Wednesday, June 27, 2007

NBA Draft Eve

Tomorrow night will mark the 4th Annual Wilson Ranchero NBA Draft Party, and I'm getting very excited. ESPN rolled out Chad Ford vs. Bill Simmons in a mock draft, and as soon as Simmons took Durant number one, the sniping started. Two things you need to know before going into this part of the conversation:

1) Chad Ford loves foreign players to an insane degree. He's the man who built up Darko Milicic, the total bum that went before Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Kirk Hinrich in the 2003 draft.

2) He picks a new foreign guy every year to vouch for and I don't think any of them have turned out. This year, his crush is Yi Jianlian, a Chinese player who hasn't been seen doing anything besides going against a 6' 3" assistant coach. And go!

Bill: As for Yi, I fully expected you to tell us that he's the best player available at No. 5 -- you're the same guy that once touted the virtues of Darko Milicic and Pavel Podkolzine. You'll have to excuse me if I'm dubious of a Chinese star who A.) refused to workout against anyone, and B.) dominated the 19-and-under championships when he was lying about his age and happened to be 22 at the time. But hey, I've never seen anyone look better offensively while posting up a chair. So you might be onto something.

By the way, you will regret questioning Al Thornton. I'm just telling you now.

One more thing: Marion averaged 21/9.5 in '03 and 19/9.3 in '04 playing without Nash. I think he'll be fine on his own. The East sucks -- you could win the conference with Pierce, Jefferson, Marion and nine guys off the street. You really could. Hell, look at the Nets last spring -- they took the Cavs to six games with a three-man team and one of those three was the Tin Man (Vince).

Chad: 1. Ask anyone who has employed Carlisle over the last few years for a letter of reference. Even his best friend, Larry Bird, dumped him.

2. I knew the Darko comment was coming. When he signs that $50 million to $60 million dollar deal with the Magic this summer ... I hope he moves in with me.

3. Darko is three years younger than you're boy Al Thornton. You think Darko averages 19 ppg on Florida State in three more years?

4. Yi looked great against the chair. You're boy in last year's draft, Adam Morrison, could've been guarded by the chair this year.

5. You're destroying the team you love Bill. Don't do it.

Bill: You can keep selling Darko until the cows come home ... it doesn't change the fact that he looks like he's half asleep at all times. But I'm sure giving him $50 million and reducing any urgency he had to become a good player will solve the problem.

Once I get on the other side of the NBA Draft and the last 1300 or so pages of Harry Potter (I knew I'd be addicted), we'll get back to regular summer updates. Also, Live Free or Die Hard comes out today and is at a perfectly respectable 78% on the Tomatometer. Great week of movies coming up with Ratatouille, Sicko and Transformers.

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