Hardwood Pines : Ten Things I’m Missing Due to the NBA Lockout

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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33 Responses

  1. Scott says:

    Meh, who needs the NBA when you have college basketball?Report

  2. Michael Cain says:

    Agree with your #1. I’m not a Lakers fan, but am a Jackson fan, and was looking forward to the implosion of the Lakers this season.Report

  3. Mike Schilling says:

    (Seriously, we all know it’s going to eventually end at 51-49, so why can’t we just make the deal and start the show?)

    Because it’s not about numbers, it’s about the owners crushing the union and imposing their will on the players. If the players agree to 51, the owners’ demand will go to 47. And a hard cap. And NFL-style non-guaranteed “contracts”.Report

    • I disagree. I don’t have a sense of animosity between players and owners in the NBA.

      I thinks it’s about figuring out a different way to cut up a pie that just got smaller, coupled with the owners needing a bailout due to their inability to not go deer-in-the-headlights and award outrageously stupid long-term contracts to stiffs in the off season. (Which is why I think that the amnesty clause agreement is such an awesome idea – providing your name isn’t Gilbert Arenas, Reshard Lewis or Brandon Roy. In which case you probably feel like you’re about to be thrown under the bus.)Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I get a different vibe from Stern, that he wants his legacy to be a fiscally sound league (i.e. one whose foot is on the players’ throats for good.) And I’ll believe the owners are really in trouble when the value of franchises stops going up.

        Did I misunderstand the amnesty clause? I thought the contract still gets paid, but gets removed from the cap. That lets teams recover from truly bad long-term decisions , but at the price of spending yet more money, and doesn’t cost Agent Zero et al. a cent.Report

        • No, but they are allowed to waive the player and get them off of the team, while relinquishing their rights to re-sign them. Which means that a player like Lewis will have to effectively retire (at least temporarily), or take a pay cut and let their current team off the hook.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

            No, but they are allowed to waive the player and get them off of the team, while relinquishing their rights to re-sign them.

            In baseball, that allows another team to sign the waived player for the minimum, paid to the team that waived him. (That’s why the Giants waived Tejada and Rowand at the end of August last year — as a courtesy, so that any team dumb enough to want them on the post-season roster could sign them by September 1st.) No idea whether that would apply to the NBA too.Report

        • Also, I think of Stern as the guy that built the league on the Players-as-Stars model; I think more than MLB or the NFL Stern and the NBA know that they are riding the players coattails, not vice versa.Report

          • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tod Kelly says:

            They may know it, but that doesn’t mean they want to change it. They want the NFL model where the players are stars, but those stars can be released five seconds after they become unproductive.Report

            • Tod Kelly in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

              I think that’s what fans want, not necessarily owners.

              I think owners want to be able to cut costs if they are losing money, but I don’t buy that they really want an NFL model, because they could already have chosen to do that.

              In the NFL, if Tavaris Jackson says he wants to be a top ten salaried quarterback when his contract is up, he will soon be unemployed. In the NBA if DeSagana Diop demands $34 million, there will be an owner stupid enough to sign him to a long term deal and give it to him.

              In the NFL, your W-L record is about the only indicator of potential revenue and profitability. In the NBA, having a Blake Griffin can drive huge amounts of revenue and put you in the black, even if you are owned by the worst, suck-iest, most God-awful franchise owner in sports history.Report

            • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

              No, they couldn’t have.

              At least not in the past, as the NBA ownership mainly consisted of owners who were in more for the ‘fun’ of being an NBA owner than as an investment. Not so much anymore. This is a new generation of owners more focused on the bottom line.Report

              • wardsmith in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                I’d say Paul Allen and Mark Cuban as team owners counts more as “hobby” than vocation. The bottom line (Cuban at least) wants is the ring at the end of the season, and I’m glad he’s got one.Report

              • Pat Cahalan in reply to wardsmith says:

                I love Mark Cuban because he is the only guy who rode the dot com boom into doing what real nerds would like to do if they hit that jackpot: cash out and do something awesome like run a basketball team.

