Happy Draft Day!
And, oh, how times have changed.
I can honestly say I’ve paid less attention to what might happen tonight than I have for any other draft ever, even years when the locals haven’t had a pick or have had a late one that was impossible to guess at.
Sure, I got the Zion goes No. 1 and the Morant kid (a Murray State Racer, by the way, evoking memories of the great Popeye Jones) goes No. 2 and RJ’s gonna go three in what I think is a perfect personality fit with New York. But after that? Not a clue who’s fourth or 14th or 24th and that’s just fine with me.
That’s in part because we’ve been kind of busy the last 10 weeks or so and there’ve been no workouts to attend, no mock drafts to think about, no trade possibilities involving the Raptors to try to track down.
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There’s another reason, though.
As mentioned in this little setup piece we did yesterday (this was the other story yesterday for something completely different), the draft has lost some of its allure because it’s more of a guessing game now than it’s ever been. There are simply too many good players to attach any more significance to, say, a lottery pick than there is to someone chosen in the mid-20s.
It’s all about work ethic and franchise fit and getting a chance to play. That’s what separates good rookies from so-so ones and maybe it’s always been that way but it certainly is more pronounced now that the depth of talent available is better than it’s ever been.
I do think it’s impressive that five Canadians could go in the first round tonight and there could be three that are lottery picks and that’ll be the reason I watch and work later on tonight, although if someone said, ‘hey, let wires do the news and you do your take in the blog in the morning’ I’d be fine with that.
It speaks to the talent the country continues to produce, the coaching these guys kid as really, really young kids and it should be a source of pride throughout Canada.
But other than that? The draft is just a thing and not even all that big a thing when it comes to altering or keeping the balance of power in the league.
As I said, in some ways it’s always been that way and we got all bent out of shape over it because it was a straw to grasp onto in the process of improving a team. But it’s guesswork and it depends on so many other factors that to worry about this guy going 11 and this guy going 19 and how in the world could your team pass on that guy to take this other guy is an exercise in futility.
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But have fun watching and do me one favour.
Do not care one lick about who Masai and Bobby and Dan take with the 59th pick and please don’t ask me about him because I am 99.9999 per cent sure I’ve never heard of him.
Check this out? I’m going to be on stage in the theatre.
And, no, Mr. DeMille, I am not ready for my close up.
But I am ready to have one or two and tell a story, that’s right in my wheelhouse.
Totally taking Saturday morning off here because I’ve been going too hard so that means you’ve got to get the mail taken care of between now and then.
I’m sure there will be some draft-related questions and chatter about some of the trades that go down today but stuff away from the game is most welcome and all you’ve got to do is click on firstname.lastname@example.org to make your submission.
Go ahead, you know you want to.
Man, time can fool you, can’t it?
If I think of The Blues Brothers, one of the criminally under-rated funny movies of all time, I think of it as a movie that I saw as basically a kid.
And then I read last night that it debuted 39 years ago today and I was not a kid, I was in my 20s and had the world figured out.
Great flick, though.
I’m just going to throw this out there because I heard that Nick Nurse went on with Bob and Richard last night and said the Raptors have been invited to see the Prime Minister in Ottawa and immediate reaction was “well, what about the White House?” and I honest to goodness laughed out loud.
First off, there is more a chance of me getting a Kawhi Leonard contract offer and starting at small forward next fall than there is of team with which Masai Ujiri is associated going to the White House this year. Or any year. Ever.
But that’s almost beside the point.
The Raptors, in case anyone’s been away for a few weeks or so, are Canada’s team and they should be feted at Canada capital rather than the American capital.
Of course, we can debate forever whether any team in any professional sport in North America in this day and age should be willingly used as a prop by the sitting leader of any country but that’s a whole other discussion for another day.
One thing I expect though?
If there’s food, I bet it’s no Timbits and could poutine.