Skip to content

Players, team execs, everyone on “lottery was rigged” train

May 31, 2012, 10:05 AM EDT

David Stern, Tom Benson AP

Right now, the NBA still owns the New Orleans Hornets.

The league is still in the process of selling the team to Tom Benson to keep the team in the NBA’s smallest market, but as you read this technically David Stern is the defacto owner of the Hornets.

The Hornets who just won the NBA Draft Lottery. They get franchise-changing star Anthony Davis.

That instantly sounds fishy.

And it’s not just the guy next to you at the bar and people on twitter who think the lottery is rigged, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

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….

“I bet I could get my owner to tank if I knew the chance of getting the No. 1 pick was 100 percent,” an NBA team president said in an email.

They weren’t alone, 10 players tweeted about the conspiracy, compiled by IamaGM.

We humans love a good conspiracy, so there will always be a guy on the grassy knoll.

Personally, I don’t buy it. I’m not a conspiracy guy in general, and I don’t buy this. Read up from SI on how it goes down in the room — there are team execs and media in there.

Thing is, I can make the “lottery is rigged” argument for pretty much every team in the lottery this year (something Deadspin pointed out yesterday before the lottery took place). The Bobcats had the best odds, but clearly Stern wanted to help out Michael Jordan. If it was Cleveland it was more LeBron James payback. If the Nets win it’s because the league wants a big star in Brooklyn. If the Kings win it’s to keep a team in Sacramento. If the Warriors win it’s to help their new ownership move to San Francisco. And so on and so on. You were going to cry rigged no matter who won.

Also, if the NBA were making a smart business move, it wouldn’t send a big star in the making in Davis to its smallest market. To an owner who has an NFL team in the middle on of the bigger sports scandals in years. Finally, this could be a fraudulent crime and if one of the other owners is really convinced they can literally make a case of it. But as with all conspiracies, here just is never proof.

But Woj is right about this — the feeling that the lottery is rigged by the over controlling Stern is a problem. A big problem. And it’s not just fans who think it’s rigged, it’s people who dedicated their lives to the game and NBA.

That’s about the integrity of the sport. That’s real trouble.

  1. neelymessier - May 31, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    the officiating is horrendous and totally unrelated.

  2. david8726 - May 31, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    It doesn’t make very much logical sense that the NBA would rig the lottery in favor of the Hornets.

    Ultimately, the league is interested in huge ratings and making more money. The Hornets have never been a big money-making franchise for the NBA. So why would they want them to get the #1 pick?

    The team that the NBA would have the greatest interest in rigging the lottery for would have been the Brooklyn Nets. That’s a huge market team that could make buckets of cash for the NBA.

    If you look at the lottery winners over the last 10 years, almost none of them are big basketball market teams.

    The “lottery is rigged” whining is just sour grapes from the people who lost. Simple as that.

  3. frankiefiveangels - May 31, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    David Stern is just Vince McMahon with less charisma. He is a pompous windbag who acts like his poop smells like lilacs in spring. Whenever someone asks about the perception of the NBA as a “fixed” league Stern gets very defensive and blames the questioners integrity. The NBA is a joke.

  4. trubroncfan07 - May 31, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Like most things in the NBA it smells of corruption, it is pretty obvious the NBA decides what franchises are going to be successful, it to bad because the NBA would be so much better if it had more integrity.

  5. ajpurp - May 31, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    I was in on this article, it convinced me that is actually wasn’t rigged, until I heard Ernst and Young was involved. The amount of lawsuits they have had over sneaky crap is ridiculous, same with Arthur Anderson, these F’s can be bought for a penny on the dollar.

  6. pensfan603 - May 31, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    What really is wrong iwth the NBA is the point that someone who was put in jail for 5 months for illegally betting on NBA games he was reffing, is now again reffing in NBA games.. FRAUDALENT.
    Also- cavs lsoe lebron dont have a superstar but have the 7th highest market stern doesnt want them to lose the fans gives them kyre, now the hornets.. NBA is a joke the point that the commisioner of the league could decided where chris paul went describes it all. He sends him to the clippers, because they have the second biggest market in la and have a superstar signed to a long contract, stern doesnt want blake to go to waste so he gives them paul and now they can pack out the arena. Ever since stern became commis, and Micheal Jordan all the NBA has been is “who is the next mj” and they pump up every superstar because when mj happened he was the first true superstar and they learned thats what fans love to watch the bigger the superstar the more people will watch thats why lebron gets hyped up and every super star gets every call they want it makes them look better and draws fans. The whole nba is fraudalient, why poeple should stop watching.

  7. bleedgreen4life - May 31, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Why can’t the NBA just simply have a normal draft like the NFL for example. The fans of the worst team suffer all season long with their terrible team and then when they deserve (if you want to say that) the first pick and possibly a future franchise star, they get their hearts ripped out again. Seriously, it can’t be possible that I thought of this idea before the NBA has.

    • drunkenjunk - Jun 1, 2012 at 7:30 AM

      I know its to prevent tanking but it doesn’t. I’m sure they just want something else to throw on t.v in primetime like the lottery. Either way the picks should just go by who has the worst record, then none of this conspiracy theory, rigged draft will ever come up again.

  8. bleedgreen4life - May 31, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Why can’t the NBA just simply have a normal draft like the NFL for example. The fans of the worst team suffer all season long with their terrible team and then when they deserve (if you want to say that) the first pick and possibly a future franchise star, they get their hearts ripped out again. Seriously, it can’t be possible that I thought of this idea before the NBA has.

  9. klownboy - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    I do not think that the Draft Lottery was rigged per se, I do think the NBA has a HUGE credibility problem.

    http://theklowntimes.net/2012/05/31/the-nba-draft-lottery-was-not-fixed-but/

  10. dexterismyhero - Jun 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    BTW: Anthony Davis will not be a franchise changing star……………..

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

What players stood out at World Cup?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (3349)
  2. L. James (2643)
  3. D. Ferry (2586)
  4. K. Irving (2457)
  5. J. Valanciunas (2393)
  1. K. Bryant (2307)
  2. P. George (2116)
  3. N. Batum (1825)
  4. R. Gay (1804)
  5. R. Rondo (1779)