I haven’t cared much for the draft, the older I’ve gotten. I don’t know how much of that is cynicism and how much is the fact that the Rockets haven’t had a high lottery pick in what seems like ages. When I was a kid, I thought every player we picked was going to turn into a superstar. Now, I expect everyone to end up in China [even though Daryl Morey has had a great track record with late-draft success.] The first player the Rockets ever drafted during my life as a fan was Zan Tabak. He was terrible and quickly became the butt of jokes among my friends. To be called Zan Tabak on the basketball court was a common insult. In ’96, the Rockets took Othella Harrington, Allen Iverson’s running mate at Georgetown. He quickly became good and developed a reliable jump hook; Bill Worrell informed everyone every game that Carroll Dawson had been working with Othella. I think I thought he was going to become an All-Star which was pretty dumb. But I was 11 at the time, so I don’t feel too bad about it. After we got Steve Francis, my obsession became finding the perfect runningmate for the future of our franchise. I didn’t think Cuttino Mobley was the right guy for the job; my dismissal of Mobley due to his second round origins was elitist snobbery for which I am ashamed. The trade for the late Eddie Griffin was one of the most exciting days of my young life, particularly because we already had Yao Ming. I thought that would be the next great team in the NBA and so did Les Alexander because he proclaimed the young Rockets were “one of the great teams ever assembled” shortly after. That was embarrassing. And of course, I’ve written at length about the Rudy Gay-Shane Battier trade that offended my sensibilities. I was dead wrong on that one.
This is all to say I haven’t cared much in recent years and don’t even study up on the prospects. That stems from the fact that I absolutely hate college basketball. Here we are on the eve of another draft. Yawn.