Basketball fans should give Jim Pitman a hero’s welcome when he returns to the valley of the sun.
The Phoenix Suns executive brought three lucky charms to the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday and all of them had ties to the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, the team for which he also serves as general manager, according to Bleacher Report’s Yaron Weitzman.
“There was a WNBA championship ring, which he won in his other role as general manager for the Phoenix Mercury; a photograph of Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, two former No. 1 picks who led the Mercury to that title, with a scribbled message from Taurasi (‘I can’t exactly read it, something to do with the No. 1 picks and dreaming,’ Pitman said); and a Russian league championship medal Griner recently won,” Weitzman writes.
Pitman didn’t represent the Suns on the televised part of the lottery but he was present in the off-camera back room where the draw actually takes place. His charms apparently did the trick as the Suns won and now own the first overall pick in a loaded draft that includes Arizona center DeAndre Ayton, Duke forward Marvin Bagley III and Real Madrid point guard Luka Doncic.
“I brought as much luck as I could bring,” Pitman said, per Weitzman.
The Suns should think about retiring the suit Pitman wore to the lottery if they manage to draft a franchise player and dramatically improve on the 21-61 record they posted in 2017-18.