SACRILEGE!!! Reasons why the NBA Draft is better than the NFL Draft

Shaq to the Cavs!  Vinsanity to the Magic!  Jefferson to the Spurs!  THAT is why I love the NBA come draft time.


The NBA Draft doesn’t receive nearly the hype or publicity that the NFL does.  Heck, ESPN promotes the NFL Draft months ahead of time.  Football fans plan their entire weekend around the event.  Mel Kiper goes months without sleep.  And while NBA fans on draft night don’t show quite the same fervor as their pigskin brethren, rest assured Tyler Hansbrough still heard heckling from the rafters. 


While baseball and hockey drafts come and go in relative obscurity, the NBA draft is the only thing that comes close to matching the regalia of the NFL.  It’s kind of like an NFL Draft Lite.  It doesn’t take the entire weekend; it’s over in one evening.  The 2009 NFL Draft had 256 picks, the NBA has 60 picks.  Of course the nature of the sports are different, but by the time the NFL Draft is finally over, Chris Berman and his cast look like they’ve been in the back of a van on a police stakeout, eating nothing but donuts and coffee for weeks.  The NBA Draft doesn’t require that intense of an investment.  It’s just easier to stomach.


This may come as sacrilege to hardcore NFL draft fans but the sport also does not allow for blockbuster trades around draft time to shake up the league.  Fans rarely see huge names shipped from one team to another.  The NBA, on the other hand, is a different animal altogether and this week was no exception.



Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers enticed their fans by landing the game’s biggest name and biggest player, Shaquille O’Neal.  The San Antonio Spurs reminded everyone they are no longer an afterthought by dealing for Richard Jefferson.  Only hours before the draft kicked off, the defending Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic surprised everyone by trading for Daytona native Vince Carter.  That makes three contenders dramatically shuffling their roster one day before the draft to inch closer to a championship.


The NBA is every fan’s fantasy league, where big trades happen.  You would never see NFL teams deal Tom Brady or Peyton Manning in their prime.  The league’s salary structure doesn’t allow for it.  But now fans get to see the Big Cactus play for his fourth professional team and very possibly contend for a title once again.  By the time it’s all said and done, Shaq will have played with Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.  The only other players that can say that are the recent US Olympic gold medal champions.  NBA junkies are already fired up to see what this dynamic duo can do against the likes of the Lakers, Celtics, Nuggets and revamped Spurs and Magic. 


A successful draft is also more important to a basketball team than in football.  A key NBA prospect can dramatically alter the course of an NBA franchise.  For example, since 1979, 11 number one NBA draft picks (Magic, Worthy, Sampson, Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, O’Neal, Iverson, Duncan, James and Howard)  have led the team that drafted them to an NBA Finals.  Over that same time period, only three top NFL picks (Aikman, Manning and Manning) have done the same.


Call it a personal preference but in this day and age of instant gratification, I’m perfectly okay with not seeing who the Browns selected with the 195th pick of the draft.  Give me two rounds, one night and I’m out.

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31 Replies to “SACRILEGE!!! Reasons why the NBA Draft is better than the NFL Draft”

  1. Chris,

    This might be the first time I truly disagree with you. For me, the NBA draft is a lot closer to the MLB and NHL Draft except I know a few more of the players in the NBA draft (although that number shrinks every year…I guess I don’t follow enough Italian, Spanish and Israeli basketball).

    You say “It doesn’t take the entire weekend; it’s over in one evening.” I don’t know about you but for me a great weekend trumps a great night!” Advantage: NFL Draft

    You say “This may come as sacrilege to hardcore NFL draft fans but the sport also does not allow for blockbuster trades around draft time to shake up the league. Fans rarely see huge names shipped from one team to another. The NBA, on the other hand, is a different animal altogether and this week was no exception.” And why is this a reason why the draft is better? If anything, this just shows how meaningless the draft is when a trade for 38 year old Shaq is the biggest deal to come out of draft night coverage. The NFL does not let silly trades effect the glory that is the draft. Advantage: NFL Draft

