For Thursday’s NBA Draft lottery, “Lucky Leon” Ro…

For Thursday’s NBA Draft lottery, “Lucky Leon” Rose will wear a replica of a special bracelet that a young Knicks fan/high school player gave to RJ Barrett before Rose’s first game as Knicks president on March 2. Barrett went on to score his career high 27 points and the Knicks beat the Rockets in Rose’s presidential debut.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell will represent the team at the virtual 2020 NBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm, to be held on Thursday, August 20. The event will be televised on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT.

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Now that the Wizards have lost their first two games at Disney World, that rule is coming back into the forefront. The Wizards are currently tied in the loss column with the Hornets, who aren't in Orlando but are locked in with the eighth-best lottery odds. What that means is if the Wizards continue to lose, they can't gain more ping-pong balls for lottery night, which is set for Aug. 25. And now there is a distinct possibility they could have worse odds than a team with a better win percentage than them.
It would be a cruel twist for the Wizards, who need as much help as they can get in this year's draft as they hope to find another blue chip prospect to add to their burgeoning young core. Making that pick count is especially important given their salary cap situation with John Wall and Bradley Beal on the books, which has left them with fewer resources to work with. They could get another key rotation player on a rookie contract. The good news is that the lottery rules were changed more permanently before last year's drawing in order to create more parity in the annual event. It smoothed out the odds to discourage tanking and the results in its first year were as-intended.
Jeremy Woo: As I understand it, there’s a level of hope that the NBA will still be able to hold the draft combine. Would take place at some point after the Aug. 25 lottery, may not happen until September. Conducting player medicals and measurements would (predictably) be the key components.
Marc J. Spears: Via new rules, the NBA teams with the three worst 2019-2020 regular-season records will each have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery. Golden State, Cleveland and Minnesota have the three worst records with Atlanta, Detroit and New York behind by a hair in the standings.
Marc Berman: The NBA announces no combine, which we knew, and postponement of Draft Lottery. Both in Chicago. Draft still on June 25th for now. NBA "continues to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic and consult with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government"
I’ve asked a handful of sources about this. They continue to provide the same answer: The league has plenty to figure out and the answers aren’t easy. Each time there seems to be a workable solution, another problem emerges. But it seems like the usual off-season events -- draft, free agency, summer league -- have been pushed down the priority list. The primary focus centers on a return-to-play strategy -- if possible. Once that decision is made, there should be more clarity on other issues.
An NBA official said no final decisions have been made on the lottery or combine. If the regular season is canceled, the Knicks would hold the sixth-best odds in the lottery at 21-45. That gives them a nine percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick and a 27.5 percent chance of a top-three pick. There’s also a scenario of falling to No. 10.
Ben Golliver: Pelicans' Alvin Gentry on their thought process with the number one pick: "Well, we're going to see.... Yeah, right." Said of New Orleans delegation's Tuesday night celebration plans: "They're going to get a big receipt."
Steve Popper: This is the entirety of the Knicks comments on the lottery: Statement from Steve Mills and Scott Perry: “We are excited to have the third pick and are confident we will be able to add a great player to our talented young core and the team that we are building.”
Patrick Ewing, who represented the Knicks on the dais in Chicago, thinks the fans should be happy with who team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry decide to choose come June 20. "Be happy with what we have," he said after the Lottery. "Cherish him, help him, support him, support the team and hopefully good things will come."
Tania Ganguli: When he was standing there with representatives from the Grizzlies, Pelicans and Knicks, did Kyle Kuzma think the Lakers would get the No. 1 pick? "Nah. The league don’t like the Lakers. They weren’t gonna give us that."
Marc J. Spears: Zion Williamson was QUICKLY whisked out of the room after Pelicans were announced the winner of the draft lottery. Source said the former Duke star was rooting to go to New York, but now is going to New Orleans.
Ben Golliver: Before drawing, Alvin Gentry wrote on a sheet of paper, "This is our moment." David Griffin had predicted victory & gave him lucky Zegna tie from Cleveland. Gentry's reaction to win: "F--- yeah!" Later said of Griffin's luck: "That's worth the hire. Ms. B knows what she's doing."
