4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

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4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby JichaelDick » 10 Apr 2015, 14:32

TVF wannabe - Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:42 pm: ...a good rule of thumb is if you post some thing like that and IMS quickly jumps in with an uncomfortable reference you went too far
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Re: 4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby Mario Speedwagon » 10 Apr 2015, 15:04

JichaelDick wrote:http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-nbas-furious-17-capturing-the-noncontenders-state-of-mind/

I enjoyed the Dick Puller era at The Palace.
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Re: 4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby Briandong79 » 10 Apr 2015, 15:57

Does Simmons not think that people know that Vitale coached the Pistons? I thought that was pretty common knowledge.
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Re: 4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby JichaelDick » 10 Apr 2015, 16:14

Briandong79 wrote:Does Simmons not think that people know that Vitale coached the Pistons? I thought that was pretty common knowledge.

Seriously--I mean, Vitale always brings THAT PART of it up before going on about how he ended up at ESPN. In fact, Vitale expected it to be a stop-gap before another college coaching job, but grew to love the broadcasting gig.
TVF wannabe - Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:42 pm: ...a good rule of thumb is if you post some thing like that and IMS quickly jumps in with an uncomfortable reference you went too far
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Re: 4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby Dthefritz » 10 Apr 2015, 18:24

fans of every potential no. 8 seed watching those epic 2007 Warriors-Mavs videos and thinking, Why not us?

Because the Celtics are much worse than that warriors team, on which Isaiah Thomas would only have been like the 4th best player?

Brad Stevens back in his old, familiar Butler-against-the-world underdog situation

Classic Bill: it is somehow an advantage that team x is worse than team y!

no Thabo Sefolosha

Oh Noes! Who will give Bradley and Smart 6 feet and dare them to shoot?

at least one Isaiah Thomas Heat Check looming

Is it at all possible that Isaiah Thomas could score a bunch of points and guys team loses? Of course not, that's a scenario that has only occurred in the majority of games in his NBA career.

Brad Stevens a second time

nice point, except the hawks coach is just as good, if not better, and has a team behind him that won 3/4 of its games, as opposed to fewer than half.

Just for kicks, we’re throwing in a meaningful Dom Toretto quote to capture every noncontender’s state of mind.

While at first I thought this was a shoehorned reference, I realized that a movie franchise that's been mindlessly repeating itself for 15 years, while wildly ejaculating stupidity all over the 18 34 male demographic, is pretty appropriate for a simmons column.

So why should Knicks fans be feeling good right now?


You mean bad teams get rewarded with high draft picks? Whew, thank god. I totally didn't know that, thanks for the CAPS.

Once that’s settled, they can enjoy multiple Chad Ford mock drafts, dozens of Okafor-or-Towns conversations, the inevitable “Mudiay could own New York, should we just take him?” groundswell, some trade-up/trade-down scenarios, my inevitable “Why wouldn’t the Knicks trade Melo and completely blow this up?” podcast with Zach Lowe.

/record scratch noise. Not a single Knicks fan is interpreting the future in light of how you might podcast about it. Fuck you.

If USC asked me to teach a college course called “How To Be An NBA GM,”

Ooh more lobbying for jobs he isn't remotely qualified for! That's what your readers are clamoring for!

I’d much rather break down his amazing Love-for-Wiggins trade — maybe the only time an NBA franchise extracted more than 100 cents on the dollar for a perceived superstar.

Much as I hate to admit it, I think the Nuggets achieved this in the Melo trade...And the jazz almost definitely won the Deron trade.

The key to that trade: Flip waited.

Waited for a Once in a lifetime situation where the best player in the nba nearing the end of his prime signed with a team that landed the first pick in the draft and desperately needed to make a trade to get better in the short term. Why doesn't EVERY GM do this?

We’ve almost reached the point when we can stop talking about the T-Wolves drafting two straight point guards directly in front of Stephen Curry. Almost.

That depends. Are "we" still bitter that we didn't get Kahn's job on the basis of a few dunderheads making a Facebook page?

Nerlens Noel (solid rookie year; looked extremely Theo Ratliffish)

Looks like you ended up with a potentially great defensive center in an extremely thin draft. LOSERS. KARMIC PAYBACK FOR DR J PUNCHING THE LEGEND.

They tossed away three years, and counting, for everything in the previous paragraph. It’s no different from how a private equity firm would gut a struggling company.

It's actually very different because in the NBA, you are rewarded for being the worst team in the league by being gifted a highly valuable asset. If you run the least profitable company in America, you get jack shit.

Check out their season-ticket page: “THIS STARTS NOW” in all caps. What starts now? Giving a shit? You just stole money from your fans for two straight years.

