Photo: AP Images
To the surprise of no one, NBA conspiracy theorists are out in full force after the New Orleans Hornets landed the 2012 first overall pick in Wednesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery.The league conspired to revive the currently NBA-owned and soon to be officially sold New Orleans franchise after it traded away Chris Paul, the conspiracy goes.
It also doesn’t help that an old picture of Anthony Davis wearing a Charlotte Hornets cap is making the rounds.
And who can blame them?
Under David Stern the NBA has been nothing but one giant conspiracy theory meant to prop up big market, high TV ratings-generating, and profit-machine teams. Or in the Hornets’ case, the NBA only cares about making money, i.e. selling them for a good price, so getting the rights to Anthony Davis is key. (We kid, of course.)
It all started with the first NBA Draft Lottery in 1985 when the league gave the first pick to the lowly New York Knicks so they could take Patrick Ewing and start a fantastic run that included two trips to the NBA Finals.
But as easy as it is to believe in conspiracy theories, it’s much easier to realise the truth: The NBA is not fixing anything and the New Orleans Hornets won the 2012 lottery fair and square. (Just read this piece from Zach Lowe of SI.com detailing the intricate process behind the scenes at lottery night to see how hard it would actually be to rig the whole thing.)
Still need further proof the NBA isn’t trying to manipulate the Draft Lottery process? Here are five:
- The Orlando Magic won the 1992 Draft Lottery despite a down trodden, but historic NBA franchise in the Philadelphia 76ers being in the lottery and in desperate need of help
- Tim Duncan went to the San Antonio Spurs in 1997 after they won the lottery even though Philly and the Boston Celtics were also in it. Boston even had two lottery picks
- It was pretty much a done deal that the 2002 NBA Draft Lottery winner would take Yao Ming, so the Houston Rockets were ecstatic when they got that chance. Houston won the lottery over teams that really could’ve used some extra help like the Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks
- LeBron James went to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. Sure, a superstar playing close to where he grew up is a nice story, but wouldn’t the NBA have been better served with LeBron in some other 2003 lottery city, say with the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, or New York Knicks?
- Boston had a dreadful 2006-07 season, landing the second worst record in the league. But the Celtics still couldn’t land a top-3 pick for the rights to take either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant and revive their woeful team
All of that probably isn’t enough proof for the crazies. But hey, we tried.
[h/t Sactown Royalty]
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