The first lottery draft still rates the best

Page 2 looks back at the best and worst of the lottery era

Updated: June 29, 2009, 2:20 PM ET
By David Schoenfield | Page 2

The first NBA draft lottery took place in 1985, with the seven non-playoff teams participating. The big prize in that year's draft: Georgetown center Patrick Ewing.

As we prepare for the 25th draft conducted under the lottery system, consider how much the NBA has grown: from 23 to 30 teams; from seven lottery teams to 14; from rumors of frozen envelopes to a complicated system of ping-pong balls.

Consider also: in 1985, Ewing was a polished college senior who had led Georgetown to ...

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