The Draft and The Police

Kurt —  June 25, 2007

I did two things of note this weekend — went and saw The Police at Dodger Stadium, on Sunday watched NBA TV reshowing some NBA draft coverage from the 1980s. So, what follows are some draft and Lakers thoughts, with a Police theme. Because I can.

Walking on the moon. The dream part of the “classic” drafts was watching the 1982 draft, which by the way had originally been broadcast on USA Network. That was the draft the Lakers took James Worthy with the first overall pick, part of a fleecing of Cleveland that allowed the Lakers to add Worthy to Magic, Kareem and a squad that already had a ring.

Right after the pick, which was turned in by Chick Hearn, a much younger Jerry Buss (wearing a leather jacket that only could be brought out in public in the 80s without incurring massive public ridicule) spoke to an interviewer. When asked how Worthy would fit in, Buss said how much run Worthy would get as a rookie really would depend on how healthy Mitch Kupchak was. That made me laugh. Not to knock Mitch, who was a quality role player for a championship caliber team (the kind of guy I wish the current Lakers had more of on the roster) but he was never any James Worthy.

Bring On The Night. My guess, and it is just that, is that any deal the Lakers make will come after July 1 when a sign and trade can balance out the salaries one way or anther.

So, bring on Draft Night (and remember we are doing a draft comment thread here that night). I am putting a cigar and some rum in my alter to Jobu that Acie Law, Nick Young or Rodney Stuckey fall to 19. Not optimistic about any of that, but a little a cigar and rum seems a worthy sacrifice to make that happen.

I’m also falling off the Sean Williams bandwagon, the more I read the more I see this guy as talented but a head case that may not be worth the risk. Are we better off with a Rudy Fernandez? A Thaddeus Young? If you are sure you have a re-energized Kobe and Phil and some other veterans with strong personalities in the clubhouse, maybe I’m more willing to take a risk. But if the clubhouse is a potential mess come the season, do you need another headache on top of it?

Murder by numbers.
What I do if we draft Josh McRoberts.

De do do do, De da da da. Media members are still not done with the rehashed-but-easy columns on Kobe, but I think Laker fans mostly have moved beyond the simplistic “Kobe good/Kobe bad” or “Kobe goes/Kobe stays” that gets played out. Hard and fast, black and white pronouncements are the way of columnists and sports talk radio guys, but the real world exists in shades of gray.

Secret Journey. We read rumors and guesses all the time. But here’s part of the challenge of being a fan — and playing GM from our computers — this time of year: We only know a fraction of what is really going on.

Already, as the draft nears, the hard line in Indiana has apparently crumbled in the effort to move Jermaine O’Neal (they no longer demand the Odom/Bynum/19th pick stance). I know there is more taking place on the Garnett front than is public. Not that any of this means a deal is imminent.

Here’s one thing to remember — what we hear of trade negotiations is the tip of the iceberg as to what is really going on. Is Kobe calling up and working KG (or JO) to come to LA after the Kobe/Mitch summit? (I hope so, without him pitching in the Lakers couldn’t land Pargo.) What about Buss? What about a three-way deal if Minnesota wants youth and not Odom? I’d bet a lot those things are going on, and it has a big impact on what will come down (if anything), but we really are just guessing what is below the water based on what we see above it.

UPDATE: As reported in the Times this afternoon, high level talks about a Garnett trade are taking place between the Lakers, Minnesota, and potentially others. After the experience of the Kobe “media frenzy day,” I’m not going to chase and post every twist in the story in the main post. There will be updates from myself and others in the comments. However, I think it fits in with the message of this the post — the talks are happening at a lot of levels, not just ownership, and have been for at least a week, and we know little of what is actually happening. (Thanks to kwame a. for pointing out the link.)

When the world is running down, you make the best of what’s still around. This made me laugh. (Hat tip to Henry.)

Man in a suitcase.
Since this site has developed such a loyal and regular readership, let me update you on some personal stuff for a second. Nothing bad — my family and I are in the process of moving, back to the LBC. But, as you all know, moving sucks. Moving with two kids really, really sucks. So, if as happened this weekend, posts go a few days without an update I’m sorry. I’ll be on top of any news that comes down as fast as I can, but just be warned as my time is overbooked for the next couple weeks.