I want very badly to sleep right now, so this will be quick. I had a marvelous time in my second visit to the NBA Draft. I spent the entire first round in the audience alongside Liberty Ballers' Mike Levin, who is a scholar and a gentleman if ever there was one. The two of us enjoyed the company of a throng of deranged draft-goers (Don't underestimate the delinquency of the draft crowd. I'm more than a little surprised I didn't get shanked). There was a rabid Kentucky fan, a gaggle of rambunctious Sacramento bros, a kid with a personalized Heat jersey that said "E-MAIL" on the back, various hotties, and one remarkably derogative 8th-grader. No joke, I think both Mike and I are going to lose sleep over the way this child ridiculed us. For whatever it's worth, the kid's dad was absolutely certain that Al-Farouq Aminu would be rookie of the year. Kid's got some funky genes.
Anyway, once the second round drew near, we made our way down to the media place and wedged ourselves alongside Tom Martin and Mike Prada-- two excellent individuals, I might add-- in the narrow section reserved for SBN. Once it was time for the 38th pick, Adam Silver approached the podium amid total mayhem from the Knicks fans in the house. Then he shut us all the fuck up. If Knicks fans were hissing and booing after the picks, then I don't remember it. It seemed to me that everybody was too befuddled by the back-to-back selections of Andy Rautins and Landry Fields to have much of a reaction. I, for one, was at a loss for words. I cried "WHAT!?" repeatedly for a full minute or two, all while shaking vigorously and gnawing on my hands. Mike had to snap one of those Elizabethan collars on my head, but I'm good now.
Really, I'm not too upset anymore with the Knicks' choices. By all accounts, Rautins is an underrated athlete with a sopping wet outside shot, while Fields is a multi-talented swingman with all sorts of leaping ability (even if his name does sound like that of a nursing home). What's puzzling is how certain everybody is that one or both of these guys would have fallen all the way out of the draft if the Knicks had passed on them. Their names had hardly ever come up before tonight. Guys like Jarvis Varnado, Lance Stephenson, Ryan Richards, Mikhail Torrance (who apparently slipped because he has a heart condition), and Solomon Alabi (who apparently slipped because he has Hepatitis B...?) had grown familiar and were generally well-regarded amongst Knicks fans. After so much draft anticipation, I suppose the natural reaction to being blindsided was outrage. I stay faithful, though. Both Rautins and Fields worked out for the Knicks, so Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni have a sense of what they bring to the court. If they truly felt those two to be the best options at 38 and 39 (with Darington Hobson fresh off the board, mind you), then so be it. If the rumors are true that Walsh was able to add some size in the form of Jerome Jordan, then that's all the better.
There are plenty of interesting guys left floating around (Chris Alvino's already compiled a nice list), but for the moment, it's time to familiarize ourselves with the new Knicks. Once we have a sense of exactly who is and is not a New York Knick (i.e. whether or not that Jordan deal actually goes down), we'll get to the introductions. For now, I'm going to get some sleep.
P.S. Try and say both of the picks' full names quickly without accidentally saying the word "laundry". You can't do it. You just can't.