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Monday, July 02, 2012

OT: NBA basketball July Thread 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: Jim Furtado trolling his own site when he’s bored.

Tripon Posted: July 02, 2012 at 04:21 PM | 2487 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball

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   2001. rr Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4207636)
i don't think it's really outrageous to think it's possible for the wolves to be better than any of those teams.


I don't think anyone is saying that it's "outrageous to think it's possible that Minnesota could be better than any of those teams." I even said that a case could be made to that effect. But until Rubio and Roy are out there and showing that they are OK, I think the odds are against it.

Finally, I don't really think that the Clippers, Denver, and Memphis are what I would call "contenders." I simply think that the odds at this point are that they will win more games this year than Minnesota will. For the kind of hardcore geeks who post here, Minnesota is probably about the most interesting team in the NBA. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they will be better than teams like Memphis or Utah that will have more or less the same guys that they have had and do not have two guys as snazzy as Love and Rubio.

If Rubio and Roy both stay on the floor and play well, Minnesota can certainly have a very good team. But those are pretty big ifs.
   2002. Spivey Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:11 PM (#4207661)
I think it would be pretty outrageous for Minnesota to have a better record than San Antonio and Memphis.
   2003. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4207672)
Hilarious (to me) interview with Danny Ferry. I literally laughed aloud at the repeated Josh Smith bullet dodging.
   2004. andrewberg Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4207677)
I don't want to get into a debate on the semantics of multiple hoops intelligences and what not. I think we can agree that there are traits collectively known as dumb or smart in a player's arsenal by basketball fans at large. The thing that first struck me about the wolves' offseason was how quickly they ran from their own guys who jacked up jumpers early in the shot clock, missed defensive rotations, and fouled away from the basket (Beasley, Randolph, Wayne "heat check" Ellington, Marty Webster, Wes Johnson). If nothing else, not watching those guys is an improvement aesthetically.

   2005. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:21 AM (#4207827)
Not sure how you write a piece this long about Scalabrine, reference the White Mamba thing, and not even attempt to tackle the role race may have played in his NBA career.
   2006. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 14, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4207935)
Not sure how you write a piece this long about Scalabrine, reference the White Mamba thing, and not even attempt to tackle the role race may have played in his NBA career.

Good point. I refuse to click on the link, and am glad he's no longer on the Bulls even though I did find him quite entertaining.

I think it would be pretty outrageous for Minnesota to have a better record than San Antonio and Memphis.

Add Denver, and I think I'm in agreement.
   2007. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4207965)
I wasn't really thinking about San Antonio in that context. To me, they are on a different level than MEM/LAC/DEN until proven otherwise, although I do think the Howard deal moves the Lakers ahead of them on paper.
   2008. Booey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4207999)
Predictions about Minnesota being more than just a 7th or 8th seed candidate like the Jazz and Mavs seem to be largely dependant upon Rubio developing into an all star caliber point guard almost overnight. Isn't it a bit presumtuous to think this is likely to happen so soon?

It's kinda like predicting the Jazz will be a middle of the pack playoff team by assuming that Favors will be an all star PF this season. It could happen...but it probably won't. Sometimes it takes a few years for really young players to develop. I don't see either Favors or Rubio quite getting there yet this coming season.
   2009. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 14, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4208057)
It's kinda like predicting the Jazz will be a middle of the pack playoff team by assuming that Favors will be an all star PF this season. It could happen...but it probably won't. Sometimes it takes a few years for really young players to develop. I don't see either Favors or Rubio quite getting there yet this coming season.

The difference, of course, is that the Wolves already have one All-Star/franchise player, unlike the Jazz. Also, for me, it's not so much Rubio's development as it's his recovery and how that impact his development.
   2010. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4208078)
Beckley Mason talks about how cool and dreamy the Nuggets are:

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/49171/does-andre-iguodala-make-the-nuggets-contenders

History suggests Iguodala can be the leader for such a team, and his new squad is chock-full of guys who just bring it night in and night out. The Nuggets will be as fun to watch as they are exhausting to face. They may not have a superstar, but few teams will put in such consistent 94-foot effort.

It's easy to envision home-court advantage for the Nuggets in the first round of next spring's playoffs.

Just don’t blink.


Denver has an exciting and interesting team, but IMO the piece reads more like something from an overly enthusiastic Nuggets blog than it does analysis, and it reminds me of why I don't think much of Beckley Mason's work. Certainly Denver could finish 4th or 3rd if the Clippers and Lakers have injury issues. YMMV in terms of reaction to the tone.

   2011. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4208082)
[2010] Related to the Nuggets point...this may sound weird since I am a Chris Paul fan, but I do think people might be too confident in LAC at the moment.
   2012. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4208095)
I thought I saw Delfino signed a 1 year deal with Houston. That makes sense.
   2013. Booey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4208099)
The difference, of course, is that the Wolves already have one All-Star/franchise player, unlike the Jazz. Also, for me, it's not so much Rubio's development as it's his recovery and how that impact his development.


Right, and I agree that the Wolves have more long term potential to be a serious contender than the Jazz, or even the Grizz and Nuggs because of the Love factor. He's easily better than anyone on those teams. But some people talk about the Wolves as though they have TWO players in Love and Rubio that are better than anyone on those teams, and I just don't think that's true. At least not by next season. All 3 of those teams have players who figure to be as good or better than Rubio next year. Maybe in a few years they'll have a better argument.

