Denton: Reactions from NBA Draft Lottery
By John Denton
May 21, 2013
NEW YORK – The Orlando Magic narrowly missed out on winning their fourth NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, but still snagged the second pick in the June 27th NBA Draft.
Cleveland, which had the third-best odds, won the top overall selection for the second time in three seasons. The team with the third-best odds – the Cavs were that team on Tuesday night – has won the lottery seven times – most of any spot heading into the lottery process. Conversely, the team with the best odds – Orlando was in that position on Tuesday with a 25 percent shot at No. 1 – has failed to win the lottery each of the past nine years.
The Magic were well-represented at the NBA’s Times Square Studios for the Draft Lottery on Tuesday. CEO Alex Martins, GM Rob Hennigan and head coach Jacque Vaughn were in the studio audience, while Senior Vice President Pat Williams – a Hall of famer and a Lottery legend because of his four victories – was on the stage for the televised portion of the lottery.
Also, Senior Vice President Joel Glass – a member of the Magic for the past 18 years – represented the team in the studio where the actual lottery was conducted earlier in the night on Tuesday. Glass was disappointed when Cleveland’s ping-pong ball combination (8, 3, 6 and 7) was chosen for the first pick, but he was delighted when the Magic’s ping-pong ball combination (9, 12, 3 and 1) led to the No. 2 spot in the draft.
Here are some selected quotes from the Magic’s participants in New York on Tuesday night:
CEO ALEX MARTINS: ``I think most of the rest of the league is surprised when we don’t win it because particularly (Senior Vice President) Pat (Williams) has been so lucky winning three. Finishing second is something that we’re really proud of. Our fans now get to look forward to another good young piece being added to our roster and they can all growth together, play together and continue to improve together. Our young team played so well together last year will be one more year improved and now we’ll add another piece. We continue to put the pieces of the puzzle in place to get ourselves back in contention.’’
GM ROB HENNIGAN: ``I think we can improve our team, which is always the goal when you go into the offseason. So that’s the mantra that we want to take and we’re excited for the draft to get here. … (The lottery) was just exciting and you could feel the energy of everybody trying to figure out what was going to happen. You’re at the mercy of the (ping pong) balls and there’s not much that we could control, so we just came here to learn where we’re going to be picking. … I’m not very good at math so I didn’t really understand what it meant (when Washington didn’t show up at No. 8). I was just waiting to see when our name plate was going to be pulled.’’
MAGIC SENIOR VP JOEL GLASS: ``All I know is that 1, 3, 9 and 12 are my new favorite numbers,’’ Glass said minutes after the draft order was determined and before the picks were revealed on television. ``It was nerve-wracking when we didn’t get the No. 1 pick and we only had two more shots (at getting in the top three picks). But we’re happy with the pick that we got.’’
Said Hennigan as it referred to the job that Glass did in getting the Magic the No. 2 pick: ``I have not given Glass a grade yet. That will be an incomplete until after the draft.’’
HEAD COACH JACQUE VAUGH: ``What made me extremely calm was that I have watched this on television many times before and that’s what I did tonight. I was just in studio. … I just know that I trust our general manager and scouts and they are going to find the right person who is going to fit into our locker room. It just so happens that it’s going to be the No. 2 pick. But the characteristics of the type of man that we want does not change.’’
MAGIC SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT PAT WILLIAMS: ``We wanted to win it and we came to win. When we were standing up there with the final three, I just knew that we had it. And then when they turned Washington over at (number) three, I thought, `We’re in there (at No. 1).’ But how about Cleveland? They’ve had a good run up here. … Oh my, you never get over the adrenaline rush (of the lottery suspense). I thought to myself, `I’m 52 years older than (Wizards guard) Bradley Beal and probably 60 years older than (Cleveland representative Nick Gilbert), and I’m thinking to myself, `Boy, it’s a young man’s game.’ But my heart was pumping and my toes were curling. There’s a ton of adrenaline. I thought we had it when Washington got flipped at No. 3. Gosh, I thought we had it.’’
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