Blog Entry

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:49 am
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:46 pm
Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently insinuates that the NBA Draft Lottery is rigged. Posted by Ben Golliver. david-kahn

Update: Here's video of Kahn's comments.

For years -- no, decades -- basketball observers have had suspicions about the NBA Draft Lottery. The process is hidden, ping pong balls are involved, and there are a bunch of hurt feelings because 13 of the teams present go home without the No. 1 pick.

Speculation about the lottery being rigged has always been a favorite custom of fans, but it's not something you ever hear spoken about, or even implied, by NBA executives. Until now.

Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently implied in an interview with the Associated Press that the NBA's lottery process is not totally on the up and up.

Kahn's comments came after he joined Utah Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor and Nick Gilbert, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, as the three finalists for the No. 1 pick. Nick Gibert suffers from a nerve disorder and eventually secured the No. 1 pick for the Cavaliers. 
"This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines," Kahn said. "Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right."
A "habit" of producing incredible storylines implies that it's not intentional or manipulated but simply the product of a track record. But the disclaimer "I am just going to say habit" screams "I am really, really bitter because this was totally fixed so that the kid would win."

Either this was the clumsiest language of all time or a crystal clear implication. I don't see any other interpretations. Surely, a clarification is coming. (Not to mention an apology for referring to a child with a nerve disorder and a widow as "storylines".)

Even the implication of impropriety is sure to rub NBA commissioner David Stern the wrong way and this isn't Kahn's first time getting on Stern's bad side. Kahn was fined $50,000 last July for comments made regarding Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley's marijuana use. A fine here wouldn't be out of the question considering what's at stake for the league: its reputation.

Here's video of Nick Gilbert winning the NBA Draft Lottery.


Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:41 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

The NBA is all about entertainment......why wouldn't they fix the lottery and make a story line each year....

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:30 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Although I agree that it seems rigged, even if they put it out for you all to see, you wouldn't get it. I mean, it is 4 ping pong balls that pick a number. Do you think ESPN is going to show all 10,000 combinations on the screen for you to see if it was rigged or not? The number 3529 could pop up. Ok, so the machine isn't rigged; you saw the number. But how are you going to know that is one of the Cavs' numbers? You'll then complain that the NBA shiould give you an e-mail of all the combinations that go to each team. And if they did that, you would complain about the ping pong balls again. It is far from the best system. If they showed you the ping pong balls, nothing stops them from saying this number goes to this team, although I would hope the teams there know which numbers are for their teams. I think there would be a bit more controversy involved if that wasn't true.

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:28 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

If I were missing out on LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant, I could see the spilled milk attitude, but picking between Kyrie Irving, or Derek Williams, or Enes Kantor???
All of these guys are probably going to be very, very expensive role players in the NBA. Irving may well be very good, but you are going to have to wait on him.
In the grand scheme of things, if you aren't wasting your early draft picks on Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio, you're going to get better. So, if I were a Minnesota executive, I'd be far more concerend with hiring a G.M. who can evaluate talent and build a team, as opposed to worrying what pick I have in the upcoming draft. 

Since: Apr 30, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:28 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

The NFL and MLB don't do this and for a good reason the teams that have the worst record need the most help. 

Common sense will not be tolerated by the NBA....Don't look now, but I believe your season ticket package has been canceled.

Since: Jun 10, 2008
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:18 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

The draft lottery as we ALL know is a behind the scenes joke......just like the refs give special treatment to the so called "stars"...behind the scene is not the way to treat the fans who support the NBA......we the fans deserve proof and witness the outcome...just like we the people deserve proof that bin Laden was taken out!........Time for David Stern to go!

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:17 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

As I have gone through life, I have learned it is full of lies and liars with the almighty dollar ruling all.  No I don't believe any games are fixed by the league.  However, the lottery is a tremendous tool the NBA can use to make serious financial benefits to the league in general.  I don't think this kid thing is part of it.  The talent pool holds no great story lines.  However, I definitely believe when there is a blue chip talent who matches a team in the leagues best interest, the NBA makes sure that player goes where it benefits the league $$$.  Such as LeBron James in his hometown Cleveland and Derrick Rose for his hometown Chicago (and I'm a Bulls fan).   - - -Great story lines for years--- Don't remember Cleveland's odds for James, but the Bulls odds for the #1 was like 2%.  Calculate odds of just those two cooincidences happening.  If you think it's not in the best interest of the league and they would not bend the rules to make it happen you are truly gullible.  The world runs on money.  Flame away but nobody will change my mind.  Been there done that.

If you knew all the garbage that goes on behind doors in the legal and medical profession you might wake up to the real world.  I have multiple family members who tell me the way it really is.  I was the first one rejected for my last jury duty when I simply told them the truth of what happened to me.  They certainly did not want to hear the words of an honest man who has seen the abuses and won't brush it aside.  They want gullible people on a jury, those living in Mayberry.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:12 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Insiuates??  Kahn is totally correct.  The NBA is about as forthcoming as the WWF.

Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:11 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

I don't know if I agree with Kahn's insinuations.  However, I believe that the lottery is a sham from the fact that in the Wolves case you take a team that was the worst team in the NBA and now you are making them draft 3rd.  This is a system where a team with the 10th worst record could have the number 1 pick.  The NFL and MLB don't do this and for a good reason the teams that have the worst record need the most help.  In basketball those couple of spots could mean the difference in filling a need or having to stockpile at a position that is not a need.

Since: Apr 29, 2011
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:07 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Yeah the year the wolves picked two point guards, of course they moved down in the draft.  They never move up. If we could have moved up just once we wouldnt be stuck with that load johnny flynn.  That guy is a total bum.   I was reading an article that rates quality minutes played by each player in the league.  He was the worst!  I would trade him for a hot hoagie sandwich!

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:06 am

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Thats a joke, the whole league is rigged.  The refs control the game.  Its a joke league, it ajoke.

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