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Friday, April 15, 2022

2022 NBA Playoffs thread

I estimate the NBA thread only had 10-12 years of content so we’re in reruns already.

Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 15, 2022 at 11:59 AM | 4141 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: narratives, nba, off-topic, playoffs

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   4001. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: July 22, 2022 at 11:36 AM (#6087773)
Was Love dull and weird? I know he was definitely flawed as a defender and that limited the upside of the team at his peak. But he has always seemed like a pretty good dude, has done lots of charitable work, has a sense of humor, works really hard on his game, and has been outspoken about mental health in the game. They built garbage teams around him for the most part, but I will still go to bat for Love.

No, not really, but he wasn't super charismatic, ISTM? Neither is Towns?
   4002. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 22, 2022 at 12:32 PM (#6087786)
Butler wasn't dull.

Better if he had been.
   4003. GregD Posted: July 22, 2022 at 12:43 PM (#6087789)

Sorry if I missed this, but where exactly is the Sixers downtown arena going to go? I used to live in Philly and want to try to picture it. The renderings weren't very clear to me.


Block that goes 10th to 11th, Market to Filbert where the Gallery was
   4004. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:38 PM (#6087803)
Love didn't hit his stylish peak until getting to Cleveland.
   4005. tshipman Posted: July 25, 2022 at 11:53 AM (#6088174)
Lots of stuff today about the Celtics being in on Durant.

Shams has it as the following:

The Celtics offered Brown, guard Derrick White and a draft pick to the Nets for Durant, sources said. The proposal was rejected, and Brooklyn has asked Boston — in any proposal — to include Brown, Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, draft picks and potentially one more rotation player, those sources added.


Smart vs. White is just about salary matching. I can't imagine that would actually be the hold-up, and I imagine the actual hold up would be the picks. I would personally evaluate Smart and White as being very similar value. Boston wants to give up just one pick, and Brooklyn wants multiple.

This leak appears to be coming from Brooklyn's side, since no agents would be involved yet and Boston has no incentive to leak. I imagine the point of this leak is to drive up the offers from Miami/Suns who otherwise felt like they were negotiating against themselves. I assume that this means a Durant deal is actually reasonably likely.
   4006. spivey Posted: July 25, 2022 at 12:16 PM (#6088177)
I mean I understand Jaylen Brown is a bit of a polarizing player, but I don't see any way that Miami can match that deal. I don't know that Phoenix can either, really.

I think Brown, White, and a FRP is a very fair deal, especially for a team not looking to bottom out, which makes trades much harder.

...

I also just have to say again, I cannot believe Brooklyn gave up the 2023 FRP for Royce O'Neale. There's no world in which that was a good decision, but absolutely one in which you know KD is going to ask out 24 hours later.
   4007. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: July 25, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6088179)
It will be kind of funny if Boston gets Durant and the Lakers get Irving.
   4008. tshipman Posted: July 25, 2022 at 12:38 PM (#6088182)
I think Brown, White, and a FRP is a very fair deal, especially for a team not looking to bottom out, which makes trades much harder.


It's weird because there's such a large delta between what the Nets want to do and what they should do.

Like, objectively, this package for Durant is probably worse than the package for Gobert from a talent perspective. The over/under for all NBA teams that Jaylen Brown and Derrick White make in their career is probably 0.5. It's clearly the best package with a "star young player" that the Nets are going to get.

However, this is all just a bad decision by the Nets and what they should do is plan on being bad, particularly this year when Houston will also be bad, and rebuild from there.

Edit: I forgot about the Royce O'Neal trade. Jesus what a terrible series of decisions for the Nets.
   4009. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: July 25, 2022 at 12:41 PM (#6088184)
This leak appears to be coming from Brooklyn's side, since no agents would be involved yet and Boston has no incentive to leak. I imagine the point of this leak is to drive up the offers from Miami/Suns who otherwise felt like they were negotiating against themselves. I assume that this means a Durant deal is actually reasonably likely.

I think this is about right (though I'm thinking Phoenix might be about out by now and would swap that out for "Other").
   4010. aberg Posted: July 25, 2022 at 01:00 PM (#6088189)
Brooklyn might also be leaking because they think Brown knowing that his name is on the table will make him unhappy and therefore make Boston feel more pressure to go ahead and trade him. Not sure if that amounts to anything, but it's a possible motivation.

Seems like the offer and counter are close enough that they could bridge that gap. Make the second pick more heavily protected to protect Boston if something goes horribly wrong, but Tatum + Durant with a reasonable number of good role players is one hell of a squad.
   4011. spivey Posted: July 25, 2022 at 01:32 PM (#6088193)
Like, objectively, this package for Durant is probably worse than the package for Gobert from a talent perspective.

I disagree. I think Brown is worth at least what Murray/Jrue Holiday fetched (better than Murray imo, worse than Jrue was but younger). So that's like 3 FRPs and a swap level. White's worth a FRP, maybe a bit more.

I think all told it's about the equivalent of 6 FRPs. Though there's value in getting all those from one team because then they can't protect them.
   4012. tshipman Posted: July 25, 2022 at 01:57 PM (#6088197)
I disagree. I think Brown is worth at least what Murray/Jrue Holiday fetched (better than Murray imo, worse than Jrue was but younger).


I think this gets back to your earlier point around Brown being a polarizing player. Fair enough, though.

Seems like the offer and counter are close enough that they could bridge that gap. Make the second pick more heavily protected to protect Boston if something goes horribly wrong, but Tatum + Durant with a reasonable number of good role players is one hell of a squad.


