Colin: The Draft Lottery itself is a spectacle to behold. Or not behold, exactly, but mock? I feel like it should be mockable—unintentionally doofy, at least—but it’s mostly just drab television, what with its suspense being driven...
Colin: The Draft Lottery itself is a spectacle to behold. Or not behold, exactly, but mock? I feel like it should be mockable—unintentionally doofy, at least—but it’s mostly just drab television, what with its suspense being driven by its inherent drama and absolutely nothing else. It’s mostly a bummer, and really, if your team isn’t involved, you’re the saddest sort of NBA obsessive.
Heather Cox awkwardly explains that the Draft Lottery, you see, is a game of probability, thus explaining to the American public what a lottery is while pretending that literally everyone American over the age of 12 doesn’t know exactly what a lottery is and how it works. This is not Heather Cox’s fault at all, just the nature of the beast. She has to smile and talk needlessly through a half-hour of television, of which anyone watching only cares about, give or take, 45 seconds.
But anyway, a room full of uncomfortable, uncharismatic old men sit alongside wholly unenthused young players do a soft-shoe if Cox tries to engage them. “Boy howdy, Holly, I hope we win!” is maybe the only acceptable answer one can give in this scenario, and so all we get are variations thereof, save for the part where Damian Lillard talks about being really good at basketball in a strange, humble way, like the kind-of-terrible Blazers were doing him a favor playing him 39 minutes a game, as if he was stealing minutes from a 25-year-old Isaiah Thomas. Maybe these interviews would be less weird if the interviewer and subject weren’t separated by a podium? They would probably still be weird.
Also, the Gilbert family bowtie thing is stupid, despite its apparent mystical powers. But none of the above stuff is actually important. Nate, Nerlens Noel or NERLENS NOEL!!! or Nerlens Noel? Or perhaps you’re a Ben McLemore fan? (I know you’re not.) Give us some sense of your enthusiasm level.
Nate: It was definitely a strange dynamic, as it always is. The Lottery is a collection of old executives, players whose teams want to appease or showcase them, coaches who’d rather be somewhere else, and Adam Silver who looks like he just stepped out of a flying saucer. What a strange-looking man. And then there’s Nick Gilbert: the human horseshoe. There’s something very refreshing about him. Yeah, he’s a rich guy’s kid, but by all accounts he’s had a pretty rough go of it. Yet he always seems to exude positivity and smiles. I’m probably grafting an emotional response onto a positive memory, but I just can’t help but like Nick Gilbert.
Watching the reactions is always bizarre too, as everyone tries to stay poker faced and not give away too much disappointment—well, except for the Jazz’s Randy Rigby who mouthed a minor obscenity as his envelope was revealed at 14. I guess he overestimated that 1.5% chance of getting in the top three. And Charlotte’s Fred Whitfield looked like he was going to burn down the studio with his look of disdain. But it was all eclipsed by the Gilberts (who had a large contingent). Dan’s wine colored Cavaliers monogrammed sport jacket was special, in its own way. The pink shirt and bowtie really completed the ensemble. He looked like a really bad magician. [Ed: so, any magician, really.]
But yeah, Nerlens Noel! I am much more excited than I thought I’d be. Most of you guys don’t live in the Cleveland area. I’m pleased we Clevelanders are going to be talking about it around the water cooler for the next few weeks. The Cavs have some juice, the Indians are winning, the weather is lovely. All seems right with the world. And Nerlens Noel is an intriguing prospect. Calipari seems to coach big men to block shots to teammates rather than into the third row like Dwight or Serge. I’m eager to see Noel in a Cavs uniform in 9 months. What about you, Colin? Did you think this was possible? No one I know s