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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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   1401. robinred Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4137440)
Called ESPN today and cancelled Insider. When the guy (he was polite and not too pushy, and I thanked him for that) asked me why, I said, "Henry Abbott and the decline of the NBA coverage" even though True Hoop is not Insider.

People may find that silly and foolish, but I thought about it a bit before doing it and think it was the right call for me personally.

May sign up for BaskPro.
   1402. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4137448)
the title "gets passed around" mostly because of who has the franchise players.


Sure, but which teams are more likely to get/hang on to the franchise players? I seem to remember Orlando (Shaq) and Cleveland (LBJ) having 2 of the most dominant franchise players of all time and losing them to LA and Miami.

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.


I didn't forget to mention that - they were included in the 9 teams that have won since 1980 line that I mentioned - but I didn't see why it was relevant to mention them specifically. Neither Houston nor Detroit really qualifies as a small market team, do they? I'd guess they're both in the top 10 or 12 largest markets in the league.

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.


Yeah, but none of those things happened. I'm much more concerned with what actually happens rather than what could've happened. You're talking about Bill Simmons "footnote" type stuff here, and I thought the general consensus here was that that article was basically nonsense.

There's always a reason other than market size you could point to as to why teams are winning or losing. But it's not a 5 or even 10 year small sample size span that we're talking about here. 32 years and counting is a long time for everything to fall into place so often for a certain group of teams, and for things to not quite go right time and time again for one reason or another for the opposite types of teams. Maybe it's just been a lot of luck (good and bad) and a lot of random events that created this landscape. But it'll be easier to believe when I see it start to change. Yes, there are several young small market teams that look like they could make some noise. But there was in the 80's too. And the 90's. And the 00's. Other than the Spurs, it never happened.

The Lakers are a second-tier contender


Sure, but they weren't even that good in the mid 90's and mid 2000's. It doesn't usually last long, as my post well above showed. Will they be able to re-create the magic they did before? We'll just have to wait and see.

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.


The Clips are one of the large market teams I dislike the least. It's hard to have too much sympathy for them though when their owner wasn't even trying for so many years. I do want the "downtrodden" to rise up, but only when they put forth the effort.


   1403. tshipman Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4137450)
People may find that silly and foolish


Well, I guess it was pretty silly of you to sign up for Insider in the first place. I won't hold it against you though.

Edit:

Neither Houston nor Detroit really qualifies as a small market team, do they? I'd guess they're both in the top 10 or 12 largest markets in the league.


Isn't your complaint that teams like the Jazz/Grizzles/Hornets/Twolves/Whoever have a hard time attracting premier FA's? Houston and Detroit have that same issue. Houston/Det are more like SAS than like LAL.
   1404. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4137455)
That is a terrible call against MWP.
   1405. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4137456)
Terrible call on the Metta flagrant.
   1406. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4137457)
Seems like the nba actually wants the lakers out. What a terrible call
   1407. Yardape Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4137458)
That was not a flagrant. I'm so sick of refs handing series to big-market teams like OKC.
   1408. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4137461)
Yeah, but none of those things happened. I'm much more concerned with what actually happens rather than what could've happened. You're talking about Bill Simmons "footnote" type stuff here, and I thought the general consensus here was that that article was basically nonsense.

Not at all the same thing IMO.

But it's not a 5 or even 10 year small sample size span that we're talking about here. 32 years and counting is a long time for everything to fall into place so often for a certain group of teams, and for things to not quite go right time and time again for one reason or another for the opposite types of teams.

I don't think you should look at it as a period of years as much as you should look at the players. What I'm trying to say, and I don't know if I can effectively communicate this, is that there are a small class of players who are among the greatest ever. When you luck into one of these guys it really enhances your championship chances, so if those POR examples had gone the other way that really would have changed htings a great deal. So, I still think you are underrating the effect of how important it is to get one of those all time greats and then not screw up when building around them.
   1409. Yardape Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4137463)
Neither Houston nor Detroit really qualifies as a small market team, do they? I'd guess they're both in the top 10 or 12 largest markets in the league.


Phoenix is about the same size as Detroit. Minnesota's not far behind. If those teams are small-market, so is Detroit, I would say. Unless your definition of small-market is more based on results than market.
   1410. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4137464)
Isn't your complaint that teams like the Jazz/Grizzles/Hornets/Twolves/Whoever have a hard time attracting premier FA's? Houston and Detroit have that same issue. Houston/Det are more like SAS than like LAL.


That's a big part of my complaint, yeah. But most the biggest stars on those teams - Olajuwon, Isaiah, Rodman, Dumars - were those teams own draft picks, so I'm not sure how the FA argument applies. The Rockets were also able to pick up Drexler, Barkley, Pippen, and T-Mac via trade or free agency over the last 2 decades, so I'm not sure they have as big a problem landing top names as you might think.

You may be right about Detroit, but I'd already mentioned many pages back that the 2004 Pistons were one of the two champions in the 20+ years I've been following the NBA that I was genuinely surprised about (the 2011 Mavs were the other). So yeah, if that type of thing happened more than once a decade or so, I wouldn't think there was anything wrong with the system.
   1411. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4137467)
Phoenix is about the same size as Detroit. Minnesota's not far behind. If those teams are small-market, so is Detroit, I would say. Unless your definition of small-market is more based on results than market.


Just looked up the list and you're right about Detroit vs Minnesota, etc. Still, Houston and Detroit were ranked right about where I guessed they would be. Still in the upper half of markets. Miami is actually below Minny or Phoenix. That said, don't you think Miami would still be a more desirable location for FA's than Minny? When we talked about "bling" markets, I never assumed that "bling" referred only to population size.

So, I still think you are underrating the effect of how important it is to get one of those all time greats and then not screw up when building around them.


Not at all. I think in most cases it's crucial to have one of those players...and to keep them. Which Orlando and Cleveland couldn't do.
   1412. robinred Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4137469)
Neither Houston nor Detroit really qualifies as a small market team, do they?


Well, you need to pick between big and bling in that case, or focus more on states, counties and surrounding areas. According to Wiki, Houston does in fact have the 4th-largest population in the US. OTOH, San Antonio is 7th, Indianapolis is 12th, Detroit is 18th, Boston is 22nd, Oklahoma City is 31st, Miami is 44th and Cleveland is 45th. SLC BTW is 125th. But like tship said, no one thinks of Houston and Detroit as blingy places that FAs are dying to go to.



seem to remember Orlando (Shaq) and Cleveland (LBJ) having 2 of the most dominant franchise players of all time and losing them to LA and Miami.


You can think about this when Durant, Westbrook, Parker, and Duncan lead their teams in the WCF later this week over the bodies of the LA teams.

Yeah, but none of those things happened. I'm much more concerned with what actually happens rather than what could've happened.


False equivalency. Portland's issues that I mentioned have nothing to do with market size or bling; they have to do with physically compromised stars and catastrophic drafting errors. Your focus has been on market size/bling.

make some noise.

