The Frozen Envelope: The NBA's Greatest Conspiracy Theory

BR StudiosFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2015

Perhaps the most popular conspiracy theory in all of sports revolves around the 1985 NBA draft lottery. Believers claim Commissioner David Stern and the NBA rigged the lottery so the New York Knicks would get the first pick and, with it, select Patrick Ewing.

After a dominant college career at Georgetown, Ewing was the surefire first pick of the 1985 NBA draft. He was a "once in a decade" talent who would change the fate of whichever team picked him. The Knicks were desperate for a center, and according to the theories, the NBA was desperate for a good team in New York.

Once the Knicks won the draft (and future Hall of Famer Ewing), the whispers of "fraud" and "fix" began and continue to this day, including far-out speculation involving everything from dry ice to X-ray glasses.

Was the NBA desperate enough to rig the draft lottery? Was David Stern powerful enough to fix a seemingly random selection of envelopes? Was the fate of the NBA changed forever by a "frozen envelope"? Will the Knicks be lucky again 30 years later, or are there more powerful forces at work? Watch the video and decide for yourself.