Home / General / A good day for Zombie Sonics haters and Kevin Durant

A good day for Zombie Sonics haters and Kevin Durant

Comments
/
/
/
134 Views


As a Seattle native I’m honor-bound to root against Oklahoma City, so obviously I take no small pleasure in today’s news.

But beyond that, those criticizing Durant can go jump in a lake. Let’s recall that the terms of his initial contract–one that he had no choice but to sign, if he wanted to play basketball professionally, and one that was well under any plausible assessment of his market value–he was forced to either abandon his profession or relocate from a lovely city he by all accounts quite liked to Oklahoma. This forced relocation was the product of the machinations of a cabal of billionaires looking to punish taxpayers that dare not subsidize them to their satisfaction.

One would also hope this would finally end the practice of claiming with a straight face that the salary cap is about “competitive balance,” rather managing labor costs, but I’m not optimistic.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • efgoldman

    I didn’t really think he’d sign with the Celtics, but a fan can hope….

    ETA: I was just reading about a relief pitcher named Bill Campbell, who the Red Sox signed in the ’70s for $1 million….

    …over three years.

    • junker

      Same here.

    • rea

      An enormous contract, for the time.

      • efgoldman

        An enormous contract, for the time.

        Yeah, $333k/year. Less than the rawest rookie MLB minimum now.

        • Turangalila

          In fairness, that’s about $1.4 Million in 2016 dollars, before even accounting for baseball inflation.

          Still seems good value though – 5.3 WAR over 5 years for a reliever seems pretty strong…

          • efgoldman

            5.3 WAR over 5 years for a reliever seems pretty strong…

            Today he’d be a closer and pitch the 9th inning or not at all. He actually led the Sox in innings pitched and games one year.

          • Turangalila

            that should be $1.4M per year, to be clear…

    • Dennis Orphen

      That’s probably still more than Griffith was paying Carew, Hisle and Bostock……combined.

    • ThrottleJockey

      Anyone see JoeFromLowell post lately? I haven’t seen him around in a while.

      • Dennis Orphen

        No, and you are not the first commenter to ask about him. The Travis McGee in me thinks that here would be a good place to start looking around and maybe asking a few seemingly innocuous questions.

      • witlesschum

        Joe reportedly chose to take time off from LGM until the primaries were over.

    • CJColucci

      I remember him having a funky-looking delivery, almost stabbing his pitching arm straight down.

  • junker

    Stephen A Smith says something stupid. In other news, water is wet.

    • efgoldman

      Stephen A Smith says something stupid.

      That’s what your “mute” button is for.

      • ThrottleJockey

        His speech is a little over the top, but I think most people don’t like him ‘cuz they think he’s uppity. God forbid a black man should have a strong opinion.

        • MikeJake

          Now I know you’re trolling.

        • Captain Oblivious

          God forbid that opinion should be based on fact and reason.

          Being black doesn’t excuse stupid and wrong (and in Smith’s case, raving misogynist and domestic-abuse apologizer as well).

          • ThrottleJockey

            As you know all black men are like that.

            • Brien Jackson

              I mean, I’d point out a bunch of black sports journalists who are fantastic, smart, insightful, and criminally underpaid compared to Stephen A. Smith….but what’s the point, ya know?

            • Grumpy

              The fuck are you on about?

            • cpinva

              “As you know all black men are like that.”

              as near as I can tell, you’re the only one to make that claim on this here site. as for the rest of us, black men, like men of any other race/creed/religion/origin come in all shapes, sizes and order of magnitude asshole. funny thing about being an asshole, it transcends pretty much everything else.

            • gogiggs

              Obvious troll is obvious.

        • Darkrose

          No, I don’t like him because he’s a misogynist asshole who opens his mouth and stupid shit comes out.

        • witlesschum

          He’s certainly no worse than Skip Bayliss. To the extent he gets more hate than Bayliss, I’d buy racism as a cause. But Bayliss is an annoying garbage fire.

          Smith is one of those people who creeps my out for no good reason. Like you expect him to be standing RIGHT BEHIND YOU.

        • brad

          Here’s that hypocritical double standard in play. Jews, and the rest of us, are leaping to unwarranted assumptions when faced with a 6 pointed star on a pile of money, but when someone says a black man sports talker is kind of an asshole, must be racism. Especially if there’s any mention of the ample history of flat out misogyny on his part.

          Do you give a shit about reality?

        • mikeSchilling

          Which is why all the people that hate Smith love Skip Bayliss.

  • advocatethis

    As a Warriors’ fan, I have mixed feelings about this. I’m not sure how Durant will fit in with Curry and Thompson, but he’s an immeasurable improvement over Harrison Barnes.

    • ThrottleJockey

      He’s a team player. He doesn’t mind sharing the ball. And he clearly wants a championship. I think you’ll be pleased.

      • Captain Oblivious

        I’m not sure Durant is the one that needs to fit in.

        The Warriors have been the Steph & Klay Shoot Threes Show. That’s their game plan. Durant standing around watching balls arc over his head doesn’t strike me as an upgrade over Barnes, who has proven very good at that sort of thing.

        • Colin Day

          Perhaps Durant will at least distract some defense away from Curry. Maybe Durant will even get passes.

        • apocalipstick

          Curry does not seem averse to passing the ball.

