By Steve Haywood Special to Published Jun 26, 2008 at 1:37 AM

Did you see that? Well, did you? I saw the NBA Finals, and I thought it was interesting that Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce won a championship together and it was in BOSTON! One of the two epicenters in the history of the NBA, the other being the team they beat, Los Angeles.

It all becomes one big cycle, the Alpha and the Omega. I say this because of the NBA Draft coming up tonight. The NBA Draft is the start of the cycle in terms of major success or complete failure -- depending on what you do that particular draft and who you pick. Some players turn out to be exactly as predicted in terms of turning the fortunes of a franchise around by their mere presence and weight of pure impact due to talent, from Bill Russell in the beginning of the Celtics dynasty to Tim Duncan making the San Antonio Spurs an every-other-year champion. Then there are other drafts like, well let's not go there. There are too many Sam Bowie, Kwame Brown etc... Let's just not go there.

Kevin Garnett carried a franchise for a generation, doing the best he could but it wasn't enough. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce had a little taste of success in years of their careers, but just needed a little more help and, incredibly, it was with each other this season they got it done.

All three were without question impact draft picks and had major influence on the franchises for which they played. The draft helps a franchise develop a foundation, a stable anchor but it is like my haberdasher Elliot Torrence has taught me about putting together a great suit, the foundation is the pants and the blazer, the key to the look is the accessories, from the shoes to the sunglasses.

The next generation of LeBron, Carmelo and Dwyane Wade (who got his ring in ‘06) are the focus of the next generation of players coming up, but there are others, too. This is why the NBA will become more relevant again as it was in the 80's and 90's because of new blood coming in and spreading out through the NBA Draft. The Bucks and the other 29 teams will have a chance to change their fortunes with the reading of a name at a podium in a draft that can change history.

Just like a good suit, though, the teams should not forget to hook-up the right accessories.



Steve Haywood Special to

Steve Haywood is the host of “That Being Said,” which airs weeknights at 6 p.m. on Milwaukee’s ESPN Radio 1510 Days / 1290 Nights. A lifelong Milwaukee resident, Steve has been working on the radio since 1996 and also is executive producer of Sports Perspectives on MATA Community Media.

After graduating from Milwaukee Tech High School in 1985, Haywood attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he graduated in 1991.

He has covered a number of major events, including the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2002 and the NBA All-Star Game in 2003.

Haywood, 39, is married with two kids, a dumb cat and a dog described as a “real curmudgeon.”