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NEW YORK — Well, that was fun, huh?
Thursday's whirlwind 2013 NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn began with a shocking first selection, ended with a dude you have 100 percent never heard of (Latvian swingman Janis Timma) and had plenty of intrigue, chaos, mirth and mayhem in between. Here are 16 things that piqued my interest as I tried to pick my way through the swirling trade rumors and smokescreens:
1. I guess Ben McLemore and Nerlens Noel have the same tailor.
Hey, Class of 2014? If you wanted to have your jersey sewn into the lining of your jacket, you're beat. This look's cashed. It's a fun look, a cool look, a neat little wrinkle ... but it's over now. Two lottery picks in the same draft going to the well means you can't come back with it next year. Don't let us just see you with your jersey in your lining. You're going to need something a little bit different.
Also, it is very important to McLemore, the Sacramento Kings' No. 7 pick out of Kansas, that you know he tied his spiffy bowtie himself: "I practiced it. I definitely did it tonight. I've been practicing it. It's a nice tie."
2. Let's not get ahead of ourselves: "I made it, but I just need to keep working, trying to get a second contract, trying to do well for myself and the team." — Anthony Bennett, already thinking about free agency after going No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
3. Take a load off: "It's like a weight vest you took off after running five miles. It's relaxing, man." — Victor Oladipo, after being chosen second overall by the Orlando Magic, on what it's like to find out where you're going after all the uncertainty leading up to the draft.
4. No, but seriously, can you believe it? "It is unbelievable. It's unbelievable [that] I'll be able to talk with him and learn from him. It will be an unbelievable experience for me." — Cody Zeller on meeting and working with Michael Jordan after being chosen fourth overall by the Charlotte Bobcats.
5. Whoopsy: "I'm excited getting started with Anthony [Davis]. Just definitely looking forward to blocking a lot of shots with a Wildcat." — Nerlens Noel's opening statement in the interview room, apparently not knowing he'd been traded by the New Orleans Pelicans to the Philadelphia 76ers.
6. Whoopsier: "Yeah, I mean, it's a great organization. They've got an All-Star point guard in Jrue Holiday." — Noel, apparently not knowing Holiday is heading to New Orleans in the deal.
7. It's not easy to keep point guards straight:
That's a portion of the transcript from Portland Trail Blazers draftee C.J. McCollum's press conference. First, a reporter confuses him with Trey Burke; next, a transcriber confuses him with Michael Carter-Williams. Pretty good name stuff, everyone.
8. Switcheroo: "It kind of caught me off-guard. I was kind of hoping that I was going — not kind of hoping, but I thought Minnesota was going to get the pick, but Detroit got it." — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who'd been slotted ninth overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves in virtually every mock draft and projection, but went No. 8 overall to the Detroit Pistons despite having never worked out for them.
9. He just crushes a lot: "To be an NBA player, it feels pretty cool, but I don't consider myself an NBA player yet. It's just more I need to progress my game more and more and more, and then when somebody says, 'Hey, he's an NBA player now,' then I'll start saying, 'Yes, I'm an NBA player.'" — Steven Adams, whose basketball journey from New Zealand to Pittsburgh now brings him to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the No. 12 overall pick.
10. A promise is a promise:
"I know I'm not ready, but I have a lot of a work ahead of me. But I'm not afraid. I will give everything in the court, in the gym. And I will prove to the Milwaukee Bucks that they made the right choice." — Giannis Antetokounmpo, the intriguing but somewhat mysterious 6-foot-9, 18-year-old wing from Greece, who went 15th overall in the first round.
11. A dose of perspective: "This moment, I'm very happy. And I think, in the past, make me sad. We struggled a lot in the past to have a better life, and now that I get drafted in the NBA, for sure, we're going to have a better life. And I think now my mother and my father at home, they will be very happy to see me drafted, because four years in sadness and poverty is very difficult. Maybe after four years, maybe today is the happiest day of their life to see me drafted — to see all that work and effort that they gave, and then, he worked out. He worked out. A good thing." — Antetokounmpo
12. Good pro-tip, Sergey: "I thank everybody. This is a big part of life." — Cleveland Cavaliers draft choice Sergey Karasev, specifically ending an opening statement that expressed gratitude to his family and colleagues, but also offering an important general viewpoint.
13. Who's on first?
Just to confirm: Do you know if you've been traded or not?
I don't know. I don't know yet.
Because there's rumors saying you've been traded to the Utah Jazz.
That's from French big man Rudy Gobert's presser. (The Denver Nuggets did trade his rights to the Jazz for the rights to No. 46 pick Erick Green and cash.)
14. Subtext, y'all:
I know you can't comment specifically, but any move today — I mean, do you feel the events of today made you a title contender?
Mason gives us a better shot. (laughs)
— Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King, who can't talk about that thing we all know about until July 10.
15. Timing is everything: "Of course. Of course. Just like a Gilbert Arenas approach, what he went though. I'm on the same thing he's on right now." — Tony Mitchell, talking about how hard he'll work after dropping from a likely lottery slot had he come out of North Texas last summer all the way down to the No. 37 pick of the Pistons, but not really picking the most opportune moment to compare himself to Agent Zero.
16. Meet and greet: "No, I knew I was going to come here. I figured I was going to be a lottery pick. Just to stay here and end up shaking — especially, it was a big-time thing with Mr. Stern and Commissioner Stern, his last time here, that's really special. I really wanted to make my way down here to shake his hand and stuff like that." — Shabazz Muhammad, whose draft position was anything but certain heading into Thursday night, on his decision to travel to Brooklyn despite not being one of the 10 prospects invited to Barclays' green room.