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We Know You Forgot The NBA Lottery Was On Tonight, So Here’s Your Crash Course
Have no fear, the Scripps Spelling Bee finals are TOMORROW night, meaning you’re free to watch the NBA Draft Lottery TONIGHT (really, exhilarating prime-time coverage back-to-back nights for ESPN). But before the ping-pong balls settle, and David Stern poses for a picture with one very lucky owner, we’re here to prime you on what you need to know going into tonight’s proceedings.
You can catch all of tonight’s draft action tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
For a primer on the rules of the lottery, check out its Wikipedia page.
The Bobcats ate shit all year, and will most likely pick first. After finishing with the worst winning percentage in league history (7-56, .106) Charlotte has a 25 percent chance of getting the first pick, and the rights to this year’s prized player, Anthony Davis. You’ve heard how great he is all year (and seen the father-son cereal art created in his honor) so we won’t badger you with stats. Just know that he’s a shot-blocking machine, possesses otherworldly coordination for a man his size, and is a game-changer on defense. Because can’t-miss prospects don’t exist, he isn’t one. But he’s about as close as you can get.
Expect Davis’ Wildcat teammate, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, to also come off the board quickly. The team with the second-highest chance of picking first is the Wizards, and if Washington selects at two, it’ll look for back court support for John Wall.
Another interesting storyline heading into tonight: the Bobcats’ ticket prices. The team announced they will sell season tickets in its upper level based on what pick it gets in the draft — it’s an escalator of sorts. So, if the Bobcats draw the first pick, tickets will cost one dollar, meaning one could attend all of Charlotte’s home games next season for a whopping $41. But the logic is kind of skewed on this one: if Charlotte gets the two pick, prices sky-rocket to $2. And the three pick equals $3. And so on and so forth. Kind of a weird way to do it, Michael Jordan.
Other names you should here early on draft day, and that will get mentions tonight (in no particular order):
Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut; Thomas Robinson, F, Kansas; Bradley Beal, F, Florida; Harrison Barnes, G, North Carolina.
Then, of course, there are the more sinister undertones of Lottery Night. It’s turned into a bit of a magnet for conspiracy theories, the most famous being Bill Simmons’ intimation that David Stern rigged the 1985 Draft Lottery so Patrick Ewing could go to the Knicks (Stern’s favorite team as a child).
But it’s not all cloak and daggery. There are sometimes cheerful surprises, as well: last year, Nick Gilbert, the bowtied son of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, represented the Cavs at their podium. They came away with the first pick, and Nick became something of an internet phenom. Whether tonight begets another such phenom remains to be seen.
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