(It is almost like Shabazz is waving goodbye) Here is my first person recollection of how my draft night went from awesome to terrible in the blink of an eye. And to think all of this happened because of one stinkin tweet by the King:
My favorite player in the draft! #Napier
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 27, 2014
So thanks a lot LeBron, from every UConn fan. Here it goes.
My brother, Matt, and I were watching the draft and at pick no. 20 realized if Shabazz doesn’t get picked by Toronto (where I thought was the farthest he would fall) Miami would have a real shot at him. I would rather Miami win the next three NBA Championships than Pat Riley take Napier away from the perfect story in Charlotte.
So anyway Shabazz gets past Toronto, then OKC (who could have used him off the bench), then Memphis (who could have also used Napier off the bench). Utah at no. 23 was never really a concern of them taking Shabazz because they drafted Exum earlier and already have Trey Burke. The Jazz were in talks with Miami in a trade though and that scared me.
So Napier fell to no. 24, the dream situation: Napier backing up Kemba Walker once again on the Charlotte Hornets with their new uniforms and new floor. A franchise that is really on the way up and could use Napier’s offense. Adam Silver announced the pick and I was ecstatic with my brother: Michael Jordan finally got a little luck and got a pick right. I had my Shabazz Napier number 13 jersey picked out and was putting in my credit card information.
Then the bad news: Charlotte was trading Shabazz almost immediately to Miami for pick no. 26 (which turned into P.J. Hairston) and two second round picks. Shabazz had on a Hornets hat for a total of about 30 seconds before he had his mom yelling at him to “take it off” and put on the Miami Heat hat. Even Kemba tweeted this in the short amount of time before the trade was announced:
Wow my little brother I love u bro @ShabazzNapier
— Kemba walker (@KembaWalker) June 27, 2014
How could your eyes not start to water just a little after reading that? Okay, back to me and my brother watching the first round of the draft unfold like a horror story being read to you as a kid.
Wait, WHAT?! Michael (Jordan), how could you? I guess he didn’t see the marketability, not to mention the great story and the success on the court. I still cannot believe how quickly that all unfolded and almost do not want to believe that Jordan basically helped the Heat keep LeBron, especially after Miami swept Charlotte in the first round of this year’s playoffs and LeBron did that whole “staring at MJ while dunking” thing.
Wow, I feel better now that I got all that out. Would love to hear from other crying, agonizing UConn fans. Let’s be in pain together.