Commentary, news, analysis and reader-driven discussions focusing on this year's NBA playoffs.
West, whose Grizzlies had the worst record – and the best chance of landing the top pick - has been saying for years that he doesn’t like the NBA’s lottery system. Tuesday’s results are not likely to change his mind.
“I’ve said it for years: It’s not a fair system,” West said Monday, a full 24 hours before the lottery. “Everybody knows your chances going in aren’t that good.
“The worst teams suffer the most, and they need the help. If you’re in a small market and you happen to have a bad year, it’s a big problem.”
West probably would get no argument from Celtics boss Danny Ainge. Like Memphis, Boston came away gravely disappointed Tuesday night, falling to the No. 5 spot. The Grizzlies (22-60) and Celtics (24-58) had the worst records in the NBA last season, but they won’t even get a shot at a top three player in next June’s Draft.
In other words, they won’t get a shot at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.
Some might say the Grizz and Celts just got instant karma for “tanking” games late in the season. But there is no proof they did so. On the contrary, both teams won games late that they easily could have lost without anybody questioning it.
The problem, according to West, is that the current NBA system is not weighted heavily enough for those teams at the bottom of the standings. Memphis had just a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick. Boston had less than a 20 percent shot. The Grizzlies had less than a 50 percent chance of getting one of the top two.
West would like to see the NBA give better odds to teams like his that suffered through a dismal season. He thinks the teams at the very bottom need a franchise-changing player, and that the current system almost guarantees they won’t get it.
History would seem to back up West’s beef.
Only four times in 24 years now has the top pick gone to the team with the worst record. The lucky four were the ’04 Magic (Dwight Howard), the ’03 Cavs (LeBron James), the ’90 Nets (Derrick Coleman) and the ’88 Clippers (Danny Manning). Every other doormat team has come away disappointed.
Meanwhile, teams that maybe aren’t all that bad can “steal” a top player to add them to an already decent collection. This year’s winner, Portland, came from the 6 spot, while the runner-up Seattle came from the 5 spot. Last year the Raptors moved up from the No. 5 spot to land the top pick (Andrea Bargnani), and the year before the Bucks moved up from No. 6 (Andrew Bogut).
Obviously the NBA is concerned about teams tanking games at the end of the season to improve their lottery chances. By keeping the odds relatively low for even the worst team, David Stern & Co. are giving teams little incentive to lose on purpose. Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy made news earlier this season when he said the current NBA system doesn’t do enough in that regard -- and proposed putting all 30 NBA teams in the hopper with the same odds.
Van Gundy’s proposal would be too extreme. The NBA needs to give hope to fans in suffering cities that their team’s fortunes can turn around in a relatively short period of time. The fear of tanking is a concern -- but it has been effectively addressed by weighing the system.
The question now is whether it’s weighted enough for teams like the Grizzlies and Celtics.
West clearly doesn’t think so.
Stern should pay heed to the League Logo and consider a tweak to the system. How about giving those last three teams a better shot, say a 35-30-25 chance, with the leftover 10 percent distributed to the remaining lottery teams? Call it a retirement present to West – and a helping hand to those who need it the most.
posted by SI.com | View comments |
How about getting rid of the lottery all together and do what all the other major sports do? Let the draft order be determined by winning percentage.
How about doing what every other sport does? Have the draft order be determined by winning percentage. It works for every other sport, why should the NBA be different?
I agree with xandau. Personally, I think the lottery system is dumb. The NFL does not use a lottery, which is good enough for me.
wow. cry me a river. portland had the worst record last year and managed to draft the rookie of the year. we only got the #4 pick last year. no editorials from you then.
The NHL has a lottery as well.
Celts got hosed again! They got stiffed when the Spurs had one bad season when Robinson was out and stole Timmy Duncan with the top pick. Now the Celts and Grizzlies, clearly the worst teams, drop to 4 and 5 while teams that barely missed the playoffs get the franchise players? Mr. Stern, it's broke, and you gotta fix it! And I don't mean "fixing it" like the fix with Ewing in '85
this is just bad -- s a celtics fan and watching a young team with some good talent struggle all year just to get a useless 5 pick hurts. Oden or Durant could have made this a playoff team in the east now we are years away from doing anything unless Ainge makes a dramatic trade for a big name player. The Celtic green will not rise again for a long long long time.
A 25% chance of winning the top pick translates into a 75% chance of not winning it. This is just not fair to teams at the bottom, regardless of any tanking, and more importantly to the fans. We have to suffer through a dismal season only to watch our team get screwed out of a chance at instant improvement. Chnage the system!
I think they should also consider the lack of balance between East and West. The West does not need two more stars in-the-making. It is already the better conference. One of either Durant or Oden should be playing in the Eastern Conference next year. Why not have the picks toggle between the two conferences?
The reason is that in no other sport can one player make such a huge difference. Most years, the lottery pretty well keeps teams from tanking, but in a year with two huge prizes like Oden and Durant, some tanking was inevitable. But hey, it didn't work! Go Blazers!
How about simply freezing the records after 65 games? Basically the order for non-playoff teams is determined by your record on that date. Removes the incentive for blatant tanking, and really you don't need many more games to determine who really needs the help.
The comment about not having proof of tanking is a load of crap. I'm a Sixers fan living in Boston and I saw the celtics resting players, deliberately pulling starters when up by 20 and losing that game, etc. Both Boston and Memphis got just what they deserved!!!
Both West and Ainge should quiet down.
Drafts in general are necessary evils; allowing hope for franchises (and their fans) who are floundering. But more often than not, the franchises got bad by bad decisons. Now West and Ainge want to even more of a handout?
I'm especially happy that the Celtics didn't get a top two pick. For the second time in the lottery era, the powers that be hinged their hopes on the superstar riding in from the draft to save their skins (first Duncan now Oden/Durant). They make bad decision (trading for Telfair) after bad decision (how much did they give Scalabrine again), selling their fan base that the pick will ride in and save them. While they will get a good player with the 5th pick, how are they going to sell their fans hope now that their top pick bubble has burst?
Funny, I don't remember there being much sympathy for the Blazers last year, when their league-worst record got them the 4th pick. Or is it only an "unfair system" when the Celtics or Jerry West don't get what they want?
I could care less about the NBA, but they need to do their draft by winning percentage, none of that lottery BS.
this draft was fixed to bury the celtics for good. there was alot of heat on them for tanking games so this was payback .
oklahoma city here comes your nba team!!!!!! nobody in memphis wants to pay $35 for nose bleeds to watch second rate players.
Boston obviously tanked and they deserve what they got. And it's not obvious that Memphis, Boston and Milwaukee are a lot worse than Portland and Seattle, so I don't agree with you.
I like the idea of having the draft order defined one month before the end of the season. This way if a team want to tank , he'll have to start early.
How about get rid of the draft, period?? This isn't the 60s and we aren't fighting the Vietnamese. The obsession with "parity" is borderline unhealthy. I think teams should compete for college grads and "free agents" in a free market.
Personally I think xanadu is an idiot.
The tanking this year was egregious. Boston was particularly guilty; same with Atlanta. I have more sympathy for the teams that actually competed even when it was obviously not their time. Philly comes to mind. I'd rather have a lottery system that was only moderately weighted. (Unless it's just the NBA office picking the order all along. The Suns sanction inspires the conspiracy theory.)
Once a team is eliminated from the playoffs there's no incentive to continue playing hard. That's why teams tank each year no matter the odds of winning the lottery. Since there is no way to prevent tanking you might as well elminate the lottery all together and let the worst teams pick first and actually get better. Seems to work for the NFL...
The 3 tankers got the shaft. Oh the Karma!
The system needs to be fixed. The truth is that when so few of the poor teams get the top picks 4 of 24 then something is wrong. From a person whose team got it, Lebron when we needed it. it turned it around. JKM
No complaining. Its called karma.. Boston and Memphis tanked and it bit them. Last year Portland had the best chance but also picked 4th. Why did no one complain on their behalf? Point is Kids.. DONT TANK YOUR SEASON
It would be stupid to do it by winning %, then there is a clear incentive to tank games. Winning % works in the NFL because star players don't have quite the same disproportionate impact as they do in basketball (except in very rare cases like a Peyton Manning)
NBA is a joke all in all. The lottery is so insanely dumb I can't even believe a professional organization would use it. Bad rules, Stern the Ego running things, majority bad basketball save for five teams. Enjoy the NBA people, I'll be watching the best run league in sports; the NFL.
The whole point of having a draft is to make the talent level more even in the league. The lottery system fouls that all up. The teams that need the help most rarely get the top players.
And for all the people that yell about tanking, clearly the lottery DID NOT prevent that as Milwaukee, Memphis, and a few other teams blatantly did it as well as Boston. So the whole system needs to be changed
There is a simple reason for the lottery in the NBA, and not in other sports.
What it comes down to is the fact that there are only two sports where the draft can almost always have an immediate impact upon the team, football and basketball.
In football, a single player still can't single handedly turn around a team in one season. In the NBA, this is a very distinct possibility. Look at what Duncan did for the Spurs, what Lebron did for the Cavs, just missing the playoffs after years of futility.
Tanking for just the little bit of extra advantage in the Lottery has already become endemic in the league. Do we really need to make it worse by getting rid of the Lottery?
Reason #7,084 why the NBA is becomig increasingly irrelevant. Boo hoo.
This is ridiculous. Portland was in the same exact situation last year. Worst record...fourth pick. No articles about a flawed system then, but a year later the lottery is a giant failure. Give me a break. Also, Celtics fans need to quit whining about Tim Duncan. Brandon Roy is living proof that the draft order does not make or break a team. Blame your GM, not the lottery Gods.
West is feeling what the Blazers felt last year when they had the worst record but fell to the #4 pick.
I actually agree with the suggestion by Jeff Van Gundy mentioned in the column. Why should a team be rewarded with a high pick just because it was lousy? Shouldn't franchises that know how to run themselves, manage their roster and play the game also have a chance to be rewarded?
What goes around comes around. The Blazers had the worst record last year, but eneded up 3rd(traded for 2nd). Now Portland is getting a little redemption. RIP CITY!!!!
The draft is what it is....I'm glad the Celts fell to number 5 serves them right for throwing games and taking the attitude that they were entitled to do so just to get a shot at the top two! As they say it ain't easy being green...and guess what it's not gonna get any easier!
All I can say to those who think Boston and Memphis got hosed is "SHUT UP!! and quit whining. Get over it!" Last year the the team with the worst record, the Blazers, didn't win the #1 pick. Did I hear any of you complaining about it? NO! However, my beloved Blazers succeeding in getting the best rookie out of all of them. It is what it is so just quit complaining about it. Am I happy about this? You bet I am. Was I unhappy about it last year? You bet I was. Did I whine and complain can cry about it? Not a chance. My attitude was oh well, things happen. Nothing I can do about it and life goes on. If you think the lottery is unfair, too bad.
Nobody cried for the Blazers last year, and we still owned the draft. West and Ainge can cry all they want, they tanked their seasons and paid the price. GO BLAZERS!
I dont understand how everyone says "O STOP THEM FROM TANKING," when NFL teams with nothing to play for rest their stars, and shut down injured players that could possibly play because its a prudent decision. Nobody accuses anyone in the NFL of tanking and to accuse it in the NBA is ridiculous too. I dont understand why the NBA doesnt award the lowest winning percentage the first pick and so on, like every other league. They say Stern is concerned about taking games, but these concerns aren't legitimate so he shouldn't even listen. Do whats best for your league!
This couldn't be a worse outcome for the NBA. With both "superstars" playing on the west coast, they will be nearly invisible to the fans in the East. People in the Eastern time zone don't watch NBA games that start at 10:00 or 10:30.
