Wizards win lottery, No. 1 pick in draft Celtics turn back Magic for 2-0 lead
SECAUCUS, N.J. — With his championship ring on her hand and her late husband's dreams of another on her mind, Irene Pollin stood in shock as the Washington Wizards won the draft lottery.
Towering over her to the side, Mikhail Prokhorov watched the New Jersey Nets lose yet again.
The Wizards won the draft lottery last night, moving up from the No. 5 spot to earn the top pick in next month's draft, when it will likely choose between Kentucky freshman John Wall and national player of the year Evan Turner of Ohio State.
Washington was represented by Irene Pollin, who wore the 1978 Bullets championship ring of her late husband, longtime owner Abe Pollin. When the Wizards pulled off the surprising win, her jaw dropped and appeared to mouth 'Oh my God!' with wide eyes.
Abe Pollin died at age 85 in November.
"This is very, very special. I have been in this my entire adult life and to be here, representing my husband, this is very special to me tonight," Irene Pollin said. "I think it's the culmination of my husband's dream because he wanted another ring and maybe this will get us another ring."
The Philadelphia 76ers, another disappointment this season, moved up from the sixth spot to grab the No. 2 pick. The Nets continued the run of failure by teams with the best chance of winning, falling to third.
Prokhorov, the 6-foot-6 Russian billionaire who was approved as Nets owner last week, shrugged off the disappointment.
Asked before the lottery about potentially changing the system to keep teams from losing on purpose to improve their probability of winning, commissioner David Stern said he thinks "the results of the lottery, if anything, are causing teams with the worst record to feel as though a paucity of wins is not being adequately recognized and compensated."