Inaugural NBA Book Draft
1. Washington Wizards — Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Raskolnikov’s fruitless search for rationality in society might help Flip Saunders in his fruitless search for rationality while coaching Gilbert Arenas.
At 484 pages, Crime and Punishment would be the second biggest Russian in the league after Mikhail Prokhorov.
2. Philadelphia 76ers — Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Prosperity by James D. Gwartney
This passage from the introductory paragraph explains why the Sixers’ Ownership made this pick for GM Ed Stefanski, instead of letting Stefanski make the pick himself:
“What you want are the insights into economics that really matter — those that will help you make better personal choices and enhance your understanding of our complex world.”
3. New Jersey Nets — The Bible
The only thing that can help them now that they have almost no chance of landing John Wall or Evan Turner.
The Nets may also select the Qu’ran, Torah, I Ching or Rza’s Tao of Wu.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves — Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel García Márquez
Notice they got the Spanish translation, and they won’t have the English translation for another five years.
5. Sacramento Kings — The Once and Future King by T.H. White
More of a symbolic choice for the Kings, who we believe are trending in the right direction.
We don’t seriously think Donté Greene would steal Tyreke Evans’s woman and ruin his kingdom. Right?
6. Golden State Warriors — The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
The Warriors have a high draft pick, new logo and, likely, a new owner soon. They also have the option to shed many of their players this offseason. If there were ever a team hoping for a change, it’s the Warriors.
7. Detroit Pistons — The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
The Pistons will regain their lost swagger with this promising prospect. They terrorized the east for almost a decade with a steelo that was “too black, too strong.”
Brother Malcolm may not be able to bring back Rasheed Wallace’s sagging love handles or Chauncey Billups, but he can restore the soul power and pride that fueled their dominance.
8. Los Angeles Clippers — The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois
Not for the entire organization, just Donald Sterling.
9. Utah Jazz — Rabbit, Run by John Updike
It’s a cautionary tale. Never trust a man who cheats on his wife, because he’ll do the same thing to his mistress.
Carlos Boozer broke the heart of an entire city when he bailed on the Cavaliers. Did the Jazz really think he would treat them any different?
And Boozer may not have literally raped the Jazz like Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom did to Ruth, but emotionally...
10. Indiana Pacers — My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson
For a team greatly in need of something fun and playful, as well as needing to embrace its own shadows of the past. And, sorry, Gordon, Hayward, Murphy, Dunleavy, Hansbrough, Foster, and McRoberts already more than fill their quota.
11. New Orleans Hornets — Animal Farm by George Orwell
Chris Paul needs to be careful. We know what happened when Boxer broke his leg.
12. Memphis Grizzlies — Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
Every draft, a team takes a big book too early.
Meet this year’s Hasheem Thabeet.
There’s no denying that Rainbow’s upside. Richard Lacayo, a scout for Time Magazine, called it “so crazily, scarily, sumptuously readable that you hate to put it aside even as the last paragraph thunders down on your head.”
But Rainbow lacks the athleticism to support its 700-page frame and constant digressions.
13. Toronto Raptors — He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt
Because we already used our Rabbit, Run joke on the Jazz; and we’d rather compare Boozer to an emotionally arrested, former basketball star than Bosh.
14. Houston Rockets — Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity by Michael Lewis
Wunderkind Daryl Morey looks for guidance from an old friend as he goes through an Asian Currency Crisis of his own.
15. Milwaukee Bucks — The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper
The Bucks surprised a lot of people this season. They will not have the same opportunity next year. They will have a target between their antlers and need to be ready for it.
(Obviously, The Deerslayer is a symbolic choice and the team would not benefit from actually reading the book. Fact: no one has ever benefitted from reading Deerslayer.)
16. Chicago Bulls — Shooting Stars by Buzz Bissinger and LeBron James
17. Miami Heat — Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
If they re-sign Dwyane Wade but don’t add anyone of import, they should focus on Purgatorio. If they can pair Wade with another superstar, Paradiso. If they lose Wade, Inferno.
18. Boston Celtics — The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The actors and “actresses” of the Celtics would enjoy Wilde’s farce. It’s about a group of men who are pretending to be earnest; but, most of the time, they aren’t.
19. San Antonio Spurs — Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson
If only so Tim Duncan will understand why the crystal in his right palm has turned black.
20. Oklahoma City Thunder — Sleepless in Seattle by Nora Ephron
Yeah, we went there.
21. Portland Trail Blazers — The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer.
Because there is no Mailer novel entitled The Naked and the Perpetually Injured.
22. Atlanta Hawks — Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Because the Hawks are another year older and another year uglier, even if nobody sees it.
23. Orlando Magic — The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia
Ownership has some subtle suggestions for Stan Van Gundy on his current wardrobe.
Garcia offers tips on how and when to wear an outfit, occasion-appropriate wear, advice on how to combine colors and textures, and inspiration on how to achieve your own signature look.
Hopefully, this “signature look” will no longer be a combination of “Boogie Nights” and “My Cousin Vinny.”
24. Charlotte Bobcats — Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Okonkwo struggled for years to attain respectability, but it all dissolved quickly.
Larry Brown is leaving. Stephen Jackson isn’t going to get any better.
All is not lost but the village is in trouble.
25. Denver Nuggets — No joke. We hope George Karl gets well soon.
26. Phoenix Suns — A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Hawking can teach the Suns that there are only two ways for a sun to end — a supernova that can be seen for light years or a black hole, the greatest concentration of gravity in the universe.
27. Dallas Mavericks — The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cuban is Gatsby, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood are Tom and Daisy, and money still can’t buy happiness.
28. Los Angeles Lakers — The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Some consider this book a classic, even Hemingway’s finest work. We consider this an excellent example of what happens when you give a fisher too much playing time.
29. New York Knicks — God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Let them pray as much as they want. LeBron is not going to New York
30. Cleveland Cavaliers — Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
More specifically, he shrugged during Game 5 of the Celtics series.
-Jason Lea & Kyle Jones