Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Cleveland Cavaliers Turn the Page Following Lottery Win 6

Posted on May 18, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Nick Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers took a big step forward with their NBA Draft Lottery win.

Yes, it was just a year ago that the Cavaliers had the best record in the NBA and just about everyone in the city was on their collective knees begging their homegrown superstar LeBron James to stay in town.

The fallout from his decision to leave for “South Beach” and the Miami Heat was devastating and was a major reason the Cavaliers had the second worst record in the league and endured the longest losing streak in league history.

But all of that “old history” can be swept back under the rug following the improbable victory by the Cavaliers last night in the NBA Draft Lottery.

Though the 2011 NBA Lottery doesn’t seem to possess a player of the same caliber as James, just the fact that Cleveland can get a new “face” for the franchise and actually has two picks in the top four provides fans with some optimism and the feeling that they can turn the page.

Some sports franchises have taken decades to recover from losing a player of the magnitude of James (and some never recover). So for Cleveland to be given this chance to start fresh just a year later could be a huge help as they look to return to the NBA elite.

Team owner Dan Gilbert has taken a lot of heat over the last year following his remarks in the aftermath of the James decision. However, the best move he has made in a while was staying in the shadows and allowing his 14-year-old son Nick to represent the team in the lottery. Read the rest of this entry →

Forget Baseball, The NBA Is The Least Competitive Professional League 3

Posted on April 14, 2010 by John Wingspread Howell

The uneven distribution of talent is structural. Can you spell LOTTERY?

The NBA lottery has not dispersed success the way people originally expected.

The NBA lottery has not dispersed success the way people originally expected.

You can blame Patrick Ewing for the mess in the NBA.

Is there a mess? Don’t you “love this game?” Aren’t the games better attended, the media exposure better than ever, the league’s popularity and fan base broader than ever?  Perhaps, but it won’t last. One of these days fans in 24 cities will wake up and realize the fix is in. It is always in.

Now it is true that “Amazing things happen” in the NBA, but not necessarily in the sense that their current tagline implies. What is amazing, is that the league has gotten away with fixing outcomes, if not fixing individual games, and the victims—most of the league’s fans—are none the wiser. But people are starting to figure it out.

In the 24 years since 1985 when the NBA adopted a lottery to determine draft order, there have been six league champions. The league has expanded to 30 cities in that time but there have been only six champs. Five of them have been from the league’s largest markets.

Since the inception of the lottery, the Lakers have won six titles, Chicago six, Detroit three, Boston two, Houston two, Miami one. That’s 20 titles out of 24 total, to teams from the league’s 11* largest markets. That leaves little San Antonio (37th* largest in US, 27th of 30 in NBA), with four.

By contrast, in the nineteen years between the Celtics eight straight titles (1959-1966) and the implementation of the lottery (1985), there were nine different champions.  One third of those were small market teams: Milwaukee, Portland, and Seattle.

(It is true that the Celtics and the Lakers– including six titles in Minneapolis– dominated the league in its early years, but the draft was not fully operational until the sixties, and it could be said that the institution of the draft brought down the Celtics dynasty.)

So, you do the math: nine different champions in 19 years versus six champs in 24 years; three small market teams out of nine versus one out of six. And you can blame Patrick Ewing, even though his Knicks never won a title. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Earl Morrall: The Perfect Backup
      November 16, 2019 | 10:46 am
      Earl Morrall

      In a career that started in 1956 and ended in 1976, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was never really a leading man, but he seemed to be part of the supporting cast for many huge moments in NFL history.

      The second overall pick in the 1956 NFL Draft out of Michigan State, Earl Morrall joined a San Francisco 49ers team that already included the famous “Million Dollar Backfield” of Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson.

      Morrall started four games during his rookie season, but just before the start of the 1957 season was traded along with guard Mike Sandusky to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for linebacker Marv Matuszak and two first-round draft picks.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Who Should Be the 2019 NFL MVP?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top