By Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson
We’ve known it since January Ben Simmons to the Philadelphia 76ers and Brandon Ingram to the Los Angeles Lakers.
After that, the rest of last night’s picks in the 2016 NBA Draft was anybody’s guesstimation. Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center was rocking and rolling with 14 international players selected in the first round, an NBA record and what’s startling in a good way is that guys selected last night’s draft were born in the mid to late 90s; that was like Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson’s early years. To piggyback off of writer Aldous Huxley; indeed it is a Brave New World.
The Philadelphia 76ers took three minutes to select Ben Simmons from LSU by way of Australia with their first pick last night. Simmons joins Kyrie Irving (2011) and Andrew Bogut (2005) as the only Australian players ever selected first overall in the NBA Draft. There were a record-tying eight Australians on 2015-16 opening night NBA rosters. Simmons was born in 1996, the same year that Allen Iverson was drafted. Philly’s first top pick since The Answer was taken number 1, Simmons had the ultimate respect for AI dating back to his childhood.
Ben Simmons Chats With Scoop B About Cheesesteaks and Allen Iverson
“A lot of people don’t know that I actually had a poster of A.I. when I was young in my room,” Simmons told me after being drafted Thursday night. “It was a big diamond-cut poster of him. I just remember him being one of those point guards, a smaller guy with cornrows and the headbands. I remember I used to have the cornrows when I was younger. He was one of those players that fought every day.”
Brandon Ingram is the fourth player in Duke history to be chosen with the second overall pick, joining Danny Ferry (1989), Jay Williams (2002) and Jabari Parker (2014). Duke has had at least one player taken in the first round in the last eight NBA drafts. Ingram will of course join the point guard D’Angelo Russell and newly minted head coach Luke Walton in Los Angeles. Born in 1997, it was interesting to hear Ingram’s recollection of the Lakers and Kobe Bryant. Well, I was born in 1997, so it couldn’t be too far, but probably Kobe’s last championship,” said Ingram. “My impression of Kobe is just his drive. Everyone talks about how he works out, his work ethic, and that’s something that I eventually want to get to, of course, and just want to talk with him and try to learn what he did to try to be what he is today.”
Brandon Ingram Talks Kobe Bryant With Scoop B
If it’s the NBA and a function with it’s name on it; guys come out to dress. It felt like my younger brother’s prom. Velvet jackets, high water pants with loafers, dressy sneakers and most noticeable: bowties! Everybody had a bowtie. I felt like I was in Harlem in the 1960s with members of the Nation of Islam selling me bean pies, scented oil and incense. Where did it come from?
“I guess it’s a new generation thing,” the Phoenix Suns’ Dragan Bender told me. It’s great. It’s cool. I guess it’s just a new generation thing.”
Dragan Bender Chats With Scoop B About Toni Kukoc
Jaylen Brown went with the maroon suit get up last night. He admitted to choosing among thousands of various patterns. It looked like an updated, yet stylish version of Hakeem Olajuwon’s 1984 NBA Draft suit. “This is the one that kind of popped out,” he said. “I know a lot of young guys tend to go with flashy colors or fluorescent patterns or floral patterns. I just wanted to keep it simple, classic, timeless, but definitely, definitely classy. That’s what I wanted to do. That matches my personality, so I expressed my personality through my suit.”
Caris Levert was styling perfectly with his Indiana Pacers blue and yellow draft day hat that accentuated his maize and blue sports jacket, a tribute to his University of Michigan Wolverines. The 20th pick by the Pacers, Levert was eventually shipped to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for the rights to Thaddeus Young. Nonetheless, his pick in jacket was on point. Now a Net, he’s excited to get started. “It feels great, they expressed interest me,” Levert told me. “I’m a midwest guy so I’m not that far away. I’m excited to get to know the city.”
Clarence Jones, owner of CJ’s Custom Clothiers in Memphis Tennessee has designed shirts for Shaq, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and suits for Gary Payton, Mason Plumlee and more. Last night he created suits for Deyonta Davis as well as Malik Beasley who was voted Best Dressed by Esquire Magazine for last night’s draft. He was pretty impressed with last night. “I thought it was better than last year,” Jones told me by phone.
“Overall I thought the fashion was pretty good this year. The only problem I had was everybody looked alike. There was nobody that had a different style other than Ben Simmons; it was conservative but business-like. He didn’t look like everybody else. Malik Beasley and Donte Davis looked good too. Deyonta looked conservative for his height. I liked Scal but didn’t care for the white pants. For New York you don’t wear white pants. Sabonis, he looked good, too. He looked really really nice.”
Check out The Brown and Scoop NBA Draft Recap With Jake Brown, Moke Hamilton and I.
Brandon Robinson is a sports and entertainment writer and TV personality. You can catch him daily on CBS Radio’s Play.it Brown And Scoop Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SCOOPB and visit www.ScoopB.com and www.ScoopBRadio.com.