Top pick Davis won't be brow beaten
NEWARK, N.J. (AP)
Anthony Davis made the unibrow look trendy during Kentucky's run to the national championship and it picked up speed as the NBA draft drew closer and the 6-foot-10 freshman was a lock to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Minutes after the New Orleans Hornets selected Davis with that first pick Thursday night, the Chicago native was asked about his eyebrows that come pretty close to being one long one that stretches over both eyes.
''As far as endorsements, still working on the endorsements and still working on the shoe contract but I think everything will fall into place,'' Davis said when asked about his immediate future as an NBA player.
He was then asked if the brow was going to be part of the endorsements.
''Most definitely,'' he said before adding, ''Unless I cut it off.''
FAMILY WAY: When Austin Rivers of Duke was taken by New Orleans with the 10th overall pick, it extended the streak of at least one son of a former NBA player being drafted to 11 years.
Rivers, who played one season at Duke, is the son of longtime NBA guard Doc Rivers, who is the coach of the Boston Celtics. The newcomer to the NBA said it wasn't a relief to be drafted into the conference his father's team doesn't play in.
''No, I think that's even more fun, go against my dad,'' Rivers said. ''It's competitive, bragging rights in the house, little things like that. Listen, I want my dad to do the best, except when we play them. It's no pressure whether I play him or not.''
The father and son had a chance to share a hug when Austin's name was called.
''He just said `I'm so proud of you.' He just said `I love you and you are ready,''' Austin Rivers said. ''I'm here now and I just have to keep getting better, keep working, keep learning and, you know, take myself to New Orleans.''
Klay Thompson of Washington State was taken 11th by Golden State last year to keep the streak alive. He is the son of Mychal Thompson, the overall No. 1 pick in 1978 by Portland out of Minnesota.
The father-son streak started in 2002 when Mike Dunleavy Jr. of Duke was taken third overall by Golden State.
OTHER ONE: Anthony Davis was just the second Kentucky player to be taken as the No. 1 overall draft pick and both were selected in the last two years. John Wall was taken No. 1 by the Washington Wizards in 2010.
Davis is the third player from the Southeastern Conference to be taken No. 1, joining Wall and Shaquille O'Neal of LSU in 1992.
The last No. 1 overall pick before Davis to be selected after winning the national championship the previous season was Danny Manning who was taken by the Los Angeles Clippers just months after leading Kansas to the 1988 national championship.
RECORD-TYING: Kentucky had six players drafted, tying UNLV's 35-year-old record. There was quite a difference in the two groups, however.
Kentucky's six players taken Thursday night were Anthony Davis, (No. 1 New Orleans; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2 Charlotte); Terrence Jones (18 Houston); Marquis Teague (29 Chicago); Doron Lamb (42 Philadelphia); Darius Miller (46 New Orleans).
None of UNLV's players taken in 1977 went in the first round with three taken in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth. Those selected were Glen Gondrezick (No. 26 New York); Eddie Owens (31 Kansas City); Larry Moffett (34 Houston); Sam Smith (48 Atlanta); Robert Smith (65 Denver); Lewis Brown (69 Milwaukee).
FIRST FOUR: North Carolina had four players - Harrison Barnes (7 Golden State), Kendall Marshall (13 Phoenix), John Henson (14 Milwaukee) and Tyler Zeller (17 Dallas) taken in the first 17 picks, three spots off the record.
Duke in 1999 and North Carolina in 2005 both had four players taken in the first 14 picks.
Duke had Elton Brand (1), Trajan Langdon (11), Corey Maggette (13) and William Avery (14) taken in 1999, while Marvin Williams (2), Raymond Felton (5), Sean May (13) and Rashad McCants (14) of North Carolina were taken in 2005.
In 2010, Kentucky had four players selected in the first 18 picks.
The Wildcats had four players taken in the first 29 picks of this year's draft: Anthony Davis (1 New Orleans), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2 Charlotte), Terrence Jones (18 Houston) and Marcus Teague (29 Chicago).
There now have been six schools to have had four or more players taken in the first round in one year with Kentucky's five in 2010 the record.
CONFERENCE CALL: The Southeastern Conference provided the first three players selected in the draft with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky and Bradley Beal of Florida.
The last time that happened was 1986 when Brad Daugherty of North Carolina, Len Bias of Maryland and Chris Washburn of North Carolina State - all from the Atlantic Coast Conference - were taken as the top three.
