Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chalmers chipper despite slipping

In last night's NBA Draft, Bill Self essentially sent a starting lineup to the NBA. However, Brandon, Darrell, Mario, Darnell, and Sasha will not play for the teams that originally drafted them. Here's the breakdown of a very confusing 2008 NBA Draft for the Rock Chalk Nation...


Mario Chalmers desperately wanted to be selected in the first round of Thursday's NBA Draft.

The 30 first-rounders are the only ones in the 60-player draft guaranteed contracts.

Yet don't for a second think Chalmers, who was selected fourth in Round Two by Minnesota, then traded to Miami, regrets his decision to leave Kansas University after his junior season.

He remains comfortable with his career choice despite the fact he likely would have been a first-team preseason All-American in 2008-09.

"I was a little shocked," the 6-foot-1 combo guard said at a news conference Friday in Miami, referring to not being taken in Round One. "At the same time, I'm just happy to be in this situation. If I had it to do all over again, I'd do the same thing. I'm just going in with a great mind-set, and I'll be ready to play."

KU coach Bill Self on Friday repeated what he said Thursday night: that there's nothing to be gained from "second-guessing" Chalmers' decision.

"It's so easy to do," Self said. "If I sub wrong, or if I sub the wrong guy into shooting a technical foul and he misses, then, 'Why'd he sub him? He should have put somebody else in.'

"I think Mario did get favorable reports back (from teams), but I do think it's a valuable learning experience for everybody and hopefully ... you know there's absolutely no reason for a guy to leave early to be a second-round pick.

"I've said that all along. His family would say that. But now that the decision was made, you live with it. I do think he's going to a great franchise for him to have a chance to really impact it. Miami thought enough of him to give away two second-round picks for him (as well as cash considerations)."

Self said he hopes Chalmers will be one of the rare second rounders soon to be signed to a guaranteed contract.

Miami general manager Pat Riley made it sound as if that will be the case.

"We rated him very high," Riley said. "He is another of what we call a perfect fit for us. He's a defender. He's a combination guard. He can shoot the three. He had more steals in his career than he had turnovers. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He told me last night that he can't wait to get Michael out on the court in a 1-on-1 game, finally, just the two of them in practice. That's going to happen."

Michael is former Kansas State player Michael Beasley, selected by Miami at No. 2 overall.

"He's a great player, a great point guard," Beasley told the Associated Press. "There's a little tension between me and him, him being a Jayhawk and all. We're going to have to get over that."

KU coach Self hopes a lesson is learned about trusting all those draft services that had Chalmers listed as high as No. 12 in Round One. Almost all had Chalmers a certain first-round pick.

"The mock drafts were never close to being accurate. We knew that," Self said. "We talked to teams, and we knew who they were interested in and who they weren't. So those mock drafts, those guys know about as much as I do because we could all sit around and pretend. It is hard to predict the exact signs and certainly those NBA guys have tough jobs and expect the unexpected of the NBA Draft."

¢ Darnell Jackson, who was taken 52nd overall by Miami, was traded to Cleveland for a future second-round pick.

On Friday - a day after he watched the draft with family members and friends at his Midwest City, Okla., home - the 6-8, 250-pounder was introduced to Cavaliers fans and media members.

"I didn't find out until the last minute," Jackson said of the trade. "I was sitting in a room holding my little niece. Everybody was yelling in the house. They come in busting the door down.

"The baby falls out of my hands and lands on the bed. My mom tells me that I'm going to Cleveland.

"I don't know what it is about this place (Cleveland)," he added. "I always had it in my heart and on my mind. I told my mom I always wanted to come here."

That's because of Cavs' phenom LeBron James.

"Ever since I started playing basketball and LeBron was here, I thought how great it would be to run up and down the court with him," Jackson said.

Jackson caught a glimpse of James during one of his two individual workouts with the Cavs.

"He was stretching. I took a little glance over there. Not everybody gets a chance to see the king every day. I said, 'Is that really him?''' Jackson said.

Cavs GM Danny Ferry said he's elated the team landed Jackson.

"He worked and created himself into a very good basketball player," Ferry said. "He will bring toughness and energy to everything he does."

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.


KGphoto 12 years, 3 months ago

tis4tim, Fran Fraschizzle is a joke. He's constantly talking-up how the refs should "set the tone for a game". What is that about? Call em like you see em, or those stripes are gonna start taking on a new meaning.And an indictment of mock drafts has long been in order. Nobody can pretend to know what's going to happen. It's all hogwash. A commercial payload in a dead zone of American athletics. This year's hilarious three card monte makes me believe that draft rooms got together and thought it would be funny to undress all the prognosticators, once and for all.Miami? I have to say it's hard not to like a team with Beasley, Wade and Chalmers. That's a recipe for success. You can build around that. If I were Pat Riley, I might just smoothly slide over into that coaches seat again.

KGphoto 12 years, 3 months ago

"I want to meet this woman of South Beach, she must get around."Strikewso, that's funny!