Yeah, I agree on both counts. I don't think Brooklyn wants this deal if they're leaking it, though.
   4013. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 25, 2022 at 03:08 PM (#6088205)
If the Nets leaked it, wouldn't they have done it before the Ayton deal got signed?
   4014. PJ Martinez Posted: July 25, 2022 at 03:19 PM (#6088206)
   4015. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 25, 2022 at 09:43 PM (#6088248)
I know they didn't want Ayton, but once Ayton re-signed with Phoenix, it severely limited their options.
   4016. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: July 25, 2022 at 10:17 PM (#6088255)
Exactly
   4017. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 25, 2022 at 10:21 PM (#6088257)
Block that goes 10th to 11th, Market to Filbert where the Gallery was

For mass transit, the spot is unbeatable. Right above the El and the regional rail station, close to the Broad Street Subway line, and near the patco train line that goes to NJ.

It would only be a couple of blocks from Chinatown and there is some concern about squeezing out that community. When the Phillies wanted a new stadium before citizens Bank Park, chinatown was one of the spots considered. The Asian American community fought it and won. But the proposed arena would be not quite adjacent to Chinatown so I don’t know how valid the current concerns are.

Did the wizards arena kill DC‘s Chinatown? That’s what I am hearing but I don’t know the history there. I am skeptical that Washington ever had a Chinatown as big and active as Philly’s.
   4018. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: July 25, 2022 at 11:13 PM (#6088263)
The Pistons are bringing back the Jack Woltz Special--the teal unis with the horse head:


John Hollinger
@johnhollinger
·
36m
This decision is orders of magnitude worse than the Bagley contract. Only worse uniforms in the 90s were the Rockets' pajamas. Why would you ever bring this back? There's a HORSE on it, for crying out loud.
   4019. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 26, 2022 at 10:09 AM (#6088285)
I don’t have a great frame of reference, but the dc chinatown was never particularly good. It is godwaful now. I’d prefer philly’s chinatown to Boston’s. Most of the US cities’ chinatowns are slowly dying. Even the Manhattan one is becoming less enticing.

So while I don’t think the arena was responsible for the decline of dc’s chinatown, it’s essentially put the last nail in the coffin.
   4020. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 26, 2022 at 10:09 AM (#6088286)
I don’t have a great frame of reference, but the dc chinatown was never particularly good. It is godwaful now. I’d prefer philly’s chinatown to Boston’s. Most of the US cities’ chinatowns are slowly dying. Even the Manhattan one is becoming less enticing.
   4021. . . . . . . Posted: July 26, 2022 at 10:14 AM (#6088289)
I don’t have a great frame of reference, but the dc chinatown was never particularly good. It is godwaful now. I’d prefer philly’s chinatown to Boston’s. Most of the US cities’ chinatowns are slowly dying. Even the Manhattan one is becoming less enticing.


This is a good thing. Chinatowns are basically ghettos; what's happening is that the next generation of Chinese immigrants is successful and moving out to nicer neighborhoods, often neighborhoods that are more mixed or in the suburbs.

In NYC for example, there's more and better chinese food out in Flushing and Elmhurst and South Brooklyn than there ever was on Mott St. A lot of the remaining Manhattan chinatown - particularly the east end of it - is a later wave of desperately poor Fuzhounese immigrants who haven't made it yet.
   4022. jmurph Posted: July 26, 2022 at 10:37 AM (#6088291)
I find the ESPN palace-intrigue aspects of the Durant-Celtics stuff to be interesting. Woj comes out with this, then Windhorst says on TV (in so many words) it's not new, then Lowe and Bontemps (on Lowe's podcast) completely mock the idea that there's even such a thing as a "formal trade offer," saying of course there was a discussion about Brown and Durant at some point because who else are they going to talk about once Boston says no to Tatum? Anyway, aside from the actual basketball discussion, the Woj/Nets thing remains funny to watch.


   4023. tshipman Posted: July 26, 2022 at 06:53 PM (#6088377)
Bebe Nogueira posted some stills of the Raptors' scouting report for the 2018 playoffs.

Here's LeBron

None of the information is particularly surprising (I think even fans know that LeBron is pretty good on the drive and you have to hope he takes midrangers and you live with the results). However, it is a bit surprising to me that the information is pretty basic. The only thing that's even remotely insightful is the point that LeBron only takes threes going left off the dribble.

I get that most of this is going to be gone over in shootaround, and the coaching staff is going to emphasize certain points, but it does seem like an opportunity from a formatting information for adult learners perspective.
   4024. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 27, 2022 at 06:04 AM (#6088487)
This is a good thing. Chinatowns are basically ghettos; what's happening is that the next generation of Chinese immigrants is successful and moving out to nicer neighborhoods, often neighborhoods that are more mixed or in the suburbs.

Sure, some of that is happening but it would be a shame to lose a neighborhood with a distinct character and historical significance. I am generally pro growth and anti NIMBY. But sometimes the neighborhood character arguments are legitimate and unique, and once a place is gone it's gone.

Though I'm not sure that would happen here since there will be a block or two buffer between the arena and Chinatown. Selfishly, I'd want to maintain Chinatown as is so I can get some cheap noodles after a game.
   4025. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: July 27, 2022 at 10:59 AM (#6088518)
agree on the dc chinatown, frank

chip engelland joins okc.

   4026. aberg Posted: July 27, 2022 at 11:35 AM (#6088537)
The Pistons are bringing back the Jack Woltz Special--the teal unis with the horse head:


Several years ago, I tried to find one of these jerseys of Grant Hill to wear as a joke and discovered that I was far from the first person with that idea. They were like $300+ on ebay.
   4027. tshipman Posted: July 27, 2022 at 12:05 PM (#6088546)
chip engelland joins okc.


