NEW YORK -- Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca found a small silver lining after his team earned the sixth pick at the 2014 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night: At least the rival Los Angeles Lakers finished a spot behind the Green.
Pagliuca sat next to Lakers legend James Worthy during the television unveil and put what he had hoped would be a lucky Portuguese rooster between them to play defense. Pagliuca further dipped into his stash of good luck charms and produced a bag of confetti that his son had collected off the Garden floor after Boston's Game 6 triumph over the Lakers delivered Banner 17 in 2008.
Finishing ahead of the Lakers, Pagliuca noted, "that’s always a great thing."
He added: "Sitting next to Worthy was a surreal thing. I had my confetti ... and Worthy didn’t like to see that."
The Celtics, who finished in a tie with the Utah Jazz for the fourth-worst record, owned much better odds than the Lakers at vaulting, but it didn't matter. Only the Cleveland Cavaliers catapulted, landing the No. 1 spot despite a mere 1.7 percent chance at the pick, and the rest of the order maintained from there.
Inside the sequestered drawing room, Celtics team president Rich Gotham found an unlikely companion in purple and yellow.
"It was funny, I was sitting next to the Lakers [director of public relations John Black], and we were pretty much in the same boat in this lottery,” Gotham said. “But it was kind of interesting going through that with the Lakers -- two teams that are not generally here, aren’t supposed to be here. We had the same experience and we’re both like, ’We’re never doing that again!’ One and only time to visit for the lottery, hopefully."
The Celtics and Lakers, the two winningest franchises in league history with 33 titles between them, have been to the lottery together just one other time since its inception in 1985. Back in 1994, Boston landed Eric Montross at No. 9, while the Lakers took Eddie Jones at 10.