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Monday, August 06, 2018

OT - 2018 NBA Thread (Pre-Season 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: Trying to get one of us hired as the GM of the Philadelphia 76ers

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 06, 2018 at 03:38 PM | 821 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   501. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: September 21, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5749222)
   502. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:17 PM (#5749294)
i still don't get why people here hate donte divincenzo so much. he's tough, athletic, he can dribble, pass, shoot and rebound.


he checks almost literally every relevant box for a modern NBA player.
   503. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:49 PM (#5749319)
was writing a Lopez post but tshipman beat me to it. Will note that he can't get out to the perimeter on D, though - that is a real issue.
--
Wait, the Mavs are playing Doncic at [power forward?

   504. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:57 PM (#5749326)
Donte: if he were picked 5th, I'd hate him. If he were picked 50th, I'd be like "here's a real sleeper!". That's stupid, but real.
Anyway, I think he was an overdraft (kinda old for his class, don't like the FT% as a harbinger of future shooting, posted blah steal numbers) but would've been reasonable at the bottom of the round, so... eh. Wish he had a better twitter history.
   505. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:13 PM (#5749361)
Or, more at the macro level, you start with this: we have a uniquely gifted, seven foot ball run-and-gun monster who is the scariest ############ in the open court since Dominique and who also happens to be gifted with unnaturally good vision for a seven footer. Let's surround him with three point shooters and a rebounder, give him the ball and let him slash and kick everyone to death. But if anything Milwaukee has seemed like their plan, to whatever extent they have one, is exactly the opposite of that.

Yeah, this is just wrong. All the moves the Bucks made this offseason were to add shooters around Giannis. I'm not sold on Divincenzo either but he was drafted for his shooting, and everyone they signed is a plus shooter for their position: Ersan, Lopez and I guess Pat Connaughton but he's incidental.

There's no reason for Giannis to play center just because it seems like it should work-- it didn't last year, mainly because they had no real back-up 4. The reason he should play center is to have 4 shooters around him, but with Lopez and to a lesser extent Thon, he can play the 4 and still have shooters all around. Or play the 5 with Ersan at the 4 but they would be essentially interchangeable.
   506. tshipman Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:27 PM (#5749366)
was writing a Lopez post but tshipman beat me to it. Will note that he can't get out to the perimeter on D, though - that is a real issue.


Yes. Should have made that more clear. He's a real liability in the PnR, and you can't switch with him at all--must drop him back.

Wait, the Mavs are playing Doncic at [power forward?


I don't understand why you're weirded out by this? It's his natural defensive position--he's 6-8, strong and not super fast.

He's not going to hang out in the dunker's slot on offense ... positionless basketball and all that.
   507. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:42 PM (#5749375)
I think he's a three and nowhere near strong enough for the four at this point. (He was a 2/3 in Europe.)
He and Barnes should swap spots.
   508. tshipman Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:23 AM (#5749389)
I think he's a three and nowhere near strong enough for the four at this point. (He was a 2/3 in Europe.)
He and Barnes should swap spots.


Not sure how to communicate this well.

I'm surprised that you're commenting on this.

On Defense: I think that Carlisle will likely have Doncic on whichever player on the other team (whether it be a 2, 3 or 4) that stands out on the perimeter and isn't a threat to drive.
On Offense: I think that Doncic will largely be on the ball, running PnR as part of a dynamic offense, and spotting up when Smith, Jr. has the ball.

Edit: I think we likely agree on both of those.

I think the Mavs are going to play DSJ, Barnes, Doncic and Matthews along with whoever they end up with at center. I don't really care who is listed at which position, and I'm surprised that you seem to (unless I'm misreading your comments).

Edit: Oh yeah, they have DeAndre now.
   509. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:36 AM (#5749392)
i still don't get why people here hate donte divincenzo so much. he's tough, athletic, he can dribble, pass, shoot and rebound.

Yeah, he'll be fine, I think. Like Der-K said, maybe an overdraft, but at that point of the draft it's really hard to think anyone is that big of an overdraft as the likely outcome isn't really that significant.
   510. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5749448)
Resilience of game: Not sure how to call this, but Durant's game decays more from the regular season to the playoffs. Look at the 13-14 season. Durant averaged 32/7/5.5 in the regular season on 63.5% TS. Those are awesome numbers! In the playoffs, that decayed to 30/9/4 with 57% True Shooting. Still great numbers, but a significant decay. By contrast, Kobe's playoff numbers were more resilient--particularly in his championship seasons. In 2001, for example, Kobe went 28/6/5 in the regular season on 55% True Shooting and 29/7/6 in the playoffs on 55% TS. Because Kobe's game focused on the post and getting to his shot, he was harder to take shots away from. Durant's game, while it is more efficient in the regular season, is also more prone to disruption in the playoffs.

So I just took a look at the numbers, and I'm pretty sure this is gibberish. Durant has led the playoffs in scoring 4 of his last 7 postseason appearances. His per-game averages are the same or better across the board in the playoffs versus the regular season. And the slight drop-off in his efficiency is something just about any player experiences in the playoffs against better competition. There's no sense in which his game significantly decays. Certainly Kobe experienced the same trend. You picked the single year in Kobe's first decade when his efficiency didn't decline in the playoffs and constructed an argument around it. It's the definition of cherry-picking.

Someone could just as easily compare Kobe's lesser 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, or 2004 playoffs with Durant's stellar 2012 or 2017 playoff efficiency and argue the reverse. Durant't been in the league 11 years. Here are his numbers compared to Kobe's first 11 seasons:

[Looks like I forgot how to embed tables here. Hopefully the link to the original tables still works.]

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/22/2018.

