Is the NBA draft lottery rigged? According to Vignesh Venkataraman the numbers might suggest as much.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery for the third time in four years on Tuesday night. The probability of the Cavaliers winning the lottery this year was a meager 1.7 percent. Last year their probability of winning was 15.6 percent. Assuming that the lottery each year is independent, the overall probability of winning in those three years given the above odds, is approximately .0074256 percent. Seven-thousandths of a percent. Wow.
Not only do the numbers tell a different story than the end result, but the NBA seems to be rigging the Draft to keep people watching basketball all year long. Again Vignesh Venkataraman concludes that the NBA is using storylines to improve the NBA’s ratings.
In 2011, at the end of the first post-LeBron year in Cleveland, the Cavaliers, who were atrocious all season and still reeling from LeBron’s betrayal, just happen to win the lottery? The year after, the league-owned New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, in dire need of a quick infusion of talent in order to be palatable to potential buyers, just happen to win the lottery? And, for the sake of completing this conspiracy theory, the last two years, Cleveland, even still reeling from “The Decision,” once again wins the lottery, giving it access to major talent at the same time that LeBron James can opt out of his contract in Miami, setting the stage for a triumphant homecoming as the once and future savior of the Cavaliers franchise?
The NBA is rigging the draft lottery in order to get people to watch basketball over Once Upon a Time. 82 games is too much to watch unless there is basketball drama to suck you back in. The draft lottery is officially broken and has to be changed. I’m not sure what process can help us get to the perfect scenario, but the lottery is not the answer. Maybe we should just let the NBA put players wherever it thinks they should go, they are already doing that anyway.
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