Seems like confirmation that Pop is out soon.
   4028. PJ Martinez Posted: July 29, 2022 at 09:23 PM (#6088926)
NBA investigating Philadelphia 76ers for possible tampering centered on James Harden, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House deals, sources say
   4029. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: July 29, 2022 at 09:52 PM (#6088931)
NBA investigating Philadelphia 76ers for possible tampering centered on James Harden, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House deals, sources say

allow me to summarize the future findings:

-- noone else was willing to offer the 37 year old pj tucker 3/50.
-- noone at all was willing to offer james harden a full 4/5 year 50MM per year max contract.
-- danuel house doesn't ####### matter and is completely unreliable..
-- the sixers probably did some shady ####, almost completely unnecessarily.
   4030. Thok Posted: July 30, 2022 at 08:15 PM (#6089028)
Given the precedent of Minnesota and Joe Smith, "No sane NBA front office would do this thing" isn't a useful defense.
   4031. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: July 30, 2022 at 10:06 PM (#6089037)
Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
On this day 2 years ago, the NBA bubble began down in Orlando

   4032. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: July 31, 2022 at 01:39 PM (#6089071)
RIP to Bill Russell--legendary figure in American sports.
   4033. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: July 31, 2022 at 01:40 PM (#6089072)
Shams Charania
@ShamsCharania
·
22m
Bill Russell: 11-time NBA champion. Five-time MVP. Member of the 25, 50, 75 Greatest Ever Anniversary teams. Two-time NCAA champion. Olympic Gold Medalist. And two NBA championships as the first Black head coach in North American pro sports history.
   4034. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 31, 2022 at 01:56 PM (#6089074)
“The only thing we know for sure about superiority in sports in the United States of America in the 20th century,” journalist Frank Deford wrote in Sports Illustrated in 1999, “is that Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics teams he led stand alone as the ultimate winners.”

   4035. . . . . . . Posted: July 31, 2022 at 01:57 PM (#6089075)
I always liked this YT video of colorized / speed adjusted Bill Russell highlights. Really brings out how athletic / modern he was.

https://youtu.be/qT5GlgXrX-0
   4036. PJ Martinez Posted: July 31, 2022 at 03:20 PM (#6089084)
Bill Russell 21-0 in winner-take-all games: All NCAA games, Olympic medal round, best-of-5s, best of 7s. Greatest resume of anyone. Period.
   4037. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: July 31, 2022 at 05:27 PM (#6089100)
i never saw him play, but he seems like a slightly more well-coordinated samuel dalembert.
   4038. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: July 31, 2022 at 06:08 PM (#6089109)
A few things on Russell that I have said before, but will repeat today:

Two books worth considering--I read both:

The Rivalry, by John Taylor, about Chamberlain v. Russell. A decent book about a great topic--with a great cover photo.

link to Amazon, but don't buy it there haha

Rise of a Dynasty, by Bill Reynolds, about the 1957 NBA Finals. Also, decent book, great topic.

link

Basketball on Paper, by Dean Oliver, is sort of the ur-text of NBA analytics. He has a whole chapter on Russell, and concludes that Russell was worth about six points a game above an average center on D, making him the D equivalent of Michael Jordan. I expect that is pretty much right.

Also, I think Russell is a little bit underappreciated as an historical figure, especially the coaching part of what he achieved.
   4039. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 31, 2022 at 06:13 PM (#6089111)
I've always been in the camp that believes Bill Russell was slightly overrated. This belief has always run up against the fact that, when push came to shove, he always won.

R.I.P. to an American original.
   4040. Howie Menckel Posted: July 31, 2022 at 07:07 PM (#6089117)
coming up on 40 years of work, and the ONE recording I wish I had saved was probably from 1997 - since it was 50 Greatest Players-related. (there is no second place I can think of offhand).

big press conference in midtown Manhattan, and countless luminaries were there (though not nearly like the one in Cleveland for that All-Star Game, which had 47 or 48 of them. I think Pete Maravich at that point was the only one who had passed on).

for reasons that I can't completely recall at that NYC press conference, somehow the inkstained wretches depart yet I'm still there.
I see Russell and Wilt yukking it up in the corner and - well, the worst they could do was say no to a joint interview, right?

it actually was more like a continuation of their banter, and they just let me watch (in awe, which was not my typical reaction almost no matter who was the subject).

it's well-known that they didn't always like each other, and pretty much also that they had reconciled over time.

but this was 100x more "reconciled." they were positively giddy as they shared old stories.

the Celtics played on Thanksgiving in Philly basically every year in the 1960s - and after the game, Wilt always would have Russell over for dinner with Wilt's family. that was the source of much of the banter, but it extended to so many other topics.

it was like each of them was so far beyond the level of any other player that only they could breathe that amount of rarified air. and with the games long-ago completed, they could enjoy the memories together.

I wrote long that day - of course. next day, I see the story was trimmed. a lot. imbecile sports editor said they "were tight on space."

hell, then hold it a day, FFS - it was just the 3 of us, dammit, for close to a half-hour.

to sum up, I totally suck for letting the tape disappear.

going for the interview was good, but I still feel like I got above the rim - but then missed the dunk. (I got a 1-on-1 with Wilt a year later, but he was headed downhill at that point and died only a year after that. and while both were good in Cleveland, it was just being a part of a media horde. this was the one.)

youth really is wasted on the young - and even the early middle-aged, clearly.

RIP, Mr. Russell.

