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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 | 6535 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   101. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5628936)
Flip.
   102. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5628948)
How much do divisions and conferences mean? Limiting travel costs, building up rivalries, helping with game times, whatever. (Sincere question; I don't know)
To the extent that they matter in the regular season, I'd like that represented in how the playoffs are structured.
   103. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5628953)
I definitely think it's a problem that divisions exist and skew the schedule

They don't, really. Teams play four games against the teams in their divisions, four against six teams outside the division, and three against the other four. And last I checked, those last four are structured in such a way that everyone in the conference has 80 common games. The divisions really exist so teams get to hang a banner for the accomplishment of being fifth in the conference.
   104. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5628957)
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!

Total agreement on this, I hope I'm not implying otherwise.
   105. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5628964)
They don't, really. Teams play four games against the teams in their divisions, four against six teams outside the division, and three against the other four. And last I checked, those last four are structured in such a way that everyone in the conference has 80 common games. The divisions really exist so teams get to hang a banner for the accomplishment of being fifth in the conference.

Mild difference or not, they don't play the same schedule. Miami and Washington share a division with three teams that are terrible/tanking, while Detroit shares a division with three other teams trying to make the playoffs. Detroit could easily lose out on a playoff birth by one game to Miami, that's completely within the realm of possibility.

EDITed to add: This made sense, to Der-k's point in 102, when the battle within the division was reflected in playoff seeding to some degree.
   106. Booey Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5628974)
Mild difference or not, they don't play the same schedule. Miami and Washington share a division with three teams that are terrible/tanking, while Detroit shares a division with three other teams trying to make the playoffs. Detroit could easily lose out on a playoff birth by one game to Miami, that's completely within the realm of possibility.


Jazz are dead last in their division despite being over .500.
   107. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5628975)
Speaking of tanking, the Bulls have announced some playing time allocation changes for the 2nd half of the season. I don't know the exact wording they're going to use, but it's tanking. Felicio is now starting for Lopez (makes them worse), Nwaba is starting for Holliday (could go either way, I really like Nwaba, but it hurts their offense), and Payne is backup PG over Grant* (somehow, this makes them worse).

If they're going to bench Lopez and Holliday, I don't know why they didn't try harder to trade them. I'm sure the offers weren't great, and maybe the Bulls are hoping they get a better offer in the offseason (both will be UFA after 19-20), but I feel kinda bad for those guys since they've been decent and worked hard here.

*I've mentioned before how much I can't stand Grant and how much he dribbles. Well, in the last game before the break, he had such an awful possession I did that thing where I recorded it from the TV on my phone and signed up for Vimeo so I could post it online and share it here. Oddly enough, the overdribbling wasn't a problem here, but everything else was terrible. So infuriating. I don't apologize for the quality or shaking, the clip doesn't deserve any better.
   108. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5628981)
Well, in the last game before the break, he had such an awful possession I did that thing where I recorded it from the TV on my phone and signed up for Vimeo so I could post it online and share it here.


Now THIS is what technology is for folks, so we can vent our fury exactly like this. (This is not a slam, I really think technology should be used to give us freedom, even the freedom to carp about things).
   109. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5628985)
Right. What the #### is he doing there? Then getting beat back down the floor. He should have been benched for the rest of that game immediately. But it was a blowout, and he's also best qualified for mop up duty.
   110. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5628996)
A postseason tournament to determine draft position is never going to work, for the simple reason that you'll never get players to give a #### about winning those games so their team has a better shot at replacing them with a younger cheaper player.

I tinkered around with proposed realignments for a while before deciding the hell with it; it's pretty obvious what needs to be done here, and it's to expand to 32 teams, and then divide the conferences 16-and-16 in such a way that the conferences are geographically and economically balanced. Knicks and Nets go in different conferences, Lakers and Clippers go in different conferences, Rockets and Mavericks go in different conferences, and so on.

I think that's better than what they're doing now--but I also think that ultimately there's nothing you can do about the unbalanced conference problem and I'm skeptical it's a problem unique to the modern NBA. There was a huge disparity between the NL and AL in the 1950s and 1960s, and again (the other way) in the 2000s through about three years ago; in hockey the West dominated the East for 15 years and only very recently has the situation begun to be reversed; in the NFL the NFC absolutely dominated over the AFC from the early 1980s through the late 1990s--and then the AFC became better throughout the Brady/Manning era of 2000 to 2015.

There seems, indisputably to me, a real effect that having a couple powerhouse teams in one conference (or one division; see the AL East since about 2000) creates a real effect pulling everybody else up, as other teams have to compete even harder. Even now, there have been a few major East-to-West free agent moves--but mostly the powerhouse Western conference teams were built through the draft and trades. Sooner or later, the tide will turn even if the NBA makes no changes, IMO.
   111. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: February 22, 2018 at 06:00 PM (#5629059)
   112. KronicFatigue Posted: February 22, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5629064)
Can someone give me the most salacious anti Lebron resume for me to research? "The Decision" was immature and awkward. He currently plays GM, and doesn't do a good job evaluating talent. He got his previous coach fired. I imagine most of what I just wrote has elements of truth to it.

But what about the speculative, even anti-stats? He "quit" in the finals one year as a Cav? Rumors of a teammate and his mom having an affair? What else is there?

