There are whispers among NBA executives that the league rigged last night’s NBA Draft Lottery so that the New Orleans Hornets would get the No. 1 pick, according to a Yahoo! report from Adrian Wojnarowski.Here’s the basic conspiracy theory: The NBA temporarily owns the Hornets and is trying to finalise a sale of the team to New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson.
To ensure they get top dollar (and the struggling franchise stays in New Orleans), David Stern and Co. fixed the lottery, giving the Hornets Anthony Davis — who is widely regarded as the best NBA prospect in years.
Here’s the money paragraph from Wojnarowski:
The reaction of several league executives was part disgust, part resignation on Wednesday night. So many had predicted this happening, so many suspected that somehow, someway, the Hornets would walk away with Davis. That’s the worst part for the NBA; these aren’t the railings from the guy sitting at the corner tavern, but the belief of those working within the machinery that something undue happened here, that they suspect it happens all the time under Stern.
The Hornets only had a 13.7% chance of winning the lottery.
This isn’t the first controversy involving the NBA’s dubious ownership practices. David Stern vetoed a trade last fall that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers — a move that absolutely enraged other executives in the league.
Here’s the thing, though: People (fans, at least) would be crying conspiracy theory no matter what!
- If the Nets won, they would say it was rigged to give the NBA a foothold in Brooklyn.
- If the Kings won, they would say it was rigged to make sure Sacramento agreed to build a new arena.
- If the Cavs won, they would say it was recompense for the LeBron James “Decision” fiasco.
It’s also worth noting that every team has a representative in attendance while the lottery is going on. So it’s basically impossible to fix unless you get creative.
But still, it’s wild that NBA execs suspect that something fishy went on.
Fans have long been draft lottery conspiracy theorists (they’re doing it today by latching on to an old picture of Anthony Davis in a Hornets hat), but actual people working in the league are wearing tin foil hats now?
Wowzers, not good for Stern.
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