New York Sports have an unnatural relationship with reality.
Think of it as a super hot female model. Not the cute girls at the bar and local flyer bikini models that made up the last shitty Sports Illustrated calendar. Like a real smokeshow. She walks around and people just do shit for her. Buy her stuff. Act extra nice. And It happens so often that she starts to take it for granted. She expects it. She becomes self-absorbed.
And we all know what happens when that girl loses her looks,
or the next super model takes her place and they fall into obscurity. It’s not
a pretty picture.
The analogy here is that because something is attractive, it often doesn’t feel that is has to work hard. Let me present a specific case of not working hard as you become less attractive: the New York Knicks.
The Knicks haven’t been relevant in 20 years. That wasn’t always true. Between 1993 and 2003, the Knicks appeared in the NBA finals twice, with two different head coaches and two very different teams, philosophically. That actually is a credit to management. Generally a team has a small window with a great lineup. See Golden State… or every team Lebron jumps tat to get all stars to carry his ass.
That the Knicks lost one final (maybe Pat Reilly should have
subbed in Hubert Davis? Its why you lost, bro) and a few years later were back
in the finals to lose with a completely different team – showing that Patrick
Ewing missing lay ups and dunks doesn’t actually matter to a loser franchise- as
long as you reallocate resources.
But between 2001 and today? The most exciting Knicks moment
was a cast off point Harvard educated guard that electrified a city. For
ultimately a go nowhere team.
So we have to look at this body of work- a dead body,
really- and we have to ask- why are the Knicks so horrible?
The answer isn’t so complex. I boil it down to headline
The Knicks under owner James Dolan likes headlines. But not
the right kind, like winning titles. No, he wants everyone to write about the
Knicks, to refer to Madison Square Garden as the Mecca of basketball (wonder
how many basketball fans actually know what Mecca is?) and to keep headlines
because…have you seen the Forbes valuation of the Knicks lately?
$4 billion dollars. FOUR BILLION DOLLARS. For a team that
hasn’t won a title in the lifetimes of most of their fans. The last time the
Knicks were champions Gerald Ford was president.
And how bad are the Knicks? Look at their present crosstown
rivals, the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets have made the NBA finals twice since the Knicks
made their last appearance. The Nets aren’t able to keep a home, but they have
more success this century than the Knicks have. And since 1974, are 2-2 in
league finals compared to the Knicks 0-2, albeit that the two wins were in the
ABA. But for NBA standards, since 2000 the Nets have at least won a playoff
series- when was the last time the Knicks did that?
The Nets have been vagabonds throughout their existence. Since their NBA arrival in 1976 they’ve called Uniondale NY home, Secaucus NJ home, nearly called Newark NJ home, almost called Westbury NY home, and presently call Brooklyn home. No one wants to keep them! And yet…since 2000, more successful than the Knicks if you look at playoff series wins as a barometer.
This pissees Dolan off. So he wants the backpage of the newspapers by interfering with team management so trade for superstars, or stars, or by leading the league in ejecting alumni, or anything that gets a headline to disrupt his losing. Speaking of losing, how have the Knicks done with coaches?
I’m pretty sure the last good Knicks coach was Jeff Van Gundy. You could argue Larry Brown was a good coach, but certainly not in his Knicks tenure. The Knicks are presently looking at new and exciting head coaches, some with limited experience. And the first experience all of these guys get? Losing. Fizzoutdale sucks.
Same goes for the front office. Phil Jackson was an
incredible NBA coach. And was an imbecile as a team President with the Knicks.
The sole good draft move Jackson made was Kirstaps Porzingis, who he promptly
alienated and ultimately read about demanding a trade. Why read about it?
Because his ass was already kicked out the door, having done nothing but lose
in his Knicks tenure.
But the management in between? Isiah Thomas did a fantastic
job as team President and GM, and even better as head coach. The Eddy Curry and
Zach Randolph trades comes to mind, as do all those bad free agent contacts to
players like Jerome James and Jarred Jefferies. Then there’s that weird $11.5
million deal he gave to Anucha Brown Sanders. I don’t know what that’s about
but it can’t be good.
And amazingly, after the sexual harassment claim from Sanders, Dolan hired Thomas to run the New York women’s basketball team, the Liberty. This is the lack of judgement that makes the Knicks losers. Guess you can’t sexually harass a lesbian? It did get headlines, which is what Dolan wants.
