Tuesday, February 22, 2005


The NBA Redraft Part 3

Mike Tirico: Welcome back friends to the show that apparently never ends, the NBA Redraft.

Dick Vitale: Welcome back baby!

Bill Walton: I feel so close to you all, in my mind you never went away. Now let’s all sail away together on this wonderful ride I like to call an acid trip.

Tirico: You mean the NBA Redraft Bill?

Bill Walton: With the choice of an acid trip or an NBA Redraft friends, there are no losers here.

Tirico: Anyway, let’s get everyone caught up with a look at the big board so far:

Pick Team Player Former Team
1 LA Vanessas Kobe Bryant LA Lakers
2 NY Knicks Lebron James Cleveland Cavaliers
3 Chicago Bulls Tyrone Markington Lincoln Jr High
4 Chicago Bulls* Jamal Jordan Happy Kids Play School
5 Boston Celtics Dwyane Wade Miami Heat
6 Philadelphia 76ers Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs
7 Dallas Mavericks Amare Stoudemire Phoenix Suns
8 Atlanta Hawks Tracy McGrady Houston Rockets
9 Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Garnett Minnesota Timberwolves
*From LA Clippers

Tirico: Ron Artest has been restrained via tranquilizers, the girl’s next-of-kin has been notified and we are ready to move on.

Walton: Tranquilizers – glorious.

Stephen A. Smith: I WANT you ALL to KNOW....that my-SELF, Tim LEG-ler, John SAUND-ers, and Greg ANTH-ony all blame the GIRL.

Vitale: I agree partner! Are you kidding me baby?!? This is what happens when girls leave school early! Everyone needs to take a lesson from guys like Cherokee Parks. Stay in school for 4 years under the tutelage of a man who stands for all that is right with college basketball – I am talking about one Michael Krzyzewski – and you will reap the rewards big time baby!!

Tirico: Fair enough. Let’s go to the podium where our next team is ready. Picking for Toronto is – is this right? – Celine Dion? Ah, whatever. Also, we should point out that Toronto thought they had drawn the 1st pick until Commissioner Stern notified them that translated to 10th Canadian. Expect Canadian Steve Nash to be the pick here.

Celine Dion: Allo ev-ery-body. How are you today, eh? I am Celine Dion and I am aboot to pick for Toronto, eh? There is no better pick to represent the great Canadian NBA franchise than the great symbol of Canada – we select a mighty moose.

The Garden erupts as a stoned Damon Stoudemire once again approaches the podium and is again sent dejectedly back to his seat.

Steve Nash, Todd MacCulloch, Jamaal Magloire, John Saunders, and Rick Fox: What the hell is that aboot?!?!

The Garden crowd is derisively saying "MOOOOOOOOOSE"


Tirico: I am speechless. A moose?

Walton: Michael, mooses, or meese if you prefer, combine grace and power to dominate the animal kingdom. This is a great day for the NBA when other species from mother earth can join in on the hoop dance.

Tirico: Sigh, okay. Digger Phelps has joined our esteemed panel – Digger, your thoughts?

Digger Phelps: The thing that I don’t necessarily understand about this pick is that the moose won’t have the height to contend with some of the bigger guys in the league because he will always be on 4 legs. Now if he could stand straight up, like if he could rest his weight on his tail, then that would be helpful. But not if the captain called heads in a coin flip. Because if that happened, you might have some dissension on your team and in your locker room. But really, that is the responsibility of the coach to diffuse that situation. When I coached at Notre Dame 20 years ago, I always….

Vitale: I hate the thought of a coin flip determining the outcome of a basketball game. Like I have been saying for years, change the alternate possession rule in college basketball! It’s a shame – an outright shame – when defenders like Mr. Shane Battier tie up the other team and then aren’t rewarded. Such a shame for college basketball. But nobody listens to me partner! But hey, back to the moose! This guy will take up space and dominate the paint – he is a no doubt about it lock on my Awesome Animals team baby!!

Tim Hardaway: I ain’t never comin back to the NBA now, know what I’m sayin? Between them crazy hawks and now these meese with their sharp teeth? I’ve seen Jaws - you all know what I mean.

Tirico: I definitely don’t get paid enough for this. If you are wondering about the delay, Celine Dion has launched into "My Heart Will Go On" and we are waiting for a stiff breeze to knock her off stage. While we wait, Craig Sager says he has the moose with him. What? Ah hell, why not – Sages?

Craig Sager: A lot of people were surprised you got drafted so high. What does it mean to you to be the first non-human since Sam Cassell to get drafted to the NBA?


Sager: I love your fashion choice for the evening – fur. Very retro. Who designed that outfit for you?


Tirico: No more of this! Though he does kind of have Latrell Sprewell’s hair. Or antlers. Or whatever. I can’t believe I am even discussing this. So, first the NHL cancels its season and now Celine Dion picks a moose for the Toronto Raptors. Maybe not the best week for Canada.

