Friday, June 27, 2008

Reviewing the Wolves Draft

I sit groggily at work here at 7:30 on a Friday morning, I figured I would come on here and write up a few quick thoughts on the Wolves' draft last night. Then I came on only to learn that Devin has already written up a post this morning offering his thoughts. (See below.)

I half-expected an angry rant, which is what I've been hearing from just about every basketball fan in the state of Minnesota so far. Instead, Devin said that he is "pleased" with Kevin McHale's draft, only furthering my suspicion that Devin is smarter than most earthlings.

For those who are unaware, the Wolves owned the third overall pick in the draft and used it to select O.J. Mayo, a guard out of USC. This year's draft class was considered to have two surefire guys in Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley, and most people considered Mayo to be the third best player and a lock to be picked third. The Wolves did indeed select Mayo, but shortly thereafter they packaged him with Marco Jaric, Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner in a trade with the Grizzlies that brought back Kevin Love (the fifth overall selection in the draft), Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins.

This move was met with much outrage. Mayo, who has drawn extensive media coverage since he was in seventh grade, was surrounded by huge hype and many were excited to see what he could do in the pros. Love is a bit of an undersized white power forward who doesn't have nearly the "wow" factor that you'd like to see in a lottery draft pick. Yet, prior to the draft I was in favor of the Wolves trading down to get someone like Love, so I'm quite satisfied that they were able to tab him while also adding a very nice player in the form of Mike Miller.

Here's what I see when I look at O.J. Mayo:

I see a guy who is a good jump shooter, especially from three-point range. I see a guy who is probably going to be a decent defender. But I also see a guy who is a prima donna of the Sebastian Telfair ilk. I see a guy with poor ball skills who last year posted one of the worst turnover-to-assist ratios I've ever seen from a hyped college guard. I see a guy who will never play point guard adequately in the pros and would have provided the Wolves with another 6'4" shooting guard. I see a bust. I'll say it right now and go on record: I think O.J. Mayo will be an outright bust in the NBA and frankly I'm glad that the Wolves dumped him off on another organization.

I'm really not as high on Kevin Love as Devin seems to be. I think he's got a very good chance to be a serviceable player, but I sincerely doubt he'll develop into a star. At 6'9", it'd really be nice if he were a couple inches taller. He's only an option at power forward, which will force Al Jefferson to play out of position at center when both are on the court. That's unfortunate, but I really don't know which player I would have rather seen the Wolves get short of Rose or Beasley.

I'm not fan of McHale, but I really think he made a savvy decision last night. Even though the pundits around the country are sure to lambast him for it. We'll see how Mayo turns out. Those who have ever gone to a Subway restaurant with me know I like to load up my sandwiches with a considerable amount of mayonnaise, but this is one instance where I most definitely did not want "plenty of Mayo."

T-Wolves Drafted Correctly??

Did the Timberwolves actually just have a good draft night? I'm not even too concerned about the players we got (though I think Love could be solid for us, and it will be nice to have the scoring of Mike Miller to balance out the floor), getting rid of Marko Jaric and Antoine Walker is enough for me to call this a successful draft night. Marko Jaric was one of the biggest disasters in a team with a series of big disasters. It will be so nice to not have to yell relentlessly at the TV anymore, at least not at him. And I am actually really excited about the prospect of Love and Jefferson in the post game together. I think Love will be a surprise and could easily turn into a Carlos Boozer type NBA player (I am a huge Duke fan and I thought Boozer would flop in the NBA - too small and not a great shooter. Of course I was dead wrong, and even though Love went early in the first round and Boozer in the second round, I think Love will be surprisingly good). I am really excited to have Miller's 15-20 points every night. We were like 15-2 when we scored over 100 points last year, so anything to boost our scoring is going to help. I mean, we gave up maybe 7 points a game in Jaric and the same in Walker, and got 15-20 in one player out on the floor instead of two. Good trade to me. I am pleased.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Three Random Annoyances - Vol. 3

1) Street hustlers.
Every day I walk down Washington Ave. to go to work (and back) and there are these people in green shirts with clipboards that ask me, "Do you have a minute for the environment?" I love the environment, it kicks ass... but I have no desire to be hustled for money while I'm trying to get to work. Yet EVERY TIME I walk by these people approach me, along with everyone else. I have to come up with different ways to look busy so that they won't pester me. Sometimes I pretend to be on my cell phone. Sometimes I act like I'm intently fidgeting with a button on my shirt. Sometimes I walk up and just punch them directly in the face before they can say anything to me. (OK, I haven't tried the last one yet, but it's next on my list.) Obnoxious.

2) Disappointing summer movies.
Let me preface this by making note of something else that annoys me -- then the theater shows previews for a movie that doesn't come out for like two years. They'll show some badass preview of like giant robots blowing up retirement homes with Hugo Weaving doing the voice of a missile-launching mechanical wizard, and you'll be like, "This movie looks awesome, I can't wait!" Then at the end it goes, "Coming in Summer 2013." WTF. I'll be sure to mark that on the calendar. Anyway, sometimes you'll see these previews and spend like two years building anticipation for the movie, and when it comes out it absolutely sucks. It happened with The Happening (M. Night Shyamalan rules, but the movie is currently registering like 19% on It looks like it's happened with Get Smart (haven't seen it yet, but the initial preview I saw like a year ago looked hilarious and now it's getting mediocre reviews across the board). If it happens with The Dark Knight (sequel to Batman Begins), I'm going to start blowing things up.

3) The moon.
Most things in the universe serve a purpose. The sun provides us with light and heat. Trees create oxygen. Garbage cans dispose of waste. Devin makes me laugh. But what exactly is the point of the moon? It's just a big stupid rock floating around in space. It has no water, no gravity and no Sonic Drive-Thru's. Why would anyone want to go there? Every nation should combine all their nuclear powers and aim every weapon at the moon, hopefully destroying it and ridding the night sky of its worthlessness.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The World's Worst-Kept Secret

Every day when I walk to work, I go past a big sign on the side of one of those bus stop waiting booths. It's an ad for Killian's Irish Red beer, and above a picture of a bottle of the beer is the following phrase: "The Secret? Slow Roasted Caramelized Malt." And I always think to myself, that has to be the absolute worst secret of all time.

I mean, really, if you felt like this secret brewing strategy was putting your product a notch above all the competitors, would you truly want to share it with absolutely anybody who walks down a busy street? It would make sense if the ad said that, "The Key Ingredient? Slow Roasted Caramelized Malt," or "You Know What's Delicious? Some Slow Roasted Caramelized Malt." But the usage of the word "secret" is patently false in this instance. I'm pretty sure printing an ingredient in large letters on a billboard makes it the exact opposite of a secret.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


History was made tonight, and Minnesota played a special part. Barack Obama will be the nominee for president for the Democratic party. It's pretty sweet to be able to type that, after so many months and states and debates and scandals and outrageous statements. It is only the beginning, with John McCain ahead, but tonight I will pause to take it all in and think about what this really means. Get involved, give back, and serve this country and this world in some small way. That is Obama's call to all of us. Answer it.