   4041. The Honorable Ardo Posted: July 31, 2022 at 09:32 PM (#6089128)
Take Draymond Green at his very best - able to defend anybody, great floor vision, great passing, hitting the boards hard, white-hot intensity - and give him Rudy Gobert's body type, close quarters speed, and rim protection. That's the best comp for Russell. He was and will be unlike anyone else to play the game.

The dynastic Celtics had more in common than you'd think with the modern game and D'Antoni's Seven Seconds Suns: they played "four out, Bill in". In Russell's first nine seasons, they led the NBA in pace eight times and were in second place once.
   4042. frannyzoo Posted: July 31, 2022 at 09:58 PM (#6089130)
Thanks, Howie. While not the "slam dunk," your memory still very much fits the day. What a pair. - Scot
   4043. asinwreck Posted: August 01, 2022 at 10:35 AM (#6089171)
What an extraordinary life, even aside from his accomplishments on the court. I am delighted we had Bill Russell for so long, and I get the sense he was pretty delighted as well in his later years.

Speaking of cross-era comps, who is the best athlete to come out of Oakland? How would you compare Russell and Rickey Henderson?

Also, I think Russell is a little bit underappreciated as an historical figure, especially the coaching part of what he achieved.

One thing in recent years that I was happy to discover is he and Bill Withers were very good friends, to the point that Russell alerted Withers that John Legend and Questlove had covered "I Can't Write Left-Handed," which led to Questlove asking Withers if he could record him. Alas, that did not happen.
   4044. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: August 01, 2022 at 11:37 AM (#6089183)
How would you compare Russell and Rickey Henderson?


I also historically think Russell (the player) is overrated, but there's no doubt he's an all-time Top 10 player, probably Top 5. Rickey is amazing, but I don't think he can touch that inner, inner circle level.

It was also very cool that Russell showed up at the Finals most years, and he never gave off a "back in my day" vibe.
   4045. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: August 01, 2022 at 02:51 PM (#6089217)
It was also very cool that Russell showed up at the Finals most years


Yep. The Finals MVP Award is the Bill Russell Award, as most here know.

I would put James, Jordan and Abdul-Jabbar ahead of Russell. After that I would not really argue with anybody who had him 4-12 or so.

In terms of player impact on the history of the NBA, Russell is arguably #1. Mikan would be up there on that list as well.

   4046. . . . . . . Posted: August 01, 2022 at 03:15 PM (#6089224)
How about: Draymond Green with Rudy Gobert's body and Karl Malone's in-season durability.
   4047. aberg Posted: August 01, 2022 at 03:38 PM (#6089234)
allow me to summarize the future findings:

-- noone else was willing to offer the 37 year old pj tucker 3/50.
-- noone at all was willing to offer james harden a full 4/5 year 50MM per year max contract.
-- danuel house doesn't ####### matter and is completely unreliable..
-- the sixers probably did some shady ####, almost completely unnecessarily.


Precedent dictates that league revokes 5 first round picks. And you can also have Ndudi Ebi.
   4048. aberg Posted: August 01, 2022 at 03:49 PM (#6089236)
I don't think there's an athlete who has ever lived who I admire more than Russell. It's him and Ali and nobody else is close. I read a couple of the books he wrote just because the stories he would tell are so engaging and motivational.

It's hard to peg his value as a player. He was obviously an amazing defender. The full games of the 60s Celtics that are available online make it clear that he was playing a different game than most of the other guys out there. Maybe it was just that the style of play at that point made it easier for a single defender to lift up a whole team. Boston went from below average defensive ratings immediately before and after Russell played to easily #1 the whole time he was there. We talk about someone like Gobert being a one-man top 10 defense today, but even that's not really true. Imagine if Evan Mobley was so good that he didn't take Cleveland up to 7th in DRTG, but the very best defense in the league, and also won the title. So, either Russell was WAY better defensively than the best modern defender, or the game allowed for a single defender to make a bigger impact. Either way, it's difficult for us as modern fans and observers to contextualize what he did.
   4049. Fourth True Outcome Posted: August 01, 2022 at 05:24 PM (#6089258)
I don't have much to add about Russell, other than the idea that it both used to seem impossible that someone who belonged on the sporting Mt Olympus walked among us and now seems impossible that he's gone, but Kareem posted a lovely remembrance of Russell that's well worth the read.
   4050. tshipman Posted: August 01, 2022 at 07:51 PM (#6089294)
How about: Draymond Green with Rudy Gobert's body and Karl Malone's in-season durability.


Russell was 6-10, 215. That's hardly Gobert's body.

The obvious comparison to me has always been Ben Wallace, but a little better from the FT line. People take that as some kind of insult or whatever, but Bill Russell was a hell of a player and really, the basketball lessons of Bill Russell are still poorly learned today.
   4051. spivey Posted: August 01, 2022 at 08:09 PM (#6089302)
Bill Russell scored a respectable amount at league average efficiency. He was also a good passer for a big man.

Ben Wallace scored 7pts/36 at 90 TS+. I think it's hard to imagine him exactly how he was being ported into today's game and being a top 5 all-time player. But if he played today, he'd be growing up in a different era and would have at least slightly different skills that fit the era.

I've grown fonder of his career over time. It was a smaller league back then but it's hard to hand wave away that much winning.
   4052. GregD Posted: August 01, 2022 at 08:20 PM (#6089306)
Speaking of cross-era comps, who is the best athlete to come out of Oakland? How would you compare Russell and Rickey Henderson?


Love love love Rickey but Joe Morgan is the greatest baseball player from Oakland. Rickey beats out FRobby for #2 but FRobby was amazing too (and of course went to McClymonds high school with Russell and played forward there, too.)
   4053. tshipman Posted: August 01, 2022 at 08:46 PM (#6089314)
Bill Russell scored a respectable amount at league average efficiency. He was also a good passer for a big man.

