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Saturday, February 17, 2018

OT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, none of whom can be bothered to curate their own thread to avoid detracting from what this site is really about:  eliminationist rhetoric and precognition.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 17, 2018 at 02:09 AM | 6537 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 17, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5626463)
How do people generally view Dwane Casey around here? The Raptors seem to be relatively ignored in these threads.
   2. TFTIO is Lounging from the flat one Posted: February 17, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5626475)
I’m a fan. I think he’s done a good job without being too wedded to any one style. I know the Barneys have form in underperforming, but I really like this iteration of the team and think they should be the favourite to advance out of the east.
   3. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: February 17, 2018 at 06:11 PM (#5626490)
THIRD
   4. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: February 17, 2018 at 06:17 PM (#5626492)
Speaking of Toronto, I saw Derozan had a cryptic tweet recently about depression getting the better of him. Hope he's doing ok.

I generally believe in Toronto. And I don't totally believe they are structured in a way to collapse in the playoffs. I also think they've made moves over the last couple of seasons to help with that. But I think the margin for error is low in the East. Any of the top 3 can win the conference and even in the right series I could see Milwaukee/Philadelphia/Washington knock off any of the top 3.
   5. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 17, 2018 at 06:44 PM (#5626498)
TOR is substantially better than they have been in recent years. their O rating and their D rating are better than ever (both are top 5 this year), they're 12 deep, balanced across forward, wing and guard, and 8 of those 12 are age 25 and under.

their 2 biggest issues in the past have been lowry and derozan disappearing in the playoffs, and valanciunas being worthless defensively.

w/r/t valanciunas, the defense of TOR's four other rotation bigs range from good to outstanding.
w/r/t lowry, he's backed up by two future starters.
w/r/t derozan, they have nothing. they have a handful and 3 and D types, but i don't see anyone else on the roster who can sustain his level of usage. if he tanks, they could have issues.


personally, i'd give the bulk of the credit for TOR's improvement to masai ujiri for identifying so many capable young players, but casey deserves a lot for integrating them and getting valuable production out of them.
   6. JC in DC Posted: February 17, 2018 at 06:54 PM (#5626499)
Do you guys watch the dunk contest? It's something I have ZERO interest in. I don't care who wins, don't care to watch it, and never really have. OTOH, I do like watching the three point contest. Make of those preferences what you will.
   7. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 17, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5626500)
speaking of giving credit to masai ujiri, here's two things he did:
he traded john salmons to ATL for lou williams and lucas nogeira. in 2014.
he traded greivis vasquez to MIL for norman powell and the draft pick that became OG anunoby.

salmons and vasquez played fewer than 700 combined minutes in the rest of their NBA careers.


that's some water to wine level alchemy.
   8. Tin Angel Posted: February 17, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5626504)
They should have put Fultz in the three point contest.
   9. . . . . . . Posted: February 17, 2018 at 08:48 PM (#5626506)
My wife and I love every bit of tonight, but we like the personalities and that’s what tonight is about.
   10. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 17, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5626507)
I generally believe in Toronto. And I don't totally believe they are structured in a way to collapse in the playoffs. I also think they've made moves over the last couple of seasons to help with that. But I think the margin for error is low in the East. Any of the top 3 can win the conference and even in the right series I could see Milwaukee/Philadelphia/Washington knock off any of the top 3.

Wish-fathered hunch: Barring injuries, we're going to see a fourpeat of the Cavs and the Warriors in the finals. Admittedly I'm basing this solely on watching the last two games against Boston and OKC, but that wasn't the same Cleveland team that's been loafing through the first half of the season, and LeBron is always going to give them a tiebreaker.
   11. Tin Angel Posted: February 17, 2018 at 10:33 PM (#5626516)
Tonight was retro jersey/retro dunk night at the dunk contest.
   12. Booey Posted: February 18, 2018 at 12:00 AM (#5626525)
I haven't watched the dunk contest in years. Guess I should have tonight.
   13. Booey Posted: February 18, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5626582)
So Adam Silver is finally considering the IMO blatantly obvious idea of changing the postseason format to re-seed all the playoff teams 1-16 (not starting this season, of course). It's ridiculous that any decent Eastern Conference team has had a free ride to the conference finals for 20 years now, and it's mind boggling that the league has waited until now to realize that maybe having the actual 2 best teams square off in the Finals might be a good thing. But whatever. Better late than never, I guess.

Still just a proposal at this time though, and I'd be a little surprised if it actually ends up happening. 20/30 teams would need to sign off on the idea, which means at least 5 Eastern teams.
   14. PJ Martinez Posted: February 18, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5626601)
At that point, why have conferences? Shouldn't the sixteen best teams just make the playoffs then? I mean, probably the answer to that is yes; I guess the question is whether doing one without the other makes sense.

(I understand that there's an unbalanced schedule, so it's not entirely a fair fight. I assume the unbalanced schedule reduces lengthy travel somewhat -- though I've never read a careful examination of that.)
   15. Booey Posted: February 18, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5626616)
At that point, why have conferences? Shouldn't the sixteen best teams just make the playoffs then?


I'd be fine with that too. But this is a good compromise IMO that solves the biggest of the conference imbalance issues; good teams are getting eliminated early more due to geography than ability. And in some years the WCF is for the actual championship and the Finals is just a formality. With a couple exceptions, 1999-2007 was terrible in this way. The recent East would have been similar, but LeBron has largely masked the discrepancy (and that's just led to the LeBron's making 7 straight Finals appearances; I can't be the only one who's bored by that).

