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By Bill Simmons on NBA draft

Jerry West
He's never been the same since the 2004 lottery, when the Grizzlies could have kept their No. 1 pick (and gotten LeBron) because the pick was top-1 protected ... and then the lottery started ... and they made it into the top two ... and then, they drew the second pick (meaning they had to send it to Detroit). That may have been the greatest hit-or-miss moment in the history of sports -- for about seven seconds, Jerry West was sitting there thinking, "Either I'm getting LeBron James or I'm getting nothing." If there was ever a moment for an NBA GM to keel over on live TV, that was it.

Anyway, I think that moment crushed West much like the Bias draft crushed Red Auerbach -- both of them were smart enough to know that those opportunities come along once every 10 to 15 years, and when they vanish into thin air, you can't get them back. Maybe that's why West did such a crummy job with the Grizzlies over the past two seasons. Or, he might just be really, really old. It's one or the other. From their drafts (Troy Bell???) to their free-agent signings ($39 million for Brian Cardinal???) to their trades (Eddie Jones???) to their lack of rolling the dice with a flawed superstar and hoping he just needs a change of scenery (Vince Carter???) to continuing to invest in shaky character guys (why Damon Stoudamire after the Bonzi Wells experience???), there isn't a single move The Logo made over the past 16 months that made sense. Not a one. :biggrin:
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