This comparison suggests that Durant's game held up better in the playoffs than Kobe's, but that's not fair to Kobe. It's a bit skewed by the fact that Durant's team didn't make the playoffs his first two seasons. If you just look at each player's age 21 to 29 seasons (when Durant has made the playoffs), you find that their regular season versus playoff performances follow an identical trend.

KB regular season: 24.7 PER, 55.9% TS, 32.1% USG, .200 WS/48, 5.2 BPM
KB in the playoffs: 22.0 PER, 53.7% TS, 30.4% USG, .155 WS/48, 4.5 BPM
KD regular season: 27.0 PER, 62.5% TS, 30.8% USG, .251 WS/48, 6.3 BPM
KD in the playoffs: 24.2 PER, 59.1% TS, 30.5% USG, .197 WS/48, 5.5 BPM

Also, two of Kobe's best playoff performances came in his early 30s, and on the whole he was actually better in the playoffs in his 30s than in his 20s. Of course that's a bit skewed by the fact that the Lakers didn't make the playoffs in his last few seasons when his regular season performance declined. Overall, the Durant versus Kobe question is a pretty clear peak versus career one to me. Would you rather have 8 years of a perennial top-5 player or 14 years of a perennial top-10 player?
   511. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 22, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5749458)
Donte: if he were picked 5th, I'd hate him. If he were picked 50th, I'd be like "here's a real sleeper!". That's stupid, but real.
Anyway, I think he was an overdraft (kinda old for his class, don't like the FT% as a harbinger of future shooting, posted blah steal numbers) but would've been reasonable at the bottom of the round, so... eh. Wish he had a better twitter history.

free throw percentage: 71% over isn't obviously terrible. lonzo was at 67%, fultz was at 65%, simmons was at 67%, tatum was at 85%, markkanen was at 84%......oh.....well....huh.....

steal percentage: i think he's fine there. i'd like it to be higher, but he was well above jerome robinson and landry shamet, comparable to lonnie walker and gary trent, but lower than SGA and mikal bridges.

age: i go back and forth over this one. jimmy butler was old for his age, draymond green was old for his age, jae crowder, khris middleton, robert covington, jingles. those are some of the best two way players in the league right now, and none of them were taken higher than 30th.

tweeter: nothing on tweeter should be kept longer than a month.


the way i think of defense is a lot like this chart, except the axes are versatility (can't guard anyone, can guard bigger/stronger or smaller/quicker players, can bigger/stronger and smaller/quicker players) and capability (liability, neutral, strength), and the breakdown for the capability axis is more like 20/60/20, rather than 33/33/33.

when i look at divincezo, i see the potential for high versatility, with neutral capability, similar to wes matthews, shaun livingston, randy foye, lance stephenson, evan turner. he won't be a stopper, but he should be able to switch or cross-match with few limitations.

   512. tshipman Posted: September 22, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5749482)
So I just took a look at the numbers, and I'm pretty sure this is gibberish. Durant has led the playoffs in scoring 4 of his last 7 postseason appearances. His per-game averages are the same or better across the board in the playoffs versus the regular season. And the slight drop-off in his efficiency is something just about any player experiences in the playoffs against better competition. There's no sense in which his game significantly decays. Certainly Kobe experienced the same trend. You picked the single year in Kobe's first decade when his efficiency didn't decline in the playoffs and constructed an argument around it. It's the definition of cherry-picking.


So, in my opinion, looking at full playoff averages isn't answering the question that was being asked. You're trying to win a title, so looking at years where teams are not contenders isn't really helpful for the discussion.

What you're trying to answer, is if both of these guys are on a title contender, are they more or less resilient? Durant was less resilient until he got to Golden State (because he wasn't the focal point for defenses any more). Kobe's game during the seasons the Lakers were contenders, was more resilient.
   513. Tin Angel Posted: September 22, 2018 at 08:53 PM (#5749756)
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
In a deal that cements him as the franchise’s long-term cornerstone, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed to a 5-year, $190M super-maximum extension, league sources tell ESPN.
   514. spivey Posted: September 22, 2018 at 09:19 PM (#5749766)
What you're trying to answer, is if both of these guys are on a title contender, are they more or less resilient? Durant was less resilient until he got to Golden State (because he wasn't the focal point for defenses any more). Kobe's game during the seasons the Lakers were contenders, was more resilient.

I think you start getting into serious teammate and sample size issues if you start doing this kind of thing. I'd also argue that even if he *was* more resilient, which I don't, your resilience argument seems to be very point scoring focused. I haven't ran the numbers on it but Durant's teams defensively in the playoffs (both OKC and Golden State) have been elite defensively. He's just part of that, of course, but he is a real part.

Let me ask straight out, who would you take between the two?
   515. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: September 22, 2018 at 09:31 PM (#5749769)
going to go full Galaxy Brain here and say I might take Durant over Jordan. Don't think Kobe's really that close.
   516. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 22, 2018 at 09:49 PM (#5749775)
What you're trying to answer, is if both of these guys are on a title contender, are they more or less resilient? Durant was less resilient until he got to Golden State (because he wasn't the focal point for defenses any more).

If we're considering who the focal point of the defense is, wouldn't that have been Shaq during the early 2000's title runs for the Lakers? (To the extent that defenses only have one focal point, at least.)
   517. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 22, 2018 at 10:27 PM (#5749794)
Karl-Anthony Towns agrees to $190M super-max deal with Wolves

In a deal that cements him as the franchise's long-term cornerstone, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed to a five-year, $190 million super-maximum extension, league sources told ESPN.