Because basketball's draft picks have a more immediate effect on a team than they can in other sports. A team can improve instantly by dropping late games more so than other sports.
How soon we all forget that Portland had the worst record last year but didn't get a top 3 pick.
so... in 22 years worst has picked first four times? that's only two off the expected ratio (it should be 5 or 6 times). hardly a "guarantee" that the lottery doesn't work. i'm with JVG, this year was ridiculous and if anything more needs to be done to protect the memphises and bostons from themselves.
Funny..I don't karma involved when the Magic or the Cavs tanked at the end but got LeBron and Howard!
Fact is that they were clearly horrible teams at that time and did desperately need those stars.
It's the worst teams that end up tanking anyways!
I don't understand what the real difference is between Boston and Memphis apparently "tanking" games and teams like Dallas doing the same thing when they are assured the top spot. No one seems to have a problem with the Mavericks resting their starters when they are guaranteed the top spot in the playoffs at that point, because people think the ultimate goal is them winning. They are losing so far as they are making themselves better prepared to win in the postseason. Well, what is the real difference between that and Boston tanking? Boston also is losing for an ultimate goal of winning by landing a top player that would help them do so. I'm perfectly ok with tanking because 1) you can't prove they're actually doing it, and these are very competitive people by nature so who's to say, and 2) because they're trying to get a top player. If their season means nothing from that point on, what would be the gain in winning when you could lose and get a franchise-changing player?
Without the Lottery teams would tank more.
Just lose the most games and you get the best player automatically.
A really good team that knows that it's one super-star away from the championship, can just tank one whole season when they find that special player (1996 San Antonio Spurs).
what some of you failt to realize is that teams WILL tank games if they know they are going to get an Oden and Durant. And this is exactly why the lotto system was put in place. The people crying that its so unfair should also realize there is not much difference between a 20-62 team and say a 29-53 team. they both are horrible and both need help so you can further see why the lottery system is put in place because both teams if they know they wont make the playoffs will tank all their remaining games once they get to the point they know theyu arn't making the playoffs.
the system works and has worked and Boston and Memphis just got a little bit of karma flung their way. Tanking games while people pay thousands of dollars on season tickets to see these guys play at their best is the worst thing any team can do for the people that pay their paychecks....the fans.
Changing the system would be wrong, wrong, WRONG! It's easy for fans of the worst teams to say, "regardless of any tanking". Every year there is a scramble to get in to the 6-8 spots of the playoffs. So a poor team tanks to a team on the edge of the playoffs, meanwhile those in competition for the 8th spot get hosed. Just look at the Clippers last year, merely for playoff positioning.
This idea that Ainge can totally wreck a team and automatically be rewarded with Oden or Durant is ludicrous. If the Celts want a better team, manage it better, by firing an incompetent GM.
The problem is I don't want to root for my team to lose.
Giving all the perks to the worst clubs is nothing short of Communism! We should return to the completely random draft so we won't punish merit.
1st off Ainge has never complained about the lottery system. 2nd, I'm not crazy about Oden. There is something that is just not right about him. I'm bummed about Durant but the C's don't need him. They need a legitmate big man and I think the kid from China can fill that void, in the future.
The tanking arguement is moot. All teams do it when the chance of landing a franchise player the caliber of Oden/Durant/Duncan is waiting in the wings.
Don't forget, the Spurs sat a healthy David Robinson the year before the Duncan draft.
Cleveland was accused of tanking games the year before LeBron came out.
Lottery teams "tanking" to increase their chances to get a potiential superstar franchise player is part of the game. Don't rip the Celtics now as if they were the first team to tank.
It's not just that the Celtics got the 5th pick, but that Memphis got the 4th. You would hope that at least ONE of the TWO worst teams in the NBA would score one of at least the top three picks. For both of them to fall to 4th and 5th respectively, is just dumbfounding and inexcusable.
It would be stupid to do it by winning %, then there is a clear incentive to tank games. Winning % works in the NFL because star players don't have quite the same disproportionate impact as they do in basketball
Please. What you fail to realize is that winning games generates $$$ for the team. Tanking games has its contras too (i.e., losing a fan base relatively quickly). What you also fail to realize is that with the way the lottery is constructed, borderline playoff teams can also "tank" to slide out of the playoffs...and as you can see from the lottery, even those teams with a miniscule percentage of winning can get a top-3 pick. The lottery was a rushed decision done in the 80s in response to Houston. The lottery is a broken system and should be eliminated. I guarantee that if a team continues to tank, year-in and year-out, they won't be in business very long....
Oh my gosh,pinch me !
Our beloved Rip City was already rebuilding. Now this is the top of the poppermost as the Beatles once said.
What I would love to see would be the three best non-playoff teams getting the top picks, and then the fourth through fourteenth going to the other non-playoff teams. My reasoning is that it's not terribly difficult in the NBA to go from horrendous to mediocre; the toughest leap is from average to contender. I would love to see Greg Oden added to .500 team that just missed the playoffs--instant title threat.
The Spurs didn't "sit a healthy Robinson". He was hurt that year and only played 6 games. Sean Elliott, their other All-star, missed half the season as well.
Celts fans should look at the bright side. Your way overdue to win the lottery now. So think of the fun you'll have in the next decade watching OJ Mayo jack up 35+ shots a night on the way to annual 30-52 records.
The NBA? It's FAAAAAAAAAAANTASTIC! Really, who cares? It's becomming as relevant as the NHL, which unfortunately still exists. MLB is in full swing, and the NFL mini-camps are starting to open. Wonderful!
The anti Boston sentiment on this page is crazy, and it needs to be checked. First off they didnt tank towards then end of the year, they were just plain bad all year long. Plu Pierce was hurt a good deal. It seems unreasonable to have a system that goes out of its way to avoid parity. Spreading the talent around with draft status based on the previous year works in every other sport, and the NBA should adopt this policy.I am a Celtics fan, and all i can say is the NBA would be better off with a strong team in this market for alot of reasons. But ill allow the boston haters to get back to hating, cause to be honest its going to take a few more titles for even the closest franchise to catch us at 16 banners...
Wow there are some absolute idiots in here! It's amazing how people make arguments that the draft is broken(or fixed which is ridiculous) and we need a new system. Guess what? Portland had the worst record in the NBA last year and they got the first.. Oh wait no.. they got the FOURTH pick but they still managed to have a better draft than anyone else. Get off your lazy arses and make some deals to make your team better (this means you Danny Ainge and Jerry West). The Blazers landed Brandon Roy and Lamarcus last year by making deals and not standing pat with their original pick.
Let's be honest here people. It isn't that these teams lost out on the No. 1 pick, it's that they lost out on the top pick THIS YEAR! Any other year it wouldn't matter. Quit whining, and take action. That's just the way the ping pong ball bounces..
the lottery does not need tweaking. the blazers are the 6th worst team. and they played hard finishing the season. the celtics started sitting players. you can't reward that. i did not see a big stink when the blazers didn't get "their" pick last year. deal with it, move on. if you don't think you can get someone in the number 5 spot you have management problems. brandon roy 4th pick, dwayne wade i think was around pick 18.
how about the Memphis and Boston fans, have better GM's, and draft better in other down years
The best thing that the NBA can do is to take a page from the NHL's playbook and shut down for a year.... or more.
THIS IS HOW TO FIX IT (or make it better?):
Its complicated but I think it will work. Choose 40 randomly selected games from a team's overall record and count that as their "draft record." A truly awful team's record would be reflected in this sample but if they tanked the last twenty games that might not have the same impact on their lottery standing. They'd really have to tank an entire season to really impact this. The system might open up a good team with injuries moving up but it wouldn't have quite the same impact. Also a good team is probably going to try very hard to make a playoff run after they get healthy.
I think the only reason that we are even talking about this is that there are 2 exceptionally great players this year. If this was an average draft year, with not a huge difference in the top 4-6 picks, we are not even talking about all this. From what i see in the history of the number one pick, there is no gaurantee of a championship.
The Grizz and especially Celts got what they deserved and its all about karma. When you tank games you are messing with the integrity of the game so in the end you get what you deserve. I'm a Sixers fan and was pissed they kept winning till the very end because we screwed ourselves from getting a potential top 5 pick and you can't tell me we are better than the Celts, Bucks, T-pups, etc. they all just started blatantly tanking, and like a previous blogger said, ripped off the fans who paid to see those games.
actually wade was the 5th player taken in his draft and roy was taken 6th last year
All this talk of karma and tanking is getting tired. All you “karma” people must be watching way too much “My Name is Earl”. Look, I don't know if the Grizzlies tanked any games or not. Here's what I do know - they won 5 of their last 11 games, and they had only won 17 out of 71 games before that. Pau Gasol missed the first 23 games of the season and was ineffective for the first 5-7 games after he started playing (getting back into shape, rhythm, whatever). Also, after the season is lost and there is no hope of getting into the playoffs, why not give more minutes to the younger players so they can gain experience and your team can be stronger next year? That's not giving up or tanking - it's just common sense.
The fact is the Grizzlies are a small market team with some decent (not great, but decent) pieces to the puzzle in Pau Gasol, Mike Miller, Rudy Gay and Hakim Warrick. Getting the #1 or #2 pick (aka Oden or Durant) could have rejuvenated the city and breathed new life into the franchise. Either of those players would have guaranteed to put butts in the seats and another 15-25 wins, possibly more depending on free agency. Memphis could potentially pick up a free agent point guard in Chauncey Billups or Mo Williams in the off-season, and they would probably be more than willing to come to Memphis and play with Oden or Durant.
Besides all of that it would have given the worst team in the NBA some hope. Instead, Memphis is left with the #4 pick in what will probably be a decent draft, but they will not get a Hall of Fame difference-maker like Oden or Durant. They will be less likely to be able to attract quality free agents, and are destined to another season of mediocrity at best (cellar-dwellers at worst). You can say what you want about the Grizzlies tanking or Jerry West crying, but the fact is the NBA Lottery is not fair. It’s a joke. Give me the NFL version any day – let the worst team have the first pick. Besides if you people really believe so strongly in karma, it shouldn’t matter if the worst team gets the first pick or not because they will still be a bad team anyway…right?
Stop complaining! Just like every draft, there are no such thing as a sure thing. Whose to say Oden or Durrant are the next Kwame Brown, or the get injured. Look at the history of the draft, just because you are a 1-3 pick doesn't mean you are a star. Don't ever try and compare any leagues drafts. The NFL is not the NBA! And to you babies in Boston who claim the gods are against you and how the NBA should make sure your team is good, go to the doctor, and think your uterus is broken!
The reason teams tank games is because there are TOO many (82). Three quarters through the season we know who is in and who isn't. There are not enough meaningful games. Why not cut the season in half, similar to college basketball, so that every single game means something, no time for tanking. Most teams will still have a shot at the playoffs after three forths of the season, continuing to try. This would also put more emphasis on each game for the fans, media, and the players (example NFL). Then just use winning percentage for the draft, eliminating the lottry all together. Let me know what you think....
The draft isn't the only way to fix a team. Instead, the Grizzlies, Celtics and everyone else should be working their tails off to improve their teams in every other aspect. One player may make a huge difference, but that player is just one piece of the overall puzzle.
If Oden or Durant turn out to be busts, will we all be talking about how the Grizzlies and Celtics "dodged a draft day bullet" in 5 years?
To Portland and Seattle, congrats, to the rest of the league in terms of marketing this was the worst possible conclusion. With Oden and Durrant stuck in the pacific northwest besides their own fans, hardly no one else will see them. They will be 3 and 2 hours behind the east and central time zones and with both teams not that good to begin with in addition to going to the western conference which is loaded with good teams, it can't be good for the league. Everyone complains on how the weak the eastern conference is well this result won't help that. I'm not saying to put a fix in on the system, I'm just stating the facts right now. The NBA will have a hard time marketing these players and these particular teams when trying to showcase these players.