They didn't force their fans at gun point to buy tickets. Unless they were completely ignorant, their fans knew the team was going to suck and bought tickets anyway. The team didn't "steal" shit, you fucking child.

And what customer would put up with a business that operates like this?

The same fans who just bought tickets despite a complete lack of obligation to do so, how are you this fucking dense?

Imagine your parents purchasing season tickets for the opera if the Met said,

Using an insider-y term for an opera house sponsored by the Koch brothers to support some misguided populist rant...is he letting Mitt romney ghost write his columns?

What if this really is a Ponzi scheme?

It's not, because the team is selling tickets to basketball games for a predetermined price and seating location, and then actually holding the games on the date and time indicated and allowing the ticket purchasers to attend them.

Only two destinations truly matter to NBA players: the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat (we’ll get to them). That’s it. The Lakers will be fine.

And the fact that Amare, Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony left better teams to go play in New York: pure coincidence.

Jordan Clarkson’s emergence as This Year’s Second-Round Sleeper Headed For Good Things means the Lakers would be “phenomenally, almost historically stupid” to overpay a severely declining Rajon Rondo this summer instead of “typically, par-for-the-course-lately stupid.

Rondo declined from a talented but inconsistent and flawed point guard on bill's favorite team to a talented but inconsistent and flawed player not on bill's favorite team. Severe and catastrophic decline.

That reminds me, is there a support group for sports fans who despised Duke for the past 20-plus years with a passion normally reserved for meter maids and traffic jams, only they thoroughly enjoyed watching the Blue Devils’ collection of 2015 players and even found themselves rooting for them a couple of times?

Yes, there is a group who find themselves gravitating towards good teams when their own are unsuccessful: it's called just about every fucking sports fan. Unfortunately, if you've declared yourself the Grand Inquisitor of fan heresy, and then broke all your own goddamn stupid arbitrary rules, they might not take kindly towards you joining their club.

Tao of Dom: “I saw Linder about a week later. I had the wrench in my hand. I hit him. I didn’t mean to keep hitting him, but by the time I was done, I couldn’t lift my arm. He’s a janitor at an elementary school. He has to take the bus to work … and they banned me from the tracks for life.”

The good news for Linder? He belatedly recovered from his head injuries and became Sacramento’s newest VP of personnel. Just kidding.[/quote]

Oh good thing you explained that your shitty, purposely nonsensical joke was in fact a joke. That's helpful of you.

Still, there’s a certain honor in rooting for the strangest, goofiest, most inexplicably incompetent franchise in basketball.

Badly-managed franchises are cute and cuddly, unless they're teams that the Celtics have a historical rivalry with, in which case HA HA JORDAN HILL SUQX11!!1!!!!

When everything turns around, it makes the whole thing feel even sweeter. Trust me, I’m a Patriots fan.

But it's even sweeter than that when you abandon your long-suffering team on the grounds that your owner doesn't spend enough money to compete for a title (like most owners), swear that you will never watch another game of theirs, and then instantly jump back on the bandwagon when they get good again, despite being owned by the same person you're allegedly boycotting.

There’s a really fun Ty Lawson summer deal coming. Maybe a three-way that sends Lawson and a second-rounder to Utah, Jrue Holiday and Utah’s 2015 lottery pick to Denver, and Rodney Hood and Trey Burke to New Orleans? Maybe Lawson for Darren Collison, Sauce Castillo and the rights to Sacramento’s top-eight pick? Or Lawson back to Charlotte for Kemba Walker, Charlotte’s top-12 pick and one pick swap before 2020?

WHO SAYS NO??????? Also, not bagging specifically on Simmons, but I am really tired of this Sauce Castillo joke. The Closed Captioning fucked up and spit out something random, which only happens like 30 times a game if you watch at a bar.

The SVG plan: Dump Josh Smith (done); let someone else overpay Greg Monroe (imminent); pay Reggie Jackson (just don’t overpay him, for god’s sake); build around Andre Drummond, Jackson and a Top-10 Lottery Pick X (in motion);

So they shouldn't overpay Reggie Jackson, but they should count on him being a core player for years to come. There are some inconsistencies in your story.

Charlotte Horbobnetcats

They changed their name like a year ago, this isn't cute anymore. THEY SHOULD BE CALLED THE ZOMBCATS, WHO SAYS NO???

We might have to rename that 35-40 wins/borderline no. 8-spot/late-lottery area “Charlotteland.”

Much to the chagrin of whatever popular sports columnist it was who said that this team was a David West away from being a legit title contender.

So that’s my positive for Charlotte: It’s a franchise blessed with loyal NBA fans who aren’t ashamed to admit that they love mediocre basketball and poor decision-making.

Wait, so NOW it's the fan's fault for buying tickets when the team isn't doing well? Why aren't they poor, helpless rape victims like the Sixers faithful?

