December 8th, 2011 at 11:36 PM ^

I did, too.  I was hopping back and forth between a playoff of 6 or 8 teams and decided to be different from Brian.  I only have two buddies that I can get into in-depth football conversations with and that was as perfect a proposal we could arrive at without delving into circular reasoning.  I'm surprised we agree on even the smallest details (no rematches, 2 team max per conference, etc).  Very cool.


December 8th, 2011 at 10:41 PM ^

da id stern is a straight ass, apparently paul is looking into legal action, the rumor mill is saying stern nixed the idea partly because he didn't like paul dictating where he wanted to be traded, man needs to go


December 8th, 2011 at 11:18 PM ^

Actually stern had the final call and decided to veto it, this trade was way more even than melo to the knicks.  Also the league took no part in the negotiations.  And one of the most influential people in sports? Are you kidding me? Shit not enough people care about the NBA for that to be true.


December 8th, 2011 at 10:44 PM ^

Now hes buried behind 2. Derek fisher in his last year and steve blake are both way better options than Darius at this point. Even if they got CP3 they were prob gonna get rid of Blake. I think Darius has been destined for the development league to you know... develop

JR's Flow

December 8th, 2011 at 11:06 PM ^

Great for Darius, but as a Laker's fan, the owners see this as a bad deal because they don't want all-star team, but hell this is a great deal for the Hornet's as well. You are gonna for Paul to play for a team he doesn't want to just to avoid an all-star team. That worked out really well for the Nuggets....and they were WAY better once Melo was gone and they had a good overall tem with Gallinari and Co. Pro sports are taking huge hits with how their comissioners are running leagues and giving players less say. Even though it hasn't hurt popularity in the NFL or NBA, Goodell and Sterns are horrible in terms of player communication.


I get it, the NBA "owns" the Hornets, but this isn't like this is NBA LIve 2002, and the Hornets are getting screwed in a deal, if the player doesn't wanna be there, and the team has an opprotunity to be a better team in the long run, then let management go through with the deal.


December 8th, 2011 at 11:14 PM ^

It's what it represents. People hate this trend of free agents in small or mid-sized markets leverage their situations to go to "sexy" franchises like the Lakers, Knicks, Heat, etc. I'm sure the hardliners were irate when they saw this trade and the backlash online about this being another league conspiracy was already starting to run rampant. Stern is doing damage control here.

The NBA's problem isn't all that structural. The thing they need to change but can't is that very few stars appear to give two shits about their cities and seem to place a lot of importance on hob-nobbing with celebrities and getting extra attention by being on a franchise favored by the jock-sniffers on ESPN. The collective character of the league has gone to hell.




JR's Flow

December 8th, 2011 at 11:19 PM ^

Unlike Football, the amount of talent is so low in basketball that they need to get rid of some of the small market teams.... In football, you can take someone who is a physical specimen and teach them, whereas Basketball in nearly every position you need talent AND the physical attributes. Right now the talent level is too low for the NBA to have 30 NBA. Plus, look how many people watch teams like the Knicks or the Heat. If every team had superior talent, the NBA would  spread like wildfire.


December 8th, 2011 at 11:26 PM ^

You are delusional. Physical talent is everywhere. The NBA doesn't spread like wild fire because it is poorly marketed and has become glorified street ball. My advice would be to shorten the season and only take 6 teams per conference for playoffs. Maybe you might see something resembling defense if the regular season mattered. If you are watching the NFL game tonight, you will notice people getting lit up left and right. Hell Big Ben hobbled back out after an injury that would keep an NBA player on the shelf for a month.

JR's Flow

December 9th, 2011 at 12:02 AM ^

I agree with you about the playoffs and season length but if they had a smaller season and then the talent level would be raised on every team if less there were less teams. IMO the levels of  tier between all star players and average players is too large. Smaller seasons, higher talent level, and the elimination of smaller markets who either aren't good or have a terrible fan bases, would raise tv ratings and game attendance. Most teams have one all-star player and that one player in some market's such as NO, doesn't pull-in enough viewers. If every team had 2-3 all-stars even the small markets would pull bigger numbers in attendance and fan bases will grow.


December 9th, 2011 at 1:31 AM ^

No, he's right. There isn't enough talent to field 30 teams. The NBA would be better suited to contract two teams (preferably four, IMO).