Kevin O'Connor: Alvin Gentry yelled “fuck yeah” when the Pelicans won the no. 1 pick during the lottery drawing. Then he stood up and stuck his arms out like “are you not entertained?” Then he said sorry. No reason to apologize: Zion Williamson will be with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Adam Zagoria: The Pelicans win the Zion Sweepstakes. Here's the draft order:

http://twitter.com/AdamZagoria/status/1128462966838431747
Jim Eichenhofer: David Griffin to @NBATV on what tonight's lottery means for #Pelicans: "We have an opportunity to build something that’s long-term sustainable and meaningful. Tonight is about one of the next building blocks ... we’re going to be able to add another strong pillar to our group."
Chris Vivlamore: Jami Gertz: "I believe whoever we get will bring greatness to Atlanta. We are bringing greatness to Atlanta. That’s just how I feel. I don’t know when but I know it will happen.”
MSG Networks Inc. shares climbed 2.1%, outperforming the broader market’s rebound, as investors look ahead to the NBA draft lottery Tuesday evening, where the future of the New York Knicks may be at stake. The stock has fallen 5% this year and investors hope that the Knicks landing the top pick in the draft will turn performance around for the company, which owns broadcasting rights to the team.
BTIG analyst Brandon Ross wrote on Monday that trades and player moves this summer could have a “significant impact” on the Knicks as well as Madison Square Garden Co. and MSG Networks. “The situation is much more pressing for MSG Networks, which is fighting strong industry headwinds with a weak product carrying a high price tag,” Ross said in a note to clients. “If the Knicks can transform into a winner, ratings should follow, and MSGN’s affiliate negotiations should become easier and advertising revenue could increase substantially.”
Bobby Marks: New York will not only have an eye toward securing a top 3 pick but also what happens with Dallas. If the Mavericks are not in the top 5, New York will receive a 2021 unprotected and 2023 (top 10 protected) first. Both picks are a result of the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
See, the lottery’s format back then was different than it is today. There were 11 non-playoff teams in ‘93. And the rules didn’t derive from any complicated algorithms, handing the three organizations with the league’s worst records 14 percent odds each, then slightly worse percentages down the line, as they do today. “(Today’s system) is impossible to explain to anybody but an MIT mathematician,” Williams joked. “I have sat in the back room now for four or five years. And I see it unfold and have no idea what’s going on.”
Williams likes to think former NBA commissioner David Stern changed the rules in his mind before he’d even shook hands with the Magic exec after winning a second consecutive season. “I had to bite my lip after we won because nobody in that room was happy for us. Nobody,” Williams remembered. “You watch the video; you’ll see shock but no dancing. I tiptoed up to the stage, but David Stern was not happy to see me. He was not happy. (He was) like, ‘How did this happen to my lottery? This is not why we put it in there.’”
The Knicks, Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns each have a 14 percent chance of landing the top pick on Tuesday night. All three clubs also have a 40 percent chance of landing a top-three pick and a 52 percent chance of landing a top-four pick. The Knicks will pick no lower than fifth since they finished with the league's worst record (17-65). Perry on Monday said, no matter where the Knicks land, their meetings with individual draft prospects will play a key role in whom they decide to select.
What separates Cynthia Marshall from others who have represented the Mavericks in 14 previous lotteries is her gusto and conviction for the occasion. "Yes," she told The News when asked if she is aware of the franchise's bleak history of rotten lottery outcomes. "That's changing."
If Dallas draws one of this year's top four picks, next year's No. 1 pick would be conveyed to Atlanta. "I said, 'That's the whole story of my life, beating the odds, are you kidding me? I'm not worried about that,'" Marshall said, recalling her conversation with the NBA official. "If your Lord says it is time for us to have that No. 1 pick, then it's time for us to have the No. 1 pick."
Question: How nervous are you for the teams, and do you sense the drama in that room? Kiki VanDeWeghe: Absolutely. The interesting thing is everybody is in the same spot. It’s an interesting dynamic. The other teams are competitors with each other. But they are all in this room sequestered together — all really nervous and excited at the same time. It’s an interesting atmosphere. It’s very cordial because everyone is in this together. The cell phones are put away, there’s no way to communicate with anybody. We’re a group amongst ourselves. We know a little bit ahead of everyone else what the results are.
