The New Orleans Hornets, who have been owned by the NBA forthe past few seasons and will soon be sold to Saints owner Tom Benson, were the only team to move up in this year’s draft lottery. Cue the conspiracy theories: A USA Today poll reveals that 55 percent of people believe the whole thing was fixed.
In a piece for Ebony on Friday, Glen Minnis asks whether there’s any truth to the suspicion:
Perception has now become reality. What was once only subjective now appears certifiable. NBA Commissioner David Stern now undeniably reigns as the power-driven, ultra-manipulative, divide and conquer “Cuban dictator” Charles Oakley once defiantly compared him to. And to boot, the NBA Draft Lottery is now officially and classifiably rigged.
At least that’s been the hue and cry ever since inquisitive eyes witnessed team execs of the league owned and rescued New Orleans Hornets— the team no one else seemed to want mere months ago— stroll into the New York offices of its bosses just hours ago with no more than the equivalency of a halfcourt heave of corralling the league’s most treasured new jack only to emerge from all the festivities by nightfall as the boastful owners of one of the game’s most valued commodities.
And with that David Stern wins again, his hardline stances of netting maximum value (in the neighborhood of $340 million) for the squad from prospective new owner Tom Benson and added assurances he will keep the team in what Stern views as the yet rebuilding, but soon-to-be thriving Big Easy now nothing less than foregone conclusions.
Read more at Ebony.