May 23, 2007

My First draft lottery

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

I’ll be honest: I’ve never watched the NBA’s draft lottery before; I never really cared to be frank. But this year I’ll be tuned in (and not because I work in the sports department of the paper). The draw for Oden/Durant is the most compelling since that of King LeBron, but I didn’t even bother tuning in for that one either. When the Raptors won the lottery last year, I didn’t know it even happened until reading about it on ESPN.com later that night. There’s too much at stake with these ping-pong balls to miss out.

When everything was said and done, it looks like one franchise might be saved but at the expense of another fan-bases suffering. As the envelopes were opened, the anticipation grew with no real surprises for the first while, until the owner of the fifth pick was announced: the Boston Celtics. The tortured fan base that openly rooted for their team to tank and gain a better draft pick apparently ate it in the karma department and will miss out on a possible saviour. Phoenix also lost out on when Atlanta drew into the top-3 meaning they could keep their pick.

The huge winners, without surprise, are the teams who won the lottery and jumped up into the top two picks. Seattle got into the two-spot, meaning they’ll likely land Kevin Durant who could potentially save their franchise from being moved to a place like Vegas or Oklahoma City. But the kings of the show were the Portland Trailblazers who came in with only a 5% chance to win and walked away at the top of draft chart. While speculation has it that Greg Oden will likely be their choice, Kevin Durant will fit in just as well and either will be a great improvement for the team. This also sets up a good feud between Durant and Oden as the two teams are division rivals and play each other several times over the season.

This lottery will be remembered as Oden/ Durant lottery and as just another time the Celtics got screwed.

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