Tag Archives: lockout

David Stern “Locked Out” Rap

The radio station 95.7 in the Bay Area is a station I’ve listened to quite a bit since they were created. Plus, they are the only station that actually incorporates the A’s into their discussions, and they actually talk about the Raiders quite a bit too. The afternoon hosts were talking about this video they made with Stern rapping. I had to check it out, and have to think you’ll enjoy it too!

Stern’s Tarnished Legacy

I’ve never been a big fan of David Stern, and the recent lockout just gave me more reasons to dislike the man who fixes games, covers up referee scandals, and fines/suspends players for dumb reasons. Did he expand the game globally? Yes, in a ton of ways he did, but if there’s a good prospect somewhere, teams will find said player one way or another in the ever shrinking youtube filled world. Why should I care if a bunch of people in Europe or Asia are watching NBA games? Truth is, I don’t give a rats ass! What has Stern done for me as an American NBA fan? Looking back, not a whole lot. Did he give us Jordan, Bird, or Magic? Nope, those guys would’ve been around whether he held his position or not. Did he ever fix the referee problem? No, he still has the same 90-year-old dudes out there calling a game that is faster than a video game. Did he over-expand the league? Yes. Did he allow crappy human beings to buy the teams when other possible owners would have been better for the league? Yes. Has he had two work stoppages during the past 15 years? Yes, and for the record even baseball hasn’t seen that happen. I guess we’ll see if the NBA has a finals or not, but this could be more damaging than the MLB’s 94-95 missed WS…

Over 10 years in the league and Kahn still looks confused.

Stern became the commish in 1984, then four short years later expanded the league by adding the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat. A year later he added the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic. Then in a stroke of genius, six years later (95′) he added the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors in a meager attempt to get Canadians to like hoops like they love hockey. That’s like getting Europeans to watch the NFL over soccer, just won’t ever happen. Then last but not least, he added the Bobcats in 2004. Two teams in Charlotte sin’t a typo, it’s a reality that he doesn’t know where a worthy place to start a franchise is. What do all these teams have in common? Two distinct things. One, they nearly all are run by the “hardline” owners we keep hearing about in our current stalemate of a CBA negotiation. Two, all these teams were put in cities that have little means of supporting a team when that said team sucks. Lets be real, if any of these teams are run like the Clippers or Knicks were over the last decade there’s noway they would turn a profit in the cities they’re currently in. Which is the point, don’t we want owners to be motivated to make their teams better? I suffered through years of Chris Cohan leading the Warriors to losing seasons, and because we were in a big market that still filled the building, nothing dramatically changed within the organization, because Cohan was still making money. Wouldn’t it be better for the league if owners like Kahn and Jordan actually had to try and build a good team to get fans in their arena? They talk about competitive balance all the time, but why don’t they ever talk about teams that don’t even attempt to be competitive? I feel like there should be some kind of push for contraction of teams that have a losing record for more than a decade. How much more excitement would that season bring having a team on the brink of contraction? Remember the save our Sonics season? That sure got a lot of fans in the building, for different reasons, but still. Bringing in these teams has done nothing to help the league “grow”. Miami isn’t even a “true” big market, yet they are one of the only teams that has done well financially. Maybe it was having two of the best players in the league playing half their games there. Even with that, they can’t even fill the building regularly, and sell out more of their road games than their home games.

Which brings us to the lockouts on Sterns’ watch.  The good ol’ asterisk season of 98-99. We got 50 games due to a lockout shortened season, and saw a lot of fat out of shape players. Maybe if they got a deal done before January, those guys wouldn’t have been so out of shape after getting their holiday grub on. Either way, I see it as a major failure that Stern couldn’t find a way to get the owners and players on the same page. They saw the popularity of the NBA dramatically decline in ticket sales, and viewers, how is that a good thing for owners? Sure, this last season was stronger than any season in recent memory with a plethora of young stars on the rise, but that all means nothing if they lose a season. Even my grandpa was into it last year, and he hated basketball for the longest time! I have a hard time seeing him coming back to basketball if the lockout makes for a missed full season.

