The Skywalkers

Well, I bit the bullet (actually, it was free) and have begun my first experience with a basketball pool.

The CBS Sports draft was automatic and it meant you had to rank the players as you wanted them in advance. Which was both mystifying and terrifying. So many names I had never, ever heard of. So many others that were familiar, but totally unconnected to any sense of how good they are. Very, very, very weird.

Today I got an e-mail with what the computer drafted based on my list. Like I said, Very Weird.

Fair enough. Among the rules is that I believe we are required to have two centres, four Forwards (small and power, though they don't distinguish - something I would) and four guards (shooting and point - ditto) along with three reserves.

Anyway, without further ado, here are your....


G-Dwayne Wade
C-Yao Ming
G-Ben Gordon
F-Ron Artest
G-Ricky Davis
G-Rafer Alston
G-Stephen Jackson
F-Quentin Richardson
F-Andrei Kirilenko
F-Yi Jianlian
F-Darko Milicic
C-Chris Kaman
F-Jason Kapono

So here's my recap;

1. Wade. I have Dwayne Freaking Wade. Awesome. Here's the thing. I missed on my top pick LeBron, was almost hoping not to get Kobe (because he is evil, or as one blog I read refers to him exclusively as - 'that anal rapist') or Dirk (who is totally awesome but mentally made of jello), and Nash went to the guy right ahead of me. Next on my list would have been stat stuffer Shawn Marion. Only downside is that Wade is going to miss the first week or so.

2. Yao Ming. My centre is guaranteed to dominate all others with the possible exceptions of Howard and Stoudamire. I had seriously considered Yao for top pick overall. Only downside is that he is a classic centre in the Kareem mold. Obliterating on the defensive end, almost unstoppable in the low post, but useless in the fast break (which is more of a snail break). Painfully slow to get up and down the court. Painfully slow. Who cares, dude is 7 ft 5.

3. Ben Gordon. The Bulls shooting guard has seen his stats improve every year he's been in the league. A pure sniper.

4. Ron Artest. Without a doubt, my problem child. But he stuffs the stats sheet, especially on steals and blocks. I over-ranked him vs my competition I'm sure, but if he can avoid pulling a Mike Millbury and attacking fans during the game, I will make them regret leaving him around for me.

5. Ricky Davis. I have no idea who this guy is. I do predict his stats to be decent based on the departure of Garnett from Minnesota, and the lack of many other decent Timberwolf guards. Really wanted to get TJ Ford here but he was long gone.

6. Rafer Alston. I flat out hate Rafer Alston. But he is in Houston and should pick up some assists, steals and points playing with Yao Ming and McGrady.

7. Stephen Jackson. "Warr-iors, come out and play-ay". I like Nellie ball, and Jackson is part of the reason why. As a Pacer he once touched the same balls as Reggie Miller. That could probably have come out better.

8. Quentin Richardson. Somehow I forgot to delete all the Knick players from my rankings and ended up with Richardson. F*ck Me. I've already started to offer him in trades.

9. Andrei Kirilenko. Yes, he cries. Yes, he has requested a trade .Yes, he has expressed a desire to play in Russia rather than play for Jerry Sloan. Yes, he is in Utah, a place where fun goes to die, and where the words 'child bride' aren't spoken ironically or with horror. However, he is the one guy in John Amechi's coming out of the closet book who doesn't come off as a homophobic prick, and his wife has publicly delcared he can have a freebie once a year with another woman, and I think this could be my home run pick of the draft. I LOVE Kirilenko, and he was just named MVP of the FIBA tournament. I predict a HUGE season for him. What I want to know is how is it I could possible have had him ranked lower than Quentin F*cking Richardson and Rafer Alston?

10. Yi Jianlian. I knew I was over-ranking him. I don't care. I wanted to cheer for the international circus that is Yi. Done.

11. Darko Milicic. Since he was drafted by the Pistons ahead of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh I have always had a soft spot for the 7ft Serbian. He was a teenager when he was originally picked and he's now 22 and gradually filling his game out. However he is also a volcano, and from all accounts a jerk. He might also get a position switch to centre giving me the deepest set of pivots in the league (does that even matter? I don't know, but I wanted to point it out).

12. Chris Kaman. A lumbering 7ft white guy with heavy metal hair and one of those horrific mustaches only a blond guy can grow. He's terrible. He's not coincidentally on my bench.

13. Jason Kapono. My token Raptor. I'm in a league with a bunch of Canadians, so the simple fact was that despite my having built some love into my list for Raptors in the hopes I would get one or two, the only one who made it to me was the the one-dimmensional three point expert. Or as I like to call him, Benchy Bench-Bench.

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