I don't think staying healthy is all Rubio needs to do to lift the Wolves above the other fringe playoff teams. He needs to get a lot better, too.
   2014. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4208100)
people might be too confident in LAC at the moment.


They are like the Lakers in some respects, in that they have a lot of possible variance, due to age and health concerns. They will be counting on Paul and Griffin, who have some issues with health, and they need strong contributions from Hill, Billups, and Odom. So, no, it is not unreasonable to predict that Denver will be better than the Clippers will.

But the NBA remains a superstars' league--that is why James, Howard, and Paul changing teams was a such a big deal and why Howard and Paul's dual FA status will be the dominant NBA story next July.

Also, Mason seems to assume that Denver's guys will all get better since they are "25 or younger." Some of them will, but I doubt all of them will, and even if they do, none of them is going to be a Top 10 guy. Mason obviously really likes Denver, which is fine, but that is a different thing than analysis. I am generally suspicious of supposed analyses that talk a lot about the "culture" on a team--reminds me of David Cameron and the 6thbest org dust-up.
   2015. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4208109)
I don't think staying healthy is all Rubio needs to do to lift the Wolves above the other fringe playoff teams. He needs to get a lot better, too.

I didn't mean it like that, I meant in terms of their seeding for this upcoming season.
   2016. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4208117)
[2014] Fair points. I wasn't responding to you directly, but your link reminded me of it. Basically, ISTM that a lot of people view the West as LAL/OKC-SAS-(gap)-LAC-MEM-DEN-(gap)-everyone else. I view it as LAL/OKC-SAS-(gap)-LAC/MEM/DEN-(gap)-everyone else. In addition, I also think barring DeAndre Jordan getting "it," which I suppose is possible, the Clippers ceiling is 4th seed and their floor (because of the age/injury mix you mention) is much, much lower.
   2017. Manny Coon Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4208122)
Predictions about Minnesota being more than just a 7th or 8th seed candidate like the Jazz and Mavs seem to be largely dependant upon Rubio developing into an all star caliber point guard almost overnight. Isn't it a bit presumtuous to think this is likely to happen so soon?


Depending on how you rate his defense, he might be pretty close this already. The Wolves allowed around 7 points less per 48 with Rubio on the floor last year. This value is probably a little high due to small size, but given his strong defensive track record in Spain (defensive player of the year as a teenager), I don't think it outrageous to suggest he might already be close to an elite defender (possibly at two positions), which combined with his elite passing and above average rebounding makes him extremely valuable even if his scoring is weak.
   2018. Booey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4208126)
I didn't mean it like that, I meant in terms of their seeding for this upcoming season.


I know. That last line wasn't just in response to your post. I think people in general have been overrating Rubio. He wasn't a star last year, and I'd be a bit surprised if he made it there this year, healthy or not. Projections about his long term potential shouldn't really factor into the discussion for how good the Wolves are going to be THIS season. Posts like this, for example:

For the kind of hardcore geeks who post here, Minnesota is probably about the most interesting team in the NBA. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they will be better than teams like Memphis or Utah that will have more or less the same guys that they have had and do not have two guys as snazzy as Love and Rubio.


Apologies in advance, Robin, if I misread this post. It sounded to me like you were saying that Utah/Memphis (and you could put Denver in here too) doesn't have any players the caliber of Love AND Rubio. Agree WRT Love. Disagree with Rubio. I think all 3 of those teams have at least 2 or 3 guys in his class or better.

   2019. Manny Coon Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4208136)
[2014] Fair points. I wasn't responding to you directly, but your link reminded me of it. Basically, ISTM that a lot of people view the West as LAL/OKC-SAS-(gap)-LAC-MEM-DEN-(gap)-everyone else. I view it as LAL/OKC-SAS-(gap)-LAC/MEM/DEN-(gap)-everyone else. In addition, I also think barring DeAndre Jordan getting "it," which I suppose is possible, the Clippers ceiling is 4th seed and their floor (because of the age/injury mix you mention) is much, much lower.


The Clippers ceiling is higher than that. Their record last year when Billups was healthy was very good. If Odom plays anything at all like he did with the Lakers, he'll be a huge upgrade over Martin and Evans. Hill even old is much better backup SF than Gomes or someone Nick Young or Foye out of position. Griffin still has a lot room to improve. If playoff Eric Bledsoe is anything close to being for real that would be a huge upgrade. If everything falls exactly right for the Clippers, they will be very good, but they have a ton of variance and uncertainty in how they will do.

It's too bad they wasted their MLE on Crawford, who don't think does much anything for them, do you really want him jacking up shots on a team with Griffin and Paul.
   2020. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4208146)
It sounded to me like you were saying that Utah/Memphis (and you could put Denver in here too) doesn't have any players the caliber of Love AND Rubio.

I think his use of "snazzy" gives away that he's talking, at least in part, about their aesthetics/appeal/entertainment value.
   2021. Booey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4208227)
It sounded to me like you were saying that Utah/Memphis (and you could put Denver in here too) doesn't have any players the caliber of Love AND Rubio.


I think his use of "snazzy" gives away that he's talking, at least in part, about their aesthetics/appeal/entertainment value.