Why do they still have divisions, when winning your division means nothing nowadays? Just for scheduling purposes, I guess.
   16. tshipman Posted: February 18, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5626620)
I haven't watched the dunk contest in years. Guess I should have tonight.


Ehhhh ... most mediocre contest in ages.

Somehow nobody should have won. Everyone did throwback dunks and did them worse than the original. Larry Nance looked nowhere near as cool as senior and trying to copy Vince was just a bad idea from the start.
   17. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: February 18, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5626621)
Re: Dunk Contest

Just caught the highlights, the Larry Nance tap after the off the backboard pass was really cool. Everything else I saw was "meh."

(and that's just led to the LeBron's making 7 straight Finals appearances; I can't be the only one who's bored by that

I don't find this boring at all.
   18. Booey Posted: February 18, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5626624)
I don't find this boring at all.


To each their own, but if we get GSW vs CLE part IV this summer, I know in advance that I won't watch a minute of it. GSW vs HOU (the only 2 teams that have any shot at a title this year) in the Finals would be much more interesting, IMO.
   19. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5626627)
bensimmons
June 30th Midnight #KLUTCH


i think we all know what this means.
   20. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: February 18, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5626639)
   21. tshipman Posted: February 18, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5626646)
This is fun.


Boxouts are great and a needed correction to the triple double mania.

The matchup stuff will be great in like 5 years when we understand it better.

Points against a player I think is a junk stat and will probably never be great.
   22. maccoach57 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5626662)
"It lets me know that everything I've been saying is correct for her to have that type of reaction," James said of Ingraham. "But we will definitely not shut up and dribble. I will definitely not do that. I mean too much to society, I mean too much to the youth, I mean too much to so many kids that feel like they don't have a way out and they need someone to help lead them out of the situation they're in."


James initially responded with an Instagram post that contained a photo with the words "I am more than an athlete" and was captioned with #wewillnotshutupanddribble.
   23. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5626663)
i'm not getting into that, but i will post this, from 2015:
On Thursday LeBron James announced his foundation will pair up with the University of Akron and will fully sponsor more than 1,000 scholarships for children currently in his I Promise program based in Akron, Ohio.
we also did some math: 1,100 kids x $9,500 x 4 years = $41.8 million. That's two seasons with the Cavaliers basically!

   24. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 05:29 PM (#5626665)
The Mountaineers attempted 14 more shots than the Jayhawks, and made five more shots, and made twice as many from beyond the arc. The point disparity, then, came down to free throws. And this was no ordinary free throw disparity: The Jayhawks attempted 35 free throws in the game, and made 26; the Mountaineers attempted two. Six of the seven Jayhawks players who took the floor Saturday made at least as many free throws as the entire Mountaineers team. Huggins, you can imagine, had some thoughts:

“I’ve been doing this for 40 years. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where we shot two free throws. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where the disparity was, what is it? 35-2. I’ve never been in a game like that."

link
   25. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: February 18, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5626699)
LeBron can be pretty annoying on the court and with his being a player-coach/GM, but he's a great, great ambassador for the NBA, sports, and using that platform to be a role model. Of any athlete I think of my life, if he had a Tiger Woods like scandal that broke on him, I'd be gutted.
   26. tshipman Posted: February 18, 2018 at 07:42 PM (#5626706)
LeBron can be pretty annoying on the court and with his being a player-coach/GM, but he's a great, great ambassador for the NBA, sports, and using that platform to be a role model. Of any athlete I think of my life, if he had a Tiger Woods like scandal that broke on him, I'd be gutted.


Yes. I was a huge Shaq fan, a huge Kobe fan when they played for the Lakers. I've been pretty annoyed with the Cleveland version of LeBron on the court--he takes a ton of plays off on defense, and refuses to play his natural position.

My son will be too young to appreciate LeBron's career, but if I could have him idolize any player of the last 20 years as a human being, it would be LeBron more than any player that I rooted for.
   27. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 09:10 PM (#5626724)
During fourth grade, [lebron] moved perhaps half a dozen times and missed nearly 100 days of school. The identity of his father was a mystery to him. The man he called his dad was in jail. He had never played organized sports
James had already spent two-thirds of his life essentially without a home, moving every few months with Gloria from one apartment to the next. She gave birth to him in 1984, when she was 16, and for the first few years they lived with four generations of family in a big house they owned on Hickory Street, a dirt road bordered by oak trees and railroad tracks near downtown Akron. Gloria went back to school; her grandmother and her mother, Freda, watched LeBron. Her grandmother died a few months later. Then, on Christmas Day in 1987, Freda died suddenly of a heart attack, and all family stability disintegrated.
The house was frigid and unkempt, with dirty dishes piling out of the sink and a hole developing in the living room floorboards. "It's not safe here," said Wanda Reaves, the neighbor. "Can you please come stay with me?" That night, Gloria and LeBron arrived at her house with a single suitcase and a blue stuffed elephant. "You can share the couch," Reaves told them, and so began a nomadic six years for a mother and son who were both trying to grow up at the same time.
during the football season, when opposing coaches started to complain about his size and demand his birth certificate, James sloped his shoulders and dipped his knees in the huddle.

"What the hell are you doing?" Kelker asked him.

"Trying to blend in," James said.

