Maui Sports

Long-suffering Clippers hit lottery

May 21, 2009, 10:42 AM HST
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By Fred Guzman

Congratulations to the long-suffering Los Angeles Clippers for winning the NBA lottery Tuesday night and earning the right to select Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin, the player overwhelming ranked as the best in this year’s draft class.

And condolences to the Sacramento Kings, who despite finishing with a league-worst 17-65 record, still missed out on a player that might have helped return this struggling franchise to its former level of success and relevancy. Despite a 25 percent chance to secure the top pick, Sacramento fell to fourth.

Not since 2004, which Orlando landed Dwight Howard, has the team with the worst record landed the first pick. I guess that’s why they call it a lottery.

That’s exactly why Jerry West, the former general manager for the Lakers and Grizzlies, blasted the system in 2007, when Memphis also had the best chance to win one of the most anticipated lotteries ever and ended up falling to the fourth pick.


Boston didn’t like it much either that night, since they had the second-best shot at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, and settled for the No. 5 pick. That came 10 years after Boston missed out on Tim Duncan despite the best odds of winning the lottery.


Picking behind the Clippers will be Memphis and Oklahoma City, with Washington getting the fifth selection, followed by Minnesota, Golden State and the Knicks.

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