          • Captain Oblivious

            Yeah, to another perimeter shooter, but not because Curry doesn’t want to pass, but because that’s the way Kerr has the system set up. Move the ball around the arc, run a lot of pick-and-rolls and switches on the outsider defenders, and if that doesn’t get someone open, have Curry drive into the paint.

            I’m not saying they can’t make use of Durant’s talents, just that the current system won’t. Kerr’s gotta come up with a new plan and sell it to his other stars.

            • ThrottleJockey

              Since the Cavs figured out how to break his mouse trap, Kerr probably needs to figure out a better one anyway.

              • Turangalila

                Did the Cavs “solve” them though? Seems to me the Finals were as much a triumph of the “Healthiest team wins” theory as anything else…

                • apocalipstick

                  It seemed to me that the Cavs solution was “punch anyone with the ball in the mouth and see if the refs call anything.”

                • jamesepowell

                  Yes. Cavs figured that they had to press Curry – who cannot defend without grabbing – then look at who was providing Curry w/help. The pass went to that defender’s man. This was especially true in Game 6 when Green was so concerned with LBJ on Curry that he let Tristan Thompson go 6 for 6 in the paint, essentially unopposed.

                • gogiggs

                  Oh, spare me, Apocalipstick.

                  Harrison Barnes put his elbow through Kevin Love’s skull hard enough that it took Love a week+ to recover and not only was Barnes not called for a foul, Draymond Green got a foul call, giving him a 3-point play as he dunked over Love’s concussed body.

                  Andrew Bogut has spent his entire career fouling everyone within reach, all the time, on every play, on the (mostly correct) assumption that nobody is looking at him.

                  Draymond Green just straight-up kicks dudes in the balls on the regular.

                  Warriors fan has NO room to bitch.

                  Just STFU and be happy you have the 2nd and 3rd best players in the world.

            • cpinva

              “I’m not saying they can’t make use of Durant’s talents, just that the current system won’t.”

              perhaps, the current system is set up the way it is, because up until now, they’ve lacked someone of Mr. Durant’s talents? of course, this is a black mark against the GM & coach, for failing to get that talent before. maybe, they finally figured that out, and Mr. Durant is just the beginning of giving Mr. Curry & Co. some much needed help.

              in any event, I hope he gets the hugest, most guaranteed contract he can squeeze from them.

            • Darkrose

              Curry, Thompson and Green all went to New York to help sell the Warriors to Durant. I really don’t think there’s going to be a problem.

              And Durant >>>> Barnes. I’m psyched.

    • patrick II

      Mixed feelings? Really? Any team in the NBA would love to have Durant. As a Warrior’s fan you should be thanking god for this. My own feeling is than Durant likes to play basketball the right way and admired the Warriors team play. And he wants a championship. He had to be tired of Westbrook doing absurd 1 on 1 things near the end of games. I know Durant took some bad shots himself, but if he passed the ball he would never get it back.

    • slothrop1

      I don’t understand, either – he’s a volume shooter. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Kevin love is a better defender.KD is a 38% three point shooter. Green seems the odd man out. And why would you want to mess with the chemistry between the two guards?

      • Craigo

        he’s a volume shooter.

        Possibly the worst description of KD’s game that I’ve heard today. But hey, it’s early on the West Coast.

        • slothrop1

          He needs around 17 shots per game. He basically shoots just as much as Carmelo Anthony.

          • kped

            A volume scorer is a person who needs to shoot a tonne of shots to get points. Durant has a TS% of .634, 2nd in the league. He is not a volume scorer. He is an efficient scorer. There is a vast difference. Demar Derozan is a volume scorer. Jamal Crawford is a volume scorer. Kobe Bryant was a volume scorer.

            Mind you, you can be a very good player as a volume scorer, see…Kobe Bryant! But that is most definitely not what Kevin Durant is.

            • slothrop1

              Over the past six seasons or so, Kevin love has been just as efficient a scorer.

              • Craigo

                Over the past five seasons, Durant has never gone below .600 TS.

                Love has never been above .600.

                No one has ever mistaken you for smart, but this is stupid even by your standards.

                Edit: Over the past six seasons Love has averaged .554, and Durant has averaged .624. Just as efficient!

              • efgoldman

                We can see you know as much about basketball as you do about politics.

          • junker

            You don’t need advanced stats to see how silly the comparison with Anthony is… Durant scored 28 ppg on 19 shots, while Anthony scored about 22 on 18 – and Durant played in the harder conference.

            • slothrop1

              Actually, Anthony has had comparable years.

              • kped

                Carmelo Anthony has a career .545 True Shooting Percentage. He has never shot .565. He is nowhere near the efficient scorer that Durant is.

              • junker

                You are moving the goalposts so much that I momentarily thought you switched to football… Your original contention was not that “Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are roughly the same level as basketball players,” or even “Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony have had comparable years.” Your contention was that Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are both volume shooters who only score a lot of points because they shoot a lot.

                Even in the year which you are pointing to here this is not true – Anthony scored 27.4 points on 21.3 FGA/game. Durant scored 32 on 20.8 shots – scoring about 5.5 ppg on about .5 fewer shots. This is on top of the TS% Kped and Craigo have been citing.

