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NBA Draft

dtgold88

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There’s far too many weird coincidences that happen

So I really can’t blame people
I think it might be frustration for their team in some cases. Cannot say I was happy we slipped to 5 recently with a bottom 2 record (2 years in a row, I believe) but never thought it was fixed.
 

dtgold88

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Long article about what took place in the room where the lottery drawing took place. It's kinda hard to support any tinfoil hat conspiracy theories when you know that every lottery team had a representative there to witness the entire process, as well as 19 members of the media.


Zach Lowe, ESPN Senior Writer
May 17, 2023, 08:00 AM ET


Seconds before the pingpong balls started flying in the real NBA lottery drawing, held in a locked-down room shortly before the televised version, Brian Wright, the San Antonio Spurs general manager, reached his right hand across his chest and tapped his left shirt pocket twice.

That is the end of the secret handshake Wright shares with his 9-year-old son. Something was in that pocket -- some good luck trinket -- but Wright would not reveal what it was after the Spurs won the momentous 2023 lottery and the right to draft French phenom Victor Wembanyama. At their family home, Wright's son was supposed to have a corresponding good luck charm and execute their secret handshake, Wright said.

Hours earlier, R.C. Buford, the Spurs CEO, had arrived at his hotel room in Chicago and was astonished to see a familiar blue leather chair with a card attached. It was the same chair Buford had been sitting in in his office in San Antonio when the Spurs won the Tim Duncan lottery in 1997. He had given the chair to his daughter when she went to college, he told ESPN after the lottery Tuesday. His family secretly sent it to his hotel.

"I had a meditation in my blue leather chair this afternoon," Buford said.

Back in the drawing room, the first pingpong ball came up: No. 14. Fourteen balls, numbered 1-14, zip around a classic air-powered lottery machine before a league attorney stops the machine and sucks one up. That ball becomes the first of four drawn in sequence, eventually making up a four-number combination. There are 1,001 possible four-number combinations using the numbers 1-14. The NBA tosses out one of them -- 11, 12, 13, 14 -- and divides the rest among the 14 lottery teams based on their team record and lottery odds.

The Spurs, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets held 140 combinations apiece -- 420 of the 1,000. The New Orleans Pelicans, the lottery team with the best record, owned only five.

The combinations go in numerical order, so that the worst teams -- Houston, Detroit, San Antonio -- have almost all the combinations featuring the numbers 1 and 2. Seeing 14 as the first ball had the whole room in play for Wembanyama for a fleeting 10-second window. Wright panicked. "Oh my god, we are out," he thought to himself, Wright told ESPN in the drawing room minutes after the drawing ended. (ESPN had one of 19 media members present to watch the drawing.) Each lottery team sends one person to the room to represent them. They sit in rows, with the teams with the best odds up front and the long shots in the back.

In that last row, Teresa Resch, the Toronto Raptors vice president of basketball operations, elbowed Bryson Graham, the New Orleans Pelicans assistant general manager, when that 14 came up, both recalled: We have a chance!

Ten seconds after the 14, up popped the next ball: 5. Almost everyone was still in play. Michael Finley, the Dallas Mavericks assistant general manager, knew that any of the teams below the Mavericks in the lottery pecking order -- the Raptors, Pelicans, Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder -- leaping into the top-4 could knock the Mavs back from No. 10 to No. 11. That would have meant the Mavericks sending their top-10 protected pick to the New York Knicks -- a potential embarrassment given Dallas' late-season tanking to slide out of the play-in race and into that No. 10 slot. (The NBA fined the Mavericks $750,000 for "conduct detrimental to the league.")

Finley stayed calm, knowing the odds still favored the worst teams. "I wasn't nervous," he said. Finley won a championship with the Spurs in 2007, and joked after that drawing that perhaps he should have brought along his Spurs championship ring for good luck.

(On the flip side, many within the league feared the Mavericks 3% chance of winning the lottery -- and being rewarded for their late-season resting with Wembanyama.)

All around the room, team officials flipped through eight sheets of paper showing which teams owned each combination. The mood was frantic.