One thing to remember for Portland fans: OK, you didn't whine last year after falling to the 4 spot. Nice job there. But ask yourselves: what would you have done THIS YEAR had you fallen 3 spots from No.1 or No.2? I bet you wouldn't be silent...
People who complain about the draft not fair for the worst teams are fans of those teams (grizzlies/celtics) and the people who complain that it should be completely random are fans of playoff contender teams (suggested by Jeff Van Gundy). JVG has a distorded view ...and irrelevant cause he no longer has a coaching job.
And who are these people who post on an nba blog saying they like the nfl or mlb better? Why are you even reading the article then. Get a life.
I love the fact that so many East Coasters are saying that the two stars of this draft coming out West is bad because East Coasters don't watch our games. Truth is, basketball fans on the West coast don't watch Eastern Conference games because the quality of play is clearly second rate, so it doesn't matter where Durant and Oden go, somone won't be paying attention. The positive of them coming out West is that they'll get to prove their skills against the best teams and players in the league.
thats what you get for tanking suckaz! Can yall say "STRAIT NORTHWESTIN"?
Reward a team like the Grizzlies? Gimme a break! The Grizzlies spent like drunken sailors for years, and then proceeded to dismantle the whole shebang. So a 20-win season is entirely of their own doing. And you wanna do what? Give 'em the Medal of Freedom instead.
The lottery is dumb.
The league wouldn't have to worry about tanking if everyone was competitive.
And the best way to make everyone competitive is to make draft order determined by winning percentage.
dwade was chosen 5th i think. The top few picks dun really guarantee a superstar player. see kandiman, brown, swift, jay williams etc. the superstar players now - kobe,tmac, KG, dirk etc were drafted way lower. so it depends on the scouting more than tanking
Why should the system favor losing organizations? Yes they need the help, but how much of a reward should sucking "earn"? I like the lottery - you can get some relief and hope (it's not like Memphis or Boston will end up with horrible players) but you can't rely on "tanking" as a surefire means of improving. There really should not be much benefit to losing a lot of games.
dewyane was 5th
I think no one complained about Portland getting the shaft last year because no one cares about the city of Portland. That said, the comments about the GMs - in particular Danny Ainge - are absolutely correct.
Get over it. Portland lost out on the top pick last year, but got lucky this year. The reason that there is a lottery is that in the NBA a single player can make a huge difference. In other sports a single player can not make that big a difference. So, without a lottery there would be a huge incentive to tank games. With Oden and Durant both available the lottery teams would have been falling over themselves to secure the worst record if there were not a lottery.
Also keep in mind that the order in which a team draft does not determine its future. As just one example, consider the 2002 NBA draft, a portion of which is shown below.
2002 Draft Lottery
1. Houston, Yao Ming
2. Chicago, Jay Williams
3. Golden State, Mike Dunleavy
4. Memphis, Drew Gooden
5. Denver, Nikoloz Tskitishvili
6. Cleveland, Dajuan Wagner
7. New York, Maybyner "Nene" Hilario
8. L.A. Clippers, Chris Wilcox
9. Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire
Listening to Jerry West, the person responsible for putting together much of the current Grizzlies team, complain about the draft is just painful.
Winning in the NBA requires both luck and excellent long term planning and vision. While current playoff teams (i.e. Cavs and Spurs) have had great luck in draft positioning, they also have put together a decent team around their star player. Further, very good teams like the Suns, Mavs and Pistons have built great teams without the benefit of the instant impact high draft pick player. On the other hand, there are several NBA teams with great players that lack the long term planning and vision (i.e. T-Wolves, Celtics).
The bottom line is that winning requires both long term vision and a little bit of luck in the draft. Where the Grizzlies and Celtics frustrate is that they want the quick fix from the draft as the way to turn around their franchises, while they fail to admit that their own poor planning has just as much to do with their current situation.
I'd agree with doing away with the draft lottery if one other change was made.
The Celtics want to lose games to ensure they get the #1 pick. Fine. That #1 pick can play with the Celtics in the NDBL. Drop the last two to four teams a level, with the corresponding drop of funds to the players and the team and tanking will go the way of the two handed shot.
West's comment of "If you’re in a small market and you happen to happen to have a bad year, it’s a big problem.” Ya, well that's why teams like Portland win the draft lottery as they are the smallest market of em all.
If, as seems to be the consensus, one player has a huge effect in the NBA, then even if a team tanked to get one, they’d be better the next season, potentially much better if the draft has Hall-caliber players in it. So it really would be a quick fix and lead to more parity. I am not advocating tanking, I abhor the concept of tanking, but I can understand why a team would play younger less experienced players towards the end of a lost season to get them experience. B/c of this I would advocate getting rid of the lottery, and just picking in order of record, though it would also be great if there was some way to weight east vs. west. To the casual fan it seems like the east could really use a boost.
Did anyone here actually watch a celtics game this year? what do you even base this "tanking" theory on? if you looked at the predictions for this season, most writers had them being a pretty young and bad team. their 18 game losing streak came at a time that their leading scorer and captain was injured. I'm getting the feeling that most of these anti-boston comments are coming from people who are jealous of the fact that the red sox are the best team in baseball and the patriots are looking like they're in pretty good shape to win their fourth super bowl this decade...
The first overall pick means nothing. Would you rather have Bargnani or Brandon Roy (6)? Bogut or Chris Paul (4)? Dwight Howard is a great player, but so was Andre Iguodala at pick 9. Lebron was great, but so were Bosh and Wade. Yao Ming is great, but he couldn't beat Boozer (35). Kwame Brown or Gilbert Arenas (31)? Kenyon Martin or Michael Redd (43)? Elton Brand was a great pick, but so was Manu Ginobli at pick 57!
The best players will never rise to the top on a consistent basis. Every year, if you're picking at #5, you have a perfectly good chance of drafting the best player in the draft.
Let's just all get one thing straight here: Jeff Van Gundy's suggestion is ridiculous. Not only does no other major sport in the world use such a system, it would utterly fail to accomplish it's goal. I'm assuming, of course, that Jeff Van Gundy must be thinking that a system that l, in theory, be equally fair to all teams (regardless of record) is most beneficial to the league as a whole because of the equal distribution of talent and opportunity. Further, it would be most logical to assume his concern is to discourage "tanking" altogether. But why in the world, if those were the goals, would you leave a lottery system in place to accomplish those goals? Wouldn't it make much more sense to pre-arrange a system that guarantees equality as much as possible? For example, creating a pre-arranged draft order rotation from year-to-year. Such a rotation would guarantee that all teams, in a thirty year span (because aren't there thirty total teams in the league?, would pick at each of the thirty positions once and only once. The concern with a fixed system, of course, is that teams might adjust their behavior based upon their knowledge of their future draft positions. Whether that would be good or bad could be the subject of debate. However, even if it were deemed to be bad, the future draft orders could be veiled and kept secret, or chosen year to year based on a lottery of the possible pre-arranged draft orders. Nevertheless, the point is that Jeff Van Gundy's system of a an equal-opportunity lottery would inevitably result in frustration, unless protections were artificially built-in somehow, because the lottery would not spit out the balls equally. Imagine the calamity that would ensue if a successful franchise won a top five pick three out of six years or something like that, or if a struggling team in a small market like new orleans or memphis, by a stroke of bad luck, were to receive picks disproportionately high in the draft for several years in a row. Such results would be disastrous for the league, and would be the death sentence for such teams. No, Jeff Van Gundy's suggestion is the exact opposite of what a talent draft is meant to encourage and ensure, and is absolutely not what the NBA needs to implement.
I think that Seattle and Portland also "tanked" a little. Some of those injured players could have returned to action sooner. But I don't think any player or coach would knowingly try to lose a game. Management might make decisions based on potential to make the playoffs that could cause a team to lose more games, but why would a player or coach ever not try to win? I do kind of agree with Mr. Burns that the system should be weighted slightly more, but of course it should be voted on by the entire league and not just decided by Stern alone.
Another thing I wanted to point out is that it is stupid to say that it is bad for the league when good players play in the West. Is Kobe any less of a draw for the league cause he is on the West Coast? Fans of basketball as a whole will watch good players/teams no matter where they play.
Lastly, I think the draft would make a lot more sense if it was Seattle #1 and Portland #2 since Portland needs a swingman and Seattle needs a center. Wonder if there might be a #1 for #2 swap???
How about taking the a average of the worst records over the last three seasons and then upping the percentages of landing the number 1 pick
Be careful what one wishes for. If there is no lottery, not only will teams out of the playoffs try to tank games towards the end of the season, worst teams getting guaranteed top drafts would make NBA the Parity League. One could then pretty much kiss good bye to dynasties and TV ratings would certainly suffer...
Boston and Memphis fans (and their GMs) should go cry somewhere else. I'm a Raptors fan, and if it wasn't for the NBA rule change on high-school kids, we would have drafted Oden last year. Did you hear Collangello griping to the media last year about the rule change? No, he just took the best player he could. That's what a real Executive does.
Raps don't even have a pick this year, but I'm sure BC will find a way to convince Atlanta or Boston to trade theirs.
I agree with West, bigger chances for the top 3 picks.
You all are missing the point. 1)The reason the NBA has a draft lottery is to create drama, excitement and talk about the draft. Would we be talking about the NBA draft today if they did it by winning percentage. NO 2)The NBA needs the draft lottery to prevent even more blatant tanking. No other major league does this. In football, if you tried to purposely throw game by putting in all your backups and not trying, someone would get seriously hurt. In the NHL and MLB, when they are eliminated from the playoffs, they call up their farm systems and give fans something to watch. This is great for the NBA as a whole. Oden and Durant will now go to 2 organizations that need help and will now teams like ATL, Boston, and Memphis are going to have to learn how to actually build a franchise and a TEAM rather than getting the five best potential players and hoping it works out
The obvious late-season tanking was an embarrassment to basketball. Why on earth would anyone choose to encourage more of that?
Congrats to Portland for getting the number 1 pick. I guess if you play hard and do the right thing, eventually you will be rewarded. Boston and Memphis aka Tankers-R-US, you got what you deserved. Beautiful.
Stop with this tanking bullcrap. No one was complaining when the Cavs were tanking to get Lebron. The system has to go. The worst teams needs the most help. It should be like the NFL. Worst team gets the first pick. Blazers were screwed last year, the Celts and Griz this year. I have always hated the lottery and even now more so.
I say you get what you put in. Carma is real. There is no one on the face of the earth that's going to convince me that these teams weren't intentionally tanking games towards the end of the season. I do believe there even was a Celtics player that spoke to that fact. Listen, I know teams that have no hope of winning enough to get to the playoffs really want an impact player. Someone like Durant or Oden but c'mon. You tarnish your integrity by doing something stupid like that. You can always work something out in trades or free agency. The darft should not be your last resort to creating a winning team. I do NOT agree with the current lottery system though, CHANGE IT! The other sports don't seem to have issues with their drafts, try using one of their systems?!?!
The NBA had been dying a slow death with me and is now officially gone. How can the worst teams not get the help they need to get better? How can you call it a sport when you have to worry about teams tanking games? It is not competetive, there is no heart or pride left in any players. I will never watch a game again.
Fixing the lottery is easy. Just limit the lottery to the worst 3 or 4 teams. Teams that barely miss the playoffs shouldn't get a shot at the top pick. The worst team wouldn't necessarily get the top pick, but is 50/50 to get one of the top 2 picks with a four team lottery and 2-to-1 to get a top 2 pick in a three team lottery. You could even weigh it with a 4-3-2-1 ball system so that the worst team has a 40% shot at the top pick and a 70% shot at the top 2 picks.
