June 2023

If the Charlotte Hornets got the #1 pick, would the NBA Interfere?

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In the fast-paced world of professional sports, where billions of dollars are at stake, the search for the next face of the league is a paramount task.

With rising stars like Ja Morant and Zion Williamson failing to meet the lofty expectations see: The Price of Rebellion: How Ja Morant's Recent Troubles Highlight the Consequences of Embracing the 'Bad Boy' Persona, and seasoned veterans like Steph Curry and LeBron James approaching the twilight of their careers, the NBA might be tempted to intervene and manipulate the draft lottery to ensure the perfect outcome. Which begs the question...

If the Charlotte Hornets were poised to pick number and select future megastar Victor Wembanyama, would the NBA intervene to preserve its longevity?

They could probably get away with it.

The Secret Power Play

One possible strategy the NBA could employ is the implementation of a confidential behind-the-scenes power play. This would be done by discreetly exerting influence and leveraging their vast resources, the league could manipulate the draft lottery process to ensure the most promising player is drafted by a desirable team with a stable and supportive environment. Although the rules give the appearance of transparency, if everyone invited is in on the conspiracy there's no way to tell what's real and what isn't.

This would only be done in extreme scenarios according to the script and only when there's a compelling case for something to occur, like the future face of the entire league during a time where the future face of the league is in crisis being potentially selected by the team in the lottery with one of the worst historical winning percentages of all time, least amount of playoff victories, with no championships, with one of the lowest attendance, in a small market and it may have been time to pull the fire alarm.

Influential Draft Committee

To further their agenda, the NBA could establish a specially curated draft committee compromising only the commissioner and board members who's one job is to ensure the survival and growth of the league. This committee would have the authority to make subjective decisions that favor the league's interests, ensuring the chosen player lands in an ideal situation. This would also occur under an oath and with highly damaging repercussions if any breach of confidentiality every occurred.

While the hypothetical notion of the NBA manipulating the draft lottery raises ethical and fairness concerns, it underscores the league's immense responsibility in shaping the future of professional basketball. It is an entertainment product, driven by advertising dollars and storylines. With billions of dollars and the success of the sport on the line, the NBA may face the temptation to intervene to ensure that their once-in-a-lifetime future face of the league lands in the best possible situation.

It's not like the league hasn't interfered before when David Stern famously vetoed a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles Lakers back in 2010.

Ultimately, the hypothetical scenario challenges us to reflect on the delicate balance between the pursuit of excellence and maintaining the integrity of the draft process, and understanding that team owners and the league want to make money above all and make sure the future face lands in the best hands.

If you ran the league, what would you do?

Disclaimer: The content presented in this article is purely fictional and intended for entertainment purposes only. It explores a hypothetical scenario and should not be interpreted as reflecting real-life events or actions of the NBA. Any resemblance to actual situations or individuals is purely coincidental. The article acknowledges the prevalence of conspiracy theories in popular culture but does not endorse or support any specific claims. It is important to distinguish between fiction and reality and approach this content with a lighthearted perspective.

Issa Hall, Esq

Issa has founded multiple ventures, is an author, and founding partner of Hall & Dixon law firm, with over a decade of experience in tech and law.

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