May 12, 1985: The New York Knicks win the NBA's first draft lottery, which become unofficially known as the Patrick Ewing sweepstakes.

This replaced the system of having the two worst teams in each conference having a coin flip to see which would get the No. 1 overall pick.

In 1984, the Rockets were accused to tanking so they could get a shot at participating in the coin flip. After the Rockets won the coin flip and selected Hakeem Olajuwon, the league switched to the lottery system.

In the first few years of the lottery, each non-playoff team had an equal shot at winning.

The Knicks had the third-worst record in 1984-85 at 24-58. The Pacers and Warriors were both 22-60, and they would've been in the coin flip if the lottery hadn't been introduced.

The Pacers finished second in the lottery, which was the same result if they had lost a coin flip. But the Warriors ended up with the No. 7 overall pick, their worst-case scenario.

Many fans believe the NBA rigged the lottery to deliver Ewing, who had been a dominant star at Georgetown with three NCAA title game appearances in four seasons, to New York. Check out this story on sports conspiracy theories to learn more.

Check out more intriguing moments of sports history in Throwback on ThePostGame.

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