by DAKARAI and RENALDO

The Dorsett brothers hit Brooklyn to witness Bahamian basketball history as Buddy Hield gets selected by the New Orleans Pelicans with the No.6 pick of the NBA Draft. Renaldo (RD) and Dakarai (DD) have different experiences from the journalist and fan perspectives but this incredible story ends the same way for both of them.

 

5:15pm: Uber drops me off at Barclay’s Center (set up early). My first interaction was with the security guard redirecting me from the media entrance to the one for agents, NBA personnel and other important people. I immediately realise that I made the right suit, shirt, tie combination – RD

 

5:45pm: After hustling for a spot in the broom closet of broken dreams also masquerading as the media workroom, I start to miss covering the Final Four and realise how bourgeoisie it made me. We had a grand ballroom workspace, two square meals per day and unlimited snacks (what’s a square meal?). – RD

 

6:10pm: Completely lost in the Barclay’s labyrinth, me and Timmy take wrong turns for about 10 minutes until we stumble on the production floor. In situations like this, I remember it’s best to be like John when you cover an event, whether you have a media pass or not –  just keep walking with confidence until someone stops you. Also be white. John gives the best advice. – RD

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We were able to get this close to the stage. total “Johnning”

6:42pm: Some production assistant gets the walkie-talkie relay that the bus with the draftees has arrived. The entire room starts buzzing. Now I get why everyone in this country is fascinated with prom. Drafts are absolutely guy proms. – RD

 

7:00pm: I find my seat and the first thing jumbotron shows is the kid who cried at the draft last year when the Knicks picked Porzingis.

 

 

Well we know how that turned out. Porzingis was great this season and is probably going to be an All-Star, so when they showed this kid wearing a Porzingis jersey every New Yorker Boooed the crap out of him. The basketball nerds behind me had nothing but hot takes on the entire situation. I realize it’s going to be a good night. – DD

 

7:15pm: I just paid $9 for a hot dog and $13 for a beer at the Barclays Center. In this exact moment I appreciated the hell out of my job, because good lord. – DD

Based on style alone, Buddy was the early leader in the clubhouse

Based on style alone, Buddy was the early leader in the clubhouse

7:20pm: There’s a plethora of white children whippin’ , dabbing’ and hitting the nae nae on the screen when I get back to my seat. Safe to say hip-hop has won the culture wars. Suck it FoxNews.  -DD

 

7:21pm: Overhearing my first “draft style” conversation in the media room and Ben Simmons is compared to a guy heading to his first conference call with the head office while Brandon Ingram is guessed as the guy who’ll never wear a suit again. Buddy’s white jacket stands out immediately though. – RD

 

7:35pm. Cleveland is mentioned and a fan in front of me yells for JR Smith to put his shirt on. Obama agrees with this man. Who knew the Cavs winning the championship would be so lit? – DD

 

7:38pm: Philly fans start an impromptu Ben Simmons chant. This team hasn’t been relevant since Iggy left and they started the #TrustTheProcess rebuild that seems never-ending. But somehow these people are as loyal as Dolphin fans and Ben Simmons is the latest version of the messiah. – DD

7:41pm: I’m half way into this beer and I’m convinced Barcaly’s roofied this beer. Not like the full roof Aura puts in drinks but like half of it. I’m lit already. – DD

7:42 pm. Ally Love is the Nets In house MC. I text Timmy about her immediately…. – DDally-love-2015-nets

 

7:47: Last year’s first round pick Karl-Anthony Towns is at the draft as a commentator for NBATV and he’s already better at it than just about every ex athlete commentator that I’ve seen. Is there anything he can’t do? I’m further convinced Buddy needs to go to ‘Sota. – DD

 

7:50pm: “Cut it” blast sthrough the speakers. Yup we definitely won the culture wars. – DD

 

7:52pm: Lost in the labyrinth again. This time we find a spot that we’re certain we don’t have the clearance for. It’s just to the left of the stage, so close that we can almost reach out and touch Lisa Salters if we wanted to. Pardon the phrasing but she’s got a really powerful MILF vibe going on. – RD

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Lisa Salters though…

 

7:53pm. The dude on the side of me is mansplaining the NBA draft and college basketball to his girlfriend who is feigning interest better than anyone I’ve ever seen. I learn that she’s here to snap his reaction when the Lakers draft Brandon Ingram.  – DD

 

7:57pm: Are they booing LeBron? What’d he do now!? – RD

 

8:00pm We’re about to finally start the draft. They play A$AP Ferg’s “New Level” on the stadium speakers, Nal posts a pic of Buddy wearing 10YS colours on the gram and now I think he’s going number one overall. – RD

 

8:05pm I don’t know who ruins the draft more – Woj, whose tweets reveal who got picked before it’s announced at the draft or Timmy, who reads Woj’s tweets and then screenshots them in the 10YS group like he’s breaking news. -DD

 

8:06pm: I realise the answer to that is Timmy – RD

 