                I’m a big believer in cashing out and doing something awesome with your money.  Anybody who gets to a net worth of $80 million or so and keeps going with money as the primary motivator is messed up in the head.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

                Charles Wang cashed out of Computer Associates and bought the Islanders.  That did, at least, give me an NHL team to root against.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

                I feel like I should hat the guy cause he’s kind of an ass, but I totally love him.  If I owned an NBA team I would be exactly like him.Report

  4. Koz says:

    “If he ever does, MJ’s uncontested spot atop NBA greats might suddenly become a little shaky.”

    I’m no big fan of Kobe Bryant, but we’ve already seen the next Jordan. At this point, I don’t know that you can say there’s anything MJ ever did that Kobe hasn’t except that MJ did it first, except that Kobe has never been the Lakers’ de facto general manager and I’m not sure how you evaluate that.Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to Koz says:

      The one thing that still separates MJ and Kobe (and this from a Kobe-lover) is Finals performances.  MJ’s ability to will victory on the biggest stage makes him the #1 guy, IMO.

      Kobe is so #2, but he’ll never get credit for it.  People hate the guy.Report

    • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Koz says:

      I think Tod feels compelled not to rate Kobe that high, as a Laker fan.

      Me, I take Jordan third.  Give me Bill Russell and Jerry West as my first two picks.Report

      • MJ is third?  You crazy.Report

        • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tod Kelly says:

          You always take the big man first, that’s rule number one in basketball.

          And Jerry was the only guy to ever bag MVP of the Finals when his team lost.  He was a distance shooter who scored most of his points when there was no three point line.

          M.J., granted, is a better defender.  Hm; if you want to be entirely accurate… oh, wait.  Now I have a Mindless Diversions post.Report

          • “You always take the big man first, that’s rule number one in basketball.”

            …said Paul Allen.  And the Sam Bowie, Greg Oden and the Portland Blazers lived happily ever after.Report

            • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tod Kelly says:

              I would not have picked Sam Bowie.

              To be fair, the number one pick in that draft wasn’t Bowie or Jordan, it was Hakeem.  And Hakeem was a damn good pick.

              Everyone always brings up Bowie, they forget that they probably would have picked Hakeem over Jordan, too… and that this was a decision that worked out okay for the Rockets, after all.

              In any event, Bill Russell was the man.  There are only two centers that come close, and that’s only because they each had a particular year in their career when they were better than Russell ever was; but neither of them were better of the course of their career than Russell was.Report

      • Koz in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        Yeah but the Bulls were clearly better than the Lakers, the Sonics and the Trailblazers. They were about even with the Suns. The Bulls should have lost to the Jazz twice but MJ completely intimidated Karl Malone so I gotta give you that one.

        When you think about the greatest of all time, I think Russell and Wilt have to be in the mix as well. I don’t know what to think of the 80s era Lakers or Celtics. At one time I think you’d have to say Jordan was the clear-cut greatest of all time. I’m not so sure it’s as clear any more.Report

        • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Koz says:

          Off the top of my head, I’m going to say something that I have to research to see if I’m right or not.

          The Bulls had a big advantage in that a goodly number of years, they were in the weaker (by far) conference.  In their big run, in particular, it was “Chicago” and “Uh, maybe the Knicks if Ewing doesn’t get… oh, he’s injured again, never mind.  Okay, just the Bulls”.  There were a couple years with the Pistons in there, too, but I don’t recall any particular year in the Jordan reign when the top ten teams in the entire league were heavily in the Eastern Conference.

          Kobe, on the other hand, played in the half of the league that was much more competitive basically his entire career.  That means he had to play against much better defenders, more often… and guard better players, more often.Report

  5. Trumwill says:

    I thought <a href=”http://wagesofwins.net/2011/11/02/what-if-we-just-paid-players-what-they-were-worth/”>this link</a> topical.Report