"You ain't ever going to blend in," Kelker told him. "And that can be a good thing."

link
   28. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5626725)
also, i hope he tries harder to avoid maiming joel embiid in all current and future exhibition games.
   29. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5626729)
btw, this is a pretty good all star game. it's loose, but it's not too loose, and there's enough defense being played that the game doesn't feel anything like the glorified shootaround that it sometimes becomes.

   30. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5626736)
Rob Perez @World_Wide_Wob
Ok here we go. Embiid vs. Russ beef Round 3. Westbrook dares Jojo to shoot, tries to get him back at other end, snatched.
pic.twitter.com/JnRwYraCiL
   31. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 18, 2018 at 10:51 PM (#5626744)
LeBron can be pretty annoying on the court and with his being a player-coach/GM, but he's a great, great ambassador for the NBA, sports, and using that platform to be a role model. Of any athlete I think of my life, if he had a Tiger Woods like scandal that broke on him, I'd be gutted.

I am a big fan of LeBron on and off of the court. I think he's a very good role model and takes his place in the world very seriously.

As an aside, it has been really hard for me to sports-hate the Spurs and Warriors when I think so highly of the stances Kerr and Pop have taken on some recent political issues.
   32. PJ Martinez Posted: February 18, 2018 at 11:00 PM (#5626745)
Tuned in for the fourth quarter. 29 is right: they are actually playing enough defense to make this fun.
   33. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 11:52 PM (#5626752)
Tuned in for the fourth quarter. 29 is right: they are actually playing enough defense to make this fun.
it's not 29, it's 57i66135

i think the format change helped boost the competitiveness this year. it's gotta be easier to try to win when all of your teammates aren't going to rip out each others hearts 2 months from now.
@BillSimmons
This is an old school “everyone’s trying” All Star fourth quarter - I love it! Most interesting in-person note for me is how good/scary/unique Embiid was on a court with the best players in the league.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:09 AM (#5626761)
Yes. I was a huge Shaq fan, a huge Kobe fan when they played for the Lakers.

TBS played a 7 pm ET edition last night of a one-hour 1-on-1 interview with them. did that get much play?

it struck me as perfect. they showed their flaws, and we all have flaws, duh - and while I preferred Shaq to Kobe personally, I was at peace with both of them after that show. they figured out what pissed each other off, and they have come to accept it. and for a fan of any sport, it lays bare that Level 10 Desire. some of the best athletes in every sport weren't so...... obsessed.

LeBron strikes me as the singular example of not obsessed enough, obsessed enough..... rinse and repeat

   35. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5626909)
It was once Team LeBron went to a tiny fourth quarter lineup, with either LeBron or Kevin Durant at center, and started trapping and switching and digging in on defense, that the game really took off. The end of the NBA All-Star game had actual drama! A swift and swarming trap of Joel Embiid, working a mismatch in the post against LeBron with less than two minutes left on the clock, led to a replay review. The refs got it wrong, and Team LeBron actually really gave a ####. The ensuing sequence featured a stop, then a frantic scramble to secure a rebound, with players throwing themselves around inside, and a palpable sense that no one on either team was prepared to accept a loss.

And the game even produced a satisfying final possession: Team Steph brought a shooting-heavy lineup on for the final play, down three points, with under 11 seconds on the clock. The ball found its way to Steph, who, in a crowd of long defenders, tried to force his way to the right wing for a pull-up three; he was hounded, aggressively, by LeBron James and Kevin Durant, until he had to throw the ball into the corner; no credible shot was possible, because Team LeBron’s defensive intensity and execution were too great. The NBA All-Star game ended on a gripping sequence featuring a ferocious defensive stop.

link
   36. tshipman Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5626951)

TBS played a 7 pm ET edition last night of a one-hour 1-on-1 interview with them. did that get much play?


It was interesting. I intended to watch perhaps 5 minutes, and ended up watching the whole half hour.

The most interesting part to me was when Shaq talked about how his game came from playing with older kids. He always played with older kids until he hit college because he was so big. That's what gave him the drive.

Kobe said that his motivation game from being an outsider. That he would get revenge on people who made him an outsider on the court.

It's fascinating how now, at the end of their careers and after all the sponsorships and closely managed personas, they feel more comfortable being open and honest.
   37. Harlond Posted: February 20, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5627300)
I didn't watch the show, but how is Kobe Bryant, whose father and uncle were both NBA players, an outsider? Sure, probably just something he tells himself for motivation, but just seems he could find something a little less transparently false. But I didn't watch the show, so I don't know.
   38. jmurph Posted: February 20, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5627368)
Jordan announced the Horcats will be letting Rich Cho go, and Woj is reporting that Kupchak is his top target. Huh.
   39. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 20, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5627421)
according to bkref, it's more likely that the sixers will reach the NBA finals (7.8%) than it is that the celtics will get the lakers pick due from the sixers for markelle fultz (4.5%).

   40. aberg Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5627476)
Jordan announced the Horcats will be letting Rich Cho go, and Woj is reporting that Kupchak is his top target. Huh.


Don't really know what to expect for Kupchak outside of LA, but I've always wondered what it would look like, much like I have wondered what Cashman would be like away from the Yankees. I know that the cap differentiates the two jobs significantly, but LAL vs. CHA are obviously very different roles, too.
   41. smileyy Posted: February 20, 2018 at 02:24 PM (#5627530)
Is it that Kobe grew up in Italy. Did he play AAU ball at all?
   42. Jtsports01 Posted: February 20, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5627537)
that's ok Stiggles, we'll be happy to take the Sacto pick
   43. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: February 20, 2018 at 08:21 PM (#5627761)
I didn't watch the show, but how is Kobe Bryant, whose father and uncle were both NBA players, an outsider? Sure, probably just something he tells himself for motivation, but just seems he could find something a little less transparently false. But I didn't watch the show, so I don't know.

