NBA Draft Lottery: Did David Stern Thumb His Nose at the Rest of Us?
Statistically, the New Orleans Hornets had one of the lowest chances of securing the top pick in the NBA's draft lottery, but lo and behold, the crescent city is sitting pretty with the rights to draft Kentucky star Anthony Davis later next month.
A supreme stroke of luck, or a little guided ambition?
It's hard to see the coincidence in the Hornets landing the coveted first pick when you consider until recently, the NBA, and effectively Stern, owned the franchise.
What better way to welcome new Hornets owner Tom Benson into the fold by rewarding him with what may be the safest pick since Orlando drafted Dwight Howard.
Those accusations about Stern sabotaging the Lakers deal to acquire Chris Paul certainly hold more weight now, and the really sad thing is Stern doesn't even really seem to care.
In my opinion, Stern's indefensible reasoning for nixing the Paul deal was egregious enough, but this take the cake.
No one saw the Hornets rising out of nowhere to steal the first pick, but with a little hindsight, we should have expected it.
Stern's main directive, along with the rest of the league's owners, must have been to make the Hornets a profitable franchise at any cost, and that includes exposing the true nature of the beast in the process.
Remember, Michael Jordan, whose Bobcats were relegated to the second pick, was also a minority owner of the Hornets, but do you think he was intimately involved in the sale of the Hornets to Benson?
I don't think so, because it's hard to imagine Jordan agreeing to forfeit the rights to draft Davis for the greater good.
And maybe you don't buy into the concept of the whole draft lottery being staged, but the irony of the situation is too large to ignore.
Jordan is arguably the greatest player to ever dribble a basketball, and he is the first former NBA star to be a majority owner in the NBA, so logic suggests that the league would be solidly behind him in is efforts to succeed.
Unfortunately, there is no way that Jordan's universal appeal could compete with the dollar signs involved in the Hornets deal, so Jordan's Bobcats were forced to accept a compensatory prize.
If you can call missing out on what may be a franchise player in Davis a prize.
The Bobcats have no choice but to be better than last season regardless of who they draft since they literally hit rock-bottom last year and then burrowed through the bedrock.
But Charlotte will be nowhere as good as it could have been with Davis in the fold, and the future for fans in the Queen City is certainly not as bright.
There is one more piece of irony for the Bobcats, and it's a killer.
The Hornets nickname and colors originated in Charlotte, and now, the city's NBA fans are forced to suffer the thought of a potentially transcendent player signing with a team that still bears the town's original moniker.
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