Manage episode 363551196 series 3368092
May 16, 2023. If you were watching TV last night, you may have seen NBA history being made. A few ping-pong balls bounced around a lottery machine, and suddenly, the San Antonio Spurs won the first pick at the 2023 NBA Draft, which they’ll almost certainly use to draft a potential superstar from France named Victor Wembanyama.
Today, a look back at some of the most electrifying prospects the NBA has ever seen – from Hakeem Olajuwon to Patrick Ewing to LeBron James to Wembanyama – as well as the wild, and at times controversial, steps that teams have taken to secure their draft rights. How did the NBA come up with the current lottery system after decades of tweaking the rules? And how has tanking -- or the process of intentionally losing games -- complete reshaped the way NBA teams compete for championships?
Special thanks to our guests: Jake Fischer, senior NBA reporter for Yahoo Sports and author of “Built to Lose: How the NBA’s Tanking Era Changed the League Forever”; Rohan Nadkarni, NBA writer for Sports Illustrated; Brian Windhorst, ESPN NBA insider and author of “Return of the King” and “LeBron Inc.: The Making of a Billion Dollar Athlete”; Jeremy Woo, NBA Draft contributor for ESPN; and Dave Zarum, basketball historian and author of “NBA: 75.”
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