The Florida Gators made history again during last night’s NBA Draft. With the “Big 3” (Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah) all taken within the first nine picks of the draft, the two-time NCAA college hoops champion Gators set a record for the fastest ever that three players from the same team got selected by teams in the lottery. Prior to last night, 3 in the top 11(Indiana in 1976 w/ Scott May, Quinn Buckner, and Bob Wilkerson–who?) was the benchmark. One would think the Florida 3 would have a more impressive pro run than those Hoosiers, but who knows? Regardless, it’s a tremendous achievement that deserves congratulations, especially since all these guys stayed in school an extra year when they could’ve turned pro in 2006. Noah would’ve certainly been picked higher than 9th (perhaps even 1st!), but the other two benefitted bigtime.
Add to the fact that two other Gators from their top 6 players, point guard Taurean Green and reserve power forward Chris Richard (a player I wanted the Magic to take with their only second round pick had he been available), were chosen by Minnesota and Portland in the second round and that makes five players from one team out of 60 total selections in the draft–incredible! Too bad the coach didn’t go pro also…
Meanwhile, despite eight trades that went down during the course of the draft, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett went nowhere. The higher profile players that will have a new address next year include Ray Allen, Jason Richardson, and Zach Randolph, but all the hullaballoo about Kobe and KG moving leading up to the draft amounted to squat. Will the Bulls gut the roster to get the best player in the game? Will KG end up running with the greyhounds in Phoenix and getting them over the hump (something I’d personally love to see)? Stay tuned…free agency starts Sunday, too!