Who Should Represent the Knicks at the Draft Lottery?

Steve Mills had his shot in 2015 and came up short. It’s time to get a new face on the stage.

Photo: Griffin Lotz

The biggest day of the New York Knicks offseason is almost here. On Tuesday, May 16, at 8pm the team will find out their official draft spot for the 2017 NBA Draft. Thanks to a couple of useless wins late in the season the Knicks have the seventh worst record and hold a 5.3 percent chance of landing the number one pick. It’s not outlandish for them to win, but come on, when’s the last time the ball bounced the Knicks’ way?

On the bright side, at least the Knicks have their pick now and are moving forward. But they’ll have to send someone to represent the team at the lottery. Who should that be? It may look like a no show job, but having a solid rep goes a long way.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s son, Nick, is the archetype of what you want in a representative. He had a signature look (bowtie), great story, and even better luck (won two lotteries). He may have single handedly brought LeBron James back to Cleveland if you think about it. (But don’t think too hard.)

Now back to the Knicks. The last time the lottery mattered was 2015. Steve Mills, the Knicks GM, got the call (because why would Phil Jackson show up for anything right?). No offense to Mills, but falling from the projected two pick down to four is not going to cut it. The team was lucky enough to land Kristaps Porzingis, but something like that cannot happen this year. If the team falls any lower than their current spot at seven they put themselves in an all too familiar place…

That still hurts to watch. This cannot happen again. If we are going to win this shit and draft Markelle Fultz we need some good vibes on the stage. Carmelo Anthony would likely attend if asked, but we know that will not happen. Phil is probably busy meditating or whatever the hell he does to avoid his real job. And Porzingis…let’s not even go there.

With those names off the list who would be a smart choice?

Photo: Jim McIsaac

Ron Baker

This spot was supposed to go to our favorite Latvian, Porzingis. The Philadelphia 76ers are sending their fellow shield of hope, Joel Embiid, so it would make sense for the Knicks to send theirs. Porzingis is not exactly thrilled with the team in case you haven’t noticed. In addition to his frustration with the team, he is in Latvia training for the European Championships.

The next logical choice would have been Willy Hernangómez, but he is also training for the Euros overseas. That leads us to undrafted rookie Ron Baker. He has already become a favorite with the fans as well as the team in just one season. It seems a little cruel to send him out there to see who he will be backing up next year, but if anyone is a company guy it is Ron Baker.

He will likely be the only sap to attend Phil’s annual Triangle camp so why not throw him a bone. If the Knicks win the lotto with Baker in attendance, then it will only add to his cult following. In Burgundy we trust!

James Dolan

Yeah, take this one off Jimmy. We have already seen what you do on camera and it is not pretty my friend.

Abby Hornacek

Remember when the Milwaukee Bucks sent Mallory Edens, daughter of owner Wesley Edens, and she owned the 2014 draft lottery? Giving the spot to flabby execs and miserable head coaches dampens the mood. At the end of the season Jeff Hornacek looked like he was forced to listen to JD & The Straight Shot’s whole discography. Who better to replace him than his daughter, Abby?

Abby checks all the boxes Mallory Edens checked in 2014. As a daughter connected to the team via Hornacek, she’s another stakeholder like the Bucks’ Edens who made moves a few years back. That year, Milwaukee drafted Jabari Parker who, despite injuries, has played well for the Bucks. Hornacek repping for New York could also propel the Knicks forward, like Edens and the Bucks who secured the second overall pick in 2014, by moving up in the draft from seventh. If Young Hornacek is anything like Edens, then it could mean prosperity for the Knicks with a top pick in the draft.

Charles Oakley

That perfect segue leads us to my personal choice and pretty much every fan’s choice–Charles Oakley.

He’s known to your parents as one of Pat Riley’s enforcers and to you as a Knicks legend. To Dolan and the team he’s just a critic. Oakley has a long history of (correctly) critiquing the Knicks over the years. In a nutshell, he cannot fathom how a team can treat it’s legends in such a disrespectful manner.

The Oakley-Dolan feud hit its peak in February during a home game against the Clippers. Garden security removed Oakley from the arena within five minutes of him taking his seat. The Knicks took the biggest L in this whole fiasco, thanks to Dolan inferring Oakley has a drinking problem and the whole pressing charges on the former ‘Bocker great. In the aftermath, the team has tried its best to honor former Knicks.

You know what would really mend the fences with not just Oakley, but the fans? Let Oakley represent the Knicks. It would be a one time thing so Dolan wouldn’t even have to interact with him. It’s a win-win all around and would be a rare opportunity for Dolan to look good.

Photo: VICE

Desus & Mero

The super fan route is the least traveled in the lottery representatives and I don’t understand why. To my knowledge a super fan has never repped a team during the lottery which is a big mistake. There is not much exciting about the lottery to begin with so why not lighten up the mood?

For the Knicks there were a couple options in this department. Michael Rapaport (washed), Steve Schirripa (we see enough of him on Celebrity Row, also washed) and of course Spike Lee (ditto) are all valid options. But how about some new blood? How about riding the rise of a brand? How about the Bodega Boys, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero?

If you’re unfamiliar with Kristaps Por-sling-dick and Barmelo Xanthony you’re missing out on the best show on late night. The comedic duo are known Knicks super fans and have even went on ESPN to talk about the team. Mero has also seen Dolan in concert and didn’t want to rip his ears off. That alone should give them the nod. They would undoubtedly take over the first 45 boring minutes before the results are given and give their brand trajectory may even be good luck for the team.

David Stern

The commish returns. David Stern seems like an odd choice right? Not so fast. If it weren’t for Stern the Knicks would have never gotten Patrick Ewing.

Shout out to Stern for that. Unfortunately Ewing was never able to win a ring, but I’m confident Knicks fans would take being in the playoffs every season. Stern still lives in the New York area so he would be able to make the event. With his mentor present, maybe Adam Silver fulfills his destiny and finally rigs a lottery sending the top pick to it’s rightful home of New York City.

Whoever the Knicks choose to rep them (probably Mills again), they’ll have the tough, uphill climb of blessing New York with a top, top prospect. Let’s get karma back on our side.

Mike Cortez, staff writer

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