4:15 pm – I’ve been here for nearly eight hours and my night is just getting started. I started my day out on the zero level of the arena waiting for the circus to get over so we could do a “green screen” shoot with the circus animals, clowns and acrobats. The next part of my day moves to the 2nd and 3rd floor of the arena and is a different kind of circus. Draft night was an exciting night for me even when I didn’t work for the Suns. It’s even better now. There’s a kind of electricity in the building. The executives and coaches are on the 4th floor in the war room, the Suns.com team is headquartered on the 3rd floor in the newsroom but is scattered throughout the arena and at the draft parties in nearby restaurants and the press is on the 2nd floor waiting for the draft to start. The Suns have the 15th and the 48th picks to start out the night. The draft projections are all over the place so it’s hard to say who the Suns will get. But it should be an interesting night.
4:25 pm – Five minutes before the first pick and we’re experiencing the calm before the storm. Only three guys are left in the newsroom at the moment and things seem pretty calm. But I imagine it will pick up pretty soon.
4:29 pm – ESPN keeps showing outtakes of the top draft prospects telling us we’re watching the 2008 NBA Draft. I sure hope these guys can play better than they can remember a script.
4:32 pm – David Stern just came out to give a speech and open the draft. Some fans started yelling things as soon as they knew they were on TV and Stern acknowledged them by commenting on the wonderful fans at Madison Square Garden. The Bulls are on the clock.
4:37 pm – I asked the question, “Why does the first team in the draft get five minutes?” They’ve had several weeks to make this decision. Suns.com Web Content Coordinator Stefan Swiat made a good point. A diamond is made by both time and pressure. The first team has made their decision already but now they get five minutes to think about whether this pick is really the player they want to make the face of their franchise. Plus, it gives other teams five minutes to offer their entire roster to the Bulls for the number 1 pick.
Robin Lopez was selected by the Suns with the 15th pick.
4:40 pm – The draft is officially under way. Derrick Rose is the first pick in the draft. Congratulations to Derrick and his family.
4:45 pm – Now that the draft has started, I’m ready for the Suns to make their pick. Only 13 teams to go!
5:00 pm – Twenty minutes into the draft, four picks have been made, there hasn’t even been a peep of a potential trade and all four top draft picks have had good looking suits. What’s going on? Is the world coming to an end?
5:08 pm – Sixth pick is in and I haven’t heard the words “upside” or “character.” Again, what is going on in this draft?
5:35 pm – We just had the first bowtie sighting of the night when Brook Lopez was picked by the New Jersey Nets with the 10th pick. Only 4 picks to go before the Suns make their selection.
6:00 pm – The Suns selected Robin Lopez with the 15th pick the NBA draft. Adding to the circus of my day, I get to go down to the Van Arsdale Room on the 2nd floor and run the microphone back and forth during the press conference right after the pick. As soon as that was over, I was back up in the newsroom sending out the text. More information on Robin Lopez later. But I wanted to give everyone a blog post to comment on now that the pick has been made. The next pick the Suns officially have is the 48th. But check back frequently to see if the Suns make any draft night trades.
9:25 pm – From the time I submitted the first part of this blog until now, I don’t really remember what times everything occurred. So instead of listing it by time, I’ll put the rest of the blog entry in categories.
Microphone Duty – This was probably the most fun yet most frustrating part of the day. The room we were in for the press conferences was too small for speakers so the microphones only directed the sound through to the cameras instead of out loud. That meant that the cameras would not get the sound of the people asking questions unless I got the microphone over to the person in time. The problem was that no one wanted to wait for me to get to them. So I was practically crawling on the floor back and forth across the room.
Runner – I spent some of the night acting as a “runner” for the newsroom. I’m a numbers guy at heart. Interviewing people, writing real news stories and taking pictures/video isn’t something I’m talented at. So on nights like tonight where there is a lot of news, I volunteer myself as the office gopher. I get to run up and down the stairs getting batteries, water, asking questions like “When is Robin Lopez going to be on the phone for the conference call?” and running back and forth between Jeramie’s office and the newsroom.
Eating – I ate way too much. They had these kettle chips and a roasted garlic spinach dip that I couldn’t stay away from. That’s part of the reason I kept offering to be the runner!
Waiting/Rushing – Lots and lots of waiting. The Suns had the 15th and the 48th pick. In the first round teams have five minutes to make their selection (as we discussed above). In the second round teams have two minutes. That meant we had to wait for 70 minutes before the first pick, then we rushed to the press conference, listened to Steve Kerr and Terry Porter, had fun playing microphone guy, ran upstairs to send out a text alert, posted on the blog, harassed the Stanford media guy until he sent me some pictures of Robin Lopez and then waited for another 109 minutes until the Suns made their second pick. Steve Kerr told us there may be a trade but he couldn’t tell us yet and we waited for a bit longer. Finally, we heard that the Suns traded their 48th pick to San Antonio for Goran Dragic. And now we are rushing around again.
Overall, I think the Suns had a pretty good draft. According to Steve Kerr, the Suns got the guys they wanted to get. Robin Lopez is the type of big guy the Suns will need in the next few years. He’ll be able to learn from Shaq and hopefully will become a good part of the Suns rotation.
What do you guys think about the draft? Do you see potential for the two draft picks? Is there someone you wish the Suns would have selected instead?