Next up the Houston Rockets. Picking for them will be Hakeem Olajuwon, who was kind enough this week to donate $20 million each to an animal testing lab and to the North Korea nuclear testing program.

Hakeem Olajuwon: On behalf of the Houston Rockets, I proudly select Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.

Garden crowd erupts once again. "RAUUUUUUUUUUUUF"


Tirico: I am not letting anybody touch this one. Luckily, the Pistons are already ready up at the podium. Joe Dumars, take it away.

Joe Dumars: We are trading our pick to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for 100 ankle bracelets and 50 electronic tracking devices.

Vitale: Wow baby! Wo-wwwwwww!

Tirico: An interesting move by Portland here folks. Since they have committed
to cleaning up their act and moving out all the troublemakers for the 11th consecutive season, they have little use for what they gave up. The Blazers are now on the clock, but first let’s get the Detroit perspective – Craig Sager has Joe Dumars.

Sager: Joe, let’s try to ignore the fact that I am a grown man wearing a plaid suit jacket with a feather in place of a tie – what does this deal mean to you?

Dumars: Well, we felt this was a great opportunity for us. By trading down, we were able to get a great supply of ankle bracelets and tracking devices to help control our fans at home games. And meanwhile, I am confident that the guy we want will still be available in our new spot.

Sager: Can we get some insight into who you are targeting later in the redraft? You passed up a lot of good players who are available now to pick up these crowd restraining devices.

Dumars: Well, obviously I can’t say too much or someone else might step in and
take our guy. So, I am going to leave you in the "Dark", hint hint.

Tirico: Is it possible the Pistons will pass up on bona-fide proven talent that has actually seen a basketball before to take Darko again? I guess we will have to wait until later to see for sure. Nothing would surprise me anymore.

Walton: This trade could be one of the best things to happen to the game I love, as it allows us all to shed our mental ankle bracelets and be free. Dance and be free Motor City. Dance and be free Portland. Ah, Portland. Portland IS the land of second chances, the land of hope springing eternal, the land of giraffes on roller skates if I take the right combination of things.

Tirico: Giraffes on roller skates?

Vitale: This is the problem with the NBA game today – you have GMs that are so sold on promise that here you have teams taking high schoolers, moose, giraffes, and Europeans over guys who flat out dominated the college game! It is just unbelievable baby with a capital D!

Tirico: Okay, the Blazers are ready to make their selection. Sam Bowie is very, very slowly making his way up the podium.

Sam Bowie: With the 13th pick in the NBA Redraft, the Portland Trailblazers select Eddie Griffin.

The crowd begins to explode before quieting down so as not to provoke Eddie Griffin.

Tirico: Well, that is surprising and quite frankly pretty scary.

Hardaway: Oh man, I love that guy Eddie Griffin- the undercover brother. Cracks me up man.

Digger: The thing that surprises me a bit about this pick is that the Blazers were so insistent that this was the year they improved their reputation, and went with guys without what they call character issues. And I don’t know if Eddie Griffin fits that category. Because there are a lot of categories in basketball. Points, assists, rebounds. All are categories that are important. The most important thing is going to be transition defense though. If they don’t get back on defense, the Irish are going to have a tough time beating UConn.

Tirico: We are all dumber for having heard that. Craig Sager is down with Sam Bowie and Eddie
Griffin, hopefully to shed a little light on this surprising pick.

Sager: Sam, I know you are no stranger to surprising draft picks, but why Eddie Griffin?

Eddie Griffin: WHY NOT?!?

Sam: Its okay Eddie, I’ll take this one. Its true Eddie has had some problems in the past, but we feel that is where it is, the past. We have done extensive background research. Eddie is a different man now, very domestic - he has been grounded by raising his pet pitbulls as well.

Sager: Eddie, is this true? Are you a changed man?

Griffin: You calling my boy Sam a liar?!?!

Bowie: Hey Eddie, relax, take a seat...

Griffin: Don’t you put your f*#!*ing hand on me.

Bowie: EDDIE, relax, breathe, count to ten man!

Griffin: YOU COUNT THESE F*#@!*ING BLOWS ON YOUR HEAD (bleep...bleep....bleep)..ONE...TWO....


Monday, February 07, 2005


The NBA Re-Draft Part 2

Mike Tirico: Welcome back to the NBA Re-Draft here on you world wide leader. Dick Vitale has been electroshocked and promises not to get too graphic about what he wants Coach K to do on his bald head. So I think we can move on.

Bill Walton: Ramble on rose...ramble on baby....if there is something better out there than a continuation of a re-draft at this time in this world, then I haven’t seen it - is this great or what? How lucky are we? What a day!

Mike Tirico: Thank you Bill. I am once again joined by, sigh, Tim Hardaway, Bill Walton, Stephen A. Smith, Dick Vitale, and Craig Sager.

