Monday, June 27, 2011

Does the NBA Draft really matter ?

I'm far from an expert on the NBA draft, but I am a casual observer of the spectacle it has become.  Like many other sports-related experiences (besides the official games themselves), the Draft has become a nationally televised event!

This boggles my mind!

Let me be clear ... I do understand how this has happened.  People have greater and greater expectations of being "entertained" and the tv moguls have to appeal to their audiences' demand and supply what is being asked for.  There IS a market for sharing hundreds of different versions, updated multiple times every day, of Mock Drafts, etc.  Just look at the explosion of Fantasy Football (and baseball and basketball, etc.) for an example of a "demand" that increased and a "supply" that was generated to fill that need.  Since the very first days of competitive sports, fans wanted to cheer on their teams or favorite athletes as a means to live vicariously through others.  It should come as no surprise that things have escalated to this extreme.

But the Draft Day "experience" still puzzles me because ...
Everything about it is speculation.

No one ever predicts accurately the order in which athletes will be selected, and even more relevant to my overall point ... it doesn't actually MATTER when someone is picked!

Professional sports teams are largely comprised of athletes who were never even selected in the "draft" (or at least not in the first 1-2 rounds when anyone cares where they got selected).  Do a little research and you'll find a ridiculous number of starting players on NBA rosters that were selected in the late 2nd round and/or beyond.  It's even more glaring when you look at the number of high draft picks that never panned out to more than anything other than a huge signing bonus and just enough money to buy some car dealerships.

Jimmer goes #10 in the 2011 draft.  And it means ... nothing really.  He's headed to the Sacramento Kings.  Okay.  And that means ... nothing really.  There might be a work stoppage.  He might be traded.  He might hold out to play European ball for better money (not really).  Nothing matters until the season starts and even then it will be 3-5 years from now before ANYONE picked in this draft is actually contributing at a major level on their respective teams.

So why all the hullabaloo?

I offer this for your consideration ...

The only thing better than talking about what did happen in sports is talking about what could happen!  That's why the Draft is more talked about that the Finals or even this years' playoff series.  We're always happier to predict our fantasy future than assess our partially satisfying past.

Especially as fans of the game!


1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean - I was all set to root for Milwaukee because they picked Fredette, only to find out from Dad about the trade with the Kings. I guess I'll never fully understand football...I mean basketball!