FanPost

PING PONG FOOL'S GOLD

There continues to be plenty of correct and fair criticism of the challenge it is to build a team without a lottery pick. This argument mostly includes a need to be in the lottery on the chance that you might win it and get one of the desperately hoped for top-3 picks. The Detroit Pistons are the only real example of a team winning a championship without a legitimate star, thus proving that it is nearly impossible to do. Do you know what is statistically harder to repeat than what the Pistons did? Winning a championship with a ping-pong pick. Since Tim Duncan was drafted in 1997, there have been 45 players picked in the top-3 of the NBA draft and not one has won a title with the team that drafted them. In fact, Durant is the only one that has come close (Lebron's Cavs had no chance in Finals).

This is a loaded draft and teams have a legitimate reason so put themselves in position to take what looks to be some uniquely talented players, but there is no historical argument that these ping-pong picks lead to championships in themselves. Every champion was built through talent--talent that was scouted, drafted, acquired, or coached. Let us not fall into the trap of believing that a ping-pong ball is the best chance to become relevant. Not only are the odds not in the favor of any particular team including the one with the worst record, but even when you beat those odds there is no recent historical evidence that it leads on its own to a title. Ping-pong balls mostly help teams go from bad to the playoffs, but getting to the next level takes far more than that. I have argued this in so many places that it has grown tiresome. Tank if you want to--I get the argument, but don't tell me that a ping-pong ball is easier to win with than building through assets because both are equally difficult.

A FanPost expresses the opinion of the community member who wrote it and not that of the blog management.

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