First, comparing different sports with each other is moronic. It's just as moronic as Bob Costas saying that if you averaged out the speed of Michael Johnson per second in the 200m that means he was faster than Donovan Bailey's speed...its apples and oranges. Secondly, I think its good for the fan-base in the NBA who have to SURVIVE the last quarter of the NBA season whereby they know their team won't make the playoffs but at the same time know they MIGHT have a chance to draft a "savior". It gives them teams hope to envision what might happen if you have a team with potential like Portland and think all you might need is that missing link. Sports entertainment should be about non-scripted drama where nothing is guaranteed. I do agree however they could "tweak" the system a bit such has only taking the first 2/3 of season and base the lottery at that point. And maybe giving the the team with the very worst record at that point maybe a 1/3 chance of acquiring the first pick but that's about it. But for those of you that think "tanking" is fair, think what could have happened if say, you are Miami...half-way point of the season your out of a play-off position and you decide that its "safer" to rest last year's NBA FINALS MVP for the betterment of his career long-term and that it makes sense to shut down your center for the rest of year too because he could use the time to rehab himself back to 100% because as you get older its that much more difficult to recover. Then, have one of the worst records in the league and draft an Oden/Durant...many of you would be crying but since nothing is guaranteed it would be hard to really justify that rationale with your fans.
This is why the NFL gets it, and the NBA does not. This stupid lottery sends two future stars to teams absolutely no one cares about. Arent Portland and Seattle in trouble of losing their franchises? No NBA fans will watch any west coast teams, except the Lakers. If Stern was as intelligent as he thinks, Boston would have gotten one of the two blue-chippers (Oden or Durant). And this comes from someone who hates the Celtics. You dont let an iconic franchise go in the toilet.
Having the lottery is fine, you just need to make it a bit less arbitrary. How about letting (i) teams trade their lottery positions before the lottery so that if the Celtics wanted to get higher percentage, they could make a deal with someone else to get their lottery position, and (ii) let teams trade in their second round pick for higher winning percentage. If then a team wants to put all their eggs in one basket - let them do so and stop complaining.
Karma is a b----. I have no sympathies for the Celtics, who according to one of its players, tanked games. I didn't see any Memphis games to see what happened. What should happen is all non-playoff teams get one ping-pong ball to see who gets the first four picks in the draft. After that, the order should be ranked by losing record.
Good for Portland and Seattle, good luck watching those two studs. Just remember that these guys aren't always saviors, lots of highly rated top picks haven't taken their teams to the promised land. Enough whining from Celts and Bucks fans, your teams tanked and you know it. When half your roster sits against bad teams with mysterious injuries its pretty evident. Plus, the Celts front office is horrific, Oden and Durant don't deserve that mess.
The idea of the draft is problematic because it rewards mediocrity. Get rid of the draft. Make all players free agents then those teams that are properly run will benefit the most and those that aren't will suffer. Why should a mediocre team be given the gift of an Oden or Durant when it would much more interesting if they played for the same team like Phoenix or Chicago.
I was a Celtics fan and can no longer stand to even follow them loosely after last night. The lottery is bad and needs to be changed but if I hear one more excuse or line from Danny Ainge about how they will turn it around I think I will throw up. The Celtics organization is terrible from top to bottom and there is no end in sight. To be that terrible in a market that is passionate about sports is pathetic.
Geez, such touchy Portland fans. There's more complaining this year because the worst 3 teams all got bumped from the top-3 draft picks. That did not happen last year (and may never have), and it really highlights the potential unfairness of the draft lottery. It was a worst case scenario for the lottery.
The NBA is terrible and so are the Celtics. Go sox. Go pats.
Bad luck to the Celtics/Grizzlies, but they tanked. I don't care that there's no irrefutable evidence... oh, apart from Gomes admitting it to the press and the Celtics extending a miserably performed Rivers and Eddie jones being let go. Run your franchise better and it won't be a problem. Remember, MJ wasn't taken first overall.
There is a sure fire way to keep teams from tanking. Players should be paid on wins and not season. They should be treated like salespeople. No win, no pay. See how many actually start playing TEAM ball when their paychecks are on the line.
Best idea: eliminate the draft - make all incoming players unrestricted free agents.
See, the NBA already has a device for helping small markets like Memphis to compete, and it's called the salary cap.
- Tom in Minneapolis
It funny how it's Ainge who is "complaining" when in fact that he has been saying all along not to get our hopes up and that there are at least 5 to 6 players to choose from. The lottery is broken no matter how you look it. Yea, the Blazers got hosed last year and somebody else got hosed the year before. When only 4 teams with the worst record over the past 24 drafts get the 1st overall pick, there's a problem. If its a matter of tanking, as many of you are pointing out (not that any of you have proof), then is should be up to the NBA to ensure the integrity of the game. Doll out some fines or have a team fall 10 draft positions if it proven that the team was tanking.
Also, since the brainiacs seem to suggest that GM's like Ainge should be able to build their team without the #1 or #2 pick, let's not forget about the restrictive salary cap that the NBA has. Trades are hard to pull off because of it. Too many restrictions are involved and as a result, you don't see big trades without 8 or 10 players being involved.
The NBA is broken and they better fix it soon, or it will become irrelevant like the NHL has...
Celts have no one to blame but Ainge and 10 years of horrible moves for the state of the franchise, not the bounce of a ball.
I agree with Van Gundy. Keep the weighted system but include every team.
Football does not equal basketball people. There are 22 starters plus special teams in football. Basketball features only 5 players at a time. One basketball player can make much more of difference.
So just because the NFL drafts a certain way should in no way be evidence that it would work in the NBA.
Actually, I'd like to see all the other sports get rid of their systems and go to the lottery.
I agree that the lottery is done to create drama, and it got the desired effect becase people are talking about the NBA draft now. But I also think that is proof of how pitiful the NBA has become. We are in the middle of the conference championships in the NBA playoffs, and if there is any need to produce 'news' and 'drama' through the lottery as opposed to the important games still being played...then the NBA is in serious trouble.
In reading these comments I have one thing to say. Portland fans are now coming out saying 'where was the sympathy last year, why did noone have a problem with it last year?'
Theres a difference. The worst team rarely gets the first pick...we've grown accustomed to seeing that. But when the 3 worst teams dont get a top three pick, then there is an issue. Its not just Boston and Grizzley fans whining about not getting #1, its the fans whining about the process, because this year it showed its problems, not just to Boston and Memphis, but in general. Right now we have all the top players on the west coast playing 10:30 games. The NBA is dead in the northeast.
The draft should be eliminated. Period. With a salary cap and revenue sharing in place, it's no longer needed anyway. Let all incoming players be free agents. Otherwise, championship teams are put together by ping pong balls, not human skill in evaluating.
what a disgusting showing by the nba...the city with the richest history in the nba has officially lost all interest in basketball...they may as well sell the celtics now
The lottery is a frustrating fact of NBA life, but most years the NBA fans, especially around Portland, have kept their peace about it largely because we understand that a quick fix for a franchise is a once-a-decade occurance.
This year, there were bound to be some disappointments. I was hoping that the Blazers would draft Mike Conley Jr. at No. 6 or so after the lottery (he probably will be better than Jarrett Jack), praying that the new GM, Kevin Pritchard, would continue to excercise the good judgement and scouting eye he displayed last year as the Asst. GM for the Blazers.
The only reason there are several people (OK, maybe the whole city of Boston) not exactly happy about the lottery is because of what the damn team did in the days of Larry Bird. They've been crap ever since he left, whether due to horrid management or unmotivated players, I don't know. All I know is that the Celtics haven't been relevant in eons, and the fact that Danny Ainge is expecting to save his job due to sheer dumb luck should be highly disturbing to Celtic fans (all five of them, after tonight....)
BTW, the franchise in Portland is staying for as long as possible; Paul Allen is no longer considering selling the team (in fact, he took it off the market after last year's draft). It's true that the Sonics are all but gone to Oklahoma City, but the Blazers, and their soon-to-be new future superstar center, are staying in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon.
Greg Oden, Rip City welcomes you with open arms. I look forward to seeing three or four more championship banners joining the '77 hanging in the Rose Garden rafters.
you should never base the future of your franchise on a draft. A #1 pic doesn't mean anything look at Kwame Brown. Good scouting leads to great players and good teams.
Why? Mediocre teams need a superstar just as much as the bad ones. Right now, the lottery system encourages tanking and ripping apart a roster. I'd prefer a system where a team like the Hornets, that tries really hard but just doesn't have a superstar, can hit the jack pot. I'm closer to Van Gundy's position than West's.
Teams should worry less about how fair the lottery is and more about winning and aquiring good players through smart moves. If Ainge hadn't ruined an already shaky team, he wouldn't have anything to complain about. And if anyone tanked, it was the Celtics with Ainge meeting Durant's family a month before the lottery. Boo hoo, I traded for Telfair and drafted Rondo and now bad things are happening.
I like the all FA option. Then the Spurs have a better than average chance of signing an Oden or Durant. What would stop the top players from going to the top teams. If you had to choose between Spurs/Mavs/Suns or Hawks/Bucks/Grizzlies where would you go? All FA would NOT create parity...but in fact kill the struggling teams.
the lottery provides excitement to the beginning of the season and the only way to make it "fair" is the give the best chance to the "worst" team in the league. unfortunately, there's no clear way of determining the worst except to look at the win/loss record. tankers haven't been lucky so that much is clear. boston will continue to stink not because of what they don't have (durant/oden) but because of what they have (AINGE!!!)
The current state of the draft lottery is excellent. It allows bad teams a chance to improve, but it does not guarantee that the worst team will be the most rewarded. Stop whinning Celtics and Grizzles fans, and make the most of your still high draft pick.
Both Boston and Memphis tanked their season. They got what they desereved.
Lets throw out a few names, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Tracy Mcgrady, Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Dirk, and so on. Not one of these guys were a number 1 or 2 pick. The current system is fine. Owners need to hire competent GMs(preferably ones that aren't former broadcasters) and scouts who do their homework, select players and build solid teams.
2 teams with worst WP from each conference enter lottery for top 4 positions (25% chance each). Remaining non-playoff teams have second lottery with equal chances to win spots 5-13 (or whatever). All playoff teams pick in order based on WP with the exception of the 2 teams competing for the title (Champion gets last pick, runner-up gets next to last). Use existing tie-breaker rules.
The whole point of the lottery is to take away the incentive to tank, as the Celtics and Grizzlies did, in order to get the top pick.
Serves them right.
I say use the lottery system for the 5 worst teams. The rest (6-14) should be picked in order.
There is too much stagnation in the NBA. Players are unable to be traded because of salary cap restrictions (didn't Red Auerbach say that trades are about money and not talent today?). Free agency isn't so free because of the Larry Bird Rule.
The entire system of player movement in the NBA needs to be shredded and started from scratch.
Its probably because nobody cares about Portland...yeah yeah yeah...city of roses...cool, but who the heck can watch west coast basketball on the east coast....games that start at 10 aren't really that important when you wake up at 5 am.....and the biggest difference this year with last year is the 2 main prospects....nobody cared last year because the top guys weren't going to turn around any franchise....durant and oden seem to have that possibility.....its not like brandon roy turned around portland...they were still bad but threw the ball to their new rookie in hopes of getting more people to the arena....simply another reason why the Eastern Conference will prove to be a waste of time
For all you people shouting about Roy being proof you can pick 4 and get the best player, while yes that is possible, how about we also keep in mind that he's only played one year and still might not be the best player in that draft. Taking into account what a player can do in their prime should count for something.
