To the surprise of pretty much no one, the 2008 NBA Draft began thusly:
1. Chicago Bulls - Derrick Rose, Memphis
2. Miami Heat - Michael Beasley, Kansas State
3. Minnesota Timberwolves - O.J. Mayo, USC
The only real suspense in the opening stages was who was going to go next after the big three. And the next two teams were Bruin-up some surprises.
With the fourth pick, the still-Seattle Sonics took Russell Westbrook out of UCLA. And immediately afterwards, the Memphis Grizzlies swiped Russ’ college teammate Kevin Love.
So, including Mayo, three of the top five selections balled it up in southern California. Just like Randy Newman, the NBA loves L.A.
An amusing draft note: With the sixth pick, the Knicks grabbed Danilo Gallinari from Italy. The name of Danilo’s pro team in Italy was Armani Jeans Milano. So it makes sense that Gallinari would join a franchise that spent the past few seasons making an a$$ of itself.