The New Orleans Hornets won the 2012 NBA draft lottery tonight, earning the right to select The Unibrow, Kentucky All-American Anthony Davis, with the first pick in next month's draft. The Hornets were 21-45 last season and had a 13.7% chance of having their ping pong ball selected first. But despite the good odds, you can bank on the conspiracy theorists coming out in full force in these next few days, seeing that New Orleans is still currently owned by the National Basketball Association itself. Tom Benson, who also owns the Saints, bought the Hornets in April after bounty gate swept the nation, and some people like to lionize over the idea that perhaps Stern assured him of the #1 pick to sweeten the pot. This is all fair and good, but the fact of the matter remains that this year's lottery would have been a lose-lose no matter where the pong balls landed.
No matter how it played out, gasoline was going to be doused on the NBA is rigged fire. Only if I were commissioner of the league, I would have stomped that puppy out right away. See all you have to do to prove your product isn't rigged is show the actual ping pong ball selection live on TV. You can't tell me one good reason why they decide the outcome behind closed doors. It's sketchy, unethical and leaves the door open for way too much speculation.
If they showed the balls being selected, not only would it make the viewing experience more enjoyable (this year's broadcast was awkward and anticlimactic) but it would shut up all the doubters, generate raw emotion from fans and owners and prove that the NBA has nothing to hide. Instead, the league got their man, and now we're left with another year thinking "what just happened?".