By Jason Iannone
For reasons that make less and less sense every year, the NBA Draft operates via a goofy lottery system. For those of you who don’t understand how it works (it’s OK if you don’t; nuclear physics is easier to grasp), here it is in a nutshell.
Every non-playoff team gets a bunch of ping-pong balls with their logo on it stuffed into a giant tumbler. The worse they were, the more balls they get to play with.
Stop snickering. Stay with us.
They then pick a ball, and whoever’s logo is on it gets the first pick in the draft. They then pick two more balls (just like Al Bundy did every day), to determine the first three teams in the draft. Everybody else picks in order of worst to best like a normal draft might. Oh, and did we mention all this happens a month before anybody actually gets around to drafting? It can’t take THAT long to ship a bunch of balls back to storage. What are they doing in between — finally watching tapes of all those college kids sports talk radio keeps braying on about?
Point being, the lottery system makes no sense whatsoever. But clearly, that’s the way the NBA likes it. So arguing that they simply revert to what everyone else does is a complete waste of time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t suggest some alternatives. Instead of merely picking balls out of a machine, they could determine the draft order with…
5. A Dance-Off
Yes, we’re aware that most owners are fat and nonathletic. We’re also aware that even the athletic ones probably can’t dance. That’s why we’re suggesting it. Have all these awkward goofs take turns moving their feet to a variety of beats. That way we’d see who cuts a mean rhumba, who’s more of a tango guy and who can’t do much more than the Batusi. The audience votes off the ones they’re least impressed by, and the first owner eliminated has to pick last. The second eliminated goes second-to-last, and so on and so forth. The winner gets the first overall pick.
Our pick: Donald Sterling. Yes, he gets to be a part of this. He’s still the owner — for now, anyway. Besides, there’s no way that bulbous body of his attempting to twerk wouldn’t be the height of comedy. Just remember to not eat before tuning in.
4. An All-Owner Battle Royal
If dancing isn’t your thing, how about wrestling? Stick all 30 owners in a ring and let them have at it. An owner’s eliminated when they go over the top rope and both feet touch the floor. Same rules apply — first one gone picks last, winner picks first.
The big question with an all-owner battle royal (besides “who will collapse of a heart attack first?”) is if any of them will pull a Kofi Kingston. For those not in the know, Kofi is just about the only wrestler in history to realize that as long as both feet don’t touch the ground, you’re still active and can do whatever you want. This results in creative forms of survival like so.
Our pick: Mark Cuban. He got driven through a table on WWE TV, making him the one and only owner with in-ring experience. Even if he can’t pull off a walking handstand like Kofi did, he’d still find a way to be the last man in the ring.
3. A Spelling Bee
The annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is coming up fast, and in honor of grade-schoolers who can effortlessly spell (big word we can’t even type without looking like dang fools), we’re proud to present the All-Owner Spelling Bee! Hey, just because these guys are rich, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have to think every once in awhile. Line them up, hang giant pieces of cardboard over their necks, and toss words at them until they stumble. Standard elimination rules apply.
Our pick: Mikhail Prokhorov. If he can spell his own name, he can spell anything.
2. Basketball Trivia
Spelling random words is all well and good, but what about knowledge relevant to the job? The dominant stereotype is that owners know nothing of the sport they’ve invested millions of dollars into, and it’s time to prove everyone wrong (or right) with some good old-fashioned basketball trivia!
The questions can be about anything: the rules, the sport’s history, stats, records, even the names of the mascots. The owner that answers the most questions at the end of the 12-hour session (they’re gonna work for this, dammit) gets first pick. Whoever brainfarts time and again, goes last.
Our pick: It would have to be Michael Jordan, right? He’s the only owner to come from a basketball background and not a white-collar one, after all. Cuban might give him some competition, because any owner who hangs out with his players as much as he does has to know a thing or two about the game. At the end of the day though, Jordan’s the guy who spent his entire childhood shooting baskets, so he probably knows more.
1. A Three-Point Contest
So you know the game, but can you play it? The rules are insultingly simple: whoever can successfully shoot the most free throws in two minutes wins the top pick. Whoever throws up brick after brick waits until last.
Now you’re probably thinking this isn’t even close to fair, since only Jordan has ever donned the shorts and tank top (well, aside from whenever James Dolan forces his wife to role-play). So he’d run away with this one, right? Well, not quite. In the interest of fairness, we believe Jordan should have to shoot blindfolded and with one hand tied behind his back. Also, the NBA should force him to drink several tablespoons of ZZZQuil. Only then will it be fair.
Our pick: Jordan. Even when handicapped and groggy, it’s still him versus a bunch of fat old people.
Jason Iannone is a Cracked Columnist who lost his first-grade spelling bee after one word because he forgot to repeat it after spelling it out (correctly, he may add). Hit him up over Facebook, Twitter, and his website, and pledge money to help pay his ongoing therapy bills.
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