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WEEKLY WHINE

Mocking the draft

Millions will be eagerly anticipating the evening of THU 26 JUN 2003, when the first pick in the NBA Draft will be... Kevin Johnson of Tulsa.

Nope, just kidding. Everybody knows that LeBron James of St Vincent-St Mary's High School in Akron, OH, USA will be selected first. Hell, the Cleveland Cavaliers already have his number 23 jersey ready. The Detroit Pistons are almost equally certain to use their second pick on Darko Milicic of Serbia-Montenegro. Carmelo Anthony is leaving Syracuse University after only one year and is going third to the Denver Nuggets. But after that, the teams are going to need your help.

That's right, it's up to you to determine how the first thirteen picks at the 2003 NBA Draft are going to proceed. Start at the top and work your way forward through the lottery picks, selecting whichever player you like. Trading picks is not allowed - the draft is already confusing enough as it is. Each time you make a pick, we'll tell you how that player performs, and you'll earn points based upon it. But be careful! If you put someone on a team where he doesn't fit, you'll lose points.

Ready to go? I thought so.

01. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Good choice! James brings record crowds to Gund Arena, and he will also manage to keep his posse of 880 out of the way of the team.
+20 points

02. DETROIT PISTONS [FROM MEMPHIS]

Milicic has some trouble adjusting to basketball in the US, but he becomes a useful member of the team, averaging six points off the bench.
+5 points

03. DENVER NUGGETS

Anthony is an instant contributor for the Nuggets, which isn't saying much considering his teammates. Nonetheless, with his help, Denver actually manage to contend for a playoff spot until about FEB 2004.
+3 points

04. TORONTO RAPTORS

Bosh is just the guy that the Raptors need to improve their position next year. His 1.5 blocks per game make the path to Toronto's basket much harder than last year.
+16 points

A guy with an actual college degree is such a rarity in the NBA that none of Collison's new teammates can make friends with him. He ends up being traded away before the season's up.
-8 points

Ford speeds up the Toronto attack, though his baskets are worth 40% less north of the border.
+4 points

Surprisingly, Hinrich makes a good transition from Kansas University to the Raptors, applying lessons learned from his two trips to the Final Four.
+6 points

Kaman gets off to an inauspicious start with the Raptors, banging his head on the rim on the first day of training camp. But he recovers and becomes a defensive threat over the course of the season.
+10 points

It's the second coming of Damon Stoudamire. Only without a silly nickname.
-15 points

Pietrus can play anywhere, and he does just that for most of the season. But a late injury removes him from Rookie of the Year contention.
-2 points

Wade earns his place in the Toronto lineup despite a silly name.
+4 points

05. MIAMI HEAT

Bosh comes in off the bench much, but once he gets in, he doesn't seem to know what to do.
-3 points

A guy with an actual college degree is such a rarity in the NBA that none of Collison's new teammates can make friends with him. He winds up hanging out with the team mascot, Burnie, giving him some useful trampoline dunk tips.
+2 points

Ford speeds up the Miami attack, and people actually stop mistaking the Heat for a high school team.
+4 points

Hinrich's college experience doesn't help as he's taken out of action early in the season due to a freak checkers accident.
0 points

Midway through the season, Kaman falls down a flight of stairs on top of Pat Riley, who suffers a broken collarbone that sidelines him the rest of the year. Miraculously, Riley's hair is unscathed.
-7 points

Lampe is unable to turn on the Miami offense, which is just as well as Pat Riley wouldn't allow it anyway.
-4 points

Pietrus can play anywhere, and he does just that for most of the season. It's mostly on the basketball court though.
+4 points

Wade makes occasional appearances for the Heat, but he slumps toward the end of the season. In response, Miami hires a posture coach.
+1 point

06. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

Bosh comes in off the bench much, but once he gets in, he doesn't seem to know what to do.
-3 points

Collison arrives in town to discover that half of his teammates are younger, richer, and worse than he is. That discourages him.
-10 points

Ford tries in vain to get anyone else around the league to notice him. People seem to have a blind spot for people in Clipper red.
+1 point

Hinrich is pretty good in the NBA, but someone light on the reverse jams and no look passes just seems out of place in Clipperland.
+3 points

Kaman becomes known as a shot blocker who turns the ball over often. Once, he even manages to do both simultaneously.
+2 points

Lampe is just another in the long list of weird names who played with the Clippers for a couple of years.
-6 points

Pietrus makes things happen. A few too many things.
-1 point

Wade becomes a good role player for the Clippers, a role called "Guard 2".
+3 points

07. CHICAGO BULLS

Bosh is just the guy that the Bulls need to improve their position next year. Actually, just about anybody would be.
+16 points

A guy with an actual college degree is such a rarity in the NBA that none of Collison's new teammates can make friends with him. He ends up spending most of his time on the bench staring at chicks.
-8 points

Ford speeds up the Chicago attack, but not by much.
+4 points

Surprisingly, Hinrich makes a good transition from Kansas University to the Bulls, applying lessons learned from his two trips to the Final Four.
+6 points

Kaman gets off to a fast start with the Bulls and becomes a defensive threat over the course of the season.
+10 points