          • Craigo

            Carmelo Anthony TS: .545
            Kevin Durant TS: .605

            That’s a difference of about 200 spots on the all time list. They’re basically the same person!

            • kped

              And in 4 less seasons, KD’s Value over replacement Player (VORP) is 41.7, while Anthony’s is 28.6.

              I think it’s clear slot doesn’t really know anything about basketball.

              (mind you, Carmelo is a great scorer in his own right, but he is just nowhere near as efficient as Durant, and would really be better as a 2nd option to a better player)

              • Craigo

                Right. The tragedy of Melo is that the diversified his game right about the time he dove headfirst into Dolan’s trash fire.

                He used to be not much more than a volume scorer – and he still is one, but it’s a ludicrously incomplete description of his game, let alone KD’s.

                • kped

                  Carmelo can score from almost anywhere. He is so smooth, almost looks effortless. He could do so well on another team. Hell, I’d love them to trade Carmelo for Love, let him play small ball PF or switch endlessly with Lebron between SF and PF. He would be so good in that role.

                • Craigo

                  As some who’s criticized Melo a lot over the years, I’d love him to see on a strong roster for his golden years, where he can just be himself and not have to worry about carrying a team. His minutes have to start falling soon anyway, so why not take a step back and be the off-the-bench dagger for a title contender?

      • kped

        Kevin Love is a better defender? KD is a volume shooter? Do you know what that even means? It’s guys like Derozan, who need 25 shots to get 20 points. Durant has a .634 True Shooting Percentage, 2nd in the entire league, behind Steph Curry. After them are a bunch of centers who just dunk everything. That’s how efficient he is. He has a better true shooting % than Deandre Jordan, who only dunks the ball.

        I mean..unless you are confusing Love’s rebounding with “defense” or pretending his last 15 seconds guarding Curry was indicative of his entire season. But no…just no. Love is not good at Defense at all.

        You actually know less about basketball then you do about politics…amazing.

        • slothrop1
          • junker

            Did you actually read what the page says?

            According to that page, during the playoffs opponents made 43.7% of their shots against Love, compared to 45.6% against not-Love – a touch better than average. For Durant, that number is 38.3% against Durant vs. 46% against not-Durant. This suggests that Durant did better than Love on defense. Over 100 FG attempts opponents scored 5 more on Love than Durant.

            The reason Love appears above Durant on that list is because it is sorted by number of opponent field goals attempted – 13/game for Love and about 12 for Durant. So, according to this page opponents went at Love a bit more and he defended substantially less well.

            • Scott Lemieux

              And even leaving that aside, providing stats from one playoff as evidence is hilarious. I can’t wait for Sltohrop’s argument that Billy Hatcher is a Hall of Famer.

              • mikeSchilling

                I thought the canonical example of that was Jack Morris. Or is that one not even based on stats?

            • kped

              Oh my god…I didn’t even look at the link. It clearly shows Durant’s opponent scoring 7.7% less against him then against other defenders, much better than Love….and he thought that was an argument for Love!

              Anyway, defense is a lot harder to suss out in stats. This stat is pretty good actually, but defense is definitely an eye test. Durant’s long arms and heady play allow him to play good on ball and off ball D. Love is…slow and nonathletic. Teams specifically put him in pick and rolls to attack him, knowing they can score on him easier then anyone else on the court.

              He is only better than Durant at rebounding (not shown anymore since the Cavs play him out on the 3pt line, but he was a great offensive rebounder, a real nose for the ball).

              edit: Even better, you can go to regular season stats on that page. The guy Kevin Love guards averages 2.6% better shooting when Love guards them. Durant…-6.3%

              Haha, why post this link??????

              • Scott Lemieux

                Well, you’re dealing with someone who thinks that the Monkees and Prince are comparable.

                • mikeSchilling

                  The Monkees turned songs written by three different people into number one singles. Prince could only do that for one writer.

            • slothrop1

              Love rates consistently higher as a defender.

              • Scott Lemieux

                “This verdict is written on a cocktail napkin. And it still says “guilty.” And “guilty” is spelled wrong!”

                • kped

                  Haha, i love that reference! It fits so well here.

              • kped

                nothing on that new link even compares overall defense, what are you reading? Can you figure out what the charts you are linking mean, because you are kind of embarrassing yourself.

                Switching this to regular season for a real sample size, guys shooting at the rim guarded by Love shoot 54.7%. When going against Durant, they shoot 50.7%. That’s 4% worse.

                Please put the laptop down, just walk away.

              • junker

                I agree, Love is a better defensive rebounder than Durant. I have a feeling that wasn’t what you think it says though.

  • Warren Terra

    “taxpayers that dare not subsidize them to their satisfaction” s/b “taxpayers that dare to not subsidize them to their satisfaction”

  • Dr. Waffle

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that superteams are totally fine when created via trades and/or drafting (i.e. by management). If players take the initiative, though, it’s because they’re losers and cowards (or something). Makes total sense.

    • Charrua

      I don’t see what’s so hard to understand. Fans care deeply about the players on their team (that’s why they’re fans) and believe that the players feel some kind of loyalty/affection towards the team/city (a belief that players make little effort to change).
      Most fans would understand if a superstar player stuck in a poor or mediocre team would bolt for the chance to play on a championship contender. Leaving a championship contender (which OKC certainly was) for an even stronger championship contender, not so much.

