Lombardi, on his busy draft

I asked Dean Lombardi, in general, about his busy two days. The Kings entered with 15 picks but ended up leaving with only nine players. I wondered how much of that was by design.

Lombardi said: “This is the hard part about a draft, and it goes back to what I talk about with a staff and chemistry. You can run hypotheticals, and it’s something we try to do. The right analogy is, it’s like a cross-examination. You can be prepared but you have to be able to think on your feet, because you don’t know exactly what is going to happen. Regardless of how many times you try to prepare for what could happen, it’s never the way you planned. So to say we went into this and said, `Oh yeah, we intended to go up and down and all around,’ you can’t unless you see where things start to fall. Regardless of how much you prepare, there’s always something you didn’t plan for, so you have to respond quickly and get people on the phone. So I wish I could tell you it’s part of some grand, master plan, but it’s not. Some things work and some things don’t.”

I asked Lombardi if, given that, he was pleased with the way his staff reacted to situations and made decisions on the fly…

Lombardi said: “When you say, `on the fly,’ it’s not on the fly as in, you’re not ready. All I’m saying is, you don’t know what will happen until people start going, who other teams select that might be on your list. You always have some disappointments and you try some things and you hope you can get a player in another layer. Sometimes you don’t. The whole point is, did you maximize your opportunities? I think we were pretty good. I think there’s some disappointment and some things we could have done better, but that’s all part of the process. I don’t think I’ve ever walked away from a draft, quite frankly, where I don’t say to myself, `We should have tried this.’ I couldn’t sit here and tell you that everything is great, but I haven’t been through one yet where I didn’t think we could have tried something else.”

I’ll be posting more of the interview as I go along. Trying to write the newspaper story as well…

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