May 21, 2013, 11:36 PM EDT
Two years ago, Nick Gilbert made famous his catch phrase – “What’s not to like?” – when his father’s Cavaliers won the NBA Draft lottery with Nick as the team’s on-stage representative.
Since, Nick has been asked many times, “What’s not to like?” by interviewers who expect a response without considering that the phrase is rhetorical. Nick was asked the question again Tuesday night at the 2013 lottery, and for the first time, I heard him give a good response to the inherently impossible-to-answer question.
“Well, where I’m at now is the lottery,” Nick said.
Nick’s first lucky break, which resulted in Kyrie Irving, hasn’t helped the Cavaliers escape the dredges of the NBA. But Nick was all business Tuesday in doing his best to help Cleveland get another boost.
Once the top three picks were revealed to belong to the Cavaliers, Wizards and Magic, their representatives left their podiums and stood next to each other as ESPN’s cameras zoomed in on each individually.
Nick held a straight face as long as he could before smiling. Washington’s Bradley Beal also tried to keep a straight face, but he succumbed to smiling even sooner than Nick did. Pat Williams, who had already won the lottery twice with the Magic, immediately flashed a huge grin and gave two thumbs up.
Of course, the Cavaliers won, and Nick dropped any hints of sternness. He celebrated with large group of Clevelanders and honorary Clevelanders, most of them sporting bowties and some, including Dan Gilbert, wearing gaudy wine-red blazers with a Cavaliers logo.
“We’re going to be right back in it next year in a big way,” Dan Gilbert said with one arm around Nick.
Just behind that embrace, Tate Moore fiddled nervously with his phone.
Moore won a Cavaliers contest by submitting a video that explained why he would bring luck to the Cavaliers, earning a trip to New York with the Cleveland contingent. Now, he was trying to use his phone to take a photo, but a non-stop flood of tweets and texts prevented the device from having any use.
The lone break in Cleveland’s good fortune didn’t last long, as Moore was fortunate enough to find someone who could help with his phone. Is he really as luck as he said in his video, or was it an act?
“Going into it, I would say I would do anything to win a contest,” Moore said. “But, hey, I came here, and we won the lottery. So, maybe it is true.”
Even on the flight to New York, Moore and Nick Gilbert routed a couple media members in euchre, a card game we like to play in Ohio, Michigan and Canada.
“Me and Nick, we can’t be beat,” Moore said.
Cleveland can’t win Super Bowls, World Series or NBA Championships. But the city sure can win lotteries.
Posing for pictures, Nick held up two index fingers to signify the Cavaliers’ two No. 1 picks in the last there years.
After the festivities died down, Pat Williams sat to the side of the studio with nobody at his side, hunched over and tuckered out. Bradley Beal hid in a corner behind some cameras to type on his phone.
And, somewhere, Nick Gilbert was smiling without any attempt to stifle it.
Apr 19, 2014, 9:29 AM EDT
The owners are behind Silver’s effort to raise the age limit. Now there’s just the pesky matter of negotiating with the players’ union.
Apr 19, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
You can construct a scenario where the Pacers are in trouble… except they play the Hawks.
Apr 19, 2014, 2:15 AM EDT
Making your playoff preview reading convenient.
Apr 19, 2014, 1:54 AM EDT
Grizzlies’ guard will definitely be missed in the rotation.
Apr 19, 2014, 1:50 AM EDT
We may not see him on the sidelines of TNT games these playoffs.
Apr 18, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT
This should be the East’s most competitive first round matchup.
Apr 18, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT
How quickly can Miami flip the switch?
Apr 18, 2014, 9:16 PM EDT
Can the Pacers regain their early-season swagger now that the playoffs are here?
Apr 18, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT
Expect a fight by the end of Game 2.
Apr 18, 2014, 5:50 PM EDT
People shouldn’t sleep on the Raptors, particularly the Nets.
Apr 18, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT
Dallas has lost nine straight to San Antonio. Don’t expect that streak to stop now.
Apr 18, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT
All the draft lottery odds are here, so Lakers fans can look and see what that little run of wins to close out the season did to their odds.
Apr 18, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
We look at all 8 first round series.
Apr 18, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT
Memphis’ grit and grind will make it hard on the Thunder.
Apr 18, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
Rockets in 7
Apr 18, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT
First-team frontcourt a constant, but guard spots debated
Apr 18, 2014, 12:29 PM EDT
Bulls in 6
Apr 18, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT
While nothing is set in stone (Mike Woodson has yet to be officially fired) you know back channel conversations have already taken place. It sounds like Kerr wants in.
Apr 18, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT
Behold: The Air Jordan XX9.
Apr 18, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT
Kevin Durant and LeBron James finish 1-2 on every ballot
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