While the New Jersey Nets had the best odds of winning the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, it was the Washington Wizards who had the ping pong balls bounce their way.
Irene Pollin, current owner of the team, wore her late husband’s (Abe Pollin, former owner of the team) championship ring as a good luck charm. Her mouth dropped when the number two team, the Philadelphia 76ers, was announced. The Wizards were the last team standing, meaning they’d get the coveted number one overall pick, and the chance to draft either Kentucky guard John Wall or Ohio State guard Evan Turner.
Russian billionaire Mikhail Prohorov, the newest owner of the New Jersey Nets, was the team’s representative at the lottery, but he couldn’t muster any of the good fortune needed to secure the top spot, despite having a 25 percent chance of doing so. The Nets will pick third overall, behind the Wizards and 76ers.
Prokhorov made some small waves earlier in the day when he promised the team would be in the playoffs next season, and win a championship in five seasons. Though still possible, the task became a little harder without any real chance of getting the top two players in the draft.
Of course, this is nothing new for the team with the best odds. The last time the team with the worst record kept their top spot was when Orlando did it in 2004. Their prize was Dwight Howard.
It was a surprise win for the Wizards, though, leapfrogging four other teams from projected fifth pick to first, and she insisted her late husband’s spirit was in the room after pulling off the upset.
The Philadelphia 76ers also jumped up four spots from six to the number two pick, and the New Jersey Nets, the team with the best odds of winning, fell to number three in this years NBA draft.
It was boring beginning to the lottery, with the first 8 teams staying exactly where they were projected. It wasn’t until the Warriors landed in the sixth spot when things got shaken up. Below is the full lottery with where they were projected to pick in ( ).
1. Washington Wizards (5)
2. Philadelphia 76ers (6)
3. New Jersey Nets (1)
4. Minnesota Timberwolves (2)
5. Sacramento Kings (3)
6. Golden State Warriors (4)
7. Detroit Pistons
8. Los Angeles Clippers
9. Utah Jazz
10. Indiana Pacers
11. New Orleans Hornets
12. Memphis Grizzlies
13. Toronto Raptors
14. Houston Rockets
As a sidenote, they really do need to get a bit more creative with this thing… It’s literally the same canned production and mini-stories every year, with just the results and people in attendance changing. That, and the fact they try to make it more dramatic than it is… NBA, ESPN, whomever.. please do something about the format.