I was reading an article on Newsday.com about Mike D’Antoni going to coach the Knicks (for the life of me, I have no idea why). But the article mentions one thing which got me thinking:

The Knicks also have a lottery pick in the upcoming draft and, if things fall their way, hope to be in position to draft point guard Derrick Rose of Memphis… The Knicks, who sit in the fifth position, have not won it since 1985, when they drafted Patrick Ewing.

For years, I’ve heard rumors about the 1985 Draft Lottery. It was the first year they implemented the lottery, and it was a straight 1/7 odds of getting the first draft pick. Everyone knew that the first pick would be Ewing.

Because the Knicks lived and worked in the same city as the NBA offices, the Knicks were a source of embarrasment for the league. In the years leading up to the ‘85 draft, the Knicks stank, going 24-58 in ‘84-85. They had been .500 or below for over a decade, and, rumor has it, the NBA wanted it to stop.

So, the facts of the case were these: Indiana and Golden State finished w/ worse records (22-60) than the Knicks. So, a two-step process was enacted. First, instead of having a coin-flip between the Pacers and Warriors (as they had always done before), the NBA implemented the lottery, to put the Knicks in play for #1. Then, when it comes time to pick their envelope, mark their envelope, so you can draw them #1.

Think its crazy? Check out the evidence at about 4:50 in:

As the guy puts the envelopes in, one envelope gets knocked around pretty good, and has its corners bent-up. That was the envelope that was the Knicks’ envelope (the one he pulled out at about 5:30). Also note how Stern looks down at what envelope he’s picking, and goes by several others to pick the bent-corner envelope. Only after that does he not look at what envelopes he’s picking.

I mention this because of the upcoming draft lottery . The Knicks, once again, stink. I sure hope people won’t look back at the 2008 lottery and wonder if it too was rigged.

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