Well, if "make some noise" means "win the title," sure. But Indiana, Utah, Portland, and Sacramento and Phoenix all made plenty of noise. They just didn't win it. I know, I know
--the refs and the league screwed them. But they also did not have franchise anchors on the level of the teams that beat them had.
   1413. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:23 PM (#4137470)
Market size rankings. Titles in parenthesis since 1980 (the list I found was USA only, so Toronto isn't included. I assume they'd be near the bottom, correct?):

1 - Knicks (0)
1 - Nets (0)
3 - Lakers (10)
3 - Clippers (0)
5 - Bulls (6)
6 - Sixers (1)
7 - Mavs (1)
8 - Warriors (0)
9 - Celtics (4)
10 - Hawks (0)
11 - Wizards (0)
12- Rockets (2)
13 - Pistons (3)
14 - Suns (0)
15 - Wolves (0)
16 - Heat (1)
17 - Nuggets (0)
18 - Cavs (0)
19 - Magic (0)
20 - Kings (0)
21 - Blazers (0)
22 - Bobcats (0)
23 - Pacers (0)
24 - Jazz (0)
25 - Bucks (0)
26 - Spurs (4)
27 - Thunder (0)
28 - Grizzlies (0)
29 - Hornets (0)


   1414. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4137471)
You can think about this when Durant, Westbrook, Parker, and Duncan lead their teams in the WCF later this week over the bodies of the LA teams.


Again, I never said small market teams can't win series against larger markets. I said that with the exception of the Spurs, they haven't won titles. OKC beating the Lakers in the second round doesn't in any way disprove that. If they win the title, feel free to bring it up. I'd be more than happy to be wrong about this sort of thing.

Well, if "make some noise" means "win the title," sure. But Indiana, Utah, Portland, and Sacramento and Phoenix all made plenty of noise. They just didn't win it. I know, I know
--the refs and the league screwed them


I was talking about winning titles, not just being competitive or even challenging for titles. Sorry if I phrased that poorly. And I had no intention of bringing up officiating. This conversation had nothing to do with that.
   1415. robinred Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4137472)
Drexler,


Went to college in Houston, played high school ball there and wanted to be there because...they had Olajuwon and Drexler wanted a ring.

Barkley, Pippen


Ring-chased there late career, which hurts your case, rather than helping it. Guys are willing to ring-chase in Houston or LA.

TMac


AFAIK did not have a no-trade clause.

Which Orlando and Cleveland couldn't do.


And SA and OKC could--since they are better-run franchises.

   1416. Zipperholes Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4137474)
Horseshit. That Westbrook play was not a shooting foul. When you get fouled and immediately chuck the ball at the basket, you weren't "in the act of shooting."
   1417. robinred Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4137478)
This conversation had nothing to do with that.


It does, actually, given the claims you have made about 1998, 2000, and 2002.
   1418. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4137481)
Ring-chased there late career, which hurts your case, rather than helping it. Guys are willing to ring-chase in Houston or LA.


But not in Indy or Sacto or SLC or Minny or Cleveland, even when those teams had a legit shot at winning one. I don't think Houston is one of the major bling markets, but they're nowhere near the bottom, either. Looking at the list I posted, they're still in the upper half, as are every title team of the last 30+ years except for the previously mentioned Spurs and the Heat, whose "bling" factor is obviously much higher than simple market size would suggest. I'm not sure how the Rockets winning contradicts anything I said.
   1419. robinred Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4137482)
That Westbrook play was not a shooting foul

1404. Athletic Supporter leads the nation in drifters Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4137455)

That is a terrible call against MWP.
1405. Melo's Love Handles (NJ) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4137456)

Terrible call on the Metta flagrant.


Sounds like the Lakers' ref mojo has run out.

__

The Lakers are doing what they can; these guys are just a little too good for them.
   1420. The District Attorney Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4137483)
Arguing yourself into a position that will collapse if Oklahoma City wins some titles doesn't seem too smart...
   1421. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4137484)
It does, actually, given the claims you have made about 1998, 2000, and 2002.


When, like 20 pages ago? I considered that a different conversation. We were talking about officiating back then. I thought we were talking mainly about FA's and trades and such now. Do you really want to talk about the zebra's again? I figured you wouldn't, so I was focusing the conversation on other reasons for why "bling" teams seem to have advantages.
   1422. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4137486)
Arguing yourself into a position that will collapse if Oklahoma City wins some titles doesn't seem too smart...


We'll see. You could've said the same thing about the Jazz/Pacers/Suns/Blazers/Sonics in the 90's.

Edit: Or if you don't like to include teams that lost to the InvinciBULLS, you could use the early 2000's Kings or the mid 2000's Suns or the late 2000's Cavs or Magic. Even with teams that look like they have the core to possibly win multiple titles, most of them won't even win one.
   1423. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4137487)
We'll see. You could've said the same thing about the Jazz/Pacers/Suns/Blazers/Sonics in the 90's.

Why would anyone think that about teams that didn't have the best player ever, another of the league's 10 or so best players and one of its best coaches?
   1424. Maxwn Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4137488)
Arguing yourself into a position that will collapse if Oklahoma City wins some titles doesn't seem too smart...

Meh, if you can just handwave the Spurs away, I don't see why OKC winning a few would matter.
   1425. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4137493)
I think it's hilarious that Kendrick Perkins sets a legal screen for the first time in forever...and NOW gets called for the offensive foul.
   1426. Maxwn Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4137496)
Man, I have no idea how this OKC-SAS series is going to go.
   1427. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4137497)
Why would anyone think that about teams that didn't have the best player ever, another of the league's 10 or so best players and one of its best coaches?


See the edit in post 1422.

Meh, if you can just handwave the Spurs away, I don't see why OKC winning a few would matter.


I know, the Spurs. Always the Spurs. You don't see how one team can be an exception, but when other teams start doing it it makes it harder to call them exceptions? Do you really think that one small market franchise winning over a span of 30+ seasons is proof that there is no imbalance? I've conceded the Spurs several times already anyway. I don't see how it furthers the conversation to just keep answering the same question about them again and again.

Heading to bed now, so please don't think I'm ignoring anybody if I don't answer any questions until tomorrow. We can continue the conversation tomorrow if you all want, or not. I'm fine either way. I won't bring it up tomorrow unless someone else does.

Laters.
   1428. PJ Martinez Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4137500)
I was talking about winning titles, not just being competitive or even challenging for titles.


I'm not really following this whole big-market/small-market conversation, but this is a move in arguing about the NBA that always bugs me, whether the subject is "truly great" players and coaches, what positions "really matter," or what have you. People narrow the relevant set to just title winners, and then say the one or two examples that don't fit into their argument (like, most notably, the Spurs in this case) are just exceptions.

Why does it make sense to limit the relevant sample to just title winners? The difference between the teams that win the title and the teams that come very close to winning the title is usually not that large. Narrowing the sample size this way probably makes certain positions easier to argue for, but it doesn't make those positions right. The truth is probably more complicated, and widening the scope of the discussion would make that clear.

Anyways, impressive performance by Kobe tonight in a (presumably) losing effort. Very curious to see (and, as a Celtics fan, a little nervous about) what LA does in the offseason.
   1429. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4137503)
I'm not sure how the Rockets winning contradicts anything I said.


Guys wanted to be in Cleveland and they jacked up their payroll well past the cap line...when James was there. They signed Hughes and Marshall as FAs, for example. Minnesota was able to bring in Sprewell and Cassell and some other guys and had a high payroll...when Garnett was there. Joe Smith IIRC was an FA contract. Indiana just signed David West this year because he thought they had a better chance to win than Boston did.

If you are now including Houston as one of the advantaged teams based on Barkley, Pippen and Drexler wanting to play with Olajuwon late in their careers, and based on having the 12th-largest market, then I think we need to part company on this.

3 of the top 4 teams on your list have 0 titles. The Bulls have 6, but those titles really didn't have much to do with market size. Basically, the Bulls drafted Jordan, traded for Pippen on draft day, hired Jackson, and did some other smart stuff. But Jordan was agitating about wanting out as late as 1991. The Bulls' current team has almost nothing to do with market size; it is a draft-assembled team whose star player is from Chicago and was a #1 overall pick, which was also able to being in some FAs due to having cap space.

