The NBA Draft Lottery is a disgrace

Posted: May 31, 2012 by vindanton in Pro Sports

By: Vin D’Anton

Another NBA season, another year of the same God awful teams, and another year of one of those teams getting screwed by a flawed system.

Last night at the NBA Draft Lottery (which was pumped up more than the Stanley Cup by ESPN…shocker), the Charlotte Bobcats, a team that won seven…SEVEN games did not receive the first pick in the 2012 Draft. Instead, the 21 win formally of Charlotte, New Orleans Hornets did receive it.

Since the weighted lottery system began in 1990, three of the twenty teams with the worst record in the NBA that season have received the first overall pick.

In the 1990 Draft, the New Jersey Nets selected Derrick Coleman; Coleman was the Rookie of the Year, an All-Star in 1994, and the Nets made the playoffs three times out of the next four years. The other two teams were the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 who took LeBron James, and in the following draft, the Orland Magic took Dwight Howard. We both know how those teams turned out while those players were/are there.

Yesterday on ESPN, SportsCenter had PTI debating whether the NFL should switch to a lottery as well because of teams losing purposely to improve their team by getting a high draft pick.

SHUT UP and hire a new producer, because that is the dumbest and most useless debate in the history of sports media.

Since 1997 when the St. Louis Rams took Orland Pace first overall, eleven of the first overall picks in those drafts have been positive impacts to their franchises competitively and financially.

Who cared about football in Indianapolis before Peyton Manning got there? What other player in the history of the Falcons franchise sold out the Georgia Dome the way Michael Vick did? How would the Bengals not be the Bungles anymore without the cannon of Carson Palmer?

What giving the first overall pick to the worst team does is change that organization in multiple ways. I just named you three small market teams that were dramatically changed due to the arrival of those athletes and others as well. The problem in the NBA is that you have the same good teams every year while the others sit in the basement of the standings.

In the 1990-91 season, the Denver Nuggets posted the worst record, were given the fourth pick in the draft and selected Dikembe Mutombo, while the Hornets who posted the fourth worst record, drafted All-Star Larry Johnson first.

The Fallout: Nuggets missed the playoffs ten of the next twelve years…Johnson is a two-time All-Star in Charlotte and takes them to the playoffs twice.

In the 1993 NBA Draft, the 41-41 Magic fresh off drafting Shaq first overall in 1992, drafted Chris Webber and traded him to Golden State for Penny Hardaway. The eleven win Mavericks receive the fourth pick, drafting Jamal Mashburn.

The Fallout: Magic make the Finals in 1995…Mavs do not make playoffs until 2000.

1997, the Vancouver Grizzlies who were screwed out of Allen Iverson the year before, finish with 14 wins and the second worst San Antonio Spurs finish with 20 wins. Spurs win lottery and draft Tim Duncan. Grizzlies get shafted to the fourth pick, drafting Antonio Daniels.

The Fallout: Spurs win four titles…Vancouver wins eight games the following season, only to get screwed again out of the first pick as the Bulls get Elton Brand and the Grizzlies move to Memphis a few years later.

Speaking of teams moving, the Sacramento Kings nearly left for Anaheim recently to become the Royals. They got screwed out of Blake Griffin in 2009 as the 17 win Kings received the fourth pick, selecting Tyreke Evans.

The Fallout: Clippers are on the rise…and while Evans was Rookie of the Year, the Kings are going nowhere.

The NFL way of doing a draft has worked out perfectly and it brings financial stability to most teams in a league where any team in any city has a chance to be competitive.

Meanwhile, the NBA continues to be useless during its regular season as the same teams are competitive year after year. Teams will be moving around rapidly if things don’t change in the NBA. While there are a lot of problems with the league, Commissioner Stern can start by dumping the lottery.

vindanton@gmail.com 

@VinDanton

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