The NBA Lottery is tonight! Who will have the opportunity to draft the great and talented Frenchman named Victor Wembanyama? Spurs, Rockets, Pistons? These are the three teams with the most chances but… why not imagine a huge surprise? Indeed, in history, several prints have marked the spirits.
Admit it, it would be huge, whether you’re a fan of one team or another. Imagine that one of the teams with the lowest chances of hitting the first pick gets it. To ruin the losing efforts of the defeat machines, but also to completely rebuild the face of the NBA. Yes, because if the first pick is in the hands of a team close to play-in this season, it would still change a lot of things for the competition.
And we have to say to ourselves… that it has already happened. Several editions of the NBA lottery have – since 1985, when the system was introduced by the league – been the setting for an unexpected explosion of joy. Come on, it’s too late for a little list because we like it.
# 1993 – The magic of Orlando
In 1992, the Magic selected an American basketball superstar. Her name ? Shaquille O’Neal. For many fans at the time, the Shaq’ is the one who should have accompanied Team USA to Barcelona during the summer, which is to say its popularity. With Big Diesel in his team, the franchise ended the 1992/93 season in balance (41-41) and missed the Playoffs for a tiebreaker. The consequence ? Integration into the lottery, with ridiculous chances of getting a choice in the top 3. Ridiculous did we say? With a 1.52% chance of hitting the first pick, Orlando is called first. Unreal. Two first picks in a row. And the great Chris Webber aka C-Webb recovered the following June, who will not be retained, traded to Golden State against… Anfernee Hardaway, another great player of the 90s.
# 2008 – Chicago Bulls
After a frustrating season that saw Windy City finish just three short wins from the Playoffs, the lottery that follows is experienced more as a semi-humiliation than a real opportunity… and yet. With a 1.70% chance, the Bulls land the first pick. Which will radically change the recent history of the team. Yes, because in June, this first choice will give birth to a certain Derrick Rose. The youngest MVP in NBA history, just three years later, the most talented player to wear the franchise jersey since Michael Jordan. In short, a simply magical evening in Illinois.
# 2011 – Riders
In the winter of 2011, the Clippers traded draft picks to Cleveland for Baron Davis and Mo Williams. Not being the worst team in the league at all, the chances of hitting something nice in the following NBA lottery are minimal. Here, my eye. It must have eaten nails, fingers and even arms the night of the draw. Their probability of having the first pick, which stood at 2.80%, turns out to be the one that will change the history of the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving is called in June, and his exceptional level will undoubtedly be one of the reasons for the return of LeBron James to Cleveland three years later. With a title in the NBA… and certainly one of the most beautiful in history.
# 2014 – Riders
You again. And yes, luck smiles on the bold, even though they picked Anthony Bennett with the first draft pick the year before. In 2014, the Cavaliers are slowly going up the slope. LeBron James is returning to the Ohio spotlight with his “Akron is home” ad campaigns as the franchise begins to really ramp up the process after two still shaky Irving years. In short, they end up with 31 victories, and only inherit a 1.70% chance of grilling priority to all the big sports dung in the league. You will now understand, it will work. Third first pick in four years, and Andrew Wiggins arriving in June… or not. Because Andrew is immediately traded to Minnesota, against Kevin Love. The last piece of the Cavs big three. Yeah, it’s still classy.
Source: The Athletic, Bleacher Report