A 7 ft Center from Tanzania with the 2nd pick (Hasheem Thabeet)
A 7 ft Center from Spain (Marc Gasol)
a 7 ft Center from Iran who is the first player from Iran in the NBA (Hamed Haddadi)
A 7 ft Center from Serbia who also was the 2nd pick in the draft (Darko Millicic)
No one can say that Memphis isn’t the center of the World right now.Well at least for now since Lionel Hollins was rather cryptic about how long Darko Millicic will be on the Grizzlies roster. However he also made it painfully clear that Hasheem Thabeet will be wearing a Grizzlies uniform next year. Maybe some radio personalities are not ‘fired up’ with the selection but none other than Jim Boeheim, Greg Anthony and Charles Barkley all said Thabeet is at least the 2nd best player in this draft and possibly first.
Thabeet told the media assembled at FedEx Forum last night (and one very lost blogger) that he feels he has a lot more upside. He talked about how 6 years ago he passed the ball with his feet. He said the story about him coming to UConn was that he couldn’t walk, chew gum and dribble the ball at the same time. It was assumed he is capable of doing that now. He also stated that he didn’t go to college to become a pro ball player. He went for the education but he thinks this experience could help open doors for other young people in Tanzania achieve a better life. So he is educated, athletic and a role model.
Thabeet has definitely become more Americanized since leaving UConn. When asked who decided on the clothes he wore tonight (and that was from an award winning journalist not a blogger) Thabeet said his designer picked it out. He already has a personal clothes designer! He also has two agents. How much more American can you get?
Back to Millicic for a second, Hollins was asked how the team could handle having four 7 ft centers on the roster and his reply was “you’ll just have to wait for a phone call about that. I know what is going to happen but you’ll just have to wait for the phone ring. Or not ring for that matter.” Doesn’t that sound like Darko is going to be traded?
UPDATE: The rumors were true about Darko Millicic being traded for Quentin Richardson. What was missing was the cash component, a big time favorite throw-in for the Grizzlies these days. Quentin Richardson’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2009-10 season – just like Darko’s was – so his contract is tradable this season for teams looking to get under the cap. Chris Wallace explained that while the Grizzlies are done tonight they are definitely not done making roster moves this summer. That doesn’t mean the team is going to make major moves but they do recognize thatmore work is needed before the team is ready to take the court this coming season.