The NBA fueled conspiracy theories last night, when the New Orleans Hornets won the 1st pick on the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery. Many NBA fans & experts quickly pointed to the fact that the league still owns the team, as the main factor for the Hornets earning the right to draft Anthony Davis on the evening of June 28th. I have been one of those people who has long believed that the NBA influences, which franchise will receive the top pick in the NBA draft.
If you don’t agree or believe my suspicion. Here are the top 10 suspicious #1 picks since the NBA Draft Lottery began in 1985:
1. 1985 – New York Knicks – C – Patrick Ewing: The 1st ever NBA Draft Lottery began under suspicion as the Knicks won the 1st pick. New York was a struggling franchise prior to ’85.
2. 2003 – Cleveland Cavaliers – SF – Lebron James: LBJ was the hometown high school star coming into the draft. The Cavs we’re one of the worst teams at the time, newly purchased by Dan Gilbert.
3. 2008 – Chicago Bulls – PG – Derrick Rose: 1.7% chance to win the 1st pick, the Bulls get their hometown star D-Rose.
4. 2011 – Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving – PG: LBJ leaves for Miami, Cavs get the #1 pick for the 2nd time in 9 seasons.
5. 2012 – New Orleans Hornets – C – Anthony Davis: The NBA owned the team, stopped the Chris Paul trade, sold to the team to billionaire Tom Benson prior to the Draft Lottery.
6. 2002 – Houston Rockets – C – Yao Ming: The first Asian superstar happens to land in one of the NBA’s biggest Asian markets.
7. 1997 – San Antonio Spurs – C – Tim Duncan: The Spurs have long been suspected of tanking to get Duncan.
8. 2001 – Washington Wizards – C – Kwame Brown: Jordan joins the Wizards front office and earn the 1st pick in the following draft.
9. 2010 – Washington Wizards – PG – John Wall: After the Gilbert Arenas gun disaster, the Wiz get the right to draft Wall.
10. 1992 – Orlando Magic – C – Shaquille O’Neal: The newly-formed Magic receives it’s first franchise player in Shaq.
Honestly, in my opinion I believe that last night was truly another example of how the NBA helps the most desperate teams succeed through the Draft Lottery system. Last night, was a blatant illustration of the conflict of interest between the league and the Hornets.
This is the second time this season that Commissioner Stern has leveraged his power to help this fledging franchise get off to a good start under future owner Tom Benson.
About the Author
Written by Mark Cook