What are you the commissioner of if you don’t actually have a league? Now, were in our second lockout under Sterns watch as a commissioner, and I’ve yet to see how he’s helped out with getting the games going again in any fashion. Instead Stern is passing the time by throwing out threats, and trying to pull one over on the players while he treats them like kids. Am I on the players side? Not so much, but I’m not into what Stern did with his ultimatums and consistently undercutting the players, which may have pushed them to not accept a deal when they were really close to agreeing to it. It’s no secret the players don’t like Stern, but he isn’t helping the players desire to accept a deal. I get it, he’s there for the owners, but at some point you have to try to show the owners that the players have some rights too, and instead of giving ultimatums and threats give them a sense of what is in the deal, and why it’s good for them. In any negotiation, nobody wants to get told what to do. Maybe we need Rodger Goodell to be the NFL and NBA commissioner. At least he can make it so both sides feel like they get a win. All along Stern knew they were going to miss games, all along he never really tried to get a decent deal for the players. All along I’ve despised every move Stern he’s made, and yesterday was just another sad example of a guy who doesn’t seem to have the agenda of the best interests of the league. Stern isn’t the only one to blame in all of this, but I feel if they (Stern and owners) showed the urgency they had over the last month by sending numerous proposals to the players during the summer we wouldn’t be in the “nuclear winter” state. Stern and the owners played the waiting game, and now he is paying for it with another HUGE black mark on his record as commissioner. When we got to see how swift and competent the NFL was in their lockout this summer, you can’t help but wonder, what the hell was the commish thinking!?!

Doin Headline Ramblings

I don’t really have a direction for this post, but it’s been awhile since I wrote something, so I felt the need to put up a few random thoughts in no particular order.

Raiders sign TJ Houshmandzadeh – I’m just glad it wasn’t TO. TJ might not be what he was back in 2009, but at least it doesn’t seem like he’ll be a distraction the way TO has been with every team he plays on. I’m not sure if I should be worried about the signing as I see two possible scenarios. A) Raiders receivers haven’t gelled with Palmer or B) my hopeful reason for the signing. Outside of Ford and Heyward-Bey, they don’t really trust the third receiver on the team between Schillens, Moore, and Murphy. Can’t say I blame them, since all of them have missed significant time this year and years past. Plus, anything to make Palmer a little more comfortable with his new team is a plus, and a familiar face always helps. TJ had his best years with Carson, and that went both ways. If Carson has TJ to bail him out as the ultimate possession receiver on a couple third downs each game, this signing was 100% worth it regardless of TJ’s stats on the season. Plus we have plenty of speed, so he won’t be stealing any routes from our deep guys, and can be the guy that goes across the middle without getting alligator arms.

McCourt tells us what we knew would happen – The Dodgers fans can finally start representing their team in LA again. Get those car flags out again, Frank is selling the team! The Angels run was short lived as people will once again flock back to the team of LA. If they actually get a good owner this team isn’t nearly as bad as some view them. A few improvements around Kemp and Kershaw should put them over .500 at the very least. I guess it all depends on who ends up with the team and how deep their pockets are, but anyone will be an improvement over Frank, well unless Selig finds someway to puts someone with McCort’s qualifications in charge again. Hell, even the mayor of LA wanted the guy out of town. Good luck Dodgers fans on your new era, I remember the feeling of hope when Chris Cohan put the Warriors up for sale!

The NBA Lockout rolls on – Seems like we’re in the 4th quarter of negotiations, but it’s like the time of the game when the score is close and there’s six timeouts called to advance the ball to halfcourt with lots of fouls and free throw shots in between. I’m still holding out some hope they’ll be playing by Christmas, but that hope is waning a lot lately. It sounds like all the little things have been settled, but the major issue is still the BRI. I can’t tell you much about BRI except it’s the first three letters in my name, and it doesn’t seem like any reports are good about it whether you read it should be 52/48 or a 50/50 split. Much has been made of the recent riff between Fischer and Hunter, and if the reports are true and Fischer is trying to talk players into a 50/50 split, I’m actually on board. I hella care how much each side makes, so if he can convince the players to take a worse deal hooray for us all, because we’ll have basketball again. The more I read about Hunter, the more mad I get. Who cares if he has a job in the grand scheme of things when this is all said and done, he’s costing games this season by simply walking out on meetings when I could be watching the Lakers-Warriors game tonight!!

