The 2012 NBA Draft Lottery took place on Wednesday night. Even though it was the Charlotte Bobcats who entered the festivities with the highest total of ping pong balls and greatest likelihood of landing the No. 1 overall pick, it was the New Orleans Hornets who ultimately emerged with the top prize.
Yes, the same Hornets who were owned by the NBA up until recently. (And for all intents and purposes, still are.) Yes, the same Hornets who were just sold after a long and strenuous process where every other potential buyer in the world said thanks, but no thanks. Yes, the same Hornets who entered this shindig with less than a 14 percent chance of ultimately getting that No. 1 pick – lower odds than the Bobcats, Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers were all working with.
And so, in the aftermath of those Hornets winning the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, executives from the losing squads were understandably upset. Fortunately for America, they made their dissatisfaction no secret. Per Yahoo! Sports:
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"It's such a joke that the league made the new owners be at the lottery for the show," one high-ranking team executive told Yahoo! Sports. "The league still owns the Hornets. Ask their front office if new owners can make a trade right now. They can't. This is a joke."
The reaction of several league executives was part disgust, part resignation on Wednesday night. So many had predicted this happening, so many suspected that somehow, someway, the Hornets would walk away with Davis.
Of course, in the midst of all of the impropriety talk, it’s worth noting that it would be very difficult to rig the NBA Draft Lottery. The ping pong balls dropping in the order that they were said to have dropped isn’t up for debate – it’s what actually happened. Media personnel in the room at the time have already come out and verified that everything was kosher with that part of the proceedings. Which means that if the lottery was in fact rigged, the rigging would have had to occur as it pertains to the ping pong balls themselves (weight, size, etc.).
Is it possible that differently weighted balls were put into the little machine or that something equally sinister took place? Sure. Is it likely? Nope.
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But conspiracy theories are never not fun, so expect them to run rampant for the next few weeks.
(Kudos Yahoo! Sports)