We’ve all seen it happen in movies – usually romantic comedies or melodramas where someone has a disease that’s slowly killing them (or perhaps romantic comedies involving terminal diseases, but those are less common) – where the male lead finds himself in a situation in which he needs to woo the female lead in some embarrassing public setting – usually involving old people on a tour or some form of walkabout. The male lead always disrupts the public activity in an over-the-top manner indicative only of Hollywood’s imagination and not real life. “I’m sorry everyone, you all have to stop your tour of the dinosaur park so I can explain to Maggie here that I wasn’t sleeping with her sister, I was simply explaining to her sister while naked how Maggie’s bowel cancer has opened my eyes to life and love and I cannot live without her!” (Or, you know, something like that.) The female lead plays it coy for a second. Tears welling up, arms crossed. She was hurt and she is strong and she wants the male lead to see it. Then what happens? The cute old folks they cast as extras get to say one line. And that one line is always something sweet and humorous. Like, “Well if you don’t go over there and kiss that boy, honey, I’m ditching Wilbur here and doing it myself!” Hilarious, right? Watch for it in the next RomCom disease movie you rent on Netflix, because it happens in 94.1 percent of them. The idea here is that old people are supportive of young love because they remember when they were that age and no one should miss out on that feeling. Except, have you ever actually met old people? Especially old people you aren’t related to? They ain’t supportive of anything except hurrying through whatever activity their social security is paying for so they can get home in time for their 3 pm nap. It’s nice to think of the elderly as grandparents to us all, but really, we’re just in the way of their nap. Go hold hands later kids, I’ve got a pack of stegosauruses to look at before I take my nap! And now I’m going to talk to you about the top pick in the 2011 draft, Kyrie Irving, and tie this all together. It’s going to blow your mind. Wait for it.
There’s something poetic about the Cavaliers earning two of the first four picks in one of the weakest drafts of the last decade after having sputtered and clanked through the 2010 season. This rookie class is so underwhelming that its number one pick will, by most accounts, not be starting in order for Baron Davis to run the floor. Boom-Dizzle: the aging unreliable with questionable work ethic and even more questionable health. He was sent packing from Golden State, sent packing from LAC and he’s starting on the worst team in basketball. That’s all you need to know about the number one pick and this rookie class in general. And yeah, the Cavs say Davis is going to be a great mentor, but they’re also simultaneously trying to sell him off and have been since the spring. I just don’t see the old-guy-takes-promising-rookie-under-his-wing story working out because, a) old guys don’t really like doing that. The more successful they are, the quicker they mentor their way out of a job, and, b) Davis doesn’t strike me as the type able to mentor himself, much less a 19-year-old top draft pick. But this is the lie the Cavs will try to sell, just like Hollywood painting the elderly as kind. Davis isn’t going to see himself in young Irving, he’s going to see his competition. Old people don’t see young love, they see a disturbance in their routine.
Either way, it’s unlikely that Irving will play more than 24-28 mpg before Davis inevitably gets hurt and only a little more likely that he’ll end up averaging more than 30 mpg by year’s end. Compare that with John Wall’s 38 mpg last season and we’re looking at a bit of a disappointment. The 6-foot-2 Duke guard has a surprisingly short wingspan and the highest percentage of body fat among incoming rookie PGs drafted in the top 15 over the last 20 years. Irving’s got an efficient shot and a solid ability from the outside, but he’s not an athletic scorer like Rose or Westbrook. He’s built more like Deron Williams, but without the skill to do most of the things Williams can do. He averaged nearly 28 mpg with Duke, which he’ll likely match this year too, but his .529/.901 percentages won’t stick and neither will his 17.5 ppg. It’s important that you enter your draft with limited expectations for Irving. If ever there was a season where the No. 1 pick was far from a lock to have the best year, this is it. You’ll get 28 mpg, .475/.850/15 pts/2 rbd/3.5 ast, with 3 stl+blk+3ptm out of him – and if you draft correctly, you’ll be happy with that. Don’t be the guy taking Irving in the seventh round when everyone else was planning to wait until the 11th.