Last Man Standing
Posted Nov 2 2006 10:22PM
For Corsley Edwards, the end of NBA Draft 2002 was worth the wait
An NBA.com flashback: In 2006, the Anaheim Arsenal made Corsley Edwards the top pick in the D-League Draft. Four years earlier, Edwards was the last pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, and NBA.com was there.
NEW YORK, June 26, 2002 -- What if you almost missed the one thing you always said you wouldn't miss for the world?
Corsley Edwards nearly did. Surrounded by family and friends, the 6-9 senior forward out of Central Connecticut State sat quietly in The Theater at Madison Square Garden Section 202, a tantalizing 10 feet from the Green Room where 16 players sat. He watched every one of them rise, head to the stage and shake Commissioner David Stern's hand.
He saw his buddy, Maryland's Juan Dixon, go to the Washington Wizards at No. 17. Then it was Edwards' turn to wait. And wait. And wait. Halfway through the second round, Corsley changed seats, maybe to change his luck.
It looked like that might have been the trick. A camera crew headed toward Section 202. A smile grew on Edwards' face. No. 38 was next. The pick was announced. It was Tito Maddox, and he was gone. So was the smile on Edwards' face.
With seven picks remaining, Dixon came by and gave Corsley's mom, Deborah a kiss on the cheek. Dixon shook then he shook the hand of Corsley Edwards Sr. and then went to junior to give him a hug.
The final picks were beginning to roll by: Federico Kammerichs, Mladen Sekularac, Luis Scola ...
And then, deputy commissioner Russ Granik stepped to the dais for the final time.
"And with the 58th pick, the Sacramento Kings select, Corlsey Edwards, Central Connecticut State."
His family, who traveled up from Baltimore, leapt from their seats and cheered. His friend Sean Riley got on the cell phone.
"He was just picked!" Riley said into his cell phone.
"I'm excited," Deborah said. "That's my baby. He's worked hard and he deserves it."
"It's beautiful," Edwards Sr. said, "a dream come true."
After the excitement, came the relief.
"He wanted to be in the first round, he was hoping," Edwards Sr. said. After a while, "he was just waiting to see where he was going to go."
Deborah needed to hug her son. But he was nowhere to be found. Where was Corsley? His mom twirled to see him standing near the top of the Theater. She nearly cleared a row of seats trying to get to him.
"I was up top sitting with my grandmother," Edwards said while his family was posing for pictures with Charles Barkley.
Edwards is going West. Unlike those players Edwards watched walk to the podium, second-round picks are not guaranteed contracts.
"I'm not worried about it," Edwards Sr. said. "All he needs is a chance, some time to show what he could do.
"When you're 6-foot-9 and better than 280, you know, they needed him, to play with his back to the bucket. They need that space under the bucket. And the six fouls against Shaq."
Edwards Jr. thinks he can give the Kings a boost down low.
"I think I'll fit well," Edwards said. "I just want to go in there and do the right things."
He'll have plenty of support when he goes to California, even though his family and most of his friends live on the East Coast.
"He's the last pick, hey, he's got to go out and prove himself," Riley said. "I'll definitely make trips out to California. I'm one of his biggest fans and one of his best friends."