Towns' agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, informed the organization of Towns' intention to sign the extension on Saturday night, sources said. The Timberwolves report for media day on Monday and begin training camp on Tuesday.


Drop the DEFCON level by one.
   518. tshipman Posted: September 22, 2018 at 11:51 PM (#5749819)
Let me ask straight out, who would you take between the two?


I don't know. It's pretty close for me. With Kobe, I know that I have 5 championship caliber seasons. With Durant, I have better regular season performance, but also some flame-outs in the playoffs.

Something I try to keep in mind is uncertainty: like, based on what stats I can find, Durant is likely a better choice. However, there is also the understanding that some things are not accounted for in basketball stats, or are done so very noisily (rebounding, team defense, resistance to defense, etc). I *know* that Kobe won 5 championships, and went to the finals two other times. Durant hasn't had the same track record.

Of course, coaching and teammates were not constant, but when evaluating players, I do like to acknowledge at least some uncertainty and acknowledge real world results. For me, it is very, very close.

your resilience argument seems to be very point scoring focused. I haven't ran the numbers on it but Durant's teams defensively in the playoffs (both OKC and Golden State) have been elite defensively. He's just part of that, of course, but he is a real part.


Durant's teams have always been better defensively with him off the floor--this year the Warriors were 2.5 points better with him off, for example. I think Durant is pretty massively overrated as a defender, in part because he's such a bad box-out guy. Kobe rebounded his position much better than Durant does.
   519. maccoach57 Posted: September 23, 2018 at 02:59 AM (#5749832)
I thought the Durant/Bryant question was a little odd--had never really thought of any connection there, other than that like a few other big-name guys in his age cohort, Durant has been reverential about Bryant in public. I have seen both of their careers, and I would take Durant.

As to 515, people can call me out on age bias (as noted I am in the Bill Simmons age cohort and actually saw Jordan play in the late 80s and early 90s a zillion times) but I have always thought that there is a subtle generational bias against Jordan in this thread (Magic and Bird as well). I would not consider starting a franchise with age-20 Durant over age-20 Jordan. The only guy I have ever seen who is as good as Jordan was is James.
   520. Just TFTIO Posted: September 23, 2018 at 07:17 AM (#5749839)
Can we talk about how profoundly weird it is that while Thibs adamantly maintains that he’s not trading Butler, the owner is telling GMs to call him directly if they have a deal proposal?
   521. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 23, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5749843)
But sources have said that limited partner David Heller, a businessman and former Goldman Sachs executive, was running the show in Colangelo's absence, and that he, more than Brown, was the acting general manager at least through the NBA draft process if not the whole offseason. Sources have said that co-managing owner Josh Harris listens entirely to Heller.

Sources said that Heller was the "biggest voice in the room" at organizational meetings. His entire focus was, and still is, on finding a third star to go with Simmons and Embiid. "Heller comes in two weeks before the [June 21] draft, and he knows everything because he's been on the internet and been on Twitter," the source said. "Those owners think they know basketball and what's going on."
   522. JC in DC Posted: September 23, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5749851)
I honestly don't get what's going on in Minny. They just locked up their young star, and now they want to trade their best player, or have somehow boxed him into a place where he wants to leave? How'd that all collapse? Shouldn't they be on the verge of being a good team?
   523. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 23, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5749859)
Doncic at 4: on the one hand, what's in a name and position-less basketball and all that - and I'm not concerned with how he'd be used on offense. On the other, using the label might indicate who he's guarding (and I don't think it would be wise for him to spend a lot of time banging in the post on D at this point in his career - he should spend off court time getting quicker versus muscling up). Also, I was thinking that it might indicate how he'd be used when not teamed with Barnes... because I didn't know the Mavs depth chart, which is completely bereft of wings. You're not putting either of these guys at the four when the other is on the bench outside of garbage time or injury.
   524. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 23, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5749861)
I honestly don't get what's going on in Minny. They just locked up their young star, and now they want to trade their best player, or have somehow boxed him into a place where he wants to leave? How'd that all collapse? Shouldn't they be on the verge of being a good team?

1: interpersonal relationships may be an issue. at worst, it's a dangelo russell/delonte west situation.
2: their cap management has been godawful.

keeping wiggins (27MM), towns (30+MM) and butler (30+MM) would be a stretch for most organizations, but MIN also committed 35MM to dieng and teague for next season. just those 5 players (3 of whom are arguably below average) puts MIN deep into the luxury tax before filling the rest of a roster that might not be good enough to win a playoff series.
   525. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 23, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5749862)
Durant v Kobe: I agree that Durant is overrated on D and as a rebounder, but he's still better overall.
Also, KD's likely got more high caliber years remaining. So, it's probably misleading to say Kobe has more years as a top y player than Durant has had as a higher quality than that guy ... Durant is likely to significantly pad his totals.
   526. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 23, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5749863)
Minny: yep
Philly: ugh
   527. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 23, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5749864)
doncic is listed at 6'8, 230, which is (more or less) the same size as small ball 4s like thaddeus young, harrison barnes, wilson chandler, jayson tatum, LRMAM. he's not as athletic as those guys, but he's probably the strongest of the 6, and the best rebounder.

