West fumes after Portland Trail Blazers win NBA Draft Lotter

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 4:19 am
West fumes after Portland Trail Blazers win NBA Draft Lottery

By TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer
May 23, 2007


SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) -- Two longshots from the Pacific Northwest won the NBA draft lottery and the right to select can't-miss picks Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.

The luck of the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle SuperSonics also left outgoing Memphis Grizzlies president Jerry West calling for the league to dump the weighted lottery system that rarely has helped the league's worst team.

West was fuming Tuesday night after the Grizzlies, the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks, the teams with the league's three worst records, got the fourth, fifth and sixth choices in the June 28 draft in New York behind Portland, Seattle and Atlanta.

Portland, which only had a 5.3 percent chance of winning, beat the odds and won the right to select either Oden or Durant. The SuperSonics will get the other and the Hawks, who had the fourth worst record, will have the pick of the rest of the draft that might be one of the deepest in years.

"It's about as disappointing as you could ever hope for," West said minutes after the lottery was announced at the NBA Entertainment Center. "It's like pitching pennies. It's grossly unfair to the team, but I've said it before, I don't think the lottery is fair. I never liked it. I don't think it's a good system at all, period.

"There have been a lot of picks in the lottery that have (failed). There are two in the lottery this year that are not going to fail. There are two superstars in the draft. I think for the teams fortunate enough to get them, the fortunes of their franchises have changed forever."

That will be Portland and Seattle.

For the Trail Blazers, the lottery was sweet revenge. A year ago, they had the worst record in the league and ended up with the fourth pick.

Now they will have the top pick for the fourth time franchise history. Two were duds (LaRue Martin and Mychal Thompson). The other was a fellow named Bill Walton and he led them to an NBA title.

"Huge, unbelievably huge," general manager Kevin Pritchard said. "Franchise making. ... Rip City again, here we come."

Pritchard would not say whether the Trail Blazers would pick Oden, the center who led Ohio State to the NCAA championship game, or Durant, a high-scoring forward who made Texas fun to watch.

"Either one, you can't go wrong," said Brandon Roy, the NBA rookie of the year who represented the Trail Blazers.

The 7-foot Oden is the likely top pick, because dominant centers are harder to find.

Milwaukee will go sixth, followed by Minnesota, Charlotte and Chicago, which had the rights to New York's pick through the Eddy Curry trade. Sacramento will be 10th, followed by the Hawks, Philadelphia, New Orleans and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Since the NBA switched to a weighted lottery system in 1994, only two NBA teams with the best chance of landing the top pick have gotten it -- the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1993 (LeBron James) and the Orlando Magic (Dwight Howard) the following year.

This marked the first time since 1993 that the three worst teams all dropped out of the top three.

"This is not sour grapes, it is not," West said. "I didn't expect we would get No. 1 or No. 2. I just don't like it at all. No other sport does it this way."

The presence of the Oden and Durant created a lot of interest in the lottery. More than 100 media received credentials.

Oden averaged 15.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.3 rebounds despite being limited for much of the season while recovering from right wrist surgery.

Durant led the Big 12 with 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, and was the AP national player of the year.

Portland, which had a great draft night in 2006 by getting Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge through trades, had more than luck on its side.

"I have one lucky charm, my daughter gave it to me, it's a little ladybug pendant," Pritchard said of his 10-year-old daughter, Kendall.

It worked.

With either Oden or Durant, interest in the SuperSonics should pick up. The Sonics haven't been able to get a new arena and aren't guaranteed to be in Seattle past next season.

"Hopefully it gets people more excited," Sonics president of basketball operations Lenny Wilkens said. "Seattle has great fans. And like we say, it's not over until the fat lady sings."

The Hawks were the other big winner Tuesday. Moving up one spot saved them from having to send their pick to the Suns as a result of the Joe Johnson trade. And Atlanta also picked up Indiana's pick, No. 11, from the Al Harrington deal since the Pacers stayed put.

"This gives us a chance to look at what really need as far as helping us progress as a franchise," Hawks vice president and former star Dominique Wilkins said. "This is big for us. Everybody wants the No. 1, No. 2 picks. But any time you get in the top three picks, this is monumental for us."