The Lakers have a long history of making dramatic adds of stars, some of which is most certainly due to location, but as I have shown, other factors have been in play as well.

Teams on the lower half of your list that have missed:

Indiana
Utah
Cleveland
Sacramento
Portland
Orlando

Have either built really good teams without a Top 5 guy, not surrounded the Top 5 guy with enough talent, or come up short against Shaq and Jordan. You can also throw the ref thing in there, since 4 of those teams, according to you and others, were screwed out of titles by the league and the officials.

And of course, a lot of your case would be out the window if Portland had drafted Jordan in 1984--and their failure to do so was not a market-size issue.

Market size offers some advantages in the NBA--but not massive ones, IMO.

_

OKC/SA should be a hell of a series.
   1430. tshipman Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4137504)
Congrats to the Thunder. Just more talented. I guess I'm rooting for ... Philadelphia? God. Whoever comes out of the East who is not the Celtics.
   1431. Maxwn Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4137507)
I know, the Spurs. Always the Spurs. You don't see how one team can be an exception, but when other teams start doing it it makes it harder to call them exceptions? Do you really think that one small market franchise winning over a span of 30+ seasons is proof that there is no imbalance

The league of 30+ years ago was in a totally different environment. I am pretty indifferent to the question of whether there was a competitive balance balance problem in 1984 or 1994 for that matter. If we are talking about the league as it stands now, then the Spurs are an important example and calling them "an exception" is unacceptable. They're either the most or second-most successful franchise of the last 15 years. They're one of the 3 or 4 smallest markets in the league. They're about to play another of the 5 smallest franchises for the West and the winner is fairly likely to be the favorite, maybe a large favorite, in the Finals. There is less reason to worry about balance in this league right now then basically ever before.
   1432. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4137508)
and, as a Celtics fan, a little nervous about)


Don't sweat it. Stern already fixed the NBA's "Laker Problem" and Kobe, Pau, MWP and Blake alone cost about 50M each of the next two years. So, it seems highly unlikely that Williams or Howard, or even Nash, or Paul down the road a little, will land here, and Buss and Brown aren't Buford and Popovich.
   1433. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4137509)
I am pulling for the Pacers now.
   1434. The District Attorney Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4137510)
Andrew Bynum is a weird guy.
   1435. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4137515)
Andrew Bynum was an invisible guy. 4 boards all night. Blarg.
   1436. tshipman Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4137523)
Andrew Bynum was an invisible guy. 4 boards all night. Blarg.


Just ranted for 5 minutes about the Lakers to a friend. Really Gasol/Bynum? I'm going to be glad when the Lakers trade away Gasol for 75 cents on the dollar.

Ugh. Again, not to take away from OKC: nothing but respect.
   1437. Tripon Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:41 AM (#4137524)
The scary thing is the Lakers are pretty much forced to build around Bynum now.
   1438. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:49 AM (#4137525)
Nah. They can move Bynum if they want to. As he said tonight:

“It doesn’t really matter to me. I’ll play anywhere.”

No Sleep Till Brooklyn, AB.
   1439. baudib Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:07 AM (#4137534)
I'm probably going to be a Brooklyn fan as they're playing in my backyard, so I'm OK with Bynum going to the Nets.

As far as team names, I agree that Spurs is a great name. I don't really love 76ers, because no one calls them that, they're the Sixers. Also, I think Philadelphia Warriors was a pretty awesome name, and it's a shame they moved. As far as I'm concerned, it's a contiguous franchise, and Paul Arizin's No. 11 should be retired at the WFC, not in California.

I think Celtics has worked very well for Boston because it has connected people of Irish heritage to the team regardless of where they live.

   1440. steagles Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:17 AM (#4137536)
Congrats to the Thunder. Just more talented. I guess I'm rooting for ... Philadelphia? God. Whoever comes out of the East who is not the Celtics.
welcome aboard. you might not be here very long, though.
I am pulling for the Pacers now.
i'm rooting for them, too. at least until they meet up with the sixers in the conference finals.
Nah. They can move Bynum if they want to.
i really hope the sixers would be all over that.
   1441. baudib Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:48 AM (#4137538)
Some thoughts on lack of parity in the NBA:

1. I think we should be mindful of the fact that what we would consider "modern" NBA history is not very long, and very likely not a meaningful sample size. As RR noted, you could easily go back in time, recreate a couple of close decisions or avert some major injuries and history looks completely different.

2. I think we can all agree that the best players are prone to win championships more often in basketball than in other sports.

3. The combination of an all-time great player + all-time great coach is an unbelievably potent combination and can lead to obnoxious dynasties: Auerbach + Russell, Jackson + Jordan, Jackson + Shaq + Kobe, or just Jackson + Kobe, Popovich + Duncan. With 3 coaches you've accounted for most of the championships of the past 50+ years.
   1442. baudib Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:49 AM (#4137539)
i really hope the sixers would be all over that.


Can you explain why they have not been involved in talks for Bynum (or Gasol), or why they didn't try to get Howard?
   1443. JC in DC Posted: May 22, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4137577)
Real quick questions on the technicals and flagrant: I didn't mind the flagrant, both b/c of MWP's reputation and what I think was the obvious extension of the left arm to shove Thabo, who was in the air and could have been hurt. The play on the ball was great and clean, the other stuff unnecessary, so the flagrant made sense. So did the T on MWP. But why was Kobe T'ed up? Did anyone catch what he said? He and the ref were having what seemed a civil conversation. Kobe never showed him up. If the ref didn't like the way it was going, he could have walked away from it. I thought that was a ridiculous call.
   1444. Eddo Posted: May 22, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4137590)
Toronto isn't included. I assume they'd be near the bottom, correct?

I can't find a list of North American market sizes, but based on metropolitan area, Toronto would be in the top ten, roughly the size of Miami.

Toronto's strange, though, since it's market size is really "a lot of Canada". You could legitimately argue that Toronto would be the NBA's fourth-largest market (after NY, LA, Chicago) without being off your rocker.
   1445. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4137617)
The league of 30+ years ago was in a totally different environment. I am pretty indifferent to the question of whether there was a competitive balance balance problem in 1984 or 1994 for that matter. If we are talking about the league as it stands now, then the Spurs are an important example and calling them "an exception" is unacceptable. They're either the most or second-most successful franchise of the last 15 years. They're one of the 3 or 4 smallest markets in the league. They're about to play another of the 5 smallest franchises for the West and the winner is fairly likely to be the favorite, maybe a large favorite, in the Finals. There is less reason to worry about balance in this league right now then basically ever before.

Yep. Booey's fighting the good fight on this one, but when you're citing the Knicks having an "advantage" because they were able to sign Amare to a deal smarter teams never would have given him, and trade half their team for the most overrated superstar in the league, you're swimming into a big upstream current. The enviroment around the Knicks (ownership/front office and media) is dysfunctional and has been dysfunctional since the mid-1970s. The current iteration of the team ripped everything down to get ready for the summer of 2010 and instead of LBJ and Dwyane Wade, they got Amare Stoucemire and Carmelo Anthony.

Not only did the Blazers not draft Jordan, they also held on to Moses Malone in his prime for a week after taking him in the ABA dispersal draft, and didn't draft Kevin Durant. And Walton's feet blew up. That's four inner-circle guys (three if you want to be picky about Moses, I guess) that they got about 2% of the readily-available production from. They would have won the title in 1978 with a healthy team and probably 1979, too.(*) They would have had some tweaking to do to compete with the Lakers once Magic got there.