I'm assuming you're old enough to remember basketball from the 80s to the early 90s (AKA "The Golden Age" of the NBA).

Everyone remembers the great teams that were loaded with talent, but they conveniently forget that there were always 4-6 absolutely god-awful teams every year. The reason that the teams at the top were so good was because teams at the bottom were so bad.

Now, the talent in the league today isn't better than it was then IMO, and in many (probably most) people's minds it's actually worse, AND there are more teams, which only further waters down the product.

Bottom line: If there wasn't enough talent to field 23 teams in 1985, then there is not enough talent to field 30 teams in 2011.


December 9th, 2011 at 9:16 AM ^

I disagree and this rant is disjointed because I started it in the morning before leaving for work:

With an influx of players from Europe, some from China, and allegedly the "new frontiers" of India and Africa as a whole, the talent pool is increasing.  Humans have been steadily growing as an average for the past 140 years, and scouting, diets, healthcare, and training regimens are better today than even 20 years ago (particularly those provided by NBA squads). 

What is watering down the league is the marketing of and subsequent treatment of "superstars" and the phenomenon of contract year play.  
The difference between a Kobe Bryant and a Jerry Stackhouse isn't as wide as you'd think.  Stackhouse led the league by averaging 29ppg and earning an All-Star appearance in 2001 as literally the only bona fide offensive weapon in the lineup.  However, his team was mediocre, he wasn't labeled a winner, thus he didn't achieve star status, and it just wasn't as profitable to give him 40 minutes and 25+ shots a game in a losing effort that wouldn't engage the locals, much less the national
It's similar to how Ben Wallace and Bruce Bowen developed reputations as superior players and were given a much longer leash by officials and had more of a mental impact on opponents in a cyclical manner.  Ben was allowed to get away with more contact than the average defender and had judgment calls on goaltending go his way, and offensive players were more hesitant about driving the lane and were consantly worried about weak side help.  Bowen was allowed to to cheap shot and body the hell out of the guys he was guarding because he was "tenacious" and "hustling" and what have you, and was already in the players' heads before they forced their first shot.
A lot of who we think are great players is largely reputationally based.  Do not believe for a second that Kobe Bryant has been a top five defender for the past six seasons straight (he's made all defensive first team from 06-11).  Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and others have been named to all-star teams while injured, on the decline, or literally on their last legs.  

I'd advocate for folding a franchise because it is losing money and can't find a buyer or a suitable relocation site, but there is certainly enough talent to go around.  If the league ever stopped targeting casual fans, who will buy into reputations, which will drive perpetuation of individual play and fame, then we'd really see that from 1-12 the talent margin on a roster is fairly slim.

I hope you respond so I can write a more coherent rant.


December 9th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

1. List the 10 best European players in the NBA today (and you can include players from Argentina in your list, because why the hell not).

2. List the 10 best African players in the NBA today.

I've seen Jerry Stackhouse play basketball. I know Jerry Stackhouse's game. In no way shape or form, on any planet, or in any alternate universe, is Jerry Stackhouse even remotely as good as Kobe Bryant.

Jerry Stackhouse did score 29.8 PPG in one season. However, that same season he averaged a ridiculous 24.1 shots per game, while shooting an abyssmal 40.2% from the field.

By comparison, Michael Jordan only took more than 24.1 shots per game in 3 of his 15 seasons, and two of those were the seasons he scored 35+ points per game and by comparison averaged 48.2 % and 53.5% from the field in those respective seasons. The other season he scored and shot at just under clips of 33 PPG and 50% from the field.

Kobe Bryant has taken more than 24 shots per game only once in his career, and that was during the infamous,  "Fuck everybody, my team sucks and so I'll show you all how good I am season," in which he averaged 35.4 PPG, while shooting 45% from the field.

24.1 shots per game by Jerry Stackhouse? Do you know how insane that is? The list of elite scorers/players who have never taken 24 shots per game in a single season includes names like; Shaq, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, D Wade, LeBron, David Robinson, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Dirk, Jerry West, Dr. J, Charles Barkley, Moses Malone, Scottie Pippen, Chris Webber, Grant Hill, Isiah Thomas, Reggie Miller, Bernard King, David Thompson, etc., etc.

