Links: Liveblogging the NBA Draft

by Lang Whitaker

–6:16 pm–
OK, I’m here in front of the stage right now, in my seat on the fourth row. I’m wearing a San Antonio Missions fitted and, in an effort to instill some luck into Atlanta’s fortunes, I’ve got on my Air Force II Dirtys.

The Draft picks are up on stage right now. Joakim Noah is wearing a bow tie and a while suit and he has his hair down, so he looks like a member of Bone Thugz. Nobody else is really pimped out. Julian Wright looks like a cross between Tim Thomas and Calvin Andrews.

An early obstacle: Forgot the power cord for my MacBook, so I’ve got the screen turned down so low that I can barely see it. Let’s hope the power lasts long enough for the first round.

David Stern just came out of nowhere and popped up behind all the draftees. Yi Jianlian almost jumped off the stage.

I’m going to update again just before we get going. Stay tuned…

Lots of milling around right now. Mad quiet up in here. No fans have been allowed in yet. Marco Belinelli is in the stands with a ridiculously hot ladyfriend. Keep an eye out for her on the broadcast. (Heh heh, he said “broad”cast.) For the record, Dan Steinberg from the DC Sports Bog is the one who pointed out the lady to me. Do not miss. I’d draft him just for the chance that she’d be hanging around. I’d take a picture of her but we’re not that kind of site. Not yet, anyway.

Spike Lee in the house. The crowd is filing in. Mark Jackson and Mike Tirico are reading their notes. It’s nearly time.

(BTW, what happened to Dan Patrick? Remember how he hosted the Draft last year and David Stern got snippy with him for talking too much?

Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” is bumping up in here. And they’ve already started showing NBA bloopers on the TV screens to keep people entertained and keep them from spontaneously chanting curse words or something.

A very well-known NBA writer just walked by and told me “This is f*cking unbelievable.”

What? I asked.

If these trades go through…

Then he started eating popcorn and I didn’t have a chance to talk to him any more.

My main man Sekou Smith from the AJC arrived and plopped down next to me. I sent him off to look at Belinelli’s lady.

Andy Katz is reporting a proposed trade between Boston and Seattle involving Ray Allen and the number 5 pick. Now Stephen A. is letting someone have it. A writer from a large newspaper just told me he only writes when he has to. I told him that’s why newspapers are dying.

I thought this thing started at 7:00. What a crock. Dick Vitale says Oden reminds him of Patrick Ewing. And DiGiorno’s reminds me of Domino’s. Thanks, Dick.

The Mad VP is in the house. We’ve got a crew up in here.

I think Oden has his natural cornrows going. Harrington-style.

Sekou wants to know if Russ is out doing stunt work for the dude from Notting Hill. Good call. Draft starts in 6 minutes.

I’m told Denver “might still a possibility for the Hawks.” Meaning Marcus Camby could be a Hawk in a few minutes.

The Blazers are on the clock. Five minutes. My money’s on Oden for them.

The pick comes with 2:19 left. It’s Oden. His suit looks purple on TV, but it’s actually blue. Before the pick they ran a graphic about what a great GM Kevin Pritchard is. What exactly has he done? He worked hard to get that number 1 pick, I know, but…

Also, Leonard Hamilton, former Wizards coach, is in the family section. Weird.

Wait, Hamilton must have recruited Al Thornton to FSU back in the day. Seattle’s on the clock. Sekou also says he walked in with Scoop and someone called Scoop “Skip Bayless.” Scoop said he’s never been called that before.

The Sonics used all their time. I think they were stalling so they could interview Oden on ESPN. Seattle picked Durant. Huge ovation from crowd — much louder than Oden got. Durant can’t walk in his dress shoes.

The Hawks are on the clock. I wonder if Billy Knight knows the Draft has started. Every time Jay Bilas talks I remember him saying Josh Smith would be the biggest bust in the first round. Thanks, Jay!

The best part about being here is you can’t really hear Stu Scott’s interviews.

Hawks are taking a while. Trade?

Stern came running out form the back and announced that Al Horford was the move. I think Horford may be wearing eyeliner. People were chanting Florida Gators stuff. Tito Horford is in the house, waving a Dominican flag. Viva! I like the pick. I’d rather have Amare, though.

