Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NBA draft lottery is a farce

The NBA draft lottery is a made-for-TV joke.  Of course, if fairness was part of the process, it would be too boring for TV.
So you have a classic style versus substance debate ... and shtick wins.
But how can the worst team in basketball have only a one in four chance of getting the first pick?
At the very least, it's got to be north of 50 percent, because that's what the draft is supposed to be about -- providing instant help to the worst team in the sport.
The fact that that worst team almost never gets the No. 1 pick (twice since 1991) tells you the process is flawed.
The only reason to have a lottery at all is to prevent a team from intentionally losing a game at the end of the year to improve it's draft position. But teams don't tank in January, February and March. If they do, fans would revolt (and probably file a lawsuit to force teams to refund money).
So make the draft lottery five teams, giving the worst team 51 percent odds. Give the second worst team, 27 percent odds; third, 13 percent; fourth, six percent, and fifth, three percent. I think that comes to 100 percent, but don't hold me to the math.
The only downside to my suggestion is that it would probably ruin one half hour of TV suspense for the basketball junkie (the only people who are watching, anyway) per year. The trade off is fairness.
Even David Stern should be able to figure out this no-brainer.


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