February 07, 2019

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 15 comments

Harrison Barnes traded to the Kings mid-game last night. How do you feel about this, Mavs fans? Do you agree with the premises laid forth in this article?

posted by NoMich at 07:27 AM on February 07

I don't think the salary cap era allows a team to keep an expensive player whose best attributes were "being a community leader or an example for his younger teammates." But if that' was true of Barnes, why does Sacramento want him long-term?

As a fan it's a kind of a bummer to see trades that are entirely about cap space. "Hooray! We have future salary flexibility!"

posted by rcade at 10:04 AM on February 07

Wasn't Barnes brought into Dallas because they haven't typically landed free agents so they have to take fringe stars? I am excited to see if he meshes well with the Kings' offense, even if it ruins one of the Celtics' draft picks (which have taken a hit with the recent Clippers trade as well).

posted by yerfatma at 10:13 AM on February 07

Watch the video atop this story. Jalen Rose has a funny personal anecdote about being traded.

I dream of a baseball trade between games of a doubleheader in which two players swap locker rooms and play the next game.

posted by rcade at 11:12 AM on February 07

This year's NBA trading deadline, with all of the brouhaha about Anthony Davis, Kristaps Porzingis, and the rest, makes me think that if the trend persists of the best players picking their preferred city and concentrating their talent on a super team it could destroy the competitive balance of the league to the point that it becomes a league with no more than 8 teams. Do the fans in the smaller markets or less desirable cities want to keep supporting teams that have no realistic chance at a championship? You say they can build through the draft, but the younger players hit free agency when their talent has barely begun to have a major impact. There are exceptions, but these are few. I don't have any idea what to do about it. Does anyone else?

posted by Howard_T at 03:43 PM on February 07

rcade: As almost always seems to be the case the phrase "It's already happened" is used when discussing baseball.

May 30th, 1922.

Max Flack played the first game of a double-header for the Chicago Cubs.

Max Flack played the second game of the double-header for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The player going the other way, Cliff Heathcote did the opposite.

posted by grum@work at 06:01 PM on February 07

Do the fans in the smaller markets or less desirable cities want to keep supporting teams that have no realistic chance at a championship?

What makes a "super team" great is the talent. Talent can be hard to find, and sometimes it shows up in places you least expect it.

Would anyone have believed that perennial sad sacks Golden State (26-56 in 2009-10, Curry's first season) would become the most dominant team in the NBA later that decade?

posted by grum@work at 06:05 PM on February 07

Does anyone else?

Yes.

Don't watch the NBA, watch the NHL where player movement controls help to maintain parity.

Unless you happen to live in a city that is the beneficiary of an NBA "superteam" and enjoy watching them thrash the rest of the league. Sounds kind of boring, though ... like going to the same movie every second night 80 plus times each year.

How many games do you think Golden State will need to win the championship series this year?

posted by cixelsyd at 06:09 PM on February 07

There are exceptions, but these are few. I don't have any idea what to do about it. Does anyone else?

I get where you're coming from and don't necessarily disagree, but this coming from a Celtics fan is pretty rich (no pun intended).

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:01 PM on February 07

I think the problem right now is that everyone (players and owners) is trying to repeat what the Warriors did, but what they did might not be repeatable. They got 3 all stars (Klay, Curry, and Draymond) through the draft, then benefited from a nearly unprecedented jump in the salary cap to land KD, all while maintaining continuity with their coaching staff. So, players who are the only really big stars on their teams feel left out because they can't do it all themselves, owners don't feel like they can match up so they resort to tanking, and everything becomes really lopsided. I think eventually the Warriors will have to break up for salary reasons and then things might get more back to normal where you can have a couple big stars on your team and some decent role players and make a run instead of needing a rotation full of all stars all on the court at one time.

posted by LionIndex at 07:41 PM on February 07

The NBA would be more competitive if they took away the incentive to tank. Teams in the bottom half wouldn't be so quick to dump their good players.

posted by rcade at 09:19 PM on February 07

Here's today's NBA: 1. Teams are forced to draft the players that are perceived to be the best "1 and done" talent. Not a player who has developed in college and proven in big games, making it incredibly difficult to build a roster. 2. Teams that actually draft well most often (*GS exclusion) end up with nothing after 2 or 3 years, because if they don't have a big enough "supporting market" they lose their up and coming young stars. 3. Star players are willing to take salary discounts to play for good teams. The "supporting market" takes care of the salary discrepancy, and they get a chance to win a championship.

The fix: 1. Get rid of "1 and done". It's bad for both the NCAA and NBA, and terrible for 95% of the talented young athletes that it spits out. 2. Establish player movement controls.

It's really unfortunate that some players don't have the balls to stick with their teams and work for a championship.

Oh for the old days ... Jordan joining the Bulls, who were horrendous, and sticking with them while they grew. Same with Iverson, Duncan, and a slew of others who stuck with their developing teams.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:08 AM on February 08

I would preface this with a request that you imagine me as Two Face from Batman while writing because I am also annoyed as hell about the way players have started to actively form superteams and upset long-term planning for NBA teams, but I also realize I am old. Pretty much anyone writing here is old enough to remember "How things used to be" and most remember the '80s when players were the face of a franchise for their entire career and punched the hell out of players on rival teams and that was How Things Should Be.

But. The NBA, like the NFL, is built upon taking young black men (and some really young especially since KG and Kobe and One-And-Done), sticking them into random metropolitan areas in the country and saying, "You are now a Utah Jazz". It was so successful with this model in the '80s and then the Jordan '90s that it spawned an industry of shoes-and-scouting that built AAU teams and traveling teams that pluck kids out their homes, put them together with other kids who have nothing but basketball in common, then churn them through the NCAA system for at least a year to maximize the amount of money old white dudes can make on them and then some of them make it to the promised land and actually get paid over the table where they get a tiny slice of a giant pie, half of which is collectively bargained to those old white dudes. Looked at in that light, where you've beaten a rigged game only to find there's a hard cap on how much you can earn (I don't care how big the numbers look to us, it's still a cap), why the hell wouldn't you want to go through this with the friends you made? Why the hell should you be loyal to Random City and that beloved Green/ Gold/ Red/ Blue uniform kids everywhere dream of wearing?

Looked at that way, "Establish player movement controls" sounds pretty plantation. cixelsyd I don't mean that to pick on you, I have similar thoughts about how it's hard to love a team anymore, but the NBA, like pretty much every major sport nowadays, is as much about the soap opera off the court as it is the action on the court.

I'm sure legalized gambling will help here.

posted by yerfatma at 09:53 AM on February 08

Yerfatma, +1

posted by billsaysthis at 11:36 AM on February 08

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