Tuesday, October 11, 2016

NBA News and Notes...

The 2016-17 NBA season is upon us, and we will be subjected to more bad basketball. The reasons are twofold-the new money injected into the league from tv contracts, and all the free agency moves that have decimated the continuity of certain teams in question. 

The influx of money from the upcoming television contracts have caused a rise in the salary cap. The way it works is that there's not only a ceiling, but a floor, so a team can actually face monetary penalties for NOT spending a minimum amount of money allotted to them. This means plenty of terrible contracts paid out to marginal players. Granted, this is all relative. As Jalen Rose continues to repeat, a player is only worth what he's able to negotiate. That is patently not true, because no one in their right mind will tell you that Matthew Dellavedova is worth a 4 year, $38 million dollar contract. As good a player as Al Horford is, he's never distinguished himself as a game-changing type of talent that is remotely worth 4 years at $113 million dollars. That's more than $28 million dollars a year for a player that, at the age of 30, has stopped improving a long time ago. How is all this fiscal madness going to affect play on the court?

We're seeing it already, and it doesn't look good. The LA Clippers haven't made any major moves because of their already high-priced roster, but last year they signed DeAndre Jordan to four years and a little over $87 million. What did the Clips get in return? The same player they had last year, and the year before. And that's the problem. He is limited offensively, is a liability on the free throw line, and can't defend anyone if they run the type of offense that Golden State does, with multiple undersized shooters passing the ball until the open man finds another open man. Neither he nor Blake Griffin can guard Kevin Durant, who at 6 feet 13 inches is the most versatile shooter/scorer this side of Wyatt Earp. The evidence of this was obvious during a preseason game in which the Warriors outscored the Clippers, who are supposed to be their rivals in the Western Conference, by 50 fucking points. FIFTY. This cannot be shrugged off as a "bad night". A bad night is someone taking Viagra and going home by themselves after spending $200 dollars on drinks on a whore who will fuck everyone in the neighborhood except for you. This was a statement, that the Clippers don't even belong on the same floor as Golden State. And barring injury to any of their key players, the Warriors are going to make mincemeat of the rest of the league. It's not even going to be entertaining.

As for the Knicks, there is nothing quite as nostalgic as an creaky, old buzzard whose time has come and gone telling the world his fucking triangle offense can work with the bums he's collected. Jaochim Noah, a terribly unathletic, spastic overachiever with absolutely no offensive game whatsoever (whose had the cartilage in his knees ground into dust by Tom Thibadeau in Chicago) teams up with Derrick Rose, a guy with even worse knees who happens to currently be on trial for taking part in some disgusting, ritualistic drug-and-gang-rape scenario that seems as egregious as it was unnecessary. What's the point of fame and wealth if you have to resort to drugging and raping women to get your rocks off? Good thing for him it's a civil suit, so he won't face jail time. He'll still be able to play until his next knee injury, which will come the second Stephan Curry comes to town and shakes him out of his sneakers. Kristaps Porzingis is waiting until his contract is up to head somewhere that has a management and ownership dedicated to winning, because New York ain't it. Phil Jackson has stated that the Knicks will only run the triangle in certain half court situations because today's players don't have the skills to run it, despite the fact that today's players are more athletic than ever. Maybe it's the coaching, Phil. Maybe it's the fact that his vaunted triangle is best left in the era in which it thrived. Maybe it's time he retires and leaves the game he no longer understands.

This same is true for the Los Angeles Lakers. The game has passed them by, and in today's globalized economy, where you can watch your favorite team from your cellphone, it's no longer a prerequisite for star players to play in big market cities. It never was. When you see how many great players played in places like Salt Lake City (Stockton and Malone thrived for years there and never complained) and Oklahoma City (Durant and Westbrook) you realize that players don't need to be in big markets to become globally recognizable. The lure of being in the media capitals of the world is no longer a selling point, more so for New York because of high taxes, unbearable management, and an unforgiving media spotlight that will look to tear a player down as quick as they build them up.

New York City hoops has been overrated for years. The street basketball used to be about ball players looking for the best competition. Now it's about brain-dead, arrogant assholes looking to do stupid tricks, over-dribbling, and just making a mockery of the game. That's why so many street ballers never leave their neighborhoods. So many of them let the little bit of reputation they develop go completely to their heads that they never develop their skills to get a college degree. And you can't tell these motherfuckers shit. They know it all. Far too many that do get a D-I scholarship wind up coming back home after one or two years with nothing to show for it. Some don't even last their first semester and are back home in the projects eating one of those Thanksgiving Day turkeys given out by local charities that taste like buzzard. The same goes for the Knicks. It's been almost 50 fucking years since they last won a championship, and it looks like another fifty will pass because this franchise is absolutely clueless and will continue to suck as long as James Dolan is the owner.

But neither Dolan nor the Buss family in LA will sell their teams. There's too much money at stake, and people will watch these losers even when they suck. And only in America can a marginal player hanging on to his position by the thinnest of threads get his own sneaker deal. Swaggy P has lost his woman, his playing time, and cannot be counted on to be a mentor for younger players because he's too irresponsible and immature. He can only be considered an elder statesman in an insane asylum, and that's what the Lakers are right now. And speaking of marginal players, J.R. Smith is still holding out for more cash. WTF is this world coming to. Here's another player who's lost most of his explosive athleticism, and can be counted on to shoot 3-19 more often than not, especially when you need him most. He's so fucking clueless that he showed up to almost every post-Cavaliers function without a shirt. I cannot tell you how fucking ghetto and low class that is, especially with all those disgusting tattoos he's got. 

So what will we get as basketball fans with all the bloated contracts, watered-down teams, and entitled nobodies earning big bucks? We will get THIS. Enjoy the season!!!

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