You know how Knicks fans think their team will be fine because everyone always wants to play for a big market? Actually, Miami is the Eastern Conference team with a 20-year track record of landing marquee players — Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway (mid-1990s), then Juwan Howard (1996 for about 10 seconds before the NBA voided that deal), then Eddie Jones and Brian Grant (2000)

The Knicks should give up their delusions of grandeur because Brian Fucking Grant signed with the Heat? Your overall point isn't wrong, but Jesus. Listen to yourself.

That’s why Riley doesn’t care about giving up those future first-rounders. Ride or die — remember?

Pat Riley will always stick it out and be loyal. Unless he thinks his team is in decline and illegally and unilaterally voids his contract to go coach somewhere else. If the phrase "ride or die" applies to anyone, it's definitely him.

Jesus, I can't take this shit. More later.
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Re: 4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby Colonel Angus » 10 Apr 2015, 18:48

Is "the Met" really an insider-y term?
"Isn't it no, baas or something? That's how I read it in a boxing book. It's South African or something."
- _, on Roberto Duran.
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Re: 4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby Theny » 10 Apr 2015, 19:01

In the section about the Heat, he intimates that Durant will be a target for me in 2016. Which is interesting, I've been hearing that from sources in the Miami front office, seeing Simmons print that makes it more real. Maybe Lebron didn't poison the well after all? Though it'd be weird of Durant chased a ring in the same city as Lebron did. We will have to monitor this situation. But I'm telling y'all the Heat think they're getting KD.
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Re: 4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby Dthefritz » 11 Apr 2015, 13:04

That quote made me think of the Pacers because they built such a potent family atmosphere there.

Okay, I am skeptical of the notion that the Sixers are run by a bunch of vicious robber barons who are unethically squeezing money out of their good-hard-workin' fans, but the Pacers are a civic institution run solely based on the public interest. Let's hear Simmons' case.

What other franchise could lose Paul George (one of the NBA’s best two-way players) and Lance (their second-best creator/defender); rebuild on the fly around Roy Hibbert’s ghastly low-post game, Rodney Stuckey’s scoring and a bunch of C.J. Miles types; tell Luis Scola, “We’re gonna need you to ramp it up,” and then somehow stay lurking for a no. 8 seed with one week to go?

Basically any team that was in the weak Eastern conference, had a very good coach, a great interior defensive center (whose defensive skills are conveniently unmentioned here), and a collection of reasonable NBA talent. The Bucks, Celtics and Pistons all stayed competitive despite very flawed rosters, injuries, trades and various other setbacks.

NOBODY would have blamed them for throwing away the season. They refused.

Now why would they do that? Because they thought they had the talent to stay in playoff contention, and thought that maybe they could upset somebody in round 1 if Paul George came back healthy? Because they thought that the Knicks, Sixers etc. were so godawful that it didn't make sense to try to out-tank them? Because they were afraid that as a small-market team, blatantly tanking might hurt their attendance/local tv ratings and hurt them financially? Some combination of these three factors?

They believe their fans are family … and you don’t turn your back on family, right?

If you ever hear someone defend simmons on the grounds of "well at least he's not sappy like Rick Reilly", please unfriend them on facebook and set their house on fire.

I thought the whole thing was awesome. Great job by the Pacers. That’s what sports are all about.

Sports are about competition. Sports franchise management is about running a profitable enterprise. See the distinction? When you conflate the two of these things, you sound like an insufferable blowhard.

So what’s left? Let’s see … Larry Legend, Frank Vogel, a finally healthy Paul George, a lottery pick, the NBA’s best building, the basketball capital of America

On the one hand, New York is the birthplace of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Tiny Archibald, Larry Brown, Bob Cousy, Billy Cunningham, Dr. J, Connie Hawkins, Red Holzman, Michael Jordan, Bernard King, Bob Lanier, Chris Mullin, Pat Riley, Dolph Schayes and Lenny Wilkens, has an unparalleled streetball culture that includes the Rucker Park tournament that features some of the NBA's best players, is home of the Harlem Globetrotters, and besides LA is the only city with two NBA teams.

We need to save the Nets. We need to take down Billy King. This is about family.

Because, clearly Billy King was 100% responsible for the strategy of spending a shitload of money and long-term assets to become a playoff team by the time the franchise moved to Brooklyn, so they could make a splash in their first season and eat into the Knicks' fanbase. The owner of the team, and signer of all those checks to Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce, had no input on the matter whatsoever.

