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David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:49 am
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:46 pm
Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently insinuates that the NBA Draft Lottery is rigged. Posted by Ben Golliver. david-kahn

Update: Here's video of Kahn's comments.

For years -- no, decades -- basketball observers have had suspicions about the NBA Draft Lottery. The process is hidden, ping pong balls are involved, and there are a bunch of hurt feelings because 13 of the teams present go home without the No. 1 pick.

Speculation about the lottery being rigged has always been a favorite custom of fans, but it's not something you ever hear spoken about, or even implied, by NBA executives. Until now.

Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently implied in an interview with the Associated Press that the NBA's lottery process is not totally on the up and up.

Kahn's comments came after he joined Utah Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor and Nick Gilbert, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, as the three finalists for the No. 1 pick. Nick Gibert suffers from a nerve disorder and eventually secured the No. 1 pick for the Cavaliers. 
"This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines," Kahn said. "Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right."
A "habit" of producing incredible storylines implies that it's not intentional or manipulated but simply the product of a track record. But the disclaimer "I am just going to say habit" screams "I am really, really bitter because this was totally fixed so that the kid would win."

Either this was the clumsiest language of all time or a crystal clear implication. I don't see any other interpretations. Surely, a clarification is coming. (Not to mention an apology for referring to a child with a nerve disorder and a widow as "storylines".)

Even the implication of impropriety is sure to rub NBA commissioner David Stern the wrong way and this isn't Kahn's first time getting on Stern's bad side. Kahn was fined $50,000 last July for comments made regarding Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley's marijuana use. A fine here wouldn't be out of the question considering what's at stake for the league: its reputation.

Here's video of Nick Gilbert winning the NBA Draft Lottery.


Since: Jul 21, 2010
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:07 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Why is the picking of the ping pong balls not public? Enough said.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:06 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

@ some of the commenters,

You can't really just give up the #1 pick to the team that finshes last place, teams would be deliberately tanking a lot worse than they do now....Shi*t happens as the saying always goes, I was upset Toronto didn't get atleast the #3 pick, but what are you going to do? Why would Minnesota even want the #1, so they could draft another Point Guard? The Fact is, the bottom teams in the league had there shot at #1, this year's lottery went a little different because you had the Cavs & Jazz with multiple chances at #1.

Since: May 5, 2010
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:03 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

I'm okay with the idea of a lottery so teams don't throw games for better picks, but lets see it! Place the 100 balls in the machine and draw them out where the general public can watch. Make a bigger event of it! Sell tickets! The NBA wanted to give the Cavs good draft picks to make up for LeBron leaving. Plain and simple.

Since: Feb 5, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:02 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

The whole purpose of the lottery was to keep teams from losing intentionally at the end of the season.

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:00 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Couldn't have said it better myself, Ouman.  I've said it a million times on various threads at this site, but it's worth saying yet again.  The Bulls, Rockets, Lakers, and Spurs have combined to win 17 of the last 20 NBA titles.  To me, the NBA is in no way better than college football's BCS system that basically only allows the top 2 or 3 powerhouses from each conference to really, honestly have a crack at a title game.  Unlike other sports, I firmly believe that half the teams (or maybe even slightly MORE than half) are left playing at an inherent competitive disadvantage.  The NBA is a league that is constructed so poorly that 22 of its 30 teams lost money this season and the league, as a whole, lost $300 million.  The only saving grace, and the only thing that keeps it afloat, are playoff TV ratings.  Consequently, it is quite literally imperative for the NBA to have sexy matchups in the playoffs.  If Memphis had gone to the Finals, it would have been a disaster.  If teams like the Timberwolves or Bucks or Bobcats or Pacers (instert 15 other small or mid level market teams here) became a perennial powerhouse, the NBA would be in bad shape.  They don't want those teams to become elite.  It's bad enough they had to endure a decade of the San Antonio Spurs being a title contender.  Every time the Spurs made the Finals the TV ratings were in the toilet.  One last thought.  If you watch ESPN regularly, you'll notice just how much time and effort they go into promoting the NBA.  Whether it's TV spots advertising their Wednesday and Friday games, or the funny commercials on that bus, or even ESPN radio's constant chatter about all thiings NBA; it becomes pretty clear that without those kinds of mass media efforts, the NBA wouldn't stand a chance in today's marketplace.  I think the LeBron thing gave it a bounce this season, but when it becomes a 3 or 4 team league after the lockout, people aren't going to want to watch this crap.

Since: May 18, 2011
Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:54 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Here is an idea.  Why not let the worst team in the league actually have the first pick than letting a bunch of ping pong balls decide the outcome by holding some back room farse.  Seems to me that would make much more sense, but we are talking David Stern here so I can see how the common sense thing would slip by him.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:53 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

FIXED ???? at least the NBA has a lotterry . ! the NFL / MLB / NHL .. all give the number # 1 pick to the worst record in the league .. that is in your face rigged .. can you imagine how bad teams will play after week 12 with ANDREW LUCK the prize ?

You would think that be the case but it's not. In the NFL coaches have a short leash and 1 more win might mean be the difference between being a HC or a co-ordinator on another team.

Examples that come to mind:
Browns- I think it was two years ago that they finnished the season with a 5 game winning streak ( gave mangini another year)
NJ Devils- they had a choise: tanking or go for an improbable playoff push. They went for the later.

So in reality it works better and nether NFL or NHL is being mentioned in the same breath as WWF.

Since: Sep 8, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:52 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Are you kidding? The game is far less physical then it was in the 80's and 90's. The Celtics, 76ers, and Lakers of the 80's and Pistons of the 90's would get whisteled every 5 seconds with the way they played. You have no idea about what you are talking about.

Since: Aug 14, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:52 pm

Patrick Chewing

Has anyone watched the youtube video when the Knicks won the #1 pick and chose Ewing? One of the corners was folded which makes one wonder... maybe Kahn has a point...

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:52 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Come on, it isn't rigged, just like NBA officials don't cheat.  Oops, that's right I forgot about Tim Donaghey.  Ok, it's rigged.  Hey meat, you still believing the NBA officials don't cheat?  LOL.  It is like the love of your life cheating behind your back, but you don't want to believe it.  Go on meat, don't stop believing!

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