Banking on a career like no other last night at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, last years top class of college kids and such graduated to NBA men as the new stars of the leagues future.
But in the 2015 NBA Draft who choose who?
With their first, first pick in the NBA Draft the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Karl Anthony-Towns from the University of Kentucky…one of seven Wildcats from last years almost unbeatable squad in this years draft. Although this is the first time Minnesota have had a number one pick, Towns joins the Twin-Cities stars of the future and the last two drafts top, number one picks. Last years Rookie Of The Year Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett acquired from a 2014 Draft Day trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kevin Love. This Wolf Pack leader with some mentoring from Minny legend Kevin Garnett will form a great partnership with last years top Rookie and sophomore stud as these faces help Minnesota become the franchise of the future.
Minneapolis’ former team the Los Angeles Lakers also made a splash in the draft as they didn’t end up choosing Jahil Okafor with their second selection (he was picked bronze by Philly who now add a formidable frontline of too many big men in the form of their last couple of picks in Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid) and highest draft lottery win since the Big Game of 1982 when they selected legend James Worthy, who was in attendance on helping hand. Instead talented Ohio State Buckeye and defence voodoo D’Angelo Russell was in play like the Vanguard. With prizes for the crispest suit in candy red and white, who from the 60’s would have thought the Lakers future would be called Russell? The talented guard brings his averages of 23.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks to the purple and gold Staple and also gives Kobe’s Lakers a big-three for the future alongside last years rookie surprise Jordan Clarkson and the return from injury big-man Julius Randle (so long as they don’t trade three future faces away for one star). The Lakers may have also selected another late, round sleeper by picking the son of former NBA player Larry Nance. With all this and the upcoming free-agent market looking more open for guys like Trailblazing, Portland departed LaMarcus Aldridge and their former draft choice Marc Gasol (who they once traded for brother Pau) it looks like Showtime is back in Hollywood.
In other picks the Knicks went bold and fourth taking talented international import Kristaps Porzingis to finally give Phil Jackson’s team a big-man. Whether the owners decision to attend a Lady Gaga concert during Draft week work will be a crazy choice remains to be seen. Will it be a Poker Face one, or just another Bad Romance for the beloved Big Apple city of Madison Square Garden basketball in need of some world famous ‘Melo assisting Mecca? More Nuggets came with Denver who managed to swoop in with the seventh pick for star-stud with overseas experience Emmanuel Mudiay, who could be this years steal. Just like the Houston Rockets selection of Sam Dekker with the 18th pick. His Wisconsin Badgers teammate Frank ‘The Tank’ Kaminsky rolled into Charlotte with the ninth pick as owner Michael Jordan won his battle with former coach Phil Jackson for one of last years best college stars and stories.
More chapters will be made from these kids careers as they set forth their journeys into the next big stage of their bright futures. Who will boom and bust remains to be seen, but this explosion of talent gives us a big-budget, blockbuster draft that we haven’t seen the likes of in years.
Here’s how they all panned out…
1 Karl-Anthony Towns, PF/C
2 D’Angelo Russell, PG/SG
3 Jahlil Okafor, C
4 Kristaps Porzingis, PF
5 Mario Hezonja, SG/SF
6 Willie Cauley-Stein, C
7 Emmanuel Mudiay, PG
8 Stanley Johnson, SF
9 Frank Kaminsky, SF/PF
10 Justise Winslow, SF
11 Myles Turner, C
12 Trey Lyles, PF
13 Devin Booker, SG
14 Cameron Payne, PG
15 Kelly Oubre, SF
16 Terry Rozier, PG/SG
17 Rashad Vaughn, SG
18 Sam Dekker, SF
19 Jerian Grant, PG/SG
20 Delon Wright, PG
21 Justin Anderson, SF
22 Bobby Portis, PF
23 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF
24 Tyus Jones, PG
25 Jarell Martin, PF
26 Nikola Milutinov, C
27 Larry Nance, PF
28 R.J. Hunter, SG
29 Chris McCullough, PF
30 Kevon Looney, SF/PF
Good luck young guns. The NBA world is yours. This is your time!
Knicks RJ Barrett: Basketball + Business
Canadian RJ Barrett sits down for a very candid interview with agent Bill Duffy and “The Boardroom” host — former no. 1 overall pick Jay Williams to discuss basketball and his business ambitions and aspirations.
Barrett is expected to be amongst the highest global sponsorship earners of his generation and is represented by agent Duffy — who has done over 3.5 billion dollars in contract negotiations and also represented Canada’s greatest basketball player to date and RJ’s very own Godfather Steve Nash.
Under Duffy’s direction, Barrett is expected to capitalize on the immediate rise of Canadian Basketball and the national corporate entities looking for an immediate association with the rapidly growing sport.
Barrett has already inked deals with financial powerhouse Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and global leader in made to measure apparel company INDOCHINO — Which costumed designed his Draft night suit.
Globally, with Barrett’s ability to speak French, Duffy also sees a market in China but as well as untapped African market. After all, Duffy is somewhat responsible for Yao Ming’s massive success in the Asian-Pacific markets.
