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Cavaliers win NBA draft lottery again

Updated: 2013-05-23 05:37
By Associated Press in New York ( China Daily)

What's not to like? Being in the lottery every year.

Nick Gilbert expects the Cleveland Cavaliers are through with it, and if so he sent them out a winner again.

The Cavaliers and their owner's son beat the odds for the second time in three years, winning the lottery on Tuesday night to give them the No 1 pick for the June 27 NBA draft.

Two years after charming viewers by responding to a question about being on stage by saying: "What's not to like?" the bowtie-wearing son of Dan Gilbert wore a stern look before this one. He said he expected he was done coming here and that he believed the Cavs would be in the playoffs next season.

Then they got a great jump on that goal, earning the first pick even though they had only the third-best odds to do so.

And 16-year-old Nick Gilbert delivered it, just as he did in 2011, when the Cavs used the pick to take eventual Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving.

"Kyrie is a hell of a player ... but this also felt almost as good," Nick Gilbert said. "That was the first time. This is the second time, but man does it feel good to get the first pick this last time. Get that last player to give us a push."

The Orlando Magic fell back one spot to No 2, while the Washington Wizards vaulted from the No 8 spot to third.

Ten years after winning the lottery that landed them LeBron James, the Cavaliers picked up another opportunity to help speed up the rebuilding process since his departure to Miami in 2010.

James' exit shook a franchise that had become a perennial contender with the Ohio native, but the Cavs aren't thinking about that now.

"It's so long ago already. I know it is only three years but in NBA years it's like dog years. It seems like it is 15 or 20 years," Dan Gilbert said. "We've been just so focused on building the team the last few years, I can't look back. There is nothing you can do. I am just happy about today."

The potential No 1 pick this year, Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel, is no James. But he could be a nice addition for the Cavs once he's recovered from a torn ACL - if they keep the pick. They also have Nos 19, 31 and 33 for new coach Mike Brown, whom they rehired after firing Byron Scott following a 24-58 season.

(China Daily 05/23/2013 page24)

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