(*) It's sort of lost to history's memory now, but the Blazers were also the beneficiary of other teams' stupidity in trading draft picks. They had the #1 pick in the 1978 draft the summer right after they left tire tracks on the league (50-10) before Walton's feet blew. Had it been in the next draft, it would have been Magic; instead it was Mychal Thompson, a nice player who (of course) broke his leg a year later and was never quite as good as he could have been. A 1979-80 front line with a healthy Walton at the 5 and a healthy Thompson at the 4 (allowing them to flip Maurice Lucas, still very good, for valuable parts) could have gone toe to toe with the Lakers, Celtics, and Sixers.

   1446. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4137631)
But not in Indy or Sacto or SLC or Minny or Cleveland, even when those teams had a legit shot at winning one.

West signed in Indy over Boston this past offseason. Shaq went to Cleveland. Webber and KG stayed in Sac and Minnesota for a long time - is the issue getting/keeping the stars (as you said in 1402) or the hanger-ons (which you're saying now in 1418)?

Or if you don't like to include teams that lost to the InvinciBULLS, you could use the early 2000's Kings or the mid 2000's Suns or the late 2000's Cavs or Magic. Even with teams that look like they have the core to possibly win multiple titles, most of them won't even win one.

Nash signed as a FA to go to Phoenix. Orlando signed Hill and McGrady.

I'm going to echo everyone else and say you can't limit the discussion to only title winners and you can't understate the Spurs' success this much. The goal is to have a competitive league, which for the most part, it has been. The mere fact that the Jazz were able to keep Malone and Stockton for virtually their entire careers and to keep one of the best coaches for his entire career should be more than enough for you.
   1447. Eddo Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4137634)
Not only did the Blazers not draft [Michael] Jordan, they also held on to Moses Malone in his prime for a week after taking him in the dispersal draft, and didn't draft Kevin Durant. And [Bill] Walton's feet blew up. That's four inner-circle guys (three if you want to be picky about Moses, I guess) that they got about 2% of the readily-available production from.

This is one of the weirdest "inner circle" references I've seen on this thread, especially since Moses is the one you're doubting.

Jordan? Duh.
Moses? Almost certainly (absolutely no worse than the 20th-best player ever).
Walton? Could have been, but was not, due to injuries.
Durant? Let's give him some time. I'm not convinced he'll be an inner circle great just yet.

But wow, your overall point stands. Portland is the ultimate "what could have been" franchise.
   1448. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4137647)
Guys wanted to be in Cleveland and they jacked up their payroll well past the cap line...when James was there. They signed Hughes and Marshall as FAs, for example. Minnesota was able to bring in Sprewell and Cassell and some other guys and had a high payroll...when Garnett was there. Joe Smith IIRC was an FA contract. Indiana just signed David West this year because he thought they had a better chance to win than Boston did.


Not sure LeBron/Cleveland or Minnesota/Garnett are really good examples for your argument, since neither player won when they were there and the lack of supporting talent is often listed as the primary reason why. Hughes, Marshall, and a past their prime Sprewell and Cassell aren't exactly the type of top notch free agents I was talking about.

If you are now including Houston as one of the advantaged teams based on Barkley, Pippen and Drexler wanting to play with Olajuwon late in their careers, and based on having the 12th-largest market, then I think we need to part company on this.


No, I don't think of Houston (or Detroit) as being particularly "blingy", but they're FAR from the bottom of the list either. If I had to guess, I'd say they'd probably be somewhere in the middle of the "most desireable locations for FA's" list, if not slightly higher. So while middle of the pack teams don't really prove my point, I don't think they really prove yours, either. They seem almost irrelevant in a big market/small market argument, IMO.

3 of the top 4 teams on your list have 0 titles.


Well sure, but when only 9 franchises win titles in a span of over 30 years, MOST teams will have zero. Law of averages says that some large markets will be included in that as well. Besides, we already discussed the Knicks and Clips. To recap, yes, I DO think those two teams would have advantages when it comes to getting/keeping big names. But it's still up to management to be smart enough to capitalize on those advantages. Knicks have a history of signing the wrong players. Clips have a history of signing no players.

Clips and Nets also have some of the "little brother" syndrome going on since they're the second team in each of their markets behind a much more famous one. They're still large market, of course, but I don't think there's as much pizzazz behind being a Clipper or a Net as there would with being a Laker or a Knick.

You can also throw the ref thing in there, since 4 of those teams, according to you and others, were screwed out of titles by the league and the officials.


Again, I had no intention of turning this into another ref discussion. You know, for someone who doesn't give much credibility to the ref bias or "conspiracy" arguments, you sure seem to like to talk about them a lot. ;-)

And of course, a lot of your case would be out the window if Portland had drafted Jordan in 1984--and their failure to do so was not a market-size issue.


Maybe, maybe not. That's all speculation. My argument is as much about teams keeping their own FA's as it is about signing new ones, and there's just no way of knowing whether Jordan would have stayed in Portland or whether management would've surrounded him with enough talent to get it done. That's why I tend to stay away from the "what if" scenario's.

Market size offers some advantages in the NBA--but not massive ones, IMO.


Understood. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one I guess and leave it at that.

Good talk. :)





   1449. JJ1986 Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4137650)
What player movement, in the past 15-20 years, has specifically been from a small market team to a large market team because of market size (or even franchise visibility)? Shaq to LA created a dynasty (with a huge assist from the Hornets), but that was a long time ago. Malone and Payton were not major free agent signings at the time. Gasol and Garnett were traded and (as far as I know) neither demanded a trade to a specific team. Amare and Carmelo look like bad moves. LeBron bolted Cleveland, but most people wanted him to sign with Chicago or New York; he chose the smaller market.
   1450. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4137651)
They're about to play another of the 5 smallest franchises for the West and the winner is fairly likely to be the favorite, maybe a large favorite, in the Finals.


I think a lot of this still depends on the Heat. If Bosh is healthy, I think Miami is still in the same league as SA and OKC. If the Heat limp into the Finals without him, or if BOS/PHI/IND somehow makes it instead, then yes, I'd fully expect the Finals to be a curb stomping.

There is less reason to worry about balance in this league right now then basically ever before.


I'm personally gonna wait a little longer to see what happens before I'm comfortable making that claim, but I hope you're right. :)
   1451. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4137652)
Durant? Let's give him some time. I'm not convinced he'll be an inner circle great just yet.

I saw this tweet this morning:

awfulannouncing: Charles Barkley on Kevin Durant: "The only way he gets better than LeBron James is if he kills LeBron James."
   1452. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4137653)
OKC/SA should be a hell of a series.


100% agree with this. I think this may the the most evenly matched WCF in a decade or so and I'm very interested to see how it plays out.
   1453. Maxwn Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4137655)
1447: He doesn't mean inner-circle like from a career perspective. The whole point is that they didn't get that level of production from any of those guys. It's clearly just a reference to the elite nature of the talent they missed on, which seems fair enough.
   1454. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4137659)
The enviroment around the Knicks (ownership/front office and media) is dysfunctional and has been dysfunctional since the mid-1970s.


Exactly.

But wow, your overall point stands. Portland is the ultimate "what could have been" franchise.


And that list didn't even mention that they had the 3rd pick in the 2005 draft and could've used it on Chris Paul or DWill, but they traded it to the Jazz for some magic beans or something instead.
   1455. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4137670)
To all - I spent way too much time on BBTF yesterday during work and I'm a little behind now because of it, so I won't be commenting as quickly or as often as I did yesterday. Please don't take it personally.

I think I've also spoke my piece on the subject about as well as I can, so at the risk of just repeating things we've already discussed, I'd just as soon agree to disagree and move on. We could probably go back and forth on specific examples for days. But I also don't like to ignore anybody or leave legit unanswered questions hanging, so if anyone absolutely DOES still want to continue, I'll try and get to your points when I have a chance. Until then, good talk, everyone. I always like hearing a different perspective. :)
   1456. baudib Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4137686)
Portland's been covered.