Lenny Dykstra agrees to fight Jose Canseco – So there’s a celebrity boxing event this Saturday featured on an internet stream with the featured fight consisting of Jose Canseco vs. Lenny Dykstra. Not on the weekend agenda for a $20 fee. Some of the other matchup on the card were interesting, which should make for some good youtube clips to check later. Amy Fishcer gets a chance to knock around the Octomom. Michelle Bombshell and all her tatoos should be able to pound Tila Tequila into oblivion. Coolio takes on Jeremy Jackson (a guy I’ve never heard of). Kato Kalen takes a shot at politician Tareq Salahi. All I can say about these match ups is they seem like they’ll be more entertaining than the heavyweight division has been over the last decade…

Tim Tebow sucks again – I can’t remember a time when a 2-5 team has had so much press, but Tebowmania is ruling the land, and the verdict seems to now be that he sucks after last weekend. I like Tebow as a guy. He seems like someone you’d want to hang out with, lives with a general code of conduct that few have, but the football player isn’t something I root for as a Raiders fan. I actually enjoy his on-field failures. I kind of hope he does well at the end of the year, so they keep him on-board longer, thus keeping the Broncos at the bottom of the AFC West. One big question I have for this weekends tilt against the Raiders is; if he jumps in the black hole, does he still come out a virgin? Tough call there, but I’ll go out on a limb and say no, and Carson will outplay him this weekend even though Tebow’s best game of his career was last season against the Raiders.

NBA Fundraising Video

No posts on the lockout for two months, then BAM, two in a row! Pretty solid video showing how most people feel about the lockout. As in, who cares what the deal is in the end just get out of our face with the media BS, and make the damn deal. I don’t want to pay to see charity games, I want to see the Warriors take on the best of the Western Conference.

The NBA: Where Amazing Lockout Info-graphs Happen

I haven’t written a word about the NBA lockout. This poster was a good timeline of the events that have gone down so far. I keep hoping they come to an agreement, yet deep down don’t really believe they will. If only the NBA owners could’ve done something as stupid as the NFL owners did with signing TV deals that got them paid whether the games were played or not, but no such luck. They seem to be in a strong position, and the players seem to just have to take the deal their offered if they want to play ball this year. Anyways, I find it ridiculous that the players think they’ll be happy overseas. I’ve done my fair share of travelling, and think it’s funny they would consider overseas a legitamate option. First off, if you go to a game in China, there’s smoking allowed in the arena. That factor alone would make it harder to play. Second, they won’t get paid as much even if they are stars, and donning the Shanghai Sharks jersey won’t exactly give the players as much pride as wearing their NBA teams jersey. Honestly, I have no idea when or if this season will ever start/happen, but I know the players and owners are retarded for waiting so long to step up the urgency of these meetings. It’s like they didn’t really even start caring and meeting eachother until October started, which is pathetic. When they did meet they were only there for 6 hours!?! Yeah, they must be trying hard if they can’t even put in an 8 hour workday… If you haven’t read Bill Simmons two articles on the lockout, I recommend them if you have some time to kill and want to understand it better, because he’s quite long winded, but very on point… Here’s part 1, and here’s part 2. Oh and this was a great piece by Whitlock as well.

Spoof NBA Lockout Ads

Last off-season in the NBA it was all about the big time free agents, and where will they land. This off-season will be all about Billy Hunter vs. David Stern, and how long the lockout will last. It seems like it could get even uglier than the NFL’s lockout and probably will miss more games. As I’ve said before with the NFL lockout, I’m all for it if they lose some fans and some revenue. Nothing puts a billion dollar league in their place like losing fans. I ran across this video of a few spoof lockout ads that we could see in the near future when the war really heats up. Ok, probably not, but we know it’s going to get ugly. The ad that had Stern saying “he knew where the bodies are buried” had a very interesting story to it during all-star weekend and this article by Adrian Wojnarowski is a must read if you haven’t heard the story.

Here’s to Hoping For a Lockout!