Every team in sports looks to point to a golden age, but I’m
a fan of the “what have you done for me lately” school of thought. And what
have the Knicks done lately?
Be bad enough to miss the playoffs, but not bad enough to get a solid lottery pick? And why not? Because unlike say the New York Mess (not a typo) the Knicks will drop money at free agents. Where they do a terrible job with such- hi Joakim Noah! But just enough to make sure they’re picking somewhere after the top ten.
This past Knicks season had some promise because they were absolutely fucking horrible and had so many expiring contracts that they would finally be able to be big game hunters in free agency. And you know what happened? Knicks gotta Knick.
They lost the draft lottery. So as fans suffered all season with that little glimmer of hope for a brighter future, the Knicks couldn’t even lose right. Now I am NOT saying that RJ Barrett is a bust, and in fact he seems to have the trust of the organization as their highest draft pick since Patrick Ewing. But at the same time…he can’t hit free throws? WTF. Every game the Knicks lose by 3 or less will 100% be Barretts fault for sucking at fundamentals. He went to Duke. He should know better.
Luckily for him, the Knicks are usually blown away by much
larger margins of failure.
The other part of the Knicks past season that gave them promise was the two 1st round draft picks that the Knicks got from Dallas for Porzingis. But you know what? Luka Doncic will make sure those first rounders are somewhere in the 20’s. The Knicks best hope is to package those two picks and see if they can get to a top ten pick, because a bench isn’t going to help this mess. All they do is draft bench. Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Frank Tkinilikiniaiah- but not Alonso Trier. No, he was undrated but the Knicks signed him because he was buddies with Kevin Durant. That’s the way to woo a guy.
Because Kevin Durant was leaving Golden State to hang out
with an undrafted college kid. An undrafted college kid.
Oh, that was the other thing. The summer of 2019 free agency
splurge! Who were the Knicks getting? Durant? Anthony Davis? Kyrie Irving? A
combination? All three?
Howabout this- Knicks gotta Knick. They got fucking nothing. A bunch of castoffs that are serviceable NBA players, but no leadership. And their coach? David Jizzdale? That wasn’t a typo either. Will he lead? Has he ever? Guy is a career loser as a head coach. How he has a job is not only staggering, but also lends to explain why the Knicks are just perennial losers.
But boy did they get headlines. The next one will be for firing the coach.
So that’s a lot of bitching. What about a positive? How do
we fix this?
First step- James Dolan needs to sell the team. He has $4
billion reasons to. Take the money and play with your shitty jam band. You’ve
done enough. And not in the good way. Shit, the Nets sold their team and shitty
arena over a billion, and the Los Angeles Clippers went for $2 billion. Take
the money and go ruin something else.
Next step? You have a $4 billion franchise. Invest 1% in a head coach, GM, front office, and scouting staff. Maybe 1.5%. That’d be $40 to $60 million dollars. You know what you’d get? The top head coach and the top GM in the NBA taking a massive salary. You have a salary cap on players, but on coaches? Not so much. Yes, there are some staffing limits that apply to the players cap, but that doesn’t fall on coaches.
Next step? Draft well. That’s why you have scouts. And free
agents? Be selective. Have a five year plan. Reevaluate that plan after every
game. Do not be afraid to make trades, but always weigh the trade offs and
opportunity costs in keeping an asset and moving an asset. Maybe hire a team
economist and a team cap expert? Look at the present model that’s working- teams
effectively shooting the three- and emulate that, but figure out what the next
trend is- maybe defense comes back? Maybe it’s three point plays at a higher
percentage shot? Maybe it’s a ten second offense? But for the Knicks, we know
what isn’t winning- what they’ve been doing for almost 20 years.
Time for a change, Knick fans, or else it will be more of the same. Or more to the point, Knicks Gotta Knick.
*This article was written while watching two consecutive Thanksgiving time Knicks losses- to be fair, consecutive Knicks losses can happen at any time- but was inspired by Knicks superfan and the creator of the term “Jizzdale,” AMR.
We have a saying in this house- Knicks gonna Knick. It means
that the Knicks will always find a way to lose. They’re losing is so powerful
that they turned ten time champion Phil Jackson into a pathetic unemployed loser
in a matter of weeks.
You can easily make the connection with the New York Mets.