Kings -- did they fail to get over the hump because A. their star player, Webber, wasn't as good as a Jordan, Kobe or Shaq; B. their coach, Rick Adelman, while good, wasn't as good as Phil Jackson or Popovich; C. they failed to attract/keep quality free agents; D. nefarious league conspiracy?

   1457. AROM Posted: May 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4137701)
What player movement, in the past 15-20 years, has specifically been from a small market team to a large market team because of market size (or even franchise visibility)? Shaq to LA created a dynasty (with a huge assist from the Hornets), but that was a long time ago. Malone and Payton were not major free agent signings at the time. Gasol and Garnett were traded and (as far as I know) neither demanded a trade to a specific team. Amare and Carmelo look like bad moves. LeBron bolted Cleveland, but most people wanted him to sign with Chicago or New York; he chose the smaller market.


Limiting this to great players who dramatically change the fortunes of the teams in questions, I'd say the only ones that qualify are Shaq to the Lakers and Garnett to the Celtics. Gasol doesn't count as much as Garnett because while getting him was the difference between good playoff team and title contender, Garnett was most of the difference between lottery team and championship team.

Before that there was Kareem. It does seem pretty rare though. The Knicks and Nets have not been able to use their market to attract the difference maker. Nets have one finals appearance since forever, and that was due to a bunch of good players and an exceptionally weak Eastern Conference. Knicks made it there twice, mostly thanks to drafting Ewing. Bulls have not attracted a team-leading superstar. They got lucky on the draft for Jordan, and for Rose.

I guess we could mention Chris Paul to the Clippers here too.

Sixers haven't brought in this kind of player since Moses Malone. Dallas got Dirk in the draft and has made a zillion moves to surround him with different casts of good players, but hasn't brought in another top 10 guy at any point.
   1458. Tripon Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4137729)
Blazers also drafted Michel Thompson first in the year Larry Bird got drafted by the Celtics. The Blazers just seem to self inflict their draft wounds year after year.
   1459. Joe OBrien Posted: May 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4137744)
Market size isn't really the issue here. It's part of it, but not everything. What we're really talking about is the ability of teams to attract elite players as FAs or via sign and trade. With the individual salary limit, being desirable to elite players is going to be crucial for a franchise to be title contenders going forward.

There are many factors under a team's control:
1. Talent on hand
2. Coach
3. GM
4. Owner
5. Salary cap situation

Then there are factors that are hard or impossible to change:
6. Weather
7. Culture
8. Franchise history / prestige
9. Is this the player's hometown / area?
10. Endorsement / media potential.

I'm sure I missed some.

My perspective is colored by being a Warriors fan. They actually do pretty well on 6-10. It's 1-5 they've screwed up for almost 20 years. The Spurs are the opposite. They've nailed 1-5 and succeeded despite being weak on the other stuff. The Lakers have been great at both.

To summarize, yes, some teams have built in advantages and disadvantages that can't be changed, but no team is guaranteed success or failure beyond their control. Personally, I think it's fair enough. Teams in New York and LA are going to be somewhat more likely to win than other teams, which is healthy for the league. As long as everyone has a reasonable chance of success, I don't begrudge if some teams have a small edge.
   1460. JJ1986 Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4137751)
individual salary limit


I think this is actually the biggest issue. No bottom-level or failing team is ever going to be able to make a huge splash by signing a superstar, because they can't just outbid the successful teams.
   1461. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4137782)
Press conference for the Warriors' move to San Francisco is on NBATV. Stern is about to start speaking.
   1462. Maxwn Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4137786)
Nets have one finals appearance since forever

The Jason Kidd Nets actually made it to the Finals twice.
   1463. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4137793)
Amare and Carmelo look like bad moves. LeBron bolted Cleveland, but most people wanted him to sign with Chicago or New York; he chose the smaller market.
Because he had a chance to win in Miami, play with Wade and Bosh in Miami, and not pay state taxes in Miami. James-to-Chicago could have played with Rose, James-to-NY could have teamed him with Amare (who had just signed with the Knicks the same off-season), or the Clippers to play with Griffin (coming off his injury). But james was best buds with Wade, and when Pat Riley starts flashing all his rings around, it's hard not to listen.

As for Amare, he'd never been secret about his desire to play in NY, and there he'd be reunited with Mike D'Antoni and was promised another max-contract superstar. Carmelo wanted to go to the Knicks because it was home. The Knicks had wanted to sign Joe Johnson to a max contract, but he resigned with Atlanta even before STAT signed with NY; he was happy there in his smaller market. Same with Rudy Gay, who could have gone to either the Knicks or Clippers.

#1459 beat me to it on team history. There's undeniable prestige in signing with a team that has built up a large amount of equity in its brand. The Lakers and Celtics have that, of course, but so should the Sixers and Rockets. The Spurs have that despite their relative lack of market size. If the complaint is that the Lakers and Celtics are both rich and smart, well... that's less of a critique than it is a whine.
   1464. andrewberg Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4137795)
To all - I spent way too much time on BBTF yesterday during work and I'm a little behind now because of it, so I won't be commenting as quickly or as often as I did yesterday. Please don't take it personally.


LOL. I have really enjoyed your comments, even though you have gone completely down the rabbit hole on two issues that I wouldn't have otherwise found interesting. Glad you're here.

I also agree with whoever said that right now is an odd time to worry about systemic problems since we have what could be a historically great conference finals between two teams who beat the odds to build likable and entertaining teams.

   1465. AROM Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4137796)
Blazers also drafted Michel Thompson first in the year Larry Bird got drafted by the Celtics. The Blazers just seem to self inflict their draft wounds year after year.


What's the deal with that? Bird was eligible for the draft, as I understand it because of his age, though he would play 1 more year of college while Boston held his rights. Were other teams just underrating his talent, thinking he's too slow and too white?

Or were they under the impression that Bird would be in the draft the next year, Auerbach shocked them, and everyone looked up the rule and said "damn it, he can draft him this year"?

I know the rule was changed shortly after that. Did Red find some technicality and surprise everyone or did he pick a player that would have been taken 7-8 had he not taken Bird?

Bird was the #6 pick, after Thompson, Phil Ford, Rick Robey, Michael Ray Richardson, and Purvis Short.
   1466. AROM Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4137801)
The Jason Kidd Nets actually made it to the Finals twice.


My bad. Damn was that Eastern Conference awful. They should have just let the Lakers - Spurs series be the NBA Finals.
   1467. Maxwn Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4137806)
The Wikipedia on the '78 Draft seems to suggest that Pacers and the Blazers tried to talk him into signing and leaving school but had no luck so they and the three other teams passed on him. The Celtics then apparently just drafted him anyway, gambling they could talk him into signing before the '79 Draft. I have no idea how accurate that is, it's before my time but that's what Wikipedia says.
   1468. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4137808)
Great post, 1459.
   1469. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4137811)
Maybe, maybe not


That doesn't work so well with this, because the Bulls, who were a perennial also-ran before Jordan, would not have had him, and they are a big part of your case. Take out the Bulls, and this really becomes just a Laker thing. And one more time: the key point in this argument is that Portland's failure to draft him was not a market-size issue. They did it because they had Drexler and "needed a center."

Also, since Drexler was already there, and Portland put together a Finals team anyway... with Jordan too, well, of course no one knows, but you have to like their chances.

