NBA Draft Live Blog: Free Darko Is HereS

Some sad news, folks: The world-famous Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society Of Gentlemen, responsible for the brilliant SAS draft night heckling video, turned out to be unable to garner tickets to tonight's NBA Draft. This is going to severely diminish the amount of fun we're going to have tomorrow. (Some idiots tend to find the draft boring anyway.)

That said, the NBA Draft is less than an hour away, and if you're not just watching it for the suits, you should still find plenty to tickle your proverbial fancy. And we are extremely honored to have Bethlehem Shoals of Free Darko here to take you through all the pageantry. He'll be checking in just before the draft begins, and after the jump, to be your spiritual guide through the land of short people reading the names of tall people off index cards. Have fun, folks, and we wish you well.

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Okay, I'm yawning, and the second round is drifting far into the night. Will keep my eyes open for any trades, but this is pretty much it for me. It's been wonderful and I hope the feeling lasts forever.



He was always too bright, too gay (NOT IN THAT WAY!) for Philly. The Finn will end up with Portland. He and Sergio Rodriguez are a pair of point guard quiz questions that will keep us smiling for years. Even if Jarrett Jack is their starter until 2032.

And so, Big Baby finds a home in Boston. I know they didn't get Oden or Durant, but dudes, your team comes out of tonight looking kind of hilarious. Pierce. Allen. Jefferson. Rondo. Gomes. Tony Allen. Big Baby. That's not perfection, or an eye on the prize, but if they can fit togeher on the same floor it will make a great ensemble drama.

OKAY. There's something. Jason Richardson for the rights to Brandan Wright. Of course, it was something none of us heard about, and really makes the landscape a little uneasy. Richardson makes a lot, and the Warriors wanted to get rid of it. But he was a big part of that team. Wright is tall and everything, and SAS flipped out, but the Cats do have size already. The real question is what this says for Gerald Wallace. Personally, I think Wallace and Richardson could co-exist just fine, but that much firepower and dynamism would be a major, major change in philosophy for Charlotte. See, I know a thing or two.

Taking a breather, will chime in when the second round gets hot and heavy.

That Finnish guy. Everybody's love bird. That's like the most uplifting last pick of the first round I can imagine. Big Baby would just remind me how far he has fallen. WHY BIG BABY, WHY!!?!?!?!?!?

FREE BIG BABY!!!!!!!!

Hey, anyone looking to relive some of this draft's highlights should check out The Blog of Hilarity. And yes, I'm talking about SAS and Spike's reactions.

Finally, Splitter released.

Quin Snyder. . . you may remember him from once upon doing commentary on the draft telecast.

So no more "taking a page from San Antonio's playbook". . . he's going to play interchangable 6'9" guys? That sounds a lot like the Warriors, but Ridnour is no Davis. Regardless, I'm glad I'll get one year of Sonics before that team relocates to some city that doesn't deserve basketball.

HA! Who cares if Aaron Brooks was drafted too high—there's an international situation going on.

This "taking a page from San Antonio's playbook" refrain is bugging me. What exactly does it me? I think once it referred to building a team around a dominant big man. But here, it was just. . . STOP THE PRESSES. PORTLAND WAR ROOM. That is seriously where it's at tonight. They are all mainlining ink and giving each other rope burns. That's how deep into celebration they are at this point!

Just in case anyone's forgotten, the People's Republic of China is turning all its diplomatic might against Milwaukee as we speak.

Does Spike work for the Knicks in some capacity? Is it a slight that he doesn't?

That was kind of strange. . . because Zeke pulled off that blockbuster before the Knicks picked, the crowd had already spent itself. That wasn't your usual "Knicks fans on draft night" rumble. Even SAS seems, well, concise and rational. WTF?

Okay, that's the quote of the night. Rod Thorn on Sean Williams: "he had over a 1200 on his college board so he obviously has a brain."