      • Peterr

        From somewhere up above:

        Let’s recall that the terms of his initial contract–one that he had no choice but to sign, if he wanted to play basketball professionally, and one that was well under any plausible assessment of his market value–he was forced to either abandon his profession or relocate from a lovely city he by all accounts quite liked to Oklahoma. This forced relocation was the product of the machinations of a cabal of billionaires looking to punish taxpayers that dare not subsidize them to their satisfaction.

        Leaving a sociopathic owner (see the story linked to above), however, is something lots of fans would understand. Indeed, a fair number would probably like to emulate Durant, thinking “I wish I could tell my boss to shove it like that.”

        • Captain Oblivious

          There’s also the lifestyle and weather factors. OKC can’t compete with the SF Bay Area in any department, except maybe good steakhouses.

          • ColBatGuano

            Is there a contract large enough to attract a top FA to OKC?

            • efgoldman

              Is there a contract large enough to attract a top FA to OKC?

              Probably not. The max is the max. Also there’s nobody left this year that could make up for losing Durant. Maybe next year – I have no idea who’s up or has an out clause.

            • Michael Cain

              Not if he wants to win a championship, unless he is in a class with Lebron returning to Cleveland for NBA story lines. The unwritten NBA playoff officiating standards will see to that. Living in the Denver metro area, we will never have an NBA title unless there’s some insanely compelling story line. Eg, George Karl cancer survivor plus Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups coming home to Denver was enough to get the calls up through the conference semi-finals. Then it was on to the better story of Bryant, Gasol, and Phil Jackson’s record-breaking ring.

              • efgoldman

                Then it was on to the better story of Bryant, Gasol, and Phil Jackson’s record-breaking ring.

                Or maybe the Lakers were just better.

                • kped

                  Nah…couldn’t have been that…

                  Also, let’s not pretend that Golden State was this destination, or a city the NBA tried to help. They were a team that was the definition of either bad or treadmill for ages.

                  Hell, they drafted Chris Webber first overall, and through the magic of the old CBA, he left as a free agent after 1 season. Imagine that! A first pick overall leaving as a free agent after one season. NBA wasn’t helping them keep Webber.

                • Cheap Wino

                  This. I’m a huge Denver fan and hear all sorts of takes on that WCF team but the one thing my fellow Nugget supporters (<- insert joke here) can't seem to come to grips with is that the Lakers were a much better team and deserved to win on the merits.

          • Mark Centz

            As a 43-year Sonics fan who has gone cold turkey on all things NBA, I’m looking forward to OKC fans enjoying the kind of teams I sat through so we could sit in the proper draft spot for them to be able to enjoy watch him play. Give this to their ownership, they didn’t try to keep Wally Walker around to run things.

        • cpinva

          up until the past couple of years, DC pro football team fans held no animus for good players wanting out. getting a big, fat, mostly guaranteed contract is great, until the first time you step on the field, and realize a football dufus is guiding the reigns.

      • ThrottleJockey

        I’m not so sure–and apparently neither is one insider with good reason to know–that OKC was a Championship contender.

        • howard

          i wasn’t really going to comment here, but huh?

          i mean, who knows about next season, but in the postseason, okc wsa every bit as good as golden state or cleveland, and indeed, if they had hung on against golden state, i believe they would have beaten cleveland.

          so as of the most recent basketball we’ve got, damn straight they (were) a championship contender.

          • ThrottleJockey

            Apparently Durant saw things differently.

            • howard

              Look, golden state w/Durant has a better chance than okc w/Durant, plus maybe he wanted to live in the bay area, but okc just showed us on the court that they were a championship contender.

              • ColBatGuano

                And maybe Durant saw some endorsement opportunities that just weren’t going to be available in the backwater of OKC. The idea that FA’s go only where they think they have the best chance to win a championship is ludicrous.

                • The Temporary Name

                  I believe “plus maybe he wanted to live in the bay area” covers that.

                • EliHawk

                  I feel like the kind of endorsement opportunities available to an NBA superstar (as opposed to, say, a baseball one) aren’t really dependent on where they play. Playing in Cleveland and OKC didn’t really harm Lebron or Durant’s endorsement deals, and all their biggest games are on national TV. The supposed siren song of big markets for endorsements hasn’t attracted big free agents to LA, New York, or Chicago for a while. The prospect of being on a super team, whether in SF or Miami or Cleveland, has been much more attractive for a star’s Q rating. It probably matters for the guy endorsing the local car dealership or whatever, but not the guy in the Coke ads.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  I think its ludicrous in many free agent cases, not in Durant’s. I’ve been following him since his college days. The man wants a ring.

                • Brien Jackson

                  I’m kinda with ThrottleJockey here; OKC is a “contender” in a technical sense, but they’re kind of a fringey one, and I’m not sure their roster is going to leave them with room for a ton of improvement in the near future, while they’re still behind GS, Cleveland, and San Antonio.

                • howard

                  brien, the question is whether okc was a contender with durant: of course they aren’t close to a contender without him.

                • Brien Jackson

                  To be clear, I was talking about them *with* Durant as well.

        • Turangalila

          …Insider with good reason to know…

          Is this Durant?

      • djw

        Fans care deeply about the players on their team (that’s why they’re fans) and believe that the players feel some kind of loyalty/affection towards the team/city (a belief that players make little effort to change).

