Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why I Hate the Draft Lottery

The Charlotte Bobcats suffered through one of the worst seasons in professional sports history. The team has a disturbing lack of talent, and desperately needs an infusion of talent. The reward, would seemingly be a unibrowed budding superstar - and a little bit of hope. In 2012, the Bobcats won 10 percent of their games, and ended the year on a 23 game losing streak.

In most sports, the Bobcats would own the #1 pick, and some much-needed optimism for a beleaguered fan base. Instead, they end up with the #2 pick, and that is actually not as bad as it could have been. The Bobcats have a 25% chance to land the 1st pick, and around a 37% to fall to the 4th pick. In actuality, the Bobcats lucked up by getting the 2nd pick.

There are a fair share of conspiracy theories - I have thrown out a few myself, and it is easy to connect the dots. The New Orleans Hornets are currently owned by the NBA, until the deal is completed with Tom Benson, who also owns the Saints. Perhaps a deal went down where Benson was promised the 1st pick, for taking the Hornets off of the league's hands. The Hornets are an unpopular franchise nationally, and reports are that they are hemorrhaging money. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski had a piece, discussing such a theory, as Stern is looking to perhaps "maximize" value for the franchise.

Last year, the Cavaliers got the 1st pick, after making a trade with the Clippers. That pick, only had a 1.7% chance of becoming the #1 pick. Payback for Cleveland losing Lebron? Unlikely, but interesting nonetheless. The Bulls got Derrick Rose a few years ago, despite long odds. A potential superstar going to a large market? Perhaps it raises some eyebrows among the paranoid fan.

No, I am not here to feed into conspiracies, I am here to discuss the Bobcats, and their ability to suck like no team ever has before. As a fan of some pretty terrible teams, I have seen my team pick #1 on a few occasions: The Chargers in 2001, and the Chargers AND Padres in 2004(2004 really sucked). The only solace I could take in a miserable year, was that my team had a chance to get the best amateur player around. It worked out for the Chargers: they traded the picks both years, and ended up with Ladainian Tomlinson in 2001, and Philip Rivers in 2004. Those moves got me pumped and energized to weather the storm of being a fan of a crappy team. Sure, the Bobcats could still get a stud at #2, but is like having the Hornets sloppy seconds. In a year where nothing went right, the Bobcats deserve that first pick.

Every other sport has the worst team pick first. It is how it should be. The fate of one's team offseason, and beyond, should not be determined by ping-pong balls. The Bobcats can lose without even stepping foot in an arena. I am sure Michael Jordan and Bobcats GM Rich Cho will cry themselves to sleep tonight.

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