    You say “You would never see NFL teams deal Tom Brady or Peyton Manning in their prime. The league’s salary structure doesn’t allow for it. But now fans get to see the Big Cactus play for his fourth professional team and very possibly contend for a title once again.” Are you saying Shaq is in his prime? That’s just silly. He is old and beaten down. You are correct that you won’t see Manning or Brady get traded but you also won’t see Lebron, Carmelo or D-Wade get traded any time soon. Let’s see who got traded this week: Shaq, Vince “half man, half a season” Carter and Richard Jefferson. A has been, a never was and a never will be. Hardly Manning or Brady material. Advantage: NFL Draft

    You say “A successful draft is also more important to a basketball team than in football. A key NBA prospect can dramatically alter the course of an NBA franchise. For example, since 1979, 11 number one NBA draft picks (Magic, Worthy, Sampson, Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, O’Neal, Iverson, Duncan, James and Howard) have led the team that drafted them to an NBA Finals. Over that same time period, only three top NFL picks (Aikman, Manning and Manning) have done the same.” This is at best an argument for why first round picks are more important for NBA teams but how many second round NBA picks have an impact? The NFL is a better draft because it is a deeper and more meaningful draft. Sure the NBA 1st rounder is important but in the NFL, it’s who you get in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth (Tom Brady) rounds that make or break a franchise and is the final reason why the NFL Draft is deeper and way more meaningful and exciting as a whole than the one meaningful / one irrelevant round hit or miss NBA Draft. Heck, the NBA Draft isn’t even important enough to be held on the weekend! Advantage: NFL Draft

    I am sorry my friend but I truly believe that the NFL Draft is way superior to the NBA Draft.

  2. Thanks Chris! That actually felt pretty good. I haven’t had a good sports debate in awhile.

  3. Well, allow me to retort, because I know you’d be disappointed if I didn’t…

    1) One great night is better than one lousy weekend. I know you’ve been there before.

    2) Remember when New Orleans traded all their draft picks for Ricky Williams or when the ‘boys moved Herschel? Those were silly trades that made the NFL Draft a little more exciting, no? Two of those Cowboys picks turned out to be Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson. And that Williams deal essentially got Ditka run out of New Orleans, not to mention provide us with that jarring Sports Illustrated cover of Ricky in a wedding dress.

    3) Shaq is by no means in his prime, but Richard Jefferson is and Vinsanity isn’t far from it. For better or worse, the Shaq deal will dramatically affect their performance this season. Cavs fans have to be pinching themselves and their team made one last ditch effort to keep Bron Bron in their city. I’m okay with teams shaking up their rosters to make a push for a championship. Look at the Colts this year. They’ll win their 10 games but they are far from a lock for the Bowl.

    4) The NFL has 11 players on either side of the ball. The NBA features five guys that play both ends. By the very nature of the sport, a lengthier draft and more specified positions allow for later rounds to have diamonds in the rough.

    How’s G’ville treatin’ ya?

  4. Thank God it’s over in one night. The NFL needs to steal that idea. The NFL also should have a 3 minute time limit in between picks. They know the kids inside and out, they don’t need 15 minutes to write a name down. It’s not like they’re making a trade or anything.

  5. Gene,

    Didn’t the NFL take a page out of that playbook and shorten the time between picks? I think they dropped it this year from 15 to 5 but I’m not sure.

    Either way, it’s still an investment.

  6. I know they shortened the time of the other rounds, not sure if they finally shortened the first yet or not.

    NFL’s draft is way overrated. Two thirds of the picks never make a team. Yet, the GMs think those draft picks are better than proven playmakers.

    No team would give a 3rd round (unproven) pick for Moss a couple of years ago. WTF?

    Tenn. only got a 3rd round pick for McNair a few years ago. WTF?

    These guys were proven All-Pro players. But the teams would rather take a chance with some kid that they pick in the 2nd round.

    I’d like to hear a GM’s reasoning behind that. It can’t be money. The draft picks are getting more than the proven vets.

  7. Gene… Does the fact that neither you nor I know for sure indicate that nobody’s watching?

    And regarding rookie salaries, I think we’re about to see a major shift in that and other things with the upcoming NFL collective bargaining agreement.