Ten seconds later, the third ball: No. 8. Several teams were still alive. Brett Greenberg, the Washington Wizards assistant general manager, knew instantly the Wizards had a chance. All 67 of their combinations had the No. 5 as the lowest digit. There were 11 balls left in the hopper. If the last ball drawn was No. 7, No. 9, No. 10, No. 11, No. 12 or No. 13, the Wizards would get Wembanyama. Eleven balls left; six were winners for Washington.

"Holy s---, we have a chance," Greenberg thought to himself. He hunched over his combination sheets and took a deep breath. Greenberg was well-stocked with lucky charms: his father's lucky coin (a Kona dollar); a replica 1978 Washington Bullets championship ring; and a silver coin inscribed with the Wizards logo and the phrase "game-changer" -- a memento Flip Saunders, the Wizards head coach from 2009-2012, gave to players who made pivotal plays. Greenberg also wore orange socks -- his grandmother's favorite color. (Jon Phelps, the Detroit Pistons senior director of basketball strategy, wore socks with dinosaurs on them -- a gift from his nephew, and the same pair he wore when the Pistons won the 2021 drawing.)

Joel Glass, the Orlando Magic's chief communications officer and drawing room representative, also knew his team had shot: The No. 4 ball would send Wembanyama to Orlando. Glass continued his tradition of bringing the pingpong balls from Orlando's previous lottery wins -- Shaquille O'Neal, the No. 1 pick they turned into Anfernee Hardaway, Dwight Howard and Paolo Banchero last season -- into the drawing room for luck. For the first time, Glass carried them in a small briefcase emblazoned with the Magic logo. It was gently suggested to Glass that needing a suitcase to carry all the franchise's lottery winning balls was perhaps not a great sign.

Glass squinted to see if the last ball showed a single-digit.

Meanwhile, a No. 6 would give the Indiana Pacers the No. 1 pick. "For a short second, it was pure joy," Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers president of basketball operations, told ESPN afterward. A No. 3 ball would have sent Wembanyama to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Then the final ball: No. 2. That disqualified most teams, but Wright wasn't sure if the Spurs owned the winning combination: 14-5-8-2. As Wright scanned those eight pages, Clay Allen, the Houston Rockets general counsel, tapped him: "I think that's you," Wright recalled.

A league official announced that it was indeed the Spurs. Wright barely reacted. He stayed silent and gazed downward until Allen reached over to shake his hand.

"Brian was way too calm," Graham joked afterward. "I mean, come on!"

"I was going to get up and run around the room," Resch said of her plans to celebrate if the Raptors had won. (Resch was the team's drawing room representative when they moved up to No. 4 in the 2021 lottery; she recalled raising her arms and letting out a brief "woop!" Another executive in the room was worried he would scream so loudly if his team won that security would have to subdue him or eject him.)


The drawing was largely anticlimactic after that, with the Charlotte Hornets, Blazers and Rockets claiming picks No. 2-4 in that order. (The NBA actually had to draw seven four-number combinations; the Spurs and Hornets each "won" the No. 4 pick -- the Spurs twice! -- before it finally went to Houston. That is believed to be a record for total drawings in one lottery, league officials said.)

After the drawing, everyone stays in the room for about an hour until the televised reveal is over. No one is allowed to leave. Everyone in the room surrenders their phones, tablets, laptops and smart watches upon entering so that no one can communicate the results to the outside world. The attendees gossip and eat until watching ESPN's lottery broadcast -- the only people alive who know the results already.

Wright sat in his same seat in the front row watching to see the moment the rest of the world would learn the Spurs had won. When that moment came -- when Peter Holt, the Spurs governor, leaped and shouted in joy on the stage, the camera then cutting to an emotional Buford sitting in the ballroom -- Wright tapped his chest twice again.

Buford knows better than most how one player can transform an entire franchise. The Spurs were stuck in the middle for several years after trading Kawhi Leonard in 2018 before making a choice over the last year to go into a full rebuild -- peaking with the June 2022 trade that sent Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for three first-round picks.

"We made a decision last summer," Buford told ESPN. "We liked the way this year went for our team. We had good young players getting better. We've seen the impact and transformation that one player can have on a program. We hope we can do everything we can to set another player up for that kind of success."

