Grantland's Bill Simmons ranks the 14 lottery teams in terms of karma before Tuesday's pingpong drawing and the Boston Celtics land at No. 2:
You gotta admit, they sold as high as possible on Pierce and Garnett (three unprotected no. 1s from Brooklyn in 2014, 2016 and 2018 plus a pick swap in 2017) and Doc Rivers (an unprotected no. 1 in 2015 that has a puncher’s chance of becoming a gem if the Sterlings fight to keep the Clippers and every Clipper decides, “I am suing to play for a different team”). You can’t execute an impromptu rebuilding plan better than that.
Also helping from a karma standpoint: As a lifelong Celtics fan, I’ve suffered through three tanking seasons (1997, 2007 and 2014) … and of those three teams, this was the only tanker that actually made me proud. They competed just about every night for Brad Stevens, blowing close game after close game because they didn’t have a crunch-time guy. It was the perfect tanking season, actually. I never felt like I had to take one of those 40-minute showers to get the stink off me. Throw in the way they handled Doc’s return, Pierce’s return and KG’s return and it’s hard to say the Celtics didn’t accrue some legitimate karma here. Then again, I’m a humongous homer.