When I was a little kid growing up I loved the WWE. There was just something about the product itself that always seemed to grab viewership. The WWE realized that the sport was only as prominent as it’s stars. The height of the WWE was only as big as it’s stars like the Rock, Cold Stone, and Ric Flair could take them. What the WWE also realized that the storyline was important and drama was always high flying. Doesn’t this sound a lot like the NBA?
When I got a little older, I realized that the WWE was fake and I stopped watching. Obviously, the on-court product is far more appealing in the NBA but the concept behind the marketing is fairly similar. Player mobility, star players, and big personalities have taken the NBA to a new level over the course of my lifetime. However, are we forgetting that the biggest developmental stage in the NBA is totally rigged?
The NBA holds a lottery unlike the NFL or MLB because they want to control the narrative. If the NBA is only as prominent as it’s stars, then they want them in the biggest markets and or the in places in drama filled situations. At this point, some of you either think I’m a big conspiracy theorist or have stopped reading by now. If you’re still with me, let’s just look at some recent history to change your mind.
2011 NBA Draft
The NBA Draft rigging process really dates back to the 2011 NBA Draft. It could date back further but I really don’t have the evidence to prove one way or another. This is the first draft after the Miami Heat, LeBron led super team. Let’s not forget, LeBron really never wanted to leave the Cavs. He obviously came back because he adores the city. However, if James was going to return, the Cavs needed more players. The Cavaliers had the 2nd worst record in the league but also had the projected 8th pick in the draft from the Clippers in the absurd Baron Davis trade. I truly believe the plan by the NBA was to feed players back to Cleveland so the coming home story would add a to the NBA drama.
The NBA Illuminati didn’t give the Cavs the number one pick with their own pick. They made sure that the 8th pick would hit the ping pong balls and move up to number one. This way their own pick would slide to 4 giving the Cavs the first and fourth picks in the 2011 NBA Draft. The NBA Illuminati had the make sure the Cavs won the lottery because there was only one can’t miss prospect in the entire draft, Kyrie Irving. Let’s be honest, LeBron never goes back to Cleveland without him. Looking back, it’s hilarious that LeBron ran him out of town to set up the eventual Celtics dynasty but that’s a story for another day.
2012 NBA Draft
Let’s be honest here. The Cavs would have won the 2012 lottery too if the NBA wasn’t already dealing with a huge problem. The New Orleans Hornets (Now the Pelicans) were up for sale and the NBA literally was controlling the franchise. Remember when the league canceled the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers? That’s because they claimed it was bad for the league. There wasn’t anything behind it besides for the fact that the NBA was trying their best to sell the team and desperately needed players to help their cause.
What was the best way to increase the value of the Pelicans? Obviously, hand them the can’t miss prospect who had NBA legend written all over him, Anthony Davis. The Brow had zero bust potential and really was projected to be a superstar from day one. New Orleans had the third worst record in the league. The NBA could have just let the odds play out and given Davis to the 7 win Charlotte team but that was never going to happen because the NBA was dealing with this problem. The New Orleans franchise was sold just two months prior to the 2012 NBA Draft. There’s no way you can convince me that Tom Benson bought the team knowing that Davis wasn’t already part of the package. Seems fishy to me.
2013 NBA Draft
The 2013 NBA Draft is arguably the worst draft ever. Every pick seemed to be a coin flip. The draft contained the likes of Anthony Bennett, Nerlens Noel, and Victor Oladipo. Giannis Antetokounmpo became the best player in that draft but that was impossible to predict because his draft footage looked like he was playing on a Nerf hoop. Even in a shaky draft, the best way to ensure your team gets the best player is by getting the first pick. The Cavs had the third best odds to land the top pick but really… Again! It just so happened that the Cavs won the lottery again? Now the Illuminati couldn’t help that the Cavs would screw up the pick by taking Anthony Bennett but they sure tried to set up the LeBron return as best as possible.
2014 NBA Draft
Okay so at this point LeBron is ready to return. This is the offseason that the “King” is supposed to come back. The problem is that Cleveland won 33 games the year before and had the 9th best odds to land the first pick. The 9th best odds virtually give you no shot to win the lottery. Now James already had his Dwyane Wade on the roster with Kyrie but he needed to find his Chris Bosh. You’re telling me that the fix wasn’t in to either give the Cavs the best player in the draft, Andrew Wiggins, or ammo to trade for Kevin Love? You’re either blind or not smart.
Despite having essentially no shot to win the lottery, the Cavs got the first pick for the third time in four years. The only time they didn’t win was the year the NBA needed Anthony Davis to sell the New Orleans franchise. Andrew Wiggins never panned out like a star but was regarded at the time as the far and away best prospect in the draft over Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. Both Parker and Embiid had injury concerns coming out which made the Wiggins pick more important for Cleveland. The NBA Illuminati did everything in their power to bring LeBron back home.
2015 NBA Draft
The Minnesota Timberwolves were the worst team in the league and the NBA had to pretend like they weren’t being shady so they had to throw the small market team a bone. Karl-Anthony Towns has worked out. However, the big market teams like the Knicks, 76ers, and Lakers really needed help. The NBA had to really take care of the Lakers. They made a boneheaded move when they traded draft pick compensation for a washed up Steve Nash that really came back to bite them. The Lakers brand was dying and Kobe was on his last legs.
