So I'm watching the NBA Draft the other night, and Darrell Arthur looks like his dog was just run over, and I'm thinking: What about Mario Chalmers?
Here it is late in the first round, and Chalmers, the man who nailed the magical three-pointer in the NCAA championship game, is still waiting for his name to be called.
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas keeps saying Chalmers is the best player available, but he might as well be talking to The Love Guru. No NBA general manager is listening.
Prior to the draft, most pundits thought Chalmers would go somewhere between Nos. 20 and 25. Heck, one so-called expert had Chalmers going as high as 12th. Talk about egg on your face.
So finally we come to the San Antonio Spurs with the 26th pick. Surely the Spurs will take Chalmers. R.C. Buford, a good buddy of Kansas coach Bill Self, is the Spurs' GM, and the consensus is San Antonio needs backcourt depth.
Sure enough, the Spurs take a guard, but it's somebody named George Hill from IUPUI, a school whose main claim to fame is the longest palindromic acronym in the NCAA.
Another snub. Of the KU first-round probables, only Brandon Rush has gone according to form at No. 13.
Next it's the New Orleans Hornets, and at least they end Arthur's misery. But then Memphis and Detroit go for Syracuse's Donte Greene and Indiana's D.J. White, a couple of so-so forwards, respectively, leaving Chalmers with one more chance at the 30th and last guaranteed contract.
Wouldn't it be neat if Chalmers went to the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics? From the NCAA champs to the NBA champs. Ah, the storybook possibilities.
And then commissioner David Stern walks to the podium and announces: "With the 30th pick in the NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select J.R. Giddens of the University of New Mexico."
Are you kidding me? Not only do the Celtics dump on Chalmers, they stick the dagger deeper by tapping Giddens, the one-time KU bad boy who had been projected to go somewhere in the middle of the second round.
Worse is what Celtics' coach Doc Rivers says afterward about Giddens. "He has a chance." Rivers tells the Boston media, "to fight for minutes right away because of his defense."
His defense??? Has Giddens improved that much since his freshman and sophomore years on Mount Oread when he couldn't guard the Phog Allen statue?
Meanwhile, we know Chalmers' strong suit is defense. Then there's the character issue. Who can forget that incident three years ago at a local watering hole that precipitated Giddens' departure? Meanwhile, Chalmers' nose has been so clean it squeaks.
Well, nobody ever said life was fair. At least Chalmers will have an opportunity to make the roster of the Miami Heat, if indeed he is still with the Heat when you read this.
Kansas, as you know, tied a record by having five players drafted. At the same time, the Jayhawks probably set another record when all five were traded, including Arthur an unbelievable three times.
Sometimes I wonder if the NBA Draft is really serious business or merely an inside joke league coaches and GMs play on a gullible glued-to-the-TV populace.