One Thousand, Two Hundred, Ninety-Three Days.
You know what that is?
That’s the number of days between November 1, 2012, when Steve Nash fractured his left leg in a collision with Damian Lillard, and May 17, 2016, when his nerve-damaged Canadian behind was still giving Lakers fans diarrhea thanks to a 2016 top-three protected draft pick the Lakers traded to acquire him.
But Lakers fans were relieved by a nice solid number two at Barclays Center in Brooklyn last night. Thanks to the way the ping pong balls bounced, we can finally close the book on Nash as a Laker.
Don’t be fooled, however, by this rhetoric that it’s better to go number two than number one, because there’s less pressure. With the number two selection, NBA teams have erred far more often than teams picking first. Take a look at these missteps:
- 2015: Lakers take D’Angelo Russell at #2 over Kristaps Porzingis with Karl-Anthony Towns going #1. Russell may turn out to be a star, but Porzingis may turn out to be the evolution of the NBA big man.
- 2014: Bucks take Jabari Parker, who promptly blows out his knee, at #2 with Andrew Wiggins going #1. Parker is nice, but the point is that the first pick was nicer.
- 2013: Here’s a blunder at #1. Anthony Bennett to the Cavs. But it isn’t like the Magic didn’t miss at #2. They’d gladly have a do-over and take Giannis Antetokounmpo over Victor Oladipo. Maybe even Rudy Gobert and Steven Adams too.
- 2012: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at #2 with Anthony Davis going #1. Pelicans got it right, and Hornets missed out on Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, and Draymond Green.
- 2011: Derrick Williams at #2 with Kyrie Irving at #1. Think the Timberwolves might like another crack at things to take Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Brandon Knight, Jimmy Butler, Reggie Jackson, Chandler Parsons, Isaiah Thomas, or anyone for that matter.
- 2010: 76ers grab Evan Turner at #2, while John Wall goes to the Wizards at #1. Wizards have a franchise player. 76ers don’t have Evan Turner anymore, and could have had Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, or Hassan Whiteside.
- 2009: Clippers finally stop clippin’ and grab Blake Griffin at #1. The Grizzlies, however, select Hasheem Thabeet at #2. Stephen Curry, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, Danny Green . . . oh, I hurt for the Grizzlies.
- 2008: With the first selection, Chicago takes Derrick Rose, who eventually wins the MVP. Now, in Miami’s defense at the #2 pick, Michael Beasley did go on to be an all-star . . . IN CHINA! Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Nicolas Batum, DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic, on the other hand, all-stars or potential all-stars right here in America.
I’d continue this exercise, but if I hit 2007, then that whole Greg Oden over Kevin Durant thing happens causing a rift in the space and time continuum. Regardless, you get the point.
Things don’t always come out well with number two, but the Lakers will gladly take it.