8:10pm: Ben Simmons goes first as expected 76er fans spazz. Brandon Ingram goes to the Lakers and he’s the only one out here making bold fashion choices. The Celtics are up at three and we’re officially on Buddy watch. – DD

 

8:12pm: This spot is perfect for when Buddy gets drafted. Awesome angle for pictures, vids and – gad damn some really aggressive concerned looking lady with a walkie talkie develops a knot in her forehead as she stares at it us. This can’t be good. – RD

 

8:15pm: The Celtics pick Jaylen Brown. All of Boston is one giant confused emoji right now. Nal texts and says Buddy’s face looks like he thought he was going there. Writing notes for this diary I note that Buddy has to a) destroy Jalyen Brown everytime they play and b) smash Jaylen Brown’s girl. – DD

 

8:15pm: Buddy lifts his head up and stares at Jaylen Brown as he gets up from his table. I saw this look twice before – Sweet 16 2015, Final Four 2016. – RD

 

8:16pm: Celtic fans aren’t happy. – DD

 

8:17pm: Forehead knot lady sends her cronies over. Me, Timmy and Ross are shooed away from the perfect spot during prime time for Buddy watch. What If the Suns take him and we miss it? 10YS started the #WhereWeGern hashtag the day before but in a total non facetious matter I had to ask. I legit had no idea where we were going, I was convinced I wouldn’t get the story and the Tribune would fire me over the phone – RD

 

8:18pm: The Suns take Bender at four as expected and here we are the spot we think is the best fit for Buddy. We even started calling them the ‘Sota Wolves in an effort to rebrand them in what will inevitably be a great team, this is the spot we’ve mentioned it in like 10 columns so here we go…..Gat dammit Woj just said they’re picking Kris Dunn. Apparently Thibbs (Sota coach) fell in love with Dunn and couldn’t be talked out of it. Buddy now must also destroy him and smash his girl.

It’s the running theme of this draft. – DD

 

8:20pm: I panicked. The NBA actually gave me great seats about four steps down from where we were standing before we were shooed away. I immediately regret ever losing faith in the Association. I’m seated next to a dad and  his two sons who are super engaged in this draft. They’re guessing picks, criticising GMs, hustling for autographs. These kids are awesome – RD

 

8:21pm: My new lil homies shout “Buddy!” just before Silver announces the ‘Sota pick. Our entire row is deflated when he makes the actual announcement that it’s Kris Dunn. Dunn’s shoes though… – RD

 

8:35 The Pelicans are next up and they also have a future MVP candidate big man from Kentucky. “The Brow” could use some outside shooting and New Orleans would be a cool spot to visit.  I immediately start monitoring Woj’s account even though I’m at the actual draft. My phone is at 15% but I need to document this if Buddy is going here. I reposition the flag I have in anticipation and look around the arena to see about four flags here. – DD

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Whole squad lit. 242! 242! 242!

 

8:39pm: Woj says Buddy is the pick. I stand up and watch as Adam Silver walks to the podium and announce that with the sixth pick in the draft the New Orleans Hornets select Buddy Hield. I look around and see Bahamians in the Barclays Centre losing their collective mind. Non Bahamians start chanting Buddy and even I get caught up in the moment. I immediately start talking up New Orleans to everyone in my section, there’s also a “242” chant in the distance as Buddy points to the crowd. – DD

 

8:39pm: Everything about this moment is surreal. Buddy’s mom fixes his tie. He walks on stage and flashes his “Buddy Buckets” Bahamian flag lining his jacket. He forgets everyone in the arena and points to his family and Bahamian supporters in the crowd. Flags are everywhere and I try to figure out which one is Kari’s. The Bahamian contingent starts a 242 crowd. National pride is at all time high. I get up from my seat to head to the interview room. Drake and Future’s “Grammy” plays in my head. This is our moment. The rest of this draft doesn’t matter. Not to mention the irony of Kari not only enjoying but joining in a 242 chant. Every single thing about this moment is surreal. – RD

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From the moment Silver called his name, Buddy’s focus was on two things – recognising his family and making sure everyone in Barclays saw the flag

9:23pm: My phone died by the time the Bucks were up at pick 10. It’s almost as if it was the nightlife god’s of New York signaling that it was time to move on. – DD

 

10:02pm: I’m back in the media room after following Buddy through the labyrinth. I don’t think people recognise the media gauntlet these dudes have to go through before they’re released to the wild. They literally answer questions and shoot promos for about two hours. – RD

 

10:33pm: Nal finished all his journalism stuff and we immediately raid the NBA Store kiosk at the Barclays Center for some Pelicans gear. “Shawty call the Uber” – DD

 

11:15pm – 5:00am: Yadda Yadda Yadda.

 

5:21am: Draft day complete

 

The best part about this is that we get to do this all over again in 2018. Our prep begins from now. ‘Dre….#WhereWeGern

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All 2018. We (already) outchea. Set up early

 

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