To complete the roundup, how about some thoughts on the Sonics?
So, apparently people still think the NBA lottery is rigged. And there's a lot of clamoring for the NBA to change its lottery.
It cracks me up that this conversation comes only after Portland and Seattle secure the top two picks in the draft. Had Boston or New York done what the Blazers or Sonics did, there would be no clamoring, only talk of how great it is that a great talent would be going to one of the NBA's great franchises. (Although talk of it being rigged might not go away.)
The funny thing is, as Henry Abbott of True Hoop notes, talk of rigging seems a little silly at first blush, what with the two superstars heading to what is apparently widely regarded as the end of the earth.
The NBA is a business, and if they were going to rig their league, you'd think they'd rig it in a way that would make them more money. And keeping the best players from one of the world's most popular teams, the Boston Celtics, would be a bad move. Sending those players away from the populous, wealthy, and timezone-advantaged Eastern seaboard would make little sense, unless you were going to send them to a major center like Los Angeles.However, others aren't so sure. Team execs seem to think that NBA commish David Stern rigged the lottery to punish teams who were tanking at the end of the season to try and get one of those top two picks.
I think that's awesome.
Once upon a time , the NBA had a straight lottery to prevent this sort of tanking from happening at all. Now, with a weighted lottery, the temptation to try and play the odds is just too great. Whether Stern actually did rig it or didn't rig it is completely beside the point. The fact that execs in his own league actually believe that he might do something like that says more than anything. If that dissuades them from tanking next season, well, let perception and reality become as blurred as possible.