The lottery is a joke. The league might have prevented the really bad teams from tanking games. But, what about the mediocre teams? There is no way that you can tell me that the Spurs did not tank the 1996-97 season after David Robinson was lost for the year. With Robinson they were a playoff team. After he went down they tanked the rest of the season and hoped to get lucky in the lottery. How else could they end up with Tim Duncan?
Boo freaking hoo, Jerry. I didn't hear anyone complaining when he tampered to steal Shaq from Orlando. If he would have nabbed LeBron a few years ago, I think he'd have a different opnion... Milwaukee, Memphis, and Boston got what they deserved. To say there's "no evidence" that they were tanking is slicing the cheese awfully thin. Memphis put in a head coach with no previous coaching experience! Boston kepts Pierce out of games. Milwaukee pulled their best players during the fourth quarters of winable games! Just because they won some games after the overall standings were set does not mean they didn't tank leading up to those wins.
Seriously - good for the NBA having a lottery. Milwaukee, Memphis, and Boston were an embarrassment to the league and the game this season. They owe their fans some money back. I was rooting for Chicago and Philly to win because they didn't embarrass themselves to get there.
For those of you who claim the Celts "tanked", what would you do in those shoes?
If you're out of the playoffs and you have a bunch of young players, and your vets are injured, and the coach is struggling to get the young guys playing time so they can develop...what do you do???
YOU PLAY THEM. THAT's what you do. You bunch of fools who think that playing younger players to develop them is "tanking"...you are WRONG.
The Celts have gone young since Ainge has been around and after time, you have to develop them. Look at the Bulls. Their young guys played and now they're a playoff team.
The vets on the Celts were injured a good portion of the year (Pierce, Wally) and it didn't make a whole lot of sense to pound on them more, risking further injury, when you have a bunch of young talent that needs to play.
Look at what happened when Pierce went down: Tony Allen emerged and averaged about 20 points a game. Was THAT tanking??? No, it wasn't. It's developing a younger player. Of course, with the Celts luck, Tony tears his ACL.
And HOW can you say that the lottery works??? Only TWICE in the last number of years has the most deserved team received the #1 pick. That is wrong wrong wrong.
Case and Point - the lottery system is BROKEN and needs to be fixed.
Signed, a Celts fan
Remember when the NBA mattered? If you live outside the Pacific or Central time zone you stopped watching a long time ago. Nice work with that Stern
The issue with the NBA is that all other leagues have installed systems to allow weaker teams to improve. The NBA has created multiple systems that do not allow or make it very, very difficult mid-level teams to improve...in fact, the only real hope (Limited as it is) for mediocre teams to get over the hump is to get really bad.
The top pick in the lottery goes to a team other than that with the worst record nearly 84% of the time. Making trades, meaningful trades is very difficult with the necessary near dollar for dollar match, having a salary cap yet having guaranteed contracts leaves no wiggle room for a team in transition. It is a bad system all around and people have been complaining about it for years...not just this year.
The draft has been a focus of ire for many, many years...last year, this year, and many years before. I think the system actually creates greater chance of teams tanking than not.
Tanking is also a silly word to use. The Celtics, for instance, lost over 300 man minutes to injury (Tony Allen -blown knee, Wally Z-two severely sprained ankles, Delonte West- concussion, Paul Pierce -low back and elbow issues, Kendrick Perkins - foot issues, Ryan Gomes- shoulder). At some point what is a team too do…you have no chance at the playoffs, your only real shot at relevance is taking a stab at the top two picks, you need to play your young players to see what you have for next year (They where the first team in history to start four straight from high school players...due to injury), and you do not want to take a nagging injury to your only star and turn it into a major problem (Peirce had surgery on the elbow and has had issues dating back to two years ago).
Memphis's situation was well documented in an earlier post.
Granted, neither Boston or Memphis is nearly as bad as their records would indicate but they will always be also-rans without a true infusion of top tear talent...trades will not due that or very, very rarely due that...drafting lower in the draft occasionally nets a franchise
The ONLY reason anyone is whining about changing the lottery this year is because of Oden and Durant. As a lifelong Portland fan, I know full well that Portland got "stiffed" last year. But K-Pritch was pro-active and the Blazers walked away the winners of that draft after blowing it the year before by trading the pick that ended up being Deron Williams. The lottery prevents tanking because, guess what, if that's what the Bucks, Celtics and Grizzlies were doing, it didn't help them out. I'm not shedding any tears for any of them. Both the Blazers and the Sonics needed this boost, and surely Atlanta has to be thrilled to keep their pick and get the Pacers', but that's just the way it goes. Besides, no one can predict the future, and considering what happened with the Blazers three previous #1 selections plus the #2 they had in '84, you just never know. And look at Danny Manning and Derrick Coleman, did they vault the Clippers and Nets out of the abyss? Absolutely not. The lottery system is fine. The only helpful tanking jobs are now done by teams like the Timberwolves who have those top 10 protected picks, and that still doesn't guarantee they won't get a bust player at the 7 spot. It's about being smart as an organization and rolling with what happens. If the Grizzlies go belly-up, it won't just be because of outside forces they couldn't control, like ping-pong balls. They traded Eddie Jones, they've got cap room, they could make a run at Darko or R. Lewis, maybe VC, Billups? Jerry West has been in this game long enough to not be such a sniveling whiner, especially when he practically stole James Worthy from Cleveland way back in the day. Come on! Talk about the rich getting richer, and that was a couple years before the lottery even began. As for Boston, remember your last #2? That's proof that it's really a crap-shoot. They didn't need another young guy anyway. If Danny Ainge would quit treasuring his little children so much, he could get smart and get some help for Pierce and, I don't know, contend for a division title maybe? How about a package for Pau? If they want to deal with Portland again, I bet they could find a way to get Zach. I bet we'd even pay Miles' salary for the Shamrocks to take him away, too! Come on Danny, help your old boys out again like you did last year!
I completely agree with the lottery system. There is no other proffesional sport like basketball in that one player can change a franchise. That's why tanking games is such a big deal. When there are five players on the court for one team at a time, a Greg Oden or Kevin Durant can change a team. Just look what LeBron did. I don't like the idea of basketball teams disgracing the regular season by purposely bombing games just to get a franshice player they don't deserve.
forget the lottery - it does not tweaking - it needs to beblown up --- worst tem gets #1 2nd worst gets #2 and so on Let's be real, a lottery to determine the future of a franchise? utter nonsense
I don't remember ANYONE screaming when the Cavs blatantly tanked to get LeBron. Yet now it's "karma" for the worst teams NOT to get the best players, which is the entire point of having a draft.
and let's remember the Celtics beat FOUR playoff teams in March
Get off of David Stern's back. Why would he fix the lottery and send two of the highest profile rookies in recent years to Portland and Seattle where they will never be heard of again. The NBA marketing team is likely out having a drink right now, drowning their sorrows. The East Coast sees them once a year and on tv, almost never.
Here's the fix....The bottom five teams each get ONE ping pong ball and only vie for the #1 pick. After the #1 pick is determined, the remaining teams go in order of worst record. This way the worst team in the league is guaranteed a top 2 pick. No cellar dwellars can get better without an impact top 3 pick.
I can't believe this...
I am not sure what Memphis has been doing in the last decade and I don't care, as for the Celtics to say that the Celtics tanked it is just plain stupid. Pierce came back from injury two games before the all star break and if the Celtics had tanked it they would have had the fourth pick in the draft because they would have had an even worse record.
The celtics are just bad and thats that. they haven't picked better than the 14th pick and even that they screwed up because it was a bad crop year.
The point here is that the NBA has no parity and it takes too long for the teams to go from mediocre to contender.
And... also the NHL has a lottery and look where that got them into the TV desert...
The posts about Oden and Durant being invisible to East Coast fans if they play in the West makes me laugh. I'm sure Kobe Bryant is still waiting for his turn in the spotlight. And I haven't heard any east-coasters complaining about staying up to watch mountain-time games in Phoenix or Denver.
Celtics should just trade the 5 pick to Portland so they can take Odens boy Conley and get Aldridge in return. Portland owes them after last years trade for Telfair. Nice abortion that turned out to be
It's awesome to read all the conspiracy theorist comments. In short, the NBA has it right. Luck as much as skill is a major contributor to the success of any team in any sport. By the way, The NBA does have free agency and there are more players now around the world to choose from. Looks like some GM's are going to have to really earn the big $$$$$$ they earn and stop crying because the balls did not fall their way.
LEAVE THE SYSTEM THE WAY IT IS.
Being a Golden State fan, changing the system now would blow for the teams (like GS) who have sucked for so many years and have finally made it.
Let me see if i have this right. Since fans on the East Coast and Midwest don't watch the West Coast games one of the top picks should go to an Eastern confernce team? Also no one will know who they are since they don't watch the games. I guess Kobe, Nash, Dirk, Duncan, Ming, Stoudamire, Marion are players you never heard of.
Wow, touchy Portland fans. And I agree with whomever said the NBA should do what the NHL did, take a year off... or longer. This kinda thing is why the NBA is what it is.
Any news on Darius Miles? If he decides to actually compete and put his heart into this, I can see a Roy-Jack-Miles-Randolph-Oden lineup going a ways.
The Grizz won 50 games a coupe years ago. They have a solid talent base. The Celtics screwed up thier own destiny. Telfair? Everyone knew he wasn't a (true) point. They could and should have Roy right now. The only reason that everyone is crying is becuase of the quality of the first two picks this year. Oden and Durant. You didn't hear or see all this clamor when the first two picks were going to be Bargnani and whoever. Luck is luck. The lottery is a solid way to prevent he teams from tanking. The NFL can't do it, like someone mentioned, because they only play 16 games. Plus, one player in football doesn't have the impact (usually) that it does in basketball. So the need to get the first pick isn't there. So as for Memphis fans, they haven't suffered nearly as long as the Celts, but I just can't feel bad for them. You take the #5, who in this year could be Yi and make him your franchise, because he has that ability. Every team in the lottery this year is lucky. I'm out.
The whole draft is a game of educated guesses. How many number one picks have been busts over the years? And how many amazing players have come from other spots in the draft? There's just more fuss this year because Oden and Durant seem like locks to be great, but anything can happen and good GM and coach will can make a team great regardless of the lottery.
I'm a C's fan and after the horrible start they got off to started rooting for them to tank and try to get a better draft pick - every team in that position does.
The lottery is the only way to do it. You live by and die by the lottery.
There is still great talent in the draft past the top 3. The C's could have drafted McGrady in '97 after Duncan was picked and could have had the ROY last year. Deal with the outcome and make some smart decisions!
let's remember the Celtics beat FOUR playoff teams in March
Yeah...because everyone knows teams NEVER go into cruise control once they have their playoff spots locked up in March.
WHY DIDN'T YOU WRITE THIS ARTICLE LAST YEAR WHEN THEY SAME THING THAT HAPPENED TO MEMPHIS/JERRY WEST HAPPENED TO PORTLAND? WE DROPPED FROM 1 to 4 AND NOBODY SCREAMED FOUL THEN. DOUBLE STANDARD!!!!!
Want to get rid of tanking? Do what they do in Europe and relegate the bottom 3. Problem solved.
The NBA lottery is a joke. the nba is cheating the teams that need the most help. the nfl and the mlb both use a very good system that allow the teams that need the most help to either get the help by drafting or by trading the pick for picks or players. which is a good system. if the nba doesn't start to change its way of drafting then people could end up getiin mad and stop watching it so step up nba and get it right
Celtics fan here. I don't think my team tanked it at all. Most of their wins/losses were very close games. This is a hard-working team full of no-names. But you can't win with that in the NBA. We need some help here and we're never gonna get it from the NBA office, as Red Auerbach famously predicted some time ago.
