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10 Lucky Charms You Could See at the NBA Draft Lottery
Tonight at 7:30 PM EST, the NBA Draft Lottery will take place. At this point, all teams can hope for is a little luck — the odds are locked in and the rest is up to how the ping pong balls will fall. All of the involved teams and their representatives will be clinging to their lucky charms, as they do every year, so we’ve created a list of hypothetical lucky charms, counting up from the team with the 10th worst odds of landing the No. 1 pick overall.
1. Pacers – Can Of Corn
The Pacers ruined their odds by not tanking like most other teams at the end of the season. As a result, they’re stuck with the worst odds to land the No. 1 pick of the worst 10 teams entering the lottery on Tuesday. As one of the nation’s major corn producing states, Indiana’s representative might want to bring a can of corn to the lottery to help produce a No. 1 overall pick. “Can of corn” also means “very easy,” which the Pacers could spin in their superstitious favor, as well.
2. Jazz (via Knicks) – Horseshoe
The Knicks (or Isiah Thomas) lacked foresight and picked a bad summer to have their potential No. 1 pick traded to another team – for Stephon Marbury no less. In the Summer of LeBron, and New York hoping to win him over, another No. 1 talent to play alongside would have been enticing bait. Instead, their 2.2% odds at the No. 1 pick belong to the Utah Jazz, forcing them to put all their hope in LeBron. Meanwhile, the Jazz may lose one of their stars to free agency (Carlos Boozer), so they could use as much luck as possible. They got this pick from the Knicks, so why not go with the Knicks’ lucky charm that helped them win the 1985 No. 1 pick and the rights to Patrick Ewing?
3. Clippers – No. 1/John Wall home and away Clippers Jersey-Blazer
Last year, the Clippers won the lottery and the rights to draft the consensus No. 1 pick, Blake Griffin. Obviously, the well-known Clippers curse doesn’t seem to affect their ability to get lucky on lottery night, so they might as well stick with what works. Last year it was the No. 1 home and away split Clippers jersey on the inside of Andy Roeser’s blazer, complemented with the split No. 23 on the other side. Their odds are just 2.3% to win the No. 1 this year, so they might as well try to put a pair of No. 1′s on the inside of their representative’s blazer this year.
4. Pistons – Not Joe Dumars
For most of the 2009-2010 season, it looked as if the Pistons were a lock for a top 3 pick. The main reason for the fall is the same reason for their climb to the top: GM Joe Dumars. He got too complacent with a core that wasn’t getting over the Eastern Conference Finals hump, traded away their franchise point guard last season for Allen Iverson, and then used all that cap money on two offense-only (if that) free agents. That only explains the past couple years, but Dumars has had tough luck in the draft during the entirety of his short GM career. As it seems his luck overall is running out, the 5.3% odds of the Pistons landing the No. 1 might seem like a lot more if Dumars is not in the room.
5. 76ers – Crystal Basketball
Speaking of trading for Allen Iverson, the best thing that happened to the 76ers as a result of the NBA Draft lottery was the small guard out of Georgetown in 1996. That year, Philadelphia owner Pat Croce brought a miniature crystal ball that he bought from Ireland. In 2001, Iverson led the 76ers to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1983. It might be too soon to repeat a recent lucky charm, but with another stud guard as the consensus No. 1 pick, it can’t hurt either.
6. Wizards – Toy Handgun
The Wizards plus the lottery has equaled an utter disaster in recent years. Lucky rabbits’ feet, horseshoes, underwear, and dragon’s claw, amongst other things, have all failed in not only getting the Wizards a No. 1 pick, but in most years, moving them up at all from their end of season position. I think it’s safe to say it’s time for them to mix things up and go with the reverse jinx. Their demise this season was the Gilbert Arenas gun fiasco, so why not take a toy handgun (because a real one wouldn’t fly) to the lottery and hope it brings some much needed luck. This will most likely be frowned upon, but it’d be a classic story, especially if it worked.
7. Warriors – Stephen Curry
The Warriors hit the jackpot in last year’s draft when Rookie of the Year runner-up, Stephen Curry, fell in their laps at the No. 7 spot. The frail guard probably has the six teams who passed on him saying the Warriors were lucky, and that’s fine, but they might as well milk Curry for all the luck he’s worth. Ironically, the Warriors probably would look to trade a No. 1 overall pick for proven talent considering John Wall is also a point guard and, well, Curry has that spot locked up.
8. Kings – Toy Story Movie
In 1998 the Sacramento Kings held a contest for fans to pick the lucky charm the team’s representative would take to the lottery. Interestingly enough, the winning charm was a Mr. Potato Head. Mr. Potato Head didn’t work, however, as the team lost the lottery and wound up drafting point guard, Jason Williams. Maybe the luck wasn’t in Mr. Potato Head, but in the two main toys of the movie that made Mr. Potato Head famous again, Toy Story (which came out three years before 1998, and Toy Story 2 was coming out in 1999). Sactown should consolidate all of those silly toys’ luck in one by just bringing the DVD to the lottery (and Toy Story 3 comes out the week before the draft).
9. Timberwolves – Folgers Coffee
I might pull a hamstring trying to stretch this one out, but bear with me. The Timberwolves have been in the lottery 13 times and have never improved their position. Of course, that’s caused their president of basketball operations David Kahn to downplay the hype of the lottery altogether. That didn’t stop the Timberwolves from distributing Lucky Charms cereal boxes with “lottery luck guaranteed” on the front. Instead of the cliche “lucky” cereal, why not try to wake up their lottery luck with some Folgers and make for a happy Wednesday morning?
10. Nets – Mikhail Prokhorov
As you know, the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov recently bought the New Jersey Nets. The direction of the Nets franchise not only rests on Prokhorov and what he does with all that money, but quite possibly on how tonight’s lottery plays out. If the Nets want to increase their odds of winning the LeBron sweepstakes, they need to win the lottery so they can take John Wall at No. 1. Since 1985, the team with the best odds to win the lottery has only won four times. Selecting Mikhail Prokhorov as the Nets’ lucky charm seems like a cop out, but Prokhorov gives the Nets the beginner’s luck they desperately need, and the kind of luck money can’t possibly buy.