Thanks to the good people of NBA Entertainment, I was able to attend my first NBA Draft in person. My best friend BJ and I made it just in time to see Derek Rose (how did Chicago get the first pick anyway?), Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Love go off the board.
So what do the Knicks do with the 6th pick in the draft, the highest they've had in over 15 years?
They take Danilo Gallinari.
If you saw the draft you heard what the crowd thought about that pick. Don't be embarrassed if you mistook the "boos" for "who?" That's what I said before I started booing. I don't know what it is with the Knicks and drafting foreign players.
The Knicks have been down this road before: they famously passed up Ron Artest to take Frederic Veis (who?), famous only for being the guy that Vince Carter completely jumped over for a dunk in the Olympics.
The Knicks also drafted Nene (Hilario at the time, now just Nene) in 2002, then traded him to Denver where he blossomed into a decent role player.
In the first draft post Isiah Thomas era, you would think the Knicks would try to make a splash by drafting someone we at least have seen play in the United States. O.J. Mayo was gone, but you still had DJ Augustin, the point guard from Texas, plenty of National Champion Kansas Jayhawks (Dorell Arthur, Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers - he of the game-tying three-point shot to send this past National Championship into overtime), and National Champion runner-up Memphis Tigers (Chris Douglas-Roberts - who was better than Derrick Rose for most of the year) to choose from. Hell, even Georgetown center Roy Hibbert was on the board. Why not take Patrick Ewing, Jr. try to catch lightning in a bottle twice?
But no... the Knicks gotta take the guy who calls himself "the rooster"? Are you kidding me? This stinks of nepotism. Gallinari's father was a teammate of new Knick coach Mike D'Antoni back in the day. Come on, Donnie (Walsh, that is)!! How could you make this happen?!
You guys better hope Gallinari is worth it.
Needless to say BJ and I left about ten picks later after the likes of Marreese Speights and Nicolas Batum were called by David Stern in the first round. One guy got picked in the top 14 (the lottery picks are the worst 14 teams in the league) that wasn't even there. I'm sure like the crowd, he didn't expect to get picked that high.
1984, 1996, or 2003 this wasn't.