and let's dispel with the notion that doncic is untested or that he's been coddled by playing in europe; he was thrown into the fire before he was old enough to grow hair on his shoulders and he's in the NBA now because he thrived in that environment. he'll be fine.
   528. PJ Martinez Posted: September 23, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5749921)
Lots of details in Woj's latest on the Wolves:
So far, few franchises, if any, are engaged in serious conversations with the Timberwolves on Butler, sources said. But the list of organizations interested in talking further with Minnesota is significant, league sources said: Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, the LA Clippers, Miami, Philadelphia, Portland and Sacramento are among the teams interested in probing for deals.
Several teams are willing to take Butler without an assurance that he would re-sign with them in the summer.
"The owner's trading him," one board of governors source told ESPN. "That was made clear. It's just a matter of when."
Many of those attending the board of governors meetings are convinced that Taylor and top team business officials don't want a prolonged saga with Butler, preferring to move him to a new team sooner rather than later.
The Nets' ability to sign two max free agents in the summer will keep them in consideration for Butler, but he has prioritized the Clippers and Knicks over them, league sources said.
   529. tshipman Posted: September 23, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5749922)
But sources have said that limited partner David Heller, a businessman and former Goldman Sachs executive, was running the show in Colangelo's absence, and that he, more than Brown, was the acting general manager at least through the NBA draft process if not the whole offseason. Sources have said that co-managing owner Josh Harris listens entirely to Heller.

Sources said that Heller was the "biggest voice in the room" at organizational meetings. His entire focus was, and still is, on finding a third star to go with Simmons and Embiid. "Heller comes in two weeks before the [June 21] draft, and he knows everything because he's been on the internet and been on Twitter," the source said. "Those owners think they know basketball and what's going on."


This makes the hiring of Elton Brand seem a lot more problematic.

If they're really hiring a public face, and this Goldman Sachs ####### is calling shots behind the scenes, it sets up a classic recipe for dysfunction. Would explain why Brand's inexperience wasn't an issue.
   530. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 23, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5749927)
Why does Butler want to go to the Clippers? Is this he wants to live in LA, but he doesn't want to play with LeBron for whatever reason? The Clippers would be very low on my list of teams to join at the moment and I'm just not sure why they would be on anyone's shortlist.
   531. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 23, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5750064)
I dunno, live in LA and they can sign another max guy?

Steagles, I think it's a matter of not playing to his strengths and to the areas where I'd want to develop him. I do think he'll be fine - I love the guy - I just want his development maximized.
   532. PJ Martinez Posted: September 23, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5750120)
Woj: "So far, Pat Riley and Miami have been as aggressive as any team in pursuit of a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota, league sources tell ESPN. Ownership still prefers to find a deal by early this week, sources said."
   533. Just TFTIO Posted: September 23, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5750193)
Welcome to a Minnesota, Hassan Whiteside.
   534. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 23, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5750252)
So it seems like Glen Taylor has de facto stripped Thibodeau of personnel responsibilities and is daring him to quit, yeah?

Thibodeau should never have been given personnel control, but God help the poor Wolves fans. Taylor is probably going to make Thibodeau look like Red Auerbach.
   535. Sean Forman Posted: September 23, 2018 at 10:13 PM (#5750258)
Fultz made a pull-up jumper in practice and I have tickets to a Sixers game this Friday. Things are looking up. If he makes a three in the game, they may burn the place down.
   536. PJ Martinez Posted: September 23, 2018 at 10:22 PM (#5750265)
Who says no?

TOR: Jimmy Butler

MIN: OG Anunoby, Norman Powell, Danny Green
   537. Just TFTIO Posted: September 23, 2018 at 10:49 PM (#5750286)
I would take that deal for both of my teams.
   538. jmurph Posted: September 24, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5750435)
Miami is an interesting partner for the Wolves if they're trying to remain competitive. I don't fully get the Josh Richardson excitement, but he is locked up to a pretty decent deal, which would help their cap situation for the next few years.

The trade machine says Richardson/Olynyk works, but I'm not sure that's accurate, as Minnesota would be taking on $1.5 million more. They might have to add some minor parts to make it work. Whiteside should be a non-starter, I wouldn't want any part of the $52 million he's owed for the next two years.
   539. Just TFTIO Posted: September 24, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5750501)
Taylor is probably going to make Thibodeau look like Red Auerbach.

Remember Joe Smith!
   540. jmurph Posted: September 24, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5750514)
We have to wait for the details of any trade, of course, but based on everything that has come out so far I think Taylor is playing the Butler situation correctly. Thibs was insane to think he could somehow just ignore it all and make it work for the year after the trade request. In service of what, a chase for the 6 seed? Not worth it.
   541. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 24, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5750516)
So it seems like Glen Taylor has de facto stripped Thibodeau of personnel responsibilities and is daring him to quit, yeah?

Or, and hear me out, maybe he's just overruling him on this one deal? Sure, that's not a great sign, and it is ominous, but Thibs ain't gonna quit IMO.
   542. jmurph Posted: September 24, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5750526)
Or, and hear me out, maybe he's just overruling him on this one deal? Sure, that's not a great sign, and it is ominous, but Thibs ain't gonna quit IMO.

Yeah even if Thibs is insulted and angry and stubborn as hell, which you know, PROBABLY, surely he at least has an agent that won't let him walk away from millions of dollars.
   543. JJ1986 Posted: September 24, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5750537)
I don't want to support Glen Taylor, but if Thibodeau and Layden are refusing to trade Butler because they're mainly focused on the upcoming season, then the owner should overrule them in favor of the long-term franchise health.
   544. Just TFTIO Posted: September 24, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5750542)
I don't want to support Glen Taylor, but if Thibodeau and Layden are refusing to trade Butler because they're mainly focused on the upcoming season, then the owner should overrule them in favor of the long-term franchise health.

I mean, if this is the case, the owner should fire them.
   545. jmurph Posted: September 24, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5750560)
I mean, if this is the case, the owner should fire them.