SAS clearly understands another man's tears. Is it because he too cries, or because he likes to bring them on?

Fuck it, I'll say it: Crittendon is the SOTD.

What Jim Grey is really saying: "WHY HAVE YOU DENIED US THE NIGHT OF EXCITEMENT OUR VIEWERS EXPECTED!??!?!?!?!" Because, you know, that makes Grey look like nothing but a gossip. Whereas with Chad Ford, at least at some point the picks have to happen.

Mitch Kupchak has apparently been hanging out with Malkovich a little too much.

Here's one to chew on: Will Tiago Splitter or Marc Gasol go first?

Haier is owned by a relative of Stern's right?

Dick VItale, sexualized again. Please stop.

It's a little-known fact that I think Javaris Crittendon is rad. Didn't they take Farmar last year?

Food that the draft makes me want: cornbread, bananas foster, seltzer. It's kind of like pregnancy, but with SAS and Spike Lee waiting in the wings.

See, that's disappointing to me. Shouldn't the Warriors have taken someone at least mildly insane, spazzy, troubled, or disastrous?

Williams and Krstec. Randolph and Curry. Not the same as Oden and Durant going to the Northwest, at least we won't have to stare down our noses at NY/NJ anymore.

IN THE LAST FIVE MINUTES THE EAST JUST GOT LEGIT.

That might be the most content I've ever seen Spike Lee. Randolph will devour the East. DEVOUR. DEVOUR IT. I am trying to shout down SAS if you can't tell.

The Nick Young doc is pretty serious, too. He and Caron are going to form quite a tandem of authenticity.

That is MONEY. Young to the Wizards is serious, and basically means they can score even more, play even less defense, and be that much dearer to my heart.

People, I am feeling some serious pressure to come up with new catch-phrases. Instead, I'm just being all reflective. Sorry about that.

How great would it have been for Stu to have asked "what is Rodney Stuckey?"

Agent Steinz is on location, and he's got the Cheez Doodles guy encountering Jeff Green.

Thornton to the Clippers. Isn't it weird now that the Clippers have turned into a veteran team, and that someone like Thornton might be out of place?

Julian Wright is talking like everyone's nephew.

The Hornets are obviously doing something right, because all they seem to do is get better and better.

Those new Hawks uniforms are way too storm trooper.

Seriously, I feel all weird now that the Hawks have given up their dreams of . . . well, whatever it was, it was some kind of utopia. Now I'm thinking that Iguodala, Young, and a couple of other insane wings (Wright, maybe?) could make the Sixers into their heir apparent.

Scoop from over at SLAM: Randolph, Dickau and Jones for Francis and Frye. Lang hears it's done.

Okay, I'm feeling a second wind. I'm beginning to think I might not know what's about to happen, and some of my favorites are still on the board. Good thing all those big men are gone—bring on Thorton, Thaddeus, Crittendon, et al. Seriously, I'm with you all.

Nice to hear someone take issue with a pick, even if it was SAS.

Spencer, you can't improve on your athleticism.

I think these are updating slow. . . hmmm. . .

So it looks like Phoenix isn't sneaking into the top 10 after all. That kind of sucks.

That is the first time anyone's ever used the dimunitive on Ben Wallace. And I suspect it will be the last.

I am so infernally pleased that Charlotte didn't go with Noah. I am Tito Horford, waving my flag, alone in a hotel even if no one else can see me.

My girlfriend just asked me who Seattle got. Apparently, she thought that the draft counted down. She claims this could work if the whole league ran on "politeness."

I dare someone to start ranking the relative hotness of the draftees' moms. If that makes you squeamish, try using the slightly more polite "handsome." So yeah, anyone who wants to weigh in on handsome NBA moms, you have my blessings.

Noah. . YOU LOOK LIKE EVERY SINGLE BATMAN VILLAIN ROLLED UP INTO ONE.