I'm not saying King is a great GM, but it seems pretty clear that Prokhorov wanted the team to be competitive very quickly, told King that money was no object and do whatever you need to do to improve the team in the short-term. Many owners operate this way, and of course the GM has to justify the decisions in public and fall on the sword if it all goes to shit. This has been explained to Bill by many patient, long-suffering podcast guests who actually know how things work and routinely talk to front office personnel. But god forbid that should interfere with Bill's quest to tell you how stupid GM's are and how he totally deserves a crack at the job.

So, how can this be positive? Easy. The Nets are zigging when every other mediocre-to-lousy team is zagging. They can’t tank because there’s no light at the end of the tanking tunnel.

You see, the Nets aren't tanking because that wouldn't be the best option with their current roster situation, but the Pacers aren't tanking because the Basketball Christ does things the right way.

Tao of Dom: “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those 10 seconds or less, I’m free.”

Dom’s greatest quote

The fact that a very basic "I live for the job" quote is the single best line of dialogue in a series of seven movies should tell you everything you need to know. (Yes, I get that the point of the movies is the car chases and the explosions, etc. but I'm not the one who chose to use the inocherent script as a device to frame a column about the NBA).

I'm not going to re-print his fawning over the Celtics, but I do concede he has a point. They have a good coach, a front office with a proven track record, and a decent array of young players and picks to build on. I'm ok with all that.

But since we're dealing with the master of loaded and unfair comparisons, how about we try this one on for size: What if I told you that not too long ago, the Celtics hired a successful college coach who motivated a crappy young team to overachieve, and seemed like he had a master plan to bring the franchise back to greatness? Aren't there eerie parallels between Brad Stevens and...


I just got chills. I'm so good at analogies, am I not? Admit you're worried! You can't tell me you're not!!!

T-Mac averaged only 15.4 points with 45-28-71 percent splits that season. His points-per-game for his next three years in Orlando: 26.8, 25.6, 32.1. Everyone knew we were headed for good things with T-Mac in Boston that night, but nobody knew we were headed for THAT. During Durant’s rookie year in Seattle, the same freakish pieces were in place, only it seemed a little more conceivable that a mega-blossoming was coming because of his pedigree. With Giannis, it’s a little more under-the-radar — like it was with T-Mac in Year 2.

OK, so you're limiting the field of comparison to two great players who were once raw, lanky youngsters. What about Anthony Randolph, another prospect you overrated? What about Travis Outlaw, who looked lost as a rookie? You can't bank on every raw young player to suddenly develop into T-Mac, regardless of whatever superficial similarities there are.

Also, even if you grant that Giannis has the capability to score 26 ppg in a season (highly unlikely), he has to do so while playing alongside Jabari Parker, who's a much more gifted and polished scorer. Off the top of my head, the only #2 options I can think of to score at that clip are Kobe on the early 2000's Lakers and Iverson on the Nuggets with Melo.

They turned last season’s delightfully entertaining, unexpectedly promising and precociously young run-and-gun Suns team into this season’s sullen, disjointed mess of a whatever-the-hell-happened-here. They turned Eric Bledsoe into a borderline max guy.

How is that a bad thing? They should have sabotaged him so they could re-sign him on the cheap?

They antagonized Goran Dragic by bringing in a third point guard, played him out of position for three months,

OK, that's fair

then panic-downgraded from Dragic (I voted him second-team All-NBA last season) to Brandon “You’re Gonna Have To Overpay Me So This Doesn’t Look Like a Total Disaster” Knight.

Nothing says panic like trading a player at the last possible moment before he becomes a free agent and walks for nothing, which he repeatedly assures you he will do. What should they have done? Held on to him and hope he comes back to a team that as you just pointed out, is a bad fit for him because they have two other point guards?

They made the Finals in 2012.

They lost in Round 2 in 2013.

They lost in Round 3 in 2014.

They probably aren’t making the playoffs in 2015.

Harden plays for Houston.

Durant’s contract expires in 2016.

Westbrook’s contract expires in 2017.

I really hope Simmons spends all next season wallowing in self-righteous fury about how Durant deserves better, gloating about the Harden trade not working out, pretending to feel sorry for OKC fans, talking about how Clay Bennet has ONLY himself to blame and then is on Live TV where Durant announces his decision to sign with the Lakers. I think I would trade about two Lakers titles for this idiot to get stabbed in the back by his mancrush. WHO SAYS NO???
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Re: 4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby BostonSucksMyBalls » 11 Apr 2015, 20:15

How did Bill type 10,000 words one-handed, while jacking off Brad Stevens? Impressed! :D
PS: I will never like July 27th. It will always be the day Reggie died. I just hate this day. True Celtic fans know what I mean.

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Re: 4/10/2015: Capturing the Noncontenders' State of Mind

Postby Theny » 11 Apr 2015, 22:53

BostonSucksMyBalls wrote:How did Bill type 10,000 words one-handed, while jacking off Brad Stevens? Impressed! :D

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