        I’ll cut any actually existng Thunder fans some slack here. As with the outpouring of vitriol against Lebron James when he went to Miami, the vast majority of critics weren’t fans of the teams that lost out.

        • Captain Oblivious

          Fans can be stupid as hell.

          An argument can be made that Cleveland would still be hunting for a championship trophy if James hadn’t said, fuck this, I’m going to Miami, call me when you’re ready to put a real team together.

          • Scott Lemieux

            To be Scrupulously Fair to Stephen A. Smith, this video where Chris Broussard tries to claim that James’s supporting cast with the Cavs was comparable to what Durant had in OKC is pretty entertaining. (I’ve always assumed that ESPN kept Bayless and Broussard around so that Stephen A. would look like a nuclear scientist by comparison.)

            • cpinva

              “(I’ve always assumed that ESPN kept Bayless and Broussard around so that Stephen A. would look like a nuclear scientist by comparison.)”

              that, Prof. Lemieux, is a pretty damn low bar.

              • skate

                Well, it is ESPN.

                • mikeSchilling

                  Who is so well staffed in the dufus department they could afford to lost Bill Simmons.

                • EliHawk

                  Simmons can be hit or miss. But comparing him to the professional flaming piles of garbage at First Take is bullshit. His work putting together Grantland and 30 for 30 show someone who can recognize talent better than he is and empower and elevate it, which is a rare and praiseworthy quality in a sportswriter.

        • howard

          shows the power of entrenched habits of thought. when i was a mere lad back in the pleistocene era, it seemed like a norm that stars stayed home their entire career, but those days are over, over a long time ago (certain notable exceptions – bernie-derek-mariano-jorge, kobe, dirk, brady and a few more – notwithstanding), yet the model guiding a lot of fans continues to be “stars owe it to us to stay home.”

          • Scott Lemieux

            At least in MLB, stars playing their whole careers with one team was always rare.

            • howard

              you know, i allowed myself to get caught up with the rarity of the full career and didn’t really make the point i should have been making.

              yes, older guys ended up playing out the string – hell, right, for every gehrig and dimaggio that we learned had stayed all the way with the yanks we also knew that ruth hadn’t – elsewhere, but the expectation back in that benighted era was the stars stayed home during their prime years as stars.

              and during the era of the reserve clause and its functional equivalents elsewhere in football or basketball, more or less any star who did leave during his stardom was doing so at the team’s choice.

              so it’s not merely that those days are over, it’s also that fans have had a long time to adjust to the concept of the autonomous player making the choice in his own best interests as he determines them and yet still have difficulty accepting it (and not merely aging baby boomers, either!).

              • Mark Centz

                Yes, Boston fans knew very well Ruth didn’t finish his career with them, they also missed some of his prime. Not all of them though.

                Writing this as an M’s fan who is missing his Ichiro! fix.

              • efgoldman

                it’s also that fans have had a long time to adjust to the concept of the autonomous player making the choice in his own best interests as he determines them

                Or as Seinfeld correctly called it: “rooting for laundry.”
                Which we all do, even if we know better.

                • mikeSchilling

                  “rooting for laundry.”

                  They call Alabama the crimson Tide.

        • addicted44

          The percentage of Ohio fans that hated Lebron (outside of Akron) was ridiculously high.

          The only reason they weren’t the majority of people who criticized him was because Ohioans aren’t the majority of Americans, and almost every American who cared about sports had an opinion on Lebron.

          • Frequently Confused

            I never did understand why everyone hated LeBron for announcing his decision where to play on ESPN. He was the only party that didn’t gain from that event. ESPN sold ad time at near super bowl rates and (was it Jim Gray?) anyway the guy who came up with the idea and hosted it made money. The only person who didn’t profit personally from “the Decision” was LeBron. He donated his share of the money to charity, and he was the BAD guy. Go figure.

            ESPN not only made a ton of money off of the broadcast, they then turned around and milked the criticism of it for all it was worth as though they weren’t the chief beneficiary of it.

            P.S. Apologizing in advance for any spelling or grammatical errors in the above, I’ve had way too many beers tonight for proper proofreading.

            • witlesschum

              I don’t know about everybody, but I always held ESPN as the guilty party there. Just the most obvious example of them being happy to make the news and not report the news.

            • mikeSchilling

              I was convinced he was going to stay, because he had to know how upset Clevelanders would be if he left, and holding an event where he could keep them in suspense for a half-hour or so and then break their hearts was unnecessary cruelty.

            • drkrick

              Never made any sense to me either. I WISH the worst thing I ever did raised seven figures for the Boys and Girls Clubs.

        • kped

          I also don’t think players should care about fans opinions. the moment you get an injury and lose a step, fans want you to retire so your not clogging up the salary cap, and they’ll boo you the second you start losing your skills. They only care for a player so long as that player can help them win, which is fine, it’s their right. But then they act entitled to a player just because he was drafted there. And then they want “hometown” discounts, as if players owe the team anything. It’s all very selfish.

          • Breadbaker

            One thing is for damn sure, Kevin Durant was not “drafted there.” He was Rookie of the Year for the Seattle Supersonics.

