2011 NBA DRAFT DAY BLOG
(Anyone who's shocked that Markieff went ahead of Marcus: Revisit this "
An NBA rep with a guide to "Stands" attendees passed along the sheet that's pictured above, offering an answer. The draft hopeful was a 22-year-old Frenchman named Sarra Camara, who'd impressed a few teams at the Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy, and was apparently in contention to be taken by the Lakers at No. 58. Los Angeles went with former UConn forward Ater Majok instead, and Camara's crew, five people in all, got up out of their seats and filed slowly out of the Prudential Center.
"I don't know why they took Majok," Pascal Levy, Sarra's agent, said when I caught up with him. "[Camara] is a much better player than Majok."
Levy had brought another client, Camara's Le Havre teammate Pape Sy, to last year's draft, and Sy had been selected by Atlanta at No. 53. Camara had hoped for a similar experience, but tried not to appear crestfallen before leaving the building. "It's cool," he said. "But the draft was a little long." Amen to that.
I'm surprised these Glens Falls No. 32 jerseys -- worn by Jimmer Fredette's hometown crew -- weren't widely reproduced and sold as throwbacks all across Utah this season. People were buying
It was a strange evening for Fredette. He didn't end up in Utah. He was officially picked by the Bucks at No. 10, but they were selecting on behalf of the Kings, who'd made a three-way trade involving Milwaukee and the Bobcats. That trade, however, didn't become official until 10:48 p.m., when it was announced during the second round by NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver.
As you can imagine, there were a lot of media members waiting to interview Fredette -- national guys, New York guys, Utah guys, Sacramento guys and the crew doing the official Jimmer documentary. The problem: He had to stay in a thing called the "Player Phone Room" at the Prudential Center until the trade became official. Jimmer sat in there for about two and a half hours, while camera crews waited ... and waited ... and waited in position for the vital shot of him emerging down a hallway.
The cameramen were not pleased. His coach at BYU, Dave Rose, was stuck sitting in the Green Room, trying not to act bored. Jimmer tried not to complain ("I wish it could have been a little bit earlier," he said of his release). But it had to be somewhat of a buzzkill: biggest night of your life, and you have to spend a huge chunk of it sequestered in a phone room.
Enes Kanter, who went No. 3 overall to the Jazz, was a delight. He cried after being picked, which was endearing. He came to the press-room area holding a half-sheet of paper, on which was printed key data about the Jazz ("ownership: The Miller Family"; "General Manager: Kevin O'Connor"; etc.). He set it down in front of him for each interview. When the reporter in the photo below asked Kanter if he played any other sports, he said, "I play ping pong."
Then Kanter went to the main press-conference room, where an NBA official asked him for an opening statement on being picked by the Jazz. Kanter remained silent, staring out at the reporters, waiting for questions. He had apparently not heard the request for the opening statement. When he was asked, "What's your game? ... Who are you like as a player?" he said, "I hate to lose and I love to play toughness."
No fan of the NBA wants a lockout. These four guys from Boston have made it their goal to help the league and its players avoid one. Josh Levine, James Bucklin, Jacob Noble and John Clancy created white shirts that say "No Lockout" and showed them off in the grandstands of the Prudential Center.
I asked Marshon Brooks who his sleeper pick in the 2nd round is. He responded: "Andrew Goudelock, definitely." Goudelock is a 6-foot-2 scoring point guard from the College of Charleston. He's projected to go in the mid-to-late second round.
Knicks fans are furious here after the Shumpert pick. Their reaction brings back memories of their infamous 2006 Renaldo Balkman blunder. Fans were so upset here that they booed Washington's Chris Singleton, who was chosen next, as many thought they would choose Singleton. Carmelo Anthony summed up the feelings of most New York fans on his twitter page second after the pick. He tweeted, "goodnight I'm out."
The blog's correspondent at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Jessy Poole, has passed along two photos from outside the official Jazz draft party. The fans there seem to be in favor of choosing someone named "Jimmer."
(In all seriousness: There seems to be a strong possibility that the Kings will take BYU's Jimmer Fredette with their newly acquired No. 10 pick, which came in a three-way trade with Milwaukee and Charlotte. If that happens, the Jazz draft party is not going to be much of a party.)
One advantage to holding the draft in Newark: seating. An NBA official said around 9,000 tickets were sold for tonight's event. Crowd exploded for the Kyrie Irving pick, much more subdued for Derrick Williams.
As green-room attendees took the stage for the customary pre-draft group photo, the lone suit that stood out belonged to San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard (second from left), who apparently favors a "suave doorman" look. The single most impressive piece of draft attire turned out to be a pair of shoes, on the feet of UConn's Kemba Walker. Pink saddle shoes, befitting a national champion.
Two choice comments overheard while standing next to the stage:
• An NBA official charged with arranging players for the photo: "There are too many guys the same size." (He promptly split up Kansas' Morris twins, forcing them to stand on opposite sides of the picture.)
• A different NBA official: "Guys, those Gatorade bottles on your [green room] tables? Those are just there for show. You can't even open them. They're glued shut."
They're currently showing videos of first round picks from the past 10 years. To no surprise, the only pick who got booed was LeBron.
A shot of the green room at the Prudential Center, empty at 5:30 p.m. The calm before the draft.
We've arrived at the Prudential Center, which is the temporary epicenter of hoops on the East Coast, having hosted an NCAA tournament East Regional and the NBA draft in one four-month stretch.
Spotted outside the building: A man in a blue-and-yellow argyle blazer and bow tie whom we mistook for Morehead State