tastic: Travis Hafner's 9th-inning slam buries Foulke and the Red Sox. (Anderson, Ensberg, Atkins all hit slams, too.)

No 13 for D-Train: Battered by the Braves. Will it hurt Willis' chances to start the All-Star Game? Let's check his nearest comp ...

Rocket foiled by own team (again): Clemens left the game with a 4-run lead, which, as any Astros fan knows, is as good as a ND for Clemens.

Burnett going ... where? He's open to a long-term deal with the O's, but the Red Sox are reportedly in the mix now, too. (via Wash. Post)

MLB milestone watch: Craig Biggio was plunked by a pitch for the 267th time, tying him with Don Baylor for the modern record. (As has been suggested elsewhere, how about live look-ins for his at-bats?)

Must-follow Wednesday game:
Kerry Wood starts vs. Brewers

Roenick Clarifies
Naturally, he blames the media, saying they missed his point:

"My message during the interview was: How do we make the game more appealing to the fans?"

Sure, if "appealing" means "alienating."

Matt Walsh:
"I don't know who told Matt Walsh he was going to be a first-round pick. But whoever told him that was an idiot." When Jay Bilas calls you out ... ouch.
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
Draft Fashion Review
Draft grades
All-Fashion Team
Beulah Walker
M. Webster's grandma!
Deron Williams' daughter
A real cutie!
Mikael Gelebale
Best hair in NBA (NBDL?)
Greg Anthony
GM Grunfeld: Keep Big 3 intact!
Paced the TV crew
See P2's full report!

Wimby Watch: Venus vs. Maria set for one must-see women's semi Thursday (Davenport vs. Mauresmo in the other)

Anytime the gold-standard Pats make a personnel move, it's worth noting: They signed KR Chad Morton. Watch him have a huge Pro Bowl year ...

Michelin offering fans a refund and tickets to an '06 event for the screw-up at the U.S. Grand Prix. Better than what F1 is offering to fans ...

Music notes: Calling it now: Fountains of Wayne's newly released rarity cover of "Hit Me Baby" will be the surprise hit of the summer. (Out today.)

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