The Los Angeles Lakers surprised many when the decision came in that D'Angelo Russell was their selection with the second overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft. Most signals indicated the Lakers were en route to going with Jahlil Okafor as their next franchise big man, but buzz around Russell and the Lakers gained momentum throughout the day. It reached a point where ESPN's Chad Ford updated his mock draft moments before the draft began just to project D'Angelo to Los Angeles.
This is where Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports -- the mighty Woj-Bomber himself -- comes in. Wojnarowski is the boogie man lurking in every corner, breaking every story and taking no front office prisoners. He is the one who knocks, and draft night is one of his favorite events to flex his prowess. Only, this year, with the Lakers on the clock and their draft pick in the air, even he was in the dark.
The first sign of the Lakers keeping their decision stitched to their vest came just as the actual draft selection process -- not the pre-show -- began. All it took was one word to see that the Lakers had sent media for a loop. IF:
If the Lakers chose Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia is locked on selecting Ohio State's DeAngelo Russell, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 25, 2015
Things didn't change once the Lakers were officially on the clock. As fans awaited Mitch Kupchak's decision, so did Wojnarowski. Minutes passed without any breaking report of who the purple and gold were going to take. GQ Magazine interviewed the NBA's breaking news artist, and it sounds like Mitch's ninja training came in handy until the final moments before the pick was official:
So do you know all these picks going in, before the draft even starts?
I feel like I have a pretty good framework of how it might go. But even the Laker one though, to the end, I wasn't sure. Jahlil Okafor and D'Angelo Russell's agents, they were sitting right in front of me, and they were looking at me, going, do you know yet? And I didn't.
And that, my friends, is how you defuse a Woj-bomb.