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1966-84: Coin Flip
In 1966, the league adopted a coin flip between the last-place finishers in each of its two divisions to determine which team would open the draft, a system that remained in place until the first lottery in 1985. The remaining teams picked in inverse order of their won-lost records.
In 1979, the 31-51 Chicago Bulls called "heads" and the coin came up "tails," thereby giving the first pick to the 26-56 New Orleans Jazz. But the Jazz had to compensate the Lakers for having signed Los Angeles free agent Gail Goodrich and did so with three draft picks, including New Orleans' first round pick in 1979. This became the No. 1 pick after the coin toss, which in turn became Magic Johnson out of Michigan State.
The next season, led by their rookie guard, the Lakers became NBA champions for the second time since moving to Los Angeles. Oh yes, and the New Orleans Jazz became the Utah Jazz.
Was this the greatest coin toss win ever in modern sports history???
Magic Johnson could have been a Chicago Bull but for the flip of a coin. In this presentation of The Massachusetts School of Law's program, Books of Our Times, Professor of Law Holly Vietzke interviews ESPN.com sports columnist Jackie MacMullen on her book: When The Game Was Ours - Larry Bird Earvin Magic Johnson
The Massachusetts School of Law also presents information on important current affairs to the general public in television and radio broadcasts, an intellectual journal, conferences, author appearances, blogs and books. For more information visit mslaw.edu.
Evolution of the Draft and Lottery
Not even close.
The flip in 1969, The Milwaukee Bucks won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick.
The Phoenix Suns got the second pick.
Picks 2 to 10:
2. Neal Walk
3 Lucius Allen
4 Terry Driscoll
5 Larry Cannon
There was no question who the pick at No. 1 would be, unlike when Magic was selected.
When Magic was selected, there was a debate going on as to whether the Lakers should take Sidney Moncrief.
Two to five that year:
2. David Greenwood
3. Bill Cartwright
4. Greg Kelser
5. Sidney Moncrief
So Magic was a good win, but not the best, on the coin flip.
The guy the Bucks drafted was also the reason the NBA changed its rules before he started college to eliminate the territorial draft.
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Venturing into a different sport...
One of, if not the greatest coin flips in history, was the toss of a coin in 1969 between Christopher Chenery of Meadow Stables and Ogden Phipps of Wheatley Stable---the prize?
Venturing beyond sport, Anton Chigurh was associated with truly life-changing coin flips.
i think it was the Bettis "i called tails", ref said "he called heads" toss
Personally...I prefer Roe Sham Boe.
Modern sports history 901.
1979 to present = modern
Okay. Modern era; best flip. So, that limits us to 1979 to 1984.
A nice list. Some names you should know: Joe Barry Carroll, Mark Aguirre, James Worthy, Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon. To think, Houston won the pick, and passed on Jordan.
But I'll take take Magic too.
You know the next year (1985) is the year of the frozen envelope, and Patrick Ewing,
If I am not mistaken, the NO Jazz/LA Lakers situation gave rise the "Protected" draft pick that is so regularly included in trades.
What's the story here?
Was this the start of Stern fixing the NBA lottery? Ugh I hate that guy!
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