That is not unfair. But I get being hesitant to clean house a couple days before camp begins, I guess.
   546. aberg Posted: September 24, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5750597)
I did a lot of Twitter sleuthing over the weekend, fwiw, and I firmly believe that there is a rift between Jimmy and KAT that relates to a romantic relationship. Butler knows he can't go back there without causing a serious implosion, so he's talking about wanting to play with other teammates, which is a plausible reason to get these guys apart.

I agree that Taylor would prefer if Thibs quit at this point. I think that the main reason he took over these negotiations is that he thinks Thibs's personal relationship with Jimmy is clouding his judgment, and the dual POBO/coach role is making his job even more difficult. It would be surprising (but not shocking) if Thibs walked away. One variable is that he has probably damaged his rep as a coach with the Wolves, so he has an incentive to try to show improvement this year as an audition for his next job.

It seems like Taylor wants a GM with power over Thibs. They have Layden in-house, who wouldn't be the worst option, but Layden has clearly been subservient to Thibs for the last two years, so he'd probably de facto continue to report to him even if they changed the technical authority structure.

At this point, my preference would simply be to do some simple, boring stuff. The franchise has had much lower lows because we do have KAT signed for the next six years. I read about a Miami trade built around Richardson and dumping Dieng; that would be fine (stay away from Whiteside- he's not boring). Covington would be a good centerpiece. I like the Toronto idea that PJ posted. I just want to get it over with at this point. Do the same thing with management. Hire David Griffin and Frank Vogel, unless more boring options become available.

I thought back through how unpleasant this franchise has been. Marbury's trade demand. Seven straight first-round losses. The Joe Smith contract. Malik Sealy dying. Getting a draft reprieve and taking Ndudi Ebi. Sprewell needing to feed his family. Trading Cassell and a first-rounder for Marko Jaric. All of Kevin McHale's other dumb moves. Trading Brandon Roy for Randy Foye. Hiring David Kahn. Giving Darko a bunch of money. Hiring Kurt Rambis and then selling several draft picks to pay for his firing. Drafting Flynn over Curry. Drafting Derrick Williams and Wes Johnson 2nd. Rick Adelman's wife being so sick that he couldn't really coach. Flip Saunders dying. Now this latest implosion. Ugh.
   547. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: September 24, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5750624)
I thought back through how unpleasant this franchise has been. Marbury's trade demand. Seven straight first-round losses. The Joe Smith contract. Malik Sealy dying. Getting a draft reprieve and taking Ndudi Ebi. Sprewell needing to feed his family. Trading Cassell and a first-rounder for Marko Jaric. All of Kevin McHale's other dumb moves. Trading Brandon Roy for Randy Foye. Hiring David Kahn. Giving Darko a bunch of money. Hiring Kurt Rambis and then selling several draft picks to pay for his firing. Drafting Flynn over Curry. Drafting Derrick Williams and Wes Johnson 2nd. Rick Adelman's wife being so sick that he couldn't really coach. Flip Saunders dying. Now this latest implosion. Ugh.

At least you're not a Knicks fan.
   548. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 24, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5750675)
Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN

Enes Kanter: “When I think of the playoffs, my nipples get hard.”
   549. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: September 24, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5750696)
I dunno, live in LA and they can sign another max guy?


He'll be a lot closer to his bestie, Mark Wahlberg. Jimmy went Hollywood when he became an All-Star. Is what is is. It's part of the alleged rift with Noah when they were Bulls.
   550. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 24, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5750784)
I don't want to support Glen Taylor, but if Thibodeau and Layden are refusing to trade Butler because they're mainly focused on the upcoming season, then the owner should overrule them in favor of the long-term franchise health.


I get this, I truly do, but I HATE all this BS stuff happening through the press. If Taylor wants to say something to Thibs then do hat, I don't want to read about it on line.

Exhibit #2562 why Taylor is a terrible owner. We (the public) should NEVER here anything even remotely relevant or interesting from a good owner.
   551. jmurph Posted: September 24, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5750820)
Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN

Enes Kanter: “When I think of the playoffs, my nipples get hard.”

In terror? Embarrassment? Kanter's most recent playoff numbers, in 2016-17: -31.1 net rating, 10.9 PER, -11.4 BPM...

(Yes, yes I know he was better the year before)
   552. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 24, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5750862)
DWIGHT HOWARD DAD JOKES ALERT

Reporter to Dwight Howard: “Do you envision shooting any 3-pointers this year.”

Dwight: Hold on...

[He closes eyes and makes an intense face for three seconds.]

Dwight, again: Yep, I just made 3.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) September 24, 2018
   553. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: September 24, 2018 at 05:45 PM (#5750900)
This upcoming season has smashed the record set in his last Orlando year for "shortest interval until I'm just straight up over Dwight Howard's ####\"
   554. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 24, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5750964)
Oh, Dwight, Dwight, Dwight.

I would pay good money to watch Thibodeau coaching Dwight. Is there a way we can combine everything going on to make that happen?
   555. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 24, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5751008)
It seems like Taylor wants a GM with power over Thibs. They have Layden in-house, who wouldn't be the worst option, but Layden has clearly been subservient to Thibs for the last two years, so he'd probably de facto continue to report to him even if they changed the technical authority structure.


I hear some Colangeli are available.
   556. 'Spos Posted: September 24, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5751030)
...when my brother was a kid, he found Brian in the street. And he. had no home -- and so Taylor took him in -- and he's been with us ever since. He's a ... Not a POBO, but -- I think he's gonna be Colangelo.
   557. jmurph Posted: September 24, 2018 at 09:32 PM (#5751044)
I hate to be a broken record on this but I'm really going to have to insist that you all stop all other leisure activities and watch this ESPN basketball doc. I'm just about through episode 3 at this point, and it's loaded with great stuff.
   558. jmurph Posted: September 24, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5751049)
Larry Brown on Warren Jabali: "I didn't think he liked white guys very much."