I want to play devils advocate here, b/c I really dislike Jordan and I want to be prepared when I defend Lebron.
   113. Booey Posted: February 22, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5629070)
The most common argument I hear against him in GOAT discussions is his 3-5 Finals record. MJ, of course, was 6-0.

Yeah, it's dumb. But "count da ringz!" has been around forever and isn't going away any time soon.
   114. JJ1986 Posted: February 22, 2018 at 06:38 PM (#5629081)
I don't think you can really count either Spurs or Warriors series against LeBron, but he should have been better in the Mavs finals and he was bad in the Celtics series in 2010.
   115. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 22, 2018 at 06:46 PM (#5629087)
Change from shootaround: Lopez AND Holiday will be DNP-CD. Won’t even dress.


Damn.
   116. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 22, 2018 at 08:00 PM (#5629132)
He currently plays GM, and doesn't do a good job evaluating talent. He got his previous coach fired. I imagine most of what I just wrote has elements of truth to it.

Is this actually true? I think most would agree that Riley was the GM during LeBron's Miami days. What terrible moves have the Cavs made since he has come back? With the way Wiggins' career is turning out, the Love trade is looking like a good to great move. He was really against trading Irving to Boston apparently and that looks like he was right.

LeBron isn't shy about spending Dan Gilbert's money, but LeBron should he really? LeBron makes the Cavaliers a much more valuable franchise and the Cavaliers have the essentially impossible task of competing against the Warriors. Also, it is very likely they don't like each other so LeBron might find spending Gilbert's money a good thing.

The worst moves were re-signing JR Smith and Thompson to big money deals but that offseason was just crazy.
   117. tshipman Posted: February 22, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5629183)
Can someone give me the most salacious anti Lebron resume for me to research? "The Decision" was immature and awkward. He currently plays GM, and doesn't do a good job evaluating talent. He got his previous coach fired. I imagine most of what I just wrote has elements of truth to it.


Best one:
He underperforms or performs the same in the playoffs as the regular season. To be the GOAT, you need to overperform in the playoffs. It's why MJ is ranked over Kareem by many. We are talking 1 vs. 2 or 3 all time, after all. (Top three are pretty clearly LeBron, Kareem and MJ in some order in my opinion).

Others:
LeGM--Klutch Klients have outsized Kontracts with LeBron teams, and he has a reputation for wanting "his guys" or at least veterans instead of young talent. This is by no means unique among NBA stars, but it leads to his teams slowly aging and depleting themselves.
Lack of defensive commitment/leadership--particularly this year and last year, LeBron has showcased spectacularly bad habits on defense. He plays lazy, careless defense, most notably in transition. This is remarkable because he used to be borderline DPOY.
Refuses to play his natural position--for at least the last 3 years, LeBron has been a power forward, and has insisted on playing on the wing to his team's detriment.
   118. Howie Menckel Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:00 PM (#5629236)
I don't think you can really count either Spurs or Warriors series against LeBron, but he should have been better in the Mavs finals and he was bad in the Celtics series in 2010.

true
for your counter, note that the 1992-93 Bulls went 57-25 as Jordan won a third title.
in 1993-94, sans Jordan, the Bulls went 55-27.

it's as interesting as the Patriots going 11-5 the year that Tom Brady got hurt in the opening game of the season and Matt Cassel took over at QB. it can and does easily get overinflated, but it did happen.
   119. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:12 PM (#5629251)
LeBron's "The Decision" is pretty much made up for now that he had The Block, beating the 73 win Warriors, winning a championship, and going to a few more Finals. At least imo, I almost never hear anyone bring it up anymore.

LeBron's big issues were a few high profile playoff collapses, in particular the Mavs one which was both weird and the announcers were ready to anoint him - and early in that series it looked like Miami was going to take it (as expected).

I think some of his other things (getting coaches fired, getting players traded, not being a good 3 point shooter) are all things that can be said to reasonably apply to Jordan too, I think, and are in many ways just seen as something players do now.

You're gonna have to own that 3-5 record. I'm ready to do that. Among other things, the league is better than it was back then, and the 3 point shot has created more variance and made some of his top competitors especially strong. LeBron also had some really incredible playoff stats, especially early in his career where the second best player on those teams was probably Delonte ####### West. Among others, that Pistons game man. Let's never forget. And Game 7 against the Spurs. And the year he won his first title, Games 4-7 against Indiana and then Games 5-7 against Boston including that 3 pointer from like 7 feet behind the line that iced the one game (I think Game 6?). He's had tons and tons of huge playoffs moments, he's had some clunkers as well. That's the nature of being in so many.
   120. JC in DC Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:15 PM (#5629253)
Moses, and of course, they're giving Philly trouble.

Somehow the developmental Knicks win a game.
   121. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5629276)
Moses, and of course, they're giving Philly trouble.
nwaba and portis set career highs in scoring, CHI shot 53% from beyond the arc, they had more rebounds and the sixers missed 47 FTs.

the sixers had no business winning that game.

   122. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:50 PM (#5629291)
The 2011 finals to me is the biggest flaw in LeBron's resume. The Heat 3 of the four best players in that series. They should have won that series. I won't argue otherwise. It's a legitimate gripe.

The 2010 playoffs against the Celtics is less of big deal to me.

He averaged 27 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks. He didn't have the best shooting series (45%) but that's understandable considering how good Boston was defensively and how poor the rest of the Cavs were that year. Seriously, they won 61 games with Mo Williams as their second best player.

