SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — When it comes to the NBA Draft Lottery, retiring Golden State Warriors team president Rick Welts is well aware of how fickle the ping-pong balls may fall.
Welts was with the NBA league office back in 1985 when lottery first came into existence and helped design the procedure. Instead of ping pong balls, there were envelopes in a spinning drum.READ MORE: Smash-And-Grab Thieves Hit San Jose Eastridge Mall Jewelry Store; 5 Sought
Georgetown star Patrick Ewing, who went on to NBA greatness, was the prized first pick. The New York Knicks had the least possible chance at winning the lottery, but the team won, and a controversy erupted.
“Someone on this call was in charge of the first lottery in 1985 where Patrick Ewing miraculously was awarded to the New York Knicks in one of the great and ongoing conspiracy theories of the NBA,” Welts joked during a zoom call. “I actually was that guy who helped design the production that ended in Ewing going to the Knicks.”
“The league considered that a little bit of good fortune in terms of marketing the NBA so maybe I can bring a little good fortune to this (Tuesday’s lottery).”
In one of his last acts with the team, Welts will be representing the Warriors at the lottery drawing. He will be wearing the teams three championship rings for luck.READ MORE: Investigation Finds Vallejo Officer's Use of Deadly Force Not 'Reasonable'
“I’m not superstitious, but I figured that I at least bring the 2015, 2017, 2018 championships rings which I never get to wear because they are way too big for person of my size but I will be wearing those just because as we see on these playoffs there is an element of luck involved,” he said.
Rocco, Golden State star Klay Thompson’s pooch with more then 60,000 Instagram followers, will also be adding his karma via social media.
The Warriors could be the major winners Tuesday night. They currently own the final lottery pick — No. 14 — in the draft. But that could change Tuesday night despite the long odds against it.
The team also owns the rights to Minnesota’s pick if it falls to No. 4 or lower.
With a lot of luck and good fortune, the team could emerge with the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in a very deep and talented draft class.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Lights Up GG Park Christmas Tree After Darkest Year of Pandemic
“I’m planning to come out of this with 1 and 4,” Welts joked. “If that is the outcome. I get to keep my office for the rest of the month.”