Some friends and I have played fantasy basketball for about 15 years now. Some teams have left and others have joined. The league started when we were in college. When we graduated we decided we could not let this league fall apart. Mainly because we figured it is a good reason to get together every year.

As time elapsed there were more and more online leagues available. We have thrown around the idea of using an online league just from an ease of use standpoint. One thing we will not compromise on is having the draft in person. Sure most of these leagues are setup to allow the draft to happen online as well, but our league has really been focused on the draft. We have a fair amount of participation from owners living in Chicago and Minneapolis. We also have an owner in the Bay Area. It is really a good way to have a “guys weekend.”

It used to be that we said the winner of the league would host the following year’s draft. That meant if someone in Chicago won the league, the Mpls. folks would have to (as if it is a bad thing) fly to Chicago for the next year’s draft. Over the years we have just decided to keep the draft in Minneapolis.

Well, this coming weekend is “Draft Weekend.” It really isn’t a one day event. Friday night the lie’s and rumors begin. A few things that may be mentioned Friday evening are:
• The rumor is Kobe is going to Miami to be with Shaq again. He’ll get less shots in Miami than he was getting in LA.
• I can’t believe how well Adam Morrison has been playing in the pre-season.
• What do you think about Tim Hardaway’s comeback effort? Do you think he’ll start in Memphis?
• I can’t believe Rashard Lewis just got busted for steroids

The actual draft will happen Saturday. The fun really begins with our own lottery. Put all of the teams in a hat and start picking them out. The first team out of the hat will draft last. The last team out gets the first pick.

Once the picks begin, the trash talking really gets underway. We don’t get three picks into the draft and someone is blurting out, “First mistake of the draft!” or “Whoa, you want him in the second round even though he’ll be out until February?” These are great only because we have always had the rule that if you say a name, he is on your team. You cannot undo the pick. This is mainly because there is nothing funnier than having someone draft a guy that is out for the year and have everyone immediately burst out laughing.

Through the course of the season more trash talking will happen, mainly through email and our chat room. It is all in good fun and gives us a good excuse to stay in touch.

To the teams that will be flying in….after this weekend, we’ll see you in Vegas in March. Until then, I’d highly recommend checking the injury report AND police reports this year. You may just change your draft strategy.

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