   123. tshipman Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:51 PM (#5629292)
He's had tons and tons of huge playoffs moments, he's had some clunkers as well. That's the nature of being in so many.


What's MJ's worst playoff series?
   124. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:21 PM (#5629304)

What's MJ's worst playoff series?


My guess is 1989 ECF against the Pistons.

30 points/7 rebounds/6 assists/2.0 steals/0.5 blocks/3.7 turnovers/46% shooting.

LeBron against Boston in 2010.

27 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks, 4.5 turnover, 45% shooting


   125. tshipman Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:14 AM (#5629348)
LeBron against Boston in 2010.

27 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks, 4.5 turnover, 45% shooting


That's not his worst series by a longshot tho.

LeBron in 2011 vs. Mavericks:

17.8 points, 7.2 Rebounds, 6.8 assists, 4 turnovers, 47.8% shooting, 60% FT shooting.

That's in the finals, and the Mavericks weren't exactly using the Jordan Rules.

   126. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:25 AM (#5629349)
Yeah, I agree and mentioned that already in 122 as a big flaw in his resume. I just put that up because people have mentioned that he played badly in that series.
   127. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5629397)
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?


Amen.
   128. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:34 AM (#5629405)
The most common argument I hear against him in GOAT discussions is his 3-5 Finals record.


That goes hand-in-hand with, what is the best team LeBron ever beat? The Warriors is the resume highlight, obviously, but it drops off steeply from there.

I might have the number wrong, but The Ringer podcast (Chris Vernon) brought up that Jordan beat nine 60-win teams in his career. LeBron only has a handful: the 2016 Warriors, the 2015 Hawks...that's all I found at first glance. Of the other teams he vanquished in the Finals, the 2013 Spurs won 58, and the 2012 Thunder were a 58-win pace team (shortened season).
   129. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5629409)
I know this isn't news but ... the Bulls are so dumb.
   130. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5629420)
That goes hand-in-hand with, what is the best team LeBron ever beat? The Warriors is the resume highlight, obviously, but it drops off steeply from there.

I might have the number wrong, but The Ringer podcast (Chris Vernon) brought up that Jordan beat nine 60-win teams in his career. LeBron only has a handful: the 2016 Warriors, the 2015 Hawks...that's all I found at first glance. Of the other teams he vanquished in the Finals, the 2013 Spurs won 58, and the 2012 Thunder were a 58-win pace team (shortened season).


His title wins are over the 73 win Warriors, late-dynasty Spurs (who were 3rd in SRS at 6.67), and the Thunder (who were 3rd in SRS at 6.44). The Thunder that year had Harden in his 3rd year (he was legitimately good by this point), Ibaka was at the peak of his powers and Westbrook and Durant were in their prime. LeBron has some weaknesses in his GOAT case but man I don't think that's one of them. Those are the best 3 non-LeBron teams of the last 10 years.
   131. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5629421)
   132. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5629425)
His title wins are over the 73 win Warriors, late-dynasty Spurs (who were 3rd in SRS at 6.67), and the Thunder (who were 3rd in SRS at 6.44). The Thunder that year had Harden in his 3rd year (he was legitimately good by this point), Ibaka was at the peak of his powers and Westbrook and Durant were in their prime. LeBron has some weaknesses in his GOAT case but man I don't think that's one of them. Those are the best 3 non-LeBron teams of the last 10 years.

These are fair points, but the way Vernon put it was pretty compelling: Jordan kept some of the very best players of all time ringless for their careers, single-handedly. That's sort of a narrative argument, but it's a good way of summarizing the Jordan era and the difference between 6-0 and 3-5.
   133. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5629427)
As far back as like 5 years ago I was already in the LeBron will be the GOAT camp, but I'm starting to hedge on that a bit. Scrolling through Jordan's numbers on BBRef will do that to you.

The obvious factor in LeBron's favor, of course, is that's he still doing it at an extremely high level and could theoretically keep it up for years.
   134. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5629442)
The University of the Pacific: Your 2019 NCAA Champions!

Go Tigers!


NCAA be so crazy. Will they issue a recall of all the Louisville Cardinals-National Champions gear? I am guessing they won't be returning their share of the merchandising revenue.
   135. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5629453)
The 2011 finals to me is the biggest flaw in LeBron's resume. The Heat 3 of the four best players in that series. They should have won that series. I won't argue otherwise. It's a legitimate gripe.

LeBron's performance in the 2011 Finals was almost incomprehensibly bad. Over time it seems to have been forgotten that Dirk wasn't the best player in that series; it was Wade, and it wasn't particularly close. If LeBron played at even an All-Star level, the Heat would have won.

Does anyone else in the GOAT conversation have a comparable mark against them? I'm seriously asking. Kareem really struggled in 1973 against the Warriors when the Bucks were a 60-win favorite and Oscar Robertson had a phenomenal series alongside him. That seems like the closest analogue. MJ arguably blew the 1995 series against the Magic, mostly by being awful in a tight game 1 and not shooting well in game 6. This often gets excused due to the baseball sabbatical and the subsequent 3-peat, but it should be counted against him. MJ's short career is probably the bigger knock against him though. LeBron's already played more minutes, and there's a good chance he'll end up in KAJ territory with around 40% more than MJ.

