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Anthony Bennett to Cavaliers kick-starts wild, unpredictable draft

Jun 27, 2013, 10:01 PM EDT

Bennett from the UNLV shakes hands with NBA Commissioner Stern after being selected by the Cavaliers as the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft in Brooklyn

NEW YORK – Anthony Bennett began shaking his head side to side just as a reporter began a question about whether Bennett saw any signs of becoming the No. 1 pick.

The question was the only thing Bennett – and the rest of us – saw coming tonight.

Against all odds, the Cavaliers passed on Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo and everyone else to choose Bennett with the top pick.

“I’m just as surprised as everybody else,” Bennett said.

Of course, The Cavaliers continued their trend of trying to prove they’re smarter than everyone else. Tristan Thompson at No. 4 in 2011, Dion Waiters  at No. 4 in 2012 and now Anthony Bennett in 2013 – Cleveland has reached for a player who seemed to be ranked lower by the consensus.

Pre-draft rumors at least linked the Cavaliers to Waiters, and even it’s never publically reported, teams often notify their intended pick before the draft. But Bennett said he never received that courtesy.

“When they said my name, that’s when I knew,” Bennett said.

As tonight falls into a distant memory, few will remember where Bennett went in mock drafts leading up to the real thing. History will forever record Anthony Bennett as the No. 1 pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, and that’s how he and Cleveland will be remembered.

Bennett believes his meeting with the Cavaliers made them remember him.

“I just feel like my personality, I can open up to anybody,” Bennett said. “I can play play with anybody.”

To some, it might have seemed like the Cavs just drafted just anybody. And maybe they did, but regardless of the shock their selection provided tonight, maybe the real surprise will come when Bennett proves himself worthy next season.

  1. bucrightoff - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    David Stern needs to rip off his suit Hulk Hogan style after annoucing his last pick.

  2. mvpolamalu - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    It should be “they’re” instead of “their” in the second paragraph

  3. mvpolamalu - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    I mean 4th

  4. craigmaitland - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Canadians taking over basketball. 1st overall this yr, next yr Wiggins..

    • florida727 - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:28 AM

      Brilliant post. Out of the approximately 450 players that are actively on NBA rosters, Olynyk and Bennett are numbers 9 and 10 from Canada. Yep, they’re taking over basketball alright. Try a little research before making idiotic posts.

      FYI, the others are: Steve Nash, Joel Anthony, Samuel Dalembert, Cory Joseph, Kris Joseph, Andrew Nicholson, Robert Sacre, and Tristin Thompson. Not exactly a “take over” kind of list.

      • tastybasslines - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        You are so brilliant, you went to Google to look up canadian players in the NBA just to respond to an idiot.

        Me? I have no excuse!

    • troy10 - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      That must be because they realize hockey is a dying sport.

  5. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    In a weak draft that has been labeled by the media for weeks / months as having no clear superstar or person worthy of a number one pick, I don’t see how anybody Cleveland took should be a surprise. All of the guys being mentioned as potentially number ones had question marks. Cav’s GM was in a no win situation. Anybody he chose would be labeled a stretch by the media, and if he trades down, they would say he didn’t get enough. From what little I’ve seen of Bennett, he seems to be able to score, but has questionable ability on defense, most likely because he just hasn’t been coached up. Given the Cav’s re-hiring of Mike Brown, known as a defensive minded coach, I’m guessing Bennett will improve there.

  6. silencegooddoer - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I think the CAV’s picked him to add some physicality in the paint. Thier bigs are somewhat soft other than Anderson V who has been injured the last couple of seasons. Seems like the comparison in football can be applied here that they drafted for need of a position assuming they will play him at the 3 spot.

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