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Thursday, June 06, 2013

OT: NBA Finals and June thread

Not sure why no one has put up a new thread yet, then I remember that only 10-12 guys here care about the NBA.

we won’t detract from what this site is really about: the IRS and Biogenesis.

RollingWave Posted: June 06, 2013 at 08:57 PM | 1446 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, gay rights, nba, off-topic

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   1. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4463366)
When last we left off, Harvey posted:

for five years Sidney moncrief was an amazing all around player. classic peak case. don't know how the nba voters view such things.


Agree totally. He is a better than a lot of players who got into the HOF for NBA play. Great defender, shooter, got to the line, excellent rebounder as well at 6'3. Two time defensive player of the year. He led a Milwaukee team that won 50-60 games per year from his rookie year until he got hurt at age 29. Terrible timing, his rookie year was the same as Larry Bird's, and his peak also coincided with the DrJ-Moses Sixers. Moncrief was a better all-around player, in my opinion, than Reggie Miller and Joe Dumars. Who are both deserving HOFers.

Bucks were good enough to beat the Celtics sometimes, and good enough to beat the Sixers sometimes, but never good enough to beat both of them in the same year.

He was a Dwyane Wade equivalent. Here's a what if: Say Kareem after a couple titles in LA gets into some fights with the young star Magic. It escalates to Kobe-Shaq proportions. Kareem wants out, and decides he wants to finish his career where it started. Bucks trade Terry Cummings and a few others for Kareem. Bucks have enough to get past the Celtics and Sixers, then face the still dangerous Lakers in the Finals (west didn't have many challengers back then). Grudge match on. Magic vs Kareem. Moncrief steals the show with his drives and wins the title on his free throws.
   2. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4463367)
BTW, did I steal that from Simmons? I don't remember what he said about Moncrief in his book, but it sounds like the sort of thing he would come up with.
   3. GregD Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4463369)
Moncrief was such a fun player to watch, too. A great defender and a great competitor. I had forgotten how short his peak was.
   4. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4463390)
Woj on Yahoo tossed out that there's a case for Tony Parker as the greatest Euro ever to play in the NBA.

I thought this was ridiculous on it's face - it's Dirk, right? I mean, okay, you could read that a certain way and wonder if Sabonis would have been or something like that, but if the question is "Which European player has had the best NBA career?", it is Dirk all day long. I'm not crazy, am I? This shouldn't even be a discussion in my eyes.
   5. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4463399)
[4] The NBA media loves them some Tony Parker. Count the ringz.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4463401)
The correct answer is and always will be Arvydas Sabonis.
   7. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4463403)
Didn't catch the post game. Did Spoelstra get questioned about that stretch in the 4th where he had both LeBron and Wade on the bench? Don't remember if MIA was outscored then, but it was weird.

Surprisingly, they weren't.

The stat that jumps out to me is team turnovers: 4 for San Antonio the whole game, which I think the announcers said tied a record. This team was 17th in avoiding TO for the regular season. Miami of course is a team that thrives on turnovers. Without them they don't get to show off their Amazing in transition.

Yes. And Wade only had 1 TO, which also surprised me.

Isn't home court advantage less of a factor in the NBA than any other sport other than maybe baseball? I don't think it would surprise anyone if Miami won two games in SA.

The home team has won an overwhleming majority of game 7s, at least. In most bases though, the better team in the NBA is usually the home team, and the better team seems to win a lot more in the NBA than other sports. So perhaps you can separate it out to claim that, but I don't know how.

There's a section in this Grantland NHL column that's about Sidney Crosby where you could almost just substitute LeBron James and it fits perfectly.

I've been talking about that with some people recently, and that comparison seems right to me (as does compairing Ovechkin to Melo). Even the hockey thread on this site is way behind on advanced analysis and resorts to a lot of that narrative stuff.
   8. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4463404)
Thanks, Joe C, for the heads up on the new thread.

But I worry that the over-reactors in the media are acting a little like they did when OKC won the first game against Miami last year.

Yes, 100%. The sports media treats each game as if it tells you everything about the rest of the series. It was especially grating in the Pacers series, where the teams alternated wins but every commentator concluded that whoever won the previous game was the clear favorite who had figured something out. On ESPN's post-game show last night, each guy said that the Spurs demonstrated their superiority and had the clear advantage going forward, just like after game 1 last year. All it takes is one game to turn that narrative on its head.

[LeBron] led the team [in rebounds] by 13. That is ridiculous.

LeBron played a good game last night with 10 assists to 2 turnovers, but the hype regarding his rebounding is way over the top. Miami's system calls for LeBron to get the discretionary rebounds (they like to get the ball in his hands as soon as possible), and against San Antonio there should be a lot of them. The Spurs, like the Celtics, are notorious for foregoing offensive rebounding in favor of getting back on defense. Joel Anthony's 3 rebounds in 3 minutes, with 2 on the offensive end, were more impressive than LeBron tallying 18 rebounds, also with 2 on the offensive end, in 42 minutes. Unless one of the teams changes its scheme, LeBron should have double-digit defensive rebounds without doing anything noteworthy.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4463417)
Serious questions from the most casual of casual present-day NBA fans:

Is anyone here actually rooting for Miami? (EDIT: Meaning for any reason other than instinctively rooting against the media's darling.) (EDIT: Not counting any Miami resident who was a Heat fan in the pre-LeBron era.)

And does anyone here think that the Spurs actually will win? Not make it a great series, but win? No matter how much I was pulling for the Pacers, I could never in my wildest dreams think that they were ever going to get that 4th win.
   10. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4463420)
On the list of greatest PG of all time, would anyone rank Parker over Isiah Thomas?

Parker: Better percentage shooter, plays in control.

Thomas: Better rebounder and defender. A freak athlete. I don't know for sure if Parker can dunk, but I know he couldn't dunk over Parish and McHale at the same time. But in his favor, he wouldn't try, he'd just launch a floater over them, and score more baskets that way.

Both: Big time clutch players. Neither shot many 3 pointers, and neither were especially good from long range.

Rings: Parker's got this one already, as opposed to some other Thomas challenges that have been made (Stockton most often).

Career length: Parker is 2 years short of Isiah, who wasn't very good his last 2 years.

I think I take Parker.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4463422)
Am not rooting for Miami.

