CHARLOTTE -- Seven-footers with 270-pound frames arent used to waiting around for much when it comes to basketball. Playing time, rebounds, blocked shots and multi-year contracts all seem to come to them easily at times.
Yet, there Brendan Haywood sat in a suit, waiting for a chance. Not in a warm-up suit, but a navy pinstriped suit, sitting alongside his mother in the Green Room, hoping to hear NBA Commissioner David Stern stroll across the Madison Square Garden stage and announce his name.
As expected, three high school centersKwame Brown, Tyson Chandler and Eddy Currywere each called in the top four ahead of him in a draft that placed a premium on potential over actual production. Then a familiar name to Haywood was called out by Stern: With the 8th pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select from Oak Hill Academy DeSagana Diop.
Haywood would eventually follow 12 picks later, putting on the same Cleveland Cavaliers hat that Diop had put on an hour earlier.