Ben Wallace scored 7pts/36 at 90 TS+. I think it's hard to imagine him exactly how he was being ported into today's game and being a top 5 all-time player. But if he played today, he'd be growing up in a different era and would have at least slightly different skills that fit the era.

I've grown fonder of his career over time. It was a smaller league back then but it's hard to hand wave away that much winning.


Sure, this is a totally valid statement. It just kind of depends on what your beliefs are about the 1960s NBA. The other comp for Russell is Rodman, but with an all-time competitive brain/mindset.

I tend to think that he would be closer to Draymond/Rodman/Wallace levels of impact (which, to be clear are still incredibly high), and not LeBron/MJ levels of impact.

But, as great a basketball player as he was, he was an even better human, and that is probably more worth celebrating.
   4054. Howie Menckel Posted: August 01, 2022 at 08:49 PM (#6089315)
I don't think there's an athlete who has ever lived who I admire more than Russell. It's him and Ali and nobody else is close.

add Billie Jean King to your list, or we're going to have to drop the gloves (or, put them on. depends if this is hockey, or boxing).

it's true that it was cool that Russell would drop in annually at the NBA Finals.
but BJK does that at the U.S. Open in NY every late summer, and she is even more hands-on with current players, past players, the media, the fans - everybody.

women's sports would have developed eventually, to some extent.

but do I think that without her, it would be near what it is today?

no ####### way. she jump-started everything.
   4055. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 01, 2022 at 09:59 PM (#6089344)
I don't think there's an athlete who has ever lived who I admire more than Russell. It's him and Ali and nobody else is close.
add Billie Jean King to your list, or we're going to have to drop the gloves
I'd put Jackie Robinson first on that list, but any order can be argued for.

The first athlete I consciously remember as being influential in more than just a sporting context was Arthur Ashe. Before Ashe, I didn't know that (1) black people were allowed to play tennis, and (2) people with glasses were allowed to play anything.
   4056. tshipman Posted: August 01, 2022 at 10:40 PM (#6089354)
8 years ago, we were two years away from being two years away.

The Boston Celtics are 4 years in the future.
   4057. Howie Menckel Posted: August 01, 2022 at 10:43 PM (#6089356)
Jackie is always in the conversation, agreed.

interesting that you mention Ashe. she and BJK were fixtures in that US Open press box for many years.

it was amusing to out-of-town columnists especially.

call from their sports desk: "ok, you want me to track down legendary tennis players to offer cogent insight into the upside of our local hotshot who is playing this year? it's a tall order, but I'll try."

walk anywhere from 6 to 60 feet, and you've got two of the greatest pioneers in the history of the sport.
and they were happy to recommend who else could contribute - and tell you exactly where to find them. nice work if you can get it.

I attended the Ashe press conference at HBO about 30 years ago, just after it was leaked that he had contracted AIDS.

big crowd, and not just press. I rode up the elevator with a prominent NYC news anchor, and she was beyond distraught.

people settle into their seats, and then comes the most uncomfortable silence imaginable.

Ashe "reads the room," as they say - and kicks off his comments by confirming that he was indeed "proud to have been chosen as the next manager of the New York Yankees." [of course, 30 years ago, Steinbrenner was infamous for his constant turnover of that job.]

Ashe actually was furious that USA Today had been nosing around about the AIDS rumor, so he felt forced to hold this event.

but that was one thing he had in common with Rachel Robinson, actually, who in not-so-recent years would still hold court at a Mets stadium groundbreaking or another in Brooklyn for the Nets arena.

and same for Buck O'Neil, it seems. all three with every single goddam right to be bitter beyond imagination.

somehow, I guess they recognized that - and then also recognized that was not the best life they could lead. so instead, they soldiered on.

the words almost seem out of fashion now, but "grace" and "class" - actually, they better never go out of style.

or else, we're all doomed.
   4058. aberg Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:16 PM (#6089532)
add Billie Jean King to your list, or we're going to have to drop the gloves (or, put them on. depends if this is hockey, or boxing).


Yes, great point. Don't know how I forgot her but thanks for mentioning. The number of gigantic things she accomplished, both athletically and socially/politically in a very short period of time is mind-boggling.
   4059. Fourth True Outcome Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:35 PM (#6089637)
The latest Thinking Basketball podcast is a fascinating deep dive on a subject that's been a pet topic of mine for a while, basketball athleticism. (I even wrote a Free Darko post back in the day on proprioception and what the podcast terms "soft athleticism", but thankfully FD has gone dark so I'm not obligated to link that and show my work here.)

It's a long listen, but I think well worth it. Taylor brings in the director of biomechanics at P3 and a neuroscientist to have informed discussions about their specialties, and breaks down athleticism into three categories: 1) hard athleticism, i.e. the combine measurables, 2) soft athleticism, i.e. hand-eye coordination, proprioception, and the less measurable sensory aspects of athleticism, and 3) cognitive athleticism, the mental piece. It's a thing I've been curious about for a while and wished the soft athleticism/mental parts were more knowable, so the expert guests really helpfully flesh out the discussion.
   4060. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: August 02, 2022 at 08:59 PM (#6089711)
“Lakers Fans, my Twitter account has been hacked. Please do not engage with it or send any money. These are NOT legitimate offers. The Lakers will alert you when I am back in control of my account." – Jeanie Buss

— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) August 2, 2022
   4061. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 02, 2022 at 10:16 PM (#6089748)
somehow, I guess they recognized that - and then also recognized that was not the best life they could lead. so instead, they soldiered on.