  8. Hey Chris,

    I will concede a good night is better than a lousy weekend. I have been through both of those 🙂

    You talk about New Orleans and the Herschel example as dome draft day decisions but I think the NBA has had some dumb draft decisions as well. Bowie over Jordan, Milicic over ‘Melo, Wade and Bosh, almost every pick by the Knicks in the last 15 years…..the point is I don’t see how this stupidity is unique to the NFL. There have been some bad NBA draft decisions.

    I agree that the Shaq, Jefferson and Half-A-Season trades will have impact on the next NBA season and those trades will be more meaningful than any NFL trade but my original point was comparing draft to draft not trade impact to trade impact. The NFL would never allow a trade to hijack it’s draft weekend coverage the way the Shaq trade hijacked the NBA draft this year. If we were debating trade impact between the NFL and NBA, the NBA wins hands down but I don’t see this as a draft thing.

    I agree with you that the 11 players and greater specificity means you need a deeper draft where first rounders don’t always matter as much as 3rd-6th rounders. I do think if we were just talking 1st rounder impact on a franchise, the NBA wins hands down. Over the length of the draft, I think I still go with the NFL draft.

    I am actually out of Gainesville and Florida altogether. I am living in Boston now and trying to avoid Red Sox fans at all cost!

  9. Boston???

    I hope you brought a parka. Blood thickened yet? Doing any radio work?

    And if you’re writing or have a site, we need to exchange blogrolls.

  10. Chris aka sportschump …..

    Didn’t watch the draft. Much as I didn’t watch the US soccer match against Brazil. Much as there was very much a thrilling drama to be played out.

    I don’t really put much store in either of the events. The draft to my mind means absolutely nothing. Not until the guys get a feel of a few months under their belts playing in the league.

    As for the soccer match. That was much about hyping up a team that on the face of it. This was merely their last hurrah. They’re unlikely to do that much in the World Cup should they qualify. For now it was merely a story in order to bring about the usual amount of patriotism.

    Spent the last few days deep in business. It’s been a nightmare !

    Alan ……….

  11. Hey Chris,

    Beantown! I did have to buy a winter coat for the first time in over a decade. I think the blood has thickened a bit but the Winter was brutal.

    I am doing radio work for the Manchester Wolves arena football 2 team. I am broadcasting games with Dick Lutsk, a former play-by-play man with WEEI in Boston. He used to do Boston College Football and I believe he did the Red Sox for awhile. He does the play-by-play and I’m doing the color commentary. I’m not doing much writing, just helping our PR Director with post game stories for the af2 website and the Associated Press.

    I wish I had more time to write but with the new job this year plus coaching youth football and lacrosse and working with the Wolves, I just don’t have the time. Maybe at some point in the future!

  12. Chris aka sportschump ….

    Here’s my piece on the Coyotes and Lightning. Let me know what you think as to the merits of the piece ? As and when you’re ready . I’ll look forward to reading your comments.

    Here’s a link to the piece in question.

    It Just Screams Idiocy ……


  13. Chris …..aka sportschump

    Well I wasn’t all surprised by the US Brazil match result. But then there was very real chance of them winning at all.

    Consistency has never been the norm for a US soccer team. Much like the same can be said for US men’s tennis at this moment in time.

    This was a piece that I’d completed on the game between the US and South Africa .

    Soccer We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Soccer

    Alan ………

  14. Fenway Frank… Sounds fun, man. At least you’re keeping busy.

    Know you’ll always have a venue on here to express your opinions, not matter how wrong they are. he he.

  15. Chris aka sportschump ……..

    What’s the first rule you’re always told when it comes to sports ? No lead is ever safe !
    And that’s what led to the US’s demise against Brazil. They became conservative and chose to try and defend that lead.

    And once their luck had ran out the waves just came rushing in. As Brazil pursued to erase the deficit and lay assault on Tim Howard , the US team goalkeeper.

    As to Koules and Barrie of the Lighting. What they know about running a professional sport’s franchise could be written on the back of a first class stamp for all that it’d be worth. And the same can be said for the team’s GM Brian Lawton. That trio couldn’t tell their own as_s from their elbows were they given an illustration.

    All they’ve done is to blow hot air up everyone’s as_s within the Tampa Bay community.

    But you’ll hear the likes of WDAE be steadfast in trying to defend some of the decisions being made . Another poorly ran outfit !

    Check these out and let me know what you think ?