I can’t say I totally understand what is going on with the NFL and NFLPA duking it out for the $9 billion pot. I know there are plenty of gripes on both sides as there are in any type of labor dispute. All the percentages and retirement funds make my head spin, and honestly I could really care less what ends up happening between the two sides when it’s all said and done. There are two things that I want to see come out of this. The first is that they get a team in Los Angeles. Not because I live here or would go to their games unless I got free tickets, but it makes sense. I’ve never been one that enjoys seeing the rich get richer, but as Charlie Sheen would say you win here you win there, WINNING! Putting a team in LA would be winning for both sides, because it’s a huge market that the players and league would all benefit from. Second, the retired players health. I couldn’t be more on the players side for this one, as the NFL really does need to have some kind of medical plan for the guys that bashed their brains in for the sport that made the owners more rich than they already were. It’s amazing to me how bad they treat their former employees. Almost all of the owners are really old, so you’d think they’d understand these types of problems that come with age. As Simmons points out in his article today, they just love money.

The real reason I wrote this was because I actually want to see this lockout happen. I know I’m in the minority with this view. Apparently today they’ve extended talks for another 7 days, but I don’t see much happening in that week. I’m not saying I would enjoy a fall without football (because I wouldn’t), but if these two sides can’t see that they are winning in nearly every phase, then I hope they lockout. My main reason is I’d love to see them lose some fans. We are the ones that fill their pockets by overspending on game tickets that you can barely even see the field from for $100 each, and while they do give us an amazing product that I thoroughly enjoy, they don’t really care about us, they just want to know how much they can make off us raising prices on everything (tickets, merchandise, parking, concessions, etc) in a national recession. Do they care that we buy licensed NFL products for hundreds of dollars when it cost them one dollar to make in China? No, and I do understand the capitalist point of view on it, but can’t fathom how there’s never enough. Every league is geared for the fans, but I feel like the NFL takes advantage of them a lot more than others, so by all means lockout and lose some of your fans!

That being said if there is a lockout the second football comes back on I’m positive I’ll be watching. I’d love to see a lockout that knocks the NFL down to the #2 or #3 sport in our country in the same way that baseball died after their strike. I’m thinking if it kills a fantasy season that will ultimately take some people away from the game. Would those fantasy players return to being fans of the league without that season? Hopefully not, and I can’t stand being at a bar listening to some guy talk about how his receiver needing 10 yards to take the lead in his matchup. That my friends is something I won’t miss. I can’t say I don’t fall into that trap from time to time, but I know I’d do just fine watching without fantasy sports around. I no longer like the casual fan that doesn’t really root for a team, and I feel like a lockout would kill some of them off. In an era where everything major going on is an open book in the media, I’d love to see them lockout. The league/owners would be crucified in public (rightfully so), and would see a decline in the sports popularity on some level. I wish we could go back to the days when most owners cared more about winning. That’s why I’ll never fault Al Davis for any of the moves he makes no matter how ridiculous they can be. He does them because he thinks it will make them win. You can’t say the same for many teams out there.


Doin Rants: NBA Trades Have Gotten Ridiculous

Alright, this has gotten out of hand. Enough is enough. I just stopped by espn’s nba page and 4 or 5 of the ten headlines were about contract buyouts. This is my boiling point. My frustration has mounted enough to warrant a Doin Work rant. It all started when the NBA began requiring that all trades need to be within 10% (I believe) of each other’s matching salaries. A few years later it got to the point where teams weren’t even swapping comparable talent. Expiring contracts were all of sudden worth more than good players. NBA franchises are supposed to be run like businesses, so why would your business strategy ever be to hire older guys who are close to retiring and can only perform at a fraction of their prior productivity level. Sure, you want the money to come off the books, but you still have to hire someone in their place. Sure, you save a couple bucks, but what’s the point, you’re surely overpaying a few guys on your team, and guess what… you’re going to do it again. Now, though? NOW…. teams aren’t even keeping the guys they’re getting in trades!! Instead, the trade deadline has really just come to be the day before the league’s BUYOUT deadline, where teams can have their crack at a fresh crop of savvy veterans who can help them in their postseason runs. Guys like Troy Murphy and Mike Bibby are available, all because their former teams gave away decent players to buy them out. The Warriors gave up Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric for Troy Murphy (and then not) and a 2nd round pick. Those guys are far from all-stars, but Wright is the guy they traded Jason Richardson for the rights to, essentially imploding the We Believe team immediately after the great upset of 2007. (Imagine that, a rant about ridiculous trades has ultimately led me to the Warriors…)

