Although the Suns have a low-percentage chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Lottery, they are sending someone who is known for succeeding at a high percentage.
Suns Vice President of Player Programs Mark West, who is the franchise’s all-time leader in field-goal percentage, will represent Phoenix at the NBA Entertainment studio in Secaucus, N.J., on Tuesday. The Suns are hoping his high-percentage past can help them in a situation where they have a 0.6-percent chance at obtaining the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
“I’ve been with the Suns forever, so I’m very happy to be representing the team in this way,” the 6-11 former Suns center said. “But it’s a double-edged sword, because you hope that you’re in the playoffs so you don’t have to do this.”
In this year’s draft lottery, the Suns have a 2.2-percent chance of landing a top 3 pick. Despite those odds, West said that he’s not engaging in any sort of superstitions in order to drum up some luck.
“It’s not like when you played,” West declared. “If you were in the middle of a winning streak and you started the streak by putting the right shoe on first, then you would stick with it. But this isn’t like that.”
West said that he’s mostly looking forward to seeing the reactions of all of the other team representatives as the cards come up. For example, Suns Ring of Honor great and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who teamed with West on that 1992-93 Western Conference Championship Suns team, will be on-hand representing the Kings.
If West was to land the No. 1 pick, he has no plan other than to react spontaneously. There are no pre-planned dance routines or specific celebrations up his sleeve.
“I’ll do the politically correct thing,” he said. “Maybe I would do a back-flip. But hopefully I’d land on feet.”
Realistically, with only six ping-pong balls out of 1,000 with the Suns’ name on it, the chances of seeing that back-flip are slim to none. While that may discourage some or cause others to come to New Jersey equipped with lucky charms, West remains confident in one specific area.
“Why are you talking about bringing lucky charms?” West joked. “I am the lucky charm.”