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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Thoughts on the NBA lottery: What's not to like?

By Marla Published: May 17, 2011

Thoughts on Tuesday night's NBA lottery:

  • Nick Gilbert, the 14-year-old son of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, stole the show with his 'What's not to like?' comment. Sounds like a new slogan for the city of Cleveland, especially in light of Chicago's Joakim Noah's remarks a year ago.

  • If the Cavs are the lottery again next season, you can bet Nick Gilbert will be back in Secaucus, N.J. Probably, too, will be Browns cornerback Joe Haden and receiver/returner Joshua Cribbs, along with former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar. Those three sat in the audience behind Dan Gilbert until the celebrating began.

  • I'm starting to think Haden is like the fan who sneaks into every Super Bowl or the man in the multi-colored wig holding the John 3:16 sign at sporting events all over the country. Haden is everywhere  --  at Indians games and Cavs games, sometimes in costume and most times in an active player's jersey. Wonder if he'll be wandering the grounds of Firestone Country Club for the Bridgestone Invitational if the NFL is still locked out the first week of August?

  • While I didn't feel much excitement about the lottery until the broadcast began, I must admit I screamed when the Cavs got No. 1. That may not have happened at a sports event since the Browns drafted University of Akron quarterback Charlie Frye, whom I'd followed through the draft process starting at the Senior Bowl.

  •  If the reaction of the NBA players, ex-players and executives representing the 14 teams was any indication, no one gets excited except the team that lands No. 1. Especially non-plussed by the proceedings was Wizards guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010.

  • To no one's surprise, Dan Gilbert seemed extremely enthused. "I want to thank all the fans in Cleveland, Ohio, who have been through a rough year,'' Gilbert said. "This is a new beginning Cleveland. We're coming.''

  • In picking No. 1 and No. 4, Cleveland got two of the top four selections for the first time since the Houston Rockets in 1983. That seems as stunning as getting the No. 1 selection with just a 22.7 percent chance and also in the Cavs' first time in the lottery since the July 8 departure of LeBron James. And it was the pick acquired from the L.A. Clippers in the Baron Davis deal that did it.

  • The Cavs will be picking first for the fourth time in franchise history.

  • Thought it was interesting that Duke's Kyrie Irving, the 19-year-old point guard projected as the No. 1 pick, participated in the ESPN broadcast. Asked what he would bring the Cavs, Irving said "versatility and diversity.''



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