When you are dealing with a labor pool that consists entirely of rich guys and mostly of black guys from urban environments, it is clearly true that a lot of those guys are going to prefer to live in LA or Miami or New York as opposed to Salt Lake City or Minneapolis or Cleveland. Some of those guys will be stars. But the other side of that is they have limited options as to where they can work, a limited amount of time that they are able to work in that "market", and they are tied to the drafting team for a set period.

Also, all these guys are different--but they all want to win. They tend to go and stay where they think they can win, but they all have different back stories. James, for example, according to the people who deal with him, wanted to play with Wade and Bosh, and place to do that was Miami. The "South Beach" quote is what people remember, but this is about those particular guys more than the town, according to people who know. Durant and Duncan stayed where they are. Garnett was in Minnesota for 12 years. Malone and Stockton stayed in Utah for 20 years. Howard is still in Orlando.

The best argument you can make is that more revenue sharing was necessary and that drafting teams should be able to pay even more relative to other teams than they could before. Stern has put those things in place.

Finally, the ref thing is not really a separate topic from this, if you think Portland, Utah, and Sacramento would have had championships if not for the refs.
   1470. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4137812)
My bad. Damn was that Eastern Conference awful. They should have just let the Lakers - Spurs series be the NBA Finals.


Well, except that in both 2002 and 2003 when the Nets made the Finals, Lakers/Spurs met in the second round, not the WCF.
   1471. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4137819)
LOL. I have really enjoyed your comments, even though you have gone completely down the rabbit hole on two issues that I wouldn't have otherwise found interesting. Glad you're here.


Hey, no sweat! :) I'm fine being the one to bite the bullet on controversial issues that others may avoid. It doesn't bother me at all if people disagree with me, and since most the locals I normally talk sports with at the water cooler are along the same mindset as I am, it's refreshing to get some differing opinions.

I also agree with whoever said that right now is an odd time to worry about systemic problems since we have what could be a historically great conference finals between two teams who beat the odds to build likable and entertaining teams.


I'd agree with that. I'm still a little hesitant to declare "problem solved!" but I'm definitely leaning towards thinking that the league is in a better place than it was 10 years ago.
   1472. andrewberg Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4137831)
I wish we could have had a longer conversation about team names, but in lieu of that, I am going to rank the logos. I see my role on this board as making silly lists, so here we go.

A quick note about what influences me about logos: I don't like overly cartoony logos. The logo should be classic (not necessarily old, but somewhat timeless). Colors matter, but are not paramount. The logo should at least have some synergy with the team name and/or city.

Worst Logo
30. Toronto Raptors- the stupid Jurassic Park cartoon has nothing to do with basketball and looks silly. How did they get the dinosaur to put a uniform on? Also, why is the raptor wearing a different uniform than the team wears? Which team does he play for? And where did they get a ball that is proportional in size to a dinosaur?

Bad Logos
29. Charlotte Bobcats- Even though I like orange, their heavy use of dull blue and grey cancel it out. What is the Bobcat doing? It looks like it is flying, which, to my knowledge, Bobcats don't do. It also doesn't have anything to do with basketball.
28. New Orleans Hornets- Again, why is the Hornet playing basketball? You don't choose a mascot due it its proficiency at the sport. It is a symbol. Also, that's a weird looking hornet.
27. Washington Wizards- I have to try to decouple my issues with the mascot from the logo itself. Still, the Wizard looks dumb.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers- The name and logo both look like the picked them out of a hat at random. It has no character.

Below Average Logos
25-23. Thunder, Magic, Clippers- These three "logos" are just stylized team names. They don't add anything, and they all have a basketball forced into a situation where t doesn't otherwise fit.
22. Denver Nuggets- It is an ok logo, but the logo part is too small. It would at least be an average logo if the mountain was more prominent, even though the team is called "nuggets," and there aren't any nuggets in the logo.
21. Atlanta Hawks- I liked the old Pac Man logo a lot more. This one is just boring and a little too complicated.
20. Dallas Mavericks- It is pretty classy, but horses aren't mavericks. Like Denver, it features something related to, but not actually the mascot.

Average Logos
19. Utah Jazz- Actually a pretty good design and color combo. Hamstrung by the fact that you can't draw a Jazz. Nothing too exciting.
18. Houston Rockets- I don't really get the little orbit thing. I guess it is a relic from that cartoon logo from the 90s. It is boring, but it is simple enough that it doesn't do any damage.
17. Memphis Grizzlies- Kudos for emphasizing the logo over the name. A little too intricate, but solid colors.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves- Similar to Memphis- good use of team name, too much detail, not especially distinctive, good color scheme.
15. Indiana Pacers- The logo is almost really good, but going from the movement lines next to the ball to a pace car is a little leap of faith.
14. BK Nets- I might be overrating it because it is still fresh. Simple, dignified, fits the area, works around a lame name.
13. Detroit Pistons- Actually looks really good, but no incorporation of a piston, which seems like it could be done.
12. Milwaukee Bucks- similar to the Wolves and Grizzlies, too much detail. A little simpler, though.

Good Logos
11. NY Knicks- Very classic. I actually like it more than this, but how do you make a logo out of that name? Probably the best you could rank with a logo that is just a name.
10-9. Boston Celtics, LA Lakers- For both, it is hard for me to evaluate without evoking the teams' symbolism. Are the logos really that good, or are the teams so good that they made the logos seem good? This seems like a good compromise position.
8. Philadelphia 76ers- It is hard to make a logo out of a year, but they did a great job evoking the patriotic ideas that are associated with the name.
7-6. Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat- That's how you use a ball in the logo!

Top 5
5. San Antonio Spurs- It is really the only logo that would work with that name, and they got it just right.
4. Golden State Warriors- Like I said before, you can base the logo on the city rather than the name, and they did it just right. Very cool association.
3. Sacramento Kings- Would have been easy to go with a king or a crown, but the royal shield is a very clever image. I also love their colors.
2. Portland Trailblazers- I am a sucker for graphics that use the team's name in an abstract way (like the old Brewers logo). I think the squiggly lines are supposed to be a P and a B, right? It also just looks extremely cool.
1. Chicago Bulls- so simple and powerful. They nailed it.
   1473. Backlasher Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4137835)
What's the deal with that? Bird was eligible for the draft, as I understand it because of his age, though he would play 1 more year of college while Boston held his rights. Were other teams just underrating his talent, thinking he's too slow and too white?


First, no one thought he would be that good. Red indicated that he had only seen Bird play once. There wasn't the same scouting infrastructure. He was playing center in a conference that did not have that many big men. He had not made the grade at Indiana, and he had been out of basketball for awhile. The raw number of 3.4 APG as not jaw dropping for him as a passer.

Second, he could re-enter the draft the following year. They didn't get to draft and stash like you can with International players these days. That gave him lots of salary negotiating clout. It would have been a pretty big risk to try to lose a top pick. All of the guys taken before Bird except Robey were more prolific college scorers. Robey was a valuable big man on a National Champion team.

I was too young to really understand the prevailing buzz. Where I was from, Phil Ford was hailed as one of Dean Smith's best players in his entire tenure. I had just seen Robey and Givens destroy Duke. Thompson was plastered all over the basketball yearbooks they gave away during the basketball camps. I don't remember hearing too much about Short, and I definately don't remember much about Richardson until he got to the Knicks.
   1474. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4137840)
I think the squiggly lines are supposed to be a P and a B, right?

I thought it was five guys going up the court and back down in unison.
   1475. andrewberg Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4137844)
I thought it was five guys going up the court and back down in unison.


Also cool, but that's a funny route to take. I'm pretty sure someone is going to trip over the scorer's table.
   1476. Backlasher Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4137847)
21. Atlanta Hawks- I liked the old Pac Man logo a lot more. This one is just boring and a little too complicated.

Agreed.