Lampe jumps over the Jordan statue in front of the United Center on a bet. But scandal breaks out when it is revealed that he just built a big scaffold above it, climbed up, and hopped.
-15 points

Pietrus can play anywhere, and he does just that for most of the season. But a late injury removes him from Rookie of the Year contention.
-2 points

Wade earns his place in the Chicago lineup despite a silly name.
+4 points

08. MILWAUKEE BUCKS [FROM ATLANTA]

Bosh comes in off the bench much, but once he gets in, he doesn't seem to know what to do.
-3 points

A guy with an actual college degree is such a rarity in the NBA that none of Collison's new teammates can make friends with him. He befriends coach George Karl, and the two play Yahtzee on every road trip.
+2 points

Ford speeds up the Milwaukee attack, so much so that Gary Payton makes faces at him behind his back.
+4 points

Hinrich's college experience doesn't help as he's taken out of action early in the season due to a freak long jumping accident.
0 points

Kaman makes an impact. Unfortunately, he does so by falling off the bench and bruising his tailbone.
-7 points

Lampe is unable to turn on the Bucks' offense, which is just as well as they wouldn't be able to pay the electricity bill anyway.
-4 points

Pietrus can play anywhere, and he does just that for most of the season. It's mostly on the basketball court though.
+4 points

Wade makes occasional appearances for the Bucks, but he slumps toward the end of the season. In response, Milwaukee hires a posture coach.
+1 point

09. NEW YORK KNICKS

Bosh comes in off the bench much, but once he gets in, he doesn't seem to know what to do.
-3 points

Collison arrives in town, and a cabdriver takes him on a meandering route across the city. He remains disoriented for most of the season.
-10 points

Ford tries in vain to get anyone else around the league to notice him. Eventually he seeks tips from Dennis Rodman.
+1 point

Hinrich is pretty good in the NBA. That's about all there is to say about him.
+3 points

Kaman becomes known as a shot blocker who turns the ball over often. Once, he even manages to do both simultaneously.
+2 points

Lampe is just another in the long list of weird names who played with the Knicks for a couple of years.
-6 points

Pietrus makes things happen. A few too many things.
-1 point

Wade becomes a good role player for the Knicks, a role called "Guard 2".
+3 points

10. WASHINGTON WIZARDS

Bosh is just the guy that the Wizards need to improve their position next year. His 1.5 blocks per game make the path to Washington's basket much harder than last year.
+16 points

A guy with an actual college degree is such a rarity in the NBA that none of Collison's new teammates can make friends with him. He ends up being traded away before the season's up.
-8 points

Ford speeds up the Washington attack, though he pays only lip service to defense.
+4 points

Surprisingly, Hinrich makes a good transition from Kansas University to the Wizards, applying lessons learned from his two trips to the Final Four.
+6 points

Kaman gets off to an inauspicious start with the Wizards, banging his head on the rim on the first day of training camp. But he recovers and becomes a defensive threat over the course of the season.
+10 points

It's the second coming of Kwame Brown.
-15 points

Pietrus can play anywhere, and he does just that for most of the season. But a late injury removes him from Rookie of the Year contention.
-2 points

Wade earns his place in the Washington lineup despite a silly name.
+4 points

11. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

Bosh comes in off the bench much, but once he gets in, he doesn't seem to know what to do.
-3 points

A guy with an actual college degree is such a rarity in the NBA that none of Collison's new teammates can make friends with him. He winds up hanging out with the assistant trainer.
+2 points

Just what the Warriors need, another dynamic guard.
+4 points

Hinrich's college experience doesn't help as he's taken out of action early in the season due to a freak pogo accident.
0 points

Kaman comes down with the flu just before the All-Star break, and his sneezes distract his teammates.
-7 points

Lampe adds enough energy to the Golden State offense that it finally reaches critical mass, igniting in a flash of hydrogen fusion.
-4 points

Pietrus can play anywhere, and he does just that for most of the season. It's mostly on the basketball court though.
+4 points

Wade makes occasional appearances for the Warriors, but he slumps toward the end of the season. In response, Golden State hires a posture coach.
+1 point

12. SEATTLE SUPERSONICS

Banks makes his contribution to Seattle by suggesting, "How about a smaller version of the Space Needle?"
+5 points

Gaines plays well for the first half of the season, but after that, he stops. Puzzled scouts attribute it to a mechanical flaw in his shot, but it's really because of the coffee.
-1 point

Ridnour looks for a way to help the Sonics immediately. He can't find one, because former Sonic Gary Payton has hidden it very carefully.
-12 points

Sweetney adds post play to Seattle's games, though he declines coach Nate McMillan's offer to turn him into a three point shooting threat like Sam Perkins.
+10 points

13. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES [FROM HOUSTON]

Banks makes his contribution to Memphis by suggesting, "How about the Memphis Riverboat Gamblers?"
+2 points

Gaines plays well for the first half of the season, but after that, he stops. Coaches correct a mechanical flaw in his shot, but then he really starts bricking.
+1 point

Ridnour looks for a way to help the Grizzlies immediately. But he spends so much time thinking about that problem that he forgets to take shots.
-4 points

Sweetney earns the award for the silliest name in Grizzlies history.
+3 points

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