the words almost seem out of fashion now, but "grace" and "class" - actually, they better never go out of style.
I've been working on layouts for SABR books for a few years now, so I've been spending a lot of time with stories from the Negro Leagues and early black MLB players. Increasingly, I feel like we've learned the wrong lesson here: we focus on honoring how great Robinson, Russell, King, etc., were and paper over just how utterly wretched so much of America were to them for a long time. They HAD to be great and graceful, because everyone else was so shitty. If we spent with WHY Robinson, et al, were so angry for so long rather than just renaming awards for them, maybe we'd get better at being less shitty. That does seem like too big of an ask, though.
   4062. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: August 02, 2022 at 10:36 PM (#6089753)
I've been working on layouts for SABR books for a few years now, so I've been spending a lot of time with stories from the Negro Leagues and early black MLB players. Increasingly, I feel like we've learned the wrong lesson here: we focus on honoring how great Robinson, Russell, King, etc., were and paper over just how utterly wretched so much of America were to them for a long time. They HAD to be great and graceful, because everyone else was so shitty. If we spent with WHY Robinson, et al, were so angry for so long rather than just renaming awards for them, maybe we'd get better at being less shitty. That does seem like too big of an ask, though.
true. true.

and while we're at it, let's not forget that the integration of major league baseball (and college football too, fwiw) also represents the wholesale demolition of an entire class of black-owned/operated businesses.
   4063. Howie Menckel Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:05 PM (#6089756)
agree with 4061, and obviously it was not your intent, but the excerpt is incomplete without my previous line:

"and same for Buck O'Neil, it seems. all three with every single goddam right to be bitter beyond imagination."

was surprised that the nanny let "goddam" through, but I think it speaks right to your point about the utter pervasiveness of the racism.

if "all" one had to endure was catcalls from ignoramuses in the stands during games, that would be awful - but at one level.

but off the field, and off the court, every single day, was so - as you put it so well in your own post - "shitty."

it's a significant part of the cultural history.
   4064. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 03, 2022 at 12:02 AM (#6089764)
agree with 4061, and obviously it was not your intent, but the excerpt is incomplete without my previous line:
Yeah, I wasn't taking a shot at you or anything, and I hope you didn't take it as such. Maybe I'm just an angry old man now.

Buck O'Neil is special in that way, managing to squeeze every good moment out of a day, even when the days didn't have one -- but Buck is unique. More common is the simmering lifelong resentment that drove Josh Gibson to drink himself to death, that shortened Robinson's life, that Russell and Bob Gibson carried with them to their graves. I always feel like saying these men handled their hardships with grace, or however you want to put it, sanitizes the "hardships" part. These men were gods, trapped in the Hell that was the America of their time, and no amount of plaques will make up for the reckoning that never came.

Even in his passing, I still ran into stories about how Russell was mean to X or wouldn't sign something for Y. Russell was a god, and he deserved so much better than decades of cultural trauma.
   4065. Howie Menckel Posted: August 03, 2022 at 12:31 AM (#6089772)
Yeah, I wasn't taking a shot at you or anything, and I hope you didn't take it as such.

not at all.

was more for a 'drive-by' who might misunderstand....
   4066. bob gee Posted: August 03, 2022 at 08:41 PM (#6089919)
Howie, Thanks for your anecdotes, they are always great to read!

   4067. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: August 04, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6089996)
concur on all kinds of recent posts, like thanking howie and notes on russell (particularly 4061/4062)
   4068. Howie Menckel Posted: August 04, 2022 at 07:34 PM (#6090065)
I haven't yet cracked the code on when I am welcome in this thread (sometimes I'm not), so naturally I lean toward not posting here.

I don't follow the NBA closely anymore, so I have nothing intelligent to contribute on what the Celtics or the Nets or the Lakers or really any team should do. I have found it intriguing how many young NBA fans love love love the 1990s NBA, which was my milieu. and we got 1000x more access than writers get today.

Commissioner Stern was still growing the product, and back then, the beat guys and columnists getting to know the players and coaches well contributed to better writing - and, Stern found, a more engaged fan base because the players weren't just guys on a cardboard Topps card anymore.

have enjoyed the other reminiscences here as well....
   4069. spivey Posted: August 04, 2022 at 08:27 PM (#6090073)
Everyone is always welcome in the thread and I apologize to everyone I've been rude to.
   4070. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: August 04, 2022 at 08:27 PM (#6090074)
Let me third the sentiment about the Russell posts in particular, but also the diversity of posters. It's great.
   4071. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: August 04, 2022 at 11:32 PM (#6090106)
Everyone is always welcome in the thread and I apologize to everyone I've been rude to.


Cool. You called me a "jackass" on this thread in like 2016 or so. Haha. I was snarky with you first, though.

As to what Menckel said, I would make a distinction between "Welcomed" and "People sometimes really not liking what you have to say and/or how you say it about certain topics." I am not a big Menckel fan, and I am sure that that lack of fandom is mutual. But he or anyone else can and should post here if s/he wants to talk NBA, and there is always the ignore user option if somebody seriously gets on your nerves. And yes, Menckel's posts about Russell and other historically significant/pioneer athletes have added to the conversation.



   4072. tshipman Posted: August 04, 2022 at 11:59 PM (#6090109)
Cool. You called me a "jackass" on this thread in like 2016 or so. Haha. I was snarky with you first, though.


what's that thing you like to say? Something about how in general, people get treated how they deserve on this board ...

I am teasing, but I have always generally found it to be true.
   4073. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: August 05, 2022 at 12:16 AM (#6090110)
Something about how in general, people get treated how they deserve on this board ...


