Conspiracy theories flooded Twitter at roughly 8:20 on Wednesday evening. Why? The New Orleans Hornets won the top pick in the 2012 NBA Lottery. With that pick they will take the Uni-browed Wonder Anthony Davis, by far the best player in the draft.
The odds were not in their favor to win this lottery, yet the team that was owned by the NBA until about three weeks ago landed the top pick. This outcome adds to conspiracy theories centered on this entire lottery. Ping-pong balls, secret rooms, and guys in suits make people edgy. More importantly, they make people talk when results get weird.
I have a simple solution to this entire problem: a playoff for the top pick. Here's how I see it working.
Each team that missed the playoffs gets to play in their own little playoff for the top pick in the draft. As a country we love competition, so why not add more of it?
The playoff rules:
1) All 13 teams are eligible
2) Single elimination
3) For every win the current players earn $30,000 (this will hopefully make it enticing to players who might not give a crap).
4) The last team standing wins the top pick, losing teams get a pick depending on how many points they lose by (the smaller the margin, the higher your pick. In other words, the team that loses by the biggest margin in the first round gets the 13th pick overall).
With 13 teams you would need to give out a few byes in the first round. The three worst teams would get a bye to the second round, leaving 10 teams playing for the remaining five second round slots.
You could give the teams a week following the season to let them get some rest, and to allow for the majority of first round playoffs games to be played. Then they can run in conjunction with the second round.
More basketball is better. Right?
Right now the league rewards teams that either bottom out or have enough money to sign top free agents, while teams in the middle remain in the middle. A playoff would help non-playoff teams earn money (teams with the worse record would have home court), and it would keep the fan base involved beyond the regular season.
Obviously, a playoff would have a negative affect in some aspects too.
Competition is how many businesses are grown in this country, but in the NBA sucking really bad is rewarded with more ping-pong balls.
Do you really want teams competing for the right to draft a player? Most of these college kids have been recruited and coddled their entire lives. Now throw in the fact that grown men are competing to get you on their team, it could make it a more difficult transition.
Yet nothing that we do at this point as a society will temper how these athletes feel about themselves. Anthony Davis watched tonight's lottery knowing that he was the prize, and then he was interviewed immediately following the results. He was already making comments about playing in New Orleans. Would a playoff make it worse? I don't really think so.
Competition is how many businesses are grown in this country, but in the NBA sucking really bad is rewarded with more ping-pong balls. When you suck in the real world, you (usually) don't get bailed out (right Curt Schilling?).
I say it's time for these teams to earn their keep, play a longer season (only by four games total) and earn the players they require to improve.
The lesson: don't suck. And if you do suck, make sure you beat the other people that suck.
Fan Hub Action
Marcy Kelly June 12th
Wow! I must have listened to a completely differnt press conference. Oh, wait- you convinently left off all of the good things they just got…
Nathan Devine June 5th
The dude is nasty. The fastball is REAL heavy at 97-100. Steady improvement every year.
Jeanne-Marie Jansen Lowell May 23rd
Greatest relief pitcher EVER! Someday we can all tell our grandchildren we got to see him pitch. A true legend!
Charlie Lobosco May 23rd
Ask Craig; I’ll say it again; not the best relief pitcher ever; the best MLB player ever. Yes, that includes everyone.
Jim Lowell May 23rd
Great tribute to a great player, a great Yankee, and a great man.Thank you!
Frank Lowell May 23rd
Great job, Ryan! As a life-long Yankee hater since the 1950’s in the closing days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I can only sit back and…
Tiffany Riddle May 23rd
Love the article, and I completely agree!
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
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