Back in December 2010, the NBA bought the New Orleans Hornets franchise from club founder and former owner, George Shinn. From that day, until just last month, the NBA had been trying to sell the Hornets.
The Hornets were not the easiest sell, especially after the much-criticized Chris Paul trade debacle. However, after almost 18 months, the NBA announced on April 13, 2012, that they had finally reached a deal with New Orleans Saints owner, Tom Benson, for $338 million.
As the results of the lottery were revealed, NBA fans started to wonder, "What if the Hornets received the first pick?"
I kept thinking that it wouldn't happen. Not after NBA Commissioner David Stern had been accused of fixing the lottery before (see: Patrick Ewing to New York Knicks, LeBron James to hometown club, Derrick Rose to Chicago Bulls, etc.), and especially not after having his motives questioned during the Chris Paul saga.
But it did.
The New Orleans Hornets "won" the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery and are just waiting for the opportunity to select presumed number one overall pick, Anthony Davis.
The second Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the Charlotte Bobcats were going to be picking second, every NBA fan quickly became a NBA conspiracy theorist. Suddenly, we all wondered if David Stern sweetened the deal he made with Tom Benson back in April.
It doesn't sound too far-fetched, does it? "If you buy the franchise, we'll make sure you get the number one pick in the draft." Sounds fairly reasonable to me. In fact, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that NBA executives don't think the idea is far-fetched at all.
So as David Stern's tenure as commissioner of the NBA winds down, his legacy is swiftly becoming more and more spotted with yet another conspiracy. A man who is generally considered to be one of the greatest commissioners in the history of any professional sport, will now have his name attached to the following questions:
Did Stern have the Knicks' draft card frozen to ensure they would land Patrick Ewing?
Was Michael Jordan suspended from the NBA for gambling?
Did Stern know of Clay Bennett's intentions of moving the franchise to Oklahoma City when he bought the Seattle Supersonics?
Was Kyrie Irving a gift for Cleveland because of how they lost their franchise cornerstone, LeBron James?
All we will ever know is that the Hornets roster now look infinitely more attractive with Anthony Davis on it.
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