Warren Jabali: "I had great apprehension about white people."

George Karl: "I played against Jabali, a lot. I was always afraid he was going to kill me."

The ABA, man. This thing is delightful.
   559. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: September 24, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5751063)
I hate to be a broken record on this but I'm really going to have to insist that you all stop all other leisure activities and watch this ESPN basketball doc. I'm just about through episode 3 at this point, and it's loaded with great stuff.

Came here to mention this. Currently finishing up episode 1.
   560. sardonic Posted: September 24, 2018 at 11:17 PM (#5751116)
Can't believe Media Day is already here. In your defending champs news:

Big 5

Steve Kerr: "We're well aware it's not going to last forever ... a bunch of free agents next summer. A lot could change. We don't know ... enjoy the moment, enjoy the now ... Nobody knows what's ahead, our guys understand that."

Immediately followed by the following headlines:
Draymond: "I feel confident I’ll be here a long time"
Klay: "When guys go into free agency, they're looking for situations like mine. I'm content."

Curry is locked up for the next four seasons. I wonder what Kerr could have been referring to...

Obviously I have nothing to complain about, but I do now think it's odds on that Durant leaves the Warriors after this season, particularly if they actually pull off the three peat (tm). Then starting next year we'll get a couple years of the original Warriors trio of Steph, Klay and Dray try to win a title while Steph is still relatively near his peak. Can't believe the baby faced assassin is 31 this season.
   561. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: September 25, 2018 at 05:39 AM (#5751179)
   562. PJ Martinez Posted: September 25, 2018 at 08:54 AM (#5751194)
The Durant situation bears a passing resemblance to LeBron's trajectory: seized his chance to go wherever he wanted, got a fair amount of NBA-fan blowback about the choice, won some titles, and then maybe decided he needed to reset the narrative. (Plenty of differences, too, I realize, but I suppose the similarity is one of the reasons that it seems quite possible to me that he'll leave. I also really hope he leaves, so there may be some wishful thinking in there as well.)
   563. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: September 25, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5751210)
It's eerie to me how much the Wolves resemble late period Chris Cohan Warriors. The good news is that maybe this is the darkness before the dawn, just as it was for Golden State. Taylor has to sell the team, though. I think it's clear at this point he doesn't know what he's doing as far as running a sports team.

On KD, I'm just going to enjoy this year. If he leaves us with a threepeat then vaya con dios, Kevin. Go find your bliss. Hopefully that bliss is in the Bay but no hard feelings if it's not. This team has already achieved more than I ever dreamed so it's all house money at this point. Ideally he sticks around a couple of years and then finishes his career with a Seattle NBA team.

Also, my favorite attempt at nicknaming the Warriors lineup with a healthy Boogie (if that ever happens): Team USA.

Loving all the media day coverage. Everyone's 3 pointer is much improved, everybody is stronger, the media is dissecting Kawhi's laughter for signs of mental illness, Dwight continues to pile up the evidence he really may have a mental illness, Carmelo apologists continue to ignore he was pretty bad at the last Olympics. (David Locke has Melo just destroying the Rockets from within this season. I laughed out loud during his annual nerd podcast when he analyzed Melo's projected effect on the Rockets.)
   564. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: September 25, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5751287)
Carmelo apologists


I always wonder what Carmelo's career would've been like if he was named Fred Smith or something. Doubly so if he didn't win a NCAA title at a high profile school. I acknowledge this is weird but the thought crosses my mind.
   565. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: September 25, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5751292)
I always wonder what Carmelo's career would've been like if he was named Fred Smith or something. Doubly so if he didn't win a NCAA title at a high profile school. I acknowledge this is weird but the thought crosses my mind.

I went to Syracuse and will always be grateful to Melo for the title but he's not a good NBA player anymore. I honestly don't know what the Rockets are thinking. The irony of the Rockets of D'Antoni and Bzdelik (now departed of course) signing Melo is my favorite move of the summer. I can only think D'Antoni and Bdzelik had devised some kind of Saw level revenge torture for Melo and Bzdelik's conscience got the better of him and he had to bail on the plan. Nothing else makes sense.
   566. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 25, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5751373)
Kawhi's laugh wasn't that weird, right? Many of the jokes about it WERE pretty good but...
Offhand, I like the Cohan/Taylor comp.
   567. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: September 25, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5751380)
I thought it was just a nervous laugh but there's not much narrative in just shrugging your shoulders and giving a guy a pass for not being a natural public speaker.
   568. Just TFTIO Posted: September 25, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5751492)
   569. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: September 25, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5751524)
Oh, Jimmy, I can't hate on you.

I feel bad for the guy who thought he was going to be the alpha in that game...
   570. kubiwan Posted: September 25, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5751545)
I always wonder what Carmelo's career would've been like if he was named Fred Smith or something.


It really doesn't help that one of the most natural comparisons for Carmelo is LeBron (same draft class, roughly the same position, friendship), and he fairs quite poorly in that comparison (as do 99.9% of NBA players!). Another obvious comparison is to Dwyane Wade, who had much more team success early (perhaps partly because Wade is 2+ years older) and in their primes (largely due to Wade teaming up with LeBron).
   571. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: September 25, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5751565)
It really doesn't help that one of the most natural comparisons for Carmelo is LeBron (same draft class, roughly the same position, friendship), and he fairs quite poorly in that comparison (as do 99.9% of NBA players!). Another obvious comparison is to Dwyane Wade, who had much more team success early (perhaps partly because Wade is 2+ years older) and in their primes (largely due to Wade teaming up with LeBron).