Dick Vitale: Welcome back baby! This is the best re-draft in America baby! Hey, Sages, look at that outfit baby - I gotta tell you, I wish I could dress like that! I was talking to Wojo down before the game and I told him, "OHHH!!! Wojo!! I wish I had your looks baby! You must get any woman in America baby!" Wojo baby!! Wo-joooooo!

Mike Tirico: Before what game? There is no game. This is a redraft.

Bill Walton: Michael, it’s the game of life. And on this day, in this arena, with this air, and with those butterflies over there cheering our every move, we are all winners of this game.


Mike Tirico: That’s all?

SAS: I’ve made my point.

Tim Hardaway: I think it was a little early to draft Wojo.

Mike Tirico: What?!? Okay, let’s get everyone caught up. It’s the first and surely last NBA Re-Draft. David Stern has made all players available. The order of drafting was picked at random by Stern, though amazingly all the big market teams ended up in the top half of the draft. If you are just joining us, Lakers President/GM Kobe Bryant picked himself first, then denied it, then made a bunch of condescending remarks.

The Knicks followed by bringing Lebron to NY to the commissioner’s delight. The NY crowd reacted by chanting "Fire Layden!".

Then new/old Bulls GM Jerry Krause stunned everyone by drafting someone from Jr High School, and then Michael Jordan’s illegitimate 5 year old child after obtaining the 4th pick from the Clippers for Eric Piatkowski. No confirmation to the rumor that Elgin Baylor is running around the Garden looking for his nose after Joe Dumars played the "got your nose" trick on him.

Finally the Celtics gave us some normalcy by picking Dwayne Wade and ensuring we will all get to hear about how much Boston and NY hate each other all winter too.

Mel Kiper Jr: Let’s take a look at my "best available" board right now. I really like a defensive back out of Georgia with plenty of upside by the name of...

Mike Tirico: No way - get the hell out of here. Okay, next up Philadelphia. Lots of Philly fans here. Doing the picking for the Sixers will be, um, Jesus?

Jesus: With the 6th pick, the Philadelphia 76ers select God Shammgod, Providence College.

Sixers Fans: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Jesus sucks!!!

Jesus: Got you! Just wanted to see if you guys would even boo Jesus. Okay, for real, the Sixers select Tim Duncan.

Mike Tirico: Solid pick by Jesus for the Sixers. Let’s go down to Craig Sager with Tim Duncan, who from what we hear is incredibly upset and emotional about the prospect of leaving the Spurs. Sages?

Craig Sager: Tim, you have spent your whole career in San Antonio and I can see you are shaken up here and have something to say.

Tim Duncan: Yes. I look forward to contributing in Philadelphia best I can.

Craig Sager: Wow, explosive stuff.

Mike Tirico: So a rare display of emotion from Tim Duncan. Dickie V, you saw Tim Duncan play twice a year in college, whenever Wake was at Duke or hosted Duke. What are your thoughts?

Dick Vitale: This is an outstanding pick! By the way, I love Philadelphia baby! Home of Rocky! What a story that was baby! Young coach takes over private school hoops program, builds them to magnificent heights while still maintaining the standard of class and integrity. When you talk about class and you talk about integrity, you have to just flat out admire how Coach K can keep Duke at the level they are at - as the pre-eminent college basketball program in America baby! Anyway, let’s get back to Tim Duncan, another guy who spent 4 years in college like Trajan Langdon and now is reaping the rewards. I would have loved to have played in the ACC for 4 years! Are you kidding me baby?! Sixteen games against Duke and Carolina?! Wow baby...WOOOOW!!

Mike Tirico: Wow is right. Next up are the Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban is at the podium.

Mark Cuban: For the Dallas Mavericks pick, I am opening up the competition to all NBA players. Each week, I will put them through a different task where they can show me why they should be the 1st redraft pick of the Mavs. I will vote off one player each week until we are left with one true survivor who will win the coveted....

David Stern: (whispering to Cuban) Make a pick now or I will have you killed.

Mark Cuban: Cancelled again. Okay, we select Amare Stoudemire.

A shocked and stoned out of his mind Damon Stoudemire begins walking up to shake Cuban’s hand before being sent back to his seat dejectedly.

Mike Tirico: A good pick by the Mavs - right now we have some breaking news I have just been handed to read. "ESPN’s Marc Stein, ESPN the Magazine’s Ric Bucher, and ESPN Insider Chris Ford are reporting that Kobe Bryant has had the name of his team changed to the Los Angeles Vanessas."

Bill Walton: That is HORRIBLE! The Lakers represent the subtle dance that we call hoops heaven, played at its highest level, a level I long to reach each night - that’s where the dance becomes a wonderful blur of movement and of athleticism, and THAT is what Laker fans have been lucky enough to see all these years. The sun is not shining on Los Angeles today friends.

Dick Vitale: You are absolutely correct partner. Now, I don’t know who these Lakers are that you speak of, but when you have something at its highest level you have to talk about Duke. Now I know people get on me for always talking about Duke, but I ask you partner, what’s wrong with admiring a program of class, that wins with absolute class!? What’s wrong with that baby?! Look at the Crazies baby! The Cameron Crazies are going crazy!!! This is the toughest place to play in America baby!!