LeBron's 3-4 Finals record outside the Dallas series doesn't seem to move the needle one way or the other. It's easy to say that he was unfortunate in the losses and fortunate in the wins, as far as context goes, though his performance and his team's performance are pretty much what you'd expect overall.
   136. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5629480)
the sixers had no business winning that game.

So many mixed emotions watching that one. Very clutch of Valentine to throw away the inbounds pass and then foul Simmons up 1. Of course, you are also literally correct as Embiid was out of bounds when he stole the ball on that inbounds play, but the ref standing right there didn't see it. So it would have been the Bulls ball again. Regardless, I'll take the loss.

I know this isn't news but ... the Bulls are so dumb.

This could be in relation to their on court decision making (Valentine is young, but not that young and he makes those types of mistakes too often; that plus limited athleticism are really going to kill the little potential he has), or the overall franchise decision making. Either way, I agree.

I did gain even more respect for Lopez last night though. He was into the game the whole time, supporting from the bench. His quotes on the situation:
K.C. Johnson @KCJHoop 16h16 hours ago

Lopez: "All my teammates, whether they’ve been playing with me or sitting on the bench and not dressing, they’ve all supported me. I don’t think I’d be too good a person if I didn’t do at least the bare minimum of the same."

K.C. Johnson @KCJHoop 16h16 hours ago

Lopez: “I get it. But I want to be out there playing. It seems like they still like me. How could they not?”
   137. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5629487)
Since MJ stepped away from baseball and retired kinda young, he also benefits from not really having a decline phase (well, I guess that's what the Wizards years were, but those almost don't count or exist for a lot of people, including me).
   138. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: February 23, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5629509)
I was intentionally vague, Moses.
Sentiment was prompted by the way they're tanking (not that they're tanking). One week playing Holiday 40 min per (which made no sense), then play him zero (which makes no sense). This stuff times a thousand, death by a thousand paper cuts.
   139. tshipman Posted: February 23, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5629543)
As far back as like 5 years ago I was already in the LeBron will be the GOAT camp, but I'm starting to hedge on that a bit. Scrolling through Jordan's numbers on BBRef will do that to you.


Yup. I think specifically MJ's playoff numbers are really hard to get past.

There are like two (more really) camps for GOAT:
1. RINGZZZZZ--great numbers paired with great championship success. This is the Bill Russell over Wilt camp. Tough for LeBron to get past MJ's playoff numbers.
2. Show me--the stats people. This is tough for LeBron to get past stat monsters like Kareem.
   140. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5629545)
I went for a jog this morning and had this thought about Donald Sterling and Mark Cuban and then forgot it until SI's basketball pod just reminded me of it--was Donald Sterling worse than Mark Cuban? Don't get me wrong, Donald Sterling was a massive turd and I'm glad the NBA kicked him out, but what's the difference here? Should the NBA force Cuban out? if it was right to force Sterling out, why is it wrong to force out Cuban? I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I think it's interesting.
   141. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5629546)
On LeBron vs Jordan, I think one thing in LeBron's favor is he's faced tougher competition. I think the last 10 years of the NBA has been of a higher quality than the NBA in the 90's.
   142. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5629578)
Have you all read this?

Another reason 90's basketball was poor:


It was as if Longley’s public affect was different than that of just about anybody else in the NBA. When the Timberwolves picked him no. 7 overall, he was genuinely stunned by the culture of the league. Stunned that Christian Laettner blew off practices and that Pooh Richardson told the head coach, Jimmy Rodgers, to #### off.

Longley is too nice to bag on Minnesota now, saying wryly, “It was an unusual professional environment.” But in 1996, he published a memoir in Australia that’s really good—and, by the standards of the genre, really frank. That’s where you get Luc unplugged: In it, we learn that the T-Wolves practiced on a court inside a giant health club, so they were always being ogled by people riding exercise bikes; Longley calls his time there a “living hell.”
   143. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 23, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5629582)
The players revolted against Sterling, for one thing. That made his ownership untenable. He also had a long history of being despicable. Cuban overall has a pretty good public image, right or wrong.



   144. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: February 23, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5629584)
I went for a jog this morning and had this thought about Donald Sterling and Mark Cuban and then forgot it until SI's basketball pod just reminded me of it--was Donald Sterling worse than Mark Cuban? Don't get me wrong, Donald Sterling was a massive turd and I'm glad the NBA kicked him out, but what's the difference here? Should the NBA force Cuban out? if it was right to force Sterling out, why is it wrong to force out Cuban? I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I think it's interesting.
the difference is personal animus and the direction thereof.

sterling was racist in a league where the player pool is 75% black, but cuban doesn't personally hate or discriminate against women. i don't want to downplay the importance of female interest to the NBA's bottom line, but they're not a stakeholder in the NBA in the same way that black people are.


if you remember, mark cuban was also very vocal about not wanting to force sterling out of the NBA:

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks the NBA would be a better league without Donald Sterling in it, but Cuban called the potential scenario of forcing the Los Angeles Clippers owner to sell the team in wake of the racist comments allegedly made by him "a slippery slope."

...Cuban was the only one to express concern about the precedent that could be set by forcing Sterling to leave the league



basically, cuban is a run of the mill fratboy libertarian shitbag, who happened to cash out at the peak of the dotcom bubble.
   145. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5629590)
On LeBron vs Jordan, I think one thing in LeBron's favor is he's faced tougher competition. I think the last 10 years of the NBA has been of a higher quality than the NBA in the 90's.