First Len Bias dies. Then Reggie Lewis dies (and NBA gives no salary cap help). Then we lose out on Duncan. Now this. Frankly, I don't even feel like watching pro basketball anymore.
The fairest system is the one they use in other sports: worst team gets first pick; 2nd worst gets 2nd pick; and so on. Not only is the NBA system not fair, it appears fixed, with the 3 teams most likely to get the number one pick not even getting one of the top 3 picks. Someone calculate the odds of that for me.
Thank God for the Red Sox and Patriots. When does football season start again?
What goes around comes around. I couldn't be happier that the tank-it Celtics won't get Oden OR Durant. If history has shown you anything it's that you don't want the worst record because you typically don't get the first pick. How about this, quit complaining about getting screwed and start making good basketball decisions. Celtics deserve what they got and have no one else to blaim but themselves!
Life long Celtics fan from 1963 on. #1 reason the Celtis are not doing well. Is poor ownership and management. I could do a much better job. They hire Rick Pertino to coach with Larry Bird on the staff how bad a decision was that? The worst. My brother said Rick would fil the seats and I said 1 minute have they announced Rick to coach that this would be the worst thing for the celtics and it would be 30 years to fix. Well we are past 20 years and still stink. Bad trades bad picks, poor management. #2 the celtics need to spend all and I mean all their capital on a real center and build from there. Walker and Pierce are great #2 players but they cannot carry a team to the promise land. Look at Shaq less Kobe. All points and a early vacation since Shaq left. Trade Pierce and all your future children for a real center, bet the ranch. If we keep doing what were doing we will get the same results, stink ville! #3Danny and Doc good bye their nice guys but good bye. Hire me 3 years later we'll have a parade down Causeway Street. #4 Boston Garden, then the "Fleece Center" now the "TD Bank North Garden" What is up with putting the sponsor before the name Garden? Just crazy. They should tear it down and build a real place and call it the Garden sponsored by incert name. #5 get rid of all the side show. Crazy lights, shooting tee shirts, contest, promos, dog acts. Focus people focus! Just worry about winning. #6 Ban the players from going buck wild over making a lay up. Win a ring before you go crazy.
Danny Ainge is just the latest bad GM in a long line of bad GM's. I'm a Celtics fan who hasn't watched my team play in years. I cannot stand to watch such a poor product brought out year after year. Ainge traded the 2006-2007 rookie of the year away for Telfair. Horrible! Chauncy Billups was drafted a Celtic-- Pitino traded him away. ML Carr was a joke from the beginning. I do not like the lottery system but our damn problem is having morons for GM's. Please fire Ainge and get someone with a couple of braincells in their head. Every poor trade is just further burying the Celtics. As for the lottery, I don't like it but even if we had landed #1 or #2, Ainge would probably trade them away too. Ainge makes Isiah Thomas look brilliant.
So I guess what everyone is saying is that Oden and Durant are great and everyone else sucks. This is how you can tell who really understands basketbal. It would be interesting to see who the best player from this draft will be after a couple of years.
First point you either have a lottery or you dont. The people who are saying you should just wait the lottery in favor of bad teams more than they already do, like this writer, should be honest and state they want to get rid of the lottery.
Second, I love the East Coast press ripping the lottery this year, because the balls bounced in favor of west coast teams. Yet SI never complains about baseball's lack of salary cap which harms competitive balance far more than the lottery does. But you'll never here those hypocrits in Boston complain about that
Look at it this way. We're all arguing about the merits of the lottery, who got screwed, who go lucky. That's what the NBA wants. The exact reasons people want to change the system are the very same reasons the NBA won't change it.
I agree with those who say we're only having this discussion because of Oden and Durant. We weren't talking about how lucky the Wizards were to get Kwame Brown. You still have to make the right pick.
Boston tanked? Has anyone looked at their roster?!? They plain stink, no question about it. The few decent players they have were injured for huge chunks of the year and I don't think Pierce will ever be the same. I tend to think the results wouldn't change much if their collection of b-rated players gave their all or as many believe, tanked. As someone else mentioned, I don't remember this much tank talk when Cleveland got LeBron or the Spurs sat down an "injured" Admiral.
Don't watch much NBA. Sounds like I am not missing much. Don't know if I have ever had a conversation regarding a NFL team tanking a game. Actually, the contrary. Always wanting to play spoiler. Sounds like the lottery is there for a reason. To keep the NBA, legit. I think you need much more than a lottery to fix what ails the image. I just can't believe teams "tank" games and you still watch the sport?
let's remember the Celtics beat FOUR playoff teams in March
Yeah...because everyone knows teams NEVER go into cruise control once they have their playoff spots locked up in March.
so you're saying that playoff teams "tank" once they lock up playoff spots by resting players, just like the evil grizzlies and celtics did at the end of the season?!?!? guess "karma" doesn't apply to playoff teams resting up, only to gawd-awful teams trying to get young players experience...
The fear of tanking games (as will always be the possibility in the NFL, despite a predominant "team-game" mentality and paucity of games compared to the lengthy NBA schedule) indeed is something to consider. I'm in favor of the current system; it gives teams with a worse record a mathematical ADVANTAGE, not a guaranteed upper hand. And I don't care about Westian/Bostonian politics either. Plus, it makes the draft actually exciting...can't imagine another sport where I'm eager to watch a show about the draft ORDER, a month before the actual event! Of all sport drafts, the NBA has done well, both in terms of marketing and excitement. Plus, they're balancing equality with an appopriate mentality to the game (i.e. let's not just given in...).
How about every team makes playoffs and those with crappier records get lower seeding and the records only come into factor depending on elimination round for picks, Have the NBA in a NCAA similiar playoff but with 2 game elimination. I mean...since the playoffs are going to be 2 months anyway(ridiculous 7 game series for all playoffs)...might as well involve all the fans. Then there is no tanking and the real worst team gets the top picks...plus basketball games actually mean something...and guys will be hustling all the time.
Those teams got what they deserved. You can't tell me Boston didn't tank at the end. Basketball is different than the NFL because one player does make a monumental difference to a franchise. Nothing's sweeter than the distraught executives who blew off last season to try to get in the top 2. I wish Boston and Memphis many more years contending for the No. 1 pick.
this draft doesnt mean jack, the celtics will never win with Paul Pierce, the last few years should prove it, he may be able to win somewhere else, but never, i repeat, never, despite any drafts or trades, never win with Paul Pierce, thats the TRUTH!
Almost every team in the lottery tanked games toward the end of the season, inlcuding Portland and Seattle. Memphis didn't tank games at the end because they were so bad they were 7 games "ahead" of the pack.
The purpose of the lottery is two-fold:
1) To provide bad teams with an opportunity to improve
2) To disincent tanking during the regular season by not guaranteeing a pick
Devising a system that addresses both needs requires trade-offs.
If you objectively look back at the season, I don't know how you can conclude tanking wasn't a problem. You had arguably six teams take a variety of actions that weakened the overall product. They put guys on IR who would ordinarily have played. And they played end of bench guys for long minutes, including the 4th quarters of games.
The bottom line is that having 1/5 of the league mail it in for the last 20 games of the season is bad for the league. It's a bad product that hurts both the image and quality of product of the league.
Changing the lottery to what the NFL or MLB does is only going to make that problem worse.
Regarding the NFL or MLB, I don't understand why these are suddenly examples of how things should be done. The MLB draft is a joke because the players have such leverage to demand high contracts that can render draft order moot (e.g. JD Drew is considered top overall pick, but falls down to team that can sign him).
On the flip side, the reason the NFL draft works well is because their financial system already provides a huge disincentive for tanking. By having non-guaranteed contracts (and shorter careers), it's in the interest of all players to continue to play hard down the stretch even if it's not in the teams' best interest. Witness Detroit winning the final game last year to fall to #2. Does anyone think that would happen in the NBA? The NFL is also different because one player doesn't have the same impact on a team's success as it does in the NBA.
The bottom line is that going to a reverse order lottery system may placate Grizzlies and Celtics fans (at least this year), but is bad for the league.
So let me get this right:
When events take place in the NBA that certain people (writers) do not like the NBA needs to change it's system? Amare makes a stupid decision and breaks a decade old rule, but the league needs to change.
The draft pick process was administered the same way it has been for years. However, because people do not like the outcome it should now be changed?
You people need to get over yourselves. Seriously. Is this the year of crying NBA fans and shamefully biased sportswriters?
WAKE UP BOSTON FANS!!!! There was over a 60% chance you where not going to get a top two pick. If you would have played your starters and dug deep every night you would have not been at the bottom of the league. You chose to go down this road and tried to manipulate the system in your favor and i didn't work. Your organization made the bed now suck it up and sleep in it.
Funny, but I don't recall "The Logo" complaining about the system back in 1982 when he took James Worthy with the #1 pick just days after his Lakers won the NBA title. I guess it's different now that it's his team that stinks.
I should have just rigged the draft. now my 2 most marketable stars in this year's draft end up in NBA no-mans land. No one watches Jailblazer games outside of Oregon, and there's a good chance the Sonics end up in Oklahoma soon. I couldn't have imagined a worse lottery than this. I screwed this one up big time. there goes any chance at endorsements for those kids, or any ratings boost for the league. crap, I hate the Pacific Northwest...
FYI to the Boston Haters, we had 10 players miss 311 games last year. this tanking nonsense only moved us from 4th worst record to 2nd worst record. it's not like the team wanted to lose from day 1, but what's the point of a couple meaning less wins in April when you're team is out of the race?
I just like all the bragging from the Jail Blazer fans. you don't know how to handle your good fortune, and you're destined to blow it.
Its the stupid GMs that make the bonehead decisions in drafting the BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE that is the real problem here, not the lil ping pong balls. Ainge and West are NOT GOOD GMs and SHOULD BE FIRED!
Scout better, Draft better, stop tanking...West is best.
Huge huge Blazer fan and very happy that we got #1. However, I won't watch a single NBA game until David Stern is fired. No fan of the game can watch after what was done to the Suns, DS fixed that series for SA plain and simple.
There's nothing wrong with the lottery. People are getting wound up about something that's been in place for years. I am SHOCKED that the C's and Grizz are crying croc tears today - it's sad to see Jerry West going out like this - acting like those cheesy losers Ainge and Doc Rivers.
You don't need a lottery in the NFL or Baseball because one player doesn't make anywhere near as big a difference. In both of those sports, you carry far mroe players on your team, and draft roughly 5 times as many players each year - so everybody gets so many chances to find a diamond in the rough that it all works out. In the NFL, getting that one franchise player doesn't take you from 3 - 13 to the playoffs - there's just too many bodies on the field with too many different, specialized roles for one guy to make that huge of a difference.
In the NBA, where players play offense, defense, and transitions (think special temas), and often play 80% of the minuntes at one of 5 available spots, one great player can completely change the fortunes of an entire franchise.
That's why you weight the lottery. That's also why you don't moan and complain when it doesn't help you right away. Give it another 24 years, and every team will have been given a gift at least once, and every team will have been screwed over at least once.
Don't like the lottery? Then run your team well enough not to be in it very often.
The NHL has a lottery, but only the worst 5 teams have a shot at the number one pick. Why not consider changing the system to be like the NHL? Then it's simple and the worst 5 have thier chances to get the pick.
The only thing worse than the NBA draft lottery is the BCS.
Why is it when teams like Boston or LAL get the short end of the stick, all of a sudden, there is a problem? Last year Portland had the worst record, and had to settle for 4th pick. I just think Boston is still smarting over that Telfair trade... :) :) :)
Now, any teams want Miles???