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What does west think would be the best draft system - Give the top pick to the team with the worst record! That would definately result in serious tanking!!!! Sore loser is what it is!
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 4:22 am
migya wrote:What does west think would be the best draft system - Give the top pick to the team with the worst record! That would definately result in serious tanking!!!! Sore loser is what it is!


Best part about all this b*tching is that we only hear it AFTER the lottery.
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:49 am
TMC wrote:
migya wrote:What does west think would be the best draft system - Give the top pick to the team with the worst record! That would definately result in serious tanking!!!! Sore loser is what it is!


Best part about all this b*tching is that we only hear it AFTER the lottery.

Thats exactly right. Jerry West is just pissed because his team undeniably tanked the season to get Greg Oden... and he wasn't rewarded for trying to stack the deck.

On one hand, I'm pissed that the Western Conference is suddenly THAT much better (and it was already cut-throat to begin with)... but, on the other hand, I'm glad teams like the Celtics and Grizzlies aren't being rewarded for tanking.
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 6:56 pm
I honestly think that Stern was trying to send a message... You tank, you will not get the first pick. It was easy to notice that both Boston and Memphis were tanking the season trying to cover it up with a couple tries against teams for the W, but still. These guys thought if they "cheated" for an easier route to the Oden/Durant sweepstakes, they'd most likely get it. Unfortunately, they had to pay the price. I mean c'mon, do you guys honestly believe this lottery is ACTUALLY a fair lottery?
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 6:59 pm
xbaywarrior wrote:I honestly think that Stern was trying to send a message... You tank, you will not get the first pick. It was easy to notice that both Boston and Memphis were tanking the season trying to cover it up with a couple tries against teams for the W, but still. These guys thought if they "cheated" for an easier route to the Oden/Durant sweepstakes, they'd most likely get it. Unfortunately, they had to pay the price. I mean c'mon, do you guys honestly believe this lottery is ACTUALLY a fair lottery?

Great post! I agree.
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 2:28 am
xbaywarrior wrote:I honestly think that Stern was trying to send a message... You tank, you will not get the first pick. It was easy to notice that both Boston and Memphis were tanking the season trying to cover it up with a couple tries against teams for the W, but still. These guys thought if they "cheated" for an easier route to the Oden/Durant sweepstakes, they'd most likely get it. Unfortunately, they had to pay the price. I mean c'mon, do you guys honestly believe this lottery is ACTUALLY a fair lottery?


The system is not fair, but I don't think it's rigged. I mean, the team with the worst record only has a 25% of chances of actually getting the first pick... That means that 3 of each 4 times you end with the worst record, you won't get that pick. That's what happens year after year.
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 4:38 am
You know what, I've read that the actual lottery (with the balls dropping to see the order of the picks) is not done in front of the GMs off all the lottery teams but in private. If that is the case (and it must be as the GMs are only there for the unveiling of the order), then it can very easily be rigged
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:04 am
... is anybody disputing the crookedness of the NBA Draft lottery?

I thought it was common knowledge. :scratch:
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 2:52 pm
I think it should be like this:

Completely even lottery for all non-playoff teams. Maybe a little bit of a special case for expansion teams. Don't reward teams for being bad. That would make all teams try their hardest always.
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 2:54 pm
And one more thing. Does West really believe that his team is the worst in the league and the one that needs help the most? He has Gasol. There are several teams out there in worse shape.
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 2:05 am
cladden wrote:And one more thing. Does West really believe that his team is the worst in the league and the one that needs help the most? He has Gasol. There are several teams out there in worse shape.


Probably not for long. Gasol said he was going to stay in Memphis only if they draft Oden... right now, it's far from a certainty.


btw, I don't have any problem with the system. The idea of the draft is allowing bad teams to improve, so you cannot give the same chances to each team. It defies the purpose of the lottery.

What they should do is make it open to everybody, so everybody can see what happens in there. No numbers, just a ball with the logo of the team. Just make it a clean process.
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 4:48 am
cladden wrote:I think it should be like this:

Completely even lottery for all non-playoff teams. Maybe a little bit of a special case for expansion teams. Don't reward teams for being bad. That would make all teams try their hardest always.



Has some plausibility and definately would stop any sort of tanking. I'm slightly more in favour of how it is now but only just
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