The Southeastern Conference led the way this year with eight players taken in the first round. The Atlantic Coast Conference was second with six picks and the Big East had five. The others with more than one pick were Big 12 and Pac-12 with three each and the Big Ten had two.
SAME TEAM: Kentucky's Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist became the first college teammates to be selected with the first two picks of the draft.
''No. I was shocked at first. I was shocked,'' Kidd-Gilchrist said when asked if he and Davis, who are very close friends, talked about being the first two picks. ''No we didn't. We didn't at all.''
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, and Lucius Allen of UCLA were picked first and third in 1969.
In a two-year period teammates were taken second and third twice. In 2002, Jay Williams and Mike Dunleavy Jr. of Duke were taken second and third, and two years later, Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon of Connecticut were selected second and third.
GO GREEN: The place to be during the NBA draft is the ''Green Room,'' a cordoned-off area just in front of the stage where players and their families and friends sit at round tables and wait to hear their names called by Commissioner David Stern.
The league invites players to sit in that area and other players who attend the draft are provided seats in the stands at the Prudential Center.
Moe Harkless of St. John's was the first player to be drafted Thursday night who wasn't in the Green Room.
''I felt that I should have been invited to the Green Room, but like I said, it really didn't matter to me because I'm just blessed to be here,'' the freshman said after being taken 15th by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harkless said it was OK being in the stands as other names were called.
''Watching those guys, I'm definitely happy for those guys because a lot of those guys I know,'' he said. ''Whether I was in the Green Room or not, it didn't really matter. Just grateful to have my name called and be given the opportunity.''
NO LOCALS: For the second straight year the NBA held the draft at the Prudential Center in Newark.
There were plenty of fans on hand but none of them would get to see who was taken by the local team because there is no local team.
The Nets, after 35 years in New Jersey with homes in Piscataway, East Rutherford and Newark, have moved to Brooklyn to play in the new Barclays Center. The Nets played their last game in the Prudential Center on April 23, a 105-87 loss to Philadelphia, and all the banners honoring teams for playoff runs and individual players were gone quickly after that.
''Hey,'' one NBA executive said with a smile, ''there is a WNBA team playing here.''
The New York Liberty use the Prudential Center as a home court with Madison Square Garden undergoing renovations for the second of three offseasons.
WEBER DROUGHT: When Damian Lillard was taken sixth overall by the Portland Trail Blazers he became the first player from Weber State to be drafted since Willard Sojourner was taken in the second round - 20th overall - by the Chicago Bulls in 1972.
The most recent player from Weber State to play in the NBA was Eddie Gill, who played in six games for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2008-09.
''Weber State was one of the first schools that recruited me. I built a relationship with them from day one,'' Lillard said of the Big Sky school in Ogden, Utah. ''They never tried to blow smoke. They were honest with me from jump. They told me if I don't go to class, you're going home, if you don't work hard, you're going home. And I felt comfortable with the things that they valued because that's what I was raised in and that's how my family was.''
The 6-foot-3 Lillard averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists last season for the Wildcats.
INTERNATIONAL PICK: Evan Fournier, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard from France, was the first international player not to have played at a U.S. college chosen when Denver took him with the 20th pick of the first round.
''I'm just so happy right now. It's amazing,'' he said. ''It's like a dream. I can't wait to go to Denver to meet my new teammates in the organization.''
Last year, the first international player was selected a lot sooner as center Enes Kanter, who never played a game for Kentucky having been ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA for accepting improper benefits from a Turkish club team two years earlier, was taken third overall by Utah.
A record 10 international players were taken in last year's first round. Four were taken this year in the 30-pick first round.
CALIPARI'S POINT: When Kentucky's Marquis Teague was taken 29th overall by the Chicago Bulls it kept alive coach John Calipari's five-year streak of having a freshman point guard taken in the first round. The latest one of the group, however, was taken a lot later than the others.
For the past four seasons, a freshman point guard from Calipari's program at Memphis or Kentucky was taken in the top eight picks.
Derrick Rose, the first pick in 2008 by Chicago, and Tyreke Evans, the fourth choice of Sacramento in 2009, both played one season under Calipari at Memphis. John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick by Washington in 2010, and Brandon Knight, the eighth overall pick by Detroit, both played for Calipari at Kentucky.