So Murphy is rumored to be ending up in Miami, as is Bibby. Something doesn’t seem right about this. I’m not talking about Miami getting these two guys, they’re not going to get them a ring or anything. I’m just talking about teams trading a decent player to a better team, subsequently waiving the newly acquired player, and then that player signs with a contender. Or we’ve also got the Hornets and Kings trade that Mark Cuban pointed out. The Hornets were recently taken over by the league to help re-stabilize the franchise to make it a more attractive investment, but their first trade is a move to take on salary? They gave up Marcus Thornton, who was making $10 an hour, for Carl Landry, who’s owed about $3 million. I give them credit for making a good personnel move, but taking on salary doesn’t seem like a wise business decision. Perhaps the worse business decision from the Kings’ side though. Already struggling to attract fans in a one-sport city, they traded away a guy who was the league’s best 6th man when they acquired him, for Thornton, who has some great potential, but isn’t exactly going to convince fans to come out. Teams these days are putting crap on the table and getting mad when the fans don’t eat it. Something has gone terribly wrong.

So I’m looking forward to the offseason. I love the sport of basketball, but the NBA has by far become the kookiest sports league on Earth. Whatever they all end up agreeing to can’t be worse than how it already is. I can’t even began to comprehend how unnecessarily overcomplicated they’ve made it, but so many moves make so little sense. They need to tie in the D-League, so teams can at least get some “prospects” in return.

Whatever Happened to the Two Sport Athlete? Are They About to Make a Comeback!?!

I was reading this Rob Neyer article, and he was talking about how great Bo Jackson was. To this day he is one of my favorite all time Raiders. I loved his Tiger handheld game as well. He dominated Deion in the battle of the best two-sport athlete by a long shot. Unfortunately for Bo, and for us, his career ended far too early. It got me wondering why there aren’t more two sport athletes these days, but if you look at the salaries back then he wasn’t making close to what guys are today. Granted it was the early 90’s, and with inflation money was worth a little more than it is now, but his final year in Oakland he earned $1.6M, and in Kansas City he pulled in $2.6M.  I’m not saying this is chump change, but the crappy players weren’t quite to the point of getting paid ridiculous amounts of money during Bo’s days, and even the best players weren’t completely paid. So my thinking was that as contracts rose in EVERY sport the need to play more than one sport lessened. The last guy I can even think of that stood out in two sports was Charlie Ward being the general for Florida State’s offense in football and basketball, but even he didn’t play two sports professionally, which I think proves my point that athlete’s don’t need to play two sports anymore because the money is so ridiculously good in whichever one they choose. The closest thing we’ve had recently is a Nike commercial with Lebron blocking a field goal for the Cleveland Browns. With the very real possibility of a lockout for two of our sports (NFL and NBA), I wanted to throw out some ideas for guys and types of players that I think would try to make the jump to another sport either out of boredom or the need to support the $500,000 a month spending lifestyle. Continue reading

Old Guys Vs. The Lockout

As the 2011 NBA lockout comes closer to a reality it got me wondering who we might see retire rather than continue on with their career since there are a lot of players out there that are old and still performing at a very high level. That being said the dinosaurs of the NBA might not want to take less than they are already making when the new CBA is reached. Thanks to a Wikki search they listed the ten oldest players in the league right now, and I will go through the seven oldest, and put a percentage on their chances of sticking around to play after the strike is over.

Shaquille O’Neal, 38 years old. Shaq might actually be helped out by this lockout. He hasn’t played a full 82 games since 1994, so I’m guessing that the lockout could actually keep him fresh. At the same time, if he knows that there won’t be basketball being played, I’m sure he’s going to eat himself into retirement. Look for him to have a waist growth spurt and remind us that people can be as big as Refrigerator Perry. Odds of returning after a lockout: 5%

Kurt Thomas, 38 years old. I actually forgot Kurt was still in the league, but he’s alive and well in Chicago filling in for the many injuries they’ve had to their frontline. He’s one of those guys that teams just keep picking up making the Bulls the 8th team of his career. I feel like he has some solid value for teams because he’s seen it all and isn’t a distraction. Odds of returning after a lockout: 80%

Grant Hill, 38 years old. Grant found the fountain of youth with his teammate Steve Nash.

