"At least one of you will be a mistake..."
The 2012 NBA lottery could finally be the point where everything starts going right for your favorite team.
Unless you have one of these general managers at the helm.
No, this isn't just about bashing a guy for stumbling with last year's pick. Rather, sometimes it's about being in a no-win situation.
In other cases, there's a track record that suggests certain GMs couldn't hit their own mid-court logo with a ping-pong ball.
If they were standing on it.
Here are half a dozen dudes who already have us rolling our eyes—and they don't even know where they're picking yet.
"Don't worry, Kemba, everybody cries when this happens."
Rich Cho has a history of being stuck in bad situations.
With a rather unique background, he seemed to be the next Sam Presti or Daryl Morey.
He lasted just one year with a Portland Trail Blazers front office that was burning from the inside. There was a healthy share of blame for picking the underwhelming Luke Babbitt, Elliot Williams and Armon Johnson in 2010, though how much input Cho had is debatable.
However, now he just has to take Anthony Davis and call it a day. Right?
No. Being a part of the worst team in basketball, the franchise that once drafted Adam Morrison, doesn't mean the bar is set low for comfort.
If the Bobcats don't get the first pick, we'll always wonder what could have been. Any other selection that Cho makes is going to be compared to Davis for a long time.
By my count, nine of the past 20 No. 1 picks turned out to have solid NBA careers but ultimately never met expectations. And then there's that three-in-20 chance Davis turns out to be the next Michael Olowokandi, Kwame Brown or Greg Oden.
Even if the 'Cats do take Davis, they'll only have about a 40 percent chance of getting a transcendent player who lives up to the No. 1 pick status.
Cho might not make this list next year, but the odds aren't in his favor.
"You're gonna be playing with Kevin Love and 700 point guards."
Here's how you know I'm trying to be as objective as possible.
As a diehard Minnesota Timberwolves fan, this one hurts, but you know I'd be obstructing justice if I didn't include David Kahn.
The heat has died down a little bit now that Ricky Rubio turned out to be the real deal. The Wolves were also mostly competitive until the Spanish sensation got hurt last year, and the team finally has some money to spend again.
Still, let's never forget that this is the man who, already having Rubio on the books, took Jonny Flynn instead of Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan and anyone else not named Jonny Flynn.
Then, "Super Dave" drafted another point guard in the first round and promptly traded him away for nothing.
His name was Ty Lawson.
2010's draft didn't really give any additional hope for Wolves fans either.
I'll give all credit that the team is currently headed in the right direction, but that's why Kahn's "collect as many assets by throwing a hundred darts at the wall" strategy must mature. He might be doing a decent job in free agency, but Kahn's yet to light the world on fire with a sure-thing draft pick that didn't take nearly three years to actually suit up in a Wolves uniform.
Well. He's no Jon Leuer.
Yes, even former NBA Executives of the Year aren't safe.
John Hammond has done a lot with a little, I'll give him that much. The Milwaukee Bucks have stayed halfway competitive despite no free-agent bankability whatsoever.
However, they have also failed to make any sort of move that would inch them out of basketball mediocrity. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is decent player that nobody ever watches. Brandon Jennings is OK, even if he is leaving. And Wisconsinites love Jon Leuer because they're weird like that.
Outside of those three, though, Hammond has selected some real stinkers during his four years at the helm.
Without wasting 500 words on the immortal Joe Alexander, Larry Sanders, etc., let's just remember that this is the guy who drafted Jimmer Fredette last year with the 10th pick and then traded him for Stephen Jackson.
So what does Milwaukee have to show for that again?
Joe Dumars has three NBA rings, including one as the Detroit Pistons general manager. How can we bash a guy who largely assembled the championship squad that embodied everything it means to be a team?
That was a decade ago now, though—that's not fair!
Instead, let's talk about Cheikh Samb, Walter Sharpe, or the fact that in 2009 Dumars drafted four quasi-small forwards who still haven't figured out which position they play.
You know what? Let's not.
Dumars has gotten decent value out of Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson, Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight. They're all respectable NBA players.
Greg Monroe is a flat out stud, and Arron Afflalo was the real deal (who Dumars let go).
The problem is that Joe Dumars isn't drafting to put another championship team together. Year after year he's selecting the same tweeners who have numerous doppelgangers already on the roster.
The Pistons only have second-round picks right now. So, they'll surely trade Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to jump back into the first round.
That first-round pick will probably then be flipped to reacquire Gordon and Villanueva.
"The man that drafted me is running your team."
Rick Sund has been around a long time.
Somehow, just like his Atlanta Hawks, he perpetually flies under the radar. Unlike his team, though, Sund has been anything but competitive as an NBA general manager.
Let's move past the obvious Robert Swift debacle in 2004. Sure, everybody makes mistakes now and again—especially a GM. Plus, that was a long time ago, back when a team called the Seattle SuperSonics existed.
Yet, it's awfully difficult to find positives since Sund's 2008 arrival in Atlanta.
Can we could look past the ridiculous contracts handed out to Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson?
After all, he did select current starting point guard Jeff Teague, right?
Find me a Hawks fan, though, who has something good to say about Sergiy Gladyr, Pape Sy, Damion James or Keith Benson.
Find me a Hawks fan who even knows who those guys are.
"Can we get Billy to trade himself?"
Making fun of Billy King is par for the course.
Philadelphia 76ers fans can't go 10 minutes without somehow devolving back to the "Billy days" and the bashing that it rightfully deserves.
Since we're talking about general managers from the draft angle, not just dumb trades, ridiculous contracts or Travis Outlaw, I'll let King's record speak for itself in those categories.
Yet, MarShon Brooks, Thaddeus Young, Kyle Korver, Sam Dalembert and Willie Green all turned out to be halfway decent players, right?
The problem is that King has been an NBA general manager for 11 seasons now, and that's all I could come up with. There isn't a single star to be named, most of those aforementioned players were taken too early, and don't even get me started on the Larry Hughes, Todd MacCulloch, Jumaine Jones, etc., side of the story.
Unless year 12 breaks the curse, no matter which pick King makes, it's going to be seriously questioned. And unless this year's selection really lights the world on fire, any degree of mistake will be bashed as "Billy being Billy" all over again.
The Brooklyn Nets don't get to choose until 57th. They don't have a first-round pick because Billy traded it away for Deron Williams (who's probably leaving).
Let's just start now.