Washington Wizards Lose Out: Why Is There a Lottery, Anyway?

ROB YOUNG SRContributor IMay 27, 2009

6 Feb 1999: Owner Abe Pollin of the Washington Wizards talks to the crowd during the game against the Washington Wizards at the MCI Center in Washington,D.C. The Wizards defeated the Raptors 98-97. Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw  /Allsport

After having the lottery Gods turn there backs on the Washington Wizards, General Manager Ernie Grunfeld must be wondering, "What happened?"

The two teams with the seasons worst records end up picking fourth and fifth.

Mr. David Stern, can you explain to us once again how this helps the league? The two teams who need the most help now have no shot at the best player coming out of college. There is something that just is not right about that.

The event known as the NBA Draft Lottery is just a media event, another way for the league to boost television ratings.

Let's think about this for just a moment. If things are done by the natural order of things, if your team has the worst record, you should get the first pick of the draft.

Every other professional sports league that I know of follows a worst-team-first scenario. No other league has made the draft a game of chance. This is another one of Stern's moves to boost ratings and revenue for the league. It's a good thing on one hand, but on the other hand, what does it do for the teams and competition?

Now I have not seen any evidence of teams looking for any handouts or charity, just an even playing field. This situation is a curious one because it's not as though a team or group of teams conspired to lock down the draft. This decision was made by the league office, meaning Stern.

Now if I look at this realistically, Stern has made the NBA exactly what his bosses, the owners want him to doboost revenue and television ratings. And the NBA has a small group of teams that carry the league. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics lead the pack with Cleveland, Denver, Orlando, and New Orleans being the rising stars.

The Spurs, Suns and Mavericks were once part of the Western Conference power block, but they have started to show some aging, but still are viable franchises. The league itself is honestly doing very well all around. So why is it really necessary to add this game of chance variable to what by all appearances is doing quite well?

This is not a complaint, but an inquiry from a long-time fan. Maybe a slight modification giving the first two picks to the two teams with the worst records. This would assure those teams the opportunity to begin to rebuild.

Then have your lottery for picks 3 through 10, and there would be minimal cost if any to make the change.

If the lottery event is bringing in some hidden benefit that I don't know about, then OK. I'm all ears, but as it stands, it takes more away than it gives.