DODGING THE DRAFT: Tonight was unquestionably the most boring NBA Draft I’ve ever watched. There was no drama, no surprises, no trades other than pick-for-pick or pick-for-cash, no embarrassing suits, and not even adverse reactions by the crowd to the Knicks’ picks.
Part of the problem was ESPN’s awful coverage, continuing their substandard NBA work from throughout the season. They used tiresome announcers like Tom Tolbert and Greg Anthony, gave next to no screen time to top reporters David Aldridge and Andy Katz, and were left with nothing of substance to say for minutes at a time. This paled by comparison with the hilarious and well-spoken TNT studio team led by Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson, who handled the draft the last few years.
The Wolves- finally- had a first round pick (their first since 1999) and used it to select Ndudi (pronounced “Doody”) Ebi, who I highly doubt will ever be a player of consequence in the NBA; with their second-round pick they took Rick Rickert, a one-dimensional former University of Minnesota Gopher who continues in the fine tradition of Gophers/T-Wolves like Randy Breuer, Richard Coffey, and the pre-trade Bobby Jackson. Of course, the Wolves had promised for weeks that they wouldn’t even consider drafting Rickert; looks like it’s gonna be a long offseason at Target Center.
The draft went exactly the way everyone thought it would- no one of note was left on the board for too long (other than that Lampe guy) none of the top picks were traded, and no veteran players were traded. There wasn’t much ESPN could’ve done with this material, but that doesn’t entirely excuse their bad coverage: the network is slipping, there’s no doubt about it.
The NBA Draft Diary is usually one of Sports Guy’s best columns of the year; even he’ll have his work cut out for him with the three hours of boredom of this year’s draft.
UPDATE (OR, “DOWN ON THE UPSIDE”): Simmons does a good job, despite the absence of an interesting draft, or his dad.

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