A comprehensive report of NBA lottery winners over the last 30 years reveals the harrowing fact that 80% are left with no players within five years.
“It’s human nature to overreact to a franchise fortune-changing event like winning the lottery,” said a somber Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner and newly-named Deputy Chief of the NBA’s task force on helping find a fresh start for teams with no players. “It’s sad, but we are putting new safeguards in place.”
Individual case studies revealed shocking historical precedents: the 1998 Clippers, who spent their lottery windfall on Michael Olowokandi, actually found themselves 187 players in debt by early 2002.
On the positive side, several fiscally responsible teams were able to properly manage their newfound wealth and parlay their lottery win into sustained success. The 2003 Cleveland Cavaliers, who wisely invested their winnings in blue chipper LeBron James, cleverly hid most of their portfolio in a Miami-based shell company for four years before re-gaining control of James to make a profitable championship push.