July 27, 2008

This is the hot topic now after Josh Childress chose Europe over the NBA, but some say it might be short-lived.  The weakened value of the US dollar, coupled with the surging popularity of FIBA, has made playing overseas a good economic decision for some very good NBA players…but it’s not just that.

For those NBA General Managers and Owners who are betting this is a short-term deal, think again.  The world is now more than ever a global economy.  As trade barriers continue to fall, information is now freely accesible by all, the economic competitive advantage of the United States goes down tremendously relative to what it was.

As Truehoop put it, this will end up being a good thing for basketball, though I don’t know if it will be good for the NBA yet or not.  The NBA is going to have to work on it’s game even harder than it already does, improving the officiating, make the games and season shorter, and moving the 3 point line in to shift the balance somewhat back to a jump-shooter’s game.



July 23, 2008

After a long exit from the blogosphere to focus on other things, I am back to write some commentary from time to time via nbaunplugged.

So what a summer we’ve had, eh?  Would you have dreamed that Josh Childress and several others would go to Europe to play?  Well, if the NBA would have been reading this blog, they would have received my strong encouragement to get overseas now!

Atlanta still has a good team with Speedy coming back, Acie Law and Al with another year of experience, plus the consistent Joe Johnson, but keeping Smith and Childress was a big need to continue on the success of last year.  Just not aggressive enough.

The Clippers and Warriors are playing a futile game, as B-Diddy headed to the Clippers, and Maggette goes to the Warriors.  The killer for the Clips was Elton leaving, but after I reflected on that situation longer, I am starting to wonder if the Clippers lost as much as I first thought.  Elton Brand has not been a big winner in the NBA, and I think the Clippers are going to have a chance to be BETTER this year sans Maggette/Brand.

Philly did what they could, so long as they keep Louis Williams and AI.  Dalembert, AI, Brand, Andre Miller, and Louis Williams looks like a great young nucleus that would scare any team in the East when it comes playoff time…immediate contenders for the Eastern Conference title but not immediate contenders for the NBA title.

The Lakers are standing pat for the most part, and unless they pull off a Gasol-type trade they might stick with what they’ve got.  The Triangle takes time to learn, so if the Lakers move Odom, you would have to think it would be very soon.

Dallas basically traded Devin Harris and some draft picks for J-Kidd after Diop resigned in the offseason.  But…if Dallas had to do it over again, would they?  I would not have given up Harris for Kidd, especially now that the Mavs have a new coach.  I knew Avery was not happy with Devin, but under new leadership that might be the confidence boost Devin needs to take off with a team he knows.

Portland continues to electrify the offseason, as they continue to find ways to buy 1st round draft picks, and draft well.  Oden, Rudy Fernandez, Bayless all join a solid core.  A lot of teams would be happy to rebuild with a core of the rookies this year (Oden/Fernandez/Bayless), and Portland will add Brandon Roy/Lamarcus Aldridge and others.

Most Exciting Team in the East:  Philly

Most Exciting Team in the West:  Portland

As of 7/23/08, Pick to win West:  Lakers

As of 7/23/08, Pick to win East:  Boston

Season Preview Podcasts

November 5, 2007

Eastern Conference:

Southeast Division 

Central Division 

Atlantic Division 

Western Conference

Southwest Division 

Pacific Division

The NBA is Broken. 10 ways to fix it.

September 15, 2007

Yes, David Stern is a genius.  Yes, more people call him a genius than have ever called me a genius (even jokingly).  But I have some ideas for Mr. Stern and the players union.  They can take the already good product, and make it great for everyone.

1.  Increase the integrity.  Test every player for everything.  Do a sample of players, I don’t care, but test for every banned substance in season and off season.  Do the same for referees.  For referees, or players, that bet on NBA games, banish them for life, no exceptions, even if it is not on their team or a game they were playing/officiating in.

2.  Give referees employee reviews.  Maybe they have them, but if so, they need better ones.  Listen to Cuban on this.  Inconsistency in game-calling takes the attention off the game, and only makes people frustrated.  When your team is losing because of bad calls, that is a bad thing for the game.

3.  Less is more.  Cut down the season.  60 games and no more.  Enough has already been said about this by others much smarter than me.  Who cares about the scoring records.  People care about the now.  And if the NBA doesn’t, it will be irrelevant in a very short time.

4.  Expand to the world.  Don’t wait.  Every year that goes by with the USA losing in international competition is another year where the rest of the world says, “Why do we NEED the NBA?”  If you shorten the season, you have time to travel with more days in between games.  Who cares about the arenas not being large enough in Europe.  Small, packed out environments are better anyway.

5.  Create game nights.  Speaking of days in between games.  Set NBA game nights, where there is a certain night of the week where every team plays.  Lets say Tuesday night, or Thursday night.  Just say something.  Also, have one night set aside where no other teams play on that night.  For research on this matter check out Monday Night Football.

6.  Shorten the games.  Why does the NBA feel like it needs to have such long games, to justify the ticket price?  Shorten the games down to 40 minutes, along with reducing the number of games, and you will get more intense games, kind of like the thing everybody loves so much about college basketball.

7.  Increase the age limit.  Do not let players in the league unless they are 21 on draft night.  I know this is something the NBA wants, but because of the union they have not been able to get.  Let Oden and Durant dominate on the college level before they get stuck on a bad team in the NBA with little national coverage for years (unless you’re Lebron of course).

8.  Fire the union.  In order to get all of this done, you’ll have to fire the union.  If the players want to strike, go and sign all of the players from Europe.  They’ve proven to be as talented, and fans love the international players.

9.  Serve the fan who gives nothing.  Many of the biggest NBA fans will never pay for a ticket to go see a game.  They may not have the money.  Why is the NBA marketing department not caring a little more about them?  Why don’t they require teams to have player days at malls, sports bars, and grills.  There would be one player day a year, in which every player on every team would have to spend 3 hours meeting and talking with fans.  Each player would go to a different venue in the area (mall, restaurant, sports bar).  Trust me, the viral marketing you get by serving the fans who don’t go to the games would be worth it.

10.  Hire Big D and Nate Dogg to do a podcast for you.  That would win more fans than all of the above.

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Great Article on the Whining Marion

September 13, 2007

East Valley Tribune – But Marion’s constant whining about being third in the pecking order is wearing on the Suns. They’re tired of hearing how he’s not respected when he’ll make the most money on the team this season ($16.4 million), he led Phoenix in minutes played last year and took 100 more shots than Nash and 16 more than Stoudemire.

Not to mention the three straight All-Star appearances, the invitation to play for the Olympic team, the Nike Air Force 25 commercial in which he gets equal billing with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, and the cover of ESPN The Magazine.  READ

Oden out for Season – The next Sam Bowie?

September 13, 2007

(Henry Abbott) First of all, remember this: for you and me, the NBA is playland. Our entertainment. This might hurt YOU. But it’s nothing, really. This is a blow to Greg Oden, who I have heard is really pretty down about the whole thing, as you’d expect. For us fans? This season will be surprisingly good. Just not as good as we had thought. READ

The Big Stuff Today

September 12, 2007

Marty Burns Q&A – What’s Kobe Gonna’ Do? – Sports Illustrated

The Lakers haven't done much this offseason to improve their team around Kobe Bryant.

Mavs extending Devin Harris –

Allan Houston a Net? – Yahoo Sports