The Wizards brass convenes in an office at the Verizon Center. Ernie Grunfeld asks to say a few words.
Ernie Grunfeld: Folks, I don't know what to say really.
Two hours to the biggest
battle random drawing of our lives, and it all comes down to tonight. Either we get lucky as a team, or we are going to crumble. Missed ping pong combination by missed ping pong ball combination, failed good luck charm by failed good luck charm, till we're finished, again. We are in NBA hell right now.
Gentlemen, believe me. We can complain about
our bad luck my bad management in the past and get the metaphorical s*** kicked out of us by the karma gods. Or, we can believe, and believe our way back into the spotlight. We can climb out of NBA hell, one ping pong combination at a time.
Now I can't do it for you. I've let you down too much. I look around and I see these knuckleheads and I think about how I made every wrong free agent choice a general manager could make. I pissed away all our previous cap flexibility. I chased off every young NBA prospect who has ever loved me. And lately, I can't even stand the face of my star player when I see it in the mirror. You know when you get old in life, terrible things get given to you that you shouldn't take. That's, that's part of life.
But, you only learn to reject them when your team starts losing. You find out that life is just a game of chance. So is basketball. Because in either game, life or basketball, the margin for error is so small. One injury that happens at the wrong time, and you don't ever succeed. One ping pong combination too many or too few, and you don't quite catch the prize. The chances we need are everywhere around us. They are in every bounce of the ping pong ball, every bounce of the basketball, every part of the NBA Draft lottery, every minute, every second.
For this franchise, we fight for that chance. For this franchise, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that chance. We CLAW with our spreadsheets and our salary pages for that chance. Cause we know when we add up all those chances that we've missed in the past, that's going to make the difference between WINNING THE LOTTERY and LOSING THE LOTTERY, between LIVING AS A FRANCHISE and DYING AS A FRANCHISE.
I'll tell you this: in any fight, it is the team who is willing to put it all on the line and tank that is going to win that chance. And I know, if I am going to have any life as an NBA GM anymore, it is because I am still willing to fight and put my reputation as a GM on the line for that chance, because that is what LIVING IN THE NBA is. The six ping pong combinations in front of your face when you see the machine do it's work.
Now, I can't make you win the lottery. You gotta look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes. Now I think you are going to see a guy who will do everything he can to help for that chance. You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice personal dignity for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you are also going to use some silly good luck charm for him. That's a franchise, gentlemen. We get out of NBA hell now, as a team, or we will lose our jobs as individuals. That's the NBA Draft Lottery, guys. That's all it is. Now, whattaya gonna do?"
Tommy Sheppard: Ernie, we're already late for the bus. Let's go!
GO WIZARDS! LET'S DO THIS!
Editor's Note: Yes, astute observer. This is literally word-for-word what last year's lottery open thread was, right down to the headline and permalink. The only difference is the photo is of the Wizards winning Derrick Williams, not John Wall. Thanks to Jake for the idea.