Video Evidence that the 1985 NBA draft was fixed???
breaking news: After 22 years of jokes, we now have indisputable video evidence that something fishy happened with the 1985 NBA Lottery. David Stern thought all videotapes of the event had been destroyed ... but no!!!!!!!!!!!! You can find the entire 10-minute lottery on YouTube.
Just in case they pull down the clip between the time we post this blog and the time you read this, here's what happens: When "NBA Head of Security" Jack Joyce throws the seven envelopes into the glass drum, he bangs the fourth one against the side of the drum to create a creased corner (we'll explain why this is relevant in a second). Then he pulls a handle and turns the drum around a couple of times to "mix" the envelopes up. At the 5:23 mark of the clip, Stern heads over to the drum, unlocks it and awkwardly reaches inside for the first envelope (the No. 1 pick). He grabs three envelopes that are bunched together, pretends not to look (although he does) and flips the three envelopes so the one on the bottom ends up in his hand. Then he pulls that envelope out at the 5:32 mark ... and, of course, it's the Knicks envelope.
A reader named Greg K. from Fair Lawn, N.J. (I'd give you his whole name, but I don't want him to be randomly found dead in his bathtub tonight), pointed this out to me: If you look closely right at the 5:31 mark, right as the commish yanks that Knicks envelope out, there's a noticeable crease in the corner of the envelope. You can see it for a split-second -- as he pulls the envelope up, it's on the corner that's pointing toward the bottom of the jar.
There's a giant crease! It's right there! The same one that Jack Joyce created as he was throwing the envelopes into the drum!
So you're telling me that, out of the seven envelopes in that glass drum, during a lottery when the NBA desperately needed the most ballyhooed college center in 15 years to save the league's marquee franchise, the commissioner coincidentally pulled out the envelope with a giant crease in the corner that happened to have the Knicks logo in it? This is the Zapruder film of sports tapes, isn't it? Where's Oliver Stone? Can we pull him out of the editing room for the "Alexander: The Really, REALLY Long Director's Cut" DVD?
Three other things kill me about this tape: First, the host was Pat O'Brien, who's now relegated to stories like "Are Paris and Nicole feuding again? We'll have the story next!" Second, as Pat is pumping up Ewing's pro potential, he passes along a quote from a scouting director who said, "'We've had the Mikan era, the Russell era, the Kareem era ... now we'll have the Ewing era,' and he added, he doesn't see another era on the horizon." Good call, scouting director! And third, as the envelopes get counted down, it's legitimately exciting -- you could even call it the most exciting random sports moment ever. At least until May 22, 2007.