I’ve never met Josemi from Spain. But he became a Pistons fan during the Bad Boys era and follows the team from afar. He liked Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Bill Laimbeer and the rest of the Bad Boys.
He began to email me a few years ago when the Pistons considered drafting Darko Milicic. He told me that Darko was a great practice player but a mediocre player on the floor. He saw Darko play a half dozen times live and said he was nothing special. Josemi liked the Pistons so much that he wanted me to send a message to Dumars and tell him to not draft him.
The Pistons held a pre draft press conference and I told Dumars about my correspondent from Spain. He had a puzzled look on his face and asked “Who is this guy?” I told him but obviously Dumars and the Pistons did not change their minds. This morning I read Wojo’s column in the Detroit News and found an interesting quote from Dumars about Darko.
“After I drafted Darko, the amount of background we do on every player we draft now is ridiculous,” Dumars said. “Looking back, I realize we didn’t know half the stuff we needed to know. From that moment on, I said that’ll never happen again.”
Josemi is not a professional scout. He follows European basketball closely and actually gets to see people play. I wish Dumars had listened to him because the rest is history. Milicic became a bust and hasn’t done anything to warrant being taken second in the draft especially after what Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have done.
This year Josemi wrote and said the European stock is weak this year and that the only Euro worth a first round pick was Evan Fournier from France. He was taken 20th by the Denver Nuggets. He also said the Pistons should have taken a flier on Kostas Papanikolaou from Greece. He also said the Pistons should try to sign former Michigan State power forward Erazem Lorbek, a 6-foot-10 Slovenian who played one year with the Spartans.
The Pistons saw Milicic work out in New York before the draft and liked what they saw. It was exactly what Josemi predicited. He looks good in workouts and could fool a number of teams. Now the Pistons worked out another big man in New York and drafted him. Andre Drummond is a big guy with big potential and big problems. I endorse this pick because the upside is so high. He is a bit of a gamble but it is worth it at pick number 9.