words_Brandon Richard

As NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver revealed the card that named the Washington Wizards as the winners of the 2010 NBA Draft lottery, Irene Pollin stood in awe and simply said, “Oh my God.” Irene is the widow of the late long time Wizards owner Abe Pollin, and wore his 1978 NBA Championship ring for good luck. “This is wonderful. My husband never took this ring off his finger,” said Irene. Irene hopes the good fortune of that championship ring will help the Wizards find their way to another.

This season was certainly a trying time for the Wizards franchise. Guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were both suspended for the season after a locker room altercation that involved firearms. Following that incident, the Wizards parted ways with core players Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler in trades that were more about dropping salary than they were bringing in new talent. The Wizards finished the season 26-56, and were unclear in their plans moving forward. That all changed with the luck of the ping-pong ball on Tuesday night.

The Wizards had just a 10.3 percent change of coming out of the lottery victorious. They, and the Philadelphia 76ers, leapfrogged into the top 3 when the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, and Golden State Warriors all tumbled down the list. The Sixers, who were represented by guard Jrue Holiday, brought one of the hockey sticks that was used in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 0-3 series comeback against the Boston Bruins. The magic must have worked, as the Sixers only possessed a 6.03 chance of winning the lottery. Perhaps the biggest loser in the lottery were the New Jersey Nets, who finished with the league’s worst record and only came out with the third overall pick to show for it.

The presumed prize of the lottery is standout Kentucky freshman John Wall. Wall is the third straight John Calipari starting point guard projected to be selected toward the top of the NBA draft. The last two NBA Rookie of the Year award winners, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans, also played under Calipari. The other coveted player in this year’s rookie class is National Player of the Year, Evan Turner. Turner, a guard out of Ohio State, lead the Big Ten in scoring and finished second in rebounds and assists. He’s expected to go to Philadelphia with the second overall pick. However, there’s still a little over a month until the draft, and plans always change.

You can watch the 2010 NBA Draft on June 24th at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

images via Yahoo & ESPN