It’s totally fair to say that the Mets are gonna Met. Because the Mets find a
way to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.
Look at the last three times the Mets were worth a shit.
In 2000 the Mets were handily defeated by a New York Yankees
team full of future Hall of Famers, all stars, and a steroid fueled fuckface. The
best player in the game at that time, Alex Rodriguez, expressed his desire to
come play for the Mets. That move would have given the Mets two Hall of Fame
monster hitters in the heart of their lineup. So what did they do?
Mets gonna Met. They did nothing.
A few years later the Mets retooled under General Manager Omar
Minaya and added a distinct Latin flavor to their roster. Carlos Delgado,
Carlos Beltran, and Pedro Martinez made Queens a well paid home. They also
added 100 year old Orlando Hernandez and 117 year old Julio Franco to the team,
along with any player with a Spanish surname (Looking at you, American born
Xavier Nady). And that team’s major highlight? A caught looking strike three to
end their season.
And the next season? The epic September collapse where Tom
Glavine showed that he was truly an Atlanta Brave with that final start. Also?
That game began the era of wasting David Wright’s career.
The Mets languished from that 2007 season all the way to a
miracle post season run in 2015 where some rare in season trades bolstered a
lineup and a bench. A fine, young pitching staff with tons of promise and some
timely hitting from playoff hero Daniel Murphy propelled the Mets to the World
Series. Where they promptly lost the series in five games.
In the process they lost Murphy to a division rival and
never replaced his bat, then watched as their star pitcher blew his arm out. So
there’s that. They did return to the playoffs the next year…for one game.
It’s not like the Mets don’t spend money. They have a TV
network and a beautiful stadium that see millions of fans arrive or watch at
home annually. And it’s not like the Mets have the lowest payroll in baseball.
They don’t. They were 9th in baseball last year, and were almost 10%
higher than the next tier of team salaries.
No, it seems where the Mets make bad decisions stems from
one place, which affects a few others. Their owners- the Wilpon’s- are fuck
Not financially. There, they’ve done great. They avoided
being held accountable throughout the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, where they
made fantastic returns on their investments as other people went broke in the
scam, then allegedly did not suffer any financial losses after. They sold a
chunk of team ownership to raise personal capital, and watched the team gain
value in the process. They have a TV network that is part of a cable package,
so they get monthly revenues from commercials and subscribers, although
Frontier Communications did end their broadcast relationship with SNY this fall
due to their “excessive carriage rates.” And unlike every other New York area
sports channel, they have no other New York based sports tenant to pay to air.
And with those resources? The Wipons make horrible
Mets fans can list off the failed free agents and veteran
trades the team has made like it’s a Dishonor Roll. Some of those were
surprises. Who saw Roberto Alomar falling apart so quickly? Who thought Mike
Piazza was going to resign with the Mets? But there’s a whole lot of Mo
Vaughns, Bobby Bonillas, Jason Bays, Jeremy Burnitzes and Mel Rojases going on.
A Mets trade for a major contributor is rare- consider the trade of Cy Young
award winner knuchleballer R.A. Dickey for a catching prospect that they
expected to be a star- Travis DeArnold. If the Blue Jays didn’t throw in level
A ball pitcher Noah Syndergaard, that trade would have been awful as well.
Some teams have just about the same amount of scouts- the
San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The shitty Pirates have a
similar org chart. That can’t be good. But the Giants have been successful for
decades, so we have to call into account the quality of Mets scouts.
But look at the teams with more scouts than the Mets. The Atlanta Braves. The Philadelphia Phillies. The St. Louis Cardinals. The Boston Red Sox. The Los Angeles Dodgers. The Houston Astros. The Cleveland Indians. The Chicago Cubs. The Chicago White Sox. The Detroit Tigers. The Baltimore Orioles. All of these teams have had greater levels of success than the Mets in the Wilpon Era. They all have had faster rebuilds, have had more sustained successes, and almost all of them have won a World Series since 2000.
You may notice a team that didn’t make the list. The New
York Yankees. Why? Because their scouting staff is DOUBLE what their same
market peers have. Well, not exactly double. Two scouts short of double. 154
So we know the Mets are short of amateur and professional
scouts as compared to more successful organizations. But surely they hire
managers and coaches with winning pedigrees, right?
