Tuesday, May 22, 2007

NBA & Celtics fans both lose in this lotto

Portland "earns the top pick in the 2007 NBA Draft; Boston will choose 5th.

In a heart-stopping moment for NBA commissioner David Stern, stud players Greg Oden & Kevin Durant, and the fans of every team in the lottery, the two teams with the highest probability of landing the first pick (Memphis & Boston) wound up with the 4th and 5th picks, respectively, while two seldom-seen West Coast teams (Portland & Seattle) will walk away with the two best players in the college game.

Way to go, NBA.

Not only did the long-suffering fans of Bill Simmons' Celtics lose out on the opportunity to make the once-proud franchise relevant again, but the league lost its two most marketable young talents to the wasteland that is the West Coast.

Sure the Jailblazers and Sonics will now be on TV more than Leave it to Beaver reruns, but the games will still start at 10:30 and end when everyone except bloggers and night watchmen are asleep. For example, the Warriors were a great West Coast story this season, led by a charismatic star and fueled by rabid fans, yet no one knew about them until the middle of the opening round of the playoffs.

Now Stern & the league will go into spin mode, claiming that Oden & Durant will be exposed to the public just as much as every other new star the Association ushers in every year, with plenty of soda ads, sneaker deals and life-sized posters on the side of buildings trumpeting the rise of the new talent in the NBA.

Meanwhile the jilted fans of one of the game's most storied franchises, who have lost more games in three seasons than in the entire Bird era and just re-upped their putrid coach despite his inability to lead, coach or teach, are left to wonder why they should still even watch the game.

If they can just stay up until 1:00 am every other night, maybe they'll find out.

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