I'd say most of the time, yeah.
   4074. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: August 05, 2022 at 07:41 AM (#6090115)
I think this thread is an example of how a presumption of good faith by a small group of people can keep one of these semi-anonymous internet communities healthy over the long term.
   4075. Howie Menckel Posted: August 06, 2022 at 08:41 PM (#6090341)
As to what Menckel said, I would make a distinction between "Welcomed" and "People sometimes really not liking what you have to say and/or how you say it about certain topics." I am not a big Menckel fan, and I am sure that that lack of fandom is mutual.


well, that's the thing - not sure if it's a virtue or a fault, but I couldn't recall any topic that might be a favorite of yours, or almost about anybody else's. I don't know if we have directly clashed, or if you prefer to stay on the sidelines but you have sided with others. and I don't really care, other than admitted confusion from why what I believe is an innocuous post releases some of the BBTF hounds. and unfortunately it seems rare when a multi-person piling on of someone in that way leads other posters to say, "whoa, maybe we can put the brakes on here."

I remember back a number of years ago when some posters would get riled up because I would quote an earlier post, but not bother identifying who had posted it or when.

to me, who cares who posted it? the point may have merit or it may not. but why does it matter who posted it?

yet apparently the responses to the exact same comment may vary quite a bit depending on who posted it. that makes zero sense to me.

now, my approach on this, I think, is a very minority position here - and hell, on the internet in general.

that ability to keep mental track of the posting history of anonymous people, and to maintain emotional storage of pro and con about posters over multiple years, strikes me as - well, exhausting.

none of us can claim great pride in every single one of their comments over the years, obviously. but I don't believe that not accepting getting #### on by other posters means that more wrath is thus justified.

I don't want to mess with anybody here. maybe that's something we can come to agreement about all around?

or, since I gave up on communications about anything with a political tinge 18 to 24 months ago, can the statute of limitations expire on old grudges as I just post about baseball or basketball or football? I don't think that's an unreasonable ask.
   4076. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: August 06, 2022 at 09:08 PM (#6090347)
I think this thread is an example of how a presumption of good faith by a small group of people can keep one of these semi-anonymous internet communities healthy over the long term
your welcome.
   4077. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: August 06, 2022 at 09:16 PM (#6090349)
I remember back a number of years ago when some posters would get riled up because I would quote an earlier post, but not bother identifying who had posted it or when.

to me, who cares who posted it? the point may have merit or it may not. but why does it matter who posted it?

yet apparently the responses to the exact same comment may vary quite a bit depending on who posted it. that makes zero sense to me.

'if dave chapelle can say the n-word in public, why can't i?'
   4078. MGS Hamster Posted: August 08, 2022 at 01:24 PM (#6090630)
Random topic: if there was an international tournament this month, and everyone was highly motivated to participate, what's the best possible roster for team USA? Most of it is pretty straightforward to me, but when I got to center I came up with Evan Mobley and Robert Williams? Of course you can go small with Lebron or Draymond at the five but are those the two best conventional centers?
   4079. tshipman Posted: August 08, 2022 at 01:51 PM (#6090635)
Random topic: if there was an international tournament this month, and everyone was highly motivated to participate, what's the best possible roster for team USA? Most of it is pretty straightforward to me, but when I got to center I came up with Evan Mobley and Robert Williams? Of course you can go small with Lebron or Draymond at the five but are those the two best conventional centers?


My bias is well known, but I think you should just play small internationally. If you have KD, LeBron and Draymond, you don't need a traditional C. If you feel like you absolutely need a slightly bigger guy, then you take Bam.
   4080. jmurph Posted: August 08, 2022 at 02:59 PM (#6090653)
Now this is proper offseason drama! Thanks to KD for keeping NBA twitter alive:
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
In a meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai, Kevin Durant reiterated his trade request and informed Tsai that Tsai needs to choose between Durant or the pairing of general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, sources say.
   4081. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: August 08, 2022 at 03:01 PM (#6090654)
Yes, the problem in Brooklyn was clearly checks notes Sean Marks.
   4082. tshipman Posted: August 08, 2022 at 03:10 PM (#6090655)
Durant has to be the bus driver if he's throwing Nash and Marks under it, doesn't he?

Checkmate, Barkley.
   4083. DCA Posted: August 08, 2022 at 10:01 PM (#6090749)
I think Bam at C for team USA, if you don't just play the best five regardless of position. Jarrett Allen was an all-star too. Looney has a bunch of rings and doesn't need the ball.

I don't think it's Mobley's time quite yet, but he's probably the answer in a year or two.
   4084. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: August 09, 2022 at 02:52 AM (#6090778)
Random topic: if there was an international tournament this month, and everyone was highly motivated to participate, what's the best possible roster for team USA? Most of it is pretty straightforward to me, but when I got to center I came up with Evan Mobley and Robert Williams? Of course you can go small with Lebron or Draymond at the five but are those the two best conventional centers?

i think you have to start with towns. i know he's not a proven winner, but the skillset speaks for itself.

after that, you probably need a more physical banger like steven adams, for the serbia/croatia/spain/france/australia matchups.

and then, maybe you take a flier on a younger center like deandre ayton or chris boucher or jahlil okafor.
   4085. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 09, 2022 at 07:53 AM (#6090788)
I am pretty sure Towns plays for the Dominican Republic team.
   4086. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 09, 2022 at 07:54 AM (#6090789)
Yeah, born in New Jersey, but dual US and Dominican.
   4087. spivey Posted: August 09, 2022 at 08:35 AM (#6090793)
Some of the US' struggles in international basketball has been dealing with other teams' big guys. I'd want at least least 2 bigs on any team (Bam/Timelord and Draymond would be fine). Ideally one of them can shoot, so you don't have a situation where Gobert-types can just camp right under the rim since there's no defensive 3 seconds. Mobley could be an amazing FIBA big in a year or two if he gets a consistent 3pt shot. Timelord could be great fun in that setting. He had NBA all-stars rattled in the playoffs at times. He could totally disrupt offenses.