Only black kid growing up in Italy.
   44. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 20, 2018 at 11:42 PM (#5627810)
I didn't watch the show, but how is Kobe Bryant, whose father and uncle were both NBA players, an outsider? Sure, probably just something he tells himself for motivation, but just seems he could find something a little less transparently false. But I didn't watch the show, so I don't know.

it's probably the typical kid caught between two worlds thing.

he was too melanin-rich to be accepted by his socio-economic peers when he was growing up, but he was too rich and famous to be 'one of the guys' when he played basketball. and it probably doesn't help that he's a sociopath.
that's ok Stiggles, we'll be happy to take the Sacto pick

2019 looks like a weak draft class (one of the top prospects is a 6'6 power forward, ffs), so i'm also happy to make that tradeoff.

best case for the sixers this offseason is still the same as the last time i talked about it:

trade anything that's not nailed down for melvin porter (or luca doncic or trey young or jaren jackson)
sign lebron
freejack markelle

PG: simmons
SG: covington
SF: lebron
PF: saric
C: embiid

key bench: mcconnell, porter, holmes
deeper bench: fultz, luwawu, anderson, korkmaz, bolden

plus there are other draft picks, eurostashes, the MLE, the BAE, minimum salary veterans and potential trades
   45. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 20, 2018 at 11:44 PM (#5627811)
this is one hell of an opening anecdote:
As the woman sat down, the team president and CEO, Terdema Ussery, asked if he could join her. She grew nervous, not because Ussery was her boss’s boss, or because he was one of the most prominent figures in the Dallas sportscape. It was because his reputation as a serial sexual harasser of women preceded him.

At this meal, with ESPN crew members seated nearby, Ussery struck up an unusual conversation. As the woman recalls the exchange, Ussery claimed that he knew what she was going to do over the coming weekend. When the woman asked, confusedly, what Ussery meant, he smiled.

“You’re going to get gang-banged,” he asserted, “aren’t you?”

“No,” the woman responded, caught off-guard. “Actually, I’m going to the movies with friends.”

“No,” Ussery insisted. “You’re definitely getting gang-banged.”

The employee was startled but not entirely surprised.
   46. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 21, 2018 at 12:46 AM (#5627814)
Which rumored team should LeBron NOT sign with?
Sixers: 31 percent
Warriors: 28 percent
Lakers: 16 percent
Rockets: 16 percent
Other: 9 percent


from ESPN's NBA player poll


they scurred.
   47. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 21, 2018 at 12:52 AM (#5627815)
@bball_ref
Joel Embiid is the seventh player since 1983 to have 1,500+ points, 700+ rebounds, and 150+ blocks in his first 75 NBA games
pic.twitter.com/0VdzP9CSwn
   48. Howie Menckel Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:11 AM (#5627820)
how is Kobe Bryant, whose father and uncle were both NBA players, an outsider?

in addition to the previous good answers, he used to play against the 76ers in scrimmages when he was in his mid-teens, iirc. he did not fear them, and that may have been another early fuel for his "rage."

agreed that it is both amazing and a credit to both men - given their egos - that they have made peace.

that special is worth a find; several instances of "I never told you this before, but...." - and then cackles.
   49. PJ Martinez Posted: February 21, 2018 at 07:07 AM (#5627838)
Joel Embiid is the seventh player since 1983 to have 1,500+ points, 700+ rebounds, and 150+ blocks in his first 75 NBA games

Only took him three and a half years.

(Embiid is indeed awesome. To be honest, seventh in the last 30+ years is less impressive than I would have expected.)
   50. Thok Posted: February 21, 2018 at 07:34 AM (#5627843)
To be honest, seventh in the last 30+ years is less impressive than I would have expected.


It looks like the other six are David Robinson, Duncan, Shaq, Olajuwon, Mourning, and Ralph Sampson. That's four top 15 players and two other Hall of Famers.

(Incidentally, Embiid wasn't the oldest person to accomplish the feat.)
   51. JC in DC Posted: February 21, 2018 at 08:56 AM (#5627876)
That's a cool stat, but there's something different about it in Joel's case, right? I mean, is Anthony Davis less impressive because he didn't do it in his first 75 games (but if you pulled out some 75 game stretch [e.g., last year]) you'd find he did the same thing at the same age as Joel)? As I've said about Joel, I love him. But I'm not sure he's more impressive because of a stat like that which is just an oddity in his case.
   52. JC in DC Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:09 AM (#5627883)
I just quickly looked at Ralph, Robinson, and Shaq. Those guys played almost every game their first few seasons. Ralph played 82 games his first two years, and avg'ed 37+ mins/game in year two. He played 76/82 in year three and started to break down. Robinson played 80+ games every year of his first 7, except his third, and played 80+ in his 34/35 y/o seasons.
   53. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5627894)
I agree with JC in DC, this is a bit like when John Vander Wal or whoever it was broke the record for most consecutive errorless games while playing part-time as a backup.
   54. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5627957)
That Mavs story doesn't speak well of how Mark Cuban runs his organization. It seems like he's taking it seriously and not attacking the whistleblowers, though, so fair play to him for that. It's also another data point than contemporary NBA players are, generally, a pretty good pool of humanity.
   55. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 21, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5628043)
Cuban's response really makes it seem to me like he's pissed that this has gone public more than anything else. He may not have been involved in any of this, but it sure seems like he'd have to tacitly condone it for it to continue this pervasively for this long, and that I don't have much trouble fitting that into my (admittedly semi-negative) mental picture of Mark Cuban.