I predicted the Spurs to win in 6. I think Miami is a great team, but a team with flaws, and Pop is one of the best coaches of all time.
   12. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4463427)
Andy,

I am rooting for Miami. I like the Spurs too, I won't break anything if they lose. I think Miami will win but would not be surprised if San Antonio did. Before game 1 I'd say 60-65% Heat, at this point, I'm thinking 50-55% Heat. I haven't done the math to see if that is too much or too little swing for one game.
   13. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4463429)
Is anyone here actually rooting for Miami?

I am. Despite how I feel about Wade, Birdman and Riley, LeBron is my favorite player and I truly enjoy the stylings of Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller.

And does anyone here think that the Spurs actually will win?

Not sure they will, definitely think they can.

EDIT: While I would have been pissed at an OKC Finals win last year, I feel similar to how I did in '11 where I like Dirk/Duncan enough that I would be fine with them winning. The problem here is that I can't stand Tony Parker.
   14. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4463439)
Andy: yes and yes. I picked the Spurs in 6, and am pulling for the Heat (as I have been since Lebron got there except when they play Boston).
   15. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4463452)
I think Miami is a great team, but a team with flaws, and Pop is one of the best coaches of all time.


Agree, but the LeBron factor is large enough that I suspect Miami will win. Not rooting for them though. Go spurs, I guess, but it goes against my nature to root for anything from Texas.
   16. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4463455)
Andy: yes and yes. I picked the Spurs in 6, and am pulling for the Heat (as I have been since Lebron got there except when they play Boston).

Ditto, except I said SA in 7 and I'd rather lose a foot than root for the C's.
   17. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4463456)
Rooting for Miami strictly because of Lebron. Also really like the Spurs, so no heartbreak if they take it.

Miami is going to have to force more turnovers, and I think they will just by the bounce of the ball. They also need Wade to stop taking 20 footers just because the defense gives it to him. He was so much more effective when driving. I can see both sides of the post defense thing, but I think I would try to get the ball out of Duncan's hands when Haslem has him one on one.
   18. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4463458)
It's cool Moses I hate the Bulls! Kindred spirits, almost.
   19. Astroenteritis Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4463460)
And does anyone here think that the Spurs actually will win?


They are certainly capable of winning this series. If pressed to make a pick I would probably go with Miami in seven games, but I would not be at all surprised to see SA win.
Don't have strong rooting interest, being a Rockets fan, but I love watching Tim Duncan play, and would be delighted to see him win another championship. He's one of those players I don't think casual fans appreciate enough. Agree that Pop is a great coach, too.
   20. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4463461)
It was also extremely interesting seeing the Popovich-Lebron chess match. The Spurs did a variation of the Thibs defense where they played a bit soft on Lebron but had two guys on the other side cheating toward him. In this game, Lebron almost always chose to make the "smart" play by drawing the defense and kicking to the open man. It worked great when those guys were hitting the shots early and looked bad when they were missing later. Does Lebron become more aggressive against multiple defenders at the rim? That could change the look of the offense quite a bit if he does it successfully.
   21. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4463464)
Does Lebron become more aggressive against multiple defenders at the rim? That could change the look of the offense quite a bit if he does it successfully.


If I'm looking for signs of hope for Miami (besides, you know, having Lebron on your team), it's this. Lebron only took 4 free throws last night.
   22. Booey Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4463475)
Best players not in the HOF, and long enough to have been eligible for awhile, by my unscientific and quick search:


These guys either aren't eligible or haven't been for very long, but what does everyone think about the HOF worthiness of:

Mitch Richmond
Chris Webber
Dikembe Mutombo
Grant Hill
Alonzo Mourning
Glen Rice

I assume guys like Ben and Rasheed Wallace, Mark Jackson, Sprewell, and Kemp have to fall short, right?
   23. Booey Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4463486)
And yes on Parker and Manu for the Hall. They're borderline based solely on numbers, but voters have often given extra credit to borderline guys who were key players on championship teams (Worthy, DJ, Dumars, Rodman, etc), and I'm fine with that. Pau and Bosh are two other current guys who would fit into this category nicely, IMO.
   24. Spivey Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4463489)
Yes on Parker and Manu. Parker has a lot of his career left to really be a slam dunk, too. And if the Spurs win this finals, he's likely to get a second Finals MVP.

From the list above, I say yes to Grant Hill and Mutombo.

I don't have a strong opinion on the other guys. A few of them have very good and famous college careers though, so that may count for something.

   25. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4463494)
[22] I'm not THAT familiar with exactly how the Basketball HOF handles guys, but without checking numbers I would vote:

Mitch Richmond, NO
Chris Webber, YES
Dikembe Mutombo, YES
Grant Hill, YES
Alonzo Mourning, MAYBE
Glen Rice, NO
Ben Wallace, YES
Rasheed Wallace, NO
Mark Jackson, MAYBE
Latrell Sprewell, NO
Shawn Kemp, MAYBE
   26. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4463501)
I'm no basketball historian, but I would vote for Webber, Hill and Mutombo. Hill was a middle-class version of LeBron for a few years there (averaged a 22/8/6 from 1996-2000).

Probably no on Glen Rice and Richmond. Unsure on Mourning-he was a key part of my favorite Hornets teams, so my vision's a little tainted.
   27. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4463503)
NJ and I are about the same age and that might be why I agree so closely with those HOF picks. My only differences are that I would call Sheed a Maybe and Kemp (sadly) a No.
   28. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4463506)
Is anyone here actually rooting for Miami?

I am rooting for Miami. I like the Spurs too, I won't break anything if they lose.


-------------------------------------------------

Andy: yes and yes. I picked the Spurs in 6, and am pulling for the Heat (as I have been since Lebron got there except when they play Boston).

-------------------------------------------------

Ditto, except I said SA in 7 and I'd rather lose a foot than root for the C's.

-------------------------------------------------

Rooting for Miami strictly because of Lebron. Also really like the Spurs, so no heartbreak if they take it.

That's cool, but tell me this: What distinguishes you from Yankees fans who weren't born or raised in New York?

I can see reasons for rooting for the Heat. 1. Being a South Floridian; 2. Admiring their style of play; 3. LeBron is your favorite player; 4. Disgust with the media for piling on LeBron; 5. Liking to root for winners in general. 6. Not liking the Spurs for whatever reason.

I get the feeling that most non-Floridians here who root for Miami are mainly doing so for reasons 3 and 4.

I get all of those reasons. I spent half of my life hating the Celtics because they always beat my favorite teams (Philly I and Philly II), and then started rooting for them when they got my all-time favorite player (Bird), who IMO was the perfect blend of amazing skill, work ethic, and trash talk. During the Russell era it seemed as if being a Celtics fan was like rooting for General Motors, but during the Bird era the Celtics were just one of three or four great teams who were always fighting it out in May and June. Right now, in spite of San Antonio's presence, the Heat seem like the GM of 2013, only with the added factor of having been assembled by vaguely creepy means. I still think LeBron is one of the top 4 or 5 players ever, and maybe even the best, but I don't think I could ever root for him again unless he returned to Cleveland.

   29. GregD Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4463512)
I too would put Kemp a No but I would make Mourning a yes.
   30. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4463515)
That's cool, but tell me this: What distinguishes you from Yankees fans who weren't born or raised in New York?


I'm pretty sure there are no actual Heat fans that post here. Apologies if I'm forgetting someone. We all have primary teams. With the exception of San Antonio fans, all of our teams are out of the playoffs. I don't think it's that complicated, really.

Also, I think a sizable majority of people who post here have no real problem with how the Heat were constructed. I'm not sure it's been polled, but that's my take from following the thread for years.
   31. It's a shame about Athletic Supporter Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4463522)
I get all of those reasons. I spent half of my life hating the Celtics because they always beat my favorite teams (Philly I and Philly II), and then started rooting for them when they got my all-time favorite player (Bird), who IMO was the perfect blend of amazing skill, work ethic, and trash talk. During the Russell era it seemed as if being a Celtics fan was like rooting for General Motors, but during the Bird era the Celtics were just one of three or four great teams who were always fighting it out in May and June. Right now, in spite of San Antonio's presence, the Heat seem like the GM of 2013, only with the added factor of having been assembled by vaguely creepy means. I still think LeBron is one of the top 4 or 5 players ever, and maybe even the best, but I don't think I could ever root for him again unless he returned to Cleveland.


Andy, out of curiosity, I should probably remember this but where did you grow up? I remember when you first mentioned that you were a Celtics fan, which blew my mind and still kind of does, the idea that someone could root for the Yankees and Celtics (I say this as someone who hates both teams).
   32. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4463535)
Andy,

The demographic here mirrors the NBA-internet-sabermetric-informed blogger demographic (one of the most accomplished members of the group actually posts in this thread, to our benefit) and most of the people in that demographic LIKE LeBron James. Your intense, negative reaction to LeDecision ("LeBronism" is sort of like steroids, etc) was pretty mainstream in some ways, but not BTF NBA-Thread-regular mainstream.

And, since James:

a) Won the title
b) Dropped a signature game on the Celtics in Boston in a money situation
c) Actually has a very innocuous, mostly pleasant, public personality
d) Has never been in any trouble off the court

Even his national cyberwatercooler image has improved/stabilized quite a bit. Simmons is a good yardstick for that, and Simmons now licks James' balls as much as the rest of ESPN does (and James has mostly earned that; he kicks ass night after night, just like Jordan did).

He will, however, start taking some crap again if Miami loses this series, no matter how well he plays.

__________

I missed last night's thread, but I see what I see as the key stat mentioned here: 4 TOs by SA, the lowest opponent total in Miami's last 290 games, as per a Tweet I saw.
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4463551)
Grew up in DC long before the Bullets. Rooted for the Philly Warriors after seeing them play in a midseason exhibition game and getting Neil Johnston's autograph, then switched to the Sixers after the Warriors moved to SanFran. Absolutely HATED the Celtics because they were like a goddam machine that always toyed with the regular season and ALWAYS won that Game 7. The 1967 Eastern finals were to me what the 2004 ALCS was to a Red Sox fan, the perfect combination of joy and schadenfreude.

Switched to the Bullets when they came here from Baltimore and rooted for the Knicks as a backup team because they were the thorn in the Celtics' side. Didn't switch to the Celtics until Bird, and to be honest, even though he's far and away my all-time favorite player, I'm kind of amazed that that was enough to make me overcome a lifelong hatred of them. But then I see some people here are rooting for the Heat because of LeBron, so maybe they can understand where I was coming from.
   34. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4463557)
Andy,

The demographic here mirrors the NBA-internet-sabermetric-informed blogger demographic (one of the most accomplished members of the group actually posts in this thread, to our benefit) and most of the people in that demographic LIKE LeBron James. Your intense, negative reaction to LeDecision ("LeBronism" is sort of like steroids, etc) was pretty mainstream in some ways, but not BTF NBA-Thread-regular mainstream.


I get all that, and don't mistake me: As a player, I can admire and "LIKE" LeBron as well as the next person, and when he was a Cavalier he was my favorite player in the NBA (well, maybe after Pierce and Rondo), almost (but not quite) enough to make me to root for the Cavs over the Celtics. But not after LeDecision, for reasons I've been over many times.
   35. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4463560)
if i was Miami's coach i would be working the officials because james was getting banged regularly without the corresponding calls

i understand he's a freight train but the guy merits getting calls.

   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4463565)
That's cool, but tell me this: What distinguishes you from Yankees fans who weren't born or raised in New York?

I'm pretty sure there are no actual Heat fans that post here.


AHA! (smile)

Apologies if I'm forgetting someone. We all have primary teams. With the exception of San Antonio fans, all of our teams are out of the playoffs. I don't think it's that complicated, really.

Yeah, and of course SanAnton is my current backup team as well, since the Celtics are long gone. I will say that even though I liked the Knicks and Pacers (especially the Pacers) a lot more than the Heat, part of me is kind of grateful to see a final that matches the two best teams in the NBA, even if I still think that one of those "teams" is more or less bogus.

Also, I think a sizable majority of people who post here have no real problem with how the Heat were constructed. I'm not sure it's been polled, but that's my take from following the thread for years.

And yet a sizable majority of Primates seem to harbor a certain distaste for a certain baseball franchise in the Bronx.
   37. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4463566)
But not after LeDecision


Right, but like jmurph said, the people who post here every day, like the Hollinger/Lowe/Abbott/Pelton/Golliver et al crowd, by and large didn't really have an issue with that and have vigorously defended James from the unclutch criticism. The anti-James stuff at BTF in the wake of LeDecision was ~95% non-NBA-thread regulars. I was one of his most vocal defenders that week myself.
   38. Conor Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4463573)
And yet a sizable majority of Primates seem to harbor a certain distaste for a certain baseball franchise in the Bronx.


Well Miami didn't outbid everyone for James and Bosh, so I don't think it's exactly the same.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4463574)
Right, but like jmurph said, the people who post here every day, like the Hollinger/Lowe/Abbott/Pelton/Golliver et al crowd, by and large didn't really have an issue with that and have vigorously defended James from the unclutch criticism. The anti-James stuff at BTF in the wake of LeDecision was ~95% non-NBA-thread regulars. I was one of his most vocal defenders that week myself.

Sure, I get that, and I remember that back then you were standing up for the turncoat. (/ducks)
   40. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4463576)
It's not; one of the reasons it was such a big topic is that the power being used was of a different type. Rather than the deck being "stacked" because of big-market money, it was "stacked" by certain players wanting to play together. As was pointed out at the time, the 2011 Dallas team that beat Miami actually had a significantly higher payroll than the 2011 Heat (around 15-20M IIRC).
   41. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4463577)
And yet a sizable majority of Primates seem to harbor a certain distaste for a certain baseball franchise in the Bronx.


As I assume you know, there is a salary cap in the NBA. A quick search reveals the Heat are 3rd, a few million behind the dominant Brooklyn Nets and the soon-to-be-crowned 2013 champs the Los Angeles Lakers. Just ahead of the Sixers and Magic, who you probably know are in the midst of something of a two-headed dynasty in the East.

The difference between 1 and 30 looks to be about 50 million, or roughly what Tex and A-Rod are making, just the two of them, this year. In other words I don't get the connection you're trying to make.
   42. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4463579)
turncoat.


Given how many times you have apparently switched rooting interests in your life, this may not be your best bet as a put-down. ;-)
   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4463581)
And yet a sizable majority of Primates seem to harbor a certain distaste for a certain baseball franchise in the Bronx.

Well Miami didn't outbid everyone for James and Bosh, so I don't think it's exactly the same.


It's not exactly the same, but it was still and backhanded means to the same end. And unless I'm mistaken, there wasn't all that much love around here for the Yankees even when their championships were fueled largely by farm products, trades, and relatively low budget free agents, rather than the likes of Clemens, Mussina, Giambi, A-Rod, etc, etc., etc., etc.

EDIT: J. Murph, I know about salary caps, and it's not about the money.
   44. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4463584)
It's not; one of the reasons it was such a big topic is that the power being used was of a different type. Rather than the deck being "stacked" because of big-market money, it was "stacked" by certain players wanting to play together.

Exactly. And the effect was the same, even if the means weren't.
   45. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4463591)
Andy, I think what you're trying to imply would make more sense if we were discussing BOS or LAL, which are two franchises who have historically won a ton. If James went to one of those teams, I think you would see more of the "rich get richer" sort of complaints, but outside of '90s Knicks fans I can't believe very many people strongly cared one way or the other about MIA prior to James' arrival.
   46. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4463595)
I often wonder if I would still cheer for Lebron if he went to the Lakers. I think I would turn against him, but it is hard to anticipate those things sometimes.

Also, I think one difference between baseball and basketball is that there seems to be a higher correlation between aesthetics and success in basketball, at least since the defensive rules were changed.
   47. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4463596)
That's cool, but tell me this: What distinguishes you from Yankees fans who weren't born or raised in New York?


The fact that I was born and raised in New York (State, not city). I'm pro-Yankee unless they are playing the team I grew up rooting for or the team that sends me paychecks. And even then I became an Angel fan when my favorite Yankee moved out west back in 82.

I can see reasons for rooting for the Heat. 1. Being a South Floridian; 2. Admiring their style of play; 3. LeBron is your favorite player; 4. Disgust with the media for piling on LeBron; 5. Liking to root for winners in general. 6. Not liking the Spurs for whatever reason.

For me it's #2 fits. I appreciate greatness, and find the way Wade and James play together, especially on the fastbreak, to be awe-inspiring. In addition, Dwyane Wade is my favorite player, for his creativity. He is the best in the world at inventing new shots to take, sometimes inventing a new one right on the way to the rim.

During the Russell era it seemed as if being a Celtics fan was like rooting for General Motors, but during the Bird era the Celtics were just one of three or four great teams who were always fighting it out in May and June. Right now, in spite of San Antonio's presence, the Heat seem like the GM of 2013, only with the added factor of having been assembled by vaguely creepy means.


I try to keep things in perspective. If it's 2018 and the Heat are gunning for #7, then they are GM. Right now they (as presently constituted) have as many championships as Dirk's Mavericks, or Garnett's Celtics, or Billups' Pistons. Which is one more than Jordan's Bobcraps, John Wall's Wizards, or little Gilbert's Cavaliers. They aren't there yet. I'll root for them to leave their mark on the game before I start rooting for someone to knock them off.

Unless of course the Lakers find a way to get back on top. Which I doubt will happen anytime too soon. Arranging superstars didn't do the trick. They haven't built a contender throught the draft since Baylor and West.
   48. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4463599)
I'm pretty sure I will get easily sucked into Lebron arguments for the rest of my days.

NJ's post 45 reminds me that my absolute least favorite thing about the Heat/Lebron era is Bill Simmons's insistence on referring to Wade as Lebron's #1 rival (pre-Decision), as if A. they ever played each other in the playoffs, or B. the Heat and Cavs were ever even good at the same time. It's maddening.
   49. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4463603)
Andy, I think what you're trying to imply would make more sense if we were discussing BOS or LAL, which are two franchises who have historically won a ton


Nah. The NBA is and always will be a superstars' league; when superstars plan a way to get together to play on the same team, it is going to "stack the deck" in the eyes of many, no matter what team it is and how much or little money they make. A lot of people would have been even more pissed off about it if the Superfriends were wearing purple and gold, but that isn't really the point Andy is making.

I myself have no problem with what James and his buddies did, but I am OK with people saying they do, as long as it is not framed in some kind of faux-analysis and they leave it at, "I don't like it." And there was a lot of faux-analysis about it here after it happened, which is why I wound up sticking up for James as much as I did.
   50. JJ1986 Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4463605)
Rooting for the Heat against a team you don't care about because LeBron is there is quite different from becoming a Heat fan because LeBron is there. I wouldn't think there was anything odd about a Mariners fan rooting for the Yankees in the World Series because of Ichiro.
   51. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4463611)
They haven't built a contender throught the draft since Baylor and West.


Well, they drafted both Magic and Worthy. But the rules are different now--in part BECAUSE the Lakers were able to pull that off.
   52. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4463614)
Rather than the deck being "stacked" because of big-market money, it was "stacked" by certain players wanting to play together.


I am in a small minority of people who find this admirable about the Heat. The owners have gone to great lengths to control the sport, putting in rules to restrict themselves from competiting with the goal of keeping more of the profits to themselves. It put a smile on my face to see the players taking the situation the owners created and turning it against them.
   53. Conor Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4463619)
Exactly. And the effect was the same, even if the means weren't.


Sure, but I feel like the means is the point. There are lots of people who dislike the Yankees because they throw lots of money around and they think that is why they win all the time. (I'm describing the perception more here; as you point out they were at their best before they went crazy in free agency and had home grown superstars and guys acquired through trades as opposed to just spending a ton of money)

But Miami hasn't just outspent everyone. Miami has the third highest payroll in the league (the Lakers spent 20% more. T he Sixers apparently were 4th, if anyone cares). So I don't really see the comparison between people hating the Yankees because they traditionally outspend the second highest team by what, 10-15% and the Heat, who haven't had the highest payroll in the 3 years of the big 3 era.

Which isn't to say you can't hate Miami or anything like that; I just don't think the comp would be to the Yankees. At least financially. That'd be more the Lakers, no?
   54. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4463623)
Dwyane Wade is my favorite player

Whoa. Didn't someone ask last month if any team's fans liked Wade? I don't remember you damning yourself then.
   55. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4463624)
I don't find it "admirable", (or bad in any way--it is just something that happened) but I certainly see your point. As we discussed briefly once, if there were no cap and James were an UFA, how much would he be offered? Simmons guessed around 75M.
   56. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4463626)
There is no baseball comp for the Heat. Or any sport.
   57. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4463627)
NJ's post 45 reminds me that my absolute least favorite thing about the Heat/Lebron era is Bill Simmons's insistence on referring to Wade as Lebron's #1 rival (pre-Decision), as if A. they ever played each other in the playoffs, or B. the Heat and Cavs were ever even good at the same time. It's maddening.


Yeah, that is dumb. I'd think Celtic fan would have some knowledge of Paul Pierce - the man who Lebron himself calls his greatest rival. It helps that they play the same position and usually guarded each other. 2-2 record in the playoffs. Anyone who pokes fun about James needing Wade/Bosh to help him is ignoring Pierce's help from KG/Allen before that. The first one, though, what a matchup.

Game 7, 2008:
Lebron 45-5-6, Pierce 41-4-5. No other Cav scored more than 15 that game, no other Celtic more than 13.
   58. GregD Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4463629)
Well, they drafted both Magic and Worthy. But the rules are different now--in part BECAUSE the Lakers were able to pull that off.
Yeah this is a strange criticism, as the Magic/Worthy teams also had good drafted role players like A C Green and Norm Nixon and then got Vlade to help them to the Finals and then drafted Kobe (via a draft-day trade) and my least-favorite player Derek Fisher and Andrew Bynum. They've been helped by free agents sure but have drafted pretty dang well given their typically awful position in the draft
   59. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4463630)
Jordan's Bobcraps


I thought we all agreed they were the HorCats?

Anyway I have to cheer for someone and I tend to strongly prefer (absent other interests) cheering for the underdog. Perhaps because I am a masochist (Vikings fan, same difference).

That and well, the Yankees are evil. I don't even think it is their fault, it is just one of those things like the Dodgers being evil.
   60. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4463632)
That'd be more the Lakers, no?


The main advantage in the NBA with a cap system like this isn't spending money--you're a Knicks fan, so you should know that. It's having a concentration of elite talent, lead by the best guy in the league. Those two things obviously go together in some way, but there is not a 1-to-1 correlation--because of the CBA.

The comparison is that some people (not me) feel that the Heat has that concentration of talent for reasons that are shady, unfair, slanted, etc just like the Yankees and the Lakers and the Dodgers have their money to spend simply because of where the franchises are.

   61. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4463636)
As we discussed briefly once, if there were no cap and James were an UFA, how much would he be offered? Simmons guessed around 75M.


Sounds about right to me. Depends on the details - how much revenue sharing, what percent of your TV revenue do you keep? Do you get all of the $ from James #6 jerseys sold? most of it? split 30 ways? What if the revenue from the national TV broadcasts went exclusively, on a per game basis, to the 2 teams playing that day.

In a full winner take all structure, Lebron might be worth 200-300 million to a top media market. Maybe even more.
   62. Conor Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4463637)
The main advantage in the NBA with a cap system like this isn't spending money--you're a Knicks fan, so you should know that.


Ha yes, I'm well aware of that. Which is why I don't really buy the Heat-Yankees thing. If there was a team you'd point to as the one that just spent a lot more money than their opponents, it would be the Lakers, I think, but I agree the comp isn't great.

The Lebron to the Lakers thing is interesting, because I was just thinking about that recently. I've definitely been rooting for Lebron for the last 4-5 years or whatever, but i would have a hard time doing so if he were a Laker.

I forget where I read it, but wasn't there a piece somewhat recently attacking the question of how much Lebron would be worth if there were no cap? Maybe I'll have to google it up.
   63. Booey Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4463640)
And yet a sizable majority of Primates seem to harbor a certain distaste for a certain baseball franchise in the Bronx.

I'm actually mostly on your side on this one, Andy. Superfriends type deck stacking in the NBA bothers me a lot more than the Yankees style of outspending everybody else in MLB, mainly cuz I think the former has a much greater chance of leading to "cheap" titles than the latter does. Even if the Yanks can buy their way into the playoffs, the baseball playoffs are pretty much a crapshoot, so they still only have a 1 in 8 chance of winning. Adding LeBron and Bosh to a team that already has Wade, or Garnett and Allen to a team that already has Pierce gives you a much better chance than that, IMO. So yeah, I dislike the 2008 Celtics/2011-2013 Heat/2013 Lakers (it failed, but they still tried it) type teams much more than I do the Yankees.

That said, it does seem a little odd that you could dislike the Heat cuz of the way they built their team but be okay with the Garnett era Celts, who basically did the same thing.
   64. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4463641)
I think part of the venom towards LeBron (by some) isn't how he handled 'the Decision', but that he decided to go to Miami and not the New York Knicks. For some in the press it was all a forgone conclusion that LeBron was going to be a Knick and his decision in CT was a sign. All the talk the preceding 3 years was about how LeBron was going to be a Knick, etc.
   65. Conor Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4463645)
http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/PerDiem-130205/nba-how-much-lebron-james-worth

Here's the story, if anyone cares. It is insider.
   66. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4463646)
Yeah this is a strange criticism, as the Magic/Worthy teams also had good drafted role players like A C Green and Norm Nixon and then got Vlade to help them to the Finals and then drafted Kobe (via a draft-day trade) and my least-favorite player Derek Fisher and Andrew Bynum. They've been helped by free agents sure but have drafted pretty dang well given their typically awful position in the draft


Yeah, they have. But they were built for decades around all-time great centers who wanted to play in LA - Wilt-Kareem-Shaq. So they'll have to do something a little different if the closest thing to a great center decides he doesn't want to play there.

I do have to take some of that back, though, the latest Laker championship team was built around a drafted player (Kobe) and a Gasol brother acquired in trade for a drafted Gasol brother.
   67. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4463648)
I think part of the venom towards LeBron (by some) isn't how he handled 'the Decision', but that he decided to go to Miami and not the New York Knicks. For some in the press it was all a forgone conclusion that LeBron was going to be a Knick and his decision in CT was a sign. All the talk the preceding 3 years was about how LeBron was going to be a Knick, etc.

Certainly the case in NY. Not sure if it is elsewhere though. And please don't remind me of the alternate universe where Gallo, LeBron and Steph Curry are all Knicks.
   68. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4463653)
There is no specific reason at all to think that James will ever play for the Lakers; I find it odd that we have now seen 4 or 5 references, even in passing, to it here in the last week. If James were still ringless in Cleveland, and had grown up in Inglewood or Torrance or wherever--OK. But as it is? James is in a situation that he himself planned and created in large part, in a glamorous, warm-weather city, enjoying massive personal and collective success, playing with men he has described many times as close friends/brothers/family etc

Supposedly even Jim Buss has mused about it, which is fine, unless it makes him feel like it is OK if Howard walks, and then it isn't.
   69. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4463655)
Keeping the overall salary cap but allowing a player to get whatever within that cap would make for much more interesting free agent periods.
   70. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4463670)
a drafted player (Kobe)


Well, they actually traded Vlade Divac for him.

As I said once, the main thing that is overlooked about Jerry West's executive career is what a nice job he did of putting together a decent team after Magic had to retire: West brought in Ceballos, Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Vlade, Anthony Peeler, George Lynch, and Elden Campbell, and actually had the team at 53-29 when Shaq hit FA. So, he had the on-court assets to make LA even more attractive to Shaq, and to trade his center for a 17-year-old whom he thought might be great. Great work.

I see a parallel with the Rockets of today. Morey had the assets to get Harden and now has a team that might draw Howard. Smart.
   71. Spivey Posted: June 07, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4463676)
IMO, trading for a player before they start is the equivalent of drafting them, from a player development and scouting personal.
   72. It's a shame about Athletic Supporter Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4463680)
I think part of the venom towards LeBron (by some) isn't how he handled 'the Decision', but that he decided to go to Miami and not the New York Knicks. For some in the press it was all a forgone conclusion that LeBron was going to be a Knick and his decision in CT was a sign. All the talk the preceding 3 years was about how LeBron was going to be a Knick, etc.


This was definitely one expectation (Boston fans chanting "M-S-G" during the Cavs/Celtics series immediately before it) -- but I don't think he would have been any less reviled by the casual fan if he had gone to NYC. If anything, even more so. People hate New York. No one really hates Miami (or hated them before LeBron), it's a beach city that people ridicule for being filled with models and Kardashians and the like but no one really hates it. If LeBron had gone to the Knicks, a lot of the Yankee-hating would have transferred over.

I'm really, really curious how close LeBron's final decision was and between which teams.
   73. Srul Itza Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4463683)
I am ambivalent for this series.

I like narrative. A team that wins 27 straight games -- a third of the season without a loss -- while their best player was putting up astonishing numbers on the way to being MVP by acclaim (after early season pundits had others vying for that award) needs to win the trophy to fully validate the season. It completes the story.

Now, if you hate the team, and they follow up a spectacular regular season by losing at the very end, especially to your favorite team, that makes for an even better narrative. Yes, I'm looking at you, Brady and Bellichek.

I like the Spurs generally, though I don't root for them over the Knicks. I like the way Tim Duncan has carved out a spot as the quietest superstar. I like how for most of the season they had the best record in the West, until the younger and more dynamic Thunder overtook them. I appreciate old guys who can still play.

So I am just going to enjoy the show.
   74. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4463695)
   75. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4463717)
I think part of the venom towards LeBron (by some) isn't how he handled 'the Decision', but that he decided to go to Miami and not the New York Knicks. For some in the press it was all a forgone conclusion that LeBron was going to be a Knick and his decision in CT was a sign. All the talk the preceding 3 years was about how LeBron was going to be a Knick, etc.


You must be a Knicks fan - this is not a thing anywhere else as far as I can tell. I for one would very much dislike him if he'd gone to the Knicks, a team I dislike with no help from anyone already.

There is no specific reason at all to think that James will ever play for the Lakers; I find it odd that we have now seen 4 or 5 references, even in passing, to it here in the last week. If James were still ringless in Cleveland, and had grown up in Inglewood or Torrance or wherever--OK. But as it is? James is in a situation that he himself planned and created in large part, in a glamorous, warm-weather city, enjoying massive personal and collective success, playing with men he has described many times as close friends/brothers/family etc


Specific, no - but, the Lakers will have a ton of cap space in 2014, and the Lakers have a history of adding guys like that - Kareem, Shaq, Dwight Howard (recall: a 27 yo C coming off five straight 1st team all-NBAs), even Gasol. I don't think it's the most likely scenario, to be sure, but consider me skeptical that there's zero smoke there.

Also, great point about the way West rebuilt the Lakers pre-Shaq and then leveraged that into teams that won the three titles in [70], rr.
   76. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4463719)
I like the way Tim Duncan has carved out a spot as the quietest superstar.


I'm not sure the referees would agree with this characterization (mostly kidding, I understand what you meant).
   77. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4463721)
You must be a Knicks fan - this is not a thing anywhere else as far as I can tell.


That was very much a thing for Simmons and a few others: the story was that he didn't have the chops to be the man in a big market. Even some here made that case.
   78. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4463723)
I'm really, really curious how close LeBron's final decision was and between which teams.

Rumors around that time said it was between the Heat and Cavs. That the Knicks were actually eliminated pretty early on*. This doesn't even mention Miami. But this seems to be the best we have to answer that question.

*I forgot about the Isiah recruiting piece.
   79. Karl from NY Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4463734)
I am in a small minority of people who find this admirable about the Heat. The owners have gone to great lengths to control the sport, putting in rules to restrict themselves from competiting with the goal of keeping more of the profits to themselves. It put a smile on my face to see the players taking the situation the owners created and turning it against them.

Yes, and there's one rule in particular here. The maximum salary limitation. The owners put that in aiming to control costs, but that's what led to the Superfriends Heat. James/Wade/Bosh each produce something on the order of $35M of revenue for their employing franchise. With no maximum salary per player, they'd each have to go to different teams to be paid that. But with their maximum salaries limited to $17M by rule, they can fit all that together onto one team's payroll. And they should, since their non-salary earning potential is more than the sum of the parts, since it synergizes with team success.

Repeal the maximum salary and you'll have these stars earning their true value on different teams instead of being encouraged to gang up by that artificial limitation.

(Of course, it's quite possible the NBA's CBA architects understood this and decided that such a superteam is perfectly fine. The Heat gain maximum exposure and profit for the league while still being cost-controlled.)
   80. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4463735)
I see a parallel with the Rockets of today. Morey had the assets to get Harden and now has a team that might draw Howard. Smart.


Now he just needs to trade Asik for the pick that will become Andrew Wiggins.

   81. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4463736)
(Of course, it's quite possible the NBA's CBA architects understood this and decided that such a superteam is perfectly fine. The Heat gain maximum exposure and profit for the league while still being cost-controlled.)


I think it is very good for the league to have teams with multiple all-NBA players. It raises the level of play, it creates strong rooting interests for and against them, and it creates the aura of historical significance that the NBA markets as much as any pro sports league.
   82. Booey Posted: June 07, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4463737)
IMO, trading for a player before they start is the equivalent of drafting them, from a player development and scouting personal.

Agreed. The Lakers get a lot of criticism from people like me who don't like the way they use the rest of the league as their personal farm system to aquire established stars, but they should at least be given the benefit of the doubt WRT Kobe. I've always basically considered him their own draft pick since they took a gamble on him before he'd ever played a game, and he's been with the team his entire career. Hard to find fault in that.

I like the way Tim Duncan has carved out a spot as the quietest superstar.

I'm not sure the referees would agree with this characterization (mostly kidding, I understand what you meant).


They've still got to prefer quiet eye bulging over the Rasheed type disagreements, right?
   83. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4463751)
Rodman says Lebron would just be an average player...Yeah, like if Larry Bird were black he'd just be an average player.

"It would be no contest. The Heat has better talent than we had, but we had smarter players," Rodman said. "That's the only thing we had, smarter players. ... I would take Bosh out of his damn game easy. That's not even a problem. And how would Dwyane Wade match up with Scottie Pippen? Really? And Scottie Pippen would guard LeBron easy. And how are you going to cover those two guys (Jordan and Pippen)?"


OK, I think Rodman would take Bosh out of his game pretty easy. I mean, Bosh can do that by himself. But if these teams were playing each other, Heat would counter Rodman with Birdman.
   84. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4463759)
Andy, I think what you're trying to imply would make more sense if we were discussing BOS or LAL, which are two franchises who have historically won a ton. If James went to one of those teams, I think you would see more of the "rich get richer" sort of complaints, but outside of '90s Knicks fans I can't believe very many people strongly cared one way or the other about MIA prior to James' arrival.

I wouldn't have liked it no matter what team had been the beneficiary of LeBron's collaborationist move. Not even if it'd been the Celtics, and certainly not if it'd been the Knicks or the Lakers. But again (speaking to Conor and others who've raised the point), it's not the payroll, it's the element of superstars combining to stack the deck. I admit I've never liked any Florida team in any sport, but that was just the turd on the #### sandwich AFAIC.

And BTW I can fully understand the Yankee hatred, even if I usually mock it in other threads. But player stacking has a much greater effect in a sport that's dominated by superstars. I can admire the way the Heat play together as a team, but that doesn't change my disgust.

------------------------------------------------------------

I think it is very good for the league to have teams with multiple all-NBA players. It raises the level of play, it creates strong rooting interests for and against them, and it creates the aura of historical significance that the NBA markets as much as any pro sports league.

I actually wouldn't mind seeing multiple teams with multiple stars and superstars, but I'd rather see it accomplished by contracting the bottom 14 teams, putting the remaining 16 teams in 4 divisions, and then restricting the playoffs to the winners of those divisions, with no wild cards. If nothing else, that'd make the regular season a lot more compelling than it is today, since no team could ever back into the postseason. Obviously neither the players, the league, nor the fans in cities like Charlotte or New Orleans might like it, but from the POV of the generic NBA fan it'd be a huge improvement over the NBA of today.
   85. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 07, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4463769)
You must be a Knicks fan - this is not a thing anywhere else as far as I can tell.


That was very much a thing for Simmons and a few others: the story was that he didn't have the chops to be the man in a big market. Even some here made that case.


That was the narrow point I was attempting to make, a class within the media (and Knick fans I assume) was bent out of shape that LeBron 'ducked' New York. They didn't give two shits about the feelings of Cleveland being hurt, it was LeBron 'ducking' the Big Apple.
   86. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4463806)

The correct answer is and always will be Arvydas Sabonis.


In Basketball Valhalla, healthy prime Arvydas Sabonis and Bill Walton are going toe to toe every day. Or maybe they're both playing for the Blazers.
   87. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4463807)
Is anyone here actually rooting for Miami?


Yes. Giant LeBron fan and love seeing one of the GOATs at their best winning. Won't mind San Antonio winning though. Love that team too.

Edit: Not a Heat fan, just a fan-of-the-team-LeBron-play-on, especially if they enable him to do all the great things he does.
   88. AROM Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4463810)
In Basketball Valhalla, healthy prime Arvydas Sabonis and Bill Walton are going toe to toe every day.


Sabonis and Walton going toe to toe. And they're down. Holding their toes. This doesn't look good folks. I could hear them break from all the way up here. And now they're bringing out the stretchers. Sam Bowie is ready to come in...
   89. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4463811)
"LeBron came into the age of the game at a perfect time. Michael came into the game when back then you could hit people, knock him down, shoot a free throw and get back up," Rodman said. "And LeBron can't do that. All they do today is (complain) about a foul. All they do is (complain)."


LeBron would break Rodman in half.

Edit: I shouldn't expect Rodman to be logically consistent instead of going after a good quote...but while we're talking about people who complain court, Mr. Rodman...
   90. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4463814)
[88] Real, actual laughing out loud.
   91. GregD Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4463820)
I actually wouldn't mind seeing multiple teams with multiple stars and superstars, but I'd rather see it accomplished by contracting the bottom 14 teams, putting the remaining 16 teams in 4 divisions, and then restricting the playoffs to the winners of those divisions, with no wild cards. If nothing else, that'd make the regular season a lot more compelling than it is today, since no team could ever back into the postseason. Obviously neither the players, the league, nor the fans in cities like Charlotte or New Orleans might like it, but from the POV of the generic NBA fan it'd be a huge improvement over the NBA of today.
That would be interesting to watch, no? Especially as high-usage scorers had to shift into becoming role players or lose their spots. Going with 12 players who realistically matter per team, you'd have 192 players as your initial cutoff. By total Win Shares, players 190-196 this year were:

Matt Bonner
Willie Green
Reggie Jackson
Kendrick Perkins
Rodney Stuckey
Steve Blake
Toney Douglass

Those would be the kind of guys, roughly, who would be competing for the last bench spot.

There would be 80 starters, and by Win Shares guys 75-86 are:

Robin Lopez
Kyle Lowry
Omar Asik
Lance Stephenson
Ray Allen
Jamal Crawford
Ed Davis
Gordon Hayward
Jason Kidd
Jeremy Lin
Andrew Miller
Kyrie Irving

Given that there aren't 16 Centers above these guys, the line is actually probably above this, but these would be the kinds of guys fighting to stay starters.

If a mediocre team had plausible but unimpressive starters who were, say, 16th, 25th, 40th, 55th, and 76th in Win Shares, they'd be starting:

Tyson Chandler
Tiago Splitter
Kevin Martin
Kawhi Leonard
Kyle Lowry

That's still not a super team, though obviously way better than the Horcats. The big difference would be bench quality on the good teams; their benches would have players.
   92. EddieA Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4463824)
Funny how strange results can occur when you look at pure numbers.
Kyrie Irving probably doesn't have to fight for a starting job in a 5-team league. Staying on the floor may be an issue.
   93. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4463827)
[92] I've tried to figure out how to address injury or limited playing time by an otherwise talented player. I think sorted by WS/48, filtered by MPG > 10 (e.g.)
   94. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4463828)
Obviously neither the players, the league, nor the fans in cities like Charlotte or New Orleans might like it, but from the POV of the generic NBA fan it'd be a huge improvement over the NBA of today.


I know you realize the bad idea-ness of it. But removing teams from 14 cities makes for a whole lot fewer NBA fans, and probably a whole lot fewer generic NBA fans.

If we're going to that extreme, I may as well just optimize the league for my _own_ personal amusement: Annual redrafts of the entire league.
   95. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4463837)
IMO, trading for a player before they start is the equivalent of drafting them, from a player development and scouting personal.


I was correcting the record, not arguing the substance. Bryant was the first non-big to come straight out of high school, and trading an above-average center for him was a ballsy move.
   96. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4463856)
Specific, no - but, the Lakers will have a ton of cap space in 2014, and the Lakers have a history of adding guys like that - Kareem, Shaq, Dwight Howard (recall: a 27 yo C coming off five straight 1st team all-NBAs), even Gasol. I don't think it's the most likely scenario, to be sure, but consider me skeptical that there's zero smoke there.


Kareem went to college in LA and wanted to live in LA or NY (where he was born). Shaq wanted to be involved in the entertainment business. Howard actually wanted to go to Brooklyn, and although he has some interest in celebrity culture and TV/movies, is seriously considering leaving LA because the team is a mess and he doesn't like the coach. Plus, they got him because they had a trade asset that they drafted: Bynum. Gasol came in a trade that has in time proved to have helped both teams.

Wilt, whom you left off the list, came mostly because of Jack Kent Cooke. Cooke is largely forgotten today, and is known more for owning the Redskins than the Lakers, but he is really the man who in many ways created the modern Lakers brand: he built the Forum; he was the one who changed the unis to purple and gold. The courtside celeb thing started back in the early 1960s, but it was cemented under Cooke. Trying to beat the Celtics and Russell, Cooke paid Chamberlain what was at the time the astronomical sum of 250K. For perspective, Jerry West was making 100K at the time.

So, really, since none of the scenarios (ties to the city, having the showbiz bug, being able to get a huge paycheck, being traded) above applies to James, history does not indicate that there is any reason to think that James will play here.

And, one other thing: the only guy in that group to come to a pretty weak Lakers team was Kareem. Yes, the Lakers will have a lot of cap space in 2014, but they will also have very little if any projectible talent
--and no big star wants to play for a crappy team.
   97. kpelton Posted: June 07, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4463861)
I know the discussion has long since moved past this, but as a homer I am obligated to note Jack Sikma belongs on the list of best players not in the Hall of Fame and long on the ballot.
   98. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4463862)
Cooke is also the guy who put purple and gold balloons in the Forum rafters prior to Game 7 in 1969. Jerry West has said he winced when he saw them, seeing it as a bad omen, and legend has it that Russell, walking into the arena, said, "Those things are going to be up there a long time."
   99. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4463867)
[96] I assume a LeBron/Kobe (no Howard) Laker team would be built on the fly, a lot like the Heat were when James and Bosh joined Wade.
   100. rr Posted: June 07, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4463873)
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