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Memories of Yester-year

As I assume pretty much everyone knows, this year's NBA draft lottery - that swinging party for losers, and for winners who know how to swindle losers out of the only good thing that comes from losing - will be held roughly 24 hours from now.  Since we have no balls in the bucket, frozen or otherwise, it's not much of an event for Bulls fans.  But what could be more fun than a quick glance back to last year when we were blessed with the pick that would turn into Derrick Rose?  It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Matt had this unusually positive post the morning of The Day:

Here are the Bulls chances Tuesday night:

No. 1: 1.70%
No. 2: 2.00%
No. 3: 2.40%
No. 9: 81.34%
No. 10: 12.18%
No. 11: 0.38%
No. 12: 0.0024%

Get a top two pick, draft Rose or Beasley (in, my opinion, that order), and all of Pax's inactivity and (public) idiocy doesn't matter. (Getting the 3rd would be a good night's work as well, but the next step would be a bit more muddled) The history of many GMs work out this way: the lottery can sure make them seem smart.

This is followed by a comments thread that starts off with a bunch of bored chit chat and quickly morphs into a "Holy hell!  They just called out the 9th pick AND IT WASN'T US!" cocophony of animated elation and disbelief.  And, of course, this was shortly thereafter followed by the breathtaking moment of watching the Timberwolves be eliminated from the Top 2 picks -- ensuring the Bulls would get one of the two prized draftees -- and then, finally, the sheer ecstacy of seeing "Stan" Schanwald as the last man standing.

After a long, long, long season of great misery, the rejoicing could not have been sweeter.  I imagine I wasn't the only one who rewatched the lottery more than a few times - I had to watch D'Antoni's reaction to the Knicks not moving up while knowing the Bulls had at least a dozen times, and I lost count of how many times I watched the 9th pick and picks 3 through 1 announced.  I even made people who have no interest in basketball watch.  Just reading through the comments today makes me smile - hopefully they'll show some great coverage from last year as part of the build-up.

But back to this year.  It feels a bit odd to not be in the lottery, even if a few of those years were courtesy of the New York Knicks.  I'm still excited to watch, find out who gets the coveted top pick, and really jump into the draft.  There's a nice preview over at Ridiculous Upside, as well as a ton of draft stuff at Draft Express.  I'd like OKC to win the top pick - the Thunder actually have a reasonable shot, they're the closest thing to a local team where I live, and the conspiracy theories would be awesome if yet another team gets to keep the hometown kid.  Washington would kind of tick me off since they're a pretty decent team barring injuries and an oddly down season (which is probably how other teams felt last year about the Bulls).  I still root against New York on principle - and obviously it would be nice if the top pick or two head west instead of to an Eastern Conference foe.  Then again, I hate to banish the poor top kids to some of those bad Western Conference teams - at least everyone in the East outside of Washington was playing with a shot at the playoffs until late in the season.

So I'll be watching, and I'll be interested in the outcome - but mostly I'll be reliving the 2008 lottery draft.