I do agree that the aside about the players being a respite from the executive shitshow was a the nicest part of that story. A good friend of mine is a huge Mavs fan, and he and his wife have a very short personal lists of people they would be devastated to learn committed sexual assault. Dirk is at the top of his list, so that note was crucial for him.
   56. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 21, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5628057)
Cuban can't have it both ways - as the story points out, he likes to claim he's so hands on and the team is like a family or whatnot so he can't claim ignorance here. In reality, I'm sure it's somewhere in the middle - he's involved in enough other stuff it'd be impossible for him to be as involved as he previously claimed, but he's also around enough that he'd have to be blind or stupid not to know about any of this.

Of course, now it's really about managing the fallout more than anything, so I'm going to be somewhat cynical of just about everything he says or does now regarding this (though publicly announcing you've already fired your head of HR seems like a risky thing a perfectly managed image consultant wouldn't encourage).
   57. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5628068)
That guy seems like the worst head of HR of all time. My god.
   58. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5628128)
That guy seems like the worst head of HR of all time. My god.

HR doesn't exist to help employees. HR exists to protect the company and, often, as in this case, to protect powerful people within the company.

   59. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5628187)
By the way, I did enjoy the irony of a video of two models getting a shaving cream bathing suit applied in a video ad while I was reading the SI article about the Mavs.
   60. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5628190)
Cuban can't have it both ways

Well Dan Devine and Zach Lowe and others are asking questions on twitter about Cuban, so I'm guessing this isn't going away quickly for him.
   61. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5628195)
HR doesn't exist to help employees. HR exists to protect the company and, often, as in this case, to protect powerful people within the company.


So, still the worst HR guy ever, then.
   62. JC in DC Posted: February 21, 2018 at 05:46 PM (#5628325)
$600k fine to Cuban for his tanking comments. That's some decent scratch.
   63. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 21, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5628332)
Popovich: I’ll be surprised if Kawhi returns this season #Spurs
   64. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: February 21, 2018 at 06:28 PM (#5628336)
Knicks took a clutch loss heading into the break, overcoming a Hardaway offensive explosion in the first half. Hopefully they can ride that momentum to a 2-21 finish.
   65. tshipman Posted: February 21, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5628350)
McMahon with a story with a bunch of Cuban comments:

"It was bad, but we made a mistake about the whole thing and didn't pursue what happened with the police after the fact," Cuban told ESPN. "So we got it mostly from Earl's perspective, and because we didn't dig in with the details -- and obviously it was a horrible mistake in hindsight -- we kind of, I don't want to say took his word for it, but we didn't see all the gruesome details until just recently. I didn't read the police report on that until just [Tuesday], and that was a huge mistake obviously."

"So when the second time came around ... the way I looked at it was -- and, again, in hindsight it was a mistake -- but I didn't want to just fire him, because them he would go out there and get hired again and do it somewhere else," Cuban told ESPN. "That's what I was truly afraid of and that was the discussion we had internally. It was a choice between just firing him and making sure that we had control of him. So I made the decision, it was my decision and again, in hindsight, I would probably do it differently. I made the decision that we would make him go to domestic abuse counseling as a requirement to continued employment, that he was not allowed to be alone without a chaperone in the presence of any other women in the organization or any other women in a business setting at all, and he was not allowed to date anybody [who works for the Mavericks]. From that point on - and the investigators are going to see if we missed anything else - he appeared to abide by all those rules, as far as I knew.

"So that was my decision. What I missed, and it was truly a f--- up on my part, because I was not there [at the Mavericks' office], I looked at everything anecdotally. My real f--- up was I didn't recognize the impact it would have on all the other employees. I looked at this as a one-off situation where, OK, if I don't do anything, this person could go out there and do damage on another women another time. Or do I say, can we get him counseling to try to prevent that from happening again? I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. What I missed, again, is I didn't realize the impact that it would have on the workplace and on the women that worked here and how it sent a message to them that, if it was OK for Earl to do that, who knows what else is OK in the workplace? I missed that completely. I missed it completely."



Good: Cuban takes responsibility.
Bad: Cuban didn't realize that he was creating a culture of enablement.
Bad: Cuban didn't realize this because there were no women in the room when this decision was made or he didn't listen to them.
Bad: Oh, like all of the rest of it.
   66. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: February 21, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5628355)
The Kawhi news is bad but ultimately I think it was gonna be tough for them to compete with Golden State and Houston this year unless he was immediately fit and in MVP form. Now I just hope the reports of him growing distant aren't true. If he didn't want to resign with the Spurs, well, they're a pretty mediocre team with no real paths to greatness without him.
   67. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 21, 2018 at 07:46 PM (#5628362)
Reports are also going around that Giannis has a bum knee that he's trying to play through against the doctors' advice.

