While 60 young men were celebrating the realization of their NBA dreams, the world was mourning the loss of Michael Jackson. So, to recap the 14 players plucked from European squads on draft night, we will borrow some songs from the greatest entertainer of our generation:
Ricky Rubio (#5-Timberwolves): “You Are Not Alone”. Congratulations, Ricky! You’re our starting point guard and the face of the franchise! But…uh…we’re going to draft three more point guards, just in case.
Brandon Jennings (#10-Bucks): “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” . Brandon Jennings has been known to stir things up and talk out of turn. Bucks coach Scott Skiles doesn’t particularly go for that sort of thing. We may have an 82-round brawl on our hands.
Victor Claver (#22-Trailblazers): “Black or White”. White men can’t jump. But don’t tell that to Woody Harrelson. Or Victor Claver. Dude has hops.
Rodrigue Beaubois (#25-Thunder): “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”. Despite erratic play, poor shot selection and questions about his durability, Beaubois’s sporadic outbursts of athleticism kept him close to the hearts of scouts worldwide.
Sergio Llull (#34-Nuggets): “They Don’t Care About Us”. Unfortunately, the second round is used as a platform for ESPN to repeat everything they said in the first round. Twice. Llull was the first European victim, as Stu Scott and the gang skipped over the Spaniard to address the Shaq trade for the 9th time.
Patrick Beverley (#42-Lakers): “Remember the Time”. With all of the hullabaloo surrounding the Brandon Jennings decision, many forget that Beverley left the Arkansas Razorbacks due to academic reasons and has been balling in Ukraine ever since.
Nick Calathes (#45-Timberwolves): “Somebody’s Watching Me”. After shunning both college and the NBA to leave Florida for Panathinaikos Athens, future fringe first rounders will be keeping close tabs on the Calathes experiment.
Henk Norel (#47-Timberwolves): “Ghost”. The Dutch big man is nearly transparent at 7’0″ and a rubbery 235 lbs.
Sergii Gladyr (#49-Hawks): “Stranger in Moscow”. This athletic winger is a bit of an unknown, and he’s actually from the Ukraine. But you didn’t know that. See what I mean?
Nando de Colo (#53-Spurs): “What More Can I Give?” Nando had solid workouts, played well in France’s top league, and the consensus was that he was much more fit to run a team than his Cholet teammate, Beaubois, who went 28 picks earlier.
Emir Preldzic (#57-Suns): “Gone Too Soon”. Preldzic is a long, athletic, and crafty point forward, but would be better served refining his game and filling out for a while. Do the right thing, Emir.