Mike Tirico: So, that is all the analysis we have of the Lakers changing their name to Kobe’s wife’s name?

Tim Hardaway: Well, I think we may, you know, be overlooking that now all the lakes in Los Angeles have nothing to honor them. Know what I’m sayin?

Mike Tirico: As usual, no we do not. We asked Kobe about the move, but he said that he had nothing to do with it, he just plays for the team. Shocking. Next up is the Atlanta Hawks who traded their 4 season ticket holders to move up. This is sure to go poorly. The Hawks have 2004-2005 leading score Antoine Walker announcing the pick. Instead of at the podium, Antoine has decided to try to shout his pick into the mic from 10 feet further away. Teammates offered to take his shout and then simply say it into the mic, but Antoine says he would rather try a long-range pick himself than pass off the pick to a teammate.

And, his long range try was no good. As usual he keeps trying, but we will just tell you instead that the Hawks have taken Tracy McGrady. Ric Bucher, Marc Stein, and Chad Ford are already reporting that McGrady said he will not play for the Hawks and is demanding a trade.

Tim Hardaway: Even I wouldn’t play for the Hawks. Them things dangerous, with those beaks and claws, and they always squawkin at you, know what I’m sayin?

Bill Walton: The hawk is one of the most beautiful birds on the planet, there is nothing quite like watching it soar majestically through the air. Oh, to be a hawk.

Mike Tirico: Is this really happening? Anyway, next up is Cleveland. Not too much drama here, they have already told Carlos Boozer they would pick him here. Brad Daugherty hobbles to the podium with official word.

Dick Vitale: This pick is going to get a Super10 baby!! A Super 10 on my BDI - the Bald Dome Index baby!! Because I’m bald!! Rub my head baby!! Somebody rub my...

Brad Daugherty: With the 9th pick, Cleveland selects Kevin Garnett. Go f— yourself Boozer.

The Garden erupts again.

Mike Tirico: Oh my! Dickie V, you seem to be hyperventilating. Your thoughts?

Dick Vitale: Are you kidding me baby??? Are you kidding meeeee!!! A young man serves the game of basketball with honor and class, and then this is the thanks he gets?! I told Coach K once how much he bent over backwards to get these Alaska kids in school like Boozer and Langdon. Those kids are what makes the college game so special! Then I just told him to bend over baby!! What a view baby!! That’s why I’ll take the Dookies over anyone in Americaaaa!!

He still looks good, Coach K, doesn’t he?! I ask him, I say "Michael, how do you look so good baby!?! Your wife is a very lucky lady!" I wish I still looked that good, but I’m too old now baby!! I’m not a pretty picture!! America doesn’t want to see me baby!!

Stephen A. Smith: You are prunier than Shane Battier’s head.

Dick Vitale: Shane Battier, now you are talking about somebody special! One of those special individuals - hey, he should be president baby!! How about that? Shane Battier should be president!! Look how he takes that charge! Boom! Oh, college basketball, nothing like it in America baby!

Mike Tirico: We are waiting for the next pick, but meanwhile we are getting some disturbing news from below. Sages?

Craig Sager: Yes, my suit is now purple, but the real news down here is very disturbing indeed. They had an NBA promotions group tossing Redraft t-shirts into the crowd like they do at many arenas during timeouts. Apparently one of the t-shirts hit Ron Artest and he is now pummeling the girl that threw it.

Mike Tirico: Oh my, what a dark day for the league. Maybe we better take a break.

Bill Walton: Throw ‘er down big fella!!

Friday, February 04, 2005


First Ever NBA Re-Draft

We are coming to you LIVE from New York City – it’s the first ever NBA Re-Draft! I’m Mike Tirico, and I will be joined tonight by Stephen A. Smith, Craig Sager, Tim Hardaway, Dick Vitale, and Bill Walton. As you probably already know, for no reason whatsoever Commissioner David Stern decided to shake things up by putting all NBA players into one pool – and now the 30 teams have gathered to redraft their teams. The only comment Stern gave when asked his reason for such an unprecedented action was “because I can.”

The Re-Draft order was selected by Commissioner Stern, in his words, “totally at random”. The first five picks will be the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, and Boston Celtics. The last 5 picks belong to Atlanta, New Orleans, Portland, Charlotte, and Toronto.

Let’s get things started. Picking for the Lakers will be new team President, GM, Head Coach, and Traveling Secretary, Kobe Bryant. As you know, Kobe assumed all these positions when everyone else involved with the Lakers eventually resigned.

Kobe steps to the podium: I select the only person that I can co-exist with, myself.

Mike Tirico: No surprises there, let’s go down to Craig Sager who is with Kobe. Watch your back Sages.

Craig Sager: Kobe, what does this moment mean to you, getting to pick yourself to play for your own team.

