The excitement over yesterday's NBA lottery was more about who got the No.1 pick rather than the talent that was available -- at least compared to last year when Greg Oden was being hailed as a franchise changer. Of course, Portland is still waiting to be transformed by Oden who sat out the year after knee surgery. In the meantime, Kevin Durant, the No. 2 pick overall, wound up as Rookie of the Year for Seattle.
But back to this year -- the 1a and 1b picks are Kansas State forward Michael Beasley and Memphis point guard Derrick Rose, either or both could go on to have long, prosperous NBA careers. But the lottery buzz is actually over Chicago, with less than a 2 percent chance to win the pick, doing just that. Miami, the NBA's biggest loser this past season, at least got the No. 2 pick. The Bulls went from the playoffs, actually the NBA's Elite Eight, in 2006-07, to out-of-playoffs this year. Along the way, Chicago fired the coach it started the season with as well as the interim and has been spurned by Mike D'Antoni who took the Knicks' job after being booted by Phoenix.
So there's a lot of opportunity for renewal in Chicago and if this gets the Bulls kick-started again, that would be good for the NBA because the Bulls still have a patina of glamor -- albeit, quickly fading -- remaining from the Jordan years. Just as the Celtics were a team with a legacy that was resurrected this year to great fanfare, a rejuvenated Bulls franchise can only help a league that runs a distant third for the hearts, minds and wallets of the American sports fan.