Wrong. The Mets seem to be a landing pad for reclamation
projects and first time managers. They’ve had two decent managers over the last
30 years. Davey Johnson and Bobby Valentine. The Mets have had chances to hire
managers with pedigrees, as recently as a few days ago when they’ve watched
World Series winning Joe Maddon go to the Angels and World Series winning
manager Joe Girardi go to the divisional rivals Phillies.
And the Mets? They replaced first time manager Mickey
Calloway with first time manager Carlos Beltran. And who hired him? First time
general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
Which in fairness was a turn around from the prior administration or longtime reclamation project and career loser Terry Collins, with retread GM Sandy Alderson. These two teamed up to luck into a postseason based on young pitchers who never had a lineup to supplement their work, and always, ALWAYS a sketchy bullpen.
But look at that stellar, inspiring list of recent Mets
managers. You can marvel at:
And you wonder why they lose?
Wally Backman came through the Mets system as a player, then
became a manager in various levels before returning as manager in the Mets
system. He had a winning record in A ball, AA, and AAA, even managing to win
some championships. He had a winning record! But hey, Terry Collins was running
a sub 500 team for years, so why change things up?
Even as recently as 2019, a player developed by the Mets and
who starred for the Mets- Edgardo Alfonso-
took the A level Brooklyn Cyclones to a league championship. And was
fired for it. You read that right. What the actual fuck is this organization
doing? Alfonso was a Met in the last era in which the team was consistently
good, and past of what some called the greatest infield ever. Fired for
winning. This is the GM Mets fans get.
And this is the GM Mets fans deserve. Why? Because Mets fans
are stupid. They line up each year to put 2,000,000 asses (literally and
figuratively) in the seats of an admittedly beautiful ballpark. And then they
take off their shirts and have the Mets organization shit on their collective
chests like a high octane German shizer film. They pay their monthly cable
bills and don’t ask the providers to remove the stain from their drawers. They
buy t-shirts and jerseys and pay $40 to park under a train track or on the side
of a highway because…they’re fucking stupid. Why? Because they don’t ask for
You know thaty the divisional rival Atlanta Braves have already begun signing free agents? They took former Giants closer lefthanded All Star Will Smith off of the market well before the Mets made reservations for the Winter Meetings. Mets fans will say Smith isn’t good. If he was in the Mets bullpen last year? They make the playoffs.
Let me be the first person the make this point and argument.
If the Islanders arena progresses at Belmont, the Mets should move there as
well. Not the indoor arena. That’d be silly. No, instead of ANOTHER shopping
mall, build a baseball stadium. And maybe….shhhh….a small casino in the
proposed and yet unbuilt hotel. Imagine a horse track, an indoor sports arena,
an outdoor sports arena, a hotel, a casino, and two train stations- one coming
from Long Island and one from Queens – all within walking distance of each
other? And near their fanbase? That’d sound…smart. So that’s fucked.
Instead the fans have accepted the existence of chop shops
and grey mud puddles for generations.
So to Mets fans- stop it. What you’re doing is the equivalent of Magic Johnson buying billboards in support of spreading AIDS. Cancel your TV packages. You don’t need them. Just buy channels you want and stream Mets games. Stop paying for failure.
Stop with season tickets. Stop with t shirts. Stop paying to
watch games. I can tell you what will happen.
The team will lose money. Then they will lose value. Then
someone with money will come in recognizing the bargain to own a mass market
team at a bargain price and do what new owners always do- use the savings to
reinvest in their product. That way if they sell it’s a quick flip. And if they
stay it’s a fortune down the road. And will the present owners reinvest in this
team to make it a winner?
No. The Mets presently have enough parts to just need a few more pieces to be short term solid. What pieces? A competent front office, an experienced manager, experienced coaches with winning records, a few key free agents, a few solid drafts, and an owner willing to spend. Just look at their take on analytics, which is growing in all sports.
Are you at all shocked?
This plan doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s worked for the
Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals, Cubs, Red Sox, Astros, Marlins, Giants, and
Tigers. Clearly it didn’t work for the teams that never invested.
Like the Mets.
So, which side of the fence do you want to be on? Perpetual
pissing your own money away to a rich guy with a losing team for more of the
same? Or maybe a sense of satisfaction from not the usual “almost successful”
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Or smash
your head into the wall as you order your Mets Christmas gifts. Unlike what the
team owners do at this time of year.
