The darling of the NBA draft lottery last week was a sickly imp in a bowtie. The year before that it was a sorrowful widow in pearls. How did this come to pass? You can thank superstition (although not me for bringing you this post a week late). Sadly, too many NBA teams and executives still ignore the occult and take a rational approach to the lottery. Fools, all of them. Instead of submitting to the numerical whim of a ping pong ball machine, they should be doing EVERYTHING to help their teams win. If the lottery gods require sacrifice, you slaughter the lamb.
Consider the example of Timberwolves president David Kahn, who last week made an odd conspiracy-minded Bar Mitzvah remark after little Nick Gilbert and the Cavaliers leapfrogged Minnesota to claim the first pick. Much of the subsequent chatter centered on a Semite implying the existence of a Semitic-helmed conspiracy to screw other Semites. But ragging on Kahn for such a gaucherie is unfair. People should be ragging on him for not trying to win the pick. Fate, you see, was Kahn's to control. According to a highly scientific study Deadspin conducted for a couple hours the other day, Kahn should have brought a lucky charm to the lottery to improve his chances of winning. The Timberwolves rep didn't even try.