Once the New Orleans Hornets had officially won the NBA Draft Lottery recently, the conspiracy theorists were out in force with talk of the NBA rigging the lottery beginning to circulate. With the league still owning the Hornets and currently in the late stages of selling the struggling franchise to Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, many believe that David Stern had something to do with New Orleans securing the number one overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
David Stern talked about these conspiracy theories following the draft via the Sporting News:
“It has gotten enough sort of annual currency, that the one thing we want to do is even though we shrug it off and make a little fun of it, that we also make sure our process is about as airtight as it can possibly be and well reviewed and well viewed so there’s no problem.”
Now that the Hornets will almost certainly select Anthony Davis of the Kentucky Wildcats with the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, New Orleans will have an opportunity to rebuild the franchise in the aftermath of the Chris Paul trade. Davis is considered to be the best player in the upcoming draft and perhaps the building block that the Hornets need in order to contend in the Western Conference for the near future.
As for the conspiracy theories, Stern will continue to receive heat for questionable moves or potentially tinkering with outcomes behind the scenes. Even though it is odd that the Hornets would win the NBA Draft Lottery while in the process of being sold to Benson, the fact of the matter is that any team in the lottery could’ve ended up with the first pick, and it just happened to be New Orleans.