|Beasley, Rose still wondering what'll happen on draft night|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 29 May 2008 11:48|
Neither of the presumptive top two picks in next month's NBA draft took long before answering, and naturally, their opinions couldn't have been more different.
``He's way better than me,'' Rose said.
``Why would he say that? His team went further in the tournament,'' Beasley countered.
So even between the two millionaires-in-waiting, the debate continues - and it likely won't stop until June 26, when the Chicago Bulls will deliver the only answer that matters in the quest to decide between the two one-and-done college stars who'll almost certainly get taken with the first two selections in this year's draft. Chicago has the No. 1 pick, with the No. 2 pick owned by the Miami Heat.
Beasley is a forward from Kansas State, which reached the NCAA tournament thanks in large part to his 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. Rose is a point guard from Memphis, which fell to Kansas in the national title game and went 38-2 with him. Some experts say Beasley is certain to be taken with the No. 1 overall selection by the Bulls; others insist that Rose will begin his pro career playing in the jersey of his hometown team in Chicago.
As far as the players are concerned, they say not only do they not know their fate yet, but it really doesn't matter, either.
``I would love to be No. 1, but if not, then No. 2 isn't that bad,'' Rose said. ``I know a lot of people who would love to be No. 2. For me to be right there, I'd be happy.''
Relatively benign and anything-but-controversial statements like those were the order of the day Thursday, when Beasley and Rose made their first formal appearances at the NBA's predraft camp. Both were exempted by the league from taking part in the four days of drills and scrimmages at the Disney complex near Orlando, although they are expected to be present Friday for physical evaluations.
Among the tests awaiting Friday: A standard check of every player's height.
And in Beasley's case, that could mean he stands to lose out on being the No. 1 overall selection by a matter of inches.
Listed as 6 feet 10 in the NBA's official draft guide, Beasley doesn't appear to stand that tall. Some onlookers surrounding his table in a hotel ballroom Friday surmised that he could be as short as 6 feet 7. While that still makes him a mountain of a man by conventional standards, in the NBA, height remains a premium commodity.
``I thought I was 6-9. I heard 6-7. In college I was 6-10. I might have grown an inch, maybe,'' Beasley said. ``I didn't know there was a height requirement for the NBA.''
He knows there isn't, of course.
There also isn't a requirement that dictates the Bulls must reveal their selection before draft night, although the speculation game has been going on almost from the very moment that Chicago defied the odds and won the lottery that determined who would win the No. 1 pick.
Rose's college teammate, Joey Dorsey, created a stir Wednesday when he said - either factually or in jest - that he knows Beasley is going to the Bulls and Rose is off to Miami to form a backcourt with Dwyane Wade.
Beasley didn't even learn of Dorsey's remarks until Thursday.
``Joey, he's got this car that takes him to the future sometimes,'' Beasley said. ``He must have just got back from the future.''
And Rose simply dismissed the proclamation as Dorsey looking for a laugh.
``Joey's going to be Joey. Everybody knows that,'' Rose said. ``He was just in the arcade room and I was just asking him, what was he thinking? He was just playing around. If anybody knows, it wouldn't be Joey.''
If any decision has been made, only a handful of people would know, and Heat president Pat Riley is likely among them.
But not only did Riley decline to reveal if he has a favorite on Thursday, he even indicated that deciding who the top two picks are might not be as automatic a process as most draftniks would suggest.
``Don't believe any of this stuff,'' Riley said. ``We're just doing our due diligence on everything. That's it. ... There's a consensus two that everyone talks about, but there's some other guys that really light up your eyes when you look at them.''
Riley didn't name names, but Jerryd Bayless might be one of those guys.
Nonetheless, the guard who left Arizona after his freshman year is harboring no hope of getting picked before No. 3.
``Derrick is exceptional at what he does,'' Bayless said. ``And Michael, I don't know what to say about him. He's a freak. ... So obviously, I'm not going to be one of the top two picks. Derrick and Mike, they deserve what they've done.''
So for perhaps another four weeks, the quest to solve the mystery will continue.
Beasley or Rose?
Even they don't know the answer, but they're surely enjoying just being part of the spotlight.
``It just makes it more fun,'' Beasley said. ``A race isn't a race if you're just running by yourself. It's competitive now. Time to compete. Time to work harder than the next guy.''