I actually think Brook Lopez would have been a reasonable big for the Olympic team in the last 4 years. He may not be quite good enough anymore, but he's respectable from 3, can bang with anyone, and is an elite rim protector. Not a starter necessarily but that provides a lot of matchup versatility.
   4088. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: August 09, 2022 at 10:42 AM (#6090806)
i think you have to start with towns. i know he's not a proven winner, but the skillset speaks for itself.

after that, you probably need a more physical banger like steven adams, for the serbia/croatia/spain/france/australia matchups.

and then, maybe you take a flier on a younger center like deandre ayton or chris boucher or jahlil okafor.

Are any of those guys even eligible?

I think you start with Al Horford, who can spread the floor and lead the defense as a versatile frontcourt stopper. He's shown that he still has a lot left in the tank.

After that, I'd add an efficient rim runner like Dwight Powell or Brandon Clarke.

Finally, bring in Poeltl or Clint Capela as a true rim protector to combat the teams that really excel at scoring in the paint.
   4089. tshipman Posted: August 09, 2022 at 11:14 AM (#6090815)
I think you start with Al Horford, who can spread the floor and lead the defense as a versatile frontcourt stopper. He's shown that he still has a lot left in the tank.

After that, I'd add an efficient rim runner like Dwight Powell or Brandon Clarke.

Finally, bring in Poeltl or Clint Capela as a true rim protector to combat the teams that really excel at scoring in the paint.


Maybe Team USA should reach out to Gobert or Pau Gasol and see if either of them are available. They both have a great track record in international play.
   4090. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: August 09, 2022 at 11:37 AM (#6090818)
You guys are completely overlooking the obvious choices of last year's MVP and runner-up.
   4091. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: August 09, 2022 at 12:58 PM (#6090839)
Are any of those guys even eligible?
(that's the joke)
   4092. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 09, 2022 at 01:24 PM (#6090849)
(that's the joke)


Towns was born in New Jersey, so I am fairly certain he is eligible, he just has historically preferred to play for The Dominican.
   4093. PJ Martinez Posted: August 09, 2022 at 01:48 PM (#6090853)
Ziller's (unpaywalled and admittedly speculative) read on things:
The cost to keep Durant is most likely to replace Marks with a general manager who will sign Kyrie long-term and to replace Nash with a head coach who will completely defer to Kyrie and KD.
   4094. asinwreck Posted: August 09, 2022 at 02:07 PM (#6090856)
Nash, of course, was hired with the two stars' blessing after they found Kenny Atkinson's coaching unacceptable.

Assuming a trade, what organization is most likely to let Durant be the GM? Phoenix and Miami would be unlikely to do that. It's easy to see him getting onto a winning team, as he did in Golden State, but hard to see him getting into a situation where he'll be content 24 months from now (he longed to get out of Golden State after a couple seasons, setting up that awkward third season).
   4095. Fourth True Outcome Posted: August 09, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6090857)
That all seems correct to me; KD seems to be playing all of this out in the court of public opinion because he and Kyrie don't seem to have any leverage anywhere else. I'm not sure I agree it's easy to see KD getting onto a winning team; if the Nets hold the line like it seems they're willing to on what the price for KD will be, it's hard to find a team that can both meet the price and have a contending roster remaining, even with KD. I could well be wrong, KD is a superstar who can paper over a lot of issues for a team, but it's kind of wild the way he seems willing to torch some of his reputation to back Kyrie and tear down a situation that was tailor-made for the two of them. Gonna be fascinating if the two of them do indeed play for the Nets this season.
   4096. asinwreck Posted: August 09, 2022 at 02:21 PM (#6090859)
Oh, if the Nets were willing to, say, deal Durant to the Bulls for DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, the Blazers' 1st, and another 1st, I could see Durant and LaVine lead that team into the Eastern Conference Finals. But I would expect him to eventually clash with the front office and coaching staff.

Miami and Phoenix have established coaches and GMs. (Riley wouldn't fire Spo for LeBron.) Durant is said to love Monty Williams, but he was said to love Steve Nash.

This doesn't even get into where Kyrie will be playing this season, or where he'll be playing once his contract ends. Is anyone going to want both of these guys on the same roster again? It's clear that Tsai does not.
   4097. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: August 09, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6090860)
Assuming a trade, what organization is most likely to let Durant be the GM? Phoenix and Miami would be unlikely to do that. It's easy to see him getting onto a winning team, as he did in Golden State, but hard to see him getting into a situation where he'll be content 24 months from now (he longed to get out of Golden State after a couple seasons, setting up that awkward third season).

toronto.
charlotte.
the knicks.
chicago.
boston.
memphis.
dallas.
new orleans.
portland.
san antonio (if pop is on the way out, maybe they find a way to send him out with a bang)
   4098. jmurph Posted: August 09, 2022 at 02:31 PM (#6090861)
Topeka.
Omaha.
Springfield (no, the other one).
Sante Fe.
(I assume we're just listing cities?)
   4099. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: August 09, 2022 at 02:33 PM (#6090862)
Topeka.
Omaha.
Springfield (no, the other one).
Sante Fe.
(I assume we're just listing cities?)
NIAGRA FALLLLLLLLLLLSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   4100. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: August 09, 2022 at 02:33 PM (#6090863)
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