= No Contest.
I thought we had it. I honestly thought we had broken our 21 year streak of bad luck. And then, they announced the Washington Wizards' representative for the Draft Lottery, owner Abe Pollin's widow, wearing his 1978 championship ring. At that very moment, I knew we were done. Brilliant as he may be, Macgyver is simply no match for a widow.
Congrats to the Wizards. They played the best card, rendering our mascot karma inert. Well done.
That being said, I hope Gilbert Arenas shoots John Wall in the knee cap.
Anyway, after a 13th brutal trip to the lottery where the Wolves have NEVER improved their draft positioning and have actually been moved back a ridiculous SEVEN times, I've come to the conclusion that the NBA Draft Lottery needs to be ended. I've been saying for years now that the system is awful and needs to be tweaked. But now, I just want it out of my life.
Think abou it. The NFL and Major League Baseball are without question the two biggest leagues in America. Neither league has a draft lottery system. Neither league has teams tanking at the end to secure the #1 pick. Neither league is suffering one bit from a lack of a "lottery". On the other hand, a good five people gave up and stopped being Timberwolves fans last night, essentially cutting the team's fan base in half.
The draft lottery, intended to uphold the "integrity" of the league, has done just the opposite. The whole system is inherently sketchy and leads people to believe that the system is rigged. (See Patrick Ewing and the Knicks, the Bulls landing the #1 pick immediately post-Jordan, the Wizards landing the #1 pick right after Jordan joined the ownership, LeBron in Cleveland, Derrick Rose in Chicago) On the flip side, if the Nets were picking #1 and the Wolves #2, nobody would be questioning it. Anyone who watched either of those two teams this year knows how legitimately awful they were.
Furthermore, let's take a look at the past 20 years and each #1 pick overall...
|2009||Blake Griffin||LA Clippers||Oklahoma|
|2007||Greg Oden||Portland||Ohio State|
|2004||Dwight Howard||Orlando||SW Atlanta Christian Academy (GA)|
|2003||LeBron James||Cleveland||St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (OH)|
|2001||Kwame Brown||Washington||Glynn Academy|
|2000||Kenyon Martin||New Jersey Nets||Cincinnati|
|1999||Elton Brand||Chicago Bulls||Duke|
|1998||Michael Olowokandi||Los Angeles Clippers||Pacific (Cal.)|
|1997||Tim Duncan||San Antonio||Wake Forest|
|1995||Joe Smith||Golden State||Maryland|
|1992||Shaquille O'Neal||Orlando||Louisiana State|
|1991||Larry Johnson||Charlotte||Nevada-Las Vegas|
|1990||Derrick Coleman||New Jersey||Syracuse|
I'm not going to call all "stats" crazy on you, but off the top of my head, only two players on that list have won an NBA title. (Maybe Glenn Robison picked up a ring off the bench when he was with the Spurs, or something. Who cares?) However, the main point is that TWO guys on that list, Tim Duncan and Shaq, were major cornerstone pieces on a championship team. And out of those two, only ONE, Tim Duncan, actually won his championships with the team who drafted him. So if you're New Jersey, or Minnesota, or some other horrible team, why would you intentionally scrap an entire season and deal with the embarrassment and loss of ticket sales that comes with living in the NBA's basement, for what basically equates to a 5% chance that the person you're drafting #1 overall will lead you to an NBA title?
So let's get rid of the lottery. All it does is frustrate and screw over the teams and the fans who have suffered the most. It's time to end this dumb system before it ends basketball in Minnesota...