Not sure how best to measure that? At the end of the 14-15 season, 538's ELO rankings had Jordan's Bulls as 5 of the 8 best teams of all time, though of course Jordan didn't have to face his own team, while LeBron has had to face the Warriors and 13-14 Spurs. The only Jordan opponent I see near the top is a Jazz team at 17.
   146. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5629592)
Not sure how best to measure that? At the end of the 14-15 season, 538's ELO rankings had Jordan's Bulls as 5 of the 8 best teams of all time, though of course Jordan didn't have to face his own team, while LeBron has had to face the Warriors and 13-14 Spurs. The only Jordan opponent I see near the top is a Jazz team at 17.

I don't think it can be measured statistically as it's subjective. My arguments against the 90's would be expansion, a series of weak drafts in the early 90's, and less professionalism than today's players have. It wasn't crap or anything, I just thing there is more quality in the league over the last 10 years than there was then.
   147. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5629599)
Sorry for scattering the discussion today, but a lot going on. What the hell is the NCAA going to do with this FBI investigation?

Potential impermissible benefits and preferential treatment for players and families (including schools that had players who received $10,000 or more in questionable benefits):
Duke
North Carolina
Texas
Kentucky
Michigan State
USC
Alabama
NC State
Seton Hall
LSU
Maryland
Washington


Does the NCAA have the resources to investigate all this and, if they do and all this turns out to be true, do they have the cojones to punish them all at the same time?
   148. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 23, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5629602)
I think the last 10 years of the NBA has been of a higher quality than the NBA in the 90's.


Top to bottom, this is almost definitely true, but at the high-end, I wonder how much difference there is.

There's at least one winning argument for LeBron: 5 LeBrons would handily beat 5 Jordans, 5 Kareems, 5 Russells, etc.
   149. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5629616)
someone posted this thing in the last thread, and i just got around to using it:

signed lebron into cap space
traded robert covington, justin anderson, richaun holmes, 2018 LAL pick, 2019 PHI pick to OKC for paul george
traded furkan kormaz, anzejs pasecniks, jerryd bayless to CHI for robin lopez
drafted troy brown at #22
signed shane larkin to MLE
signed quincy acy to veteran minimum
signed jonah bolden (2nd round pick last year)

PG: ben simmons -- shane larkin/tj mcconnell
SG: paul george -- markelle fultz
SF: lebron james -- troy brown/timothe luwawu-caberrot
PF: dario saric -- jonah bolden
C: joel embiid -- robin lopez/quincy acy
   150. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5629620)
the sixers and flyers are a combined 14-0-1 since the eagles won the super bowl.
   151. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5629621)
Does the NCAA have the resources to

Ahahahaha. Literally however that sentence ends* the answer is yes.

*Unless it's "pay the players?"
   152. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5629624)
Ahahahaha. Literally however that sentence ends* the answer is yes.

Ha! I know they have the cash, I meant more do they have the manpower/investigators they'd need. What I posted above is just the tip of the iceberg.

School named in Dawkins expense reports

(Seeking reimbursement for thousands of dollars he reported as being paid to college and high school players and their families):
South Carolina
Louisville
Utah
Xavier
Wichita State
Clemson
Kansas
Michigan State
USC
Texas
   153. Robert S. Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5629629)
Can someone give me the most salacious anti Lebron resume for me to research?

He's disproportionately benefited from referees putting away their whistles while he stiffarms dudes on his way down the lane at the same time as he's a ridiculous flopper.
   154. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5629630)
traded furkan kormaz, anzejs pasecniks, jerryd bayless to CHI for robin lopez

Uh, no.

if you remember, mark cuban was also very vocal about not wanting to force sterling out of the NBA:

So the super, duper cynical side of me would use this as evidence that Cuban knew there was some dirt in his closet.
   155. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5629632)
On LeBron vs Jordan, I think one thing in LeBron's favor is he's faced tougher competition. I think the last 10 years of the NBA has been of a higher quality than the NBA in the 90's.

But isn't this more than offset by the fact that, you know, the Eastern Conference has been garbage for most of LeBron's career? If the league as a whole is better, but LeBron faced lesser opponents in reaching the Finals, how does that favor LeBron? LeBron has been incredibly fortunate to avoid tough competition apart from the Finals, whereas MJ typically faced the best teams in an arguably weaker era. MJ didn't play any juggernauts in the latter half of his Bulls career because his team always was the juggernaut.

Also, I'm not sure how we can go about docking players for the training, coaching, analytical, etc. deficiencies of prior periods. It's true that the average player is fitter and more skilled than ever, and teams run better sets now. Does that mean the best current players should be deemed better, because if you had a time machine and put them in a prior era they could dominate? By relative measures like SRS, all the non-Warriors teams LeBron faced in the Finals were on par with the teams MJ faced in the Finals, while the level of competition to get there was much, much tougher for MJ. If you want to say that recent versions of the Spurs and Mavs were better in absolute terms than MJ's best opponents in the 90s because they run more complex schemes and have more outside shooting, or that the Thunder were better because they're more athletic, I can't say that's wrong. I just don't see why it should matter.
   156. aberg Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5629641)
PG: ben simmons -- shane larkin/tj mcconnell
SG: paul george -- markelle fultz
SF: lebron james -- troy brown/timothe luwawu-caberrot
PF: dario saric -- jonah bolden
C: joel embiid -- robin lopez/quincy acy


Yes, the famous "all PFs" lineup.

traded robert covington, justin anderson, richaun holmes, 2018 LAL pick, 2019 PHI pick to OKC for paul george


Probably doesn't fit OKC's approach unless they know PG is leaving, but that seems like one of you more fair trade ideas. Maybe I just like RoCo more than I should.