I considered that as well. My bad if aesthetics was the main meaning behind that line. I don't think Rubio will be a star yet, but I agree that he's "snazzy" to watch.

And I think I'm more looking forward to seeing how everything works out with Minny this season than with any team other than the Jazz. Love deserves to play for a winning team. AK has always been a favorite of mine and I'd love it if he still had something left in the tank. A Roy comeback would be a nice story.
   2022. Spivey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4208284)
The Clippers ceiling is higher than that. Their record last year when Billups was healthy was very good.

Memphis played without Randolph much of the year, and Randolph is a hell of a lot better than Billups. I believe they also had to give extended burn to clowns like Speights because Arthur was hurt. I just don't see any justifiable reason to say that the Clippers have a better ceiling than Memphis.

Also, is there honestly any reason to expect Odom to play like his old self?
   2023. Booey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4208317)
I just don't see any justifiable reason to say that the Clippers have a better ceiling than Memphis.


Cuz Paul and Griffin are BOTH better than anyone on the Grizz, and teams with true superstars seem to have a higher ceiling than those that don't.

That said, I still don't see a big win difference between the two for next season. See Wolves/Jazz discussion, add an extra 6-8 wins apiece, and that's what we're likely looking at WRT Clips and Grizz.
   2024. Spivey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4208325)
I don't think Griffin is better than Gasol.
   2025. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4208336)
NJ is correct--"snazzy" was a word that I chose to convey the buzz that surrounds Rubio and the fact that Love is now in the cool guyz/starz/Gold Medalz club and has a cool nickname.

The Clippers ceiling is higher than that.


Well, if the Lakers and/or Spurs have injury-age issues, and everything breaks right for the Clippers, sure. But with the competitive ecology of the West, the Clippers could have a really great year and finish 4th at about 50-32.
   2026. kpelton Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4208361)
TRIVIA!

After OKC and SAS, who had the third best point differential in the West last year?
   2027. rr Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4208368)
I will guess Denver.
   2028. JC in DC Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4208370)
Clips?
   2029. Booey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4208373)
Grizz?
   2030. Spivey Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4208385)
The only other team that can be reasonably guessed is the Lakers, right? I'll guess them.
   2031. Quaker Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4208407)
Denver, I'd bet.
   2032. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4208441)
[2026] I'm positive it's Denver.
   2033. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: August 15, 2012 at 03:17 AM (#4208577)
so, this article talks about future "dwight"mare scenarios. in setting up the premise for the article, this line is used:

There are specific ingredients needed to create a Dwight Howard. The player must be really, really good. If it's a boring player, then it just turns into Mickael Pietrus complaining to the equipment manager, and that's just sad. The team must also not be particularly glamorous, so the Lakers, Knicks, Nets, Heat and Bulls are out.


is that really the world we're living in now? i cannot believe the nets have instantly gone from trivial afterthought to a glamor franchise that's mentioned to be on par with the lakers, knicks, heat, and bulls.
   2034. AROM Posted: August 15, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4208608)
Having Lebron decide to play there makes Miami a basketball power, but I still have some dissonance seeing them talked about in the same way NY and LA are, especially considering the baseball and football teams they share a city with.

Probably just a function of Miami being a place you'd love to be in for the winter, but not so much for the summer.
   2035. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 15, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4208659)
is that really the world we're living in now? i cannot believe the nets have instantly gone from trivial afterthought to a glamor franchise that's mentioned to be on par with the lakers, knicks, heat, and bulls.

It appears that's the case right now. That might wear off after a year or two. Building on AROM's point, I think outside of the Lakers, it's cyclical which teams are considered the glamor team - maybe the "it" team is a better way of putting it; the Celtics probably belong there, the Knicks have had their share of down times, and the Heat are new. I would also question whether or not the Bulls really belong in that group.
   2036. kpelton Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4208677)
Naturally, everyone who said Denver is correct.
   2037. Booey Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4208688)
is that really the world we're living in now? i cannot believe the nets have instantly gone from trivial afterthought to a glamor franchise that's mentioned to be on par with the lakers, knicks, heat, and bulls.


Moving from East Rutherford (or wherever the Nets used to play) to Brooklyn really will make a big difference, I suspect.

the Knicks have had their share of down times


Yeah, but considering how consistently awful they've been the last decade or so, they still get way more than their fair share of publicity. A team with a similar 10 year record in a non bling city would barely ever even draw a mention in a MSM article.

I would also question whether or not the Bulls really belong in that group.


This was probably true before the Jordan years, but I think now that simply being associated with MJ will always make the Bulls one of the more glamorous teams. In an 8 year span they won more titles than any NBA team other than the Celtics and Lakers have in their entire franchise history.
   2038. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4208691)
A couple years ago Dallas would be on that list, but Cuban's millions and antics aren't cool any more. Obviously a lot of it depends on how successful a team is and ownership's "commitment". I think that the fact that the Knicks have been so poorly run for so long and yet still have that cachet gives players the idea that if they make Brooklyn successful they can be worshiped like a Ewing, Starks or Oakley.

What I don't get is how Atlanta isn't there yet. It just can't be fan apathy.
   2039. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4208695)
Probably just a function of Miami being a place you'd love to be in for the winter, but not so much for the summer.

