By Sam Rubenstein

Hello! It is time for the 2008 NBA draft. I will be your slamonline live blogger tonight. I am still at the office for the moment, but we’re about to head over to MSG. I’ll find a more current front page photo when the time comes, but for now it’s Joakim Noah’s draft night look from last year. One of my favorite Bethlehem Shoals lines ever came as a reaction to that outfit: “Noah. . YOU LOOK LIKE EVERY SINGLE BATMAN VILLAIN ROLLED UP INTO ONE.” So, play along in the comment section, and I will try to give it more of a “being there” feel than just like someone watching TV and throwing out opinions.

So, it’s 5:40. Long day of rumors, trades, denials, speculation, rain, heading over soon…

Oh and here’s Chad Ford’s Mock Draft version… 7.1?!?! “Writing is re-writing” indeed.

The Clippers and Sonics are allegedly swapping picks, and Henry Abbott has some analysis of what that means. OJ Mayo has something to do with it. Is he buying the Sonics with all of his money? (Kidding) SOURCE HAT TIP: TRUEHOOP.

And we’re here. It’s 6:30, there’s a lot of media people milling around, OJ Mayo is wearing glasses (nerd), Bob Huggins is here as are about 50 other Beasley supporters outside yelling in the streets. No crowd here at all. Half an hour to go, time for some quick food.

Back from dinner. Me and Khalid learned about cleansing rituals in South America, um… we may have been given some misinformation. We’re about 20 feet to the left hand side of the players and families area. Hi!

Kevin Durant just showed up, he got a good seat. Kevin Love comes into the room and there is the sound of young females squealing.

Gallinari sighting! New York loves him. This year they have a Stephen A. lounge off to one side of the set. He’s your shrink, he cares. I wish we were closer, but we’re on the Stu Scott side of the room. Now an OJ Mayo chant from the crowd. Make up your mind!

Hmmm… now there are boos for Gallinari. I am confused. Khalid points out the future Lang is here. Some kid in a Dominique jersey. They showed him on the screen, he high-fived his friend.

David Stern emerges. Speeeeeech. I can’t hear him from all the jeering, the catcalls, the boos, and so forth. I’m sure you will see the Asian guy in the mustard suit with the preposterous shades at some point. Early warning.

There is a camera man sitting 3 inches from SPOILER ALERT! Derrick Rose’s face.

Bulls take their time to the last second, thanks guys. And Stern comes out, pick #1 is indeed Rose. He also was sitting closer to the stage than anyone else. OKay, now the draft starts.

Ben showed up just in time for the Rose pick. Cut it even closer than the Bulls.

aaaaaand after all the drama, the “too goofy” stuff, it’s Beasley at #2 to Miami. No joy buzzer handshake for Stern. His lounge chair sitdown with Stephen A. should be more lively.

The cameras circle in on OJ Mayo a few seconds before the announcement. So, to form through the first three picks… hmmmm… I don’t know if I believe that. OJ MAYO is now a PROFESSIONAL!

Pat Riley on the big screen talking about the Beasley pick. Wrong place for that. Booooooooooooo! Lang just got here.

No Seattle-Clippers trade after all. Russel Westbrook is the pick. Come on trades…

Was just handed a notes sheet. The last player drafted out of Kansas State was back in 1990! (Steve Henson) And Rose is the shortest overall #1 since Iverson. Memphis has the pick, Knicks crowd warming up.

There is a huge and rowdy and trendily dressed Kevin Love cheering section here. They’re excited their boy is going down to Memphis, where the frontcourt includes the likes of Kwame and Darko.

Knicks time. The crowd wants Bayless, and now an “Alex-ander” chant for Joe. Donnie and D’Antoni make their first move.

uh oh… it’s Gallinari. Those were boos before. And now. Interesting. That was a hard-earned sixth pick.

At least Lang is enjoying this. Well the pressure is on. Oh yeah, Gallinari’s dad played with the coach. That should go over well with his teammates.

The Clippers select Eric Gordon. He was the third of three SLAM college covers along with Beasley and Rose earlier this season.

Knicks pick text message fall-out. From Lang: “Forcing Gallinari to do that interview with Stephen A. is like stripping him naked and dropping him off in Times Square.” And from Omar: “Keep it 100 with me. The Knicks f*cked up, right?”

