When does Charles Barkley not have a controversial opinion? The TNT analyst was on ESPN 1000 in Chicago earlier today and gave his thoughts on this years upcoming NBA Draft Lottery, among other items. But his comments about where Anthony Davis could end up gave way to thoughts of conspiracy.
“I’ve got to tell you something, I’m really concerned about the number one pick in the draft this year. Well, number one, I think Michael would take Anthony Davis or I’d kill him (laughs). I can’t say this, but I’m going to be watching the draft lottery very closely because I don’t want no shenanigans.”
When asked what he meant by the shenanigans, Barkley had this to say:
“I’m going to be very leery if Anthony Davis ends up in Brooklyn. You know, I’m going to be very leery because I know the NBA has a lot riding on that new arena, especially if Deron Williams leaves New Jersey. They didn’t get Dwight Howard. I’m going to be very leery if New Jersey gets that number one pick.”
Barkley would go on to say that he is a conspiracy theorist, with a chuckle. But this isn’t something that doesn’t cross fans mind. Ever since the first NBA Draft Lottery, fans and even members of organizations have questioned its legitimacy. The draft was put into place to force teams to avoid tanking in order to land the first pick. The league would select 3 random envelopes for the first pick. But everyone and their mother accused the league and David Stern of orchestrating the New York Knicks to land the 1st pick in the first ever lottery. The Knicks would draft Patrick Ewing.
Following the 1989 season, the league switched to a weighted system that gave a greater advantage to teams with worse records. But even with a weighted system, Orlando Magic won the lottery two years in row, even though they had statistically the least chance to land the #1 pick. The league would weight the system even more the following year.
But with the New Jersey Nets heading to Brooklyn, people like Barkley think that the NBA wants to have star power for the new New York team, just like the same accusations happened nearly 17 years ago.
Here’s hoping the Pistons win it and don’t draft another Darko.