Conspiracy theories are as big a part of sports as athletic personalities. Simply put, Sports will never be entirely rid of them. Some are due to denial of a sports team’s exit from the postseason (although some have since been proven true), while others can be due to a simple overactive imagination.
Now, there were numerous conspiracy theories that surrounded the conversion of the Seattle Supersonics into the Oklahoma City Thunder, although most of them involved the sale of the franchise itself, the parties involved in the sale, and David Stern, who was acting NBA commissioner at the time.
While this particular theory isn’t anything new (The report I’m pulling from is even 2 years old.), it is so out of left field that it was news to me this morning.
Back on June 25, 2012, a website called Lost Letterman posted an article titled Top 10 Biggest NBA Draft Conspiracy Theories. In the #10 spot is a theory involving the 2nd overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft. As Lost Letterman describes it:
“We can’t put this any higher than No. 10 on this list because it’s a conspiracy over the No. 2 overall pick in 2007. In this case, conspiracy theorists think that the NBA gave the rising star from Texas to the Sonics by allowing them to win the second overall pick in the 2007 Draft – the consensus landing spot for him behind Greg Oden.
“Seattle was looking for an arena deal to improve upon crumbling KeyArena and conspiracy theorists believe this was David Stern’s attempt to keep basketball in the Emerald City with a Sonics’ revival that rallied voters. Of course, the Sonics were bought by Clay Bennett moved before the 2008-09 season when a new arena deal in Seattle could not be struck. But conspiracy theorists wonder if Durant – already a three-time NBA scoring champion - was a gift from the NBA as one last-ditch effort to get that deal done.”
I’m not too sure about this one myself. Sure hindsight is 20/20, and we all know who the better player is between Oden and Durant today. But when the 2007 draft came around, Oden’s ceiling was sky-high. Many NBA scouts saw him as the second-coming of Wilt Chamberlain. If David Stern and the NBA were so serious about throwing Seattle a bone, why didn’t they give them the first pick outright? Although a working theory on that one could be because Stern already knew who Presti was taking with his pick, and knew he would still be on the board at #2. Therefore, giving him the #2 pick doesn’t look as blatant as giving him the #1 pick outright.
I’m not sure I’m buying this one myself. But I certainly wouldn’t mind your take on it. As far as this particular conspiracy theory is concerned: Buy or Sell?