Some other tidbits from the drawing room and the ongoing draft combine in Chicago:

• The Blazers moving up from No. 5 to No. 3 raised eyebrows all over the league right away. The Blazers could of course keep that pick, but rival executives expect them to explore the kind of veteran help that pick -- plus other players -- might fetch for Damian Lillard. (Executives also expect the Blazers to re-sign Jerami Grant.) The No. 3 pick by itself won't net a game-changing veteran. What might the combination of that pick and Anfernee Simons get Portland? If they do try to load up around Lillard -- which requires Lillard indicating he'd like to stay in Portland -- expect the Blazers to go after wings and big men, sources said.

Portland also has Shaedon Sharpe, but his strong finish to the season would make the Blazers even queasier about including him in any kind of win-now trade...

• I'd also expect at some point for the Blazers to try to renegotiate the protections on the first-round pick they owe the Bulls from the 2021 three-team trade in which they acquired Larry Nance Jr. The pick is lottery-protected every year through 2028 -- restricting the Blazers ability to deal picks in trades. Such renegotiations are always tricky. The Bulls will want something.
Never known conspiracists to acknowledge anything that would refute their theories........to me the 19 reporters in the room makes it impossible among many other things.
 

dtgold88

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Why wouldn’t you lottery in the decending order?

First one out gets 4

Second. 3 etc

It’s common sense
common sense to give the teams with the most chances to win (and get the 1st pick) the best chance to get the 4th pick instead?
 

trojanfan12

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Even when they drew it live, it had to be a frozen envelope, or weighted ping pong balls. Conspiracy theorists will find an excuse one way or another...

The thing with conspiracy theories is they are unprovable, which allows those who buy into them the ability to keep claining they are real.

Even if they are proven false, they are easily replaced with another conspiracy theory.
 
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dtgold88

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The thing with conspiracy theories is they are either unprovable, which allows those who buy into them the ability to keep claining they are real.

Even if they are proven false, they are easily replaced with another conspiracy theory.
Or they just dig deeper and claim something like that's what the NBA puts out there.
 

The Q

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Or they just dig deeper and claim something like that's what the NBA puts out there.

The only trustworthy thing in the nba is the two minute report
 

eaglesnut

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Likely the last thing the NBA would want would have been a sweep of LA, right?

Weird.
Growing the denver market. Read my post about cycles and maintaining as many casual fans as possible. They are all about hype. A sweep gets hyped.
 

dtgold88

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Growing the denver market. Read my post about cycles and maintaining as many casual fans as possible. They are all about hype. A sweep gets hyped.
No games hyped more than having 2-3 more games?

Ya gotta love this forum.
 

trojanfan12

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No games hyped more than having 2-3 more games?

Ya gotta love this forum.

See what I mean? lol

The "They want the Lakers to win/They won't let them get swept" conspiracy theory gets debunked...

So now it's about "Growing the Denver market/maintaining casual fans".

There is literally nothing dumber than a conspiracy theorist trying to cling to their conspiracy.
 

dtgold88

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See what I mean? lol

The "They want the Lakers to win/They won't let them get swept" conspiracy theory gets debunked...

So now it's about "Growing the Denver market/maintaining casual fans".

There is literally nothing dumber than a conspiracy theorist trying to cling to their conspiracy.
The same guy is trying to say because SA won the lottery it means the lottery is fixed.

That's next level stuff.
 

fightinfunbags

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I said that before the sweep
You’re a weird fucking dude. The fact that it’s not Celtics Lakers with Tatum LeBron says no other conspiracy theory this year is applicable. That’s a slam dunk that pays them off in both their short and long term marketing goals. To grow the Denver market? Bwahahaha! A good conspiracy theory has to make sense. You’re the Corky Thatcher version of Alex Jones.
 

eaglesnut

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Putting out a backup conspiracy theory to cover in case your original one is proven false, doesn't mean it's not a conspiracy theory.
Even when you are proven false you easily replace your crazy with more crazy
 

eaglesnut

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You’re a weird fucking dude. The fact that it’s not Celtics Lakers with Tatum LeBron says no other conspiracy theory this year is applicable. That’s a slam dunk that pays them off in both their short and long term marketing goals. To grow the Denver market? Bwahahaha! A good conspiracy theory has to make sense. You’re the Corky Thatcher version of Alex Jones.
Lebron is washed. Who wants to watch that sad bullshit? Denver is a huge untapped market.
 
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