And Donnie Walsh has picked up where Isiah left off… getting booed at MSG!

The Bucks go for Joe Alexander. His nickname is apparently “Vanilla Sky.” But will the Asian community in Milwaukee embrace him?

A record 5 freshmen taken in the first 7 picks… only because they were forced to go to school for a year (as forced as they could be), this record needs an *!

D.J. Augustin to the Bobcats. The MJ/Larry Brown experience begins for him.

Brook Lopez stops slipping, and joins the RJ-free Nets. Well, a Nets weakness has been their big men lately, so at least they’re trying.

Bayless goes to the Pacers. So, T.J. Ford had a nice little era there.

The Sacramento Kings take Jason Thompson from Rider. MAAC player of the year! The crowd is non-comittal.

Brandon Rush joins the young Blazers. The Brandon R’s play together. But wait hold on… a trade is coming, or so I hear…

Anthony Randolph to the Warriors. Khalid is obsessed with how skinny he is.

Lang says he hears the rumored trade (qualifiers!) is Bayless to Portland for Jarrett Jack and Rush.

The Suns take the other Lopez, Robin. But people in the immediate area are hard at work on trade confirmation. Lang points out that the Lopez pick is a pick from the Suns trade with the Hawks.

That hat is fighting for its dear life on Robin Lopez’s head.

Best quote from Gallinari presser: “I have seen some cassettes in Italy, and I remember the time when Ewing was playing here and New York was doing so well. In the last two or three years, they didn’t do so well.” He also said NYC is like Milan.

Marrese Speights to Philly. Khalid’s talking about something else.

They show the Where Championship Happens ad on the screen with a bunch of Celtics fans celebrating, the crowd goes into a “Boston Sucks!” chant.

And the Raptors now have a front line of Bosh, Jermaine O’Neal, and Roy Hibbert.

The sad faces of Darrell Arthur begin. We happen to be sitting closer to the Arthur family than any other potential draftee.

JaVelle McGee to the Wizards, not here. Rich Bucher reports the trade as Diogu and Bayless for Jack and Brandon Rush.

Cleveland takes JJ Hickson with the 19th pick, Ben yells out loud “Come on!” and the Darrell Arthur watch continues.

The Bobcats use their second pick of the night on Alexis Ajinca. I can hear Fraschilla talking but I can’t see him. Pascal, the guy who listens to early 90’s chick flick music, and is a French basketball expert, refuses to give huge endorsement. He loved Petro!

David Stern has come down from the ivory tower and walks among us in the media section.

The Nets pick Ryan Anderson from Cal. Arthur: On the rocks?

Courtney Lee from Western Kentucky, welcome to the Orlando Magic. The energy is down here.

Utah takes Kosta Koufos, more size. When I look over at the Arthur family, I always see his grandma. She’s got her game face on.

Seattle takes Serge Ibaka from the Congo. I had a cab driver from there the other night. He told me the most interesting thing about the perks of his job. Oh wait I’m boring you. Somebody take Bruce Arthur!

Houston takes Nicolas Batum from France. 19, in the crowd behind us (just me actually, everyone else left!) and he’s up there. Are you tired of hearing Darrell Arthur is still sitting with his family?

The Spurs picked :30 early. My new favorite team. I met the third Lopez brother in the bathroom area. Not in the bathroom, you have dirty minds. He claims to be the brains in the family.

Oh, and the pick was George Hill.

YES! DARRELL ARTHUR HAS BEEN SET FREE! To New Orleans, and the crowd gave him a nice cheer. The room is seriously clearing out now.

And it’s possible he could be joining the young talent explosion in Portland in a cash considerations trade. The cameras have encricled the Arthur family and Doris Burke talks to a teary Sandra, Darrell’s mom. The crowd is not interested, and yells out “Jeff Van Gundy!” over and over.

Donte’ Greene from Syracuse to Memphis. CDR is available for the Pistons or Celtics.

D.J. White from Indiana goes to the Pistons, another big body, and we’re almost out of here. One last pick, the champs.

And the Celtics go with J.R. Giddens from New Mexico. Ding ding. Ring the bell the round is over.

And that’s it for me. Enjoy round 2. Who got better? What was surprising? Keep discussing.