Inside the Lottery Machine (Part II)

Spencer Platt

A lighthearted work of fiction (in case you couldn't figure that out after the first few lines)

Seven long years ago, the balls didn't quite bounce Boston's way. However, the luck *was* with Boston in 2008, as lottery heartache ultimately led them down a path that would end with championship glory. Here on CelticsBlog, we brought you the INSIDE story, in this memorable, must-read post (link here).

It's now 2014, but the future of the Celtics is again hanging in the balance. It's all going to come down to how the balls bounce...again.

Believe the hype: It's a sequel. Inside the Lottery Machine 2 will be with you after the jump. Get your popcorn ready...,

[Editor's note: there's no "jump" anymore.  That's so 7 years ago.]

May 20th 2014. The NBA Draft Lottery. Preparations are well underway for this year's draw, not to be interrupted by the weary arrival of a former champion...

Boston: Ugh. Back here again. Wow, it sure is dark. Hello?

Philadelphia: Hi, Boston! Welcome back!

Boston: What's going on? This place sure seems a lot different to the last time I was here.

Phoenix: Yeah, apparently there have been some changes. The new commissioner is determined to ensure this process is fair.

Boston: Well, I'm glad to hear that. I got screwed back in 2007.

Cleveland: Huh, don't cry about it too much, you made out okay. We've actually won this thing a few times where we probably would have been better off losing.

Utah: You not even going to try to win this year?

Cleveland: No way. You want the top pick? You can have it.

Philadelphia: Losing on purpose? That's disgraceful!

[Everyone looks at Philadelphia with a "You've got to be kidding me" look on their face]

Boston: So what's going on anyway? Where's Atlanta? I need an expert opinion.

Utah: Atlanta? They haven't been here for a while now.

Boston: Ah, man, that used to be the perfect source because they were here year after year. Now what am I going to do?

[Everyone slowly turns around and looks at Minnesota and laughs]

Minnesota: I wouldn't laugh too hard if I were you, Sacramento.

Sacramento: Haha, fair enough. Here's the deal ... apparently to make it fair this year, instead of all of us racing towards a chute, this year they're making us race to get out of here without telling us the way out.

Minnesota: Right. And to make it fair, our starting positions will dictate the probability of us reaching the exit, thereby reflecting our positioning in the lottery standings.

Sacramento: See, I knew you were the expert.

Minnesota: Shut up.

Sacramento: Yeah? You wanna start something?

Detroit: Break it up guys. NOBODY wants to see Minnesota battle Sacramento.

[Los Angeles is the last to arrive, moving very gingerly]

Boston: Ugh, not YOU.

Denver: Man, you don't look so good.

Los Angeles: I'll be okay. I'm going to win this thing, because I am the Lakers and I am entitled.

Utah: You don't look in a fit state to win anything right now.

[The Lottery Ref gets everyone into their starting positions and the draw is underway]

Meanwhile, in Miami, the Heat are looking to tie the game with five minutes to go before half time. LeBron James drives to the hoop and misses a lay-up.

Referee: Well, it didn't *look* like anyone hit him, but clearly from the way he reacted something smacked him in the head...

[Blows whistle]

David West: I never touched him!

LeBron James: Shut up, man, something smacked my head, I felt it.

Courtside...

Adam Silver: ...so, after the 2007 controversy, which admittedly David Stern did well to cover up, I was determined to ensure a fair lottery draw process this time. So, as I looked upon the fortress of righteousness that is the King, LeBron James, I hit upon an idea.

Random person sitting next to Silver: Who is that guy talking to?

Adam Silver: So I travelled to Geneva and funded months of research to create what the science guys are calling "The LeBron Collider".

Random person sitting next to Silver: Wait, are you actually saying that the NBA lottery draw is currently taking place *inside* LeBron James?

Adam Silver: That's right: The LeBron James Machine. Zero defects! Oooh, look, he's checking his lip for blood now, what's going on in there?

Back inside what we now know to be LeBron James, Minnesota freezes as every word of this conversation echoes through the corridors.

Minnesota: The LeBron James Machine? Oh, wow, it all makes sense. I must be in the ear canal. All I have to do is get out of here and we win the lottery!

Detroit: Not so fast! I'm not letting you leapfrog me. If we drop down to number nine, we have to give our pick to the Bobcats. And just like in the early 90's all we have to do is play tough, physical defense to deny MJ. [Puts on feather boa for no reason]

Minnesota: Yeah...orrrrr why don't you just follow me out of here and then you can get the second pick?

Detroit: [Shrugs] Okay, let's do that.

Further North:

Boston: I can see a chink of light ahead. Maybe I've got a shot at winning this.

Philadelphia: Ah, screw it, I can't catch you. I give up.

Cleveland: That's not like you at all, Philadelphia. [Lays back and relaxes in a recliner]

Philadelphia: So, you just lounged about here watching this all going on then?

Cleveland: Yup. I don't know what Boston's so excited about, Minnesota and Detroit are getting out of here first.

Philadelphia: Ha - you hear that Boston? Minnesota and Detroit have basically already won.

Boston: Man, really? Well, I guess I can still get that third pick. Not much further. Hang on, someone seems to be coming up behind me real fast.

Los Angeles: That's right, I'm back - and I'm going to beat you to that first pick because I'm the Lakers and therefore I am entitled.

Boston: Back from where?

Los Angeles: Germany, of course.

Boston: That doesn't make any sense.

Los Angeles: Sure it does. I didn't actually *go* to Germany. "Going to Germany" is just my code for "taking a bunch of steroids and growth hormones which are probably illegal but the NBA doesn't test for them so it doesn't matter". See ya, Boston!

Boston: Well you're not getting the first pick anyway. For once there's some justice. Minnesota and Detroit are apparently about to get out of here first, so you're only going to end up with the third pick.

Los Angeles: [Stops and turns around] Even better! Minnesota is in Minneapolis and therefore I'll get to claim the number one pick as rightfully mine!

Boston: How is that even rational?

Los Angeles: I am the Lakers, therefore I am entitled.

Boston: I hate you, you're not going to deny me that third pick.

[Boston rushes towards the light, but Los Angeles collides with and knocks Boston way off course]

Meanwhile, over in the ear canal...

Minnesota: Nearly there. I knew out the ear was the fastest route out of LeBron James. Well, unless anyone managed to somehow find...

Minnesota and Detroit suddenly pause, look at each other and scream:

"THE TEARDUCTS!"

Boston: I don't even know where I am now. No sign of an exit here. More lottery woe. Wait...why do I hear rushing water?

Back on court:

Referee: Look, I'm really sorry LeBron, but I *had* to call the travel when you moved your pivot foot for the third time in five seconds . What do you want me to do?

Boston is expelled from LeBron's tear ducts by a huge tidal wave of water. Boston wins the lottery and a new era is underway in Boston!

Postscript:

Detroit would win the second pick after tying Minnesota to the Tensor Tympani with the feather boa. Never trust Detroit.

Los Angeles would never find their way out of LeBron James. Somehow that's poetic because LeBron James has always had a little Lakers in him.

Milwaukee won the third pick despite the story not having featured them at all, simply because that's what usually happened in

"Wacky Races".

Well done, Boston! Let's hope there's never a need for Inside the Lottery Machine 3.

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