Why should teams be rewarded for not playing well? I remember watching teams tank for half of the season before the lottery system was adopted and it destroys the integrity of the game. Danny Ainge had Boston doing it this year just to get a twenty five percent chance at the top pick, if the top pick had been guaranteed he would have put Paul Pierce on the injured list all year.
Just think of what I will do with the money I save by not buying season tickets in Memphis. I have had four seats for each season since I moved here.
as much as anybody is entitled to their own opinions, a losing streak while paul pierce is injured doesnt qualify in my mind as tanking. the celtics young players won more games at the end of the year than early. their record after the all star break was a significantly higher winning percentage than before the break. not that facts matter... if lebron got hurt for 20 plus games, would you all say cleveland tanked?
How about just the last four teams have the order determined by lottery. You could give them the proportions of 1/2 for last, 1/3 for 2nd to last, 1/4 for 3rd to last, 1/5 for 4th to last. That could be represented by 30 balls for last, 20 balls for 2nd to last, 15 balls for 3rd to last, and 12 balls for 4th to last. That would be a total of 77 balls and the last team would have a 40 percent shot, the 2nd to last 25 percent, the 3rd to last 20 percent and the 4th to last 15 percent.
The lottery should go back two years, and include only teams that missed the playoffs both years. Weights would be based on how you did both years combined, so that the teams that that really need the help most get it.
Marty Burns is clueless. The Celtics and to a lesser extent the Memphis Grizzlies tanked games all year. You can't look at the last few weeks of the season point at a couple of unlikely wins and say see they didn't tank! Paul Pierce and Pau Gasol both missed a ton of games with flimsy injuries throughout the season. If both those teams were playing better and had a shot at the play-offs are you telling me Paul Pierce would have missed as many games as he did? Are the Celtics the second worst team in the league with Paul Pierce playing 82 games? The same thing goes for Memphis are they the worst team in the league with a healthy Gasol? Thats ludicrous. It wasn't only the Celtics and Grizzlies that tanked either the way Indiana, Seattle, Sacramento, and Portland played over the last month or two of the season was a disgrace. They went from teams that hovered near the .500 mark for long stretches of the season to nose diving to sub 35 win clubs.
Every team in the lottery should have the same chance at the number one pick. In a lot of years the number one pick guarantees you nothing. There are years when pick number six gets you a better player then pick number one. Let the GM's do there jobs and pick the right player and let the league promote trying to do your best every night and win games. You can not compare the NBA draft at all to baseball or football drafts. In basketball there are only five starting spots. One great player can make a bigger difference in Basketball then the other sports and that leads to team's tanking. Cry me a river Jerry West.
To all the Celtic haters out there - May your team never ever win a championship.
How about you stop rewarding mediocrity and incompetence by giving the worst-run teams the best incoming players? Hey Danny, Jerry, you want your teams to improve? how about you do YOUR JOB instead of buying a lotto ticket and waiting for the lucky moment to arrive? You looked for the easy way out and lost. Get over it.
Tanking can work, but it does take some luck. Look at how the Spurs got Duncan. That team was WAY too talented to finish with such a poor record, but they've never had a bad year since. Celts and Griz just need to exercise plan B now. You do have a plan B, don't you?
I'm stoked for the blazers. Now they can trade: Aldridge, Pryzabilla, and Jack to Minnesota for Garnett. Then send Randolph to Chicago for the #9 pick.
If Paul Allen is listening he should make me the GM. I'm just subing so I got time.
why do we assume the worst team DESERVES the first pick? there is an argument that a bad team will stay bad - or got there by its own incompetent management (i'm looking at you Boston) - should stay there and dig its own way out. maybe the teams who deserve the "bump over the edge" are the ones just outside the playoffs. i know it will never happen, but does it make anyone else a little sick to hear a losing team crying about what they "deserve" for being so bad???? i'm a bobcats fan- much less talent than Boston or manyother teams, but we played hard and (wait for it) TRIED HARD EVERY NIGHT. if everyone in the NBA did that, noone would be under 30 games
The entire system is bogus! How about taking the three or four teams with the worst records, out their names in a hat(or something similar) and select a team for the first pick only. The other two or three teams then are slotted according to their record. Like I said, the current system stinks!
The lottery was added to compensate for poor teams tanking and taking the picks from the really bad teams, seems like a reasonable concept. Unfortunately the tanking continues as the odds are not properly weighted, meaning you don't have to be worst to have a good chance at being first in line.
If you really want to use the draft to help the really bad teams then maybe weight it by standings at the halfway point and the end of year to prevent the end of the year tanks from having as much impact. Or better yet, weight it over say the past three years so to encourage teams to resolve their issues outside of the draft yet for those that that spend years at the bottom, they get some draft help.
Didn't the Blazers have the worst record last year and end up not getting a top three pick? And then with brilliant management they had (arguably) the best draft of the year. This year they aren't in the top spot and yet they get the pick, seems like a fair enough system to me.
Seems to me that every lottery team tanks games after they get eliminated and the overall quality of play in the last month [if not the entire regular season] is suspect for much of the NBA. Because other teams were "resting" their "injured" players it got harder and harder for Boston and Memphis to tank.
The best way to decide you gets the top picks would be to have a one game tournament, ala March madness, among the non-playoff teams. Anything can happen in a win or eliminated contest. Whoever wins gets the #1 pick and the remainder of the draft picks go in order by record. This would help prevent tanking because having the worst record will not guarentee the #1 pick...plus it will be entertaining!
For anyone that thinks the system is broken because of the "travesty" that happened to the grizzlies and celtics (don't feel so bad, boston... no one has said much about the 3rd worst team, milwaukee, and how they too got shafted), lets look at the rarity of this happening. Taking the draft percentages from: http://www.nba.com/celtics/stats/inside-the-numbers/itn042307-draft-lottery-odds.html
we see the chances each team has of getting which pick. The chances that the "top" 3 teams are all left out of the top 3 picks is ~ 0.84%, and this is expected to happen once every 12 years. If we leave out Milwaukee, then the chance that boston and memphis are left out of the top 3 is 16%, or once every 6 years.
So is something that happens once every 6 years a travesty? If something like this is supposed to be a travesty, then weighting it more will ensure it happens less often. However, any system is going to be unfair considering the quality of players is not consistent. For a year when there are 2 very promising talents, it is unfair that the 2 worst teams have 33% chance of coming away without even one of them. If change the system to weight it more, such that a top 2 or 3 worst teams have a 90% chance of getting the best probable players, then a year when there is no obvious frontrunner and just a bunch of position players, it is unfair to the worst teams because their perceived "earned" position at the top of the draft order is wasted. All of this results in a somewhat random series of events... the talent pool changes year to year and the draft order is somewhat random. But what this boils down to is... good management. A good manager will organize the picks and trades to maximize his team's benefit.
For all the boston fans that think they should get a top 3 pick to somehow restore the prestige of celtics basketball, there is something very wrong with that attitude. Of course, a top 3 pick helps, but somehow thinking you deserve it is not how teams are made. But lets take a look at recent history as a lesson on how NOT to approach the draft. What happened to the bulls after jordan left? They, too, suffered from the "draft-itis" and got the first pick in 1999, and got Elton Brand. He did very well. The bulls did not. They only won 17 games. In the next year, they got a 4th pick and got fizer... and won 15 games. In the next draft, the bulls got even more of the "itis" and traded their franchise player Elton Brand for the Clippers' 2nd pick, and the bulls also owned the 4th pick. They even traded away their top 3 scorers. They "improved" to 21 wins. So far, we've seen a team get the following picks in 3 years: 1, 4, 2, 4, 2. Net improvement... 4 wins. It wasn't really until the bulls picked up gordon and deng in 2004 things began to gel, combined with some important trades along the way. And maybe the coach had something to do with it, too.
What's the point? Even a series of top draft picks isn't automatically going to change anything in boston... or anywhere else. It takes good management, SMART trades, and good draft picks. Maybe a good manager should have seen this draft as something special and traded away their good but obviously useless players for better draft positions. If boston thought this draft was so important not to miss... trade away pierce.
There was already rampant tanking with the system set up the way it is. It was embarrassing to watch.
Further weighting the odds to the bad teams would just make it that much worse.
Tanking is a far worse problem than the 6th worst team getting the #1 pick.
I know how to fix this. Set aside 10-15% of player salary money to be paid out to winners of regular-season games. The players would never tank if there's money on the line. Of course that would have to wait until the next CBA is negotiated...
It seems those who have a beef with the lottery put to much stock into the first two picks of the draft. While there is no doubt that draft position is important, so is ability to scout talent. Perfect example, MJ was not the first or second pick in his draft. Maybe Ainge and the other GM's who complain need to do a better job at drafting players.
well, based on what they've done with recent draft picks, no one will be able to accuse the Celtics of tanking when they find themselves at the bottom of the NBA barrel again next year.
And it is highly amusing to see all the folks rip on the Celtics and Griz for tanking ... as if they were the first teams ever to consider doing so.
The league has the current system in place because it is an endemic problem.
If "Karma" was real, Lebron would not be in Cleveland right now...
And when your team sucks and has nothing to play for but getting young players experience, I hope they get accused of tanking and blow their shot at a Durant/Oden caliber player in the lottery.
there should be no reward for having a bad team. If you make bad decisions and tank games, which both Memphis and Boston did, then you deserve nothing
Blaming all Celtic fans for the team 'tanking' the season is dumb. Celtic fans are a dying breed. Between the idiocy of the ownership and Ainge, it's been tough enough. Getting hosed in the draft again, I give up.
To all you Memphis and Boston whiners - Don't worry, there's always next year to tank too!
Bring back the coin flip for the two worst teams. The lottery is just another in a long list of NBA flaws. If Stern is so concerned about tanking perhaps the season shouldn't be so long. Injuries played a major role in these teams missing the playoffs. Basketball is a grueling sport and yet they have the second longest season because they live off TV money. Their ratings suck because none of the big markets field very good teams and the playoffs rarely produce good matchups because the seeding system sucks. This league gets all the simple stuff wrong.
I agree with xanadu also. Why is the NBA's draft have to be different than all the other sports. This is stupid and the reason why some NBA teams always finish last for years at a time. Another example of this is a couple years ago when the Celtics missed out on another quality big man when they missed Tim Duncan when he came out of Wake Forest.
I agree with those who say that few or no teams work hard in the last month or week. So just have a straight draft without a lottery so no one can get crazy about unfairness or whatever.OR.. Have a lottery between the four worst teams for draft order and then give the next ten teams a 10% even chance in a second lottery, to complete the order of picks. Maybe this would work if a lottery is so necessary. Comments?
That's why it's called a "lottery." Random teams have a chance to win it. Leave it alone.
Does anyone remember if the Bulls whined when they had the #3 pick, back when they landed that guy from UNC. Maybe a team needs to be able to evaluate all the talent available correctly.
Basketball has to have a lottery. In no other sport does one single player have a larger impact than in basketball. Memphis and Boston tanked it with a lottery system in place, imagine how bad it would be if there wasn't?
So what....even if they get the first pick there's an even chance that it will not be the best player or that the best player will not contribute for a few years. Okay, Magic lead the Lakers to a title his first year, how often does that happen? Look at the late first round and early second round picks that bloom mid first year or second year. asking for instant help is a bit much....not every draft has that available.
NO DRAFT!! Do it by record. If tanking is an issue, have the Comissioner's Office make a thoughtful decision and be done with it!