School named in Dawkins expense reports

(Seeking reimbursement for thousands of dollars he reported as being paid to college and high school players and their families):
South Carolina
Louisville
Utah
Xavier
Wichita State
Clemson
Kansas
Michigan State
USC
Texas


The fact that Syracuse isn't on that list makes me very suspicious of its accuracy.

Also, it seems weird to have Wichita St on that list (and Xavier, to an extent). On the other hand, Gregg Marshall was the 8th highest-paid coach in the country last year and they have the Koch brothers as benefactors. They're becoming less of a feel-good story.
   157. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5629643)
traded robert covington, justin anderson, richaun holmes, 2018 LAL pick, 2019 PHI pick to OKC for paul george

Would this be a sign-and-trade? Why would Philly have to give up that much?
   158. aberg Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5629645)
traded furkan kormaz, anzejs pasecniks, jerryd bayless to CHI for robin lopez

Uh, no.


Maybe not Robin, but if they are willing to take on salary to get a good backup C, it won't be hard to find someone. I suspect the Wolves will be trying to salary dump Dieng after this season, who is a good player. Biyombo, Mahinmi, some Plumlee, Henson, Olynyk, Leonard...
   159. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5629648)
He's disproportionately benefited from referees putting away their whistles while he stiffarms dudes on his way down the lane at the same time as he's a ridiculous flopper.

I don't think either of these claims is true. Also Jordan wasn't exactly known to be a victim of the whistle.
   160. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5629651)
The fact that Syracuse isn't on that list makes me very suspicious of its accuracy.

The FBI, I think, only investigated programs that dealt with ASM Sports so they didn't turn over every stone in the NCAA garden.

edit: For instance, no mention of West Virginia and if Bob Huggins is running a clean program then I never waste time on the internet while at work.
   161. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5629653)
He's disproportionately benefited from referees putting away their whistles while he stiffarms dudes on his way down the lane at the same time as he's a ridiculous flopper.


Counter argument: If one molecule of your exhaled CO2 hit Michael Jordan on his way to the basket, it was a foul.
   162. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5629667)
traded furkan kormaz, anzejs pasecniks, jerryd bayless to CHI for robin lopez
Uh, no.
robin lopez is 30 years old, not very good and he's making 15MM next year.

what the hell do you think he's worth?
traded robert covington, justin anderson, richaun holmes, 2018 LAL pick, 2019 PHI pick to OKC for paul george
Would this be a sign-and-trade? Why would Philly have to give up that much?

i did not think it out to my usually impeccable extent, but i'd say it assumes george opts in, then gets traded, then signs an extension later in the year.

   163. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5629674)
Watching LeBron futilely rage against the dying of the light towards the end of the 4th quarter against the Wiz last night, I was struck by a thought I've had a few times vis. LeBron and Jordan: how unstoppable would LeBron be under the old defensive rules? Sure you could hand-check him, but the man is a damn freight train. He can basically get to the rim or force you to foul him to stop it on any given possession one-on-one. It's totally unknowable, but what kind of numbers would LBJ put up in the playoffs in the 90s? (The counterargument, of course, is how good MJ might be with a better 3 pt shot like he'd have today, and in an offense full of Pippen/MJ PnRs.)
   164. aberg Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5629677)
The fact that Syracuse isn't on that list makes me very suspicious of its accuracy.

The FBI, I think, only investigated programs that dealt with ASM Sports so they didn't turn over every stone in the NCAA garden.

edit: For instance, no mention of West Virginia and if Bob Huggins is running a clean program then I never waste time on the internet while at work.


Still, if there is a chance for Syracuse to break a rule, they will do it. Can't imagine them passing up the chance to pay ASM Sports. We're talking about the coach who said that it was Eric Devendorf's "right to play basketball" and that he shouldn't be suspended after punching a woman in the face. Never forget.
   165. aberg Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5629679)
Watching LeBron futilely rage against the dying of the light towards the end of the 4th quarter against the Wiz last night, I was struck by a thought I've had a few times vis. LeBron and Jordan: how unstoppable would LeBron be under the old defensive rules? Sure you could hand-check him, but the man is a damn freight train. He can basically get to the rim or force you to foul him to stop it on any given possession one-on-one. It's totally unknowable, but what kind of numbers would LBJ put up in the playoffs in the 90s? (The counterargument, of course, is how good MJ might be with a better 3 pt shot like he'd have today, and in an offense full of Pippen/MJ PnRs.)


Honestly, I think the bigger impact on Lebron would have been the 90s illegal defense rules. He could get into the lane or post someone up without preemptive double teams. It would have helped him quite a bit.
   166. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5629681)
Right, sorry if it wasn't clear, that's what I meant. If you can't double LeBron, how the hell do you guard him?
   167. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5629684)
Still, if there is a chance for Syracuse to break a rule, they will do it. Can't imagine them passing up the chance to pay ASM Sports. We're talking about the coach who said that it was Eric Devendorf's "right to play basketball" and that he shouldn't be suspended after punching a woman in the face. Never forget.

