Covering the 2011 NBA draft

11:13 Nikola Vucevic -- No. 16 to the Sixers -- wins the prize for being most expressive out of the gate. When asked about his night, the worldly forward didn't hold back.

"First, I wanted to say that this was by far the greatest moment of my life," Vucevic said. "When I heard my name called. I was just going to hold myself, I had to cry a little bit and hug my parents and my agent. It's a great feeling."

Markieff Morris -- No. 13 to the Suns -- went one spot ahead of his twin brother Marcus -- No. 14 to the Rockets -- but didn't plan to hold it against him.

"Maybe when I'm 60 I'll tell him I got one up on him."

Minnesota makes out well. Not only did 2009 draft pick Ricky Rubio show up in Minnesota this week, but the team used its No. 2 pick to get him a nice compliment in 6-foot-8 forward Derrick Williams.

"Even though he has not played any games over there yet, when you have a pass-first point guard on your team, he wants to make you better," Williams said. "Whenever you have a guy like that, it just brings joy to me."

Kenneth Faried didn't get to sit in the green room, and the No. 22 Denver pick was candid about how that felt.

"I was a little surprised, a little depressed, but [it] just made my chip on my shoulder grow a little bit more," Faried said. "It's just going to make me push myself that much harder to hopefully be invited to the All-Star Game and things like that."

-- Jane McManus


9:40 Bismack Biyombo walked into the interview room at the Prudential Center and embraced Enes Kanter, who was on his way out. The two big men from across the ocean -- Kanter is from Turkey and Biyombo is from the Democratic Republic of Congo -- have some things in common.

Neither played for an American college, and both will introduce their games to NBA audiences when they play this season.

Biyombo, a 6-foot-9 forward, played for a Spanish team last season, and as the draft approached there was concern that a contractual dispute could keep him from taking the court right away.

"I'm going to play in the NBA next season," Biyombo said after being picked No. 7 by the Kings. "Going to the Hoop Summit, they didn't want to let me go … Something happened with the team and we break the contract, so I'm a free agent and next year I'm going to be in the NBA."

As for the possibility that there could be an early trade before he ever gets to Sacramento, Biyombo said that he worked out for the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday and met majority owner Michael Jordan.

"That was my last practice," Biyombo said. "Before that, Michael Jordan says that he was so excited to meet me. He heard a lot of stuff about me. When I get to Charlotte, I meet him in person and we had a good conversation and also, you know, they were waiting for the time if I might get to 9. And then, you know, some stuff happened and [the Kings] picked me up at 7."

But it wasn't a bad thing to be wanted by more than one team.

"Just enjoy," Biyombo said.

UPDATE: Biyombo is actually heading to Charlotte after a three-way trade involving the Kings, the Bobcats and the Bucks was completed after this interview.

-- Jane McManus


9:16 Enes Kanter, selected by the Jazz with the No. 3 pick, had a few things to say. The 6-foot-11 forward from Turkey is relieved to know that fellow countryman Mehmet Okur is already on the Utah roster at center and will be able to help him adjust to basketball and life in Utah.

"It's a great city," Kanter said. "And I'm so happy because I have family there."

He wasn't sure that he was going to Utah, though, until the moment it came out of NBA commissioner David Stern's mouth. After being unable to play for Kentucky this season after running afoul of NCAA regulations, Kanter said he was planning to dedicate his rookie season to the fans there.

"You know, they will always be in my heart," Kanter said. "It was so sad and frustrating I couldn't play for them. I still want to like, help them because they support me a lot. Just like they made 'Free Enes' T-shirts."

-- Jane McManus


8:11 Before Cleveland made the first pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, the big screen at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. flashed images of former No. 1 LeBron James in a Cavalier's jersey. The crowd of NBA fans immediately issued a stream of boos.

So as much wealth and status goes with being the No. 1 pick, Kyrie Irving knows that, in Cleveland, there is some healing to do as well.

"I'm not really looking to replace LeBron," Irving said in the interview room, with a red Cav's hat recently placed on his head.

The Duke point guard went to bed the night of the NBA lottery knowing that Cleveland was a strong possibility. He had one stat at the ready, and said that in the last 30 or 35 years (he wasn't sure) that only five point guards had been made the top pick of the draft.

"No. 1 picks have a lot of expectations on them," he said, "and I plan to exceed them."

Despite all the potential land mines in a city where James' The Decision left a big hole, Irving is excited about the potential. He will be joined by Tristan Thompson, the No. 4 pick who will also head to the Cavs. Irving sat in the cement-block lined interview room at the Prudential Center and finally cracked a smile.

"I'm really holding myself back from letting all my emotions out," he said.

-- Jane McManus


6:30 Stern left the stage and later the draft prospects were assembled to pose for a class photo. Before Stern was brought back out for the picture, players like Alec Burks, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker were told not to chew gum and to take their hands out of their pockets, and not to drink the Gatorade bottle on the tables because it was just for show.

-- Jane McManus


6:17 In the two hours leading up to the draft, the NBA allows some of the fans here at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on the stage to pose for photos, and commissioner David Stern waled out to pose with a few groups. Stern even took a moment during a microphone check to make fun of some of the ESPN commentators, Jay Bilas and Jeff Van Gundy.

-- Jane McManus

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