Stern back fast with the fourth pick. The Grizz take Mike Conley. Three is too high for Conley but four isn’t, Khalid asks? No, four’s too high, too. On all the highlights they show, he’s going around Lee Humphrey. Bilas loves the pick, which makes me wonder even more.

Horford is the safe pick for Atlanta. If they wanted to make a splash, they could’ve gone for Yi or Conley. But they didn’t. Andy Katz says the Celts want Jeff Green from Georgetown. Hope he likes backing up Paul Pierce, unless they trade him to Seattle for Ray Allen.

OK, I guess that was Seattle’s pick. But Green’s still wearing a Celtics hat. Ray Allen in Boston is interesting. But don’t Green and Durant play the same position? I’m all confused.

Technically, time ran out on the Bucks pick. But because Mike Tirico wouldn’t shut up, I think it was OK. Stern just walked out with a card…with the sixth pick, the Bucks select…Yi! And he does NOT look happy. The Bucks just caused an international coup, I think.

Fran Fraschilla just said Yi “is hip-hop, he’s 50 Cent.” Khalid threatened to leave over that. Russ better rip Fran for that one.

Ric Bucher says Larry Harris drafted Yi strictly on the advice of his Dad. I heard Del said Yi was like Tyson Chandler with a jump shot. Yi’s being interviewed by Stu Scott right now. That sounds like a match made in hell.

T-Wolves are on the clock. Here comes the Sternbot, looking particularly confident. Must be an easy name to pronounce. Corey Brewer! There’s a surprise. I thought for sure it would be Spencer Hawes.

Wow, surprising that Dick Vitale was such a big fan of Corey Brewer. By the way, Khalid points out Brandan Wright is slipping.

We got the BETcats and then the Bulls. Will MJ make one last assist to Chicago?

The BETcats select Brandan Wright. Will he be behind Adam Morrison and all their young big guys? Where do you play him?

I think the Knicks just made a trade. Trying to get confirmation on that.

I hear the trade is done. Portland and New York. Getting details now. Think it’s Zach Randolph. ESPN hasn’t mentioned this. I’m scooping their 800 reporters all by my lonesome.

Joakim to Chicago. That’s where he told me he wanted to go about a month ago. Good for him. I don’t see how he and Ben Wallace can play together, though.

It’s Randolph, Dickau and Freddy Jones for Steve Francis and Channing Frye. Exclusive!

Wow. Can’t wait to hear how Zebo’s going to do in New York. Scores West Side? Spencer Hawes to Sacto. Reggie Theus will slot him into the Anthony Anderson role?

Hawks on the clock. I hear it’s Acie Law.

Hawks select Acie Law. He’s the shortest player Billy Knight’s ever picked in the first round. That’s not a joke, that’s a fact. I’m with this pick. Good selection. And the Knicks trade is official, I’m being told. ESPN is slacking right now.

I’m hoping Acie Law breaks the streak of crappy Acie’s in the NBA. Philly is on the clock. Khalid doesn’t know what they’re going to do. Sam’s pushing for them to take Josh McRoberts.

Stephen A. is putting Billy King on blast. D-Stern is back. The Sixers select Thaddeus Young. He can play in the D League with Louis Williams! ATL! Khalid is blaming Ryan Jones and screaming curse words. Julian Wright is slipping, yo.

Khalid’s upset with the Thaddeus pick. He says he’s going to start rooting for Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Hornets take Julian Wright. So Nick Young can go to L.A. Nice.

The Clips take Al Thornton. Good pick there. He’s like a motivated Tim Thomas. He may be 24 years old, but he has braces like a kid.

Curious to see what the Pistons do here. Stern is on stage. The Pistons select…Rodney Stuckey. Nick Young is not happy. I’m told he’s going to the Wizards.

By the way, I’m sticking around through the Nets pick at 17 and then I gotta run. I’ll be back later tonight, but keep the comments rolling, people.

The Wizards select Nick Young. His Mom is flipping out. He’s wearing a white jacket and black slacks. He’s a thin dude. His Mom is still screaming.

Bucher is announcing the Knicks trade. The crowd goes wild! I only posted it what…45 minutes ago? An hour ago?

Stephen A. has found his cause. He’s going crazy about something or other. Wonder if the Knicks waited until now to announce this to overshadow the Nets pick? The Nets pick Shawn Williams. Nobody cares because there’s a lot of Zebo residual love in here.

That’s it. I gots to go. Catch you guys later tonight to wrap things up Keep the comments going, though!