Is Sprite the fountain of youth or is it the fountain of knee surgeries?

The guy is having his best year since he was in Orlando statically. If there’s anyone you think would stay in shape of these old guys during a lockout it would be Grant. He’s also the Suns best defensive player, which I can’t tell if that’s a good or bad thing for the Suns. Odds of returning after a lockout: 90%

Juwan Howard, 37 years old. Honestly I thought Juwan would have hung up the sneakers by now, but the Heat needed some bodies to fill up the roster and he got a call. Sure, he started some games in Portland last year, but we all know about that injury factory in the pacific northwest. If Miami doesn’t win it all this year, Howard is very expendable. Odds of returning after a lockout: 10% unless someone takes a chance on him.

Jason Kidd, 37 years old. I’ve always had a soft spot for the wife beater from Oakland. He’s been declining this year, but mostly because there’s so many other talented guys around him so he doesn’t need to be as great as he was. I think Cuban rides him until he’s shooting 20% from the floor. Odds of returning after a lockout: 99%

Theo Ratliff, 37 years old. He hasn’t really made an impact anywhere over the last few years. I don’t see him really making an impact on the Lakers except replacing Adam Morrison on the bench as the best towel waiver. This feels like his last season to me. Odds of returning after a lockout: 1%

Steve Nash, 36 years old. He’s better than Kidd, but the thing I worry about with Nash is what if the lockout happens and he signs with the MLS in an effort to ignite some support for his one true love, soccer. They can’t pay him as much as he’d make in the NBA though, so his odds of returning after a lockout feel like 99%, but you never know with a real footballer.

NBA Has Many Issues, But This is a Big One

Carmelo (or the media) made it known that he will not be keeping his talents in Denver past this season. He was offered the max three year extension adding about $65M onto his contract to stay with the Nuggets, but all the reports I can find seem to think that since he hasn’t signed it, he isn’t going to. Could be true, could be rumors, but either way it doesn’t sound like Melo is all that into repping the mile high city anymore. Since he has until July of 2011 to sign the extension, I’m not sure why everyone is so sure he will pass up the money. I mean, what if they happen to catch lightning in a bottle and come to terms on a CBA way ahead of schedule? What if Melo finds out he would only be able to make around $10M per year unless he signs his extension before the old CBA expires? Would that make Melo sign his extension and stay since he knows he’d never get the same type of guaranteed money again? I have no idea, nor should I speculate since I’m not an agent or a player that gets to make that kind of decision. All I know is the landscape for the NBA has forever changed in the wake of Lebron’s ill advised decision. The league is already top heavy. Just looking back at the last few decades, the league was either ruled by the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls or Spurs (it feels weird putting the Spurs in there with the other three, but no denying what they did in the Duncan era). The NBA tries hard to preach that there is parody, and I felt that we were getting some parody after the Shaq/Kobe three-peat with new teams winning each year eliminating repeats for a little bit there, but now the landscape feels a lot more clear on who the favorites are again after the Lakers just went back to back. Now, once again isn’t much parody, and it will continue to go that way if superstars keep leaving their teams to join multiple superstars in another uniform. The hostage style takeovers of these teams during contract extensions and free agency is getting a little ridiculous. I feel like the players have all of the power, and while it’s hard to argue that they shouldn’t have the power since they are drawing the crowds, but I think we’ve fallen too far that way. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but give franchises that have the top flight players more power to be able to keep them there or at least make it much tougher for them to decide to leave. Continue reading

