NBA execs complain about rigged lottery after league-owned Hornets win top pick

The New Orleans Hornets won the NBA Draft Lottery on Wednesday night despite having the fourth-best odds with a 13.7% chance. The Bobcats, which had the worst record in the league, had a 25% chance of winning the lottery, but they ended up with the second pick. The Wizards, which had the second-best chance at 19.9%, got the third pick.

The Hornets’ surprising good fortune prompted several executives to complain to Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the lottery was fixed.

“The league still owns the Hornets,” a high-ranking exec told Woj. “Ask their front office if new owners can make a trade right now. They can’t. [The Hornets winning the lottery] is a joke.”

Many executives and fans who believe in conspiracies think Commissioner David Stern gave the Hornets the top pick in the draft in order to convince Saints owner Tom Benson to buy the NBA team and keep them in New Orleans.

Wojnarowski went on to write this particularly damning paragraph:

The reaction of several league executives was part disgust, part resignation on Wednesday night. So many had predicted this happening, so many suspected that somehow, someway, the Hornets would walk away with Davis. That’s the worst part for the NBA; these aren’t the railings from the guy sitting at the corner tavern, but the belief of those working within the machinery that something undue happened here, that they suspect it happens all the time under Stern.

Woj says many Hornets employees had to go along with Stern’s line that the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade never was completed because they felt they would be risking their future employment chances in the league if they criticized the mess.

I know it’s a taboo subject, but there have just been far too many whispers and examples of shadiness for us not to believe under-the-table deals and funny business goes on. The league cancels a trade to the Lakers and then the Hornets get the top pick and Anthony Davis? It’s quite a coincidence.

And as I am a GM brilliantly lays out for us, several players also voiced their concerns about potential fixing.

Around The Web

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YD4TCY6ELGPGBJKOGX7FKIBUIQ Ron

    With the league owning the Bobcats, the Bobcats shouldn’t even be eligible for the lottery draft and should just take the slot that their record indicates. This is too much conflict of interest! And we all know that Stern’s an ass

  • Angela Beauregard

    I believe that the whole 2011-2012 season was fixed by Stern. My opinion is that Stern has also paid the refs additional bucks this season to make calls on teams that he doesn’t want to see succeed in the play-offs.  That’s just my opinion. He screwed over the Lakers for the Hornets/Clipper trade why not screw with the draft picks too…

  • Anonymous

    you mean the “Hornets”

  • Anonymous

    everybody knows he wont rest util Lebron becomes the next jordan to take the NBA brand to a whole new level.   
    now I know why I love college basketball. NBA sux

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LEPVDGICXWI7YX4BNLMSTMLQWI Tremell

    Everybody wants to cry wolf. What exactly was the Hornets getting in EQUAL value for the Chris Paul trade? And if the team with the best odds in the draft got the first pick every year. What would be the point of the lottery? Lastly; if they pick Davis with the number one pick. He is not enough to save that franchise anyway. Could very well be a bust like so many before him.

  • http://twitter.com/Teflon_John John O.

    In the NBA draft lottery the team with the worst record has a 25% chance of obtaining the top overall pick. Since 1985 (the year the NBA established a lottery) the worst team in the league has received the top draft pick only THREE times.

  • Anonymous

    It sure makes it easer to find a new owner if they knew they had a franchise player coming. but don’t wory Stern will see that Jordan gets the first pick next year. unless Mike has pissed him off…

  • Anonymous

    the nba is becoming a joke. i love the nba and buy nab league pass every year. with the draft of the last couple of years and the freaken refs making stupid calls on teams that david stern don’t want to go to the final this year. i think this might be the last year i want to watch the nba. F the draft because most of the time you already know who is going to get the number one spot. if i was micheal jordan, i would go protest the lottery picks.

  • Anonymous

    Nobodys saying he saving the franchise there saying Stertn is a shady P.O.S.

  • Anonymous

    How the hell Does the NBA get to own a team ????Stern needs to go .

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YPJNF6SEX6JO2CIOZ2IP447FPM Genuine

    Well, if the NBA execs think that way, then what are WE, the spectators, suppose to think about the outlandish way the playoffs are being called?  It all goes hand in hand, apparently.  RIGGED?  Highly possible!

  • Anonymous

    The league block the trade of CP to the Lakers, the loterry should be done with pingpong balls with no weights inside the balls.

  • Anonymous

    Stern and his motley crew have controlled the NBA to the detriment of the NBA.  The fixing of games and scores are so obvious that no one can discount it.  Stretching the play-off games to the max to insure revenues is obviovus.  To hear stern gush like a enarmoured suitor over James was disgusting.  James will never be a Michael Jordan.  The street brawling that is perpetuating the lack of real skill in the game is abhorent.  As a long time basketball fan, I am disgusted.   I will not watch the play offs as a result.   If anyone really did an investigation, they would no doubt find the truth.  STERN NEEDS TO GO!

  • Anonymous

    Now  you people are seeing it I was saying it after the Magic knocked off Cleavland Stern was not happy he wanted Lebron and Kobe in the finals they had the dolls made, the following season D12 paid the refs. were calling everything on him that was Stern way of getting back

  • Anonymous

    It’s been obvious to me that the refs are rigged.  For instance, remember the when D Wade hit Rajon Rondo in the face.  Everyone saw this and NOT ONE REF called it.  Rajon told Doc that he had been hit in the face and Lebron was rewarded with free play.  It goes on and on.  This is RIGGED!  They want Miami to win the championship.  If this happens, I will stop watching the NBA!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LEPVDGICXWI7YX4BNLMSTMLQWI Tremell

     Well I can’t deny that…

  • Anonymous

    The League dont own the  bobcats ! They own The HORNETS.

  • Anonymous

    The league  sould make the lottery ping pong balls a national TV event, say on ESPN live broadcast.That the 25% team would get 100  ping pong balls and the lowest team, like .03% would get 3 ping pong balls , in a way thats understood by most people.There would be alot less eye brawl lifting, after the show was over.