Goodnight Irene: How The 2010 NBA Draft Lottery Was Won
I will continue to be dumbfounded for an indeterminate amount of time, but will hold the right, as a Wizards fan, to still be skeptical about the future … even after getting the #1 overall pick.
Alright, screw that. I’m happy. I’m not yelling at the top of my lungs/doing jumping jacks happy — I’m still too shocked to show physical elation — But man … it feels good to finally be “that” team.
When was the last time all other NBA teams were envious of the Washington Wizards? I can’t remember. And I’m conveniently not counting the lottery the Wizards won which afforded them the “opportunity” to select Kwame Brown in a crappy draft. I was away in college back then and this John Wall opportunity is worlds away from a meek Georgia boy with tiny hands.
Sure, I was somewhat skeptical about Irene Pollin being the Wizards’ representative at the NBA Draft Lottery. I was wrong. I’m even more skeptical about saying any good luck charms or superstitions worked (even though I sometimes practice superstitions because it’s really no skin off my butt to do so … I didn’t tonight).
I watched the draft lottery at my apartment, like I did last year (sans the #1 Rod Strickland jersey on the floor). Just a plain vanilla viewing with a couple of beverages.
But consider this: As was written, Irene Pollin spoke before the fourth quarter of the last game of the season. The Wizards, down by six and looking everything like a 25-win team heading into the final 12, came back to beat the Indiana Pacers by one point. Flip Saunders played his most inexperienced, least talented squad down the stretch. But little used Cedric Jackson bucked and scored the last five points of the game.
That win, much to the chagrin of tanking proponents at the time, tied the Wizards with the 26-56 Golden State Warriors and not the 25-57 Sacramento Kings. Who knows what would have happened if the Wizards had a tie-breaker with the Kings. Just know that the Wizards lost their tie-breaker with the Warriors and jumped both Golden State and Sac-Town on their way to No. 1.
Does it mean anything? Nope. It no longer matters. For at least this night, and for the next several weeks, Wizards fans can hold their heads high. They are number one.
Thank you Irene, goodnight.