The jokes came easy Wednesday night because they always do in David Stern's NBA, where miraculous things seem to happen with the regularity of a Benny Hinn revival.
Here were the New Orleans Hornets, the ink barely dry on Tom Benson's agreement to buy the team from the league office, and that $338 million purchase price suddenly looked every bit the bargain.
It follows the tinfoil hat tradition of the NBA that the Hornets -- who the NBA had bought out of bankruptcy in 2010 before selling to Benson last month -- would snag the No. 1 pick in next month's draft, surpassing three teams that had better odds of landing it.
Somehow, some way, the NBA can never leave behind the ghost of its Patrick Ewing-to-the-Knicks moment, spawning howls of conspiracy across 27 years of draft lotteries. We heard them when the Cleveland Cavaliers landed LeBron James from nearby Akron, Ohio.
We heard them when the Chicago Bulls, a borderline playoff team, had native son Derrick Rose fall into their lap...