Grand Imperial Poobah: Fair For NBA To Change Lottery System Immediately?

By Stan “The Grand Imperial Poobah” Hochman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — (Editor’s Note) Stan Hochman, a Daily News sports columnist for 55 years, has been appearing on 94WIP’s morning show for over a year now, settling disputes (and starting new ones) as the “Grand Imperial Poobah.” He brings that persona to on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we welcome input on which issues you want the Poobah to take a good, hard look at. Send requests and ideas for The Poobah to 

Without further ado, here’s The Poobah.

Phil E. Phan: The NBA seems determined to change the lottery rules in order to discourage the kind of blatant tanking the Sixers did last year. Is this fair?



Poobah: If it ain’t broke, why fix it? The Sixers were wretched last year, winning only 19 games, second worst record in the NBA. Did they get the second best player in the lottery? Nope, they had to settle for third pick and chose Joel Embiid, the big guy with the broken foot. Milwaukee had the worst record. Did they get the first pick? Nope, they had to settle for second. So, who got the first pick? The ever-popular Cleveland Cavaliers, who had less than one percent of the ping-pong balls.The system worked, tanking did not.

It didn’t help when Sixers owner Josh Harris called last season “a huge success.” You can wallow in the mud, just don’t shove the NBA’s face in it. Which leads us to the new scheme and the idea that it would dilute the desire to tank an entire season because the odds of getting that first pick would diminish. It might be a good idea, but they can’t install it right away. They have to give dreadful teams like the Sixers the chance to revise their long-range plans, which included trading for Darius Saric after he signed a three-year deal with a team in Turkey. They might have picked Doug McDermott with that 10th pick, someone who could help them right away. They didn’t want someone who could help them right away, part of their scheme to get really bad before they can get very good. If the NBA wants to change the rules, start with the 2015-2016 season. By then the Sixers may have transformed into a contender after some truly painful seasons.


You can hear Stan “The Grand Imperial Poobah” Hochman on the 94WIP Morning Show every Thursday at 7:20am E.T. Send the Philadelphia sports issues you want The Poobah to tackle to



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