Melo also had the two coaches that were most demanding of him fired. He's had a great career and there is a lot admirable about him, but he got it all his own way on the court and I think that kept him from real greatness.
   572. CFBF Rides The Zombie Ice Dragon Posted: September 25, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5751582)
It's kind of funny to remember that for a few years at the beginning of their careers, Carmelo was held up as the ultimate Team Success Guy in contrast to LeBron. Carmelo had won a national championship! Carmelo was in the playoffs immediately! LeBron took three whole seasons to reach the playoffs!
   573. Just TFTIO Posted: September 25, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5751618)
I feel bad for the guy who thought he was going to be the alpha in that game...

I think it'd be super fun to play shitty shirts and skins and have Jimmy Butler just show up. Just getting your weak-ass #### rejected would be an honour.
   574. maccoach57 Posted: September 25, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5751696)
But realistically, trading for Butler is not an automatic win for all these teams. The size of his contract, the type of role he demands to play and the assets that will be required to obtain him make the trade a significant gamble. From that list, there are maybe four (the Clippers, Pistons, Heat and Blazers) where the move seems worth the risk. For others, there are clear pitfalls that could render such a move disastrous.
With Butler, the Wolves were arguably a top-three team in the NBA, outscoring opponents by more than 8 points per 100 possessions;2 without him, the club had the profile of a bottom-10 squad, hemorrhaging nearly 5 points per 100 possessions. Not many stars, or even superstars, possess that kind of game-changing impact.


link
   575. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 25, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5751711)
I think it'd be super fun to play shitty shirts and skins and have Jimmy Butler just show up. Just getting your weak-ass #### rejected would be an honour.


It reminds me of an old Ralph Wiley quote that I loved, about young guys who think they're hot #### because they can make shots in an empty gym and dominate pickup games (this is from memory but it's pretty close): "Yeah, but you can't go to the NBA, because you won't even get that shot out of your hand in that league. It's counterfeit. Lots of guys can shoot, but it's not about whether you can shoot. It's about whether you can get your shot."
   576. Just TFTIO Posted: September 25, 2018 at 03:43 PM (#5751727)
Like, Jimmy Butler and I both love playing basketball. That we operate on entirely different planes of existence when it comes to our ability, well, that's fine, but we'd still have played together. It would be so much fun.
   577. jmurph Posted: September 25, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5751767)
I think it'd be super fun to play shitty shirts and skins and have Jimmy Butler just show up. Just getting your weak-ass #### rejected would be an honour.

I feel this way about getting roasted by American East players (and from a bad team in that conference, at that!) in pickup games in college, so I'd definitely co-sign this idea.
   578. Just TFTIO Posted: September 25, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5751774)
I feel this way about getting roasted by American East players (and from a bad team in that conference, at that!) in pickup games in college, so I'd definitely co-sign this idea.

Like, you might make a good pass and get the "nice assist" finger point from Jimmy F. Butler!
   579. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: September 25, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5751780)
I was just kidding about the alpha dog. That said, the one time I did accidentally find myself in a game with real players, it wasn't very much fun. I couldn't wait to get off the court. Maybe it would have been fun to play with them, but not against them.
   580. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 25, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5751785)
Years ago I worked at a small college in New Hampshire. A bunch of us would play pickup ball at lunch a few times a week. It was a ragtag bunch of advisors and professors, but every so often the soccer coach would drop in. He was 6'3" and had been a D1 athlete in his prime, so he tried as hard as he could to set other players up and not score. Every so often he would block someone dramatically or get to the rim effortlessly and you'd remember he had gears the rest of us simply didn't. It was a blast to have him in the mix, but if you flipped the ratio and one or two of us were the odd person out in a skilled game, I would want no part of it.

(My favorite player was not the soccer coach but an 70-something professor whose game was all post positioning, legerdemain, and bank shots. I don't think I ever saw the man jump but he more than held his own against players decades younger than him.)
   581. jmurph Posted: September 25, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5751791)
(My favorite player was not the soccer coach but an 70-something professor whose game was all post positioning, legerdemain, and bank shots. I don't think I ever saw the man jump but he more than held his own against players decades younger than him.)

Reminds me of this (from twitter).
   582. Just TFTIO Posted: September 25, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5751797)
It was a blast to have him in the mix, but if you flipped the ratio and one or two of us were the odd person out in a skilled game, I would want no part of it.

Oh yeah. That would be horrible. But having one real player?
   583. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 25, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5751798)
Oh man that twitter thread is both hilarious and, for my money, completely accurate.
   584. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: September 25, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5751802)
I'm not a fan of the show (just have never seen it, I make no judgement on its quality), but Kareem Abdul freaking Jabbar has been hired as a writer for the new season of Veronica Mars.
   585. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: September 25, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5751806)
In high school our civics teacher used to force his way into our pick up games. My god he was the dirtiest player I've ever played with. He even pinched! Pinched! I thought only James Harden pulled that crap. And everything was a foul. He was the worst. Elbows, hard screens, blatant traveling he refused to acknowledge. He really was a cross between James Harden and Bill Laimbeer. Basketball hell, my friends.
   586. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: September 25, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5751819)
BTW, this has gone under the radar, but Pat McCaw still hasn't accepted his QO and hasn't reported to training camp with the Warriors. I guess he really wants to move on. A shame because rotation minutes are there for the taking for him. Not sure what the Warriors will do on the wing if he's gone.
   587. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 25, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5751824)
The Durant situation bears a passing resemblance to LeBron's trajectory: seized his chance to go wherever he wanted, got a fair amount of NBA-fan blowback about the choice, won some titles, and then maybe decided he needed to reset the narrative. (Plenty of differences, too, I realize, but I suppose the similarity is one of the reasons that it seems quite possible to me that he'll leave. I also really hope he leaves, so there may be some wishful thinking in there as well.)
KD could have signed somewhere else this summer if he wanted to. he didn't.