Wait, Corey Brewer's father lost his foot in a diving accident? Didn't Ronnie Brewer's arm get broken and re-set badly at a young age?

Man, I hate deep drafts. Nothing's surprising because there's no such thing as a crazy pick.

The funny thing is that, while Yi can't speak English, you can tell he's still trying to sound kind of down.

You know, the way I hate Hawes is different from the way I hate Noah. Noah's just like some guy in my building who makes me cringe, while Hawes was put on earth to annoy me.

I really wonder if I'm being enough of an assertive warrior on this live-blog.

Is Seattle pulling a Portland? Like last year, how Portland somehow came out of the draft with an entirely new, young, revitalized team.

Dudes, Memphis will be something next season. Not saying they'll be good, but Conley throwing it to Gasol, Gay, Warrick, Miller. . . they were scoring 140 last season with no point guard. This is worth getting excited about.

I am still monumentally pleased by TIto Horford's flag-waving episode.

Like I said, no surprise. Horford's mighty biceps head to Atlanta, which hopefully means the end of the Shelden Movement. Wait, how did I not know Horford was Dominican?

That can't be right. Durant averaged more points per game last season than any other freshman in history? If it's right, then college basketball sucks worse than I already thought it did.

Durant has a hunching problem. When those wings come in, his hunch comes up.

You all need to get with Chez Shanoff at some point this evening. Head Chick in Charge from Leave the Man Alone is focusing exclusively on the fashion thang.

Was that replay of Oden and ma duke in slo-mo? It should have been.

Notice that Stern, crafty troll that he is, said "Greg" like "Kgraig." For the international audiences, and for a "k" sound that made us wonder for a second.

Okay, back to business. These high fives in Portland CENTCOM are worse than the ones Yao's family exchanged when he got chosen.

My bad. Noah by a country mile.

QUESTION FOR ALL: does a single lottery pick in this year's draft have the All-American Rejects in his iPod? Spencer Hawes would be too easy.

Wait, Michael Jordan has the authority to make deals in Charlotte? Did everyone know that but me?

Noah repped his city by dressing like an eighty year-old woman?

Conley hates going out on the town with Oden.

One summer, I read so much scouting bullshit leading into the draft that I started to wonder if I could be drafted. Or at least think about if I was sinewy, or had decent lateral movement. That they keep these frames going during the commercials has me thinking that way about the folks applying for loans.

In a suit, Greg Oden looks like a black Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Did I just bother to point out that SAS said something moronic? That's moronic.

Has anyone else noticed that, over the last few days, Yi has become the secret hero of this whole thing? And that whole Chinese investors in the Hawks conspiracy. . . does Ira Newble know about this? Wasn't he on the Hawks once? Would he give that money back if Atlanta sells its soul to the Far East?

Okay, the draft seems to be on finally. SAS is a moron if he thinks this isn't up to the standards of '03.

"Would put the Celtics into a different realm of perception among their fans." That doesn't even need a joke after it.

As with all things in his life, Ray Allen's availability has been super-stealth this month. Him to Boston wouldn't be so bad for everyone involved.

Note to Dicky V: YOU DO NOT HAVE A SEX DRIVE. Or at least most of us would rather think you don't. Stop me before I make another Muppets comparison.

Can I just say, right here right now, that I hate Spencer Hawes. I feel like he was in last year's draft, and will be in next year's, too. He is like one of those things on Charmed, but taller.

Seriously, what is Dicky V going to say tonight? He can't just tell us that college players are superior to high schoolers and international thuds.

Jim Gray is so Bert it's not even funny. His head has the dimensions of those jerseys hanging in the background.

Oh, and if you haven't heard, there's a hot rumor that ESPN's leaked the top four already. Oden, Durant, Horford, Conley. So you've got at least an hour before suspense beckons.

Shoals checking in. I am sitting in a hotel room, finishing a cheese steak and trying to figure out which Worldwide Leader the draft is on. They've got coverage on at least four of them.