This is shaping up to be a reeeeaaaal dull playoff drive.
   68. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:44 PM (#5628433)
   69. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:35 PM (#5628442)
Shaqtin' a Fool @shaqtin
"It's hard to Trust The Process when it results in three missed dunks."
@JoelEmbiid wins the #Shaqtin A Fool Midseason Award for Worst Moment of the Season!

pic.twitter.com/vmIoY7IRcG
   70. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 07:37 AM (#5628502)
"So when the second time came around ... the way I looked at it was -- and, again, in hindsight it was a mistake -- but I didn't want to just fire him, because them he would go out there and get hired again and do it somewhere else," Cuban told ESPN. "That's what I was truly afraid of and that was the discussion we had internally. It was a choice between just firing him and making sure that we had control of him.

I either have to believe Cuban is an idiot or that this is a lie. I don't think Cuban is an idiot.

A bummer about Kawhi. The Spurs are so boring without him.
   71. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2018 at 08:10 AM (#5628510)
The Spurs are boring with Kawhi. It's what they do. They need a reboot, probably even with a healthy Kawhi. I don't know how Pop keeps that roster competitive, but he does. They need some serious talent infusion.

I assume y'all saw LBJ's reaction to the re-seeding suggestion. I get his concern, but it's just special pleading. Re-seeding makes sense, and to point to the fact that roughly half the championships have been won by the East misses the point. The point is lots of good West teams never get the chance to be part of that nearly half, even though they are better than the East's best.
   72. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 09:14 AM (#5628540)
I massively favor realignment over reseeding. I just think you have to get rid of conferences if you're reseeding or it doesn't make any sense, and I don't see that happening, for historical purposes.

(Also I'm a fan of a team in the East so there's probably some bias there, but I still felt this way 2+ years ago when Boston wasn't particularly good.)
   73. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: February 22, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5628559)
I don't like the reseeding. Not exactly sure why - history I guess.

Unless there was a structural reason why the West should be expected to be better than the East, then I'd be open to it. I don't think there is, I think it's just been a weird phenomenon.
   74. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5628583)
Agree with jmurph about realignment or getting rid of conferences altogether. I think reseeding is a half-assed bad fix, IMO.
   75. Booey Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5628629)
I don't think there is, I think it's just been a weird phenomenon.


Probably, but that weird phenomenon has been going on for over 20 years now. We're not talking about a 5 year blip.

Looks like I'm in the minority here, but I'd be 100% on board with the reseeding. In fact, conference imbalances is one of the main reasons why my interest in the NBA is at an all time low right now. Washington had no business being in the 2nd round last year while one of the Jazz and Clippers were guaranteed to be going home in the 1st. LeBron has masked the disparity lately so at least we've been getting decent Finals, but if he heads West the East is going to be historically awful again, like it was from 1999-2007. Half the Finals in that time period were epic mismatches involving a first or 2nd round caliber Eastern team that had no business being there. Watching the Spurs, Lakers, Mavs, or Suns face off against each other for the title instead of giving Finals spots to the Knicks, Sixers, Nets, and pre-decision Cavs by default would have been much more interesting and fair, IMO.

Realignment wouldn't work unless you were redoing it every couple years.

LeBron is awesome, of course, but his take on reseeding sounds an awful lot like "I don't want to lose my free ride to the Finals every year" to me. Hayward also admitted that the weaker conference and easier path to the Finals weighed heavily into his decision (though for the record I've been in favor of reseeding for years, so this didn't factor into my opinion). Players should try to improve and beat their opponents, not run and/or hide from them.

YMMV, of course.
   76. Booey Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5628636)
Twice (2008 and 2010) all 8 seeds in the West had at least 50 wins, so four 50 win teams were guaranteed to be eliminated in the first round. In 2008 the Hawks made the playoffs in the East with 37 wins, while the Warriors didn't make it in the West with 48 wins. In the East, those Dubs would have had HC in the first round. That type of thing bugs me. Geography shouldn't outweigh talent when it comes to deciding which teams move on and which ones go home early.

I don't see how better teams matching up against each other in the later rounds would be a bad thing.
   77. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5628644)
In 2008 the Hawks made the playoffs in the East with 37 wins, while the Warriors didn't make it in the West with 48 wins. That type of thing bugs me.

Reseeding doesn't change this. That's the bigger problem to me.

Realignment wouldn't work unless you were redoing it every couple years.

I'd prefer getting rid of conferences, but understand how travel considerations make that harder. If it were realignment, I don't see why you'd need to constantly change it, the goal isn't to chase perfection as much as even it out.

Reseeding is better than doing nothing, I'll grant that.
   78. Booey Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5628654)
What did everyone think about the decision to do away with the guaranteed top 4 seed for a division winner? That looks like basically the same idea to me, and few seemed to have a problem with that. Most seemed to agree that it was unfair to reward a mediocre team just cuz they happened to play in a weak division or to punish a great one for playing in a tough division. If we still have divisions even though they serve no purpose other than regular season scheduling, I don't really see the issue with making conferences serve no purpose other than regular season scheduling, either.
   79. Booey Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5628661)
In 2008 the Hawks made the playoffs in the East with 37 wins, while the Warriors didn't make it in the West with 48 wins. That type of thing bugs me.

Reseeding doesn't change this. That's the bigger problem to me.


True, getting rid of conferences altogether and just taking the top 16 records would be an even better solution, but like you said, reseeding is still better than what we have now (much better, IMO).
   80. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5628665)
I definitely think it's a problem that divisions exist and skew the schedule yet mean nothing. Doing that to conferences would be a problem on a bigger scale.
   81. Booey Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5628692)
I definitely think it's a problem that divisions exist and skew the schedule yet mean nothing. Doing that to conferences would be a problem on a bigger scale.