Rumors, Signings, and the Upcoming Lockout

Didn’t pay much attention to the NBA free agency bonanza over the three day weekend (or sports for that matter), but caught up the last couple days on the rumor mill, and it sounds like all the rumors that were swirling on Friday, sound just about the same as they do today. Maybe there’s a little more of the I think so and so is leaning towards staying/going here, but nobody’s opinion is truly relevant, since nobody knows what factors are in play for these guys in making their final decisions so rumors will continue. There was one big commitment over the weekend with Amare Stoudemire agreeing to a five year $100M contract with the Knicks. I think it’s good for the guy, he wasn’t going to get a max deal in Phoenix, so why not go where someone that is willing to dish out the cash! He might not be exactly what they were hoping for, and as MCeezy said, they still aren’t relevant without another big player, but he is as worthy as anyone for a max offer. He’ll probably hold his fantasy value rejoining the anti-defensive D’antoni coached team. They might actually come out of this free agency period a winner depending on what else they get. I’m not going to say I think this was the greatest signing, but it’s far from a bad one as some would have you believe. If he somehow recruits another superstar, then he would be an all-time Knicks without even stepping on the court. It was much better than signing Joe Johnson or Rudy Gay to the “max” deals. I’m starting to wonder where Boozer will land since there are really no rumors about him. I do like the ring of Boozer’s Vodka if he ends up on the Nets. D-Wade and Chris Bosh are going to team up in Miami, just as I predicted. It’s tough to tell how much of a supporting cast they can have with only four players (Chalmers and Beasley) on the roster, but if they really don’t care about the money that much, maybe they’ll be able to bring in another big name.

I found the rumor of Carmelo waiting it out until next year’s free agency to go join Amare in New York as a laughable scenario. Does Melo even really have a choice on waiting it out with the lockout scheduled for next year? He could’ve been part of this free agent frenzy, but chose to take the extra year and some extra cash instead of opening up his 2010 summer. The Baltimore native has lived the rough life, so I don’t see him passing up any guaranteed money. Could he really pass on an extension that would guarantee him close to $20M per year for the next three? I’ll say no. The way money is flying around this summer is going to get even crazier after Lebron makes his choice tomorrow. You may think it already has with contracts like Amir Johnson (5 years $34M), Darko Milicic (4 years $20M), Drew Gooden (4 years $39M), but this summer there will be even more of those unfathomable numbers for guys that are at best bench players, especially if all these big free agents end up staying put. There’s a lot of teams waaay under the cap that were hoping to lure a Lebron or Wade to their city, but all these potential suitors forgot one thing, what if they don’t want to leave and want the extra $20-30M guaranteed that these guys can have tacked onto the last year of their contract in their current cities. So in essence, some teams will be overpaying for guys this summer that aren’t going to change a franchise into an instant contender. I’m thinking Richard Jefferson, Luis Scola, Raymond Felton, and Ray Allen will all eventually get some ridiculous money thrown their way from teams that are desperate to make a splash. They are good, but should only be additions to an already good team not THE addition that makes them a team. Continue reading

The Always Bad NBA Referees Are Asking for Too Much!

NBA RefereesIf there’s one thing that has been a constant in the NBA over the past couple decades, it has to be the very bad officiating. Not even Bill Walton can convince me otherwise. I wrote about ways to change the referee system awhile back, which included forcing the geezers off the court and into retirement. Alas, the NBA hasn’t addressed one of these issues, but it looks like one might finally be under consideration. The NBA desperately needs to have guys in their physical prime running around with these tremendous athletes to make sure that they are getting calls right. The NBA is set to start its preseason games in a few weeks (October 1st), it has been reported that the NBRA (National Basketball Referees Association) will be locking out unless a new agreement is reached as the old one expired at the beginning of September. Apparently the NBRA proposed to take about $2.5 million (10%) off of last season’s budget. This wasn’t convincing enough as Stern rejected the proposal, and the two sides haven’t set a new time to meet since the deal was rejected. The NBA is facing the most problems it has since the Flint Tropics ABA/NBA merger days, and needs the refs to suck it up if they want to work. Larnell McMorris, the head NBRA representative says that Stern’s actions are childish, and feels that the league is trying to push the “old guys” out.

