Portland, Seattle and Atlanta all coming out on top of the 2007 Draft Lottery was a far more unlikely outcome than anything the Orlando Magic pulled off in 1993. Going in, you knew one of the mid-level teams had a decent chance of sneaking into the top three. But the chances that Memphis, Boston and Milwaukee -- all three of the worst teams in the league -- would all be pushed out of the top three were almost nil. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but they were still pretty damn low.

Expect the weighing of the lottery odds to come under plenty of scrutiny in the next few days. But the lottery itself can be an unsolvable dilemma. Is weighing the odds more in favor of the near-playoff teams hurting the teams that are legitimately terrible? Is tipping the scale more towards the basement dwellers encouraging teams to throw games? We need John Hollinger or the guys at 82games.com to create some sort of "Tanking Algorithm" or "Laziness Index" to get to the bottom of this.

I'm going to resist the urge to go on a conspiracy theory rant here, but I can't be the only one who's thinking that The Powers That Be stepped in to not only help franchises in financial peril (e.g., Seattle), but also prevent rewarding teams who unofficially announced their intentions to tank.

I feel especially bad for Celtics fans. Between Len Bias, Michael Smith, Rick Pitino, Antoine Walker, Eric Montross, Ron Mercer, Jerome Moiso, and Sebastian Telfair, I couldn't imagine the pain of being emotionally attached to the NBA equivalent of "Gilligan's Island".

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
and you didn't even mention Red...

Blogger Evil Ted said...
See previous comments of mine about the league being a mess that Stern can't solve. Beyond all of the inconsistent officiating and suspensions, think about the absurdity of not giving the worst team the first pick, the second worst team the second, etc. The lottery is the dumbest idea ever, and I can't believe it's still around.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wahhh Wahhh!! Somebody call the Wahmbulance.

This is what Boston gets for tanking the season.

Hawks with the #3 & #11? They could win, like, 33 games next year, maybe!