if he leaves next year, i doubt it will be his decision.


top 5 KD summer 2019 destinations:
5: DEN - durant + jokic = [drools]
4: NOP - opt-in and trade; GSW replenishes their depth, NOP gets 2 of the 5 best players alive, KD gets bourbon street.
3: UTA - can you even imagine how good UTA would look with mitchell/durant/jingles/gobert? [closes eyes for 3 seconds] nope.
2: BKN - durant and butler are soul mates.
1: PHI - a third unicorn to complete the process.
   588. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 25, 2018 at 05:31 PM (#5751828)
oh god. the horror.
   589. JC in DC Posted: September 25, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5751840)
Those guys aren't going to get serious minutes, are they? ...Are they?
   590. aberg Posted: September 25, 2018 at 06:20 PM (#5751859)
Those guys aren't going to get serious minutes, are they? ...Are they?


Positionally, I would guess that:
Ball > Rondo
Lebron, KCP, Ingram > Lance and Beasley
McGee will probably play the most minutes of any true center, but there will probably be lots of minutes with Lebron and Kuzma as the biggest guys on the court.

That's still probably too many minutes for that group.
   591. PJ Martinez Posted: September 25, 2018 at 08:17 PM (#5751944)
if he leaves next year, i doubt it will be his decision.
This is crazy talk.

Also, I think Durant going to the Lakers is more likely than any of the possibilities in 587.
   592. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 25, 2018 at 08:24 PM (#5751951)
It would be so hilarious for Durant to go to the Lakers to be LeBron's sidekick that I almost root for it to happen, even though it will all but guarantee multiple titles for them if both are healthy.

Won't be surprised if he and Butler get together in Brooklyn though.
   593. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 25, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5751981)
This is crazy talk.
GSW would rack up a 200MM luxury tax payment if they keep the hamptons five together. i may be wrong, but i get the impression they're not willing to do that.
Also, I think Durant going to the Lakers is more likely than any of the possibilities in 587.
it is, but the rankings are in order of my own personal enjoyment, and since the lakers have blown my public rosterbation for 3 years running, they can go #### themselves.
   594. Harlond Posted: September 25, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5751999)
I played in a pickup game with Moses Malone just before he was drafted by the Utah Stars. We lost.
   595. PJ Martinez Posted: September 25, 2018 at 09:32 PM (#5752006)
593: Fair enough on the second part!

On the first part, if both players wanted to remain Warriors, would the team really choose Thompson over Durant? I know that Thompson would cost a little less (right?), but, with their new arena in San Francisco, the team could presumably keep one of them, at least.
   596. JC in DC Posted: September 25, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5752019)
So, Kevin Knox and Mitchell "Biafra Shaq" are pulling me back in. I know it's nearly certain the latter will stink and the former will struggle, but I can't help myself.
   597. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: September 25, 2018 at 11:52 PM (#5752093)
So, Kevin Knox and Mitchell "Biafra Shaq" are pulling me back in. I know it's nearly certain the latter will stink and the former will struggle, but I can't help myself.
robinson passes the eye test. as i said when robinson was picked in our mock draft "guys who are that big, that strong and that athletic tend to find ways to contribute regardless of whatever they lack."

i'm not sold on knox, but his downside probably isn't a whole lot worse than aaron gordon or justise winslow.
On the first part, if both players wanted to remain Warriors, would the team really choose Thompson over Durant? I know that Thompson would cost a little less (right?), but, with their new arena in San Francisco, the team could presumably keep one of them, at least.

yes. not 100%, but it's not 0%, either.
   598. maccoach57 Posted: September 26, 2018 at 01:14 AM (#5752102)
Lebron, KCP, Ingram > Lance and Beasley


Not that it is a big deal, but you forgot Josh Hart, who is nothing special, but he did hit .396 from the arc last year, and he, like most guys who have NBA contracts, is better than Lance Stephenson. It does not appear at this point that Ball is actually ready to uhh 'ball, so I expect opening night will look like this:

1-Rondo
2-KCP
3-Ingram
4-James
5-McGee
bench: Kuzma, Hart, Beasley, Stephenson

Some people are saying that Svi Mykhailiuk is good enough to get time, but we will see.

As I said, I see the reasoning behind all the Clown and Bastard signings except Stephenson, and I am not really opposed to giving Beasley and McGee one-year deals. I would have rather had Brook Lopez, but he is not Magic's kind of guy.

Also, Anthony Davis just signed with Rich Paul and KlutchSports. Good to see some off-hand Haterboy Fatalism from Simmons; means things may be looking up:

Bill Simmons

Verified account

@BillSimmons
Follow Follow @BillSimmons
More Bill Simmons Retweeted Bleacher Report
As I said a few weeks ago - just start selling the Davis/Lakers jerseys now
   599. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 26, 2018 at 07:58 AM (#5752129)
Maybe the Lakers should have held onto Deng. His contract would have come in handy for matching salary on the inevitable Davis trade.

Serious addendum: Simmons was the first major commentator to say LeBron was definitely going to LA, more than a year in advance. He is certainly a haterboy, and maybe that was just a lucky guess, but I think he’s pretty dialed in to goings-on in LA.

Of course, “the Lakers would love to acquire Anthony Davis” isn’t exactly a scoop :)
   600. jmurph Posted: September 26, 2018 at 08:59 AM (#5752157)
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