Saturday, May 1, 2010

Idiot Tax - Fixing the NBA Draft Lottery

Every May, the NBA holds its draft lottery to determine the top 3 picks. It gives every team that missed the playoffs varying odds on winning the top pick. This system is based on the idea of no tanking. If you purposely lose games, there is only so high of a pick you can guarantee yourself. The Nets (who did not tank, but rather perfected losing) are this year's worst team, and are guaranteed no lower than pick number four.

Now, as a fan of the Nets, I am dreading the draft lottery. I just suffered watching the worst season in team history, and now there is a 75% chance that the pain will increase. Does this system make sense? Let's examine.

As mentioned earlier, this system relies on the "no tanking" principle. However, there is still tanking that goes on regardless among non-playoff teams, as they will shut down their top players to get more "lottery balls" for the draft. Furthermore, there are also cases of playoff teams tanking to ensure a favorable first round match-up. So, the system is already broken and not carrying out its sole purpose. I say we scrap it.

My idea: back to basics. The worst team gets the top pick. Sure, you may have some tanking, but will there be more than what is going on right now? It gives fans of losing teams some optimism, rather than another kick in the teeth. It is also in the league's best interest to have all teams being competitive - so why not give the worst team a shot at the best player? The NFL does it, and they are only the most successful sports organization in the country. Furthermore, we get an extra month of mock drafts! Who doesn't love those?

But, obviously, this won't change the Nets' current situation. I am fully bracing myself for a Derrick Favors/Wesley Johnson debate. My advice for the Nets: send me to the NBA Draft Lottery. Why? I am a dorky white guy. Teams usually use this opportunity to send players, coaches, or celebrities associated with the team (Jay-Z went two years ago to represent the Nets). But who wins? Well let's see...

Lewis Katz represented the Nets last time they won the draft lottery in 2000.

In recent years, the Bulls were represented by this guy when they won...

And this dude represented the Clippers last year...

Notice the trend here? Dorky white guys are winning the draft lottery! And I'm the dorkiest, whitest, guyest guy I know! Prokhorov, I await your call.

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