When it’s all said and done, Barrett stands a chance at being Canada’s top-earning athlete, both in salary earnings and corporate dollars.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Is The Real MVP
Santa Monica, California was on an award tour like A Tribe Called Quest for the NBA’s end of season grand prize spectacle last night. Hanging out in the coolest performing arts theatre in all of Los Angeles (my apologies to the Hollywood Bowl), the converted airplane Barker Hangar played host to the 2019 NBA Awards. The Emmy’s, Oscar’s and Grammy’s of hoops Tony.
The best of the Basketball best and the cream of the future hops crop descended on this hangar, suited and booted like they were flossing injured court-side.
Shaq sized in the perfect setting in a place that houses feats of brilliance that take flight like Mike, this event could only be hosted by the one and only, Big Aristotle of the Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal (sorry Drake. Although you troll NBA players better than Kevin Hart telling Kenny Smith he’s so ashy if he smiles his lips will bleed as he goes to take a sip of his water). And the most entertaining NBA player ever (give him his award) laughed, joked, sang, rapped and danced his way to an enjoyable evening in the place he racked up three rings on repeat.
But how about the prize giving? Well your real Most Valuable Player this year is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Say what you will about last year’s MVP and this year’s runner up in the closest of recent races as tight as the Rookie of the Year voting, James Harden racking up triple-doubles like Charles Barkley says Lonzo Ball does triple-singles, but it’s the Alphabet’s time now after slaughtering this season gone. Sure he didn’t come away with the ‘chip like worthy candidate Kawhi Leonard and his (we still hope) Toronto Raptors, but that is his next challenge for the Mamba Mentality tweeted in congratulation by Kobe Bryant who predicted this MVP years back. And in a beautiful and emotional speech, Giannis dedicated all this to his dearly departed dad and his brothers and mom in attendance as every eye not dry in the house got out their seats in unanimous ovation.
And in a truly global game flying the flag outside the United States for each category winner, Antetokounmpo almost doubled up, finishing in second place for Defensive Player Of The Year, under the stifling Eiffel of French fly swatter, Rudy Gobert. As Paul George after an incredible season-no lucky shot-came in third place like he did for the MVP voting. Toronto not only got the ‘chip in the Six however as their X-factor Pascal Siakam came up with the Most Improved Player award ahead of Sacramento sophomore De’Aaron Fox and Brooklyn’s own (if they play their free agent cards right), D’Angelo Russell.
Coach of the Year was bucked by Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer dry-erasing for the MVP. And Bradley Beal was passed the Community Assist Award for all the good this All Star has done. Give him a hand for all the ones he has. Whilst the Sportsmanship award went to new Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr., who also racked up the Teammate Of The Year award for his grit n grind time with the Memphis Grizzlies. But who else for the Sixth Man of the Year award then the ‘6 Man’ of all-time, Lou Williams? Joining Clippers teammate Jamal Crawford as the only player to win the Sixth award three times over.
And the House Of Highlights Moment of the Year of course went to Derrick Rose. Can you guess for what game?
We have a ball rattling around the rim forever in Toronto that shoots for even more stars though.
But how about that Rookie of the Year award? Who you got? Because in narrowly beating out Atlanta Hawk Trae Young it’s clear the award belongs to superstar right now Luka Dončić after a Maverick season in Dallas. Where the Texan gunslinger from Slovenia is about to draw on them all next season. Look out for the kid like Pat Garrett, Billy.
Sager Strong, broadcaster Robin Roberts took home that award named in honor after the suited court-side with a microphone presenter. And her “make your mess your message” speech was the most inspiring of the night after her fight against breast cancer and bone marrow disease, raising awareness.
Executive of the Year went to Jon Horst of the Milwaukee Bucks (sorry Rob Pelinka…jokes) but the Lifetime Achievement? Well that went to a former President who has just left office. No not Obama (although POTUS does have game…WAP!). But the Magic man, Earvin Johnson. The Laker legend honored in California for all he’s done since starting the fast-break of Showtime, to changing the game behind the back without taking a single shot. All the way to walking away from it bravely when he was diagnosed with HIV and then making a comeback so beautifully for the man who will always be purple and gold with all this entrepreneur pulls out the empire of his top hat. Say what you will about his presidency residency but as we look to free agency this crazy off-season, remember who started all this off by bringing the King to Hollywood last Summer, waiting outside his house in his car at one in the morning.
Now that can’t be tampered with.
Apart from with this. How about one better? In a courtship of rivals and a year of what could have well just been shared MVP and ROY honours, Magic Johnson shared this award of a lifetime with his former, rival and friend Larry Bird. The college to big league opponent who was a Celtic classic legend from downtown Boston. All the way to the parquet green pride of more smoked Red cigars. Two lifetimes for the price of one. Now who cares whose coming in second place?
Because all in all last nights NBA Awards show of All-Stars showed us one thing like the NBA Finals. No matter who took home the gold, we all came away winners.