Anthony Bennett: The shock of the night was UNLV’s Anthony Bennett going No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Most draft boards projected Bennett getting picked between No. 6 and 10, and ESPN anchors were aghast at the announcement.
The pick was a certainly head-scratcher, but Bennett is laughing all the way to the bank. The young 6’8” forward will earn an additional several million dollars by going No. 1 instead of his projected spot at No. 7.
Google (GOOG): Victor Oladipo, one of the hottest names coming into the draft, arrived at the event wearing Google Glass. It’s unclear whether this was a Google marketing ploy or Oladipo’s own doing, but it was nonetheless a successful fashion statement.
Some have deemed the device awkward-looking ,but Oladipo reignited Google Glass’s cool factor and sported the device with style. The product is perhaps the most anticipated device out in a slew of upcoming wearable gadgets, and is set for mainstream release in late 2013 or 2014.
Yahoo (YHOO): Yahoo’s reporting staff was a step ahead of ahead of ESPN at all times during the draft, even though ESPN provided the coverage. “According to Yahoo” was mentioned several times on air, which further established Yahoo as one of the most credible sports sources in the industry.
Adrian Wojnarowski, or “Woj” as they call him, was running the Twitter show all night. His Twitter feed announced dozens of picks even before David Stern walked up to the podium. If it wasn’t the case already, the Woj-Yahoo team is officially basketball’s most credible source for news and analysis. CEO Marissa Mayer looks on in approval.
Disney (DIS) – The 2013 NBA Draft was chock-full of surprises, trades, and fun personalities. As a result, the event reminded viewers that the draft isn’t just a prolonged announcement of names, but one of the most exciting basketball events of the year.
ESPN’s draft day viewership should therefore hit a new high next year, especially with super prospects Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins expected to declare. As ESPN’s parent company, Disney stands to gain the most.
Shane Battier: Battier conducted the floor interviews for ESPN on draft night and clearly has a future in broadcasting. He spoke smoothly, looked natural, and has a deep, commanding broadcasting voice.
Battier was also quite funny, telling Otto Porter, “you are going to save so much money on moving costs,” when Porter was drafted by the Washington Wizards after attending Georgetown. Battier isn’t done as an NBA player, but unquestionably has a place in the broadcasting world when he decides to step away from the game.