Tuesday, December 28, 2010

If contraction in the NBA happens...

which teams are prime targets? I say New Jersey, Toronto, Milwaukee, Detroit (the Shock already left), New Orleans, Memphis, Minnesota, LA Clippers and Sacramento.

Bonus: Cities that deserve their own NBA teams.

Las Vegas Nevada
Austin Texas
Brooklyn NY
Seattle Washington

Greg Anthony plays the race card anyway

Greg Anthony says he doesn't believe racism is the reason that NBA raising the minimum age from 19 to 20, but he brought it up anyway during the discussion and that's all he talked about without offering alternative less incediary explanations on why the league raised the age requirement.

The perception--Anthony claims--is that this is going to hurt black kids who will be denied early entrance. But he forgets to mention that this age requirement also protects proven veterans who are mostly black.

Greg is right that NBA owners don't have to draft these kids right out of high school, but the NBA as a private business, and doing what's in it's best interest--also have a right to put age restrictions (NOT race restrictions) on it's potential employees.

I'd also be for abolishing the age requirements if it would benefit the league, but I just don't see it. The influx of young players coming into the NBA in the late 90s and early 2000 with low BBALL IQ and shitty fundamentals were hurting the league's product at that time. You can cherry pick HS guys like Kobe or KG to make your case, but overall the quality of NBA suffered because the league became younger and players were unready. For every Kobe, there's Kwame. Portland got screwed because former HSer Jermaine O'Neal took 6 long years before he blossomed in Indiana.

It's not as if college is the only option for these HS kids. There's overseas. There's the D-League.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Adrian Wojnarowski undermines his case vs Lebron

Here's the background from Woj himself:

LeBron James(notes) has embraced the villain role in a most unprecedented way, pushing away from his peers and aligning himself with David Stern, Dan Gilbert and the owners desperate to destroy the Players Association. He left the sport stunned on Christmas Eve, searching for an understanding of why he would go so far to undermine the union on the cusp of an apocalyptic collective bargaining brawl.

James advocated contraction of teams, the loss of jobs and furthered the make-believe revision that the 1980s had a deeper pool of talent with fewer teams. “Watered down,” he called the NBA, and ownership has been gifted such a public-relations coup in its historic campaign to crush the players’ union.

Now here's where Adrian gets it wrong about 80s NBA in an effort to embarass James:

The 1980s were a romantic time in the sport, a golden era, but there weren’t more deeper, more talented teams in existence than today. It isn’t even close. The Lakers and Celtics were fantastic then, but they would have a hard time beating these Lakers and Celtics teams. Never mind the level of teams trying to beat San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, Utah and on and on.

And how about the Spurs dynasty, whose eclectic, international roster couldn’t have existed in the 1980s? San Antonio illustrates why the NBA has a much deeper talent pool now, and that’s because of the influx of international players in the game. There are reasons to love the ’80s over today’s game, but that has more to do with the competitive disdain the teams had, the way the Celtics and Lakers, the Pistons and 76ers, hated each other. For James to insist the NBA should do away with the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Jersey Nets so contenders could have Kevin Love(notes) or Devin Harris(notes) is preposterous.

2 points:

1) The Lakers and Celtics during Bird and Magic's time were one of the deepest teams in NBA history. The Lakers team in 87-88 had four players drafted #1 overall (Magic, Jabbar, Worthy, Mychal Thompson). The 86 Celtics had 5 Hall of Famers in its squad (Bird, McHale, Parish, DJ, Walton). Each team had talented supporting casts that were former All-Stars or would have been starters if they played for other teams. Nowadays, you couldn't get all these elite players in their prime to play for one team because of the salary cap.

2) Sure, there's a deeper pool of talent because of international players. But that is offset by: a) by expansion from 23 teams in 80s to 30 teams in 2010. b) American players are just not that skilled anymore in terms of shooting, back to the basket post plays, or bball IQ and fundamentals.