Kobe: I’m not totally sure what you are referring to, I never picked myself.

Craig Sager: Um, okay, does being Coach/GM make it easier to mold the team in your image, considering the problems you have had in the past, like with Shaq or Phil Jackson?

Kobe: Nah man, people have that all wrong. Me and the big fella got along fine. And I have tremendous respect for Coach Jackson.

Mike Tirico: So, the Lakers get things started with Kobe picking the person he likes to play with the most, himself. Which, considering his interactions with women, maybe that is the safest thing for everyone anyway. Let’s see what our panel of experts thinks of this pick. Tim?

Tim Hardaway: You know, Kobe, know what I’m sayin, is a really great player, and see now, good pick, know what I’m sayin?

Mike Tirico: Okay then – Dickie V?

Dick Vitale: The thing that I love about Kobe is his unbridled passion for the game, and don’t think it’s a coincidence his name starts with a K. Just like Coach K baby! Let me tell you something, Duke is the pre-eminent program in the nation today. You are talking about a program with class, led by a man who personifies dignity, grace, and victory. V for victory baby! Dickie V baby! To sum up, I am picking Duke to win.

Mike Tirico: Wow. Bill Walton?

Bill Walton: What a glorious day to be alive – how can you not be happy to be on this planet where the great game of basketball is alive and well, with the beauty of dancing bunnies and coconut trees.

Mike Tirico: Thanks Bill. By the way, its called “puff, puff, give” not “puff, puff, puff, puff, puff”. Stephen A?

SAS: KO-BE Bry-ant. Great player. Bad guy to deliver room service to.

Mike Tirico: Time for the next pick. Next up is Isiah Thomas, picking for the Knicks. Let’s see if he can manage to screw this up.

Isiah: The NY Knicks select Lebron James.

David Stern through the curtain: Yes! Thank you God! And by God, I mean myself! I am a freaking genius!

Mike Tirico: Hmmm, Lebron in NY. Maybe the Commissioner’s motives are becoming a little clearer as we see….ZZZZAAPPPP (Tirico hit with a tazer by Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik)….um, okay, um, what, know what I’m sayin?

Tim Hardaway: You stole my analysis!

Bill Walton: Ahhh, Lebron in NY. He will make sweet music in the Big Apple. The rhythm, the harmony, the kindbud, glorious. Let us all get up from our chairs and dance in a circle. (Walton gets up from his chair and starts spinning in circles)

Dick Vitale: It’s a little hard for me to analyze these two picks because neither guy played in college so I have never seen them play before. I heard Lebron drives a Hummer though. I’d like to give Coach K a hummer baby!

Tirico snapping back to consciousness: What the hell? Next up is the Bulls, who just recently rehired their former GM Jerry Krause. Remember, everyone is available except Kobe or Lebron.

Jerry Krause: The Chicago Bulls select Tyrone Markington from Lincoln Junior High School in Gary, Indiana.

Tirico: What?!? The Garden has erupted. Craig Sager has Jerry Krause – Sages?

CS: Jerry, you just could have had any player in the NBA and you took someone in Junior High? I guess the thing everyone wants to know is, what do you think of my yellow suit and bowling shoes?

Jerry Krause: Mmmcchhhhss….sorry, I was finishing my donut.

CS: Okay, forget my outfit for a minute, what was with that pick?

Jerry Krause: People seem to think you can keep a mediocre team together forever nowadays. Curry, Chandler, Gordon, those guys are getting on in years. I mean, Gordon went to college for crying out loud. I decided it was time to build for the future. I’ve been scouting this kid for awhile and in 8 or 9 years he could be a great one. Its time to stop hanging on to the past and rebuild for the future.

SAS: That is just a disgraceful pick!! What the hell are they doing!!! Aaaahhhh!!!!

Tirico: What was that last part?

SAS: I just yelled. It doesn’t really matter what I actually say – people just like to hear me scream.

Tirico: Apparently. Next up, the LA Clippers. I suppose it would be good for the league to have the best teams in LA, NY, Chicago, and Boston, the biggest TV markets out (Russ Granik appears holding his tazer menacingly)….um, what I mean is, the NBA is Fantastic! Elgin Baylor to the podium…

Elgin Baylor: The LA Clippers trade their pick in this Re-Draft to the Bulls for Eric Piatkowski and the Bulls top 3 picks in the next Redraft.

The crowd explodes!

David Stern: D’oh!

Tirico: What?!?! There has never been a redraft ever before in sports and this is so illegal and ridiculous, everyone knows it will never happen again!

Elgin to Krause: Wait, you said there would be another one of these really soon.

Jerry Krause: No, I said I was going to have another one of these really soon. Another pizza.

Elgin: Damn. I am so bad at running a basketball team.

Walton: That was a HORRIBLE move by the Clippers. HORRIBLE! But really, how can you be upset with them when we are all on this magical road of life? Cough, cough, cough! Whew, rough one, but you gotta cough to get off right? Glorious.

