Tonight marks the NBA Draft Lottery and basketball fans everywhere are clamoring for their favorite bad team to get the top spot in June’s draft. The lottery is a spectacle in of itself, but it is a unique event that gives competitive balance a whole new spin.
Doing some research at www.nba.com, we can track how this current system came into place. Read up on that below, but the sheer fact of the matter is that only three times in the current weight lottery system has the actual worst team in the NBA received the top pick in the draft.
The NBA is a top-heavy league. Stars dominate the league unlike baseball, football, soccer or hockey because there are only five players on the court at each time for each team. While an Albert Pujols or Peyton Manning can change the game in other sports, their sole impact is nothing compared to a Michael Jordan or Shaquille O’Neal.
The current system is a mesh of ping pong balls, scattered probabilities and a fool’s gold representation of fairness in professional sports. The reason the NBA gave for switching to the lottery system was because teams supposedly tanked at the end of the season for better draft position.