Oh sure, I'm not doubting Syracuse cheats. Maybe they've just been cheating with the wrong agency lately which would explain their recent mediocrity? I wish Jerry Tarkanian were still around to enjoy all of this.
   168. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5629687)
traded robert covington, justin anderson, richaun holmes, 2018 LAL pick, 2019 PHI pick to OKC for paul george
traded furkan kormaz, anzejs pasecniks, jerryd bayless to CHI for robin lopez

Another option: trade Covington and Bayless to the Pacers for an inanimate carbon rod. Sign Paul George into cap space. If you have to trade Fultz to make the money work, do it. Keep your first round picks and other recent draftees.
   169. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5629688)
Let's just take a moment to be grateful we didn't see LeBron in the era of the Mark Jackson Butt Backdown. I'm sure LeBron would have been unstoppable but it would have been the worst basketball ever.
   170. JJ1986 Posted: February 23, 2018 at 02:44 PM (#5629720)
robin lopez is 30 years old, not very good and he's making 15MM next year.
Then why do you want him?
   171. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 23, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5629725)
You put Bayless in the deal, it's a reflex. I don't know anything of the Euroguys.
   172. JC in DC Posted: February 23, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5629733)
The rules give and take away, right? You guys point to some rules that help LBJ, without question; OTOH, play was so physical down low, and there was such a "no layup" rule around the league he would've gotten hit a ton. Lots of layups these days are utterly uncontested. Guys step right out of the way.
   173. JC in DC Posted: February 23, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5629738)
How rich is it that Duke is listed in the FBI report? Tough not to hope for some real moments of schadenfreude in the near future.
   174. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 23, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5629751)
How rich is it that Duke is listed in the FBI report?


Hey now....(says the Duke fan).
   175. Robert S. Posted: February 23, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5629763)
I don't think either of these claims is true. Also Jordan wasn't exactly known to be a victim of the whistle.

I'm not claiming Jordan was cheated by referees, but LeBron gets to push people around while he pulls this kind of nonsense: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fSlLdXNzPw

There are plenty of other LeBron flopping videos on YouTube. Reality is that there are maybe 10 guys in the NBA that could actually push around LeBron. He gets to have his cake and eat it, too. He was flat-out stiffarming people in the Finals last year. Compare that to how a guy like Curry gets mauled off-ball without any calls and doesn't even have the option to dish it out to make up for it.
   176. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5629769)
I would agree that LeBron embellishes contact, at times, but I just don't think that's the same as flopping, and I think it's sometimes necessary to get calls. Just because he's strong enough to not fall down when he gets fouled doesn't mean he's not getting fouled.
   177. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 23, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5629774)
How rich is it that Duke is listed in the FBI report? Tough not to hope for some real moments of schadenfreude in the near future.

So far the only allegation I've seen is that Wendell Carter's mom had lunch with an agent during Wendell's junior year of high school. If true, and the agent paid for the meal, the Carters would be required to pay the amount of that benefit to charity in order for Wendell to remain eligible. Same story for Kevin Knox and Collin Sexton. The guys who allegedly received significant (over $10K but less than $100K) cash payments--Dennis Smith Jr., Bam Adebayo, and Markelle Fultz--are all in the NBA already, and none of them signed with that agency. At this point the headlines are scandalous but the accompanying facts are pretty mundane. Maybe that will change when more details emerge. Or maybe not.
   178. smileyy Posted: February 23, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5629782)
(The counterargument, of course, is how good MJ might be with a better 3 pt shot like he'd have today, and in an offense full of Pippen/MJ PnRs.)


I think this has been brought up before -- is there any evidence for or against Jordan being a better 3P shooter in a different era? Certainly it wasn't emphasized (or even available) for part of his career so there's less incentive to practice it. That said, one of the hardest workers in the league during a richer 3P era (Kobe) was a career 33% shooter from 3. I wonder how much better Jordan would have to be to raise his game in a non-linear fashion?
   179. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5629785)
The 3pt discussion should also incorporate the (theoretically) more open floor that Jordan would have had to work with if he was surrounded by 3-4 shooters at all times (though as I recall those Bulls teams did a pretty good job spreading the floor as is).
   180. JC in DC Posted: February 23, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5629806)
No, LBJ flops like mad. He's literally one of the worst in the league, right up there with Manu. I do think it hurts the perception of him; I've heard as much even from some ex-NBA guys, who admittedly have something to gain from the "the game was tougher in my day" argument.
   181. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: February 23, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5629810)
So far the only allegation I've seen is that Wendell Carter's mom had lunch with an agent during Wendell's junior year of high school. If true, and the agent paid for the meal, the Carters would be required to pay the amount of that benefit to charity in order for Wendell to remain eligible. Same story for Kevin Knox and Collin Sexton. The guys who allegedly received significant (over $10K but less than $100K) cash payments--Dennis Smith Jr., Bam Adebayo, and Markelle Fultz--are all in the NBA already, and none of them signed with that agency. At this point the headlines are scandalous but the accompanying facts are pretty mundane. Maybe that will change when more details emerge. Or maybe not.

my best guess is some FBI agent is leaking to the press because there isn't much of a case to pursue. they're trying to shake something else loose before their boss makes them move on.

