The NBA Draft Lottery is an event. Some years more than others, depending on who is available that year in the draft. This year, would qualify as a good year, not a great year, with Kentucky’s Anthony Davis being the prize.
The best years are where Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Patrick Ewing, Tim Duncan, and David Robinson were awaiting the winner. Even on other years like last season with Kyrie Irving, or when Orlando won Chris Webber were still very important and closely followed. Davis falls in that category, as the obvious top pick, but not the franchise changer.
Certainly the picks that follow are important too. Getting a Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, or Chris Paul in the top 3 can make a difference too.
Could you imagine what the hype would be like if the NFL followed a similar format?
The Andrew Luck sweepstakes would not have been just about the Colts and Rams, but would have included all the non-playoff teams. The night they’d telecast that drawing would have drawn a rating similar to a playoff game I bet!
And really, is it unfair to anyone? Should losing really be rewarded? The NBA has a lottery to avoid tanking (even though teams still do it) and the NFL doesn’t because… why? Teams don’t tank in the NFL? Perhaps not as obviously, but clearly fans are well aware of how losing is rewarded. There is a reason “Suck for Luck” became a thing last year.
No fan should be cheering against their team. That’s not good for sports or franchises. A lottery rectifies that problem. In fact, I’d go a step further and go back to the old way the NBA did it, with simply drawing an envelope.
EVEN ODDS for all the non-playoff teams. Nothing to be gained by your team losing more. Nothing to be lost by a bad team trying hard and playing better at season’s end.
And you get an exciting, must-see event.