This is the first time in a long time that I might actually be on Commissioner Stern’s side for any issue that has come up in recent memory! I hope they lock out, and I hope Stern holds firm on his stance. If he truly is using this as a reason to get the “old guys” out I applaud it 100%. It’s really the first action I’ve seen him take since he became commissioner that moves towards correcting an obvious problem that is revisited year after year with each bad call made. Sadly I’ve actually watched some D-League games, and the ones that I have watched I noticed their refs actually do call pretty good games. Guess what, most of them look young and don’t give the players as much attitude as the pro refs which I like. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the refs were there just to call the game instead of settling the score with some superstar that showed them up by barking at them!?! I’m crossing my fingers that the officiating will better during this October 1st lockout then I could see the NBRA folding to whatever the NBA’s demands are. I wouldn’t mind if they locked our for the season, and we could try out these younger refs that might actually make the right call or non-call during the pivotal playoff games. For the first time since 95-96 the league will set up a training camp for replacement refs, so lets hope they find some good ones!

Can the NFL Survive a Blow From the Recession?

Roy Williams Cowboys

I wrote my plea for the NFL to change the Blackout rule, because it’s robbing the fans of seeing the home teams play, and further detaches the fair weather fans and people that happen to move to a new area that features a franchise. The NFL is holding it’s cards close as they insist they aren’t in bad shape financially, and are recession proof. A report from Forbes came out today that showed the NFL was telling a half truth, as they are okay, but the future is fairly uncertain. Their $1 billion in equity plus debt average among the teams has not changed. The bad part of the report was that eight franchises declined in value for the first time in 10 years! Not surprisingly my Raiders were the worst on the list decreasing 7% from last season, and as of now the Lions are even worth more than them. There were good playoff teams on the list that declined as well including the Colts(-5%), Dolphins(-3%), and Falcons (-2%). The factors that the findings were derived from were; the decline in people who could afford to purchase or invest a franchise, lowered revenues and lower revenue expectations, and the tightened credit markets.

The all powerful NFL isn’t too worried that a quarter of their franchises that have dropped in value as they get huge revenues in the $7 ½ billion range for all their assets. Their TV deals with ESPN, NBC, CBS, FOX, and Sunday Ticket on DirecTV alone give teams a whopping $116 million per year. Facing obvious challenges in the near future the NFL extended their TV contracts recently for two more years through 2013. The drawback to the agreement was that there was a very low 2% increase per season. The real problem for the NFL looks to be the new collective bargaining agreement that was supposed to go through 2012, but the owners voted unanimously to opt out at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Many owners have complained that they’ve had to spend over half their revenues to pay the players, and when there are jackass’s like Michael Crabtree out there squabbling over his contract it all becomes clear why their gripes are justified. Who knows by the time Crabtree gets a contract there could be a lockout, one more bad reason for players to holdout. I still can’t fathom how players are worth millions before they take one snap as a pro. Next year for the first time since 1993, the NFL will play without a salary cap.funny money This sounds like an instant lockout by the owners, if this is allowed to happen. I doubt too many owners will be thrilled to compete for players against teams that turn the most profit like the Redskins ($90 million), Patriots ($70 million), and Buccaneers ($68 million). I guess Tampa might fall off this list as they are due to be one of the teams this season that could not sell a home game out, and fall under the retarded blackout rule. They once had a 100,000 person waiting list to get season tickets, but those days are long gone as they hope to fill up the stadium for eight weeks out of the year.

We will see what happens, but you can bet that the NFL isn’t ready for what is coming. I have a feeling that they are under estimating their worst case scenario, and shouldn’t be telling the public that everything is all good and happy times. Goodell is good at doing the PR through as his sleazy car salesman act has fooled me from time to time. I hope it doesn’t stoop to the NBA’s depths, which I wrote about a couple months back. If teams are close to bankruptcy, and are having to borrow money I’ll be the first to say I told you so. I know with the recession comes cutbacks by everyone feeling the wrath of the mighty economy, and that translates to a lot more empty seats, which keeps snowballing as a lot less concessions are being bought. I’m sure that in these unforgiving times less people are willing to pony up the money for that ridiculous DirecTV Sunday Ticket package. If people can’t afford tickets, then we can’t even watch our favorite teams on TV from the blackouts. Looks like we’ll have to suffer as we watch the Giants, Jets, Patriots, Redskins, and Cowboys during our blacked out games. I’m already depressed thinking about having to watch Romo and Eli more than they were regularly scheduled!