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.
Jul 2, 2015, 2:06 PM EDT
Now, can the Spurs get LaMarcus Aldridge to complement him?
Jul 2, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT
Baynes will reportedly get three-year deal with player option
Jul 2, 2015, 1:23 PM EDT
Indiana shouldn’t feel good about this, even if it was their best option at this point
Jul 2, 2015, 12:29 PM EDT
Monroe agreed to a three-year max contract with Bucks
Jul 2, 2015, 11:51 AM EDT
Atlanta drafted Tavares in 2014
Jul 2, 2015, 11:16 AM EDT
Good deal for Milwaukee and Monroe
Jul 2, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Former Pacers forward said he opted out to win a title
Jul 2, 2015, 10:22 AM EDT
The Kings are going to have to overpay to get players to come to the Kings right now.
Jul 2, 2015, 9:44 AM EDT
Free agents want more than off-the-court opportunities, they want to see a path to winning. Fast.
Jul 2, 2015, 9:06 AM EDT
Kim Hughes: ‘I’m sure he won’t come back’
Jul 2, 2015, 8:34 AM EDT
There are still some very good players on the board
Jul 2, 2015, 8:02 AM EDT
This is a good deal for both sides.
Jul 2, 2015, 1:11 AM EDT
If he does, will Miami trade Mario Chalmers and/or Shabazz Napier?
Jul 2, 2015, 12:01 AM EDT
Good value for Boston
Jul 1, 2015, 11:27 PM EDT
The Warriors are keeping the band together — and they will be at the top of the West for a while.
Jul 1, 2015, 11:27 PM EDT
Philadelphia takes Jason Thompson, Carl Landry from Sacramento
Jul 1, 2015, 11:04 PM EDT
Asik will take some pressure off Anthony Davis
Jul 1, 2015, 9:57 PM EDT
Neither are the Pacers
Jul 1, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Not a good idea
Jul 1, 2015, 7:53 PM EDT
The Brad Stevens Effect
- Report: Pacers agree to four-year, $44 million contract with Monta Ellis 8
- Report: Greg Monroe signing a maximum contract with Bucks 50
- Lakers, Knicks struggle on hectic first day of free agency 58
- Trail Blazers assistant coach: ‘We didn’t publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge’ 9
- Who is left on the board after wild first day of NBA free agency? 29
- Report: Warriors, Draymond Green agree to five-year, $85 million deal 19
- 76ers get Nik Stauskas, first-rounder in salary-dump trade with Kings 54
- Report: Pelicans finalizing deal with Omer Asik 3