New Orleans Hornets Win NBA Draft Lottery

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bill-swift - May 31, 2012

Wednesday night the Charlotte Bobcats were hoping that a bad season would at least have a silver lining in the form of a uni-brow. Sadly, the NBA Gods saw fit to have the ping pong balls bounce much like the basketballs did for Charlotte this past season.

Instead the light shined on a team that didn't even have an owner last season—the New Orleans Hornets, who will now have the top pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Yes, folks, it looks like Anthony Davis will be trading in his Kentucky Blue for some Creole Blue.

The NBA has a neat little system of figuring out the order of all the non-playoff teams. In order to keep teams from pulling a ‘Suck for Luck' type of scenario like many wanted the Indianapolis Colts to do in the NFL last season, the teams all get a percentage of ping pong balls from which the draft order is picked.

The team with the worst record gets the highest percentage making it likely that it will get the top pick, but not a guarantee. Such was the case this year since the Bobcats had the worst record in the NBA (and worst in NBA history) and the most ping pong balls in the lottery, but they got the No 2 pick instead.

The Hornets, now owned by Saints owner Tom Benson had a 13.7 percent chance (4th best) of getting the top pick in the draft. The rest of the lottery picks pretty much went in order of worst record:

1. New Orleans

2. Charlotte Bobcats

3. Washington Wizards

4. Cleveland Cavaliers

5. Sacramento Kings

6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Nets)

7. Golden State Warriors

8. Toronto Raptors

9. Detroit Pistons

10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota)

11. Portland Trail Blazers

12. Milwaukee Bucks

13. Phoenix Suns

14. Houston Rockets

Conspiracy theorists will go nuts over this one especially since the team was in the middle of some trade controversy at the start of the season, but think about it people. Why on earth would the NBA want to put one of its future stars in the smallest market in the league?

Unlike the NFL, there is no collusion here—just unruly ping pong balls.

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