I am by no means an NBA expert, and I do not like, watch or follow college basketball at all. I, however, feel compelled to give some recognition to the NBA draft. Now, going into Thursday’s NBA draft, I was desperately hoping that Greg Oden or Kevin Durant would somehow fall to the Bulls at number 9…but knowing full well that would not happen, I hoped that 7 foot tall Chinese Superman Yi Jianlian would fall to 9. So much so that the wife and I even ordered chinese food for dinner. Well…that was more of a coincidence. It was also a coincidence that the delivery man showed up with our mongolian beef, crab rangoons, pot stickers and egg rolls at the exact moment that David Stearn was announcing the Chicago Bulls 9th overall pick in the draft, Joakim Noah. Since my basketball acumen is limited, I asked my good friend and Bulls fan Mark Salvesen to give me his thoughts on the pick.
Let me start off by saying that I just can’t wait to go buy my Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah jersey. If I really meant that, I would give you all permission to swing at me (as long as you whiff like Derrek Lee anyway). My reaction to our 1st round, number 9 draft pick was, “Joakim NOOOOOOOOOah.” I screamed from the top of my lungs when I heard overweight commissioner David Stearn announce his name. The Chicago Bulls were one good low post scoring player away from the NBA finals this year. So it seems logical to go with a center such as a Spencer Hawes from the Washington Huskies, right?
Lets go with a no good wannabe thug who only averaged 12.0 points per game in 2007. Sure, he is a high energy player, but the guy is a nut job. We have plenty of high energy guys already such as Andres Nocioni, Tyrus Thomas, and even a Ben Wallace. He is NOT a good offensive scorer by any means or a good offensive rebounder for that matter. The rotation of the ball on his free throws goes diagonal for the love of God! Not to mention that he averaged more turnovers per game then assists in 2007.
Sure he averaged 8.4 rebounds per game in 2007, but thats what we have Ben Wallace for. We need a big STRONG (unlike Noah) low post scorer. Spencer Hawes is a solid 7 foot 250 pound center that averaged 14.9 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game. Go figure that the pick AFTER the Bulls, the Sacramento Kings picked him up. I love you Pax, but you missed the boat on this one. Gerald Wallace, Darko Milicic, and Jerry Stackhouse are the main free agents that will be available and I cant see anything happening with any of them. Even a trade for Zach Randolph would have made me WAY more happy then pickin up Joakim Noah. ANYONE but Noah was what I wanted. Thanks Pax! Ill be sure to go pick up my Joakim Noah jersey tomorrow. Hopefully it will be a New York Knicks Joakim Noah jersey by then. Thanks for reading.
For the record, while watching the draft, Mark and I were having a text message conversation. We both expressed hopes that the afforementioned Yi Jinlian would end up in the Bulls lap, but after he was picked by Milwaukee, we both expressed a new opinion:
ANYONE BUT NOAH.
Having had some time to digest the draft I’ve come to realize that Bulls GM John Paxson was somewhat handcuffed. He took the best player available at that point in the draft…the only problem is that player is the absolute last thing the Bulls need. Yet another big guy who does not quite know how to put the goddamned ball in the goddamned basket. I listened to a couple hours of draft talk and reaction on WSCR that night, and I got to hear John Paxson discuss the picks and what is to come for the Bulls, and if I read between the lines properly, he has Joakim Noah on the market already. More often than not, when a GM picks a guy he likes and wants to keep, he will say it. Pax, who chooses his words very carefully, said one thing that stuck with me.
“We think Joakim will be a starting center in this league for a long time.“
A starting center in this league…not a starter on the Bulls. I don’t claim to speak GM, but that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement to me. Or maybe I am just hearing things I want to hear. Maybe I am just reading between the lines because I desperately want this clown out of a Bulls uniform before ever even puts one on.
You can’t really blame me for not wanting to look at or listen to that guy for the next 4 or 5 years.