Election day 2019 is coming up. Many people take these
elections off because they are odd year elections. There’s no one running for
President, there’s hardly any congressional seats up for grabs, and most people
have no idea who the local candidates are, so they’re not sure whom to vote
Most people. Not this guy. I know someone who is running in Nassau
County for a gig she doesn’t deserve, and frankly should just get the fuck out
of politics. That “person” is Kate Murray.
Kate Murray was a Town Clerk who was appointed- not elected-
to become the Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead. Under Murray’s leadership,
the Town saw its credit rating slashed so often – three times in one year
alone- that you’d think her maiden name was Krueger. Or if you looked at her, Cruller.
In case you aren’t sure what slashing a credit rating means,
here’s the simple version- the Town of Hempstead has a credit score just like
you and I. Under Murray, she turned the Town into an equivalent of a score of
400. So when the town wants to borrow money, they pay way higher interest rates
than someone who, you know, pays their bills on time? And is responsible?
Also, the mythology of Town of Hempstead Republicans
lowering taxes? Yeah, just look at the tax rolls over Murrays term, and fuck
Donald Clavin, too. Under Murray taxes became so lopsided that the Town now has
to correct the many, many errors left in Murray’s walrus like wake. But that’s
not the point.
Murray fucked things up. Big time. Just drive along Hempstead Turnpike or any major road in the TOH. Count the shuttered businesses. Count the vacant stores. On a main road. Nice job, tubby.
And yes, Kate is fat. This leads to nicknames like Cake
Murray, Kate Morbidity, Kate Munchie, and Big Fat Whaleass Lard Gunt.
But even this egregious governance will still find a loyal
following of sheep who think politics works like sports, where there is a
winner and a loser and nothing in between. And oddly, this is what sank her
like the iceberg she is to a Titanic.
In short, she fucked with something people love.
Kate Murray opposed the redevelopment of the Nassau Hub. For
those who don’t know, the Nassau Hub is the area presently occupied by the
Nassau Coliseum, a Hotel, a giant parking lt, and now a Sloan Kettering
building. And by opposing the redevelopment of the Hub, Murray specifically
told the Islanders to beat it. Look at this quote from May, 2012, a season that
the Islanders missed the playoffs:
“Our work has been completed. We
adopted our zone for the Coliseum area. Because this was such a jewel in the
crown property, we created a zone that is sustainable from an economic
standpoint…These are low days for the NHL. With the Rangers, it’s exciting.”
Ranger, it’s exciting? Well Chunk, it’s exciting to live in the Town of Babylon
where they actually manage to assess property tax without an entire cottage
industry of lawyers fighting tax errors. It’s exciting to live in the Town of
North Hempstead where there are Gold Coast mansions. What’s exciting about the
Town of Hempstead, south of people throwing hay on the floor of your office and
watching you do what you do best?
someone handing you a paycheck for hundreds of thousands of dollars each year-
maybe millions, KNOWING that you’d piss every penny away on nothing, and you
turn around and kick them in the nuts? That’s what Murray did. Check out this
other quote from Quasimodo:
“While we were making these
investments, what were Bettman, the NHL and its wealthy owners doing?
Seemingly, nothing except casting the occasional stone our way. Well, it’s time
for them to put their money where their mouth is. Why can’t the league and its
owners put together a financing package for Wang so that he can build his new
Coliseum with private funds, in much the same way that former Red Sox owner
John I. Taylor did with Fenway Park?”
point, she’s not entirely wrong. Sports leagues should not expect or receive public
subsidies for sports arenas. It’s a losing proposition and hurts taxpayers who
pay for rich people to get more rich. And she’s right that Wang never offered
to pay for just a new Coliseum out of his own pocket. However, sports leagues generally
don’t pay for arenas, because most areas see having a sports team as a matter
of local and civic pride. As an item that unifies the surrounding areas that
brings people together. But I guess it’s impossible to expect someone to have
pride that lets themselves look like that.
we approach this current election, Murray has said that it was never about the
team but about the land. The land that she did absolutely nothing with. She
also said that Islander fans should move on because we’re back at the Coliseum-
despite her efforts against such- and are successful so that’s enough.
Understand that up to this point in time in writing this, I had no idea who was the Town Clerk for the Town of Hempstead, or even who running against Murray. I had to look it up to finish writing this mess.
