The 2016 NBA Draft lottery took place yesterday in New York City. Fourteen teams, all of whom did not make the playoffs this past season, met at the Hilton Hotel to see where their beloved franchises would be positioned in this year's upcoming NBA Draft.
All eyes were on the Philadelphia 76ers franchise because they had the best percentage chance to receive the first pick in the lottery. The LA Lakers and Boston Celtics also had excellent chances of receiving one of the top three picks.
As the day went on and the excitement grew, something strange happened. Former All-Star Dikembe Mutombo, who is a big time ambassador for the NBA, tweeted out a congratulatory tweet to the 76ers on winning the first pick. The main problem with the tweet was that the former Sixer got too excited and sent the tweet four hours before the lottery had taken place.
#What pic.twitter.com/FDPgusa6t2 — Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) May 17, 2016
Thank you, Dikembe! You are now what we call a whistle blower.
The lottery process is what we thought it was: a complete joke. We all thought that it was rigged and controlled by the NBA in the first place, and I always disliked the idea of the lottery process, anyway.
It was put in place in 1985 to dissuade bad teams from tanking throughout the season. However, the Sixers front office decided this was still the route to greatness, and in past three seasons, they have been in the bottom of the standings with the hope of landing the top pick in each draft.
They have a record of 47-199 since 2013. I really feel worse for their fans than the other two teams who had a chance at the first pick, the Lakers and Celtics.
This is not the first time in history that the NBA has been criticized for rigging the draft. During the first year of the lottery process, in 1985, the New York Knicks were the first winner of the lottery envelope system.
The lottery system at that time involved a random drawing of an envelope from a hopper. They selected Georgetown University standout Patrick Ewing with their first overall pick. The envelope system was highly criticized, but it was used until 1989 before being replaced by the current weighted lottery ball system in 1990.
And what about a couple years when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the first pick in 2013, and then again in 2014? It raised a lot of suspicion to the idea that the top pick was rigged and has always been chosen by the league.
It was so ironic that the year Lebron James was to become a free agent, the Cavaliers, who had the ninth best chance to secure the prize pick, actually got it. The Cavs then used the pick on Andrew Wiggins and traded him for Kevin Love.
Can we please just throw away the lottery ball system? We know the league chooses who gets the first pick, so lets just find a new system for the draft. I'm not in favor of going back to the old coin toss, either.
My suggestion is to have the two worst teams during the past regular season play one winner-takes-all game for the first pick. This way, we can still eliminate the problem of tanking while also removing the NBA league office's influence on making any possible decisions or choosing favorites when it comes to first pick in the draft.
Mr. Adam Silver, you are a great commissioner, but your next task is to fix the NBA Draft lottery system. We hope you do it soon, and thanks in advance.