28. New Orleans Hornets- Again, why is the Hornet playing basketball? You don't choose a mascot due it its proficiency at the sport. It is a symbol. Also, that's a weird looking hornet.

They should get some bonus points for starting a trend with non-traditional colors. Admittedly, the whole Alexander Julian uniforms were overdone, but the "Man of Teal" was interesting. He was my second favorite mascot to the Gorilla in Phoenix.
   1477. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4137853)
Great list, berg.

Admittedly, the whole Alexander Julian uniforms were overdone, but the "Man of Teal" was interesting. He was my second favorite mascot to the Gorilla in Phoenix.

I can't complain too much after being ranked as the best logo, but Benny the Bull (the current skinny version) is the best mascot.
   1478. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4137865)
Benny the Bull (the current skinny version) is the best mascot.

The Phoenix Suns Gorilla and I strongly disagree.
   1479. AROM Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4137868)
BL,

Good information. One nitpick though - The guys taken before Bird were not more prolific college scorers. Bird scored 30 per game, only Short came close. The others may have played against better competition.

Bird was a first team All-American. Of the guys drafted ahead of him, so were Thompson and Ford.
   1480. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4137869)
First, no one thought he would be that good. Red indicated that he had only seen Bird play once. There wasn't the same scouting infrastructure. He was playing center in a conference that did not have that many big men. He had not made the grade at Indiana, and he had been out of basketball for awhile. The raw number of 3.4 APG as not jaw dropping for him as a passer.

Second, he could re-enter the draft the following year. They didn't get to draft and stash like you can with International players these days. That gave him lots of salary negotiating clout. It would have been a pretty big risk to try to lose a top pick. All of the guys taken before Bird except Robey were more prolific college scorers. Robey was a valuable big man on a National Champion team.

I was too young to really understand the prevailing buzz. Where I was from, Phil Ford was hailed as one of Dean Smith's best players in his entire tenure. I had just seen Robey and Givens destroy Duke. Thompson was plastered all over the basketball yearbooks they gave away during the basketball camps. I don't remember hearing too much about Short, and I definately don't remember much about Richardson until he got to the Knicks.


The big risk is that you don't sign him and you've pissed away the 6th pick. Red took the gamble and won -- big.

By the '78 draft, Bird wasn't really a secret -- most people who played close attention knew how good he was, he'd already been on the SI '77-'78 college hoop preview issue, etc. He had no problems cutting it at IU; he just didn't care for Bobby Knight.

My recollection is that Thompson was pretty highly-regarded (*); Ford was seen as having issues (that he largely overcame for a spell), Robey and Givens were overrated because of the tournament, and nobody'd ever heard of Sugar or Short. Sugar was actually a pretty inspired pick. Short wasn't bad, either. I think Halberstam might have discussed the Blazers going after Bird in Breaks of the Game.

If 1978 was 2012, Magic would have been in that draft too. He never seriously contemplated coming out.

(*) He played with McHale for a couple years at Minnesota; they were a major handful to handle in '77-'78.

   1481. smileyy Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4137873)
Wow. 1978 was pretty dreadful. Not like the C's were missing a lot if they wasted the #6 pick:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_NBA_Draft
   1482. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4137877)
Finally, the ref thing is not really a separate topic from this, if you think Portland, Utah, and Sacramento would have had championships if not for the refs.


Well, Portland and Utah I would put as Portland/Indy and Utah/Indy if you keep insisting I address this again, but we already covered all this earlier. I was trying to start a discussion and find out other people's opinions on the subject without going into the controversial side of the issue. It didn't work, obviously.
   1483. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4137880)
I wish we could have had a longer conversation about team names, but in lieu of that, I am going to rank the logos. I see my role on this board as making silly lists, so here we go.
The song of my people! You're awesome, AB.

Best:
Bulls: The Bulls have basically had one logo their entire existence in part because it's so bad-ass.
Mavericks - The Mavs went from the silly M-with-Hat logo to the fierce horsehead, and it looks great.
Spurs/Pacers - The Spurs and Pacers logos are really simple and elegant, very cleanly integrated into the whole look.
Grizzlies/Wolves: Memphis' team name doesn't make any sense, but that logo is terrific. Both logos are basically simple, stark, and exciting without looking totally generic.
Suns: The Suns' secondary logo is, IMO, the best logo in basketball. It's a sun, it's a phoenix, it's awesome.

Good:
Lakers, Celtics, Warriors, Knicks, Warriors: Classic logos from a simpler time. They all have that hand-drawn feel to them (especially The City logo). If someone came out with the Knicks logo today, you'd yawn, but these teams have built so much equity in their logos that they've transcended being mere design elements.

Cavaliers: It's funny how the logo direction changed so dramatically. For the first decade or so, the Cavs actually had a cavalier as a logo, then suddenly they got rid of it for some totally generic wordmark. Now they've gone back in that original direction, the wordmark looks great.

Kings: They didn't dump their logo, but evolved it in the way successful logos often do. Very cool.

Meh:
Bobcats: Clipart. Wanted to be the T-Wolves.
Trailblazers: It's a 5-on-5 symbol. Postmodernist blargh.
Bucks: A more stylized buck would be my preference. I do love the alternate logo.
Rockets: Looks like it was done by an art student working in Illustrator for the first time.
Nuggets: There's not a lot you can do with "Nuggets". The secondary logo is probably as good as it's going to get, but that mountain logo is exactly what you'd expect for a Denver team, and they all use it, and it's never particularly interesting.
Jazz: They suffer the same problem as the Nuggets, and came up with the same solution: Generic font in front of a mountain.
Pistons: They could do more with this. The mid-90s teams had a new logo that didn't quite work.
Heat: Yawn. They should steal the Suns' logo.
Clippers: Doesn't it feel like they're stealing from the Lakers?
Magic: It's hard to draw something definite from something so vague.
Nets: Hipster chic. This too shall pass.


Bad:
Raptors: Terrible.
Wizards: Going back to the red/white/blue colors helps a little.
Hornets: Funny
Thunder: It's a nothing wordmark, totally unworthy of a professional team.
   1484. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4137883)
Kudos, berg. Great list.

As for mascots, I miss the old Seattle sasquatch. I mean, having Bigfoot as your mascot! How cool is that?

I like the Jazz Bear ( member of the mascot HOF!), though he would've made more sense if he were a black bear rather than a grizzly. Pretty sure we killed off all our grizzlies a century or so ago...

Course, I don't remember the Phoenix area being well known for it's gorillas, so I guess it's a moot point...
   1485. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4137889)
Thunder: It's a nothing wordmark, totally unworthy of a professional team.

Yes. For some reason, their logo bothers me more than ones that are objectively worse, like the Raptors or Wizards. It's like they're not even trying. Block script, too. Just, ugh.
   1486. Eddo Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4137893)
Bulls: The Bulls have basically had one logo their entire existence in part because it's so bad-ass.

Chicago does logos and uniforms well.

The Bulls and Blackhawks have two of the most iconic and awesome logos in professional sports.

The Bears have a classic look that has never changed (ex: Uni Watch has pointed out how thin their uniform numbers are, and how outdated that is).

The Cubs have used their current look for a long time, though I don't think it's anything special.

The Sox have had some dark, dark days, for sure, but their "classic" logo - the Old English SOX - has endured. Their current look is one of the best in MLB, and they have stuck with it longer than any other look they've had, if I've looked correctly.

TL;DR: no Chicago team appears to have any intention to change their current look, and with good reason.