Gary Bedore 12 years, 3 months ago

Mario pretty much had to leave.You are not going to top hitting the biggest shot in KU history. The odds of that happening again would have been astronomical.The only way he might have benefitted is if Bill made him the point guard exclusively next year. KU pretty much has interchangeable guards, but Sherron will bring it up most of the time.The bottom line is in this new era he had nothing to gain at all by coming back, except the intangibles that players don't care about any more, i.e., being the face of college bball; preseason All-America honors, leading a young KU team to greatness and getting the credit for it, graduating.All those things don't matter much to the elite players anymore. By returning, Mario would have been a failure in the eyes of all the McDonald's All Americans he grew up with. In this day and age it was a no brainer for him.Now he got lucky, cause it worked out perfectly. Miami apparently needs him, unless the Heat makes a big deal to get a point guard or 2. Hinrich could go to Miami in a deal.

actorman 12 years, 3 months ago

Ogden? Are you referring to the writer, Ogden Nash? Oh wait, you must mean Greg Oden, right?

Paul Meyer 12 years, 3 months ago

Even though Chalmers was selected in the 2nd round, out of all the Jayhawks drafted, he probably landed in the best spot with a team that will match his game.

FlaHawk 12 years, 3 months ago

I hope Mario gets his contract guaranteed. Miami is a great spot for him to playing time and prove what he can do!I don't see Miami improving more than +15 games next year (this would be only 30 wins). Look at Seattle with Durant last year. They were almost as bad as Miami (they won 20 games)! It would have been interesting if Ogden could have played to see his affect on Portland last year (they won 41 games)!Unfortuantely, once you play on a misserable team, unless youi are the start (Pau Gasol), you rarely get a chance to move up to a contender. You get branded and probably mentallly burned out with all the losing.Let's hope the best for Mario and at least he will like the SoBe area, He ain't in Kansas anymore!

Joe Ross 12 years, 3 months ago

By the way, any word on whether or not Ronnie Chalmers will remain on staff with the Jayhawks? Didnt Ed Manning kinda disappear when Danny left?

Nutflush21 12 years, 3 months ago

"There's a little tension between me and him, him being a Jayhawk and all. We're going to have to get over that, " said Micheal Beasley.I have a feeling that a sic bankroll and the woman of South Beach will ease the tension real quick.

BigBundyTime 12 years, 3 months ago

A couple of years from now, Chalmers will look back on this and realize that the circumstances that brought him to Miami were one of the best things that ever happened to him.He could have ended up in some hell hole of a city to live and been playing for a loser coach and team that would have undoubtably short-changed his career potential.Instead he gets to live in one of the coolest cities in the country for a young single guy that is soon destined to be rich. Also, he gets to play for a team that will provide him a tremendous opportunity to develop under one of the best coaches in the country.He will get his contract and this situation is all good. Good luck Mario!

Nutflush21 12 years, 3 months ago

jhwkfan- Uh, I think you could say we are a lock for the NCAA tourney. We are returning two elite players and the Big 12 sucks. We are guaranteed 8 conference home victories and play the North. Anything less than 3rd place would be a travesty. I think we are good dude. As for Mario, he had to strike while the iron was hot so get off his ass. He hit one of the biggest shots in the HISTORY of the NCAA tournament. Mario's stock could have never been higher period.

Clarence Haynes 12 years, 3 months ago

I think that the so called draft pundits are overpaid and don't do their homework, especially as it related to the Euro and African players. Nonetheless, Miami traded 2 second round draft choices for him. That should position Mario well for a guaranteed contract.

Joe Ross 12 years, 3 months ago

From middle class Alaska to nouveau riche Miami. That in and of itself is a story line.Congrats Mario (cue Nintendo theme).

KEITHMILES05 12 years, 3 months ago

Kudos to DJ and hope he makes the best of Cleveland. However, Lebron isn't going to be there much longer so DJ needs to make the most of his time with him. I do hope he gets a nice contract. His family so needs the stability and it'd be so fitting if DJ could have some extra to give to his mom.

tis4tim 12 years, 3 months ago

"So those mock drafts, those guys know about as much as I do because we could all sit around and pretend."Pretty strong indictment of mock drafts from self. Interestingly enough, to follow up on cshjhawks point, I don't recall seeing Fran Fraschilla (sp?) release a mock draft list. He was the international player guru that ESPN went to for information after being picked. As much college ball as he's seen, I would think he could do a more accurate mock draft that would include the international guys. Of course, maybe he's just smart enough not to want to look stupid when your picks are completely wrong. (I'm looking at you Chad Ford). Chalmers by the way is in a good spot. He should thrive in Miami.

BigBundyTime 12 years, 3 months ago

My bad...I was referring to Riley. I forgot that he stepped down. It is still a great fit and the organization obviously thinks highly of Mario giving up draft choices and cash.

Dirk Medema 12 years, 3 months ago

I'm not ready to bad mouth the Chad Fords just because a bunch of GM's are still picking a proven "potential" over Mario & CDR. The previous drafts are filled with far too many lemons to believe that the GM's are "right" - except that they have the $.Mario should be ecstatic. Miami was the NBA champions last year (?).

Lance Hobson 12 years, 3 months ago

Miami is far removed from their championship team of a few years ago. I want to meet this woman of South Beach, she must get around.

kc_wildfire 12 years, 3 months ago

BigBundyTime...Erik Spoelstra is one of the best coaches in the country?

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