For draftees the NBA draft gives a taste of media madness to come

By Dan
Cowan and Andrew Lippe

Last night over 5,000 NBA fans and media packed the WaMu Theatre at Madison
Square Garden in New York for the 2007 NBA Draft. The NBA Draft was broadcast
to 200 countries worldwide and broadcasted in over 40 languages, including
three oubound channels to

China
alone. “We started setting up on Monday,” said Peter Skrodelis, vice
president of broadcasting for the NBA. “Then there is a very long waiting
period, especially on Draft day.”

For the basketball players selected in the draft the event is the first stop on
a media circus that, if all goes well, will end with a Hall of Fame induction
ceremony. But for now the first step is on stage with NBA Commissioner David
Stern. After the player had his name called he stepped onto the stage for a
shake of the hand and the donning of his new home cap. Then he was immediately
interviewed by ESPN’s Stuart Scott. After ESPN TV it was off to ESPN Radio,
where the player briefly chatted before being escorted out the back of the
Garden Theatre, and past throngs of fan cameras and autograph requests, and
back into the Press Conference area.

Back in the press conference area the player took a seat at a table on a small
stage where he faced questions from print, web, and regional television reporters.
After that process it was time for a one-on-one interview for NBA TV and then
over to NBA Radio on Sirius to expose them to a whole other audience. “We
have numerous inbound feeds coming in to this area, everyone sends their cable
to here,” said Skrodelis. “We also have 10 outbound feeds.”

After NBA Radio the players were taken through a maze of various larger
regional and national stations: Fox Sports, CBS, Comcast, ABC, MSG, regional
stations of the top few picks, and even

China affiliates. At this
point it was a free for all for broadcasters, as players were moving from one
station to the next, switching in and out with other draftees, answering
questions while trying to congratulate one another and soak in the moments.

After the more traditional mediums, the draft picks finished up their nights in
the next frontier of broadcasting, the web. The top picks in attendance
sat down with both ESPN.com and NBA.com to chat on their blogs and answer fan
questions, sharing a fan-player connection that so many had on a daily basis in
college. It is a long, yet successful night for anyone involved in the
various broadcasts of the draft. For future NBA stars this is just the
beginning.