EDIT: I also absolutely love the script "Chicago" that the Bulls used to have and the Sox currently use on their road grays. If the Bulls went back to that on their road reds (and blacks), they would have the perfect look.
   1487. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4137901)
Well, Portland and Utah I would put as Portland/Indy and Utah/Indy if you keep insisting I address this again


Not "insisting" on anything. But if the issue is "winning the title", rather than "being a serious contender", as you have said repeatedly that it is, then the ref narrative is a pretty big part of your argument, as that adds to the ways that you claim that the deck is stacked against small-market teams. You appear to be saying that even if a small-market team overcomes the odds and builds an elite contender, the league and the refs are likely to (and in fact have) pull the rug out at the last minute if the opportunity arises for them to do so.

Whether you talk about it some more is of course up to you.

without going into the controversial side


Civility is a good thing, and it is appreciated. But it doesn't eliminate controversy by itself. You are expressing controversial views that it seems many people active on the thread disagree with to one extent or another.

   1488. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4137905)
Well, the next list is obvious: uniforms.
   1489. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4137909)
You appear to be saying that even if a small-market team overcomes the odds and builds an elite contender, the league and the refs are likely to (and in fact have) pull the rug out at the last minute if the opportunity arises for them to do so.


Since you seem to want a definitive answer on this, yes, I think this type of thing has happened before (the late 90's and early 2000's were really bad, IMO), though I haven't really noticed any obvious problems with this for several years now. I don't know if it was the Donaghy scandal or what that prompted a change, but I would say the officiating the last 5 years or so has been better than it used to be. Well, it's still bad at times, but it doesn't appear to be deliberately so.

Man, I think you like talking about controversy even more than I do. ;-)

Civility is a good thing, and it is appreciated. But it doesn't eliminate controversy by itself. You are exprssing controversial views that it seems many people active on the thread disagree with to one extent or another.


Yeah, and I'm fine with that.
   1490. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4137910)
Well, the next list is obvious: uniforms.

Back of the envelope, 2012:

1. Pacers
2. Lakers
3. Timberwolves
4. Suns (*)
5. Bucks

(*) A continuous line of sweet from the Gar Heard through Tom Chambers era, to the Barkley era, through Seven Seconds or Less, to today. If you're going best combined from 1975-2012, it's the Suns.
   1491. Booey Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4137912)
Well, the next list is obvious: uniforms.


Do the Wizards still wear those eyesores with the gold top and the black shorts? Those were vomit inducing.
   1492. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 22, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4137915)
Do the Wizards still wear those eyesores with the gold top and the black shorts? Those were vomit inducing.

No. Those are right there with the Memphis Tams throwbacks sported by the Grizz this year as worst unis ever.
   1493. hokieneer Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4137917)
Cavaliers: It's funny how the logo direction changed so dramatically. For the first decade or so, the Cavs actually had a cavalier as a logo, then suddenly they got rid of it for some totally generic wordmark. Now they've gone back in that original direction, the wordmark looks great.


I really like the Cavs secondary logo as well. I picked up a hat a few years back that is sort-of-slate grey with nothing but the secondary logo on the front. Sort of like this design, except the secondary logo has red in the C instead of gold. It's become my favorite hat.
   1494. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4137925)
Do the Wizards still wear those eyesores with the gold top and the black shorts?


They went retro, with a modified Hayes/Unseld era look.
   1495. robinred Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4137928)
I am a "get-off-the-lawn" kind of guy on this, but I don't like alternate unis (even if they look cool on the merits) and I don't like the home team wearing road unis and vice versa.
   1496. Eddo Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4137933)
I don't like the home team wearing road unis and vice versa.

This implies that there are people out there that like this!

I don't think you're alone, rr.
   1497. billyshears Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4137941)
The enviroment around the Knicks (ownership/front office and media) is dysfunctional and has been dysfunctional since the mid-1970s. The current iteration of the team ripped everything down to get ready for the summer of 2010 and instead of LBJ and Dwyane Wade, they got Amare Stoucemire and Carmelo Anthony.


It seems to be received wisdom that the current version of the Knicks is a product of flawed design, but I wonder exactly what people think they should have done differently. They lost out on Lebron, Wade, Bosh and Joe Johnson in the summer of 2010. At that point, there weren't many great options available. They overpaid for Amare, but he was the best guy left and the consequences of not signing him were to endure another season where the best case scenario was to finish just on the outside of the playoff mix. I don't think sitting on a ton of cap room for another year was a realistic option.

The Knicks' had more flexibility in the Carmelo situation, but I'm still not sure that deal was the wrong choice. Obviously using those assets to get Deron Williams would have been a better play, but nobody thought he was available at the time. They could have tried to wait until the offseason to get Carmelo, but I think it was pretty well understood that Melo didn't want to wait. They could have passed altogether and sat on a core of Amare, Wilson Chandler and Gallinari, but Gallinari and Chandler were going to get expensive in the next couple years and the Knicks probably would only have had the ability to add one more significant FA piece to that core, and there are no guarantees that piece would be Chris Paul.

After taking Lebron, Wade and Bosh off the table in the 2010 offseason, I don't know that there was a realistic path whereby the Knicks end up better than somewhere between the 4th - 6th best team in the Eastern Conference. Obviously, every team can draft a little bit better or make better marginal FA signings and the Knicks had been dysfunctional forever, but I'm not sure you can say that the current version of the Knicks is a product of that dysfunction. To continue a recent theme of this thread, once you accept the fact that the Knicks didn't have the ability to acquire any of clear Top 10 players in the league, it was going to be exceptionally difficult to assemble a championship caliber team.
   1498. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4137946)
Three and-a-half hours til LeBron goes for a Conan the Destroyer-type sequel to his last performance.

I thought the Spanglish jerseys were pretty dumb. The poor grammar bugged me for some reason. Los Suns in particular, but others as well.
   1499. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4137947)
Awesome work, berg.

The Spanglish jerseys are indeed a total abomination. I don't understand how those aren't incredibly offensive to Hispanic people (partial translated broken english?!) among other flaws.
   1500. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4137952)
They overpaid for Amare, but he was the best guy left and the consequences of not signing him were to endure another season where the best case scenario was to finish just on the outside of the playoff mix. I don't think sitting on a ton of cap room for another year was a realistic option.

Considering they paid much more than any other team was offering (only team to offer him a non-guaranteed contract), it's more than just a simple overbid. Considering that in only the 2nd year of the deal they're regretting it and he's massively underperforming (perhaps it's injuries, but perhaps those could have been forseen), they perhaps could have found a better way to spend that money. Who says they *had* to sign the best guy left, if overall it could turn into a negative?

The Knicks' had more flexibility in the Carmelo situation, but I'm still not sure that deal was the wrong choice. Obviously using those assets to get Deron Williams would have been a better play, but nobody thought he was available at the time. They could have tried to wait until the offseason to get Carmelo, but I think it was pretty well understood that Melo didn't want to wait.

Who cares if Melo didn't want to wait? If he wanted the Knicks - and by all accounts he did - then waiting was exactly the right thing to do. They won exactly as many playoff games last season with him as they would have without him. They held the leverage, and still kept adding more and more players to that deal. So once again, even if I were to grant your point, they overpaid as they weren't really bidding against anyone (once Melo met with the Nets and said he wouldn't sign there, they weren't going to trade for him).

Obviously, every team can draft a little bit better or make better marginal FA signings and the Knicks had been dysfunctional forever, but I'm not sure you can say that the current version of the Knicks is a product of that dysfunction.

I don't remember on Amare, but I'm pretty sure I remember it coming out that Walsh was against the Melo deal (and was for waiting), but Dolan overruled him. IOW, that's the exact same dysfunction that put the Knicks in the mess that it took years for Walsh to get the team out of (and where they currently find themselves once again).
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