Jerry Krause: With the 4th pick in the NBA Redraft, the Chicago Bulls select Michael Jordan’s bastard child Jamal, Happy Kids Play School, Wilmington, North Carolina.

Tirico: Jordan doesn’t even have a kid named Jamal!

Krause: He does, he just paid his mother a lot of money to keep quiet about it.

Kobe: That’s a great idea. I know some other guy who does that. I am too much of a gentleman to say his name, but I’ll just say it rhymes with “track”.

Vitale: This is just terrible for the college game! I have one glass eye and I can see that! These GMs are drafting potential diaper dandies rather than guys who flat out dominated the college game. Look at what staying in school for 4 years did for the games of guys like Khalid El-Amin or Mateen Cleaves. Those are two great programs right there, UConn and Michigan St. But I’ll tell you what, you give me 5 guys from these three schools – Duke, Carolina, and Kansas – and I will take on any 5 in America baby!

Tirico: Next up will be the Boston Celtics. Any thoughts on what direction they might go? Tim?

Tim Hardaway: Um, definitely a basketball player, a baller, know what I’m sayin?

Tirico glares at Hardaway with disgust, then turns to Walton. Bill?

Walton: The Boston Celtics, certainly the most prestigious and decorated franchise in NBA history. I was lucky enough to play for the Celtics until they asked me to leave when I kept trying to smoke the 4-leaf clover on my uniform. What a day, what a world. So, as for this pick, whoever it is just better keep on dancing!

Tirico: This is unbelievable. Dickie V?

Dick Vitale: Well Mike, I gotta tell you. I think they are going to go with Trajan Langdon.

Tirico: That would be a bit of a surprise. Let’s go to the podium and Danny Ainge.

Danny Ainge: The Boston Celtics select Dwayne Wade.

Tirico: Wow, that made sense! And now we will have Lebron and Dwayne Wade battling it out in another Boston-NY rivalry. I am sure David Stern is pretty excited about that.

Dick Vitale: Not as excited as me baby! He went to college! I saw him play! Dwayne Wade is fantastic baby, a PTPer! He is silky smooth going to the hole and his jumper is sweet. Like the sweet, sweet love I want to make to Coach K. Call me Mike, I want you to clean my bald head with your…….

BEEEEEEEPPPPPP, we apologize for the technical difficulties but the remainder of the NBA Redraft will not be seen. Instead, enjoy this encore presentation of Junction Boys.

Lane Sorkin can be contacted at


A Tribute To Drazen

When my father woke me early the morning of June 7, 1993 to give me the news, it obviously did not register with me right away. So when I fully awoke for school an hour or so later, I was relieved that I had only been having a really bad dream; Drazen Petrovic did not really die. It sure seemed a vivid dream though. Only a few minutes later, the radio would confirm that it was no dream at all – my favorite player, in the prime of a successful and trailblazing basketball career, was killed in a car accident in Germany. He had not been traded. He didn’t leave as a free agent. This was no one-year drug suspension. Drazen Petrovic was dead and gone.

When it came to the NBA, my school (smack in central NJ) was filled with Knicks fans. The Nets were pretty much always terrible, and so even in the middle of NJ, about 30 minutes from their home arena, they were a blip on the local sports landscape. My dad, my friends, teachers, almost all were Knick fans – thinking back, I can’t even remember knowing another Nets fan growing up. In fact, I would even say that the Nets were probably 5th in terms of NBA teams in my town.

The Knicks were #1 for sure, probably accounting for 80% of loyalty among basketball fans. Next up were the front-running Bulls (cough, cough, Michael Jordan) fans. My theory was always that these were the guys who would have been the Nets fans – they probably were at age 9 or 10 but then jumped on the Bulls bandwagon to support a winner. They would deny the front running claim: “I always liked the Bulls, even before Jordan” or “my favorite uncle is from Chicago”. But really, why were none of them Sacramento fans or Cavs fans? I suppose it was just coincidence. I would guess that some of this group jumped back to being Nets fans once the WK era began (With Kidd). Anyway, then came a few Celtics and Lakers fans (more frontrunners). Then there was me – the Nets fan.

Put it this way – when we would play basketball on one of those adjustable rims and practice different dunks, it is safe to say I am the only one that pretended to be Dennis Hopson. So, okay, the Nets were terrible and nobody cared about them – we have established that. In 1991, things started to change though. Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson, two rising stars (and now cautionary tales of squandered talent) were aboard and the following year, Chuck Daly would be named head coach. But the man everyone was talking about was not the Hall of Fame coach or the college superstars – it was this virtual unknown in America, this Croatian with the picture perfect shooting touch and the unbridled love for the game.