Then why do you want him?
he's reliably competent and joel embiid needs a backup.
   182. JC in DC Posted: February 23, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5629811)
Re Jordan's 3pt shooting, the years he shot more than 200 attempts he shot pretty well, it looks like. I see no reason to think the more he shot, the more the shot became valued, the more likely he would have shot well. For instance, over two years he took 550+ 3s and shot nearly 40%. I think he would've figured it out at his usual rate of excellence.
   183. smileyy Posted: February 23, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5629815)
For instance, over two years he took 550+ 3s and shot nearly 40%.


Excellent point -- great data.
   184. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: February 23, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5629835)
Another option: trade Covington and Bayless to the Pacers for an inanimate carbon rod. Sign Paul George into cap space. If you have to trade Fultz to make the money work, do it. Keep your first round picks and other recent draftees.
adding two all-stars (lebron, george, kawhi, cousins, kemba, lillard, mccollum, klay) this summer (or next) will take some pretty major cap management, but i think it's possible.

sign lebron into cap space
trade robert covington, justin anderson, richaun holmes, jerryd bayless, anzejs pasecniks, 2018 LAL #1, 2018 PHI #1 to SAS for kawhi leonard
sign shane larkin to MLE
sign quincy acy to vet minimum
sign salah mejri to vet minimum
sign jonah bolden (2nd round pick last year)

PG: ben simmons -- larkin/mcconnell
SG: kawhi leonard -- fultz
SF: lebron james -- TLC/korkmaz
PF: dario saric -- bolden
C: joel embiid -- acy/mejri/draft pick
   185. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 23, 2018 at 06:11 PM (#5629845)
Re Jordan's 3pt shooting, the years he shot more than 200 attempts he shot pretty well, it looks like. I see no reason to think the more he shot, the more the shot became valued, the more likely he would have shot well. For instance, over two years he took 550+ 3s and shot nearly 40%. I think he would've figured it out at his usual rate of excellence.


Those two years also coincided with the shorter three-point line. He did also shoot well in over 200 attempts in 89-90 and 92-93 -- is there any reason he shot so many threes those years but not between and not after the three-point line was extended again after 97?
   186. aberg Posted: February 23, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5629846)
Another option: trade Covington and Bayless to the Pacers for an inanimate carbon rod.


That's disrespectful to Lance Stephenson.
   187. Fourth True Outcome Posted: February 23, 2018 at 07:28 PM (#5629871)
LeBron also gets fouled a lot, especially in the playoffs. Iguodala's 2015 Finals MVP-winning defense involved using every inch of extra playoff leeway to make him uncomfortable. I was pretty impartial watching, and felt they could have called ten fouls on him every game. I think he has a version of the Shaq problem, where he's so big and solid that normal fouls don't look like anything when they're committed against him.
   188. tshipman Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:29 PM (#5629902)
The rules give and take away, right? You guys point to some rules that help LBJ, without question; OTOH, play was so physical down low, and there was such a "no layup" rule around the league he would've gotten hit a ton. Lots of layups these days are utterly uncontested. Guys step right out of the way.


I think, almost definitionally, that every MVP caliber player benefits from the rules that they play under and would suffer under different rules.

The exceptions to this tend to be guys like Pete Maravich, not guys like LeBron.
   189. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5629907)
I think Jimmy Butler maybe just blew out his knee? Unclear from replays.
   190. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5629908)
I think Jimmy Butler maybe just blew out his knee? Unclear from replays.

SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP
   191. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5629909)
I mean don't actually listen to me I'm merely a guy watching on my couch. But that's what it looked like and they carried him off. He pivoted and put weight on his right leg and it looked to give out with no contact. Hopefully I'm totally wrong!
   192. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5629911)
I mean don't actually listen to me I'm merely a guy watching on my couch. But that's what it looked like and they carried him off. He pivoted and put weight on his right leg and it looked to give out with no contact. Hopefully I'm totally wrong!

SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP

I'M NOT LISTENING
   193. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5629913)
I clearly tuned in far too late to make a difference.
   194. aberg Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:25 PM (#5629917)
On the bright side, at least Thibs only played Butler 25 minutes tonight.
   195. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:26 PM (#5629918)
Injuries suck. Makes me feel bad for coming here to whine to myself about the Pistons-Griffin train wreck.
   196. Howie Menckel Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:47 PM (#5629922)

Jerry Zgoda
‏Verified account @JerryZgoda
7m7 minutes ago

Thibs said Butler will have MRI after Team returns home tonight, wouldn’t “speculate” but mood is very somber
   197. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: February 23, 2018 at 11:14 PM (#5629931)
Needless to say, a season-ending injury to Butler would hamper the Timberwolves’ championship aspirations.

Thanks, Hoops Rumors.
   198. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 23, 2018 at 11:32 PM (#5629936)
X-rays negative on Butler, MRI scheduled for tomorrow according to rotoworld.
   199. TFTIO is a very stable genius Posted: February 23, 2018 at 11:53 PM (#5629937)
It looked like a soft tissue injury anyway, so a negative x-ray is not surprising.
   200. smileyy Posted: February 24, 2018 at 01:10 AM (#5629940)
Sounds like DeAndre Ayton may as well start prepping for the draft. I imagine his college career is over real soon now.
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