No, remember that the entire point of the quoted article is that Orlando is not one of these special "glamour" teams that players want to play for. Also since Dwight Howard himself apparently didn't confer any glamour to the organization, it can't be that the special glamour status of Miami comes from LeBron's presence. I guess it's entirely due to the proximity of one particular beach resort.
   2040. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4208709)
What I don't get is how Atlanta isn't there yet. It just can't be fan apathy.

Does anyone like Atlanta? It's not just the NBA, it's not glamorous for any sport or seen/perceived as a top US city by most people AFAICT.

No, remember that the entire point of the quoted article is that Orlando is not one of these special "glamour" teams that players want to play for. Also since Dwight Howard himself apparently didn't confer any glamour to the organization, it can't be that the special glamour status of Miami comes from LeBron's presence. I guess it's entirely due to the proximity of one particular beach resort.

Orlando was glamorous enough for Hill and McGrady, and not Shaq or Howard.

This was probably true before the Jordan years, but I think now that simply being associated with MJ will always make the Bulls one of the more glamorous teams. In an 8 year span they won more titles than any NBA team other than the Celtics and Lakers have in their entire franchise history.

You're mixing some of the other small/large market discussion into this, IMO. This cache hasn't helped the Bulls attract FAs or trade targets though, and that's what I meant. I still don't see anyone that's treated Chicago like a destination or made it their goal to come here (maybe Rip).
   2041. jmurph Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4208710)
I don't know. Is there any history of the non-Jordan Bulls attracting a significant free agent (heck, even the Jordan Bulls weren't exactly bringing in stars every off-season)? I'm pretty sure Moses et al will not count Boozer as a significant free agent. And Orlando, sure, it was a while ago at this point, but their millions and tax free Florida were certainly appealing to Grant Hill and TMac. If they could create room for two max contracts, I wouldn't rule out a couple stars teaming up to go there. It will remain behind LAL, always, but I don't think it's too far down the list.
   2042. jmurph Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4208711)
Coke to Moses for basically everything he said.
   2043. rr Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4208717)
Footnotes on Pelton's question: the Lakers beat their PYTH by five games last year; it was 36-30. They were 10-4 in games decided by 3 or less and 6-1 in OT. IOW, they were pretty lucky to go 41-25. Also, I read a piece on Denver about two years ago, pointing out that Denver gets some blowouts against teams on dragging ass on road trips coming into the altitude, so that helps their point differential.

As to the "glamour" question, as we discussed earlier, it is a lot of things, but more or less breaks down to brand/tradition/track record, market size/bling, and weather.
   2044. AROM Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4208719)
I guess it's entirely due to the proximity of one particular beach resort.


It doesn't have the same effect on baseball players as it does on basketball players. So I'll stick with my winter sport/summer sport explanation.

Baseball players like Florida quite a bit - in the off season.
   2045. Booey Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4208722)
You're mixing some of the other small/large market discussion into this, IMO. This cache hasn't helped the Bulls attract FAs or trade targets though, and that's what I meant. I still don't see anyone that's treated Chicago like a destination or made it their goal to come here (maybe Rip).


I know Boozer has been a disappointment to Bulls fans, but I think he was considered a pretty big name when he signed with Chicago. He made 2 AS teams with the Jazz just a few years earlier (2007, 2008) and wouldn't have been a bad choice in 2010, either.

What about Rodman? I don't remember the circumstances that led to him ending up on the Bulls, but he was a pretty big name too.
   2046. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4208725)
Does anyone like Atlanta?

A lot of NBA players like Atlanta ... but it's hard to underestimate the fan apathy - does any NBA club have a fanbase that cares less, relative to performance?
   2047. Booey Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4208731)
(heck, even the Jordan Bulls weren't exactly bringing in stars every off-season)?


Did they ever really try? (this isn't sarcasm, I honestly don't remember). Bulls have been pretty smart the past few decades picking great players in the draft and building teams around them (Jordan, Pippen, Rose, Noah). Maybe they haven't pushed as hard for big FA's as some other teams cuz they haven't really had to to be contenders (or again, maybe they have and I just wasn't paying attention).

Would bringing in another big star on the Jordan Bulls have created some sort of ego clash? Would it even have been worth it to management to risk messing with their already championship dynamic, or to pay that much extra payroll when the team was already winning a bunch of titles as is?
   2048. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4208734)
Does anyone like Atlanta? It's not just the NBA, it's not glamorous for any sport or seen/perceived as a top US city by most people AFAICT.


I think NBA players love Atlanta, especially when they are the away team. Its got very good nightlife (especially if you have money), has good weather during the winter and according to Wikipedia, "the city has long been known as a center of African American political power, education, and culture." It doesn't suit my tastes (mainly because of the airport and sprawl) but I think it would fit a lot of NBA player's lifestyles.
   2049. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4208735)
I know Boozer has been a disappointment to Bulls fans, but I think he was considered a pretty big name when he signed with Chicago.

He wasn't their's or anyone's first choice. He was 3rd just on the PF FA pecking order that offseason. Yes, he's a FA get, but considering how that class went and the fact that the Bulls were really aiming for LeBron, Wade, or Bosh ahead of him, it's tough to sell that as evidence that Chicago is a destination team/city. Then again, they did get to sit down with those other guys and plenty of other teams didn't.

So it's all relative, I guess.

