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May 30, 2012
As NBA lottery approaches, a "big night" for the Brooklyn Nets would be a statistical anomaly--and very good luck (or a conspiracy)
Atlantic Yards Report
"Could be a big night for brooklyn nets," tweeted the ever-optimistic Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets and the Barclays Center.
He's referring to the chance to land the first pick in the NBA draft, where the clear choice is 6'10" Kentucky star Anthony Davis. It's a longshot even for the team to get a pick, as the New York Post's Fred Kerber explains:
The Nets, who after losing a tie-breaker with the Kings would slot in sixth if form holds — and immediately surrender the pick — have a 7.5 percent chance to land Davis. They will keep their own pick only if the gods of fate decide to place them at one, two (8.33 percent chance) or three (9.36 percent chance). Anywhere else, and the pick goes to Portland through the Gerald Wallace trade.
So the Nets roughly have a 25 percent chance to get a top-three pick, which would be the sixth in their history. Their only pick at present is No. 57 in the second round.
League hopes and conspiracy theories
Then again, stranger things have happened. As the Post's Tim Bontemps wrote:
The NBA will be watching, as well, and maybe secretly hoping it works out that way, too. With the Nets making a highly publicized move to a new city and new arena, it would be far from a bad thing for the league to see a talent like Davis land in Brooklyn.
“With all things being equal, we’d love this team to get off to a good start,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said at last month’s unveiling of the Nets’ new color scheme and logos on the day they officially became the Brooklyn Nets. “We recognize that it’s a zero-sum game in terms of wins and losses in this league, so I don’t root for one team to have a win over another team.
I've heard a couple of people repeat what former star and TV commentator (and admitted conpsiracy theorist) Charles Barkley said last month: the league might be rigging the lottery to ensure that the Nets land Davis:
"I'm going to be very leery if Anthony Davis ends up in Brooklyn. You know, I'm going to be very leery because I know the NBA has a lot riding on that new arena, especially if Deron Williams leaves New Jersey. They didn't get Dwight Howard. I'm going to be very leery if New Jersey gets that number one pick."
There's no proof this has happened before, as Harvey Araton points out.
NoLandGrab: Harvey Araton can tweet what he wants, but is there anyone who really believes that the 1985 NBA draft lottery wasn't rigged? Sure, it's harder to fix the ping pong balls than the envelopes, but David Stern's a smart guy, right?
Posted by eric at May 30, 2012 11:21 AM