Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Day The (NBA) World Stood Still

Thursday, December 8th, 2011: this date will go down in infamy as the day (nearly) every NBA writer proved themselves to be petulant, blithering, tantrum-throwing children who let feelings instead of the gray matter inside their skulls dictate the keystrokes on their laptops. The reaction to the NBA's blocking the proposed Lakers-Rockets-Hornets deal was immediate, pronounced, scathing, overblown, and absolutely hysterical.

Yes, I'm talking about you, Bill Simmons, J.A. Adande, Michael Wilbon, et. al. Your yelling-fire-in-a-crowed-theater act was utterly disgraceful. The ironic thing about the whole situation is that all of your writings collectively did more to harm the NBA's image and credibility than you claim David Stern's move did. Well, you, together with that equally-petulant child that owns the Cleveland franchise.

The league -- as current owner of the New Orleans Hornets -- said they rejected the deal for "basketball reasons", everyone scoffed, and the phrase became the joke du jour for the entire weekend. Yet, now the Hornets and LA Clippers have submitted a completely different deal, and suddenly all of you have entire egg factories to wipe off of your faces -- or, you would, if your audiences weren't even more hysterical than you. New Orleans is a franchise that will be looking to rebuild after losing their marquee player (having already lost their 2nd-best player in David West) and entice a new owner in the process. Let's compare what the Hornets were getting in the deal that was axed with that of the new proposal:

Rejected deal:
Lamar Odom (32 years old), Luis Scola (31 yrs.), Kevin Martin (28 yrs.), a draft pick, and Gordon Dragic (25 y...wait, who really cares?) Dragic's inclusion reeks of the following exchange between Del Demps, GM of the Hornets, and Daryl Morley, the Rockets GM:
Demps: "Well, we're gonna need a point guard since we're losing CP3"
Morley: "Oh OK. Ummm...." *looks up and down roster sheet repeatedly*
Demps: "*sigh* Hello?"
Morley: "Ummm...." *closes eyes, waves index finger in a circle, then touches roster*
Morley: "Hmm...Drago, yea sure, take this Drago guy."
Latest deal:
Eric Gordon or/and Eric Bledsoe (both 22 yrs. old) or/and Minnesota's unprotected 1st-round draft pick, Al-Farouq Aminu (21 yrs.), Chris Kaman (29 yrs. and a soon-expiring contract)

Which sounds like the better deal for a franchise that is losing it's face, it's one marquee player, and needs to rebuild from scratch? For a franchise that needs to attract a buyer? Who would YOU restart a franchise with: an aging Lamar Odom, or young stud Eric Gordon? Look up from your keyboards for a minute and take a peek at a calendar. By the time a new owner is secured, the principle players of the killed deal will be 33, 32, and 29 years old. Maybe older, if finding a buyer takes another year or more. Who in the world wants to purchase a team whose best players are all in their waning years, and two of whom will be ready to retire 3 years into your investment? This is what you call a winning strategy for securing a new owner? Please, for your sakes, do not ever try to start a business. It is clearly not for you.

You all demonstrated the foresight of an adolescent child, which is precisely what you sounded like in your rambling babbling writings. Each of you owe David Stern and the league an apology; an apology I know naturally is never coming. Adande for starters wrote another diatribe of an article just today, and included this gem:
"you can't say that this deal is any better than the Lakers/Rockets offer. Younger and cheaper, yes, but not better."
Umm, Mars to Adunderhead -- this deal is better BECAUSE it is younger and cheaper. Seriously, why are we being subjected to this total dismissal of foresight? Is there some website I can go to where people on the level of random internet forum commenters aren't masquerading as critically-thinking writers?

While you all sat in furious rage lambasting the alleged lack of "basketball reasons", guess what? The basketball reasons abso-freakin'-lutely made the most sense. From both a business and basketball standpoint, the new deal they are trying to secure is 50 times more appealing for the long-term health of that franchise. This is not even remotely debatable.

An ongoing ESPN poll had roughly 76% of the voters (over 15,000 votes when I checked) saying the old deal was the better one. I blame this gross lack of foresight and group-non-think on these over-hysterical sportswriters -- well, that, and the American education system (but that's another article for another day). An Odom-Scola-Martin-led team is a team of now with no foreseeable future of which to speak, a team only the most desperate of buyers will want. What happens if shopping the Hornets drags on for another year or two? Now we're talking about 34-year-olds as the face of the franchise. Brilliant.

All those articles smacked of a hatred of David Stern, plain and simple. They were knee-jerk reactions without a moment's pause for objectivity or forethought. "Stern axed the deal? Oooh he's cow-towing to the owners!" For the record, I am no David Stern fan. I disagree with his moves, opinions, and posturing as often as it rains in Seattle (there's a bit of hidden meaning behind that analogy; can you find it?). But, knowing this, any time some new move comes about, I take time to pause and consider: am I hating on this simply because I'm predisposed to disliking Stern, or would I disagree with this no matter the source? Am I jumping to conclusions -- you know, like you did with the owners? Or is there validity in this opinion?

Some of you should take stock of your emotional states. Reading your articles made me think I was judging entries from a Bipolar Essay Writing Competition. Last Thursday (and Friday) will truly go down in infamy, but not in the way your knee-jerk reactions stated. Has there ever been a day that has seen more misguided caterwauling and crying en masse? Someone contact Guinness Book or the Elias Sports Bureau. Yes, the image of the NBA suffers (even more). And Stern and his cronies will have to work hard to repair the damage that you thoughtlessly and recklessly caused.

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