Here’s what I do know- I would vote for a tin can before I’d vote for that Moe from the Three Stooges haircut having slob. People say in politics that they want a uniter, not a divider. Well folks, Murray has united Islander fans. How do I know? Because as I drove home one day from work, I saw a Kate Murray campaign poster on my block. And someone spray painted an Islanders logo over her name.
We don’t forget our heroes- their names hang in our rafters. And we don’t forget our enemies- their names fall out of our mouths with disgust. Fuck you, Dale Hunter, Fuck you, Mark Messier. Fuck you, Kirk Muller. Fuck you, John Tavares.
In the most meaningless endorsement ever given, I am on record endorsing Sylvia Cabana. I mean, unless she’s a kid toucher or a crackhead, of course. I don’t know her, so I can’t vouch for that. She seems nice. But I know who she’s not, and I know she’s never spoken ill about the Islanders. And she even wants us to have NHL hockey games in our backyard.
According to Kate, #Isles fans have “moved on”. Let’s send her a message on November 5th to show we haven’t forgotten! Progress is on the ballot! Thanking you in advance for your contribution and support!https://t.co/iiVbfSf4KY— Sylvia A. Cabana (@SylviaCabana) February 22, 2019
So on November 5, Islanders fans, do not forget who the political equivalent of the Rangers are. The difference? If Kate heard the chicken dance, she’d eat it. Vote Cabana. And maybe find a town patronage job for fatso. I understand the weeds by the Coliseum need some grazing.
The NBA is
performing its annual world exhibition series. This series of games is part of
the goodwill of the best professional league in the world, but also reflects
the ever growing global popularity of the game of basketball. Basketball is
popular because it’s as cheap to play as soccer, and is an accessible game to
pretty much anyone. Fans in China especially love basketball and are very
supportive of the NBA.
literal shit hit the fan. Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey spoke in support of
the protests presently going on in Hong Kong. In case you weren’t sure what was
going on in Hong Kong, here is the short version:
Hong Kong has been a part of China after being a British colony. The residents
have historically had decades of autonomy from China, and built a thriving
economy. China has mostly left Hong Kong alone as it has been a cash cow, but
every now and then China pokes at Hong Kong just to remind them who is really
protests originate from a bill that was introduced that would allow Hong Kong
to deport suspected criminals to mainland China to face trial there. Many
people feel that such would guarantee extraditions initiated by China, more criminal
convictions and violate their rights, so the residents took to the streets to
protesting police corruption and brutality, and at least one protestor has been
killed by police during these protests. And the protestors also want the
promises of expanded democracy from a 2014 bill enforced. Lots of moving parts,
but basically, they want democracy.
Morey tweeted support for the residents of Hong Kong because generally, the
United States should be supporting democracies all over the world. It has been
a foreign policy of ours since World War Two, one of the main reasons that we spend
billions of dollars to support Israel today, and the impetus for at least four
military conflicts in the last 50 years or so.
A tweet is
so innocuous, right? WRONG. Morey was bombarded with HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of angry
tweets from China. League officials started to speak out of both ends of their
mouths. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he supports free speech for NBA
employees, and in the same breath said there are consequences for your free
speech. The message was received by the rank and file of the NBA.
coaches Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr danced around supporting Hong Kong
despite being vocal critics of the United States. Lebron James called Morey “uneducated,”
which is interesting. I’m sure there is no direct financial tie between Lebron
and China. Also Lebron managed to firmly plant his foot in his mouth in the
process. But more on this later.
Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai wrote a rambling letter attacking Morey’s knowledge
of China and explaining a history of foreign imperialism in China and why
Chinese are so sensitive to western commentary on Chinese life and culture.
Tsai is from Taiwan, a state that has been long backed by a Western nation that
has preserved their autonomy. Tsai came to America and got a degree from Yale,
and worked hard to earn a $700,000 annual salary from a Swedish investment firm
in Hong Kong before he took those earnings back to the mainland to start the
Chinese equivalent of Amazon, an American idea.
Even more interestingly,
all of the aforementioned actors are silent on the current Chinese persecution
of the Muslim Uighur population, who are pretty much presently sitting in camps
which the Chinese say serve the purpose of reeducation. Any person who has ever
read a history book knows what reeducation means. You would think a guy that
makes profits in China and became an internet billionaire like Tsai would want
all the people in China to be his customers and be free to shop on line, but he’s
predictably quiet on the subject.
