Things on my mind three days after the 2007 NBA Draft :
¢ As it turned out, there were 7,055,714 good reasons for Julian Wright to turn pro.
As the 13th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft (thanks, commissioner David Stern, for reminding me over and over what year it is), Wright will make $1,449,300 as a rookie with the New Orleans Hornets, $1,558,000 in Year Two of his contract, $1,666,700 in Year Three and $2,381,714 in Year Four - for a grand total of $7,055,714.
Instead of saving his pennies for outings at the JayBowl after classes, weights and practice - and before tutoring - the 20-year-old Wright now will be able to buy a mansion with his own bowling alley in his basement.
¢ Five freshmen (Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Mike Conley, Brandan Wright, Spencer Hawes) were selected before the first senior (Acie Law).
Nice to see the NBA continues to value potential over proven production.
¢ Freshmen outnumbered seniors, 8-6, in the first round, yet seniors outnumbered freshmen, 14-0, in the second round. One problem: Second-rounders do not receive guaranteed contracts.
¢ Brandon Rush has to be the unluckiest player on the planet. Unless I'm brain-cramping and forgetting somebody, Rush turned out to be the only player who declared for the draft who had to pull out because of a serious injury sustained after declaring.
The way I view it, Rush would have been tapped No. 25 overall by Utah instead of Rice senior Morris Almond, perhaps even No. 22 by Charlotte instead of Jared Dudley.
¢ It's said Rush was stressing before the draft about his biological clock ticking, ticking, ticking.
He needn't worry about age any longer.
Rush, who turns 22 a week from today, will be 23 a handful of days after the 2008 Draft.
Two 23-year-olds were taken in the first round this year.
Three 24-year-olds were taken in Round Two. Three 23-year-olds were taken in Round Two.
So, Brandon, relax : you by no means will be a graybeard next year by NBA standards.
¢ Dick Vitale, who isn't often speechless, became uncharacteristically silent when asked to comment on the Hornets' selection of Julian Wright.
Vitale quickly changed the subject after indicating the pick of Wright was all about "potential, potential."
A millionaire himself, Vitale realizes sophomore standouts like Wright have no choice but to take the money and run.
That doesn't mean he has to gush over a player who contributed 12 points and 7.8 boards a game his final collegiate campaign. Those are nice numbers but by no means comparable to past Jayhawk greats.
¢ Stuart Scott of ESPN appears to be a likeable enough guy, but I wish he'd stick to the basics when questioning lottery picks on stage.
I'm guessing KU fans across the globe would have rather heard Wright discuss his placement in the draft and feelings about heading to the Big Easy, rather than his hobby of bowling and love of ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Scott did hit a home run when he asked flu-ridden Greg Oden what he rubbed on his hands before heading to the stage to shake the mitt of commissioner Stern.
Turns out it was lotion, meant to cleanse away germs out of respect for his elder, Stern.
Nice touch, I thought.