With a lucky charm from the franchise’s best era, the Wizards won the NBA’s draft lottery last night in Secaucus, N.J.
Washington moved up from the No. 5 spot to earn the top pick in next month’s draft, when it likely will choose between Kentucky freshman John Wall and national player of the year Evan Turner of Ohio State.
The Nets, who had an NBA-worst 12-70 record, fell to third. It’s the sixth straight year the team with the best chance to win didn’t land the top pick in the draft. The 76ers moved up to grab the No. 2 pick.
The Wizards were represented by Irene Pollin, who wore the 1978 Bullets championship ring of her late husband, longtime owner Abe Pollin. When the Wizards pulled off the surprising win, Irene Pollin’s jaw dropped and she appeared to mouth, ‘Oh my God!’
The lottery victory is one of the rare things that has gone right in a disastrous year for the Wizards, marred by the suspension of Gilbert Arenas for bringing guns into the
Now they hope the No. 1 pick can help spark a quick turnaround under Ted Leonsis, who is close to completing a deal to buy the franchise from the Pollin family.
Other teams who dropped in the lottery were the Timberwolves, who fell from second to fourth, the Kings (No. 5), and the Warriors (No. 6).
After enduring their largest blowout loss in four months in the Western Conference finals opener in Los Angeles, the Phoenix Suns don’t have to begin Game 2 way behind the guys in the yellow jerseys.
“They’re not going to start out with a 30-point lead,’’ said Frye, forgetting the Suns lost to the Lakers by a mere 21 points Monday night. “It’s over, and we’re going to be even again, so hopefully we’ll do a better job.’’
The Suns seemed cautiously upbeat yesterday at their Staples Center workout following Los Angeles’ 128-107 victory in the opener.
And Amare Stoudemire was still talking tough before Game 2 tonight.
The Suns forward, who promised physical play against the Lakers’ bulky frontcourt before the series, was unimpressed by Lamar Odom, who had 19 points and 19 rebounds off the LA bench in the opener.
“He had a lucky game in Game 1,’’ said Stoudemire, who might be playing his last few games with Phoenix if he declines a contract option and becomes a free agent.
“We’ve just got to make sure we box him out,’’ said Stoudemire, who managed just three rebounds while Odom set a career playoff high on the boards.
Kim Van Deraa, Karl’s life partner and mother of their 5-year-old daughter, wrote in her blog yesterday that Karl’s energy level is slowly rising.