With the NBA draft only a few weeks away--what?...it's today?...no, it's not...look it up...oh, you're right--we at Full Frontal thought that a great way to fill space and excite readers would be to look back at the hits and misses from previous Dallas Mavericks drafts. (Remember, our evaluation of a pick has to do not only with how that person performed, but where he was picked and who was picked after him. Also, we take trades into consideration. So don't argue. Got it?)
Best Mav First-Round Draft Choices
1. Rolando Blackman (1981, ninth pick): Getting the best player in franchise history with the ninth pick wins over getting a great player (Mark Aguirre) with the first pick in that year's draft.
2. Dirk Nowitzki (1998, ninth pick): Getting with the ninth pick (after a trade) the man who, barring injury, will surpass Blackman as the Mavs' best all-time player is, again, a scouting job well done.
3. Jason Kidd (1994, second pick): There was a lot of sentiment to take Grant Hill. Given now that Hill's career is likely over, this turned out to be the right pick. Now, trading him were naught berry smart.
4. Derek Harper (1983, 11th pick): The only thing keeping this from being No. 1, given that they got the franchise's all-time point guard with the 11th pick, is that Clyde Drexler was still available.
Best Mav Second-Round Draft Choices
1. Lucious Harris (1993, 28th pick): Still playing big minutes for the two-time Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets, Harris' dead-eye shooting and hustle have kept him in the league for a decade.
2. Eduardo Najera (2000, 38th pick): Ed-die! Ed-die! Ed-die! He isn't tall enough. He isn't quick enough. He's Don Nelson's whipping boy. And fans love him. Hustle will win you admirers.
3. Greg Buckner (1998, 53rd pick): The other steal from '98. The Clemson guard (now with the 76ers) is one of the best defenders in the league (when healthy, which ain't often), and he's a stellar post-up player.
4. Mark Price (1986, 25th pick): The only reason the All-Star guard falls this far is because he was immediately traded to Cleveland, where he shined for a decade.
Best Mav First-Round Busts
1. Samaki Walker (1996, ninth pick): One of the all-time scrubs. Doesn't help that four of the next eight players chosen were All-Stars: Kobe Bryant, Peja Stojakovic, Steve Nash and Jermaine O'Neal.
2. Randy White (1989, eighth pick): Was supposed to be second coming of Karl "The Mailman" Malone. Was actually the second coming of my mailman, Frank.
3. Doug Smith (1991, sixth pick): There was no excuse for this one. I watched Doug Smith play in college. Even then, it was apparent that shooting the basketball was a foreign act to him.
4. Leon Smith (1999, 29th pick): When you trade for this pick and the entire league says, in unison, "Damn!"...well, you know you screwed up. Although, to be fair, he did have big feet.
Friday, 11:50 p.m.: Head to Kroger to get copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and outsmart all the folks standing in line at bookstores.
Friday, 11:57 p.m.: Even though sign outside says no copies of the book will be available until 8 a.m., cashier inside tells me and two other people that she can get the books right now from the back storeroom.
Saturday, 12:02 a.m.: Cashier comes back empty-handed, saying the manager had locked up the books and they indeed wouldn't be available until 8 a.m. Decide to try Borders.
Saturday, 12:10 a.m.: Try to pull into parking lot of Old Town Borders at Lovers Lane and Greenville Avenue. Parking lot is full. Security guards with flashlights direct traffic. Can see line snakes through store. Kids are running around in front of store, inside, everywhere. Later learn more than 700 tickets are distributed so folks can take a number and get their book(s) at the counter in order. (Later find out that store sells all 1,361 copies of book in less than two hours.)
Saturday, 12:12 a.m.: Depressed, go into next-door Tom Thumb to get cold adult beverage to drown nerd-induced sorrows. Store is nearly empty. See stocker looking at me oddly. Walk over to stocker and have following conspiratorial conversation:
Stocker: "You lookin' for the book?"
Me: "I'm lookin' for the book. You got the book?"
Stocker: "How many books you want?"
Me: "I want two books."
Stocker: "Wait here."
Saturday, 12:15 a.m.: I check out with two Harry Potter books. A group of teen-agers wander in, spot the book and freak.
Teen wearing Dr. Seuss hat: "Dude!"
Me: "I know."
Teen: "Dude! My brother is, like, number 677 in line next door. He'll freak!"
Saturday, 12:18 a.m.: Teen in Dr. Seuss hat decides to purchase copy, taunt his brother with it, then run away. I leave feeling as though I've outsmarted about a thousand muggles. Upset only that, in excitement, I forgot to purchase adult beverage.
Full Frontal just received its pop-culture studies diploma from Morning Snooze U., and all it took was two years--not even--of reading the works of critic Tom Maurstad, who interviews more professors per semester than most universities' human resources departments. (More than 25 in the past two years.) Here are 10 (trust us, there's more...we could publish enough on this subject to get tenure) recent faves from the syllabus that got us our education in all things Natalie, Ocean's Eleven and Mr. Rogers, including the classes taught, when we "attended" (in parentheses) and the professors who schooled us. Next semester's curriculum includes a VH1 marathon, a yearlong subscription to Entertainment Weekly and unlimited access to ProfNet.com.
Course: Baring their burden: Dixie Chicks launch full-frontal attack on critics (4.25.03)
Taught by: Robert Thompson, professor of pop culture and TV, Syracuse University
Course: Callers seek less privacy, opt for cell phones instead of booths (4.12.03)
Taught by: Patricia Leavy, sociology professor, Stonehill College in Massachusetts;
Peter Crabbe, Philadelphia-based psychologist; Robbie Blinkoff, anthropologist and author of study The Mobiles: Social Evolution in a Wireless Society
Course: The war is putting stars and their fans at odds (4.3.03)
Taught by: Timothy Burke, cultural history professor, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania; Jeffrey McCall, communications professor, University of Cincinnati
Course: Actress or actor? Some women performers seek equal billing--but that doesn't play for awards. (3.22.03)
Taught by: Robert Beard, linguistics professor
Course: Fred Rogers, 1928-2003: Generations grew up with gentle neighbor (2.28.03)
Taught by: Dr. Robert Billingham, professor of human development and family studies, Indiana University
Course: Still d'ohing strong: Homeric influence of Simpsons goes beyond TV (2.16.03)
Taught by: Matt McAllister, communications professor, Virginia Tech; Mark Conard, philosophy professor and co-editor of the book The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'Oh of Homer
Course: In a Jackass world, sick jokes rule and anyone can be a butt (11.7.02)
Taught by: Tim Burke, cultural history professor, Swarthmore College
Course: In pop culture, 9-11 still "barely a ripple": Impact on TV, movies, music limited as escapism market grew (8.28.02)
Taught by: Tim Burke, cultural history professor, Swarthmore College; Timothy Shary, head of screen studies program, Clark University in Massachusetts
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Course: Elvis Presley's legacy is caught in a trap (8.13.02)
Taught by: Andrew Bergstein, marketing professor, Penn State University
Course: The coo-coo world of cool: Rebelliousness links Ocean's Eleven with its 1960 original (12.9.01)
Taught by: Robert Moore, anthropology professor specializing in "study of cool"