I'm not even going to get into sabermetrics beyond saying that Jerry Stackhouse's usage rate that year was absolutely insane especially compared to his win shares, and that was probably the single most selfish season any individual player has had in the last 20 years.

Throw in the fact that for his career he has 1.9(!) total win shares in his combined playoff history, and GTFO out of here with Jerry Stackhouse being from the same planet as Kobe Bryant.


December 9th, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^

My point isn't that Jerry Stackhouse was ever as good as Kobe Bryant, but that a) they belong on the same court and that b) there are a lot of factors that lead to individual stardom and that individual stardom breeds more stardom.  Sometimes transcendent ability is exactly that, and there can be obvious tiers of talent, but I really don't think that there are true scrubs in the league.  The 12th-15th men on rosters may get abused by Kobe Bryant like everybody else, but they hold their own the rest of the time.

I'm sorry that my example caused you to waste time in looking up Stackhouse's stats.  I agree that he was inefficient and having him as a volume shooting #1 option is not conducive to winning.

I'm not going to play the game of listing off foreign players for you.  We both know who they are.  One of them just won a championship, four of them were drafted in the 2011 lottery.  Foreign players receiving interest from and playing in and succeeded in the NBA is trending upward and thus the talent pool is expanding. 


December 9th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

My point in asking you to perform that particular exercise of looking up the top 10 European players and top 10 African players, is that you'll find although the NBA has done a tremendous job of exploring those gigantic pools of talent, not a lot of high quality talent has come from those places (at least, not as much as you'd think).

The list of the top 10 African players in the NBA today is extremely laughable.

Off the top of my head, and in no particular order they are:

Emeka Okafor

Luol Deng

Serge Ibaka

Luc Richard M'bah a Moute

Bismack Biyombo?

Desanga Diop?

Shit, I could only get to six, and none of them are stars. Two are quality players, one is a project with some upside, one's a completely unproven rookie who is new to basketball, and the rest are meh.

Europe's top 10:

Dirk Nowitzski

Tony Parker

Ben Gordon--does he really count? He has like 3 nationalities.

Andrea Bargnani

Marcin Gortat

Pau Gasol

Marc Gasol

Danilo Gallinari

Ricky Rubio, maybe?

.......thinking.....Roddy Beaubois? Boris Diaw? Biedrins? Belineli? Vesely? Darko? Batum? Big Z? Kirilenko? Rudy Fernandez? Do any of those guys really fit in with the others?

That's a pretty decent crop, but it's extremely top heavy. Beyond Dirk, Tony, and the Gasol brothers, and maybe Danilo, it's a bunch of projects and role players. It's actually surprising that more talent hasn't come out of Europe, at least, IMO.

South and Central America have produced almost as much talent what with:








Al Horford

JJ Barea

Raja Bell

That was actually the easiest in terms of getting to ten guys.


Now, to get to my main point (that took long enough).

I'm about to go all Simmons on you, so hold on, it might be a bumpy ride.

Assuming that all of the guys listed are quality players (even though only about half of them are) that's 35 foreign guys, who are in the NBA in 2011, that wouldn't have been in the NBA in 1985. I might have missed a few, so let's just round up to 40.

(As a quick aside I realize I've left out Canada, but that's because in terms of the NBA those guys aren't really foreign, due to there being a team in Canada.)

So 40 quality players for 7 extra teams. That's roughly 5 quality guys per squad, leaving 7 spots to be filled by American players who otherwise wouldn't be in the NBA were it not for those 7 extra teams.

Now, we know that the number of quality guys I've listed is closer to 20, let's say 21 for the sake of math (Dirk, Pau, Marc, Tony, Okafor, Ibaka, Deng, Manu, Nene, Scola, Duncan, Horford, Gallinari, Gordon, Rubio, JJ, Varejao, Barbosa, Beaubois, Kirilenko, and Diaw). So, the reality is that there are roughly 3 quality players divided up amongst those 7 extra teams, leaving 63 spots open on those squads (9 per team) to be filled up with guys who otherwise wouldn't be on an NBA roster.

Now, even with the tremendous amount of talent in the 80s and early 90s, there were still 4-6 atrocious teams every season. So, taking the conservative estimate of 4 teams, there should have really been about 19 teams in 1985.

