NBA Draft 2011 Live Blog

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

Whassup, peoples?! It’s Lang, out of my retirement home and on the case, at least for one night.

I’m here in Newark at the NBA Draft 2011, and I’ll be liveblogging tonight’s proceedings so that we have some sort of historical record of how things go. Thus far, all I can tell you is that the tacos in the media dining room would definitely be a second round selection. Also, they don’t have wireless internet available for the media sitting in front of the stage — they actually have dozens of hardwire connections, which I am told actually works much better. My only problem is that my computer is a MacBook Air, which only uses wireless, so I had to swing a three-team deal involving secret passwords to get some wireless action out here in the seating area. I apologized for using a computer made within the last year.

While we were stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel coming from NYC to Jersey, news of the night’s first trade broke: Three-way deal between Sacto, Milwaukee and the BETcats. The Kings got John Salmons and the number 10 pick, Milwaukee got Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, Shaun Livingston and the number 19 pick, and the BETcats get Corey Maggette and the number 7 pick. Brandon and StackJack are gonna shut down the tattoo game up in Wisconsin.

Right now the ESPN pregame show is happening live behind us, but we can’t really hear anything they’re saying. So it’s just a bunch of talking and then an occasional burst of weird music. Not sure when the actual drafting begins.

• We’re experiencing technical difficulties up in here. Now I’m using Tzvi’s computer, and he’s using mine. I’m also nominating myself for best-dressed, because I’m wearing a madras shirt. (I’m going on vacation tomorrow. CAN I LIVE?)

• OK< we’re about to start. The TV feed on all the press tables just went out. So that’s cool. David Stern takes the stage, and he just got booed. He asked the crowd to give it up for New Jersey, which they did.

• Highlights of LeBron just came on over the scoreboard, and he got a bigger boo than Stern. And he’s not even here.

• According to the TV on the press table, the first pick is…static!

• Big crowd here in Jersey, more than come for most Nets games, I’m told.

• And here we go…with the FIRST PICK in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Kyrie Irving. Kyrie takes the stage, shakes Stern’s hand and tucks his left hand into his pocket for the commemorative photo.

• Just realized comments were off. No wonder nobody was complaining in the comments section! They’re back on now, you guys.

• The Draft hats tonights are fitteds, which is a good look. Not as good a look are the front of the hats, which appear to be airbrushed.

• With the SECOND PICK, the L-Wolves select, RICKY RUBIO! Oh wait, no, the Wolves selected Derrick Williams from Arizona (dark suit, red tie, understated). Williams pointed up into the stands to a couple of people wearing ‘Zona gear.

• The Jazz are up next. I guess taking Jimmer here would be a reach, but man that would be awesome if they took Jimmer here.

• With the THIRD PICK, the Utah Jazz select…Enes Kanter! He didn’t play at Kentucky last year. Big dude.

• I couldn’t hear exactly what he said, but I think Stu Scott just said Kanter would like to be a WWE wrestler after his NBA career is over. Or maybe I just wanted to hear him say that.

• With the FOURTH PICK, the Cavs select Tristan Thompson, my favorite member of the Thompson Twins, eliciting a roar from the crowd in Jersey. First reach of the Draft?

• OK, the Raptors are on the clock. Brandon Knight? Bismack Biyombo? Ricky Rubio?

• With the FIFTH PICK, the Raptors select Jonas Valanciunas. Not sure how that’s gonna fit on a jersey. He’s wearing an aggressively tailored suit, so he’s got that going for him.

• Lithuania in the house! Lots of people with Lithuania flags in the crowd.

• With the SIXTH PICK, the Wiz take Jan Vesely, who stands and receives a kiss from his girl, which brings down the house. Vesely was awesome in The Social Network, by the way.

• SEVENTH is the Kings, picking for the BETcats. And the pick is…Bismack Biyombo! He looks genuinely thrilled, hugging everyone at his table and threatening to snap everyone in half. His hands look like meat hooks. His nickname has to be Bismack-E, right?

• Nobody beats the Bis!

• Shot of Jimmer in the green room gets a huge cheer here in the arena.

• OK, the Pistons with the EIGHTH PICK, select Brandon Knight from Kentucky. I don’t really have anything to say here.

• The BETcats are up next with the 9th pick…and they select Kemba Walker, which gets a huge cheer here in the arena. He’s wearing a suit that matches his BETcats hat. He’s also rocking some saddle shoes that are beige with pink accents.

• The Kings are up next with the TENTH pick…and they select JIMMER!! Crowd erupts. I’m not really sure how he fits there, but it’s always a good idea to take a guy named Jimmer if there’s a guy named Jimmer available. Between Jimmer, Salmons and Tyreke, the Kings have a lot of high-volume scorers on their roster.

• Here come the Warriors, and they’re going for…Klay Thompson, from Washington State. Arena PA system breaks into “Life is a Highway.” Yes, yes it is. Hands down, man down, Klay.