I get the
feeling that Joe Tsai is an asshole, but it’s just a feeling. Based on
anecdotal data. I’m sure he gets birthday gifts for his kids or something, but
I don’t have a source on that.
So you may
be asking, why is the NBA so afraid of China? Why are the players shutting the
fuck up? Why are North American arenas taking away not only protest signs, but
also informational campaigns out of their arenas? And the answer is simple-
collective bargaining agreement (CBA) creates a split in league generated
revenue between players and owners at basically a 50-50 share. The players
share of revenue is generally expressed in the salary cap. If you’ve followed
the NBA, you’d know that revenues grow annually, meaning the cap grows annually,
so every year players get paid more and more.
example? When the New York Knicks gave undrafted bench energy player Ron Baker
a contract, it was for a two way roughly $540,000. That’s like sports minimum
wage. However, Baker had a management team that believed in handing out bad
contracts more than they believed in him. Baker as a rookie averaged 4 points,
2 rebounds and 2 assists a game for that season. Those stats made him a
gave Baker $9 million dollars over the next two years. I’m pretty sure I can
post those same stats for $530k over 50 games like Baker did, and would gladly
sign a 2 year deal for $9 million. And not even see the end of that contract,
as he was waved by both the Knicks the Washington Wizards last season.
Why the fuck
would you give Ron Baker a $10 million net value as a human being? Because the
NBA prints money.
cap for the upcoming season is $109 million, and is expected to more to $117
million for the 2020-2021 season. Why go through all of this?
China. If China decides “Nah, fuck you” to the NBA and stops showing games,
supporting teams, cutting off apparel sales, the conservative estimate is that
the NBA salary cap for 2020-2021 is going to be $99 million, and the doomsday
estimate is $94 million.
million to $94 million? That means a team loses $46 million in revenues. And
the players on that team combined lose $23 million. But that’s not just all.
There are 30
teams in the NBA. That’s $690 million of player salaries that will go away.
Raises that will be reduced. Unrestricted free agents what will see pay cuts
for becoming a better player. Veterans who will have prematurely ending
careers. Do you think that players want to see nearly $700 million go up in
smoke? And owners see almost $1.4 billion not hit their bank accounts? FUCK NO.
So you want
to know why Lebron is toeing a line? Or Popovich? Or Kerr? Or every player in
the league? Or arena security? Because everyone has jobs and money on the line.
The NBA players union assuredly wants the cap to escalate, not return to 2016-
which was $94 million.
As American citizens, we enjoy the ideas of democracy and freedom. We believe on some level that we should support sucj ideas if they are in our best interest. And people are looking at a guy like Lebron- a guy who has never had loyalty to anything in a career but Lebron and opportunity- who made some hypocritical statements and are calling him a dick. Lebron actually said that in this matter he does not want to be political. He doesn’t want to be political? He mocked the current president. He campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016. He’s gotten involved in public schooling in Ohio. He’s been vocal in the Black Lives Matter movement. He’s absolutely political.
He’s China’s bitch. So…maybe he has more in common with the president than he
I talk to
people. I have yet to meet one that has said “I agree with what Lebron did. He
has to cover his ass.” Pretty much everyone sees him as full of shit, which is
easy to realize if you every watched that self-absorbed shit ESPN “The Decision”
many people who are yelling that Lebron should have made a statement about the
Hong Kong situation. They say things like “You have to express what you feel
even if its in the face of losing money” or “If you believe in the cause, who
cares what your boss says, because freedom is important!” A lot of these people
are right leaning, which I find interesting.
they’re fucking hypocrites.
How did I
make that jump? Remember that Colin Kaepernick guy? The guy that expressed what
he believed in despite losing a lot of money? And they spoke out for freedom
and social issues despite his bosses asking him not to? Oh, they guy was
buried. “Shut the fuck up and play!” How DARE you take a knee during what
historically has been…a commercial break. When TV networks- like right leaning
Fox and left leaning CBS- have taken a knee for the anthem, too.
same douchebags? They were the ones saying about Kaepernick “If I did whatever
I wanted to at my job without a care about what my boss said? I’d be so fired!”
So, to be clear, you’d shut up and do as your told? Like Lebron is doing?
Yes, I know
you’re not worth half a billion dollars as Lebron is. But while there is some
courage in having “fuck you” money, most people like to get paid to do things.
