2018 NBA Draft

Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams to carry Lil' Penny doll into 2018 NBA Draft Lottery

The NBA Draft Lottery is the chance for those teams that missed the playoffs or have been down on their luck for a while to turn things around.

From NBA media reports

* Tonight on ESPN: NBA Draft Lottery (7:30 ET)

The NBA Draft Lottery is the chance for those teams that missed the playoffs or have been down on their luck for a while to turn things around. Tonight, 14 squads will head to Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton in hopes of a shot at landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Through the years, all manner of good luck charms have been brought along by teams to the Draft Lottery, ranging from necklaces and cereal to an article of clothing. The Orlando Magic have won the NBA Draft Lottery three times in their existence — 1992, 1993 and 2004 — with Magic co-founder Pat Williams often toting some kind of good-luck token with him each time.

While Williams will not be seen on TV during the Draft Lottery show, he will be in the room where the Draft Lottery takes place … and will have a special guest with him. According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, Williams is bringing a talking Lil’ Penny doll with him tonight in hopes of it giving him some good luck:

Pat Williams, a co-founder of the Magic, intends to carry the toy into Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton for the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night. Williams will sit in the room where four pingpong balls will be drawn from a lottery machine and hope the Magic win the top overall pick. The doll will sit close by.

“We put the finest minds we’ve got on this one and this is what they came up with,” Williams joked.

“I’ll keep that very, very, very close. We don’t want anybody running off with that, so I’ll have that in my possession the entire evening. It’s our version of a lucky penny. We’ve tried everything in the past: lucky coins, four-leaf clovers, rabbit’s feet, Lucky Charms cereal. We’ve taken everything up there.”

Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman will sit on stage alongside representatives of the other participating teams when ESPN televises the lottery results from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Eastern.

Weltman will bring a good luck charm, too.

“I did take something along from my family,” Weltman said. “But I can’t talk about it or it won’t work.”

The Magic won the lottery in ’92 and with that No. 1 choice selected Shaquille O’Neal. In ’93, they won again, picking Chris Webber then immediately trading him for Penny Hardaway — whom the Lil’ Penny doll is modeled after — and three future first-round picks. Then, in ’04, the Magic won the Draft Lottery and took center Dwight Howard.

Each player was instrumental to success for the Magic, as the O’Neal-Hardaway tandem led the Magic to their first NBA Finals berth in 1995. Fourteen years later, Howard would do the same for Orlando.

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