    Soccer We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Soccer …

    Well That Was The Weekend That Was ……

    Alan ………

  16. Chris aka sportschump …

    There’s but one world class player on the US team. And that’s the US goal keeper Tim Howard. I know some might say that a number of the players are also plying their wares in Europe. But none of them other than Howard is actually playing in a marquee league, much less top tier team .

    Which in effect tells you all you need to know when it comes to what ails the US men’s soccer team.

    Have you had your slice of Italian today ? Here’s something that I hope’ll keep you feeling good ?

    Monica Bellucci … a montage of tasteful pics.


  17. WHY would Milwaukee not want to keep Villanueva? He’s a young, steady scorer/rebounder who comes cheap.

  18. Donny C… it’s baseball season.

    Aren’t you paying more attention to how Brotha E is berating you or how close the Mets are to underachieving?

  19. Chris aka sportschup …….

    I know that this’ll be viewed as somewhat scathing. But you could’ve inserted Clay Aiken, AI’s Adam Lambert , Perez Hilton and the end result would’ve still been the same concerning the Magic and Lakers.

    That’s not to totally emasculate Dwight. But WTF ? If you wanna be the man then at least play like one. As for the US it’s as I’ve already said protecting a 2-0 lead is the hardest thing to do. Especially when as a team you’ve never been known to be consistent.

    This ought to be a creative learning tool for the coach Bob Bradley and no doubt the team.

    Here are my two latest . One is on the sport of MMA and their upcoming promotion UFC 100. And the other deals with in part some of the sporting weekend events. Well some of those that I found somewhat interesting. Unfortunately there’s no mention being made of The National Strippers’ Pole Dancing Championships. And for that I must profoundly apologize !

    Well This Is The House That Dana White Built But Who’s Goin’ To Tell Him How To Run It ?

    Well That Was The Weekend That Was ….

    Well it looks as if the whole of Houston is waiting with baited breath as to the fate of Yao ? It’ll be sad if his career has to be curtailed due to the complications of a recurring injury. But it’s better to be safe than sorry at this juncture. As no one really knows how serious the injury is said to be. Suffice to say I think that the guy’d give up playing rather than end up quite possibly being a cripple.

    Alan ………..

  20. That is definitely too bad about Yao. I wonder what bearing that will have on T-Mac’s future with team.

    It’s rumored that they’ve been shopping him around anyway.

    I also heard that the Pistons let go of Curry. One and done, man. Ouch!

  21. Chris ……

    The Pistons letting go of Curry isn’t of any great surprise. He was in way over his head ! More to the point what the hell was Dumars thinking to begin with ? First he gets rid of Billups who goes on to steer the Nuggets into the playoffs and Western Conference semi-finals.

    And now when you look at the Pistons they’re akin to the walking wounded . They’re looking old , decrepit and out of sorts.

    See my piece on the situation concerning the T’wolves and their drafting of both Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio. And oh by the way they’ve also got on Nick Calathes on their roster as well .

    Just click on the text to view.

    Ricky Don’t Lose That Number …More To The Point More Teams Are Said To Be Beguiled By Ricky Rubio …..

    Alan aka tophatal ……

  22. Chris aka sportschmp ….

    It’s definitely bad with regard to Yao. But the Rockets has been a franchise that’s been in a mess. And that has stemmed from the fact that their front office hasn’t assembled a team around him.

    It’s only been their most recent run in the postseason . That many of us truly realized what this team was capable of doing. And that was telling from the mere fact McGrady wasn’t part of it all. Which tells me that they need to get rid of T-Mac once and for all ! And that’s even if it comes to being a financial burden for the franchise. Either through a buyout or eating his contract. Because on the face of it I doubt that there’s a franchise wishing to be encumbered with his big a_ss contract and getting nothing in return in terms of a real commitment on the court.

    Alan aka tophatal ………

  23. One thing is for sure. Any more drastic failures and Joe D will have to be held responsible. That Darko pick over ‘Melo pales only in comparison to Bowie over Jordan.

    I don’t understand why Laimbeer is not getting a look as the next head coach. I like the Avery Johnson selection but Doug Collins? Really?

    The only good thing about that hiring is that we won’t have to listen to him on TNT any longer.

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