Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal was on hand at last night’s NBA Draft and provided us a recap of Nerlens Noel’s long, crazy night: “Nerlens Noel didn’t plan on spending four hours trapped in the “phone room” at Thursday night’s NBA draft. He’d hoped to become Kentucky’s third No. 1 pick in four years and proceed to party with his family and friends in New York. Instead, he slid to No. 6, where he saw a silver lining in being picked by New Orleans — because he and Anthony Davis would be a fearsome former-Cat tandem, he said — but was traded before anybody could tell him not to walk into a press conference in a Pelicans hat. So began a long, strange draft night for Noel.
When it was finally over, when he was finally let out of that room well after midnight to go meet all his friends and family that were waiting to celebrate with him, Noel looked exhausted, frustrated, but also motivated.
“A few years down the road when I’m established in the NBA,” he said. “I’ll say this is the night that gave me the motivation I needed to be the player I wanted to be.”