IMO, the Lakers are at the top of the pile, then you have another tier down that usually includes the Knicks and Celtics but has at one time or another included Miami, Orlando, Dallas, and now Brooklyn, then the next level down are the teams that we all think should be higher but aren't like Chicago, Philly, possibly Atlanta, maybe Phoenix, could include the Clippers and then there's the rest.

What about Rodman? I don't remember the circumstances that led to him ending up on the Bulls, but he was a pretty big name too.

He was a bit of a ring chaser, and also he scared off a lot of other teams for being seen as a distraction/problem. His name (or brand or reputation or whathaveyou) didn't exactly translate into NBA teams clamoring for him.

---

A lot of my specific feelings about this go back to the FA summer of 2000 when the Bulls whiffed badly on everyone (Hill, McGrady, Duncan) and then 2010 and now the Howard stuff - with him, it used to confuse or frustrate me that he had no interest in the Bulls. The Bulls should appeal to players more than they do in reality.
   2050. rr Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4208752)
The Bulls should appeal to players more than they do in reality.


Chicago is a very interesting and cool city, but it is not NY and it's cold as hell.

Back in 2000, the Bulls had a bad team. As I have said many, many times, one thing everybody forgets about Shaq's coming to LA was that the Lakers had gone 53-29 the year before. Duncan was part of a winning program and has a deep bond with Popovich. James, Wade and Bosh wanted to be on the same team. These things still come down to the individuals to a large degree. Hill and McGrady--not sure there, so you may have something. But with Nash, for example, it is not as if he set out "to be a Laker." He wanted to be near his kids and the Lakers have an old but still good team that needed a guy to play the point. Perfect fit. If the Lakers had gotten Paul last year, Nash might well be a Clipper now.

Howard I will give you to an extent. I initially scoffed at the shoe thing but that may have been a factor. But I still think a lot of it is that Paul and Williams are his buddies and Rose isn't--Rose is the "next generation" in NBA terms. The teams on Howard's list were the teams Williams was already on, the team trying to get Paul, and the team in Williams' home town. When Paul got traded to the Clippers, Howard said he would be OK there. He and Paul have now set it up so they will both hit FA at the same time, and while everyone is assuming that Howard will stay with the Lakers, it is easy enough to see him not liking Brown, not getting along with Kobe, the Lakers losing in the playoffs,and his deciding to go to Dallas with CP3.

And, of course, Rose, a Chicago guy, re-upped at the first opportunity, and if he had been drafted by another team might well have become a Bull some day.
   2051. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4208756)
The Bulls massively overpaying for Ben Wallace was a bad sign. The Bulls were an up-and-coming team. Ben Wallace presumably had no problem playing in cold weather considering his great career in Detroit. Ben Wallace was clearly not going to be a perennial All-Star anymore at ages 32, 33, 34 and 35. Still they had to massively overpay him.
   2052. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4208763)
What about Rodman? I don't remember the circumstances that led to him ending up on the Bulls, but he was a pretty big name too.


The Bulls traded Will Perdue for him. Not sure if that answers your question.
   2053. andrewberg Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4208766)
Chad Ford rated every team's offseason and had the Wolves ranked 4th worst (only NYK, ORL, CHI) were rated worse. Suffice to say, I do not agree. At very least, teams like Milwaukee, Portland, Houston, Memphis will likely have fewer wins gained. Atlanta, too, though it makes sense for them to clear the deck and they seem to have done it wisely.
   2054. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4208772)
this could just be me, but when the broadcast for andrew bynum's introductory press conference opened with fans chanting "BEAT LA. BEAT LA. BEAT LA." the thought that was running through my mind was: "why are you reminding our new best player that this team hasn't been relevant for the last 30 years?"
   2055. Manny Coon Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4208773)
Back in 2000, the Bulls had a bad team. As I have said many, many times, one thing everybody forgets about Shaq's coming to LA was that the Lakers had gone 53-29 the year before.


I had forgotten how good Ceballos was at at his peak. He had 22 PER and 60% TS that season.

Vlade Divac I think gets underrated sometimes, obviously he was superfluous after Shaq was brought in, but the first few years after the trade he was better than very young Kobe, the Hornets improved by 13 wins his first season there. He wasn't ever really an NBA superstar, but was a very good center for a long time.
   2056. Booey Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4208776)
Moses #2049 - I'd agree with all that. I've always thought the Bulls should've been bigger players in the FA market than they have been, too.

One thing though; in the same sense that the Boozer Plan B (or C or D) signing and the Rodman "we're one of the few franchises stable enough to handle this nutjob" signing aren't necessarily evidence that the Bulls are a destination city, I think the 2000 and 2010 offseasons aren't necessarily evidence that they're not. In 2000 the Bulls were just two years removed from their last MJ/Pip title, and following up those two as the teams new franchise player would have been a daunting task with high fan expectations that a lot of FA's might not have been ready for. I know I wouldn't have wanted to have to try and follow Jordan. And in 2010, there's a lot of speculation that LeBron/Wade/Bosh really had already decided what they were going to do well beforehand and every other team including the Bulls and Knicks might have never really been in the running to begin with.
   2057. Manny Coon Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4208777)
Chad Ford rated every team's offseason and had the Wolves ranked 4th worst (only NYK, ORL, CHI) were rated worse.


