As a man bearing an unhealthy obsession with Steve Nash, last week was terribly difficult for me. A series of articles about the tenuous situation between Nash and the direction of the Suns franchise came out and I wasn’t invited to the party.
Let’s recap last week’s Nash musings:
Tom Haberstroh said they should.
Beckley Mason argued a trade might not be what’s best for the franchise.
And Trevor from Unofficial Review said they should trade him to the Clippers.
I’m going to steal all their best points and combine them into one I like to call “my opinion”. Like Tom, I think the Suns should trade him. Like Beckley, I think it has to be for a particular set of pieces that doesn’t keep them stuck in Mediocrityville and like Trevor, I agree the Clippers are an intriguing destination.
I’ve flirted with the idea of Nash on the Clippers but backed off when I remembered their owner green-lighted trading a lottery pick to save 12 million dollars.
But to hell with precedent! This lockout crap is depressing as all get-out so why not take a shot at constructing a world in which Nash headlines an exciting young team in L.A?
The Trade: the Suns get…
Trevor’s deal is solid, but I believe there’s a better one out there that nets a far greater return for Two Time. Since we can’t speculate on how a new CBA could affect salaries and trades, let’s assume that the new deal keeps things the same or similar to the old system and go from there.
The Suns, as Beckley pointed out, would most likely need to accumulate young, still developing assets and/or picks with another expiring deal in their return for any deal involving Nash. While the management has been on record
This week on HoopSpeak Live, we had Jemele Hill from ESPN.com and First Take, Rafe Bartholomew of Grantland and Pacific Rims fame, and Ethan at a medium volume at work. Here are all of the clips:
:00 – :08 – Intro + Take The Bacon [Zach finds it odd that everyone is mad at the owners.]
:08 – :12 – Rumors From Ethan’s Head [The World Series ratings won't beat the NBA Finals ratings.]
:12 – :21 – Person of Interest: Jemele Hill Part 1 [With Beckley, Jemele speaks on feminism in sportswriting, women's sports, and more.]
:21 – :30 – Person of Interest: Jemele Hill Part 2 [With Ethan, Jemele discusses her recent Pat Summitt piece, her not-so-recent Robert Horry piece, and more.]
:30 – :34 – League Average [Old boyfriends, Ted Leonsis, and torillas.]
:34 – :42 – Person of Interest: Rafe Bartholomew Part 1 [With Beckley, Rafe talks about spending time with Spo.]
:42 – :49 – Person of Interest: Rafe Bartholomew Part 2 [With Zach, Rafe chats about his post-Pacific Rims projects.]
:49 – :56 – National Basketball Associations + Dagger Smash/Noted [Your heroes try out a new segment and we learn Zach isn't wearing underwear.]
HoopSpeak Live airs every Thursday right here on HoopSpeak.com. You can follow the show with the #hoopspeaklive hashtag, and you can follow our guests at @jemelehill and @rafeboogs.
Jemele Hill of ESPN
Rafe Bartholomew from Grantland
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"I want a sack of money THIS big"
David Stern wants you to know: the owners are doing all they can to have a season next year. Perhaps, they’ve already done all they can.
And so it all comes down to this weekend, he tells us: if the union and owners can’t make strides, the league will be sitting this season out.
You have to hand it to Stern and the owners, two entities I will unavoidably conflate in this post. After all, Stern wants a season, he just has to. Right now he’s just representing the owners’ interest, because that’s what they pay him whatever they pay him to do. As such he’s casted as both the unwilling executioner of the owners’ greedy wishes with his exasperated voice of commonsense, and the foreboding spewer of PR scare tactics and misinformation.
That $300 million. That’s the reason we can’t be mad at the owners. Because how ludicrous would it be for anyone to begrudge a businessman trying to avoid losing money? The best part about this lie is it’s simplicity. In an Orwellian sense, it’s nearly impossible to contradict because it has no meaning. It’s a single, very limited way of looking at the balance sheet (for one, it ignores the vertical integration of revenue streams for owners that also own their stadiums). It uses complex, opaque reasoning to arrive at its inescapably simple conclusion.
But the fact is that the team making money is not the same as making money by owning a team.
NBA teams aren’t publicly traded entities, or even discreet businesses at all; they’re franchises within a state-sanctioned monopoly. They don’t have an obligation to make money each quarter. There are no shareholder meetings full of people looking to profit off of the success
NBA fans are trying to keep cool, but lockout tolerance levels plummet after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Grantland post The Nets and NBA Economics.