Yes, but isn't merely having a skewed schedule better than having a skewed schedule AND an unfair/unbalanced playoff format? Doesn't make sense to me to say that we shouldn't solve any problems just cuz we can't solve every problem.

As others have pointed out in previous discussions, the difference in conference strength really only results in a couple wins a year in the regular season. But in the playoffs it often results in a team going home a full round or two early. That's much worse than a couple regular season wins, IMO. LeBron is right that the conference imbalance doesn't seem to have much effect on who wins the title, but the championship shouldn't be all that matters. For teams that know they're not true title contenders, even winning a playoff series can be huge; for the moral of the fanbase, for the players that are deciding whether or not they want to stick around, etc.
   82. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5628736)
Yes, but isn't merely having a skewed schedule better than having a skewed schedule AND an unfair/unbalanced playoff format? Doesn't make sense to me to say that we shouldn't solve any problems just cuz we can't solve every problem.

I guess I'm just not sure it's a problem that a better team in one conference might lose a round earlier than a worse team in the other conference. Playoffs are basically a structural fiction created to entertain us and make more money; if the regular season matters at all, and it should, we already know who the best team is, as we just played 82 or 162 or however many games to determine that. So we divide the teams up into semi-arbitrary division/conference groupings to somewhat mask that, and then the only logical competitive reason to have the playoffs is to determine something that isn't settled by the regular season: which conference winner is better. Otherwise the soccer model is the only logical structure (every team plays every other team twice, home and away, and the team with the best record wins the league- no playoffs necessary).
   83. Booey Posted: February 22, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5628748)
Playoffs are basically a structural fiction created to entertain us and make more money


Exactly. And in theory at least, better teams meeting up in the latter rounds rather than being eliminated early should be even more entertaining and make the league even more money. Mediocrity is boring. Mismatches are (usually) boring.
   84. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5628754)
Zach Lowe says the league is considering some kind of play-in format for the final 2 seeds in each conference.
   85. Booey Posted: February 22, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5628775)
Eh, that proposal is a bit too cute for my tastes. I like the Wild Card game in MLB because every team that makes the postseason has a shot at winning the WS. In the NBA, battling to see who gets to be swept by the 1st seed just seems pointless. 1/8 matchups are often one sided enough. Giving the 9th and 10th seeds a chance to be there instead is just encouraging a bloodbath.
   86. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5628795)
The goal has to be to get the best teams into the playoffs, right? And the best measure for that is record, isn't it, despite the peripheral instances? I just hate seeing sub-.500 teams battling for the East while significantly better teams can't make the playoffs in the West. Let's figure out a way to get as close to the ideal (the best 16 or so teams) in the playoffs.
   87. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5628810)
Playoffs are basically a structural fiction created to entertain us and make more money


Yes and no. Sports are also "basically a structural fiction...." But there's a way in which they're real - even though fictions - and people invest their real lives and their real skills and their real resources into them. Arguing they're fictions doesn't mean they're not real, and that they have some integrity. If they're "real fictions..." in some crass sense, then let's just go full Vince McMahon. If they're not, let's try to reward the hard work of the players and administrators and the real investments of the fans and locales as best we can.
   88. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 22, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5628841)
I guess I value the historical/narrative proximity that conferences has created enough that I'm against the idea of throwing open the playoff seeding. I don't mind the two best teams meeting in a conference final if they're both in the West (or, hypothetically, the East), and I like how good teams in the same conference know they're going to see each other in the playoffs. Unless the league is going to totally overhaul things and go to a completely balanced schedule with no geographical groupings, I'd rather they keep the conferences with each's champion meeting in the Finals.
   89. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5628850)
Yes and no. Sports are also "basically a structural fiction...." But there's a way in which they're real - even though fictions - and people invest their real lives and their real skills and their real resources into them. Arguing they're fictions doesn't mean they're not real, and that they have some integrity. If they're "real fictions..." in some crass sense, then let's just go full Vince McMahon. If they're not, let's try to reward the hard work of the players and administrators and the real investments of the fans and locales as best we can.

Right I agree with all of that. I just think that points to a conference model*, whereas you think it points to picking the 16 best records after the fact. I don't think you're like morally wrong or anything, I just think the pre-set conference structure and pre-determined playoff format shows more respect to the integrity of the regular season. Otherwise, like I said above, why are we having the playoffs at all? The best team has already been determined.

*Meaning if we're having playoffs, we need a conference model. If we're not having playoffs then obviously a conference model is unnecessary.
   90. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5628872)
I guess I value the historical/narrative proximity that conferences has created enough that I'm against the idea of throwing open the playoff seeding. I don't mind the two best teams meeting in a conference final if they're both in the West (or, hypothetically, the East), and I like how good teams in the same conference know they're going to see each other in the playoffs. Unless the league is going to totally overhaul things and go to a completely balanced schedule with no geographical groupings, I'd rather they keep the conferences with each's champion meeting in the Finals.

This. I like the animosity that develops from facing a team year after year in the playoffs (more likely under the current structure) more than I care that the best matchup happens in the Finals vs. the Conference Finals or whatever.
   91. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5628887)
The goal has to be to get the best teams into the playoffs, right? And the best measure for that is record, isn't it, despite the peripheral instances? I just hate seeing sub-.500 teams battling for the East while significantly better teams can't make the playoffs in the West. Let's figure out a way to get as close to the ideal (the best 16 or so teams) in the playoffs.


