NBA Commissioner for a Day: Getting rid of the NBA draft lottery

Mike Stobe

There are plenty of tweaks on could make by assuming NBA commissioner's power for one day, but if that were to happen, I'd do something more bold with the opportunity.

Oh, to be the NBA commissioner for a day. David Stern is in the final lap of his reign over the NBA, giving way to Adam Silver next year. But let's pretend that the power from the top office in the NBA was granted to you for one day. What would you do to alter the NBA in some small or large way?

Personally, I'd clean up little things that don't make sense, like returning the nickname Jazz to the team in New Orleans and letting the good folks in Utah come up with a fresh nickname that might be better than Pelicans.

But for a big move, I'd focus on the wiping out the NBA draft lottery and letting the 14 teams that missed the playoffs settle the draft order on the court. They are basketball teams, after all.

I know it sounds a bit unfair, surely the 17th place team would pound the 30th worst team, but there would be ways to alter the draft tournament that could make it no more unfair than relying on ping pong balls falling your way.

So, we're talking about a 14-team, single-elimination tournament to set the draft order. But for a twist, the team with the worse record in each round gets home court advantage. Secondly, with 14 teams there are two byes, so the two teams with the worst records get those byes to the second round. From there it plays out with the losers in each round being slotted by record starting with the best record at 14, while the winners fill in the order from the top.

It would require a team to win four games (or three if they "earn" a bye) to take the top spot in the draft. The games would be played within one week of the regular season ending. The actual playoffs could start a couple of days late but still make up the time in the schedule since the first round of the current playoffs is so ridiculously long as it is.

Oh, and of course these games would be televised with fans and everything which means more money for the NBA. As the commish, I really like the sound of more revenue.

So, what do you think? What other issues would you tackle if you were the commissioner? Please share.

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