  • randy khan

    If there’d ever been any question that salary caps are entirely about managing labor costs (which there really shouldn’t have been), the feeding frenzy in the NBA right now, with every team having a lot of money to spend and pretty much spending all of it, removes that tiny shred of doubt.

    • Dilan Esper

      Actually they are about both.

      The San Antonio Spurs could not succeed in a non-salary capped league.

      The cap is collectively bargained. If the union thinks it cuts salaries too much it can strike,

      • mpowell

        Yeah, I don’t get this. The players union and owners agreed on a revenue split but the cap is also about balance. The max contracts actually undermine that balance tremendously though and that’s how Durant can play for GS. But the max contracts also improve player equality and hear people on the left complain about them all the time. I just reach the conclusion that most people don’t understand what they’re talking about most of the time.

        • djw

          So the cap is “also about balance” and you can tell because the specific rules of the cap undermine balance?

      • ThrottleJockey

        The players get roughly half of league revenue. That’s a pretty good deal.

        • catclub

          Except compared with getting what, 56-58% of league revenue in the previous contract?

          The present contract is about 50% so a ten percent reduction in fraction of league revenue.

        • witlesschum

          They do roughly all the league’s entertaining, so it’s not that good a deal.

        • brad

          And you base this on what? Ignorance of the mentioned clawback of a significant portion of the revenue by owners? Your own feeling that since it’s more than you make therefore they should shut up? What do the owners do to merit ever more of the revenue, which is the point of the cap?
          Do you realize the highest single season NBA salary ever paid was now almost 20 years ago?

          The Royals are the defending WS champs, the idea that a cap is necessary for competitive balance is just lazy and ignorant.

      • randy khan

        Speaking as a long-time Knicks fan (and, hey, at least I have 1970 and 1973), and as a very long time baseball fan, the notion that the gross amount of money available to a team is determinative of success does not seem, shall we say, to be proven.

        If I wanted to be precise, I’d say that revenue splits are about managing the total amount of money that is spent on salaries, and salary caps are merely an allocation intended to make sure the money gets spent. (IIRC, the CBAs with caps and revenue splits typically have minimum spending requirements, too.) Of course, as noted above, there also are exceptions to the caps and other details that pretty much entirely work against the idea that they are intended to ensure competitive balance, with the max salary being one example.

        And, besides, the Spurs are in San Antonio, which last time I checked (a minute ago) was the 7th-largest city in the U.S., so not exactly in the middle of a wasteland.

        • djw

          The Knicks are a great example of how caps can really damage competitive balance. Make a couple of very expensive mistakes and you’re doomed for a decade. Without a cap, you write off the sunk costs and try to find some players who can help you win.

          • Dilan Esper

            Only in a big market can you do that. If the Milwaukee Bucks made such a mistake in an uncapped world, it would still kill them for years.

            • Brien Jackson

              I’m drawing a big blank on examples of this in baseball, fwiw.

              • Dilan Esper

                Well, usually small market teams don’t sign gigantic contracts to begin with. They just lose their players to the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Angels, etc. That’s how they avoid this. Meanwhile the Yankees cam afford to make mistakes.

                In an uncapped NBA, the Spurs could have never kept Tim Duncan.

                • Brien Jackson

                  Your point does make a lot more sense if we assume sports economics haven’t changed since 2007, I’ll give you that. All the same, this is an embarrassingly ignorant thing to say.

                • Dilan Esper

                  Brien, I’m really sick of commenters here feeling smug and superior without actually explaining their arguments. How about actually explaining your point and showing why I am supposedly wrong?

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Well, usually small market teams don’t sign gigantic contracts to begin with. They just lose their players to the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Angels, etc.

                  As Brien says, you’re years behind the times here. Small market teams might not sign big-money free agents bit they generally keep their stars now. The fact that the Royals have been in the World Series twice in a row — and retained Alex Gordon in the offseason — also seems relevant.

                • Brien Jackson

                  With all due respect dude, people pay me to write about sports, particularly baseball, and you’re commenting as though the Ryan Braun/Joey Votto/Giancarlo Stanton/Etc. contracts literally don’t exist while calling other people’s arguments ignorant. I’m pretty sure I’m not the smug one.

                • advocatethis

                  With respect to you getting paid to write about sports, I’m not sure a comment thread in which Steven Smith has already been called out is the place to bring up that appeal to authority.

                • Dilan Esper

                  Brien;

                  Those contracts did happen. And yet, still, a lot of players end up going to bigger market teams. Including in the last 10 years.

                  And if a small market team makes a mistake? How will it be any different than what djw said about the Knicks?

                • Brien Jackson

                  Ok, who?

                • cpinva

                  “And if a small market team makes a mistake? How will it be any different than what djw said about the Knicks?”

                  Dilan, the point Brian (among others) has been trying to make to you is that, in both football & basketball, each team has X amount of dollars, to spend on player salaries, every season. it’s commonly known as a “Salary Cap”. since every NFL & NBA team shares equally in the tv contract revenue, even the small market teams have the maximum salary cap money available to them, every season, so the San Antonio’s & Green Bays are on equal salary money footing with the Knicks & the Giants.

                  now, i’ll grant you, small market teams can and do make major contract mistakes, as do major market teams, such as with a huge (think $40 million) guaranteed part of a contract, which contract doesn’t work out. in the NFL, that guaranteed portion is amortized over the life of the contract, unless they can convince another team to take the player and the balance of the contract. this would be true in a small or large market, both teams would be stuck writing it off ratably, and against the salary cap for the years remaining. but, each team would have the exact same amount of cash to start the next season with, so I am at a loss to figure out how a small market is at a structural disadvantage, unless they just have a dumber management team than their large market peers do?