If you just watched a game during the short 2 ½ years that Drazen was a Net, you had to like the guy instantly. Here was a guy running around this half empty arena, hitting shots, pumping his fist, competing to the best of his ability. When he would hit a big three and the crowd would erupt (relatively speaking – it was still the Nets), he would unleash his running fist pump which Nets announcer Bill Raftery would accompany with a “Bada Bing!”. I always thought it looked like he was starting an engine, which in many respects he was. Starting up an engine that had been dormant for years but had a lot of life in it; and we Nets fans clung to the hope that finally, this is a team we could get excited about; this is a team that people around the NBA have to take notice of.

Needless to say, we embraced the guy – diehard Nets fans can tell you there was another “Bada Bing!” in NJ long before Tony Soprano and his boys named their strip club (they probably didn’t name it after Drazen). You are talking about a franchise whose players would actually use their sneakers to express their desired to be traded. Not even very good players either. So, you combine the fact that the guy can play, loved to play, and genuinely seemed happy to be a Net and we were just giddy with excitement.

In 1993, an injury riddled Nets team lost in 5 games to the favored Cavs in the playoffs. Drazen, injured as anyone with a bad groin and wrapped hamstring, led a rousing victory in Game 4 to tie the series. Some Nets fans would tell you that for about 10 years time the 1992-1993 years were pretty much the Nets glory days. We lost the series, but for once, we had hope. For once the Nets were the “It” team, the young team to watch, and Drazen was just 28 years old. Exactly one month after that Game 4 victory, Drazen Petrovic was dead.

For someone who had such a short career, he sure had a lasting impact. He had an impact on the New Jersey Nets, who just a few years ago finally captured the same spirit and hope that existed back in the spring of 1993. He had an impact on the NBA game today, as he was a pioneer in the globalization of the NBA – stars like Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, and Peja Stojakovic had the road to NBA success paved by guys like Drazen and Vlade Divac. He had an impact on the NBA Dream Team, being the leader of the Croatian team that gave the original Dream team its only scare - and a major part of the reason that international basketball was able to catch up to America to the point that the U.S. lost this past summer.

For me though, his impact can still be seen in the corner of my old room at my mother’s house – cards, pictures, and a full page tribute from the newspaper shortly following his death still hang there. The tribute just showed his Nets jersey and the words “pucaj tricu” (“Shoot the three”). His impact could be seen in the Drazen Petrovic card I still keep in my wallet. I have gotten new wallets since, and the card always makes the jump with me. Don’t worry, I know I’m a dork. In the card, Drazen is of course exulting after hitting a shot, full of life and enthusiasm. I imagine that if Drazen were still alive, he would be one of those guys you just can’t get to leave basketball. He would be 40 now, and he would still be playing in the NBA and he would still be leading Croatia’s national basketball team. Draz was never the most athletic player, never the most talented, and you wouldn’t see him in Sportscenter “Plays of the Week” too often. The best things that Draz brought to the court are things that age doesn’t ravage like it does pure athleticism, things even kids like me could do – he had unmatched energy and enthusiasm, and he sure could “pucaj tricu”. Bada bing!

Lane Sorkin can be reached at


Faces of A Franchise

My sit-down interview with Kendall Gill, Derrick Coleman, Keith Van Horn, Benoit Benjamin, and Byron Scott

So guys, with the Nets nearing a move to Brooklyn and the end of an era, we thought it would be a good time to get together some of the faces of the franchise and talk with you all about your time with the Nets, in the NBA, and what you are doing now. For no apparent reason, I will be conducting the interview as Duncan, the Nets former and inexplicable dragon mascot. First off, does anyone know where Derrick Coleman is? And how about Kendall Gill?

Benoit: Kendall said he might be a little late; he was going to be coming straight from his hair tip-frosting appointment. He says he has been working on his shot all off-season and he is ready to have a great year for the Nets.

Duncan: Really? He must have thought he was talking to the Nets beat writers on the first day of training camp, any year from 1996-2000.

Benoit: Yeah, he wakes up every day and says that. That frost stuff has seeped into his brain. At least he has the energy to get up in the morning – this living thing is tiring man.

Duncan: I understand. Well, thanks for joining us on speaker phone from your giant bed. Where I understand you have been living since the Jayson Williams trial ended?

Benoit: I don’t know why people get all bent out of shape about that. Look, it was a long trial and I was tired. When that guy asked when I would wake up I said “someday” and he thought I said “Sunday”. So then Sunday comes and everybody is all “Where is Benoit? Where is Benoit? Did Jayson pay him a visit?” Damn people, let a brother sleep! People don’t understand the toll it takes on your body to consistently give 40 – 45% every couple of nights for however many years I played basketball. In fact, its time for you to move on and ask someone else a question – this is exhausting man.

Duncan: Okay, that is certainly understandable, all those years of carrying around the burden of being the biggest waste ever would tire anyone out. Anyone seen DC?

KVH: (yawn) I don’t know. I told him it was practice so maybe that is why he is late.

