David Griffin speaks the Pelicans’ lottery win into existence
The New Orleans Pelicans have won the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and it seems new executive vice president David Griffin had a gut feeling it would happen even before it was made official.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Griffin told everyone who attended the general managers meeting prior to the lottery that New Orleans would walk away with the first overall pick:
Upstairs in the ballroom, Griffin saw Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren, embraced him and screamed, “What did I tell you?” In the leaguewide general managers meeting earlier that day, Griffin apparently told everyone New Orleans would win the lottery. “I’ve already seen it,” Griffin recalled announcing to the room. “We’re winning this thing.”
Apparently, Griffin, who just signed with the Pelicans last month, also told head coach Alvin Gentry of his premonition, according to Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill:
“[Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin] took me in a conference room after his introduction [in April] and said, ‘We’re gonna win the lottery,’” Gentry told Yahoo Sports. “Everything after that was, ‘After we win the lottery …’ He said it so much, you start to believe it.”
Griffin has been confident about his predictions ever since his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Back in 2016, when the team was down 3-1 in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, it was he who predicted they would walk away with the championship, which is exactly what happened.
The Pelicans are expected to select collegiate star Zion Williamson with the first pick, which will be essential in their plans to rebuild, just in case their situation with Anthony Davis remains the same.