Anyone that follows the NBA closely knows that the word conspiracy and the name David Stern pretty much go hand in hand.
Through time we’ve seen the 1985 lottery and the case of the allegedly creased envelope that allowed the New York Knicks to win the draft rights to Patrick Ewing.
Who could forget Michael Jordan going to play baseball and the alleged gambling suspension?
Then there is the always occurring theme of shady refereeing. Tim Donaghy in 2002 during the Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings series, or even more recent, any 2012 playoff game involving the Miami Heat.
Which brings us to Wednesday night’s lottery. Could it have been rigged?
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has found that many executives around the league are upset that the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets were able to beat the odds and win the draft lottery:
“It’s such a joke that the league made the new owners be at the lottery for the show,” one high-ranking team executive told Yahoo! Sports. “The league still owns the Hornets. Ask their front office if new owners can make a trade right now. They can’t. This is a joke.”
Stern maximized the value for the Hornets when they were up for sale by nixing the original Chris Paul trade with the Lakers, making the Clippers pay a steep price to land the All-Star point guard.
Then he negotiated a $338 million sale of the franchise to New Orleans Saints’ owner Tom Benson and the team had just a 13.7 percent chance of having their pick come up No. 1. Could there have been a hand shake deal along with the sale of the franchise that the Hornets would have the No. 1 pick in the draft?
It’s really not that crazy of a theory.
Of course it’s something that could never be proven, but given the things that happen in the NBA under Stern’s watch, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if that were the case.