That is completely crazy. Kirilenko, Budinger, Roy and Shved should be about a million time better than Beasley, Wes Johnson, Wayne Ellington and Anthony Tolliver. Their wings were just shockingly terrible last year.
   2058. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4208780)
Agreed on Divac.
As for Ceballos, I love the guy when he's not near Havasu, but it was once said of him (paraphrasing badly): "if the other team's offense is a fire, he's gasoline."
   2059. rr Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4208784)
Agree with Manny and berg. I think Minnesota had a good off-season.

STEAGLES--

Look at the upside: it means the people at Bynum's presser are thinking Finals showdown vs. the Evil Purple-and-Gold Empire.

Beckley Mason has a piece up on Bynum and double-teams at TrueHoop. I won't link it because I didn't think it was that great, but you might want to check it out.
   2060. Booey Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4208792)
STEAGLES--

Look at the upside: it means the people at Bynum's presser are thinking Finals showdown vs. the Evil Purple-and-Gold Empire.


Don't flatter yourself, Laker fan. The "Beat LA" chant was obviously a reference to the Clippers. :)
   2061. andrewberg Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4208808)
With all this talk about Denver, perhaps Indy could be Denver east? In terms of teams that go two deep at every position and have really good athletes, the Pacers not only match Denver, they have really solid continuity in their core.

PG- Hill, Augustin
SG- George, Stephenson
SF- Granger, Green
PF- West, Hansbrough
C- Hibbert, Mahinmi

That team was up 2-1 on Miami (granted, shorthanded) and seems to have improved since transitioning away from Collison as the PG. West is the only obvious candidate for regression, and he is buttressed by George as an even more likely breakout candidate. Stephenson, Green, and Mahinmi also have varying degrees of upside. They have a good coach, a smart (even if tumultuous) front office, a good home court with great fans, and do not appear to have any cohesiveness issues. I think they will be my pick for second in the east. I doubt Boston will push much in mid-season; they have a practice of preferring to be healthy for the playoffs. I think they are clearly deeper than NY or BK without much difference on the front line. Those two are top-heavy teams, but how much better is Anthony/Chandler/Amare or Williams/Johnson/Wallace than Granger/Hibbert/West? Not much, and George could surge into that trio and make it even more muddled.
   2062. rr Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4208815)
I said a few weeks ago that I think Indiana will have the second-best record in the East and will not be that far off Miami's record. I suspect Miami will pace (no pun intended) themselves in the regular season. Denver could certainly have a very good regular season as well.
   2063. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4208820)
STEAGLES--

Look at the upside: it means the people at Bynum's presser are thinking Finals showdown vs. the Evil Purple-and-Gold Empire.


It also apparently means that, among diehard Sixers fans, STEAGLES is eminently reasonable and moderate.
   2064. AROM Posted: August 15, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4208823)
What about Rodman? I don't remember the circumstances that led to him ending up on the Bulls, but he was a pretty big name too.


Rodman was a big name, but not necessarily in a good way. Everyone recognized that he was good at basketball, but I don't think very many teams were willing to put up with the baggage.
   2065. rr Posted: August 15, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4208828)
The Bulls needed to replace Horace Grant, and the perception was that Jordan's unique, massive presence and Jackson's gravitas/chill/Zen thing could keep Rodman in check enough to make it work. And that is pretty much what happened.
   2066. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 15, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4208831)
That team was up 2-1 on Miami (granted, shorthanded) and seems to have improved since transitioning away from Collison as the PG. West is the only obvious candidate for regression, and he is buttressed by George as an even more likely breakout candidate.

This seems to be the consensus, but Hill isn't a true PG and Collison did have several big games for them in the playoffs. I'm also not sold on Augustin - he seems better suited to be a backup, but I'm not sure he's any good at all. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hibbert take a step back, and Granger will turn 30 during the season. I'm a huge George fan, but if he doesn't break out I'm not sure how good they really will be. OTOH, they're going to beat up on their division, and they are set up as a really good regular season team so I wouldn't argue predicting them for the #2 overall seed (I may have done that too, but can't remember).

I would argue that outside of George and now Plumlee (who isn't going to see many minutes), they are not a very athletic team, so that part of the Denver comparison wouldn't work.

Chicago is a very interesting and cool city, but it is not NY and it's cold as hell.

Exactly. It's funny how there are so many fewer marquee cities when it comes to basketball than baseball, hockey or football.

And, of course, Rose, a Chicago guy, re-upped at the first opportunity, and if he had been drafted by another team might well have become a Bull some day.

Good point. But there are plenty of Chicago guys who also haven't shown any real interest in coming back - KG, Wade, etc. Just like Howard hasn't shown any real interest in going home to Atlanta.

One thing though; in the same sense that the Boozer Plan B (or C or D) signing and the Rodman "we're one of the few franchises stable enough to handle this nutjob" signing aren't necessarily evidence that the Bulls are a destination city, I think the 2000 and 2010 offseasons aren't necessarily evidence that they're not.

Agree, I'm just saying that unfortunately there's *no* evidence that the Bulls are a destination city/team.
   2067. Booey Posted: August 15, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4208885)
Re: Pacers - Indy is deep and all, but the main reason they've got a legit chance at the #2 seed is simply cuz the rest of the East SUUUX. Where would they be in the West? I'd guess 7th, just behind Denver and just ahead of the Dallas/Minny/Utah jumble.
   2068. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4209393)
It also apparently means that, among diehard Sixers fans, STEAGLES is eminently reasonable and moderate.
was there ever any doubt about that?

