My travel nightmares over the past few days started on Thursday night...
I was at the gate ready to board my flight, when the gate agent got on the intercom to announce that my flight would be delayed. It just so happens I was talking on the phone when the announcement was going on. I heard it just fine (i.e. along with the other 100 people at the gate), but some strange lady in orange pants started waving her hands in front of me to try to shush me. If you read this blog, you also know that I don't like people who wave their hands at me to get me to do or NOT do something. Regardless, the lady spazzed out again while sitting down an hour later and some other strangers had to help her get some airport personnel to attend to her. Who knows what the lady's issue was, but at least she had a team of 5 people to handle her.
On Thursday, my flight was supposed to leave Minneapolis around 5:30 PM, but left around 11:15PM instead. Awesome. Does anyone even know that Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport had a G Terminal?!?! I had no idea. It's faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar. Regardless, There's nothing anyone can do about a flight delay and this blow wasn't as devastating for me, since it gave me a chance to watch the NBA Draft. I love the NBA Draft when the draft pool is loaded with talent. I'm not going to sugar coat it. In comparison to the 1996 NBA Draft, I think this year's draft pool was relatively shallow.
1996 was stacked with talent. As a recap from Wikipedia:
- Allen Iverson* (SG) United States Philadelphia 76ers Georgetown-So.
- Marcus Cambyx (C) United States Toronto Raptors UMass-Jr.
- Shareef Abdur-Rahim+ (PF) United States Vancouver Grizzlies California-Fr.
- Stephon Marbury* (PG) United States Milwaukee Bucks (traded to Minnesota) Georgia Tech-Fr.
- Ray Allen* (SG) United States Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Milwaukee Bucks) UConn-Jr.
- Antoine Walker+ (PF) United States Boston Celtics (from Dallas) Kentucky-So.
- Lorenzen Wright (C) United States Los Angeles Clippers Memphis-So.
- Kerry Kittles (SG) United States New Jersey Nets Villanova-Sr.
- Samaki Walker (PF) United States Dallas Mavericks (from Boston) Louisville-So.
- Erick Dampier (C) United States Indiana Pacers (from Denver) Mississippi State-Jr.
- Todd Fuller (C) United States Golden State Warriors (from Golden State via Orlando and Washington) NC State-Sr.
- Vitaly Potapenko (C) Ukraine Cleveland Cavaliers (from Washington) Wright State-Jr.
- Kobe Bryant* (SG) United States Charlotte Hornets (traded to L.A. Lakers) Lower Merion HS (Lower Merion, PA)
- Peja Stojaković* (SF) Yugoslavia Sacramento Kings PAOK (Greece)
- Steve Nash* (PG) Canada Phoenix Suns Santa Clara-Sr.
- Tony Delk (SG) United States Charlotte Hornets (from Miami) Kentucky-Sr.
- Jermaine O'Neal* (F/C) United States Portland Trail Blazers Eau Claire HS (Columbia, SC)
- John Wallace (PF) United States New York Knicks (from Detroit via San Antonio) Syracuse-Sr.
- Walter McCarty (PF) United States New York Knicks (from Atlanta via Miami) Kentucky-Sr.
- Zydrunas Ilgauskas+ (C) Lithuania Cleveland Cavaliers Atletas (Lithuania)
This year was different. If you didn't know ahead of time who the #1 (i.e. John Wall) and #2 (i.e. Evan Turner) picks were, then you either don't like basketball or you're stupid. Like I said, I'm not going to sugar coat it.
Stuck at the airport, I had no choice but to pony up in front of a TV and watch the NBA draft and READ the closed captioning. After a while that is no fun. So, with my trust iPhone in hand I logged into my Twitter account to see what people had to say. I follow some really intelligent people in sports who are in the know, and I also follow some clowns that make me laugh with their 140 character posts. I sat there and almost accidentally spit out my drink reading the tweets, when the Utah took Gordon Hayward 9th. I laughed out loud after reading some of the comments when the New Orleans Hornets drafted Kansas' Cole Aldrich at #11.
As soon as Aldrich was selected one of my friends who I follow wrote that "Chris Paul was as good as gone." I laughed. Then the Hornets agreed to trade Aldrich and guard Morris Peterson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Thunder's 21st and 26th picks in the first round. I couldn't wait to see Kevin Durant's face to decipher his reaction to the trade. Actually, now that I think about it, I follow KDThunderup on Twitter and I can't remember if he reacted or not. Read into that, what you will.
Interestingly, with the 23rd pick, Trevor Booker was the first senior to be drafted by the Timberwolves. Read into that, what you will.
During the draft I noticed a post that David Aldridge wrote saying that Rasheed Wallace was going to retire. That was my chance to Tweet that on a day when everyone welcomes rookies to the league, it's always important to remember the veterans!
I haven't read Bill Simmons' NBA Draft Diary post yet. Like a kid on Christmas, I anxiously look forward to it every year, Simmons' basketball knowledge is so deep that I use it as a litmus test to see if I still "have it". If I get lost and don't understand his references, it's a sign that I need to study-up some more. My brother isn't a formidable opponent, even though he like to think he knows his basketball history ~ he doesn't. Usually he hits me with some highlights from Simmons' piece and a couple of questions, but since he's in Cape Town this year (i.e. World Cup), I'll forgive him for slacking this year.
John Wall is a Washington Wizard, Stephen Strasburg is a Washington National. Donovan McNabb is a Washington Redskin. Alex Ovechkin is a Washington Capital. In the course of a few years, Washington DC has become a "sexier" town for athletes. Now, all Washington needs to do is show the rest of the teams that it can WIN.