This really shouldn't be a great surprise to anyone, but what a downer. The Charlotte Bobcats lost out on the Anthony Davis sweepstakes Wednesday night, as New Orleans beat the odds and got the No.1 pick.
The Bobcats will choose No.2, but the sick look on general manager Rich Cho's face when Charlotte was announced on ESPN as runnerup instead of winner of the NBA lottery told the story. Pick No.1 -- Davis -- was the place everyone desperately wanted to be. No.2, No.3, No.4 -- and those were the Bobcats' only other possibilities -- are all a bit of a crapshoot.
But this is why it shouldn't be a surprise -- even with the worst record by percentage in NBA history and a 7-59 record, Charlotte only had a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery. That was better than anyone else's chances, but it still left a 75 percent chance of no No.1 in Charlotte.
And to lose to New Orleans? That's tough. That's where the original Charlotte Hornets moved to begin with, that's the city that holds the best team in the NFC South (the New Orleans Saints), and that's the team that won three times more games (21, and in a harder conference) than Charlotte did last season.
Was the fix in? Did the NBA want to give the No.1 pick to New Orleans? Was that part of the deal when new owner Tom Benson -- who already owns the Saints -- bought the team from the league?
Well, I don't believe in conspiracy theories. So I think not. But this will certainly fuel the ones who like to ponder grassy knolls. And the NBA did make a bad PR move by having Adam Silver do this rather than David Stern -- you want Stern to be there, just to give the conspiracy theorists a bit less to chew on.
So who to pick at No.2? Without studying it a whole lot, I'd say the Bobcats should choose Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, which would mean you insert him in the lineup immediately and try to develop Bismack Biyombo as a center instead of a power forward. I love Robinson's toughness and relentlessness. But I reserve the right to change my mind on that between now and June 28th, when the real draft happens.
In the meantime, though, the Bobcats' coaching job just got less attractive (the team will have a new coach in place before the actual draft). Owner Michael Jordan has to feel like he just lost Game 7 of an NBA Final.
And Bobcat fans, once again, are stuck feeling like the big one got away. This could have been a transformative night for the Bobcats.
Instead, it was a colossal disappointment.
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