   2069. rr Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:01 AM (#4209457)
I am not a video gamer, but NBA 2k13 will include the 2012 Olympic Team and the Dream Team--minus Pippen, who did not reach an agreement on their using his likeness.
   2070. thok Posted: August 16, 2012 at 07:20 AM (#4209465)
What about Rodman? I don't remember the circumstances that led to him ending up on the Bulls, but he was a pretty big name too.


San Antonio was really burnt out on Rodman when they traded him away, if I recall correctly. If there was a single season that contributed the most to Rodman's reputation of being crazy, it was the final season with the Spurs.
   2071. GregD Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4209512)
Does anyone like Atlanta? It's not just the NBA, it's not glamorous for any sport or seen/perceived as a top US city by most people AFAICT.
I hate Atlanta as much as anyone, with the passion that can only come from watching all the tools in your mid-South high school rush off there at first opportunity to keep acting toolish. That side of it--Atlanta as capital of the shitty parts of the South--is true but not, I will grant, related to being seen as a top US city.

But the other side is I do believe--I could be wrong!--that Atlanta is seen as maybe the most desirable city in America for black professionals. The Capital of Black America talk is probably overdone, but still I think it's a place that is much desirable among well-educated black people than among well-educated whites. The number of black professionals in NYC who are willing to move to Atlanta seems, anecdotally, so much higher than the number of white professionals.

You would think that would translate to popularity among NBA players, of all people, but maybe their interest is really in celebrity culture, where NY, LA, and Miami are obviously and always will be in a different league.
   2072. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4209515)
[2071] Yeah, Atlanta and D.C. are the dueling Places To Be For Black Professionals.

EDIT: In terms of puzzling through the desirability of ATL I don't think the fan apathy can be underrated. Or the fact that, as we've mentioned in these sorts of discussions in the past, it's not like these guys necessarily always have to live wherever their "home" team is.
   2073. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4209519)
Those last two posts (2071/2) nail it, I think. I particularly like 'but maybe their interest is really in celebrity culture', which isn't a way I've thought about it before.

Incidentally, though I root for Atlanta teams pretty much across the board, I have no desire to live there.
   2074. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4209545)
But the other side is I do believe--I could be wrong!--that Atlanta is seen as maybe the most desirable city in America for black professionals. The Capital of Black America talk is probably overdone, but still I think it's a place that is much desirable among well-educated black people than among well-educated whites. The number of black professionals in NYC who are willing to move to Atlanta seems, anecdotally, so much higher than the number of white professionals.


Your definitely right. I was one of the black professionals (went to Morehouse and stayed for over a decade), though I left a little over 3 years ago. I didn't like living there as much as many of my friends, but it is a place that has always had a strong middle/upper class black community since the civil rights era. So, despite being surrounded by less welcoming areas in Georgia, Atlanta companies executive ranks are about as diverse as you'll see anywhere in the country. The hidden secret is that a really high percentage of NFL/NBA player of note has a home there. I'm not the networking type, but I have a lot of friends who are and I've bumped into almost entire NBA team rosters while living there.
   2075. JJ1986 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4209549)
I am not a video gamer, but NBA 2k13 will include the 2012 Olympic Team and the Dream Team--minus Pippen, who did not reach an agreement on their using his likeness.


That's weird since Pippen was in 2k12.
   2076. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4209585)
That's weird since Pippen was in 2k12.

And by all accounts, he could use any money he can get.
   2077. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4209601)
And by all accounts, he could use any money he can get.


I like thinking that Pippen is the Sprewell of Sports video games, holding out for more money until the executives finally said FU we'll just put Grant Hill on the video game and act like you never happened.
   2078. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4209620)
I like thinking that Pippen is the Sprewell of Sports video games, holding out for more money until the executives finally said FU we'll just put Grant Hill on the video game and act like you never happened.

It's very possible that's exactly it. Then again, maybe I shouldn't have said that.
   2079. Booey Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4209622)
I like thinking that Pippen is the Sprewell of Sports video games, holding out for more money until the executives finally said FU we'll just put Grant Hill on the video game and act like you never happened.


Couldn't they just create some fake character to replace him using a different name and likeness but his same stats? I had some old NBA video game back in the early 90's - I don't even remember its name or what system it was for - that couldn't get an agreement with Jordan or Bird, so they had players with no pictures named Guard Bulls and Forward Celtics that had their exact stats instead.

I'd rather they do something like this. The Dream Team just ain't the same if they left Pip off entirely.
   2080. Booey Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4209623)
Pippen is SO gonna sue you now, Moses...
   2081. kpelton Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4209630)
You would think that would translate to popularity among NBA players, of all people, but maybe their interest is really in celebrity culture, where NY, LA, and Miami are obviously and always will be in a different league.

I would say, based on the number of rappers courtside, there's definite a celebrity culture in Atlanta too. Like 2072, I think it's mostly a Hawks-specific issue. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they got a celebrity face of the franchise as part of a new ownership group, a la Jay-Z's role in Brooklyn as discussed in the NYT today.
   2082. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4209639)
I would say, based on the number of rappers courtside, there's definite a celebrity culture in Atlanta too. Like 2072, I think it's mostly a Hawks-specific issue. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they got a celebrity face of the franchise as part of a new ownership group, a la Jay-Z's role in Brooklyn as discussed in the NYT today.


