NBA Doings…

Recently, Bob Molinaro posed this question in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:

“Just asking: Is the Golden State Warriors’ signing of big man DeMarcus Cousins any more extreme than the Yankees adding Giancarlo Stanton to an already power-laden lineup?”

My answer to that is that the Yankee’s deal to get Stanton had a taint to it that the Cousins to Golden State does not have.  The Cousins/Warriors deal appears to be an arms-length transaction.  The Warriors offered a 1-year deal at $5M; virtually every team in the league could have offered that same deal and perhaps other teams did; Cousins chose to sign the deal put in front of him by the Warriors.  I have no problem with any of that.

The Yankees/Stanton deal has as aspect to it that is unsavory.  From the Marlins’ side of the table, the negotiator was Derek Jeter.  Like it or not, any transaction between Jeter and the Yankees is going to cause raised eyebrows with regard to the degree to which Jeter drove a hard bargain.  I am not saying that he gave Stanton away; I am saying that the fact that the deal involved the Yankees gives one pause in thinking about the deal.

Since I started on the NBA today, let me continue down that path.  There has been some player movement that merits comment:

  • Dwight Howard signed with the Wizards.  When the Wizards traded Marcin Gortat, it was clear they needed a big man.  John Wall had been critical of Gortat for not being sufficiently athletic and able to stretch the floor; ergo I would have expected the Wiz to get someone that fit such a description.  Dwight Howard does not.  Howard is a good player at the point in his career and a likely Hall of Fame player when one considers his entire career.  I am not sure he fits what the Wizards say is the way they want to play next year.  Oh, and there is one more thing…  The Wiz will be Howard’s 6th team since 2012.  At least 3 of those “partings” were of the variety of “Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out!”  This will be interesting to watch.
  • DeAndre Jordan signed with the Mavericks – – and did not change his mind this time; the deal is worth $23M for 1 year.  The Mavs did well in the draft last year with Dennis Smith and many people think they struck gold this year with Luka Doncic (time will tell).  Signing a center who can play defense and rebound and run the floor a bit seems like a good thing to me – – but why only 1 year?
  • Tony Parker signed a 2-year deal with the Hornets.  That would have been a great deal for the Hornets in 2010 or even in 2012.  Parker’s stats have been waning for several years and last year he only averaged 19 minutes per game in only 55 games.   I really do not understand this one.
  • Derrick Rose re-upped with the Timberwolves for 1 year at $2.2M.  Like the Tony Parker deal, this would have been great in 2012.  Rose has been injured multiple times and appeared in only 25 games last year and he averaged less than 17 minutes per game.  He is only 30 years old; I guess the Timberwolves are hoping that he pays a visit to Lourdes over the summer.

Of course, there is the pending saga of Carmelo Anthony who reportedly will part company with the Thunder and seek employment elsewhere in the league.  Rumors have him going to the Lakers and/or the Rockets and/or the Celtics.  I am not sure I understand why any of those three teams would want him, but I am not an NBA GM.  I think it is safe to say that he will not be returning to the Knicks any time soon…

Another NBA topic that had some time in the sun recently was the idea of re-seeding the teams in the NBA Playoffs with the idea that it would be possible for the two best teams to meet in the Finals instead of in Conference Finals.  In theory that is a good idea, but I don’t think it is a good one overall.  I know that – for the moment – the Western Conference is significantly stronger and deeper than the Eastern Conference.  That will change over time.  And that difference in strength and depth is a major reason why re-seeding is a bad idea.

  • If the East is weaker than the West and the schedule is maintained as it is, then teams in the East play weaker schedules than ones in the West.
  • If that is true – and it is – then the regular season records of Eastern teams are not directly comparable to the Western teams.  But that is the basis on which the teams would be re-seeded.  Hello?

If the NBA were of a mind to restructure itself such that every team played a totally balanced schedule, that would be a monumental undertaking.  Thirty teams playing eighty-two regular season games does not make for a balanced schedule anywhere let alone everywhere.  Do the math…

If the NBA figured a way to play a balanced schedule – they won’t! – that would mean the end of any meaningful divisions or conferences and that would put a significant dent in franchise rivalries.

  • Memo to NBA Mavens:  That would be a horrendous idea.  Do not weaken franchise rivalries.

The NBA regular season is – for the most part – a 7-month bore.  Rivalry games make some of those games a bit more interesting than others; there is no good that will come from eroding those rivalries.  What the NBA ought to want to do is to have more of these sorts of regular season games:

  • Los Angeles/Golden State
  • Dallas/Houston/San Antonio
  • Boston/Philly
  • Indiana/Chicago

Finally, since I began today with a question posed by a columnist, let me close with another question posed by Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:

“Mets pitchers yielded seven bases-empty home runs in an 8-7 loss to the Dodgers.

“So when is Hope Solo Jersey Night?”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………