Can Lebron never work again and be ok? Sure, absolutely. Can you and I? No. So
he should live by different rules than you do? Who else is subject to your
whims? So, here’s what I’d suggest.
Shut the fuck
up. It’s easy to have armchair courage. But fact is, people love to just
complain and never fix shit. And I’m not even talking about the racism angle
here, which absolutely has something to do with it. I don’t recall anyone
complaining when Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas refused to meet then
President Barack Obama. Seems people liked the freedom of expression back then
that they presently hate with the Golden State Warriors announcing that they’ll
do the same.
In short, is
the NBA scared about potentially losing billions of dollars? Absolutely. Is
Lebron James a douche? Absolutely. Is Joe Tsai a selfish fucked up
opportunistic individual? Absolutely. Would you rock a boat at work about your
feelings? Not a fucking chance. So when we complain about Kerr and Lebron, are
we hypocritical? Well…you are. I don’t have the suck up gene.
In short, people don’t just want nice things. They want to complain. They want to bury someone and will dance around their reality to do so, like those fucktards that are incels or the skags that are social justice warriors or the jerkoffs who gossip at the office. The NBA and China encouraged people to be douchebags about this specific topic, but if it wasn’t them there would be some other nonsense to blame. So feel however you want about Lebron or China or the NBA. Just don’t pretend that you’re better than any of them. And try to be as good as Daryl Morey.
New York, N.Y.- Monday night provided yet another platform
for the biggest stars of the NFL season to help determine the outcome of a game,
and I’m not referring to any players on the Packers or Lions. The officials
stole the show yet again, injecting themselves into a game that eventually saw
the Packers win the game on a Mason Crosby game-winning field goal as time
The referees were front and center yet again due to a couple
of brutal gaffs in the fourth quarter that helped keep the Packers hopes alive.
Lions defensive lineman Trey Flowers was flagged for two “hands to the face”
penalties in the fourth quarter that after a quick replay showed both plays
were legal and the flag should have stayed off the field. Troy Vincent, the
NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, admitted Tuesday that the
second penalty on Flowers should not have been called, a too little too late
consolation prize for Lions fans.
Penalty flags have been flying at an alarming rate this season.
As Paul Hembekides pointed out on twitter,
there has been an extreme spike in flags per game this season. From 2016-2018,
there were on average 15.8 penalties per game. In 2019, there have been 18.3, a
jump of 2.5 extra flags per game. In Sunday’s Jets-Cowboys game, there was a
penalty flag thrown on six consecutive plays. Six. Consecutive. Plays.
This is a trend the NFL can’t have. With the rules in place
to protect players and world-class athletes training all year, the game has
never seen a more talented group of players on the field. It should be these
players whose jerseys we wear and social media handles we follow that determine
the outcomes of games on the field.
Herein lies the true problem: a solution is easier said than
done. One common fix tossed around is the addition of a “sky judge” to each
game’s officiating crew, which would place an official in the booth to buzz
down to the on-field refs to help correct any egregious calls made in real time.
Two issues I see with this are: 1) We’ve seen with the new
pass interference challenge system that officials are rarely changing the call
on the field. If referees are still deferring to the call made on the field,
even if it’s obvious during the review that the wrong call was made, I don’t
have much confidence that having an official in the booth buzzing down to
correct any missed call would work all that differently 2) As the Washington
Post points out, the NFL is leery that they could even find 17 qualified
officials to fill these new jobs.
The only plausible solution I’ve come up with so far has
been to re-train officials and insert a mindset that the less flags thrown per
game the better. Part of the problem I believe is that it’s easier than ever to
know if the call is right or wrong because television broadcasts can provide
every angle of a questionable call. This has made trying to officiate a game
harder than ever, as us fans on the couch sometimes have better angles than the
referees do on the field.
I’d like to think I’m with the majority when I say I’d
rather see a probable penalty not called than a phantom flag thrown to give an
undeserving team a second chance. If refs are trained to stay out of the way
and only throws flags for obvious penalties, the game will profit in the long
The setback with any solution is that it can’t fix the
here-and-now problems of the 2019 season. Officiating is a fickle profession
that relies on humans to make snap judgments without the benefit of replay like
we have at home. The NFL knows this is a problem. It’s up to them to make sure the
biggest headlines after the game are about the players on the field.