Q: What is it like knowing the blockbuster news before the rest of the world? Kiki VanDeWeghe: The minutes are really long. I can tell you that. Once you find out what the results are — it’s so important to what it means to a franchise — that they’re dying for everyone else to know. In some respects, the teams want to make sure, hey, we didn’t get the top pick, we did get the top pick. All those things you’re dying to communicate. It’s a very long half-hour.
Q: How do you feel the lottery reform worked in changing the odds for the worst three teams? Vandeweghe: If you look at us over the years, ever since the lottery was instituted, we’ve adjusted them five times. The idea of having the three teams with the least wins, they have 14 percent [chance of winning the first pick] — the odds smoothing out a bit. I think it is good. It’s a fair way to do it. Is it perfect? There probably is no perfect [way]. It’s a work in progress. That’s one of the great things working here we‘re always trying to improve things. That comes from the top with Adam [Silver, NBA commissioner]. Always trying to innovate and make sure, even though this is a fantastic year and the playoffs are great and we’re seeing some of the best talent we’ve ever had on the basketball court. How can we make it better?
Ex-Knick Kiki VanDeWeghe is the NBA’s executive VP who is in his sixth season moderating the behind-the-scenes actual ping-pong-ball lottery drawing and has an interesting viewpoint of how the NBA draft lottery works. He gives his thought about the process, the anticipation and the changes ahead of the drawing Tuesday to determine the order for the June 20 draft — when Duke star Zion Williamson is expected to be the No. 1 pick. Question: How nervous are you for the teams, and do you sense the drama in that room? Vandeweghe: Absolutely. The interesting thing is everybody is in the same spot. It’s an interesting dynamic. The other teams are competitors with each other. But they are all in this room sequestered together — all really nervous and excited at the same time. It’s an interesting atmosphere. It’s very cordial because everyone is in this together. The cell phones are put away, there’s no way to communicate with anybody. We’re a group amongst ourselves. We know a little bit ahead of everyone else what the results are.

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Mike Trudell: The Lakers are sending @Kyle Kuzma to Chicago to represent the squad for the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, May 14. LAL (37-45 in 2018-19) have the 11th-best odds, giving them a 9.4% chance at a top 4 pick, and a 2.0% long shot at No. 1.
One of the biggest nights in Knicks’ franchise history will have a different look to it on ESPN. The network is throwing more resources at the NBA draft lottery on May 14, a night that will be centered on who will get the No. 1 pick and the ability to draft Duke star Zion Williamson.
Rachel Nichols will host “The Jump” at 8 p.m., which will serve as a half-hour pregame show and will feature an interview with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The lottery itself will start at 8:30, and the order should start being announced around 10 minutes into that program. There also will be an “NBA Countdown” show at 7 p.m. with host Michelle Beadle and analysts Jalen Rose, Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups.
After two years of Mavs front-office assistant Michael Finley representing the Mavs in the Lottery, this year it's going to be CEO Cynthia Marshall who gets the honor of representing the team this year, owner Mark Cuban tells DBcom.
According to team president Steve Mills, Dolan gave him a random phone call a few weeks ago that could turn Ewing into the good-luck charm that brings Zion Williamson to New York City. “Actually Jim Dolan called me up and asked, ‘Who’s attending the lottery?’ ” Mills told The Post. “I said Scott [Perry, general manager], and I haven’t talked about it that much. He said, ‘I’m just making a suggestion. You can say no if you want to. But what about Patrick?’ “I said, ‘I think that’s a good idea.’ ”
Thirty-four years since New York Knicks great Dave DeBusschere pumped his fist on a podium after landing the No. 1 pick to select future Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, Ewing will now represent the franchise at the NBA draft lottery next month for a chance to draft Duke phenom Zion Williamson, league sources told ESPN.
Michael Gallagher: Final lottery positions: 1. Knicks 2. Cavs 3. Suns 4. Bulls 5. Hawks 6. Wizards 7. Pelicans 8. Grizzlies (to BOS top 8 protected) 9. Mavs (to ATL top 5 protected) 10. Wolves 11. Lakers 12. Hornets 13. Heat 14. Kings (to BOS 2-14, 1 to PHI)
The Hawks will have Jami Gertz, co-owner and wife of principal owner Tony Ressler, represent the team at the NBA draft lottery this year. Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk disclosed the decision in a radio interview Tuesday morning and a team spokesperson confirmed that Getz would indeed be back. The draft lottery will be May 14th.
