With the draft coming in about 48 hours, I got to thinking about what makes the NBA draft so much fun and the NFL draft so horribly boring and awful. Is it the suits? Is it the atmosphere in New York? Is it the suits? It’s probably the suits, right?
Well, here’s a list of why this fan will always enjoy the NBA draft and avoids the NFL draft at all possible opportunities:
HUBIE BROWN v MEL KIPER
This is no contest. Hubie Brown is hilarious, has league-wide credibility, and doesn’t have ridiculous hair. Well, at least not anymore. Okay, he still looks sort of strange, but not Mel Kiper-strange.
In the NFL, it’s all about 40-yard dashes and bench press reps. In the NBA, it’s all about wingspan and how tall you are with your shoes off. Kevin Durant got some flak for not benching more than 185, but he’ll still be one of the first two guys picked. In the NFL, he’d be lucky to make it in the fifth round. It’s like the difference between Drago and Rocky, and who the hell roots for Drago?
There are no Europeans, no South Americans, no Mexicans, no anything but Americans in the NFL draft. The NBA gives you Tiago Splitter, Mr. Longoria, Saer Sene, and plenty of other names you can’t spell or remember. The best the NFL can do is a handful of Canadians and Christian Okoye, and that’s just plain pathetic.
The NFL makes trades like they were exchanging prisoners of war. The NBA makes trades like Eddie Murphy and Dan Akyroyd at the end of “Trading Places.” No comparison, especially when you factor in the way NBA GM’s always seem to think next year’s second-round picks will never happen.
David Stern – as dorky as he is at times – has more charm and charisma in his left eyeglass lens than Roger “Wooden” Goodell or Paul “Tags” Tagliabue possess combined. There’s something about the way Stern smirks when he reads the next draftee that always makes you think he’s going to announce, “With the 3rd pick in the NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks select ... Jon Koncak, again!”
Simply put, Notre Dame doesn’t matter in basketball, so you never have to worry about guys like Brady Quinn making an appearance. Shut up, Regis, we don’t flippin’ care about your stupid tradition, alright?
Ever notice how NCAA football conferences seem to influence the players? As in, “He’s a typical Big-10 linebacker”? You never hear that in the NBA. Nobody cares that Oden went to Ohio State or Durant went to Texas; we just care that they’re both going to be superstars.
There are no offensive linemen in the NBA draft, which means you don’t have to pretend to understand why the 6’1”, 354 pound guy from Wisconsin is better than the 6’2”, 348 pound guy from Pitt. And you also don’t have to listen to Mel Kiper explain why the guy from Pitt deserves to be taken before the guy from Wisconsin. Hey, it’s basketball – we know why Durant should be #1 or #2 – because he’s 6’9” and he can do absolutely everything.
The NFL has too many rounds. The NBA figured it out (with the help of the NBAPA) that fans only care about the studs; the league lets the GMs figure out how to cull through the rest of the guys to help round out rosters.
NFL players look like they bought their suits at a group discount, while NBA players seem to always take the sartorial level to new heights. Besides, somebody has to keep the creamsicle-orange suit guy in business, right?
What’s funnier, seeing David Stern stand next to someone 2 feet taller, or watching Roger Goodell stand next to someone his height? No contest, especially when it yields pictures like this.
Do you think the NFL would like a guy who looks like this to be drafted? Or this? I think not.
Add it all up, and it’s really no contest. The NBA is so much better in so many ways that it almost renders the NFL draft moot, a Republican-feeling monstrosity that only a masochist could love. The NFL draft is Metallica. The NBA draft is De La Soul.
Plus, we’re getting Kevin Durant.