The Lakers had the fourth worst record in the league but were dangerously close to sending their first-round pick to the Suns. The pick was top 5 projected so the league couldn’t afford for two teams to jump the Lakers. Instead, the NBA decided that the Lakers needed to land the second pick in the draft so they wouldn’t lose their pick. The NBA should have just left this one alone because Kristaps Porzingis became the steal at the fourth pick where the Lakers would have originally picked. Maybe I’m reaching on this one because the Knicks and 76ers are both big market teams but the NBA would never let a small market team jump the Lakers so they would have to send their pick to the Suns.
2016 NBA Draft
This one was pretty simple and the league never really had to get their hands dirty. The 76ers, Lakers, and Celtics via the Nets had the three best odds in that specific order. It was really only a two-player draft according to the experts (Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram). The NBA wasn’t going to let those big market teams get jumped in the lottery. The Process in Philadelphia was well underway and they needed a magic like presence to bring big market Philly back on the map. Ben Simmons was their guy and is maybe the best one and done prospect ever.
The NBA couldn’t let the Lakers get jumped either. At this point that protected pick that was waiting to get shipped out had become top three protected. The league couldn’t afford to let big market Los Angeles miss out on a player who eerily looked like Kevin Durant even if he never became that good. Ingram is flourishing into a star and is a focal point for other stars to pair with in LA.
The Celtics got screwed in this process but the league knows that Danny Ainge will find a way to hit a home run anyway. He did just that when he picked the 7th best prospect according to the experts, Jaylen Brown. They passed on Kris Dunn, Jamal Murray, and others to take Brown in what became the first steal of the heist that was part of the Brooklyn Nets deal for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
2017 NBA Draft
Now if you haven’t caught on by now, this has to be the kicker to change your mind. Much of the same customers were returning for the best odds in 2017. The Celtics via Nets, Suns, Lakers, and 76ers had the best odds in that order by way of worst record. The Celtics had never won the lottery in their storied history and their team was really on the rise having the best record in the Eastern Conference. With a dynasty on the way in Boston, giving them the first pick in the draft just made too much sense. Giving the Celtics the first pick in the draft allowed them to bring Markelle Fultz in for an interview when they realized that he was a complete idiot and passed on him for stud Jayson Tatum while collecting more future assets.
The interesting part of this draft was that the Lakers pick was top three protected for the final time. If the Lakers lost this pick, they then would have sent this pick to Philadelphia because the 76ers robbed Phoenix in the Michael Carter-Williams three-way deal with the Bucks. LA then would have sent out their 2019 first rounder as well to the Orlando Magic that was part of the Dwight Howard deal that involved Nikola Vucevic. If the Lakers kept this pick, they then would not have to send a first rounder to the Magic. The 2018 first rounder would become unprotected and get sent to Philly but the damage would be far less severe to the franchise. Of course, there was just no way the league was going to let the Lakers get screwed.
We also have to factor in the Lonzo Ball factor. His loud mouth dad, LaVar, was in the headlines for really no apparent besides the fact that he was a loud mouth dad. I’m not sure why anyone ever cared about this story but it captivated viewers. LaVar even made an appearance on WWE (Maybe the NBA isn’t so different from the WWE after all, huh). LaVar made it clear that his son would only play for his hometown Lakers. Again, I’m not sure why anyone cared but the league had to get Lonzo to the Lakers to increase viewership. Lonzo was the projected 2nd pick in the draft behind Markelle Fultz. The league had to make sure the Lakers wound up with the 2nd pick in the draft because they could then theoretically take the top guy, Markelle Fultz. Giving the Lakers the 2nd pick in the draft gave them a clear pathway to Lonzo which is the pick they ultimately wound up with.
I could also state the obvious about Magic Johnson but I won’t comment on that front in fear that I would get assassinated by the Illuminati.
Madness struck on lottery night a year ago when we actually thought for a brief moment that the Lakers were actually going to get jumped. It appeared that the 76ers and Kings struck gold. The 8th best odds, Sacramento, had jumped into the top three but the 76ers owned a pick swap with the Kings. Regardless the 76ers were sitting pretty and even better yet, the Kings looked like they were going to get a break. The Lakers were done, they actually got jumped! Not so fast, Phoenix would be the team that got the short end of the stick ensuring that the Lakers got their guy. Once again, the Celtics, Lakers, and 76ers ended up with the first three picks to help bring the golden franchises back to prominence.
The 2018 NBA Draft is loaded with small market teams that should land the top players in the draft. The Suns, Grizzlies, Mavericks, Hawks, Magic, and Bulls have the best odds. Is the NBA really going to let Phoenix and Memphis have a bone or will they let big market Dallas and Chicago control the draft? All I know is all hell will break loose if the 76ers jump in with the first overall pick. People might really start a riot if the Celtics land the 2nd or 3rd pick because of the Markelle Fultz – Jayson Tatum swap. The ball is in your court, NBA Illuminati.
We could also just do what the NFL does and just give the first pick to the team with the worst record. The NBA is paralyzed by tanking and keep finding ways to incentive tanking while trying to do the opposite. Just like Republicans who are feared by abortions in this country, studies have proven that abortion rates go up during Republican held offices. The NBA keeps incentivizing tanking without trying to do so and next year will force some teams fighting for the 8th seed in the playoffs that it might be in their best interest to tank because their odds will be better than they ever have been. Meanwhile, the NFL isn’t paralyzed by tanking and has built a culture that fires front offices and coaches for a lack of success. I’m not saying one strategy is better than another but it’s clear that the NBA is controlling the narrative.