Raps pass on Brown

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Talk about a bizarre way to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Toronto's Denham Brown, visibly nervous after the Raptors bypassed him with the 35th pick in the NBA draft last night, was standing in a hotel reception room with 60 of his closest friends and family when ESPN went to commercial more than 31/2 hours into the selection process.

When coverage resumed, one young man in the room noticed Brown's name on the draft ticker at the bottom of the screen beside the Seattle SuperSonics at No. 40 in the second round. The friend of Brown bellowed, "Denham Brown," and just like that, dozens of people at the The Grand Hotel and Suites mobbed the 6-foot-6 swingman.

"I guess it might have kicked out and kicked back in," the University of Connecticut product said when asked what it felt like to be picked in a commercial break. "I didn't see what was going on."

But Brown, the 29th Canadian to be picked in NBA draft history, sure knew what was going on. The Sonics made Brown the first Canadian selected since Jamaal Magloire went to the Charlotte Hornets in the first round in 2000.

The assembled crowd, which booed loudly after the Raptors took Texas' P.J. Tucker with the 35th pick, went into hysterics after its unique discovery of the Sonics' pick.

Brown had three bottles of champagne poured on him and was embraced by enthusiastic supporters.

"Honestly, I thought the Raptors had me at No. 35," Brown said.

It certainly was a wacky evening. Brown, 23, didn't even work out for the Sonics.

"That's the funny thing about it. I worked out for a lot of East Coast teams," Brown said. "To get drafted by a West Coast team is something that really was out of my picture."

Brown, who was in attendance at fellow Canadian Carl English's draft party when he wasn't picked in 2003, was a picture of stress much of the night. After the first round ended, thereby ensuring Brown would not receive guaranteed money, the Bathurst Heights and West Hill product opened a bottle of champagne to calm his nerves. He didn't look any better after the Raptors passed on him.

But maybe that was a good thing.

"I didn't want him in Toronto," ex-club coach and confidante Wayne Dawkins said. "I always felt to be a young guy trying to make it in the NBA, it's almost nice if you can separate yourself with what comes along from being at home."


Videos

Photos