If airline representatives at Roanoke Airport knew how much unneeded stress they were putting on Virginia Tech star Malcolm Delaney, perhaps they would have reconsidered cancelling Thursday morning's early-bird flight to Detroit.
Delaney was supposed to have a 6:15 a.m. connecting flight to Detroit on his way to Portland for what will likely be his only NBA workout before he decides whether or not to return to Virginia Tech by Saturday's deadline. According to the junior guard's twitter account, he showed up at Roanoke Airport around 5 a.m. only to learn his flight had been cancelled and the next one to Detroit didn't leave for another six hours.
"I hate roanoke airport," he tweeted. "My day is horrible.. I dnt think it cud get any worse rite now."
Unlike previous years when missing one workout wouldn't have been that catastrophic, the NCAA's decision to move up the deadline for prospects trying to decide whether to remain in the draft from mid-June to Saturday makes it particular important. Undecided prospects are struggling to find workouts so they can evaluate their stock because many NBA teams are loathe to begin Draft preparation so early and those that aren't still couldn't hold a workout by rule until the official early-entry list came out last Thursday.
Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg told me last week that Delaney was struggling to find any other workouts besides Thursday's with the Blazers and that he expected the star guard's decision to go right against the deadline. Many expect the Hokies to be the ACC's second-best team next year because they could return every significant player from last year's 25-win team, but their outlook depends a lot on whether Delaney comes back or not.
Delaney tried to put a positive spin on the situation, tweeting that he was happy he'd probably make it to Portland in time to interview in person with the Blazers even if he wouldn't get to take part in the workout.
"I aint mad I missed the workout," he wrote. "They wanted more of the interview part. I'm mad I'm stucc n this damn airport."
A Virginia Tech fan had the nerve to tweet Delaney the question that all Hokies are probably wondering right now as he waited for his new flight in Roanoke.
"Maybe its a sign to stay in blacksburg an extra year," the fan wrote.
Responded Delaney terseley, "Not."