Lottery criticism too much of a gamble

CHICAGO -- The NBA voted down the plan to restructure the league's draft lottery, and Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau elected not to gamble with his own money.

Asked about the vote to not change the current lottery system, which some point to as encouraging teams to tank games to improve their draft odds, Thibodeau started to answer and then stopped.

"The thing that I don't like about it is," Thibodeau said before pausing. "It just seems like … I think it’s bad when …"

Thibodeau then wrinkled his face.

"No, I don't know," he said. "I guess it's fine. I'll try to save my money."

That money Thibodeau was trying to save was a potential fine for being critical. So he gathered himself and started all over again.

"Nah, I want what's best for the game," Thibodeau said. "I guess there's always flaws in any system you use. But I think the intent of trying to do your best is important for the game. When there's so-called incentives to lose, I don't think that does anyone any good.

"I think we have a great game. It's in a great place. We have to keep striving to keep it there and to improve it. I do like the fact they're looking at those type of things. I have a lot of confidence in [commissioner] Adam [Silver]. I think he's going to be terrific, so whatever he decides, I'm good with."

Now there's a lesson on turning a negative into a positive.

The Bulls haven't been in the draft lottery since 2008, when they ended up with the No. 1 overall pick despite a 1.7 percent chance to nab the top spot. They used the pick on Derrick Rose.