If you factor in the foreign players that are in the game today, and assume that the added talent pulled into the league from foreign countries makes up for the perceived talent gap between the NBA in 2011 and the NBA in 1985, you'll ultimately find that there should be around 20 teams, if you want to both maximize the number of teams while not watering down the product too much.

I realize this was a ridiculous exercise, but I think that if you take a good look at all of the talent in the NBA, you'll find that at most there should be the same number of teams in 2011 as there were in 1985 (23).





December 9th, 2011 at 1:24 AM ^

This isn't about the Hornets. The Hornets are screwed regardless. If they don't trade him and bring in some assets now, they'll lose him to free agency next year (With the added bonus of having to deal with a sulky superstar half assing it until then. YAY!)

This is about small market owners being butthurt because they feel they are unable to keep their superstars from fleeing to bigger markets.

My response: Tough shit.

Oklahoma City is doing just fine, as were the Pistons and Pacers last decade.

San Antonio laughs at your small market pity party.

Cleveland has no one to blame but themselves. Had they built a better team, LeBron would have stayed and they probably would have at least one championship. Ditto for Orlando and Dwight Howard.

Small market teams are always going to be at a disadvantage to big market teams in the NBA. Build a winner and the stars will stay. Continue to make horrible personnel decisions while relying on your superstar to cover for your mistakes and they will leave.

This whole lockout was to protect the owners from their exceedingly retarded behavior. The amnesty clause actually hurts teams like SA and OKC, who have been doing things the right way, while rewarding those teams who have been dishing out terrible contracts to extremely overvalued players.

This whole notion that small market teams can't compete is utterly ridiculous anyway.

By simply looking at the list of the last 10 NBA Finals we find that:

4 Champions were small market teams (San Antonio 3, Detroit 1)

6 Champions were big market teams (LA 3, Boston 1, Dallas 1, Miami 1--are we seriously considering Miami a big market? It's a significantly smaller media market than Detroit, and that begs a different question. Since when did Detroit become a small market team?)

7 Runner ups were big market teams (LA 2, New Jersey 2, Boston 1, Dallas 1, Miami 1)

3 Runner ups were small market teams (Detroit 1, Orlando 1, Cleveland 1)

If you place Miami (which is suddenly a big market team) into the small market category, where it belongs, then it's a 6-4 advantage to big markets for runner ups and an even split on championships.


December 9th, 2011 at 1:38 AM ^

Detroit is a mid-sized market. Not big, not small by NBA standards. People have their math all wrong on this topic. I constantly hear Miami referred to as a "large" market. It's not. It's a sexy market. There's a difference.

And OKC is in good shape because they got lucky as hell by landing maybe the only humble personality young superstar to enter the league in the past decade (a similar thing could be said about SA with Tim Duncan, who didn't need the bright lights). They could never ever manufacture these deals with hot free agents like LeBron or Bosh or guys like Carmelo and Paul who use their unsigned extensions to hold teams hostage.



December 9th, 2011 at 2:21 AM ^

I don't feel bad for the Hornets. Not in the least.

CP3 could have left with LeBron, Melo, and Bosh, but he signed a two year contract extension to show his commitment to New Orleans, and they rewarded his trust in the organization by..........?

Denver constructed a team full of crazy people (K-Mart, J.R. Smith, and Birdman), that always imploded in the playoffs (surprise, surprise), and ended up getting the better deal in that trade, so no one should feel badly for them.

Cleveland screwed themselves over.

They said basketball wouldn't work in Toronto. They were right. The only reason that team exists is because Stern feels bad about what happened with Vancouver.

To extend this to the Big 3 in Boston.

Seattle had a number of years to build a team around Ray Allen, but all they did was draft horrible player after horrible player, and further compounded their issues with a myriad of bad trades and signings.

PP could have left, but he stayed.

Minnesota had 12(?) years to build a championship team around arguably one of the 5 best players of the post Jordan era, and they did nothing.


December 9th, 2011 at 7:32 AM ^

Hornets get 4 above average players, Lakers get All Star, Rockets get All Star. All teams get good pieces so this has to be political move against Lakers and Kobe.
<br>For those not familiar with Scola dude is a beast. Best player in Worlds every year, guy could be 25-10 if he gets the touches.
<br>Perplexing move to say the least by Stern.