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May 31, 2012

Reporter in the room: 'No way' NBA draft lottery is fixed

       Mary Schmitt Boyer, a veteran sports writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, was one of three media members in the room Wednesday night when the actual drawings were held to determine who got the first three picks in the NBA draft.

               So, Mary, any chance the annual draft lottery is fixed?

               “No way,’’ said Schmitt Boyer, who witnessed the last two lotteries.

               Schmitt Boyer then went through a lengthy and detailed description of the process: How about 30 people – a representative from each participating team, some NBA officials, three media members and a representative of an accounting firm – are sequestered in a room about an hour before the lottery results are announced, to conduct the actual drawing.

               The whole process takes about 10 minutes: The Ping-Pong balls, labeled with numbers, are withdrawn from a briefcase and loaded into a machine for random mixing. The walls of the room are covered with charts, matching each team’s chances with the combination of four balls. How everyone’s cell phones, etc., are confiscated so that no one can communicate the results before the formal announcement.

               Speculation was rampant around Charlotte Thursday that it’s too much of a coincidence that the New Orleans Hornets – still technically owned by the NBA before a sale is completed to Saints owner Tom Benson – had jumped over the Bobcats, into the top spot in the June 28 draft. It seems inevitable the Hornets will choose Kentucky big man Anthony Davis, the prize of this draft.

               Schmitt Boyer finds such speculation far-fetched.

               “They never put those balls out of people’s vision. What happens is never not visible to everyone in that room,’’ Schmitt Boyer described.

               Schmitt Boyer noted that this particular lottery took slightly longer because five sets of numbers had be be drawn to get the top three teams:

        One of the Hornets’ number combinations came up first; a Bobcats combination came up second. The third set of numbers was a second Hornets combination, a duplicate that required a do-over. The fourth draw was another Bobcats combination, a second duplicate. Finally, on the fifth draw, a Washington Wizards combination came up, giving them the third pick and settling the lottery.

Posted by Observer Sports on May 31, 2012 at 02:34 PM | Permalink


Of course he would say that, Cleveland received the lottery twice in the last ten years and landed argueably the best player in the NBA in LeBron then they ended up with the number one pick the year right James left and they ended up with the rookie of the year. Go some where. The NBA and Stern fixed the lottery for who he wants to. God will take care of us. Remember MJ wasnt a number one pick. Draft Barnes point blank. Watch how he dominates pre NBA camp and the NBA. Augustine, Henderson, Bismack, Kemba, and Barnes are young up-and-coming prospects to work with. Sprinkle a few veterans in there and that's a start. GO BOBCATS!!!

Posted by: BobcatsFanD | May 31, 2012 2:58:00 PM

Then why not do it live? save the team representatives from looking like idiots when the final 3 get called up and everyone but them is wondering how the draft order will be played out. I just don't get it. I also find it crazy that the team with the worst record has a 75% chance of not getting the top pick, but thats a whole other story.

Posted by: Elliot | May 31, 2012 3:22:10 PM

I'm sticking with my NBA conspiracy theories. The lottery has been fixed since its inception - Ewing to NY in '85, Boston & Philly going 1-2 in '86, Shaq to prop up an already-failing Orlando in '92, LeBron to hometown Cleveland in '03, and now this. And it isn't just the Bobcats. The Timberwolves have gotten screwed out of their rightful slot about half a dozen times.

That's just the lottery. If you think the officiating isn't fixed, you are deaf, mute and blind. When someone goes up for a dunk or layup and a defender punches him across the face, it should be a foul every time. But if the guy doing the punching is the current league-anointed superstar (Bird/Magic in the '80s, Jordan/Pippen in the '90s, LeBron now), it suddenly turns into a clean block.

David Stern wants 6 super-teams in his league - the NY & LA teams, Chicago and Miami - and the other teams can go to hell as far as he's concerned. The fixing of this lottery for New Orleans is meant to prop up the team just enough to justify the sale price.

The NBA has become as much of a joke as NASCAR the way it plays favorites and has multiple sets of rules that apply differently to different players.

