The Boston Celtics already have a little experience with a substantial Indiana fanbase from the days of Larry Bird. It seems they've rekindled that experience after trading for JaJuan Johnson and drafting E'Twuan Moore last night. I'm sure Boilermaker fans everywhere are ecstatic those two will continue to play together, and I know I'll be paying much more attention to the Celtics now than I did before. If they could get Robbie Hummel next year, well, they might have to start broadcasting games in Indiana.
I was really hoping that would happen, although I was really hoping it would be for the Pacers. As it turned out, though, the Pacers gave all their draft picks (plus a draftee from 2005 that's still in Europe) to the Spurs to get George Hill. I was okay with that. I'm not sure the Pacers really needed a point guard, Darren Collison did great this year, especially in the playoffs. I thought AJ Price was a very serviceable back up with a bright future ahead.* Still, we all knew TJ Ford was gone ASAP. And, for those who don't remember, George Hill is from Broad Ripple and played his college ball at IUPUI. I didn't watch a game of it, but I hear he had a very, very good series this year, although San Antonio got knocked off by a better-than-an-8 Memphis Grizzly team.
*He was noticeably in over his head during the playoffs when Collison hurt his ankle, though.
I didn't really watch the draft (I wrote a little something about drafts back when the NFL had theirs), but it went about as well as I could've hoped. There's one thing I can't really decide about the draft, though. Is it more of a college thing or more of a pro thing? Obviously, it's a pro event. But when I do pay attention, it's typically because there are Purdue players I'm expecting to get drafted and I want to see where they end up. I did watch the draft when the Pacers took Tyler Hansbrough,* and I was mostly watching for the Pacers. Still, it's more exciting when I can watch Purdue guys make their NBA dream come true. Maybe that's a function of being a much, much bigger Purdue fan than an NBA fan.
*I always liked the Hansbrough pick, and I feel he's really proven he belongs during his time with the Pacers. He missed a lot of his rookie year with an inner ear infection, but if you remember, he absolutely gave the Bulls fits on both ends of the floor in the playoffs. And those were not his only big games. Ask the Knicks. At the time of that draft, though, you might remember that it was very trendy to dislike that pick and decide Tyler wasn't nearly athletic enough to make it in the NBA. I think in a few years, we're all going to look back and wonder how JJ fell so far in the draft, too. Because, frankly, I can't figure it out.
In baseball news, we have another managerial resignation that again seemed to be the manager's choice. Why did he resign? Because the owner didn't meet with him to discuss a contract extension. Now, I don't know the entire story, I haven't read the articles or anything. Just heard a quick blurb on Sportscenter on the radio this morning. So, maybe I'm missing a key issue here. But it seems like if you do have a contract for the year, and the owner didn't meet with you on some random June day, that isn't the time to decide "I'm outta here." There's still a ton of time in the season to work this out. The timing just seems bizarre. And, really, so does walking out on the Nationals right now.* They're a game on the good side of .500. There are some nice pieces there, along with some very promising young guys in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. Ryan Zimmerman has been good for a few years, and is still young. If they weren't in the same division as the Braves and Phillies, they would probably be getting some better press right now. In any case, this is a team that looks to be on the upswing with a great core. Not the time to be walking out because the owner or GM wouldn't meet with you on June 23rd.
*Does that sentence sound as strange reading it as it did typing it?
I'm sure there's a crucial piece that I'm missing here. Maybe we're all missing it here. But, you know, it seems like the Expos/Nationals have been nothing but a cavalcade of errors from Day 1 (at least since I've been paying attention), and this is just another incident to add to the list. It seems that franchise is cursed, and really, Washington has been a cursed baseball city since time immemorial. Or, you know, 1891. It seems