NBA Draft Combine Diary — Day One

This will be a compilation of information, tweets, thoughts and opinion from day one of the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. It’s basically just some notes from the show in case you didn’t have four hours during a weekday afternoon to watch the proceedings. I’m assuming that’s most people, so be grateful I did it for you. Donations are accepted on my behalf.

The coverage was on ESPN2 and it will continue today at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Anchoring the event were Mark Jones, Seth Greenberg, Fran Fraschilla and Andy Katz (A Greenberg and a Katz — yamakas for everyone!). I believe this was different from past years. I had the distinct impression Jay Williams, Chad Ford and Tom Penn had roles on this show. I’ve killed some brain cells over time, so don’t rely on me.

Here we go:


Fran Fraschilla said Emanuel Mudiay “has some Jason Kidd in him.” This comparison doesn’t make any sense; the two players aren’t alike at all.

The top three players NBA personnel wanted to watch in the scrimmage that didn’t participate, according to Andy Katz:

– The Harrison brothers (Kentucky)

– Kevon Looney (UCLA)

– Cliff Alexander (Kansas)

Jeff Goodman does a meaningless mock draft I ignored, because guessing where people will be picked without knowing the actual order is stupid.

Seth Greenberg and Fran Fraschilla foam at the mouth about Kristaps Porzingis, saying he should be a top five pick. In my expert opinion, based on 45 minutes of YouTube scouting, I disagree with the two people who have probably watched hours of film. Take that.

Andy Katz interviews Tobias Harris. I find this a good time to go get the pizza I’m heating up.

Two full segments in, I still haven’t watched any live basketball. I do know the anchors are all capable of talking.

Billy Gillispie is coaching one of the scrimmage teams. I’m now mentally prepared for something crazy to happen.

In a change to the format this year, we’re getting 5-on-5 games. I’d say these are the equivalent to a D-League-level game with some late first-round picks, second-round picks, and non-drafted guys.

Fraschilla and Greenburg love Murray State point guard Cameron Payne. One of them believes he will get picked in the top 15.

Fraschilla thinks Michigan State forward Branden Dawson is heading to Europe.

Andy Katz interviews Brad Stevens, and the two people watching in Boston start making out with their TV. Stevens gets asked questions and nicely says nothing of substance in return.

Katz: “What do you need in the draft?”

Stevens: “Rambling 45-second answer that doesn’t come close to addressing the question.”

Tobias Harris did a good job in his opportunity as a salesman for his upcoming restricted free agency this offseason.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher is on my TV. Fisher had his cliché game on point.

Now they’re showing film of Karl-Anthony Towns. I had to go get a paper towel to wipe the drool off the floor.

Apparently Joel Embiid is conducting the Sixers’ interviews?

A couple of other tweets I found interesting:

The crew was upset Kansas forward Cliff Alexander didn’t play in the scrimmages. They thought he could have helped himself.

Fraschilla called D’Angelo Russell possibly the best passer he’s seen come out of the NCAA in the past decade.


Back to informative scrimmage tweets.

Anthony Brown missed a corner three that would have sent the first scrimmage into overtime. I made an audible noise because OT in a scrimmage at the NBA Draft Combine sounds like the worst thing ever (no hyperbole).

A guy I like, Virginia’s Justin Anderson, tested well athletically, including a 43-inch max vertical leap.

Leave these poor kids alone, mean NBA team! 

Frank Kaminsky buttons his shirt all the way to the top button. Make of this what you will.

Sorry about having only one box score for the second scrimmage. I had to cut this slightly to go to work. Don’t worry, I’ll be back tomorrow with day two and won’t miss a single second. Don’t hold back your excitement.

To finish off, a couple of quotes from players that were typically delusional or overconfident, plus one ridiculous question from a reporter:

About Bryan Gibberman

Grew up in New York and transplanted to Arizona. Fan of the Knicks, Jets and Michigan Wolverines. I like writing about basketball because basketball is fun.