This is close to asking the right question. There are a couple goals. In the regular season the goal seems to be gain the advantages of an unbalanced schedule and in the post season it is to get the better teams a better chance of advancing.

The proposal of reseeding goes most of the way there, but it is problematic to have the unbalanced schedule with reseeding. A full on league with no conferences accomplishes some of it, but with obvious drawbacks. It goes against history but why not focus on divisions and not conferences? Seed the division winners in the playoffs along with the "wildcards" (best records not division winners). That way geography still matters (which I think is important), unbalanced schedule is as it is today, but the best teams (so long as they are not in the same division) can be seeded however, so that there are better match-ups later in the playoffs. We don't have to ether be slaves to conferences or completely ignore all geography after all.
   92. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5628905)
Zach Lowe says the league is considering some kind of play-in format for the final 2 seeds in each conference.

Eh, that proposal is a bit too cute for my tastes. I like the Wild Card game in MLB because every team that makes the postseason has a shot at winning the WS. In the NBA, battling to see who gets to be swept by the 1st seed just seems pointless. 1/8 matchups are often one sided enough. Giving the 9th and 10th seeds a chance to be there instead is just encouraging a bloodbath.

I agree with Booey. Bill Simmons has been floating this idea for years; it didn't make sense a decade ago and it doesn't make sense now. What fan is desperate for his team to get that #8 seed and get crushed in the first round?

I'd be much more interested in a postseason tournament relating to the draft. Run it during the dead time between rounds of the actual playoffs.

Option A: Keep the top 3 or 4 picks determined by a weighted lottery (to discourage teams from purposefully missing the playoffs), but have everyone else battle for the remaining slots in a single-elimination bracket. Worst remaining records get 1st round byes. The lesser team in each 1st- or 2nd-round matchup plays at home. Semis and finals are at a neutral site, with those games played just before the real Finals begin. I'd love to see which fringe playoff team can make a run to secure a top pick, or if some band of tanking misfits can come together and win it against the odds.

Option B: The lottery determines which 4 teams will play for the #1 pick. Then have those games at a neutral site leading up to the Finals. This is much simpler, so it's probably more feasible.

Option C: Combine Options A and B so there's a #1 pick bracket and a consolation bracket.
   93. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5628909)
I agree with JC in DC, this is a bit like when John Vander Wal or whoever it was broke the record for most consecutive errorless games while playing part-time as a backup.

I think this is backwards. Embiid played less minutes in those games than the other guys - it was a tougher feat to piling up counting stats.
   94. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5628910)
I died on that hill years ago, with realignment in baseball and football and college sports. I grew up hating the Seahawks and Syracuse and now that's gone. You'll find something else to root for. Teams will look forward to rematches in the new playoffs. They'll worry about having to travel across country or whatever. I don't see how valuing wins and losses more undermines rivalries. It would seem to increase their value. And if you worry, murph, about the best team being determined, well, that already happens. And yet we all still watch the playoffs and other fans start watching at that point. I don't think that will be changed at all.
   95. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5628914)
This obviously oes without saying, but: #### Mark Cuban, #### the Mavs organization.

---

I'm not currently in favor of changing the playoff structure. /hottake?
   96. sardonic Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5628915)
Who could make a move for Kawhi in the offseason? Looks like the Celtics are capped out and don't have the salaries to match without Hayward, Horford or Irving in the deal, which doesn't make sense for them. I guess *sigh* the Sixers have the space and some assets with two first round picks. I guess it all hinges on how the relationship between Kawhi and the team really is. If it's truly fractured, do you keep him for one last run, or do you get assets?
   97. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5628920)
Honestly the thing with all of these proposals is that I remain unclear what exactly the problem is that we're trying to fix. Mass tanking continues to largely not be a thing, the playoffs are fun, the regular season maybe teeters on the brink of not mattering enough at times but mostly it still does. Given that I like conferences and divisions and that the West has been dominant for 2+ decades now, I would like to see realignment. But I'm generally fine with the league as is.

EDIT: Sort of coke to Der-K.
   98. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5628921)
It would be doubling down on the cutthroat offseason trades, but I suspect Danny Ainge would at the very least strongly consider trading Gordon Hayward for Kawhi.
   99. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5628923)
Ok, I wasted way too much time and came up with a completely baseless, made-up formula to determine fan happiness. I came up with two scores, current and future. Current was based on ranking each times title odds from 5dimes and projected wins from 538. Future was based on how many wins each team is projected to beat their preseason win total by and the top 3 RPM wins for players 23 and younger. I then weighted the average for 3 parts current, 2 parts future happiness.

Here are the rankings: NBA Happiness Rankigns

Looking at it, I feel it's pretty close to where it should be. It probably over-rates a few Eastern teams since their title odds are higher than they'd be if they had to go through the West. I'd probably move up Indiana, Utah, Chicago. I'd probably move down New Orleans, Charlotte, maybe San Antonio at this point.

I really need to make better use of my time!
   100. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5628935)
[97] bad teams in the playoffs and good teams not in the playoffs. That's the problem. It's not fair that Denver or Utah can't make the playoffs and that the Knicks or whoever are still alive despite being horrible. Sheer luck plays too large a role while organizational competence is insufficiently rewarded. People lose jobs or retain jobs based in this. It's worse than it could be.

And we don't need to keep saying this isn't a big deal. We all know this is not solving gun violence or fair distribution of scarce goods, and yet we're some 10000+ posts into insignificant NBA stuff. Let's not gain perspective now!
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