Posted by: J | May 31, 2012 3:38:42 PM

Doesn't matter how many people are in a room watching..

If a ping pong ball is weighted, you can't see that!

There's your smoking gun.

Posted by: Robert | May 31, 2012 4:35:08 PM

They should take Andre Drummond (maybe able to trade back and still get Drummond) with the second overall pick. Then with the second round pick (or another pick if they trade back) take Quincy Miller (even if you have to trade up a few spots for him). Filling the two biggest needs a true C and a SF.

Then you could have a future lineup of:

PG Walker
SG Henderson
SF Miller
PF Biyombo
C Drummond

Posted by: Joe | May 31, 2012 4:56:36 PM

Another option I would like to see is to grab Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the 2nd pick and then pickup Fab Melo (trade up or hope he falls).

Which would give you a future lineup of:

PG Walker
SG Henderson
SF Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Biyombo
C Melo

Posted by: Joe | May 31, 2012 5:06:30 PM

so it only took 5 times to hit the pick 4 3x. Something still does not make sense about the entire process.

Posted by: casey | May 31, 2012 6:18:25 PM

Joe, I love your second idea (MKG + FabMelo) but I can't support the Drummond pick. He has the tools to be a great player but the knock on his motor has me thinking he'll be the next Sean May.

Posted by: Cats Crazy | May 31, 2012 6:19:57 PM

It is 2012 Rick! Saying a Machine could not be rigged, even if we did see it live .

David Stern started the lottery because he was not in control of teams if teams tanked. He wants the control of the "refs", the drafts, EVERYTHING....hell he'd fine us as fans if he could!
That whole "flopping" thing he talked about I guess was supposed to what?? Funny that was talked about before the lottery!

Rick you also claim there is no conspiracy among officiating , isn't that correct?
Maybe we need to worry about you!

Posted by: Davis Stern has to go!! | May 31, 2012 7:21:45 PM

I read like the first sentence and stopped. Funny how you and Some(SORENSON,etc.) people are so sure it's not fixed.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | May 31, 2012 7:24:51 PM

Don't forget about Mullens - he has a ton of potential. My goal would be to get as many players as possible. Trade down with Golden State - #2 and Tyrus Thomas for GS picks #7 (Barnes), #30 (Jenkins), #31 (Kevin Jones) and #35 (Will Barton or Darius Miller). Then pick Miles Plumlee, Barnard James, Yancy Gates, Henry Sims and Jon Kreft as rookie free agents (I also want Dee Bost). Then grab Chris Kaman in free agency. We would have a new team that would need some time to gel but consider this roster:
1 - DJA| Walker | Jenkins |
2 - Henderson | Barton or Miller | Carroll
3 - Maggette | Barnes | Kevin Jones | Brown
4 - Mullens | DJ White | |
5 - Kaman | Biyombo | | |

Biyombo could also play power forward if Mullens isn't able to hold the spot.

Posted by: Dom | May 31, 2012 7:25:44 PM

Barnard James and Yancy Gates would battle for the third string power forward spot (I really like James as a future starter in the NBA).

Miles Plumlee, Henry Sims and Jon Kreft would battle for the third and 4th string center spots. Plumlee is very underated and was not used like he should have been at Duke. Kreft and Sims have great size and could both develop into solid backup centers in the NBA.

Posted by: Dom | May 31, 2012 7:31:14 PM

Its not fixed. They fix the games not the other stuff. The chris paul deal was nixed because stern had to clear the books to make it easier for a new owner to finance the purchase. More liabilities makes it harder to do so.

The part that made it look funny was benson being there. Too weird.

Who was the bobcats rep in the room?

Posted by: charlottean | May 31, 2012 7:35:27 PM

The funny thing to me is how excited you guys are about your fantasy rosters, which would all finish dead last in the NBA again next year.