The best-selling author implores that you look beyond Stern’s milking of the media: that you delve into the brass tacks of NBA owner transactions (specifically the deal between Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov). Utilizing his typical blow-your-mind research tactics, Gladwell paints the picture of a manipulative band of owners. While the revelations come as no particular surprise, it may serve as the tipping point to put Stern’s rhetoric in its place.
In my first ever comic, here’s how I imagine Gladwell breaking it down to Stern in person:
Why was Kyrie Irving ranked so low?
ESPN’s NBA Rank is a really cool project, and not just because I got to vote. If you don’t know how it worked, basically a bunch of people who watch a ton of games filled out a very long and somewhat tedious survey giving each player a value between 1-10. There were no prescribed boundaries for judgment (ie- no email advising us with “try to rank most players between 4 and 6) and perhaps more importantly, no conferring with other voters.
So many of our opinions are formed individually then tested in a group setting—whether that’s a bar or a chat room—and either confirmed or challenged and debunked. But this exercise lacked that collaborative aspect, in which we realize “woah! Did we really just rank Matt Bonner ahead of Derrick Williams?” and go back and change a few things.
I kind of like that, because it exposes our prejudices publicly rather than letting us voters self-censor our misevaluations. But, it also means that there are some, err… quirks… to the rankings, a glaring one being that every NBA rookie is expected to be worse next year than Landry Fields, who snuck onto the All-Rookie team but scored a total of seven points in four games (70 minutes) in the NBA playoffs.
Also ranked above every rookie: RIP Hamilton and Vince “The Succubus” Carter.
And would you really rather start JJ Barea for 38 minutes a night instead of Kyrie Irving, a player who played nearly flawless basketball in his one (albeit shortened) college season?
How did this happen, you ask? I’ve got some theories…
NBA Players like Hamilton and Carter, who have shone brightly under bright bulbs blind us to their fading games. When you think of
While all the focus is on who will be getting paid what amount from what pile of what source of money, the CBA is also a key moment for innovation and cultural progress. There are all these little clauses and slight adjustments– many of which aren’t subject to the public, or even private, scrutiny that the monetary issues are–that impact the entire league for the life of the CBA.
Blogger Pete Olsen of Wide Rights, a site that focuses on gay rights and the sports industry, picked up on just such a tidbit in the still drying NFL CBA. He notes that this new agreement adds “sexual orientation” to the list of classifications protected from discrimination.
Olsen quotes the new and old agreements:
The language from the 2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement Article VII, Player Security, reads:
Section 1. No Discrimination: There will be no discrimination in any form against any player by the Management Council, any Club or by the NFLPA because of race, religion, national origin or activity or lack of activity on behalf of the NFLPA.
The new language in the 2011 CBA, now moved to Article 49, reads:
Section 1. No Discrimination: There will be no discrimination in any form against any player by the Management Council, any Club or by the NFLPA because of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or activity or lack of activity on behalf of the NFLPA.
Olsen wonders who advocated and ultimately won this important change, but isn’t able to suss out the responsible party amongst possible heroes like Bob Kraft and Scott Fujita, who tells Olsen:
“[I was] not aware of any discussion on that. Our counsel is pretty progressive & on top of such issues, so I imagine this was worked out
Here are all the non-interview clips from Episode 19 of HoopSpeak Live. Watch to see Zach and Ethan discuss LeBron, Beckley on local TV contracts, and much, much more:
HoopSpeak Live airs every Thursday right here on HoopSpeak.com. You can follow the show with the #hoopspeaklive hashtag.
Sebastian Pruiti runs NBA Playbook and contributes to Basketball Prospectus and The Basketball Jones. He is a regular guest on HoopSpeak Live. On episode 19 of the show, he had a wide-ranging hoops conversation with Beckley Mason and then Zach Harper hit him with his brand of Rapid Fire hilarity.
HoopSpeak Live airs every Thursday right here on HoopSpeak.com. You can follow the show with the #hoopspeaklive hashtag, and you can follow Mr. Pruiti at @SebastianPruiti.
Britt Robson writes for Sports Illustrated, The Star Tribune, eMusic, and MinnPost.com. He’s covered the Minnesota Timberwolves since 1991. On episode 19 of HoopSpeak Live, he chatted with Zach Harper and then Ethan Sherwood Strauss. It’s a must-watch:
HoopSpeak Live airs every Thursday right here on HoopSpeak.com. You can follow the show with the #hoopspeaklive hashtag, and you can follow Mr. Robson at @brittrobson. He hasn’t tweeted in a while, though, so instead we’ll direct you to his three-part interview with Myles Brown, who was kind enough to lend Britt his laptop for this interview.