Conspiracy theories about the NBA Draft lottery have become an annual tradition of sorts, and a day after the New Orleans Hornets won the lottery, the Internet is abuzz with theories on how the fix was in.
According to a (very unscientific) poll on USA Today's website, as of 12:30 p.m. EST Thursday, 55 percent of the more than 6,000 voters said they think the lottery was rigged, and 28 percent voted that they "(d)on't know. But I could believe it." That leaves only 18 percent who think the process was definitely legitimate.
One reporter in the room for the drawing described the scene, but that hasn't stopped the conspiracy theorists. This year's version goes something like this: The Hornets are still technically owned by the NBA and so of course David Stern wanted the top pick, presumably Kentucky star Anthony Davis, for his club. Besides, the top pick was an added bonus in the team's pending sale.
A lack of any evidence aside, the league often deals with the speculation. The rumors of a lottery fix date back to the first lottery when the New York Knicks landed the opportunity to take Patrick Ewing. While conspiracy theorists on the Internet isn't exactly something new, this year, league insiders were commenting as well.
IamaGM.com posted a compilation of 10 tweets from NBA players who questioned the outcome. Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski's column on talk the league fixed the lottery points to even NBA executives who are skeptical.
The reaction of several league executives was part disgust, part resignation on Wednesday night. So many had predicted this happening, so many suspected that somehow, someway, the Hornets would walk away with Davis. That's the worst part for the NBA; these aren't the railings from the guy sitting at the corner tavern, but the belief of those working within the machinery that something undue happened here, that they suspect it happens all the time under Stern.
It's a felony if the league actually fixed the lottery, so most people treat the conspiracy theories with a wink and a nod. Deadspin showed why conspiracy theorists could jump on virtually any winner of the lottery as evidence of a fix.
Washington Post reporter Michael Lee might have best summed up the general sentiment of NBA fans in a series of tweets Thursday morning.