The pictures from the annual NBA rookie photo shoot have finally been released, and, once again, they don't disappoint. No matter what, these photos--which are used for promotional guides and basketball cards mostly--always shatter the awkwardness scale. It's always something. Some years it's crazy poses. (The trampoline year comes to mind.) Some years it's inexplicable angles. Last year it was brick walls as a background. This year combines a few of those to create another memorable experience. I've made a list.
10. Taurean Green
So some of these guys don't know their numbers yet, and I guess those can get photoshopped in later; but for now it's pretty distracting. It's the reverse of the whole Bulls G #23 thing in old video games. Can't they just throw a number one on him to communicate that he was a Blazers first round pick? At least then I could pretend he's Damon Stoudamire. (Green was a second round pick, but that ruins what little of a joke that is. Leave me alone.)
9. Mike Conley...Junior
The purgatorial backdrop is one thing, but when he holds the balls out like that with such a blank expression, it has way more of a "choose your destiny" vibe than I'm willing to accept on a basketball card. (I hear he's friends with Greg Oden.)
8. Adam Haluska
Somewhere between Jeff Goldblum and The Fly.
7. Brandan Wright
The photographers added some sexy shadows to this, but it's most notable because it's the only shot with any accessories other than a ball. Why was this picture just screaming for a towel? What was behind that artistic decision?
6. Julian Wright
Whatever. I'm stuck with him for three years.
5. Spencer Hawes
He actually didn't know he was being photographed doing this; they turned the camera on him while he was trying to get Yi Jianlian to laugh (no dice). Who has more facial expressions: Spencer Hawes or Hilary Clinton?
4. Chris Richard, Al Horford, Taurean Green, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah
It's weird that some guys are prepared for the day in their full-on gear, with team shoes and everything, and some just came in their street clothes--thus the random AF1s and the Minny practice shorts thrown onto Brewer. Maybe they wake them up and shove them into a van, "Room Raiders" style.
It's a shame that KG is gone from the Timberwolves, if only because now no one has the juice to be able to tell Chris Richard not to spend his entire per diem at Golden Corral on the road.
3. Taurean Green, Jeff Green, Kevin Durant, Josh McRoberts, Mike Conley
Obviously, the group picture before this is all the players picked from Florida. But I've been racking my brain to figure out what ties all of these guys together. Did they all get a 3.0 GPA? Are these all the players whose favorite food is pizza? If you have an idea, pace it in the comments.
Is it just me, or is Josh McRoberts looking more and more fratty? I remember when dude was wearing over-sized white tees at the McDonald's All-American dunk contest. Now he looks like a Bret Easton Ellis character. I guess that's Duke for you. That and raping strippers but not really.
2. Jared Dudley
That's not only the subject of the photograph, it's the answer to "Who is the least appropriate player to pose with that question?" I get the feeling that, at the draft, Jared Dudley asked Mike Conley for his number, which Conley hesitantly gave, and then Dudley did the whole "Call me on that number, then your number will be in my phone and all I have to do is put MCJr next to it. Technology's the wave of the future!" thing. Then, for whatever reason (barbecue), Dudley was in Memphis and called MCJr. When he did, Conley let something slip about going to the rookie photo shoot. Dudley then bought a blank Bobcats jersey on his own dime and crashed the party.
1. Kevin Durant and Greg Oden
The future, bitches.