Duncan: Fantastic. Well Keith, most Netsfans out there remember your rookie season with such pride and optimism. My fondest personal memory of that year was you faking Charles Oakley out of his sneakers and driving to the hoop in a great home win against the Knicks. Many called that your coming out party. So Keith, what have you been up to since that night? Did you go back in? Why no party?

KVH: I am apparently in Milwaukee now. Its perfect for me – nobody knows I am there so there is no pressure. Nobody calls me soft or anything. People up there are so happy to have anything to do, they don’t even care how I play. Sometimes, when we wear our home uniforms, my “so pale it is clear” body just fades into the background so that all anyone can see is a ridiculously tall pair of socks. Just the way I like it. But hey, wait, I was pretty big in that first run to the NBA Finals in NJ you know? Until the finals and, I mean, so many people were watching, even back in LA where I claim to be from even though I am clearly from Utah. And there were so many cameras and celebrities and eyes and Kenyon would yell at me and…”stop yelling at me Kenyon! I’m trying! I’m trying!”

Duncan: Hmmm, okay, Keith had to step out for a minute. I hope he’s okay, he was looking a little pale. Get it, pale – he’s always pale! Okay, let’s move on. Byron, you were the coach of those Finals teams Keith talks about. What do you remember about those glory days?

Byron: I remember how great a coach Byron Scott was. Man oh man, Byron was a good one.

Duncan: Hey, why don’t you join us here at the table? You don’t need to stand over there with your arms crossed the whole time.

Byron: That’s the way I like to do things, I feel more comfortable. See, Byron is what Byron would call a CEO coach. Delegate responsibility and then stand on the sideline with my arms crossed feigning interest.

Duncan: And what are you really thinking about standing out there on the sideline?

Byron: Well Duncan, I’d picture how much better we would be if we had Byron Scott of the NBA dynasty Lakers playing out there. Then I’d stare at Joumana for a little while. Then wish I was coaching the Lakers. These are the responsibilities of the CEO.

Duncan: What do you think CEO stands for?

Byron: Coach Elephant Ostrich

Duncan: Wow. I am speechless. Hey Derrick Coleman, thanks for coming! You are 30 minutes late you know?

DC: Whoop de damn doo!

Duncan: So DC, since you were traded from the Nets, all we really know is that you bounced around the league a bit and ate Dennis Hopson. What else is going on with you?

DC: No more questions! I’m out of here – this was worse than actually practicing. Ugh, practice. I am so glad to be out of the league.

Byron: I know – never be a coach, they have them like every day. And they expect you to pay attention. And draw up game plans and stuff AFTER practice. J-Kidd was always coming by “coach, do you have any game plans or what?” I’d tell him, “yeah, I have PLANS to play a GAME of golf.” I think J-Kidd always knew I was in charge though. That is just how a Coach Elephant Ostrich operates. Yeah, me and J-Kidd are on great terms.

Duncan: Byron, a lot of people were critical of your coaching against San Antonio in the Finals, especially Game 6. Anything you would like to say to the critics?

Byron: Yeah, I’d like to see how hard they would all work if they expected to be on vacation by the end of April and they still had to work in June. Talk about working OT. I couldn’t even unseparate my arms for a week after that season finally ended. How am I supposed to think of putting Kittles back in the game when I can’t even feel my arms? That is why I like New Orleans, no worries about that there.

Duncan: Because the team is so bad?

Byron: No, because so many people have those wispy porn moustaches like me. I like that.

Bill Raftery ducks his head in: ONIONS!

Duncan: Okay, well, that was weird. Any other thoughts about the Nets organization Byron?

Byron: Yes, tell those guys in the front office they owe me $4,737,901 for all the extra time I had to work during the playoffs. That was not in my contract. They can send the check to Byron Scott, CEO of the New Orleans Jazz.

Duncan: Hornets

Byron: Whatever man – I’m going to play golf. Tell Joumana Byron says hi. (Byron Scott shuffles slowly out of the room, arms still crossed).

Kendall Gill: Hey guys, the real KG is here! Hey, where is everyone?

Duncan: Well, Benoit Benjamin is home napping, Byron Scott went to go untangle his arms and play golf, Derrick Coleman made a quick Taco Bell run and never came back, and Van Horn is in the corner cowering in fear.

Kendall: I don’t see him.

Duncan: Yeah, the wall is really white so he blends in – you can see his tears as they drop to the floor.

Kendall: What is that he keeps saying?

Duncan: “Yes Kenyon, I am your bitch. You are the man. You are the bad ass yellow boy and I am your bitch. You are the man.”

Kendall: Weird man – so its just me here? Well, me and my awesome hair?

Duncan: That’s right – you are all alone like Stephon Marbury. Well, this whole experience has made me want to shoot myself. But first, anything you have to share with Nets fans out there?

Kendall: Oh yeah! I want all the fans out there to know that I have been working on my shot all off-season and I am ready to have a great year for the Nets!

Duncan: Wow. Can somebody get a drunken Jayson Williams over here?

Lane Sorkin can be reached at

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