In the old NBA draft lottery system, the three teams with the worst regular-season records were given lottery odds of 25 percent, 19.9 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively, to receive the No. 1 overall pick. Going forward, the three teams with the worst regular-season records will all receive a 14 percent chance. The team that ends the regular season with the worst record this season will receive only 56 percent, about half, of the pingpong balls the worst team in the league last season received. That is a significant drop-off. The bottom three teams in this upcoming draft lottery will all have worse odds of getting the No. 1 pick than the third-worst team last season (15.6 percent chance).
It took 51 drafts, but the Suns landed the first overall pick for the first time in franchise history. Vice President of Basketball Operations James Jones summed up Suns fans feelings just minutes after their card was drawn number one during the NBA Draft Lottery. "I’m stoked man. Why shouldn’t I be?” James said. It had been a long journey for the franchise and Suns fans everywhere, but the relief and celebration finally set in when Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum announced that the franchise would finally select first. “This is a historic night for the Phoenix Suns,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Those of us in the room in Chicago felt the tension, then it was an unbelievable feeling to see it revealed that we received the No. 1 selection. In the illustrious history of the franchise, we’ve never had the first overall pick and to bring it home in such a loaded draft at an important point in time for our franchise, it’s incredible.”
The Suns now officially hold the first overall pick as well as the 16th, 31st and 59th selections. It will be a busy month in Phoenix as the team will be working out players for practically the entire draft range. “I think when you start the draft and virtually end the draft at 59 then you have to cast a wide net,” McDonough said. “We’re prepared for that. It will be an exciting month or so in Phoenix."
Josh Robbins: Will the Magic draft on positional need or look for the best available player? Jeff Weltman's answer: "I think the draft is always a time where you want to add the best available player. You just don't get a crack at this level player very often when you're picking this high."
“Obviously getting the top pick in this draft with all the talent and all the different options, boy, I’m getting emotional,” General Manager Ryan McDonough said. “It was special. It was cool.” Not surprisingly, McDonough wouldn’t reveal the Suns' plans for the No. 1 pick. “Absolutely not,” he said. “I’ll let you know June 21. I know people jump to conclusions as to who it’s going to be but we don’t know yet.”
Eddie Sefko: Michael Finley on picking fifth: “it’s a deep draft. I think we’ll still be able to get a player with the fifth pick that will help us.”
Mike McGraw: Paxson: "The game is at such a state now where versatility is a big thing, especially at the wing. You look at some of the teams still playing, how versatile they are." #Bulls
Michael Cunningham: The winning combination for Suns No. 1 pick in order: 9, 12, 6, 1. Hawks had a chance until the last number.
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January 25, 2021 | 5:24 pm EST Update
But then on Jan. 26, 2020, Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter (Gianna), her AAU teammates (Alyssa Altobelli; Payton Chester), their parents (John and Keri Altobelli; Sarah Chester) and another one of their AAU basketball coaches (Christina Mauser) were among the nine people that died in a helicopter crash near the Santa Monica Mountains. They were on their way to an AAU basketball game at the facility Faulkner oversaw in Thousand Oaks, Calif. “The worst tragedy that we could have ever imagined happened,” Faulkner told USA TODAY Sports. “That changed everything.”
In between grieving and brainstorming sessions, however, Faulkner often looked out his window and saw countless Bryant fans leaving memorabilia outside the entrance of the facility. They laid bushels of flowers. They lit candles. They displayed Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 Lakers jerseys. They showcased framed photos of Bryant, who gave himself the nickname “The Black Mamba,” from throughout his 20-year NBA career. “It is something I will never forget the rest of my life with how powerful and impactful one person that Kobe Bryant could be,” Faulkner said. “From seeing all of humanity, there were no color barriers. There were no physical barriers. There were people in wheelchairs. There were people mentally challenged. There were superstar athletes. There were fathers and sons and mothers and daughters and whole families.”
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