Originally posted on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 6/24/13
As the NBA Draft analysts prepare their 784th mock draft and poor souls who continue to buy seats in cities like Cleveland, Washington DC, Sacramento, or Charlotte scour through the options their teams are going to leverage their futures on. For the 2nd consecutive year, the Cleveland Cavaliers had the luck of the ping pong balls. Every indication says the top pick will be center Nerlens Noel. The addition of Noel to last years no.1 pick Kyrie Irving is supposed to bring balance and excitement back to the jilted fans of Cleveland. The NBA’s lottery process is meant to be a kick start to the promised land of championships and wins. Yet, over the last 3 decades you will find that winning the top pick rarely brings a title. For some teams it has brought shame and ridicule. Top picks such as Michael Olowokandi and Kwame Brown were disasters. For other teams the top picks brought hope, yet no title See: Ralph Sampson (Hou), Shaquille O’Neal (Orl), Larry Johnson (Char), and even LeBron James (Cle). Sure many of these picks went on to win titles but not with the team that drafted them. Since the 1983 draft in which Ralph Sampson was drafted number 1 by the Houston Rockets, only 3 top picks went on to win a title with that same team. The ’84 pick of Hakeem Olajuwon paid off during Michael Jordan’s absence with back-to-back titles in the 90′s and the other top picks were actually on the same title winning team. The Spurs selection of David Robinson in ’87 and of Tim Duncan in ’97 resulted in the trophy being brought to San Antonio in ’99 and ’03 with both on the team and additionally in ’05 and ’07 with Duncan still on the team. In fact, no other team, other than the Spurs since 1983, has won a championship within 9 yrs of having the top pick! It really speaks volumes about the organizations who are “earning” these top picks. For many teams, having their ping pong ball pulled is the only hope they will ever have.
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