• With the TWELFTH PICK, the Jazz make sweet music by taking…Alec Burks, from Colorado. A big Jazz contingent in the stands erupts. Didn’t see that coming. (The Jazz contingent, that is.)

• The THIRTEENTH PICK is by the Suns, unless they sell it. Nope, they use it and take Markieff Morris from Kansas. There’s another dude over the green room who looks EXACTLY like him. Crazy.

• I know, the Morris brothers are twins. Maybe we should call one Morris the Lesser and the other Morris the Greater?

• The Rockets are on the clock! With the FOURTEENTH PICK, the Rockets take Marcus Morris, because he’s a better player if you examine his analytics or something.

• With the FIFTEENTH PICK, the Pacers select Jimmy Chitwood! No, Kawhi Leonard! He’s winning the suit game, BTW.

• Halfway through round one. I just ran to the restroom and then around to grab a bottle of water from the press room, and I crossed paths with an ebullient Derrick Coleman. Once a Net, always a Net.

• Word is apparently tweeting out that the Pacers picked Leonard for the Spurs, and will trade him for George Hill. Like that for Spurs, not so much for Pacers.

• With the SIXTEENTH PICK, the Sixers take Nikola Vucevic, a two-time rebounding leader at USC. I’d probably know about that if I watched more than 15 college games a year.

• The Knicks are on the clock with the SEVENTEENTH PICK, and the place is getting a little rowdy.Stern takes a extra-long walk to the podium, and announces that the Knicks select…Iman Shumpert from Georgia Tech…and boos erupt.

• With the EIGHTEENTH PICK, the Wizards select Chris Singleton from FSU. He’s the last guy remaning in the green room…seems to have a little Turiaf swag going with his goatee.

• With the NINETEENTH PICK, the BETcats pick for the Bucks, and select Tobias Harris from Tennessee.

• OK, we’re at 20, and the green room is still full of family and friends, because we’re in Jersey and you can’t just walk out the door and hit the clubs.

• At 20, the L-Wolves select Donantas Motiejunas from Lithuania. OK! First round is two-thirds finished, with some cool teams still on the clock.

• Attendance tonight is 8,417, which is listed as a sellout.

• In the stands to my left are a group of fans with signs that read TECHNOLOGY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS HEART KENNETH FARIED. Too bad they’re not NBA GMs!

• With the TWENTY-FIRST PICK, the Trailblazers select Nolan Smith from Duke. Really? Huh.

• Woj just tweeted that the Rockets and Wolves have agreed to trade Jonny Flynn and Donatas Montiejunas to Houston for Brad Miller, the 23rd pick and a future first rounder. Another former SLAM Diary keeper on the move!

• With the TWENTY-SECOND PICK, the Nuggets will prolly take the guy with the most tattoos left on the board. Instead they take Kenneth Faried, from Newark.

• Sounds like Faried and Nolan Smith might be swapping places as part of a Ray Felton/Andre Miller trade, according to reports on Twitter. We’ll see if that pans out.

• Although it seems odd that George Karl would trade a UNC guy for a Duke guy.

• With the TWENTY-THIRD pick, the Rockets select Nikola Mirotic, from Montenegro…and he’d be part of the deal to go to the L-Wolves. Though it sounds like he can’t come to the NBA for four more years, anyway, so of course Minnesota went after him.

• Although Woj just tweeted that the L-Wolves are flipping that pick to the Bulls for the 28th, 43rd and a gift certificate to Best Buy.

• The Thunder roll in with the TWENTY-FOURTH pick, and select Reggie Jackson from Boston College.

• Now the Celts are on the clock at TWENTY-FIVE. When the Celtics logos flash up on the screens, boos break out in the arena. Stern strolls out and announces that the Celts select Marshon Brooks from Providence. Someone in the stands has a sign that says MARSHON BROOKS IS THE NEXT KOBE. Woj tweets that Brooks is going to Jersey in a trade.

• With the TWENTY-SIXTH pick, the Dallas Mavericks select Jordan Hamilton from Texas and stay in state.

• With the TWENTY-SEVENTH pick, the Nets will pick for the Celts, and they’re taking…JaJuan Johnson from Purdue.

• Also, Marc Stein tweets “Mavs are trading No. 26 to Portland to acquire Rudy Fernandez, with Portland moving the pick on to Denver in the Miller/Felton deal.” So that means Jordan Hamilton is a Nugget. Rudy as a Mav is kinda fresh.

• At TWENTY-EIGHT, the Bulls draft for the L-Wolves. and they select…Norris Cole from Cleveland State. This is one of the few college guys I’ve heard of because I heard he was kinda dope.

• We’re almost through this third hour of Round One! At TWENTY-NINE, the Spurs (I think) select Cory Joseph from Texas. Jay Bilas says it’s a bit of a surprise. You question the Spurs’ drafting at your own risk, buddy.

• And with the THIRTIETH PICK of the first round, the Bulls select Jimmy Butler from Marquette. Great guy, great story.

That’s it for the live blog. Thanks for chilling with us, and keep rocking in the comments. I’m out…