Everyone quit complaining. This is fate. Get rid of the lottery? Okay, then the NBA should not have put in place the rule that says high school seniors can't enter the draft. So last year the Blazers get the first pick, and Oden or Durrant would have been in the draft and the Blazers still get to pick between the two.
For those that believe this is a "special" year and that is why the lottery needs to be changed or removed. Well then lets get rid of the draft and only let the Lakers, Knicks, Celtics, and Sixers pick all the players they want.
i have a better idea, how about they make the lottery only determine the top pick, make every team eligible, make the worst team get a 50 percent shot at it, the second worst team get a 25 percent shot at it, third 12.5, fourth 6.25, ect. then let the best team get the remain amount of the pot (less than half a percent) then teams who are bad cant fall as many as three spots, and the worst team will pick only as low as number 2, and every team can kinda hope for a bonus
the nba draft lottery is a joke period
The NBA needs to admit that the draft lottery needs to be teaked to significantly increase the odds for the worst teams will pick #1-2. Still, considering the league figured out a way to ruin one of the best playoff series (SA v. Phoenix), Im not holding my breath that Stern will man-up and admit that changes need to be made.
no...you should NOT get rid of the lottery...it is exciting and a great idea to give each team who didnt make the playoffs a CHANCE...I DO agree completly with the writer, here... all they need to do is beef up the odds a little bit for the top 5 worst teams...maybe crank up the worst team from 25% chance to 35 or 40% and then adjust the remaining pick's chances accordingly...
Who cares about #1 or #2? Whoever ends up with Corey Brewer is going to have the best pick in the draft anyway...
"There is something that is just not right about him (Oden)??? Right. And Michelangelo left too many brush strokes. What exaclty is the "something" you are referring too? That he only made 65% of his FT's LEFT HANDED? That he only lead his team to the final game of the NCAA Finals as a Freshman? That at 19 he hasn't even BEGUN to reach his potential??
As a former Buckeye and now Portland resident, please God send us all the players like Oden who are just not quite right. The sooner the better.
moron . . . . .
The Lottery is doing perfect. When you get a 25% chance of getting the Number 1 pick out of 14 teams for being the worst team, that's an obvious advantage. They're just crying because all those tanking didn't payoff. Maybe next year after you lose 82 games...
There is nothing wrong with the lottery system. League is doing a good job to prevent teams from tanking. I really hate to see teams loose on purpose at the end of the season and affected teams fighting to win that last playoff system. Every team should play hard until the last game of the season regardless. Besides, #1 or 2 picks don't guarantee success. Do you need names for #1 pick busts.
For those of you saying that the grizz "tanked' games I have a question. How many of their games did you watch? I watched as many as I could cause I am a fan through both good and bad. We just plain sucked this year. We didn't need to tank we were so bad. Gasol, who is overrated anyways, was hurt for most of the year, not to mention many other injuries i.e. Kyle Lowry, Damon Stoudamire, and Mike Miller, over the season. It just makes sense to play our young players seeing as next year they will be much better, and as for putting a coach in their with no experience, his real job is scouting our team and seeing what we need, how better to do this than by coaching, and by the way he has head coaching experience, just not in the NBA but in college. We did not tank we just sucked really really hard, but that's okay cause although we won't make the playoffs next year we will be much improved, We will be back in the playoffs in 2009 hopefully without Gasol.
Keep the lottery...draft day is just one aspect a team can use to turn things around, there are other methods (free agency, trading, PRACTICING) Many teams suck because they give big money to players who turn out to be a bust. Look at Portland a few years back with Patterson. Too many teams pay big money to players that just dont produce, and then whine when things don't go there way.
I am glad Portland got the pick...but even without it, they have built a team there that is on the rise. Utah and Portland held the longest playoff appearances in nba history until just a couple years ago, managing to put solid teams on the court for MANY years without being a lottery team...why? Because they are managed better then teams like the Celtics and Grizz. Wnat proof, look at Utah now. Couple bad seasons for Utah...and now they look as good as ever! And Portland looks to be soon to follow. And this is done in arguably a stronger conference. So why do some teams suck for years on end? Cuz there management couldn't get it done, period. Maybe teams that suck should quite whinning about not getting better players, and make the players they do have better...go practice some layups and quite giving franchise crippling contracts to medicore players who end up on the end of the bench...were collecting a paycheck is the same whether the produce or not.
Long live the lottery...
There are like 50 guys on an nfl roster...25 or more in mlb. In basketball you have 12 on the active roster. Like a few astute people have pointed out already, in basketball, one guy can change your entire franchise...Kareem, Shaq, Lebron, Duncan, Hakeem...they make teams viable again. In football, even if you draft Jim Brown or Walter Payton, you still need a defense. You still need a quarterback. You still need an offensive line. You still need receivers. In football it's not the highest pick, it's the number of picks. It's a completely different animal. Does anyone honestly think that JaMarcus Russell turns the Raiders into a playoff team next year?
Reality: once teams cannot make the playoffs, they start thinking of next year. Also, there are only a handfull of teams near the end of a season, that have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs and then do not make it.
Solution to the draft: Equal chance for all teams that miss the playoffs. Tanking games would not be a factor and in terms of parity, any of them would deserve a lucky draw.
As an avid hoops fan, I'd suggest awarding teams that finish last and second to last, for two years in a row or more, several more ping pong balls with their name on it.
Tom from Ann Arbor
I do agree the draft needs to be changed. I think the best idea I have heard is to have the lottery as they do now for the FIRST pick only. After that, then the draft is based on your record. This solves tanking but also the worst teams won´t get screwed and at worst move down one spot.
The NBA is in serious trouble. You cant have Philly, New York and Boston all bad teams at the same time. For all the Celtic haters, realize that without the Celtics (or the Lakers, Sixers, Knicks) there is no NBA to speak of. These franchises carried the league before the internet ever existed. Some of you dont remember when Russell/Wilt was the national game of the week every Sunday. The lottery, with the luxury tax and dollar-for-dollar restrictions on trades, make it nearly impossible for teams to improve without blind luck or underhanded tactics. As a Laker fan, I watched as the Logo stole Shaq from Orlando and Kobe from Charlotte. Teams are forced to tank, if they want great players in the draft (ie. Duncan, LeBron, Oden, Durant). Stern needs to go, period. The little General has stayed on the job too long.
The system is clearly broken. Way too much emphasis on trying to prevent "tanking" by crappy teams to begin with. Under the current system, the Celtics had the second worst record yet from a percentage stand point they were most likely to get the 4th pick???? Can someone explain this to me?
here here on dumping the lottery. the year that Shaq and Mourning were draft eligible, the Timberwolves had the worst record in the league. They ended up with Laettner at 3. Not that Shaq would have stuck around after his rookie contract expired (not enough glitz here), but he certainly would have been better than Laettner. Either way, the T-Pups aren't much to watch, but like Portland, we would have been infinitely better with the first pick, instead of the 7th. Imagine Oden working with Garnett this upcoming season.
I say, trade Garnett for the first pick and whatever other player garbage the T-Blazers don't want so we can start over with Oden - even Durant who is Garnett-like.
I agree with those who say Ainge sucks, but for those saying Ainge needs to "do his job" and "fix the problem," what, specifically, do you mean? Trade our second-rate players for superstars? The only way to go from terrible to playoff team in the NBA is to score a dominant big-man in the draft. There is no other way.
Its over now...how do these teams respond...and will the celts be able to still have a solid draft...that is the question.
You can't compare NBA to NFL. Each game in the NFL has far more significance and therefore tanking is not as prevelent.
Winning the number 1 pick does not make a championship team. A competent organization does. Shaq and Lebron are good examples. Look what happens when Lebron takes a breather.
A little OT, but I have to address it:
For the record, the NBA does not need a dominant team in the north east. First, the game is global now. People are less concerned with teams and more concerned about players they identify with. Yao Ming plays in Houston and I am sure the people in China have no problems catching his games. Germans still catch Drik in Dallas.
Also, from a domestic perspective demographics are changing. People are leaving the north east for the Sun Belt. Heck, in a few years Houston will pass Chicago making it America’s third largest city. People are leaving places like Philly, New York City, and Boston to go to places like Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and Denver. The east coast is not as relevant as many of you homers seem to think.
Here is my take on the NBA Lottery. The Bobcats and the Celtics finished with the worst possible draft choices possible. Compare how many times, since the implementation of the draft lottery, the bottom three teams have finished with the worst possible position to when the have finished in the position "normal" position. That is worst record #1, second worst #2, and third worst #3. If those percentages are not the same then I consider the system unfair. To correct it the Percentages of the bottom teams should be set higher.
As far as why the NBA has a lottery:
1) teams actually did used to tank, which is why the lottery was instituted.
2) the NBA has a two-round draft as opposed to a seven rounder (NFL), six rounder (NHL), etc., so the order of picks is more significant
3) as someone else pointed out, one player can make more of an impact in basketball than in any other sport.
but that's neither here nor there. whether or not there is a lottery makes no difference, since people only care when there is a clear no. 1 pick who's better than everyone else, which is usually something the media wants you to believe and which the GMs and talent evaluators are not as sold on. to whit:
i do recall 4 years ago everyone saying that LeBron and Melo were the only two legit players in the draft. if i'm not wrong, there have been a few other winners coming out of that one. you people want to tell me that al horford, corey brewer, aaron aflalo, and the scores of other players declared for the draft can't make the impact that, say, a bosh or a wade can? the problem with all you people, is that instead of actually watching basketball and letting the games take care of themselves, you read articles by sensationalist columnists who spew forth the same drivel over and over again. why don't you listen to the actual basketball players. what did jon barry say the other day on espn? why are you people already giving oden to portland and durant to seattle? the lottery is not the draft. there are a couple of months until that happens, and you all should just wait and see who gets drafted where. and if we go back to the 2003 draft, did anyone in the media expect detroit to take darko?
as far as giving the worst team the first pick. the assumption, it seems to me, is that there is supposed to be cyclicity in the league so that different teams are on top and different teams are at the bottom in different years. but why is that the case? most teams in the NBA have not won championships. except for occasional blips (i.e. portland, washington, seattle in the late 70s), the trophy generally passes hands through a handful of teams (Lakers, Celtics, 76ers, Pistons, and recently the Spurs). in a year like last year or the one before, when there was supposedly no clear no. 1 pick, no one wanted to pick first. or rather, no one cared, since toronto could have gotten bargnani picking sixth. basically, fans complain when their team loses, whether it's because they lose on the court or they lose in a meaningless game of bingo. get over it. watch the games. enjoy basketball for the sport that it is. not for the sensationalist entertainment machine that people who can't appreciate the game turn it into.
Tanking games at the end of the season to get a higher pick!! Yeah Right, If only the top 3 picks in the draft are the only major impact players you would need to tank a 1/2 season or the whole season to get a better pick. The system in not broken its obsolute!!! It's a joke. No wonder the NBA is dying a slow death. Take it from a former fan. The lottery draft will be the lead to death of the NBA.
Wow, I had no idea that east coast fans were such a bunch of crybabies. There's no promise of an award for being better at losing games. Your team, city and fans are no more or less "deserving," than anyone else. Begrudging the city of Seattle it's first top-5 draft pick in 17 years is pathetic.
The NBA management often makes decisions that provide enormous benefit for one team over another. The suspension of two centers for the Suns is one example. The NBA repeatedly gives the appearance of favoritism over fairness, even if there isn't a consistent winner. But when it comes to the lottery draft, the chain of improbable winners is ridiculous. The charade began with the Ewing-Knicks and continues today.
Bottom line is that the Grizz and the Celtics haven't been THAT bad! Both teams made the playoffs in the last 3 years. If they were really wanting to help the "worst" teams, base the lottery/draft on the record from the last 4-5 years and give the worst teams the top pick