Posted by: Rob | May 31, 2012 7:36:29 PM

ouch - didn't know Kevin Jones was 255. I would have to skip him at #31 and get fab Melo or Festus Ezeli to back up Kaman. Move Biyombo to PF backing up Mullens. Stick with the plan for rookie FAs filling out the third string. DJ White would need a place thought or be traded. So maybe the Cats carry four PFs (with James being in the mix) and four Centers (Kaman, Fab Melo or Festus Ezeli, Sims and Plumlee or Kreft). Dee Bost needs a place too in the PG group - that guy is going to be very good.

Posted by: Dom | May 31, 2012 7:42:06 PM

It really doesn't matter whether or not it was fixed. USA Today ran a poll and 80% think that is was. THAT, matters more than the truth. It was a conflict of interest for the Hornets to even be involved in the lottery since they were owned by the league for part of last season. The NBA's credibility has just taken another major hit... how many more can they take and survive?

Posted by: John | May 31, 2012 7:52:53 PM

Rob - there is some major scoring talent in this draft which is what the Cats need the most so yes i would make some moves to bring in as many of them as I could.

Jenkins and Barton are going to be stars. Darius Miller is way undervalued and Barnes is starter material. Would the team still be bad - likely - but with all these rookies we would have a lot of new life and short/cheap contracts. If none of the second rounders or rookie FAs work out it doesn't matter - all would be one or two year contracts so we would have $$ for FA next year and we could make a move on Curry.

Posted by: Dom | May 31, 2012 7:54:55 PM

Wait...so out of the first 3 drawings, the NO Hornets won twice? That makes it even more incredible. Chances of that are between 2.5% and 3% based on statistics.

Granted the fact that the Bobcats "won" 2 out of the first 4 drawings is strange as well, but statistically that was bound to happen over 12% of the time.

A full disclosure of what combinations the NO Hornets had, and which numbers actually popped up could either decrease or increase suspicions, but the fact that a NBA owned team that negotiated a high sales price achived a draft outcome mathmatically less than 3% is very concerning.

Posted by: Chris | May 31, 2012 8:01:01 PM

Let's get Harrison Barnes and MKG in the gym and findout who's the best and then mdraft him at number 2. We need a SF.

Posted by: nucat | May 31, 2012 8:55:04 PM

Stop with the Harrison Barnes talk. Unless the Bobcats trade down to the 11th pick (Portland), there is no reason to even think about Harrison Barnes.

He's not worth wasting another draft year.

Posted by: Kurly K gives blow jobs | May 31, 2012 11:38:43 PM

i want some nasty bobcats should trade it for bynum or gasol and pick the best scorer available in second around look at josh smith free agent and if you really want nice team get Kendall Marshall to run point he will be all-star in 2 years.

Posted by: jerome | Jun 1, 2012 3:41:24 AM

Come on it was not rigged. They had a 75% chance NOT to get the top pick. So chances were overwhelming they would NOT get the pick.
Someone had to.

If there was a 75% chance of rain - you would not plan a picnic. If you had a 75% chance to get squished by a Mac Truck today - you would probably stay home.

I really don't get why people are shocked they did not get the first pick. The problem is with the lottery itself, not some sort of conspiracy.

Posted by: Patrick | Jun 1, 2012 8:04:06 AM

They have been fixing this thing for years. You can spout out as much BS as you want but the bottom line is. The NBA needed to sell the Hornet Franchise and the only way they were gonna get a buyer was to give them the top spot. Screw Charlotte.

Posted by: davethepanther | Jun 1, 2012 8:18:14 AM


the same people in that room that say "no way" it could be rigged are the same ones that gasp and say "no way that player could have point shaved, right in front of all of us without us knowing".

Posted by: Frank | Jun 1, 2012 9:00:48 AM

Stern had to sweeten the pot for Benson. The Hornets are a disaster of a franchise. No question this was "arranged"

Posted by: Bobby Katz | Jun 1, 2012 11:46:12 AM

RIGGED! Come on, we are NOT that stupid. NOLA needed to sweeten the pot for the team. Stern has had it in for CLT for awhile. He should have had Shin sell the team to Jordan back in 2002. The Bobcats are the failure and the NBA owes us BIG TIME. Forget getting us the first round draft pick. When the team starts losing money next year, I am not going to blame Jordan or Cho. I am putting this on Stern and this shame of a NBA FRAUD!