                • efgoldman

                  each team has X amount of dollars, to spend on player salaries, every season. it’s commonly known as a “Salary Cap”. since every NFL & NBA team shares equally in the tv contract revenue, even the small market teams have the maximum salary cap money available to them

                  Well, yes, but the NFL cap allows a lot more “adjustment” (finagling) than the NBA and especially the NHL. The finagle is helped along because only the NFL has non-guaranteed contracts (with certain exceptions in the other leagues, like the NBA 10-day contract.)

                • Craigo

                  Well, yes, but the NFL cap allows a lot more “adjustment” (finagling) than the NBA and especially the NHL. The finagle is helped along because only the NFL has non-guaranteed contracts (with certain exceptions in the other leagues, like the NBA 10-day contract.)

                  On the other side, the NFL is a hard cap, while the NBA has at least half a dozen major exceptions, plus the luxury tax.

                • brad

                  What contracts “did happen”? Greinke leaving the Dodgers for Arizona? Cano leaving the Yankees for Seattle?
                  Pujols? A contract no other team would have offered, no matter the size of the market?
                  You think the Pirates actually would have wanted to sign ARod away from the Yankees?
                  You’re positing a cartoon version of the 80s as if it’s modern reality. Pretty much every team but the Angels have learned about “winner’s curse” when it comes to FA megadeals, and the Pujols and Hamilton deals seem to be pounding that lesson into Moreno’s head.

            • apocalipstick

              Since revenue sharing has become de riguer in the three major leagues, this is much less of an issue.

            • pianomover

              Curious that Golden State is not considered a small market team but the Oakland A’s are.

              • Craigo

                That’s a fair point.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Actually, the point makes no sense. The most obvious difference is that the A’s split the market (with another team actually in San Fransisco) and the Warriors do not. That’s a rather massive difference. They also have one of the worst stadiums in MLB and a frugal ownership.

                • Craigo

                  You know…okay, yeah. I completely forgot about the Giants. Like, totally. Withdrawn.

                • Frequently Confused

                  @efgoldman Some people may have considered the 70’s A’s to be the runty little brothers of the Giants but I’ve been assured by both of my older brothers ( I was about 4 when we moved from the Bay Area) that in the Bay Area in the early ’70’s they were not thought of that way. I must accept their opinion on this subject though since Chris Spier ( the Shortstop for the Giants in ’73 IIRC ) was my favorite player as a child.

                • mikeSchilling

                  I completely forgot about the Giants.

                  That’s it. Now you are dead to me.

              • jamesepowell

                Who considers the A’s to be small market? Is there some panel of experts that makes this determination? Or is it an allowance made for the fact that they play in a bad stadium revenue-wise?

                • efgoldman

                  Who considers the A’s to be small market?

                  The Warriors are the only NBA team in the Bay Area metro. The A’s, as you point out, play in a tenement house, and even in their great years of the ’70s, I believe they were always considered the runty little brother to the Giants.

                • Craigo

                  Back when Moneyball was a term that people used non-ironically, the As were routinely referred to as small-market.

                • Darkrose

                  It’s not just that they play in a bad stadium, it’s that the team across the Bay is the 800-pound-gorilla of baseball in the area. Just ask any A’s fan–and then brace yourself for the hour-long rant on why the Giants suck.

                • apocalipstick

                  A few years ago someone on the radio (I don’t remember whom, so this is totally apocryphal) referred to Philadelphia (MLB) as a small-market team. Since then I’ve always thought the tag was a bit specious.

              • Captain Oblivious

                “Market” in the major pro sports is determined almost entirely these days by TV dollars and ratings, not area population or even attendance.

                When the NHL bitches about Tampa being a “small market” team, despite the Lightning have one of the best attendance numbers in the league, it’s because almost nobody watches them on the local television broadcasts.

                It’s all about the TV money.

                • cpinva

                  this.

                • efgoldman

                  it’s because almost nobody watches them on the local television broadcasts.

                  Yes, it’s a double whammy. The big market teams own their own cable networks and distribution rights, which is hugely lucrative, while the small market teams can’t spend the money to establish a network that nobody will watch anyway.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  It’s all about the TV money.

                  Well, TV ratings are actually pretty indicative of fan interest, which is what actually matters. In NHL terms, Vancouver (2.5 million metro) is a bigger market than L.A. and Calgary (1.4 million metro) is a bigger market than Dallas.

                • Pseudonym

                  How and when is online streaming going to change this?

                • Breadbaker

                  The actual team that gives the lie to “small market” is the St. Louis Cardinals, who have one of the smallest markets in the major leagues by any standard (particularly before the Rams left). Yet they don’t act like a small market team. Instead, they exploit every advantage they have (including the loyalty their KMOX broadcast signal gave them over a huge swath of the country that didn’t get any other major league baseball) and are well-managed. Conversely, the Blue Jays had probably the largest market in baseball (all of English Canada) and until last year hadn’t been in the playoffs since 1992, including years when the Canadian dollar was above par.

