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Sport and Outdoors

NBA draft lottery: The internet reacts to New Orleans landing first pick

Where's Zion going? The Big Easy seems likely.

zion

Zion Williamson is going to New Orleans.

Lance King/Getty

The New Orleans Pelicans will have the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. 

Though the draft lottery only tells us which team gets to pick first at the draft in June, the first pick has only been tied to one man. A man that, by all reports, could change the fate of whatever NBA franchise he ends up representing.

Zion Williamson. 

All the talk about Williamson's athleticism, basketball IQ and natural ability had fans of the NBA's worst performing teams in a spin, hoping that Zion would land in their squad. This year it wasn't just the NBA's worst team -- the Knicks -- that had reason to hope, either. This year, five of the worst performing teams had a real chance at nabbing Zion because of slight changes the NBA made to the rules of the Draft Lottery.

In 2019, the NBA leveled the playing field by giving the three worst performing teams (New York, Cleveland and Phoenix) a 14% chance of landing the top pick. Chicago came in with 12.5% and Atlanta had a 10.5% chance. In previous years, the New York Knicks would have had a 25% chance of snagging the first draft pick. Pretty brutal drop for Knicks fans.

The Pelicans, however, had just a 6% chance of nabbing Number One. Cue Han Solo endlessly saying "Never tell me the odds" because the Pelicans actually landed the number 1 pick. Thank math. You can see the full results over at sister site CBS Sports, but if you want to know how fans flipped out, read on.

Prior to the lottery, Twitter analysts were scouring every single move that Zion Williamson made. He tapped an Atlanta Hawks logo when he wandered across the lottery stage and the match was lit for conspiracy theorists.

That particular theory didn't play out as planned and when Mark Tatum, NBA deputy commissioner made his way to the stage, everything went silent. Reading out the results in reverse order, from 14 to 1, just added to the fever. 

The lottery took place in Chicago and Chicago fans present in the arena groaned when they, for the third year in a row, nabbed the seventh pick. Fans across the web felt pretty dejected too. 

The chaos of the first 10 picks put the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks into the final four. Things shook out like this:

4. Los Angeles Lakers

3. New York Knicks

2. Memphis Grizzlies

1. New Orleans Pelicans.

Pelicans fans, with only a 6% chance of nabbing the first pick at the start of the night, lucked out. They lucked out big. Rightly so, it inspired a lot of love online.

What does this mean for Anthony Davis, also a number 1 draft pick, who has been flip-flopping on staying at New Orleans for season 2019-20? We're not sure, yet, but we have a decent idea.

The conspiracy-prone NBA fans think that Kawhi Leonard's Game 7 winning shot used magnets, but they surely can't claim any greater conspiracy here?

How was New York feeling?

After a tragic last play in the NFL playoffs for the New Orleans Saints, some thought bigger forces were at play.

The NBA draft will occur on June 20 and though it seems like we already know exactly which player New Orleans will take, there's still plenty of time for things to go awry. Just ask Anthony Davis.