Posted by: Marked Man | Jun 1, 2012 12:08:28 PM

a lot of you conspiracy DA's (not district attorney's) still think obama isn't an american citizen regardless of how disrespectful that is to the FBI, CIA, etc. who have all the intelligence in the world to determine that.

I highly doubt that ANY nba franchise would be okay with the lottery being rigged and I highly doubt that david stern is allowed by the owners to do anything that isn't completely authenticated by third parties and witnessed by all 30 teams as it was stated to have occurred.

stranger things have happened. for everybody that complains about how cursed charlotte is in these things, we had a huge jump in the lottery when we drafted baron davis to the hornets in....'99?

Like I said, guarantee there is another player in this draft that turns out to be as good or better than anthony davis. guarantee. happens every single year. the only guys that have been sure fire elite rock solid number ones in the past 30 years were shaq, lebron, tim duncan and MAYBE MAYBE hakeem. and davis is not as clear cut as they were. not saying he won't be on that level, but there is definitely some room for questioning.

and in each of those drafts.......there was an alonzo mourning, a dwayne wade, a tracy mcgrady, a michael jordan and charles barkley.

we just have to make sure we get THAT guy. I think barnes can be that guy and I think he'll be available much later than 2 and we would be able to grab another pick in the process. I think this is a much deeper draft than people think. They're projecting Jared Sullinger outside of the lottery now and that dude is going to be an nba starter for a long time. He might be david west/vin baker but he might be more aldridge/boozer.

if we could make a deal and get barnes AND sullinger?! nuts.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 1, 2012 12:42:48 PM

Rick, the draft was rigged. Stern is just the kind of guy to do it. He had to deliver value when selling the Hornets to keep the other owners happy. Just like in 1985 with Ewing went to the Knicks. Everyone inside the NBA knows he pulls this stuff, but no one will say it for fear of pissing him off. I'm surprised you do not know this. Or maybe you do, but are in the same boat as everyone else who's career is dictated by the NBA.

Posted by: Peter | Jun 1, 2012 12:54:01 PM

Harrison Barnes? Stop sniffing the baby blue fumes and draft someone who won't suck. Barnes is a freakin' bust waiting to happen. If you can't rise up over diluted NCAA talent you sure won't do anything in the pros. Zeller will have a longer career than Barnes.

Posted by: Dean Smith | Jun 1, 2012 10:01:45 PM

I swear to god... you would argue that a fu@#ing Hand turning a door knob, if it(hand) actually was a "procuring cause" for a door shutting/opening!
You f%^$ing ARGUE just too argue! Were you not the one that was concerned about Barnes not long ago??? and now because NO ONE has said anything about Barnes you are screaming Barnes!!! What was his last gameS like?

This is why Sandy and other people have left, because you pick apart what people are saying, just to Debate!!

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Jun 2, 2012 12:27:08 AM

I'm done I have been saying it, when Stern is gone the Sport of Basketball will grow! Debate that!
There is a reason why this sport is not growing like other sports and not because the lack of stars and too many teams, too dilute the game!
One person alone is holding this game back and eventually it will start dropping and the first person out is the man himself(Czar Stern).

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Jun 2, 2012 12:34:30 AM

Reread and see that you said "Barnes later and Another Pick". "My Bad"... I can agree with that... However, man you are so Cantankerous!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fixed!! NO One but STERNIE and his CRONIES(mob peeps) would know about a fix! Not even DR. J. Naismith.

Enough said I'm out disgusted could care less until season starts with a quality coach. Shaw, Sloan, Mallone.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Jun 2, 2012 1:04:37 AM

Well if it's fixed...

...we need to get a new owner that knows how to get in on the FIX!

Air Minimum can't get anything right.

Posted by: George Hanson | Jun 6, 2012 6:14:32 PM

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