When you participate in the Olympic Games, to medal is something special. If you win, or finish first, you go home with the gold. If you happen to be the runner-up, your silver medal helps ease the pain a little. Even if you end up third, it still means you’re one of three best in the entire world and wearing that bronze medal allows you to hold you head high.
The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery was somewhat like the Olympics. Fourteen participants had a chance, some better than others, to finish first, second or third and walk away with a prize. But instead of medals of a different color and worth, the top three teams would be rewarded with the opportunity of drafting a potential franchise changing player. Possibly Joel Embiid, or Andrew Wiggins or maybe Jabari Parker. Which one is truly the gold? That is up for debate right now, but one thing that is not, if you finished first, second or third on Tuesday night, you were walking away a big winner and down the road maybe the biggest winner.
So congratulations, for the third time in the last four years to the NBA’s Draft Lottery gold medal winner, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Facing their greatest odds in the lottery, G.M. David Griffin and his team defied those odds, a mere 1.7 percent chance of finishing first, and with the ping pong balls bouncing the right way again, the Cavs for the second straight year made it to the apex of the NBA Draft Lottery. They would have been happy with the silver or the bronze considering their odds, but finishing first is always better.
This year’s top honor for one of the worst teams in the Association has people conjuring up memories of the 2003 draft that produced LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Three of those four have won multiple NBA championships. Granted James and Bosh had to join Wade to do so, but a championship is still a championship and Cleveland fans would take one any way they could get one.
Therefor supporters of the “Wine and Gold” are hoping that one of the top three players in this draft, be it Wiggins, Embiid or Parker could ultimately lead the Cavaliers to a victory in the last game played during an NBA season, instead of winning an off-season lottery. Should that happen, which would mean finishing first when it really mattered, the city of Cleveland would be celebrating the ultimate gold medal, the Larry O’Brien trophy and their first NBA Championship!