Right before I left ATL, they were actually trying to do a little of that. Lil' John (I'm guessing that he might be a little obscure), Usher, Ludacris and a few members of the Atlanta hip-hop/r&b were basically given free court level seats and a bunch of other perks to show up for games regularly. It's worked at the edges, but I'd say that the Atlanta community just doesn't embrace the Hawks like the Falcons or Braves. But they've never really embraced Georgia or GT (to a lesser extent) basketball, so I do think that Atlanta overall isn't really a basketball city for some reason.
   2083. GregD Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4209648)
I would say, based on the number of rappers courtside, there's definite a celebrity culture in Atlanta too. Like 2072, I think it's mostly a Hawks-specific issue. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they got a celebrity face of the franchise as part of a new ownership group, a la Jay-Z's role in Brooklyn as discussed in the NYT today.
That makes sense to me. Bring on Outkast!
   2084. rr Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4209682)
I would say, based on the number of rappers courtside, there's definite a celebrity culture in Atlanta too


Sure, but NY and LA and MIA, will, as noted, always be in a different league. Celebs following the Lakers goes back to the very early days of the franchise in LA, when Doris Day, Peter Falk, and James Garner were big fans in the early and mid-60s. Same for the Knicks, I assume. Some players don't care about that, but for those who do, it might be a pretty big draw. I expect that Dwight Howard is the type of guy who will get a big charge out of Denzel Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio being in the stands at his Lakers debut and getting a chance to gladhand with them.

The "celebrity culture" line is very perceptive. IMO big-time NBA guys are celebs more than they are "black professionals."
   2085. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4209702)
Lil' John (I'm guessing that he might be a little obscure)

What?
(sorry)

(On Indy,) West is the only obvious candidate for regression

Gerald Green is as well.

Never commented on this at the time, but the Ferry interview linked up top is pretty good.
   2086. Mark S. is bored Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4209784)
I don't understand:

The Phoenix Suns have signed 16-year NBA veteran center Jermaine O’Neal, the club announced today.

“We are pleased that Jermaine will continue his successful NBA career in Phoenix,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “We look forward to his contributions not only on the floor but as a veteran leader on our team.”


I know the Suns have a great training staff, but Jermaine O'Neal? And to get O'Neal, some minor roster trimming:

Additionally, the Suns have waived Brad Miller and Jerome Dyson, whose contracts were acquired from the New Orleans Hornets on July 27.
   2087. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4209794)
I don't either.
This is reductionist and levels even beyond JO', but I like the idea of Oden going to Phoenix once he's "healthy".
   2088. andrewberg Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4209820)
I know the Suns have a great training staff, but Jermaine O'Neal? And to get O'Neal, some minor roster trimming:


Maybe the training staff requested a new project now that Nash and Hill have left town. You don't want their skills to get rusty.
   2089. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4209940)
Another team trivia question:
Which team went 8-0 v. the East playoff teams last year?
(beating each team once)
   2090. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4209954)
Another team trivia question:
Which team went 8-0 v. the East playoff teams last year?
(beating each team once)
i'll go with san antonio. they were blisteringly hot when they came out east for the rodeo trip in february, plus they ended the season on a tear, and they had the best record in the NBA.

   2091. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4209958)
i'll go with san antonio. they were blisteringly hot when they came out east for the rodeo trip in february, plus they ended the season on a tear, and they had the best record in the NBA.
oh, and that's a swing and a miss. the qualifier of beating each team once puts them out of the running since i know they beat the sixers twice.

also disqualified on that basis are golden state and utah.


   2092. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4209975)
I was going from memory, so I decided to double-check. The team I am thinking about was actually 9-0, beating 1 team twice.
But, since I already screwed up the question,
San Antonio lost at least 1, Miami
Utah lost at least 2, NY and Indiana
Golden State lost to Indiana and Philly

   2093. kpelton Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4209988)
Because of the way the league tried to pit marquee teams against each other during interconference matchups, I think the parameters pretty much rule out all the elite teams.

I'm going to guess Houston since I know they faced a short-handed Miami team and fell apart down the stretch when they would have mostly been playing West teams.
   2094. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4209993)
Rockets lost to Orlando in their first game of the season.
   2095. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: August 16, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4209996)
That sounded snarky and I didn't mean it that way!
   2096. kpelton Posted: August 16, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4210002)
I just assumed you had the results of all season openers memorized.
   2097. rr Posted: August 16, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4210008)
I just assumed that you had too much coffee.
   2098. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:31 AM (#4210252)
"It was kind of funny. [Doc Rivers and I] were talking one night, and he was talking about low-post centers and he said the only guy he really worries about is Andrew Bynum... and I was about ready to choke. I was thinking, ‘Hey, Doc we’re going to get him tomorrow.’"


- Doug Collins, Philadelphia 76ers coach
   2099. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4210361)
I do think that Atlanta overall isn't really a basketball city for some reason.


Definitely true; it's a college football town where people watch the Braves to pass the time until next CFB season.
   2100. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4210395)
Definitely true; it's a college football town where people watch the Braves to pass the time until next CFB season.

And even then, the Braves fan are notoriously for not selling out flipping playoff games.
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