Paulding gets a shot with NBA champions

Monday, June 28, 2004

It was nice to hear Ricky Paulding's name called on Thursday night, even though we had to wait on the other 53 picks just to hear it.

But don't get ahead of yourself.

Just because the NBA champion Detroit Pistons used their one and only draft pick on the Missouri guard, it doesn't mean they're in love with the kid. Heck, he wasn't even their first choice.

Granted, it speaks volumes about what Joe Dumars, the Pistons' head of basketball operations, thought of Paulding's natural ability. But, as it turns out, Paulding wasn't even on the list of players the Pistons brought in for pre-draft workouts.

Dumars said the team was looking for depth at the small forward and guards positions and Paulding was simply the best player left.

And Joe knows. Dumars is a great talent evaluator. He put together the band of misfits and cast-offs that just won the NBA title. Tayshaun Prince is a prime example: 22 other teams passed on him and he nearly slipped to the second round until Dumars made him the Pistons' first round pick (23rd overall) in the 2002 NBA Draft.

Perhaps Dumars sees something similar in Paulding.

Either way, it's a good bet that Paulding will end up landing a spot on the team's roster, if he plays well this summer in the NBA Summer League, as a backup

But there's simply no backup for your week ahead:

Today

* Before I get started, today is my mom's birthday. So if you see her give her a hug, she needs it. Happy birthday, Mom.

* Cape Girardeau Ford and Sons Senior Legion team will host Oakville in a double-header beginning at 6 p.m. at Capaha Field.

Wednesday

* Sikeston visits Cape Girardeau for a game with Ford and Sons Senior Legion team at Capaha Field at 7 p.m.

Friday

* There are a lot of surging teams right now in baseball. The Devil Rays, the Rangers and the Giants have all been surprises. But no team in the National League is hotter than the Cardinals. The Cards host the surprisingly bad Seattle Mariners. The first 25,000 fans 16 and over will receive a cooler.

* The Cape Senior Babe Ruth teams will compete in the annual Firecracker Tournament over the weekend.

Sunday

* What better way to spend Independence Day than watching the Cards beat up the worst team in the Majors? Cards host the Mariners at 1 p.m.

David Wilson is a sportswriter for the Southeast Missourian and his column appears every Monday.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: