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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, May 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: Bryce Harper getting mooned by a Dodgers fan, how dumb interleague baseball is, or random spamming of Yankees/RedSox news that barely counts as news.

Tripon Posted: May 01, 2012 at 10:28 AM | 2330 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1301. AROM Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4136883)
By trading Gasol (or Bynum, but Gasol would make more sense for their long term future).


It would have to be Gasol. You can't trade a top 2, 24 year old center for a top ~7, 27 year old point guard.
   1302. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4136885)
Lin's going to be a hard sign because the Knicks can only use their veteran exemption on him, and they don't want to spend the full VE on Lin, instead, they want to spread it around to 2/3 players and hope they can get a dead cat bounce from somebody.

That doesn't sound right (the vet exemption part). And it's not.

So his agent said something, now people are overreacting? Geez, he's just trying to create a little leverage here, which he really doesn't have.
   1303. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4136886)
By trading Gasol (or Bynum, but Gasol would make more sense for their long term future).

That's going to be a tough sign and trade to get accomplished. I won't say it can't happen, but it's highly unlikely.
   1304. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4136903)
That's going to be a tough sign and trade to get accomplished. I won't say it can't happen, but it's highly unlikely.


I wouldn't bet on it either. But getting Gasol in the first place was unlikely, so you never know.

It would have to be Gasol. You can't trade a top 2, 24 year old center for a top ~7, 27 year old point guard.


Agreed, though I think calling Deron a top 7 PG is selling him a bit short. Who's more valuable at the position other than Paul, Westbrook, and Rose? Parker and Rondo aren't necessarily better just cuz they play for better teams.
   1305. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4136911)
Who's more valuable at the position other than Paul, Westbrook, and Rose?

Nash for sure. Rubio? Kyrie? So, he's fifth with those guys coming behind him. He's lost some luster for me because he can't get the Nets to do anything. I'm not saying they should be contenders, but if he's really as good as we all think, they shouldn't be one of the five worst teams in the NBA either.
   1306. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4136926)
I'd take Deron over Nash, especially going forward.
   1307. Tripon Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4136927)
Claiming that both Rubio and Kyrie are both better than Deron only after one year seems to me that you're projecting their careers. You think that *eventually* they'll be better than Deron. But no way they're better now.
   1308. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4136929)
He's lost some luster for me because he can't get the Nets to do anything. I'm not saying they should be contenders, but if he's really as good as we all think, they shouldn't be one of the five worst teams in the NBA either.
I'm not holding it against him. We've seen lots of great players get dragged down when they're the only good player on the roster. A floor general who's leading an army of paper tigers isn't going to win anything, no matter how good he is.
   1309. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4136931)
The only interesting things about Lin as a free agent look to be:
- the unresolved issue of his Bird rights vis-a-vis being a waiver claim (and how that impacts their ability to retain Fields ... my guess, NYK won't have them; Fields goes)
- what if Nash is willing to go to NYK for the MLE?
   1310. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4136934)
You think that *eventually* they'll be better than Deron. But no way they're better now.

Sure. But, I think you could see them both pass him in the next couple of years.

We've seen lots of great players get dragged down when they're the only good player on the roster.

To bottom five in the NBA? That's not just bad, and he's supposedly in his prime.

I'd take Deron over Nash, especially going forward.


I wouldn't. I'd sign Nash to a 2-3 year deal right now.
   1311. AROM Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4136935)
Rose, Westbrook, and Paul are definitely better than Williams (those until he comes back, it might be better to say Rose was better than Williams).

Then there's Nash, Parker, and Rondo. I think you could make reasonable arguments for or against them compared to Williams. You could rate Williams anywhere from #4 to #7. So I call him a top 7 - this does not mean there are necessarily 6 better PGs in the league.
   1312. tshipman Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4136936)
And Bosh. Toronto's actually a better argument for the opposite side.


Yeah, this is a fair point. Toronto got the right guys in the draft, but couldn't complete the process (spending money on, for instance, Antonio Davis).

True, but that's why I only brought up the times they aquired great players due to seeming "good fortune" rather than through their own smart drafts and such. Every team has the opportunity to hit a homerun in the draft like the Lakers did with Bynum or take a gamble by trading an established vet for a young guy they saw potential in and hope it pays off like they did with Kobe. Many fewer teams have the opportunity to sign Shaq in his prime or pick up possibly the best coach of all time to help put them over the top just because of the team name of the front of their jerseys.


I *think* Pau was available to a lot of other teams, although I might be wrong about that. Obviously, CP3 was. The Lakers are better at identifying who they can trade for than most teams. While Shaq was always headed to LA, he's pretty much the only big time FA that the Lakers have signed since Wilt (Kareem was a trade, right?).

I think, in general, "big time" FA's are tricky because they're once in a generation sort of guys. LeBron and Shaq are the only two FA's that everyone *knew* were huge difference makers at the time of their free agency. (I'm not counting Duncan, Wade or Kobe's contracts, because those guys were always locks to return). Some guys you find out are big time after the fact, like Nash or Chauncey Billups, but those guys are available for the whole league.

I do think the Lakers have a few built in trade advantages, but those aren't that big. The Lakers do have FA advantages, but this hurts them as often as helps them, and true difference makers are so exceedingly rare as to be unicorns. I think the Lakers have gotten lucky*, personally, and it's not always easy to distinguish lucky from baked-in advantage.

*Since 1990. Before then, the Lakers/Celtics were just a lot better managed than most teams and some of those trades were just taking advantage of rubes.
   1313. GregD Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4136951)
Kareem was a trade, right?
Yes, a forced trade on Kareem's secret demand to go to either NY or LA. With Walt Wesley for Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers and Junior Bridgeman
   1314. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4136955)
Who's more valuable at the position other than Paul, Westbrook, and Rose?

Nash for sure.


You'd really build a team around a 39 year old point guard over a 28 (or whatever) year old one?

Playing for the Nets drains a players soul. Williams was better with the Jazz, and if he gets NBA quality teammates again, I don't see any reason why he can't return to his 2008-2011 form. That ESPN player ranking from before the season had Williams as the 9th best player in the NBA behind LeBron, Howard, Wade, Paul, Dirk, Kobe, Durant, and Rose. And it didn't look dumb at the time, IMO.
   1315. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4136957)
While Shaq was always headed to LA, he's pretty much the only big time FA that the Lakers have signed since Wilt


I'd say Malone and Payton were pretty big free agents, though they were obviously past their prime by the time the Lakers got them.

Not sure if coaches count as free agents, but Phil Jackson may be almost as big of an instant difference maker as the Shaq/LeBron types of players.
   1316. AROM Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4136963)
You'd really build a team around a 39 year old point guard over a 28 (or whatever) year old one?


It could make sense if you think Nash is better right now and you're ready to contend. Plus while you could sign Williams and have him for 5-6 years, you could always plan on signing Nash for 2 and then being able to dip back into the free agent market for a star PG 2 years down the road. And if the first 2 years work out - winning team in NYC - you should be able to make that happen.

Williams is supposed to be a good defender, Nash a terrible one. But looking at their head to head records Nash seems to have gotten the better of the matchup:

Nash: 15.6 PPG, .468/.370/.983 shooting, 11.5 ast/3.5 TO
Deron: 17.4 PPG, .415/.355/.850 shooting, 9.5 ast/3.4 TO

That's 19 regular season games, 18 while Williams was in Utah.
   1317. AROM Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4136968)
Not sure if coaches count as free agents, but Phil Jackson may be almost as big of an instant difference maker as the Shaq/LeBron types of players.


Coaches can make a huge difference. But it's really hard to measure their impact. How much is it Phil Jackson, HOF coach, or Phil Jackson, cherry-picking opportunist? He took two jobs, both with teams that had not only HOF talented players, but first rung inner circle legendary players, where neither team had played up to their potential. While Phil rightly gets credit for great coaching, it is highly probable that with the maturation of Grant and Pippen plus the aging of the Pistons that Jordan's team was going to break through one way or another. But they might not have pulled off 2 three peats without Phil.

I'd love to see what Phil's impact would be with a good but not great team that generally leaves the playoffs in the first or second round, like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Jazz of the past few years, who have good players but no great ones. Won't happen though.
   1318. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4136970)
Williams is supposed to be a good defender, Nash a terrible one. But looking at their head to head records Nash seems to have gotten the better of the matchup:

Nash: 15.6 PPG, .468/.370/.983 shooting, 11.5 ast/3.5 TO
Deron: 17.4 PPG, .415/.355/.850 shooting, 9.5 ast/3.4 TO

That's 19 regular season games, 18 while Williams was in Utah.


That's also going back to 2005-2006, when Nash was the MVP and Williams was the backup to Keith McCloud for half the season for some bizarre reason. But Nash being better 6 years ago doesn't really say much about who would be the better signing right now. Based on their ages, it's reasonable to conclude that Nash may have a harder time continuing that success going forward than Williams will.
   1319. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4136973)
I'd love to see what Phil's impact would be with a good but not great team that generally leaves the playoffs in the first or second round, like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Jazz of the past few years, who have good players but no great ones. Won't happen though.


I always wanted to see that too, rather than him signing on with another team that was already on the verge of breaking through. Doesn't seem to be his style, though.
   1320. JJ1986 Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4136985)
Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith are out.
   1321. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4136995)
And yet, the teams didn't win until he (Phil) got there.
   1322. Conor Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4136997)
Lin's going to be a hard sign because the Knicks can only use their veteran exemption on him, and they don't want to spend the full VE on Lin, instead, they want to spread it around to 2/3 players and hope they can get a dead cat bounce from somebody.

Basically, they want their cake and to eat it too.


Do you mean the mid level instead of the VE? They do want to be able to use some of the mid level on other guys as well, but I would imagine some team offers Lin a contract that takes up just about the entire MLE.
   1323. AROM Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4136999)
Just a total guess, but I think without Phil and an average coach in his place, the Bulls still win 4-5 championships. Jordan was not going to be denied.

Lakers though might only win 1, or none at all. I think he held the Shaq/Kobe situation together as best as anyone could, and without Phil those two try and kill each other. Which means, given the size difference, Shaq eats Kobe.
   1324. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4137001)
Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith are out.


Hey, Portland needs a GM...

As a resident, I'm actually pulling really hard for SVG to land in Rip City, though. OKC or Miami would also be great, but have shown no indication of pulling the plug on their current guys.
   1325. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4137005)
Miami would also be great

Uh...
   1326. AROM Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4137007)
That's also going back to 2005-2006, when Nash was the MVP and Williams was the backup to Keith McCloud for half the season for some bizarre reason. But Nash being better 6 years ago doesn't really say much about who would be the better signing right now. Based on their ages, it's reasonable to conclude that Nash may have a harder time continuing that success going forward than Williams will.


Based on ages, yeah, Williams will still be good 3-4 years down the road and Nash will either be retired or have his minutes greatly reduced in a backup role. But for the very short term - next year - they should probably be expected to keep doing what they've been doing recently. Looking at their last 3 matchups in 2011 (2 in Utah, one in NJ) I get:

Nash: 16 ppg, 15-38 shooting, 13 assists, 2.3 TO
Williams 14.3 PPG, 15-44 shooting, 14.3 assists, 4.7 TO.
   1327. baudib Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4137008)
The Chicago thing could have blown up in any number of ways with a lesser coach. Scottie Pippen took himself out of the game for the final shot in the 1994 ECF; franchises have been destroyed on less. Pippen really resented Kukoc. The Bulls were willing to take on Rodman because Jackson could handle him.
   1328. Tripon Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4137011)
Stan Van Gundy coaching the Clippers. What can go wrong!

Edit: More like SVG should coach the Clippers. Can't do any worse of a job than Vinnie Del Negro.
   1329. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4137019)
And yet, the teams didn't win until he (Phil) got there.


Correct. Which is why I do think that Phil did make a big difference. I suspect both teams would have eventually won titles anyway, but maybe not so soon and almost certainly not so many.
   1330. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4137021)
Speaking of Kyrie...I quite enjoyed this.
   1331. baudib Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4137029)
Bird (and Magic) were always regarded as players who made the team around them better. For Bird one example is Robert Parish, whose shooting percentage jumped 40 points they year he started playing with Bird.


Back in the earliest days of the NBA thread, we were well educated on this subject by Andy, who made it pretty clear that Russell, Bird and Walton were the only guys in NBA history who made their teammates better.

As for Parish, he shot .551 in his first 8 years with the Celtics. When Bird missed most of the 1988-89 season, the Celtics obviously declined drastically, but Parish, at age 35 and shouldering an increased offensive workload, had one of his best seasons, with 18.6/12.5 (career high) and shooting .570. Parish was a really good player, and would have been had he stayed in Golden State (which makes the JBC for Parish/McHale trade all the worse)

ML Carr's shooting percentage dropped 40 points the year he started playing with Bird, and D.J's dropped 25 points. Archibald's FGA/G and USG went way down, his shooting % went up.
   1332. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4137034)
But for the very short term - next year - they should probably be expected to keep doing what they've been doing recently


Maybe, but again, based on ages, I'd take Williams even for a single season contract. Logic says that Nash has to start dropping off any year now, and it may be a full out cliff dive rather than a gradual decline. Williams OTOH, may not have even hit his prime yet, and playing for a team that doesn't suck out your lifeblood like a vampire (the scary kind, not the sparkly Twilight variety), his numbers may very well be better than they were in 2012.

So yeah, even for a VERY short contract - like just the 2012-2013 season - I'd still bet that DWill will be the more productive of the two. Nash may come cheaper though.
   1333. andrewberg Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4137035)
I'd love to see what Phil's impact would be with a good but not great team that generally leaves the playoffs in the first or second round, like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Jazz of the past few years, who have good players but no great ones. Won't happen though.


That isn't so far off of what he did when he got to LA. Maybe that team *should* have been a contender, but it wasn't, and there are many, many teams that should be contenders and never actualize.

Back in the earliest days of the NBA thread, we were well educated on this subject by Andy, who made it pretty clear that Russell, Bird and Walton were the only guys in NBA history who made their teammates better.


You can add "Top 5 NBA PG According to Jimmy, well, sort of" Ricky Rubio to that list. I'm sure Andy would agree, or at least he will once something awful happens and Rubio leaves for Boston.

Here's betting SVG finds another job before Otis Smith. By the way, did they hint at replacements yet? My guess: GM- Dwight Howard. Coach- Dwight Howard.
   1334. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4137038)
[1330] Nice. Kyrie seems like a great kid.
   1335. andrewberg Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4137039)
playing for a team that doesn't suck out your lifeblood like a vampire (the scary kind, not the sparkly Twilight variety)


Is there an NBA team that sucks the lifeblood out of you in a sparkly Twilight way? It has to be the Knicks, right?
   1336. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4137042)
That isn't so far off of what he did when he got to LA. Maybe that team *should* have been a contender, but it wasn't, and there are many, many teams that should be contenders and never actualize.


While I agree that Phil likely did make a significant impact, I'm not sure I agree with the above. The Lakers won 61 games and got to the WCF in 1998. I think people sometimes tend to focus too much on their step back season in 1999.
   1337. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4137043)
Is there an NBA team that sucks the lifeblood out of you in a sparkly Twilight way? It has to be the Knicks, right?


If there was, then yes, it almost certainly would be. :)
   1338. AROM Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4137047)
I have looked at that a bit more systematically. Using win shares I tried to see how a players teammates did with and without. The stats I have are at the season level though, not any on-court, off court measure. So it compares Parish on teams that don't have Bird to Parish on teams with Bird. Repeat for every player. I did an age adjustment and put a limit on how much one player can have on end results (so Magic Johnson is not killed for playing with old Kareem while young Kareem put up much better numbers).

I'll have to check how Bird ended up. The players who look best are the defensive specialists, guys like Bruce Bowen. This makes sense. We don't have much in the way of defensive stats so Win Shares just credits everyone on a good defensive team with good defense. So having a guy like Bowen who doesn't put any stats in the box score helps everyone on the team look better.

I remember the first guys I checked were Wilt and Russell, and as expected Russell had a positive effect and Wilt had a negative one - hard to pad your own stats when Wilt is hogging the ball so much.
   1339. AROM Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4137050)
That isn't so far off of what he did when he got to LA. Maybe that team *should* have been a contender, but it wasn't, and there are many, many teams that should be contenders and never actualize.


The difference is one team has all-time great center, and a young shooting guard with obvious all-time great ability, and the other team has guys like Josh Smith and Joe Johnson. I'd like to see an alternate world where Phil took over a good team with good players, but no obvious HOFer on the squad.
   1340. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4137057)
Miami would also be great


I think I'll play in the NBA before SVG goes back to Miami.

As a resident, I'm actually pulling really hard for SVG to land in Rip City, though

People here are going to go nuts. Allen should offer SVG whatever he wants.
   1341. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4137077)
How exactly are they going to afford a max deal?


The only way Williams is coming here is in an S/T involving Bynum. It is far more likely that Williams stays in Brooklyn or goes to Dallas. And, with SVG done in Orlando, I think it is safe to say that Howard is not going anywhere for the time being.

As to the past and Phil:

Chamberlain came here because the 76ers were tired of him and vice versa, and because Jack Kent Cooke was willing to give him a massive 250K deal, monstrous for that era.

Kareem is from New York and played his college ball in Los Angeles, so in somewhat the same way that Deron Williams has talked about wanting to play in his hometown of Dallas, Kareem wanted to play in one of those two cities, and there was no free agency in the modern sense then. Those teams happen to be big markets. The Lakers moved more quickly and got the deal done. They did not, however, have title-ready teams until they drafted Magic.

I have explained this 3 or 4 times in this thread already, but what everybody forgets about with Shaq and in Jerry West's career resume is that after Magic Johnson was forced into retirement, West did a great job of putting together a team that went 53-29 prior to getting Shaq:

Drafted Vlade Divac late in RD 1 at a time when drafting Euros was exotic and weird.
Picked up Cedric Ceballos cheap
Got Nick Van Exel in RD 2
Got Elden Campbell late in RD 1
Used a late lotto pick on Eddie Jones
Picked up Anthony Peeler and George Lynch as well

Shaq obviously wanted to be here, but one of NBA history's unknowns is whether he would have still wanted to be here if the team had sucked then. It didn't--and that was because of Jerry West being smart, not because it was located in LA.

West used Divac to get Bryant, who was the first non-big to come straight of HS. Given the composition of the Lakers' roster, it was an odd move in some ways and Kobe didn't really fit at all on those early teams. West did it anyway, and he deserves credit for it.

Gasol we have covered, but again, I think it is quite likely that Memphis knew something about Marc Gasol, based on the fact that they got his bro on draft night.

As to Paul, there were some Lakers fans who were relieved when the deal was vetoed. That looks dumb now, but giving up two high-quality bigs (even ones past 30) for a 6' guy--even if that 6' guy is Chris Paul--was a bold and unconventional move, particularly when you factor in Kobe's age, Bynum's injury history, Paul's own injury history, and Gasol's durability. In retrospect, Buss and Kupchak obviously made the right call. Many people realized it at the time, but there were also many people who didn't see it as a slam-dunk, and Buss and Kupchak deserve credit for pulling the trigger.

And frankly, it is my belief that the type of reaction that fans like Booey (and Dan Gilbert) have to the Lakers' history factored heavily in Stern's veto calculus. I think it is very possible that Howard would have gone to DeVos and demanded to come here if Paul had been here. My guess is that Howard doesn't like Kobe much and is lukewarm about LA, but playing with CP3 in the purple-and-gold would have looked very good to him. And if that had happened, there would have been a huge backlash from small-market fans and Stern and the CBA would have been mocked internet-wide. And to use one of Simmons' cherished Godfather analogies, as Jack Woltz said to Tom Hagen, "A man in my position cannot afford to look ridiculous." By getting Paul in LA anyway, but on the Clippers, Stern got some of the commercial advantages while avoiding the massive PR hit. He also arguably helped the Hornets, and I think that mattered to him, but I absolutely think that he was influenced by the factors above.

And finally, of course, we have very clear and obvious examples of elite small-market teams in San Antonio and Oklahoma City which have combined lottery good fortune with astute management and are one game away from eliminating both LA squads by a combined 8-1 count. The first of those teams has been at or near the top of the NBA for almost 20 years, and the second has locked up its two stars and will be in the championship conversation for years to come, and both of these teams were assembled almost entirely under the old CBA.

________


As to Phil, he came back to a mediocre Laker team in 2005, and it was a bit better under him than it had been before. As I have said a few times, what I think many people don't get about Phil is that he has a great track record coaching defense. The Bulls' D stayed very good post-Jordan. The Lakers' D got a lot better when he took over both times. Looking at the present, the Lakers dropped from 6th to 13th in DRTG in the change from Jackson to Mike Brown. There are caveats (the raw numbers are identical, and the Lakers lost Odom and Shannon Brown, who is pretty good on-ball) but the pattern is clear.

Also, at his exit presser last May, the first question Phil was asked was what the key to his success was. He said, "Talent. I have coached some of the greatest talent ever to play this game."
   1342. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4137080)
I think it is safe to say that Howard is not going anywhere for the time being.

I don't think it's safe to say that at all. If the new GM wants to clean out some bad contracts, trading Howard would be an easy route.
   1343. tshipman Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4137082)
I'd love to see what Phil's impact would be with a good but not great team that generally leaves the playoffs in the first or second round, like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Jazz of the past few years, who have good players but no great ones. Won't happen though.


Isn't that the 2008-2011 Lakers?

They were pretty mediocre in the brief interregnum and have looked the same since.

I think Phil is absolutely a phenomenal coach and was the difference maker on at least two Lakers championships.
   1344. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4137088)
If the new GM wants to clean out some bad contracts, trading Howard would be an easy route
.

Perhaps. But I don't think so. I don't think DeVos wants to trade Howard. If he did, they would have done it already. And trading a guy as good as Howard, even when he has a bad back and people are pissed off at him, is never an "easy route" to anything that involves actually winning games in the NBA.
   1345. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4137096)
I'd love to see what Phil's impact would be with a good but not great team that generally leaves the playoffs in the first or second round, like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Jazz of the past few years, who have good players but no great ones. Won't happen though.

Isn't that the 2008-2011 Lakers?


Again, I agree about Phil being a great coach, but no, the 2008-2011 Lakers still had one of the best players ever in his prime (or close to it) with Kobe. Who on the current Hawks, Nuggets, or Jazz is even in Kobe's league? I think AROM was saying that he'd like to see Phil win with GOOD players rather than all time GREAT ones.
   1346. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4137099)
Exactly. And that's how I feel when Laker fans complain about the Haters.


This explains your lack of Laker-related posts, I assume, as well as the way you ignore the use of the word Haters every time it is used.

On the other side, IMO, what guys like me and Hombre "care" about is when people put faux-moral or faux-analytical spins on their emotions about the Lakers and about Kobe--and it is particularly annoying when media guys do it. Guys on the net saying, "Ha Ha Ha! Kobrick the rapist going down in 5!" is pretty much no big deal.
   1347. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4137101)
How much is it Phil Jackson, HOF coach, or Phil Jackson, cherry-picking opportunist? He took two jobs, both with teams that had not only HOF talented players, but first rung inner circle legendary players, where neither team had played up to their potential.

A minor quibble. He didn't cherry pick the first one. He was hired. He was an assistant coach that no one really knew anything about (coaching wise) that had won in various low-level leagues. To say he cherry picked it is a bit much.
   1348. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4137109)
And finally, of course, we have very clear and obvious examples of elite small-market teams in San Antonio and Oklahoma City which have combined lottery good fortune with astute management and are one game away from eliminating both LA squads by a combined 8-1 count. The first of those teams has been at or near the top of the NBA for almost 20 years, and the second has locked up its two stars and will be in the championship conversation for years to come, and both of these teams were assembled almost entirely under the old CBA.


Yes, and I mentioned both of them. But like we both mentioned, they built their teams largely through the draft, rather than free agency or trades.

You didn't address Jackson, Malone, and Payton. It seemed to me that they wanted to be Lakers. There were other teams with equally good chances of winning they could've signed with if it was just about getting rings anywhere they could get them.

And frankly, it is my belief that the type of reaction that fans like Booey (and Dan Gilbert) have to the Lakers' history factored heavily in Stern's veto calculus.


Man, I sure hope so! I think you probably intended that as a sort of mild criticism, but I take it as one of the best compliments I've heard in a while. Never doubt the power of the angry small market fanbases. :)

Stern didn't put a stop to the evil that's going on down in Miami however, so apparently my complaining isn't as powerful as I'd hoped. :(

Yet...
   1349. tshipman Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4137112)
Again, I agree about Phil being a great coach, but no, the 2008-2011 Lakers still had one of the best players ever in his prime (or close to it) with Kobe. Who on the current Hawks, Nuggets, or Jazz is even in Kobe's league? I think AROM was saying that he'd like to see Phil win with GOOD players rather than all time GREAT ones.


Ah. I was focusing more on the first part of the statement, and you are focusing more on the second part. Okay, fair enough. I dunno that anyone has won without all-time players, though. The closest was Larry Brown with the Pistons.

I don't blame Phil for not doing something extraordinarily rare. I think it's still really hard to be successful even with all-time great players. I mean, people on this board have argued that Duncan was better than Shaq or Kobe and Pop has only won four titles to Phil's 5 with those Duncan.
   1350. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4137113)
Is San Antonio Spurs the best team name in the NBA? I would put it a smidge ahead of the Bulls and Pistons.
   1351. baudib Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4137118)
The Lakers have been aggressive and astute talent evaluators for decades. Some of the things they did to teams just wouldn't happen today, because no one is that stupid, especially in a cap league. James Worthy is responsible for the Ted Stepien rule. I can't even figure out the details of the details of the trade that sent the Magic Johnson pick to the Lakers, but essentially the compensation for signing a washed-up Gail Goodrich was 2-3 first rounders.

The Lakers have been blessed.
   1352. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4137124)
This explains your lack of Laker-related posts, I assume, as well as the way you ignore the use of the word Haters every time it is used.


No, I ignored the word Haters when you made it sound like it applied to everyone who disliked the Lakers or Kobe for whatever reason, even when they dislike other teams and players for the exact same reasons.

On the other side, IMO, what guys like me and Hombre "care" about is when people put faux-moral or faux-analytical spins on their emotions about the Lakers and about Kobe--and it is particularly annoying when media guys do it. Guys on the net saying, "Ha Ha Ha! Kobrick the rapist going down in 5!" is pretty much no big deal.


Sure, and I can agree that not all teams fans have to deal with as much of that and I can definitely see why it would get annoying. But like I implied earlier, it's entirely possible to acknowledge another fanbase's burdens without actually having to feel any sympathy for them. I don't think that makes anyone a jerk. It's just sports. Laker fans get to enjoy a bunch of championships. If all they have to deal with in return is some snarky comments from random internet posters or even some widespread disrespect from actual columnists like Simmons or Abbott who should be above that sort of thing, don't you think that's still a small price to pay?

So in summary, yes, I'm not denying that the Haters exist or refusing to acknowledge that they would get irritating. I'm just saying that sympathy for that plight is a little hard to come by. You're still in a very enviable position; I'd take "footnote" titles that I had to defend for the rest of my life over no titles at all any day of the week.



   1353. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4137126)
Great read, ranking dominant postseason performances over the last 26 years. (Spoiler: the Bulls were good in the 90's.)

---

Perhaps. But I don't think so. I don't think DeVos wants to trade Howard. If he did, they would have done it already. And trading a guy as good as Howard, even when he has a bad back and people are pissed off at him, is never an "easy route" to anything that involves actually winning games in the NBA.

It would seem that the owner is going to try and hire and GM and coach that would entice Howard to stay. I don't see how any GM is going to instantly turn that team around (IOW, become title favorites next season) and there's a good chance the new coach won't be as good as SVG. So with Howard being a totally UFA after next season, the Magic still have to be extremely worried that he'll leave after the season. Perhaps it makes it less likely the GM tries to trade him, but it's impossible to try and predict how Howard is going to feel on any given day and he very well could still demand a trade before or during the season.
   1354. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4137127)
It seemed to me that they wanted to be Lakers. There were other teams with equally good chances of winning they could've signed with if it was just about getting rings anywhere they could get them.
That's a pretty free-wheeling generalization. First, look at the other contenders:
Spurs: Already had a PG and PF. Just won a ring, didn't need those two.
Dallas: Already had a PG and PF, and were around $30 million over the cap.
Nets: Already had a PG and PF coming off two straight Finals appearances.
Pistons: Full house.
Kings: Already had a PG and PF.
T-Wolves: Already had a PF.

So they couldn't have just signed anywhere.

Both Malone and Payton were chasing rings, they both wanted to start, and who better to hook their wagon to than the 3-time Finals MVP? Coupled with a chance to play under 9-ring-owning Phil Jackson? On a roster with a gaping hole at PF and moderate hole at PG? It's not all fairy dust and referees.

If all they have to deal with in return is some snarky comments from random internet posters or even some widespread disrespect from actual columnists like Simmons or Abbott who should be above that sort of thing, don't you think that's still a small price to pay?
It's not only a small price to pay, it's one of the perks.
   1355. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4137128)
I brought up the new competition committe the other day, and now I see this:

Stern’s new committee is expected to work on two major rules changes right away: Adopting the international rule for goaltending, meaning that balls could be legally knocked off the rim or backboard that now would result in a basket; and penalizing “floppers.”
   1356. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4137134)
I foresee that new goaltending rule being a problem.
   1357. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4137138)
Dallas: Already had a PG and PF, and were around $30 million over the cap.


Minor nitpick, but cap space wasn't really an issue, since weren't the Lakers over the cap too? I thought that's why they both signed for mid-level exceptions or veterans minimums or whatever it was? Cuban doesn't seem like the type that would mind paying a few mil extra over the cap if it would have increased his chances of getting a ring.
   1358. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4137143)
He wouldn't be, but he was also in negotiations to sign Nash long term at the time. Bringing in another PG — and a future Hall-of-Famer at that position — probably wasn't going to be in the cards at that time.

EDIT: Ultimately, that didn't work out, but if Cuban wasn't going to give Nash the money he wanted at that point in his career, he certainly wasn't going to give Payton a long hard look either.
   1359. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4137144)
I foresee that new goaltending rule being a problem.

I actually think it'll be a lot easier; no more judgement calls on whether the ball was coming down or above the cylinder.
   1360. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4137147)
Ultimately, that didn't work out, but if Cuban wasn't going to give Nash the money he wanted at that point in his career, he certainly wasn't going to give Payton a long hard look either.

There was still a huge game between what Nash got from Phoenix and what Payton got from LA. He did turn around and give the money he was offering to Dampier, so he might as well have overpaid Payton instead.
   1361. andrewberg Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4137155)
Ooooooh, team names. This should be fun. In ascending order of quality:

Worst Name
Utah Jazz- such an awful fit, and a non "s" name on top of that. I hate when you end up with the subject/verb confusion like, "the Jazz have a good point guard." Only excusable for european soccer teams who follow different naming conventions.

Bottom Tier
Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, OKC Thunder from Down Under- see above
Los Angeles Lakers- region confusion, also like the Jazz. If you have a regional name and move, why not keep the name?
NJ/BK Nets- not independently all that bad, but part of that stupid Mets, Jets, Nets (are the tennis Lets an urban myth?) trend. I would prefer Netropolitans.
Charlotte Bobcats- Now that Bob(cat) Johnson is out of the owner's suite, I would guess they rebrand in short order. Charlotte Jordans.
Washington Wizards- Baltimore Bullets is probably a top 5 name. Washington Bullets is solid. Wizards? Is it supposed to be a tribute to Wooden? I don't see the relationship to the city or sport. Forced aliteration. 
Toronto Raptors- do not name teams after movie fads. You can change colors and logos, but they are stuck with the lame moniker. 

Below average names
Memphis Grizzlies- the name had stink on it from Vancouver. There are lots of better alternatives in an interesting city.
LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets- the NBA doesnt require intimidating names like the NFL, but they shouldn't sound as weak as these names.
New Orleans Hornets- again, why take the name with you? I have always wished the Jazz and Hornets would just trade names (isn't Utah the beehive state?)

Average Names
Boston Celtics, NY Knick(erbocker)s- I have mixed feelings about anachronistic names. These words are kept in the lexicon by being team names. Is that good or bad? 
Sacramento Kings- bonus points for associating royalty with the capital city, but Royals was cooler, and it is pretty bland. 
Atlanta Hawks- inoffensive but boring. Ranks ok because it is fairly classic. 
Cleveland Cavaliers- it sounds cool and evoke a cool image. On the other hand, it is too long and I don't know what Cleveland has to do with a cavalier. 
Golden State Warriors- a rare one where the move still left a name that worked. I think I like it because it makes me think of "warriors, come out and play." I am split on the G St thing. On one hand, it sounds like they are trying to cover up playing in Oakland (for now) and pull a cheap marketing stunt like the Angels. On the other hand, it sounds cool

Good names
Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trailblazers, Dallas Mavericks- all very cool names, all too long, forcing clumsy abbreviations. Bonus points for all being regionally appropriate. 
Indiana Pacers- Would rank even higher if they weren't named after another sport, essentially conceding that they will always play second fiddle. 
Chicago Bulls- lends itself to a good logo, cool relationship to meat packing. Would rank higher if not slightly generic.
Phoenix Suns- matches up well with the desert. Makes for a cool logo. I am not sure why it is plural, since there is really only one sun, at least in our solar system (I would unscientifically just call everything else a star). Are other teams named after one of something? I guess this next one sort of qualifies...

Top 5
5. Philadelphia 76ers- Look, I lived in Philadelphia and I have a lot of friends there, so I don't want this to sound overly critical, but it is probably a good move to focus on the distant past rather than the present. 
4. San Antonio Spurs- Good local flavor, flows off the tongue, tough.
3. Milwaukee Bucks- Another good local name. Also a very unique name in sports, and so infinitely better than deer. Brewers, Packers, Bucks- all excellent names. Good job wisconsin!
2. Houston Rockets- nails the #1 thing a lot of people know about the city, and it makes sense as a name in a sport where "flying" is paramount.
1. Detroit Pistons- perfect synthesis with the region, easy to chant, perfect amount of intimidation without sounding arrogant or douchey. Much respsect, now if only the teal jerseys never happened.
   1362. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4137164)
There was still a huge game between what Nash got from Phoenix and what Payton got from LA. He did turn around and give the money he was offering to Dampier, so he might as well have overpaid Payton instead.
Sure, but even if that happened, he'd have both Nash and Payton on the roster and... what? Start them both? Payton didn't want to come off the bench, and Nash certainly wasn't going to. It wasn't a good fit.
   1363. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4137165)
Booey,

No one has said hating the Lakers = being a jerk, and no one has asked for "sympathy." And you think I "made it sound like" whatever, well, sorry, but you might want to ask as opposed to accusing.


You didn't address Jackson, Malone, and Payton. It seemed to me that they wanted to be Lakers


IMO Jackson wanted to coach the game's most dominant big man who was paired with an elite wing, when one was 27 and the other was 21. You called the the Lakers "fringe contenders" but I think the feeling was that the two main pieces were in place for a dynasty.

Jackson came back in 2005 supposedly because:

Of wanting the money and the rush again
Kobe wanted him back
Jeannie Buss was there and wanted him to come back

But he came back to a middle-of-the-pack team.

Hombre covered Malone and Payton. What I heard at the time was that SA made a late offer to Malone for more $ but he had already told Payton that he was comin to LA. And, of course, the Lakers didn't win the title with that team, and it broke up a year later.

Finally, yes, SA and OKC "built through the draft", but those teams, particularly SA, have been "blessed" as well. Portland took Oden instead of Durant; Memphis took Thabeet instead of Harden. Duncan and Robinson we know about. But those "blessings" have been augmented by serious brains, and that is why those teams are where they are today.

Basically, your position appears to be, "Teams in blingy markets having great players that they get through trades and FA, and great players wanting to be in those markets really pisses me off" and "Lakers fans should shut up and let people bittch because of all the banners on the wall" both of which are reasonable feelings to have. But the main advantage that the Lakers have that Stern could get at--revenue--he has gotten at.

As to Stern and LeVeto, I think he wanted to avoid bad PR and to avoid looking stupid, and Paul and Howard landing on the Lakers with ten days of the new CBA being ratified would have made him look stupid. And as we have both noted, Chris Paul isn't on the Bucks.
   1364. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4137168)
New Orleans Hornets- again, why take the name with you? I have always wished the Jazz and Hornets would just trade names (isn't Utah the beehive state?)


I agree with this and have said so.

The Lakers are an iconic brand now, but I always thought it would have been cool if they had simply gone with "Los Angeles Stars" back in '60. Hollywood types from those days (James Garner, Peter Falk, Doris Day) were Lakers fans early on, so it would have been a natural. The old PCL team was the "Hollywood Stars" but I still think it would have worked.
   1365. andrewberg Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4137172)
I would also go with Hollywood Knights, but yea, stars is the best option.
   1366. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4137187)
region confusion, also like the Jazz. If you have a regional name and move, why not keep the name?


What's wrong with paying tribute to your roots by keeping the old moniker? I've never really understood the level of animosity towards the Jazz name. I understand the "it sounds stupid" or the "it no longer makes any regional sense now that the team has relocated" arguments, but as you pointed out above, you could say the same about several other teams. The Jazz is the only one that seems to offend people on a personal level (and I don't mean you).

isn't Utah the beehive state?


For some reason, yes.

2. Houston Rockets- nails the #1 thing a lot of people know about the city, and it makes sense as a name in a sport where "flying" is paramount.


It made for some good movie-related fan taunts back in the 90's too. After Apollo 13 came out, Jazz fans would be holding signs saying "Houston, we have a problem" whenever the Rockets came to town. It made much less sense when Rocket fans started doing it back in the '97 and '98 playoffs. "Utah, we have a problem"? Hmmmm...
   1367. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4137195)
The Jazz is the only one that seems to offend people on a personal level (and I don't mean you).

_________________________________________________

Well, IMO it's because jazz as an art form is socio-historically about as far from Utah as it possible to be, as well as sounding bad. Los Angeles Lakers is at least alliterative and sounds good but is just geographically inaccurate and dorky.

I have always thought that "New Orleans Jazz" was the only non-plural nickname/city combo that sounded cool. I don't like Magic, Heat, or Thunder. I would encourage Berg or Hombre (who IIRC works in graphic design) or someone else to rank the logos, which I think would be fun.

Memphis: I have always thought it would be cool if they could have been the "Memphis Kings" as a tribute to Elvis/music/royalty.
   1368. smileyy Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4137196)
Washington Wizards- Baltimore Bullets is probably a top 5 name. Washington Bullets is solid. Wizards? Is it supposed to be a tribute to Wooden? I don't see the relationship to the city or sport. Forced aliteration.


"Bullets" doesn't go over so well when you lead the country in murders per capita. I think they went with "Anything But Bullets". I agree "Wizards" is a terrible name though.

Would the Celtics be better if they were pronounced with a hard C?
   1369. Srul Itza Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4137205)
. I mean, people on this board have argued that Duncan was better than Shaq or Kobe and Pop has only won four titles to Phil's 5 with those Duncan.


And never repeated. That's the thing that strikes me. The Spurs have been a great franchise, but they never went back to back. Phil with the Lakers had a three-peat and a repeat.
   1370. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4137207)
Basically, your position appears to be, "Teams in blingy markets having great players that they get through trades and FA, and great players wanting to be in those markets really pisses me off"


Somewhat, but it's more than just that it bugs me personally. It's that I find it a big obstacle in the way of competitive balance, and I think it's bad for the league when this kind of thing keeps happening. But I'm fully aware that that's just my opinion and that many other people think the exact opposite, that bling stars on bling teams is the best thing that could happen to the league cuz of revenue, etc. If people think that only one small market franchise (SA) being able to break through and win titles in the last 30+ years isn't a competitive balance issue, well that's their opinion. I'll just have to respectfully disagree on that one.

"Lakers fans should shut up and let people bittch because of all the banners on the wall"


Nah, I didn't say that. I said they shouldn't expect sympathy for all the Hating. It goes with the territory. But they're free to bittch about it as much as they want, just like the rest of us are free to bittch about their team and the seemingly built in advantages discussed above. Bittching doesn't bother me, and as you suggested with the vetoed Chris Paul deal, maybe sometimes it actually serves a purpose beyond just letting off steam.
   1371. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4137209)
Utah is the beehive state for historical reasons related to the Book of Mormon.

The St. Louis Blues hockey team was named in 1967. That's a great name. It has the musical meaning, and also "Blues" makes sense and is plural! outside of the musical context.

The New Orleans Jazz team was named in 1974 - not quite as good a name. I always thought the one name was influenced by the other.
   1372. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4137210)
Nah, I didn't say that. I said they shouldn't expect sympathy for all the Hating.
No, what you really want is some sympathy for the horrible plight of the smaller market:
But like I implied earlier, it's entirely possible to acknowledge another fanbase's burdens without actually having to feel any sympathy for them.
Basically, you want people to say, "Aww, those plucky Jazz, they sure do have it tough. Not like the Lakers."
   1373. tshipman Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4137212)
What's wrong with paying tribute to your roots by keeping the old moniker? I've never really understood the level of animosity towards the Jazz name. I understand the "it sounds stupid" or the "it no longer makes any regional sense now that the team has relocated" arguments, but as you pointed out above, you could say the same about several other teams. The Jazz is the only one that seems to offend people on a personal level (and I don't mean you).


Utah is as far away from Jazz as you can get. How many black people live in Utah? 5? How many jazz clubs are there? Quick, name the most famous jazz player from Salt Lake City.

That's why it offends people. (sorry if this offended you--not my intent).
   1374. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4137214)
Well, IMO it's because jazz as an art form is socio-historically about as far from Utah as it possible to be, as well as sounding bad.


Yeah, I get that. And it would be a little different if New Orleans got another team a few years after leaving. But 20 plus years later, after Utah made much more noise with that name than New Orleans ever did? Nah. If you're talking about music, of course you'd think New Orleans rather than SLC if someone said the word "Jazz." But if someone referred to "Jazz basketball", would you really still think of Pistol Pete and the like rather than Stockton/Malone/Sloan?

I don't think teams should ever be forced to switch names (and no one here has suggested they should, but I've heard it a lot). I like that they kept the Jazz name, even if it makes them sound stupid. :)
   1375. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4137220)
I think tship has me on ignore.
   1376. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4137225)
Utah is the beehive state for historical reasons related to the Book of Mormon.


I figured it was something like that. Maybe I should've paid attention in history class back in elementary school...

No, what you really want is some sympathy for the horrible plight of the smaller market:

Basically, you want people to say, "Aww, those plucky Jazz, they sure do have it tough. Not like the Lakers."


Stern and those who actually have the power to make a difference are the only ones I've ever cared for sympathy from.

How many black people live in Utah? 5?


I know at LEAST 6 or 7. :)

How many jazz clubs are there?


I don't know, but there are some. I could probably tell you if I was into that kind of music.

Quick, name the most famous jazz player from Salt Lake City.


Without following Jazz music, I doubt I could name most the famous Jazz musicians from NO, either.

That's why it offends people. (sorry if this offended you--not my intent).


Oh no. It doesn't offend me at all. I just don't understand why it would offend anyone. Of course it makes no regional sense. But that's not a reason for people (again, not anyone on this site) to be so bothered by it.
   1377. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4137235)
Perhaps it makes it less likely the GM tries to trade him, but it's impossible to try and predict how Howard is going to feel on any given day and he very well could still demand a trade before or during the season.


Sure, but I think the fact that they got rid of SVG and Smith means that they are going to try to get Nash there, or Williams, or someone. Not saying they will be able to pull any of it off, but ISTM that Step 1 in a "Keep Howard" plan was to axe Van Gundy and Smith. That may mean nothing at deadline time, of course. But when I said "for the time being" I meant "the off-season."

As an aside, I hope SVG does TV work for a year instead of coaching. Think he would be a hoot.
   1378. tshipman Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4137249)
Without following Jazz music, I doubt I could name most the famous Jazz musicians from NO, either.


Pretty sure you know who Louis Armstrong is. (apologies to rr)

Sure, but I think the fact that they got rid of SVG and Smith means that they are going to try to get Nash there, or Williams, or someone. Not saying they will be able to pull any of it off, but ISTM that Step 1 in a "Keep Howard" plan was to axe Van Gundy and Smith. That may mean nothing at deadline time, of course. But when I said "for the time being" I meant "the off-season."


I agree with this. I think it is extremely likely to not matter, and Howard is gone after 2012. Chasing after superstars, I think, is a bad idea for franchises, because it leads to things like firing a top 5 coach.
   1379. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4137250)
robinred Posted: May 21, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4137220)
I think tship has me on ignore.
You just want free Cokes.

Stern and those who actually have the power to make a difference are the only ones I've ever cared for sympathy from.
We've talked a bunch about the lack of competitive balance in the NBA (you may not have been here for that). How much of that is a function of money? Do you want someone to try and quantify the value of a locale's ability to pull FAs and give Utah the difference on their cap? I'm not sure what you want, other than for someone to write poems to the Sisyphean task of winning in Utah.
   1380. baudib Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4137261)
I'm not sure what you want, other than for someone to write poems to the Sisyphean task of winning in Utah.


Booey just wants what the rest of us want: The NBA to contract the Lakers and Celtics.

   1381. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4137275)
I'll meet you halfway by contracting the Celtics.
   1382. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4137277)
If people think that only one small market franchise (SA) being able to break through and win titles in the last 30+ years isn't a competitive balance issue


I think it is a "nature of the sport" issue. Game 4 of the Miami-Indiana series was an object lesson in the value of having superstars in post-season. But then again, so is the entire history of the San Antonio Spurs franchise since the 1980s, and so is the OKC/LAL series. Had Michael Jordan been drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1984, that franchise might well have 4 or 5 more titles by now. Basically, if market bling mattered as much as you seem to think it does, I think the Knicks and the Clippers would have done a lot better the last thirty years than they actually have.

I suppose you could argue that since superstars are so important, that Stern should put more rules in place to keep them on their original franchises, and now, he has done that to a greater degree than he had before. But as discussed, the CBA will affect small-market teams as well and may well have unintended consequences. And there are only so many superstars to go around at any one time.

One INTENDED consequence that I think we will see is that it will be harder to put together really awesome teams that go 67-15 one year and win 2-3 titles in a row. San Antonio is on an awesome hot streak, and I suppose I may still be underrating them, but we'll see. But I think that Stern, like Selig, has a case of NFL-envy as a secondary motivation beyond the obvious ones and wants a league with a lot of teams in the 45-55 win range. We will see if he gets it.
   1383. baudib Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4137281)
Booey just wants what the rest of us want: The NBA to contract the Lakers and Celtics.


I could live with this.
   1384. Maxwn Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4137284)
Hwy guys. I went on a bit of a basketball detox after the Grizz got knocked out. After the whirlwind that was this season, decided to take a week off. Haven't really watched a game until tonight and the Cs-Sixers. I was pretty happy to see that SAS rolled the Clippers, however.

All the talk in Grizz land seems to be revolving around whether they should try to make a big move, probably by trying to trade Gay. I tend to think they should keep the current group together for one more year, but they are very likely to need to trade either Gay or Randolph after next season.

Chris Herrington of the Memphis Flyer has a pretty good breakdown of the offseason choices here:Grizz Offseason Primer.

I tend to think they should wait another year before making a move, and nibble around the edges. They need a back-up point guard and more shooting, as usual, and they need to figure out whether to try keep Arthur or Speights or both. Mayo is almost certainly gone, which is probably for the best.

I would be very hesitant to trade Rudy, but I am one who thinks that the fans around here give Rudy too much grief for what he's not instead of appreciating him for what he is. His perception suffers because a lot of fans fail to realize that bad Rudy possessions tend to be a symptom of the offense struggling rather than the cause. He's probably overpaid, but I don't really think letting him walk as a FA would have been in the best interests of the team. If they have to move him next summer for financial reasons, then that's ok, but I would probably try to keep the Conley, Gasol, Randolph, Gay core together one more year.
   1385. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4137286)
Iggy misses two free throws on the clear path foul, then a turnover. Man, that's a huge opportunity there. Wasted, wasted.
   1386. baudib Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4137290)
I'm going to predict that if Lavoy Allen doesn't get more minutes in crunch time than Brand, the Celtics will win.
   1387. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4137294)
I'm not sure what you want, other than for someone to write poems to the Sisyphean task of winning in Utah.


It's not just about Utah. I'd be happy if the likes of OKC, Memphis, Denver, Indy, Atlanta, Portland, Phoenix, Sacto, Milwaukee, Minny, NO, Charlotte, Orlando, Cleveland, GS, etc, would ever break through and take home a title or two (well, maybe not GS. Screw them). My biggest gripe about the NBA isn't that my team hasn't won, it's that almost all the championships have basically just switched hands between a half dozen or so teams for the last 30+ years (before anyone corrects me, I know that it's actually 9 teams that have won since 1980. But that's still several fewer than any other sport during that same time frame).

There are several things that could happen to help this. Some of them have been already been discussed many times and were a somewhat touchy subject the first few times, so I'm not going to go into those again. One of the ones I liked that didn't seem to annoy anyone was the idea of getting rid of the salary cap (I think it was berg or Maxwn that explained how it seemed to hurt the small markets more than help them).

But I don't see why the league would really want to do that rather than just pretending like they do. The 70's were probably the most competitively balanced decade in NBA history with teams like the Bucks, Warriors, Blazers, Sonics, and Wizards winning their first and only titles. But it's also often mentioned as being the worst decade in NBA history, possibly for that very reason. I've often heard that Magic and Bird "saved" the NBA and ushered in a new era of popularity. What exactly did they "save" the NBA from? Competitive balance caused by more than 2 teams each decade winning 80% of the titles?

Booey just wants what the rest of us want: The NBA to contract the Lakers and Celtics.


Now that would be a good start! :)

j/k
   1388. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4137318)
Basically, if market bling mattered as much as you seem to think it does, I think the Knicks and the Clippers would have done a lot better the last thirty years than they actually have.


Well, obviously market isn't the ONLY thing that matters. I mentioned twice that the Lakers have always had good ownership/management and that (along with their bling market advantages) was a big part of why they've been so successful. Knicks OTOH have had a laughably bad front office for most of the last decade and the Clips have probably the worst cheapskate owner in the league. It's hard to overcome those disadvantages, no matter where you play.

New York has been able to pick up big stars (Melo, Amare) in part because of their market. It's their own fault that they always seem to sign ones that aren't really as good as people think they are. And like they showed with Paul, the Clips can get big names when they try. Sterling just rarely bothered to try before, even with his own FA's.
   1389. tshipman Posted: May 21, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4137323)
But it's also often mentioned as being the worst decade in NBA history, possibly for that very reason. I've often heard that Magic and Bird "saved" the NBA and ushered in a new era of popularity. What exactly did they "save" the NBA from? Competitive balance caused by more than 2 teams each decade winning 80% of the titles?


I think that people refer to the 70's as the worst decade because of all the fights, the low-scoring games and the coke. I don't think it's because the Lakers, Knicks and Celtics only won 5 championships between them that decade.
   1390. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4137329)
I think that people refer to the 70's as the worst decade because of all the fights, the low-scoring games and the coke. I don't think it's because the Lakers, Knicks and Celtics only won 5 championships between them that decade.


Well, that too. But don't you think ratings would normally be lower with teams like Milwaukee, Portland, Seattle, etc, making the Finals rather than the more popular ones?
   1391. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4137335)
I think that people refer to the 70's as the worst decade because of all the fights, the low-scoring games and the coke.


Also the ABA both diluted talent and created the frustrating situation where we never got to see some of the best talent match up with each other.
   1392. Srul Itza Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4137362)
Hey, the 70's were the last time the Knicks won. Seemed like a perfectly fine decade to me.
   1393. baudib Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4137365)
Also the ABA both diluted talent and created the frustrating situation where we never got to see some of the best talent match up with each other.


This is definitely a huge part of it. It was a bad time for marketing the best players in the world.

1. Kareem was stuck in Milwaukee, and didn't make himself popular by basically demanding a trade to LA. Plus of course he was Kareem aka the worst human being on the planet. Didn't win in LA until Magic got there, and people didn't really warm to him until "Airplane."

2. Dr. J played his best ball in the ABA and he certainly wasn't alone. Rick Barry was another huge star who went to the ABA.

3. Coming out of college, Pete Maravich was supposed to be the biggest star in the game but he got stuck on terrible teams and his hero-ball and showmanship stuff didn't play well to NBA purists. He would have been better in ABA or as the white guy on the Harlem Globetrotters. His career was like if LeBron turned out to be Dominique Wilkens.

4. Bill Walton lost most of his career to injuries.
   1394. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4137378)
Barkley is ripping Kobe for playing "hero ball, as I call it" and for throwing Pau under the bus. "Kobe Bryant is the reason the Lakers lost those games (2 and 4)".
   1395. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4137386)
Booey just wants what the rest of us want: The NBA to contract the Lakers and Celtics.

I'll meet you halfway by contracting the Celtics.

Alternatively, the NBA could merge them into one superteam, with Rondo, Kobe, Pierce, Pau, and Bynum under contract for next year, along with the Bird rights to KG and Ray Allen. The potential stumbling block would be determining what city they play in. I see three possible solutions: (1) the mayors of LA and Boston flip a coin to decide -- winner take all; (2) the cities each get 20-21 home games per year and alternate series in the playoffs; or (3) the league splits the difference and moves the team to Kansas City. To retain ties to the history of each franchise, the merged team would be called either the Clackers or the Cellars.
   1396. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4137399)
Not the Laktics? Pssh.
   1397. Maxwn Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4137402)
the league splits the difference and moves the team to Kansas City. To retain ties to the history of each franchise, the merged team would be called either the Clackers or the Cellars.

The Kansas City Clackers has a nice ring to it.
   1398. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4137411)
Well, obviously market isn't the ONLY thing that matters.


That isn't the point, nor is it what I even said. You are arguing that playing in a small-market is a gigantic disadvantage for teams, that the Lakers et al have "unfair" advantages, etc. I think you are overstating that case to a huge degree, and are ignoring the fact that the title "gets passed around" mostly because of who has the franchise players. For example, you completely forgot to mention that Houston won two titles when Jordan was gone...because they had Olajuwon and then Olajuwon and Drexler. Detroit has won three titles since the merger. When Boston caught some terrible as well as bad breaks (Bird's back, Len Bias' death, Reggie Lewis' death, missing Duncan in the lottery) they were mostly irrelevant for twenty years. If you change three things about the history of the Portland Trail Blazers:

1. Walton's feet (both of them)
2. Drafting Jordan instead of Sam Bowie

It is entirely possible that that that franchise would have around eight championships now. Give them Durant and Roy as well and they could be looking at a Lakerish number of banners since the merger. None of these things has anything at all to do with market size.

And looking at the landscape of the league today, what do we see? The Lakers are a second-tier contender, old, capped out, and are not likely to land Howard or Williams. Orlando still has Howard, and Williams may be headed to his hometown of Dallas--leaving Brooklyn. The Knicks have some hope but are capped out and a third-tier team. There are good, young players and real hope in Utah, Denver, Minnesota, Memphis, and Indiana. San Antonio appears to be the best team in the NBA, and Oklahoma City has re-upped Durant and Westbrook for years to come. Love has re-upped in Minnesota and Rubio did in fact sign there. Miami is locked up in a tough series with a small-market team that is under the cap and even with Bosh has failed to crush the league as so many predicted they would. Chicago shouldn't bother you in the least unless you miss Carlos Boozer or unless you simply hate all big-market success. Boston deserves a lot of credit, but if they were playing the full-strength Bulls right now, things would be different for them and they are not headed for a new dynasty with this core. This coming draft is supposedly full of talent and the Lakers, Heat, Bulls, Celtics, and Knicks are not going to be getting much of it.

And really, if you want the downtrodden to rise up, you should be hoping the Clippers can take the next steps. Things are tough all over.
   1399. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4137420)
1st quarter:
Kobe: 6-9, 15 points
Rest of Lakers: 2-12, 6 points
   1400. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4137422)
I think you are overstating that case to a huge degree, and are ignoring the fact that the title "gets passed around" mostly because of who has the franchise players.

This. A million times this. And it is evident in the comparison of the NBA to the NFL/MLB title pictures where individual players do not have NEARLY the same effect.
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