                • mikeSchilling

                  I’ve been to hundreds of A’s games and and like it much better than the theme park Giants park.

                  The Coliseum is much cheaper and good seats are always available (except when the Giants visit and it’s sold out). And the Coliseum is right off BART, where AT&T has that awful walk along the Bay in between. And while AT&T has those horrible views of the water and the East Bay, the Coliseum has gorgeous views of the tarps that cover the outfield stands so the place doesn’t look so empty.

                • Pseudonym

                  On the other hand Also, Telco Park is right next to Caltrain, which lets you drink beer while you ride.

              • Pseudonym

                The market area for the Warriors is the SF Bay Area; the market area for the A’s is the East Bay.

                • Craigo

                  Are they two different DMAs?

                • Pseudonym

                  No, I just mean that most people in SF and Silicon Valley—the people buying tickets to Warriors games—are Giants rather than A’s fans.

                • Craigo

                  Gotcha.

                • pianomover

                  The same local csnba broadcast the A’s and warriors games so that arguments a wash.
                  The A’s consistently outdrew the Giants during the LaRussa years.
                  Over 2million during the moneyball years.
                  The A’s ownership has been crying about being in a small market for years Lew Wolfe is a cancer whose only vision is to build a stadium surrounded by condos and shopping in the Fremont flats.
                  I’ve been to hundreds of A’s games and and like it much better than the theme park Giants park.

                • The A’s are not on CSN Bay Area. They are on CSN California, which is treated much worse than CSNBA. CSNBA is partially owned by the Giants; the A’s are subject to whatever Comcast feels like doing, like moving their games to “CSN+”, which isn’t available in the whole Bay Area.

        • Dilan Esper

          Your last point is totally ignorant. It’s the size of the market, not the population of the city. (San Antonio has far out borders and few separately incorporated suburbs. But many markets with smaller anchor cities are far bigger.)

          As for the rest, the fact that a team can overspend and NOT win is not proof that money has nothing to do with success.

          • efgoldman

            the fact that a team can overspend and NOT win is not proof that money has nothing to do with success.

            Yup, as alluded to in the ownership sub thread above. As long as Dolan owns the team, he can bring in Zombie James Naismith, Zombie Red Auerbach, and pat Riley to run it, won’t matter.

            Different time, obviously, but the Aurbach/Russell/Cousy Celtics were always run on a shoestring, and were often on the edge of bankruptcy.

            • Turangalila

              Ah yes, but zombie Pat Riley…

          • randy khan

            So, 7th biggest city, and 25th-biggest MSA, and growing fast. The MSA is in the same range as Orlando, Portland, Charlotte and Baltimore in size. The market is not particularly small. And in the NBA, the variation in locally-generated revenue probably is not as great as in a lot of other sports, given the importance of the national TV contract.

            As for baseball, since 2010, teams with opening day payrolls ranked 13th, 16th, 19th, 21st, and 27th have made the World Series. Series-winning teams have had payrolls ranked 10th, 11th, and 16th. The only year in that span when a team ranked in the top 5 in salaries won the Series was 2013. The current division leaders rank 6th, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, and 24th in opening day payroll.

            There certainly are teams in baseball that spend basically nothing and have no expectation of winning, but recent history suggests that spending money in an uncapped environment is not the most significant factor in success.

            • Dilan Esper

              1. Orlando and Charlotte are small markets too!

              2. Have you ever looked at the Lakers’ or Knicks’ TV contracts? Big market teams rake in tens of millions from local TV.

              3. You are making huge sample size errors in baseball. Why don’t you go back 25 years and see how the small market teams do?

              • randy khan

                3. Why don’t you look back that far? I’ll give you two World Series winners, though: 2003 Florida Marlins, ranked 25th, and 2005 Chicago White Sox, ranked 13th. I’m sure the 1997 Marlins didn’t rank very high, either, but the page I’m looking at stops in 1998, so I can’t give you the information.

                But to respond directly, as someone noted above, it’s not 2007. Things have changed a lot in sports in the last 25 years, and in baseball in particular.

                • jamesepowell

                  1997 WS payrolls were #4 CLE v #8 FLA – That Marlins team had several big ticket (for 1997) free agents. Kevin Brown, Alex Fernandez, Moises Alou, Bobby Bonilla and I’m probably forgetting someone else. I think Sheffield they got in a trade, but he wasn’t cheap.

                  They dumped the whole team the next year.

              • efgoldman

                Have you ever looked at the Lakers’ or Knicks’ TV contracts? Big market teams rake in tens of millions from local TV.

                Actually, the REAL big money is with the teams that own their own cable networks/rights. Red Sox, Yankees. Dodgers….
                The next biggest are the teams which are on regional cable sports networks.

                • skate

                  Or used to own. Dunno about the others, but the Yankees currently own only 20% of their own channel.

              • Scott Lemieux

                Why don’t you go back 25 years and see how the small market teams do?

                Certainly much better than they do in the NBA.

                It’s also hilarious that you accuse other people of cherrypicking, and then repeatedly cite the Spurs — the only small market team to win an NBA title since 1977! (Or ’79 if you count Seattle.)

                • Dilan Esper

                  Un, Scott, Cleveland just won.

                  And the Spurs have a dynasty. Good luck having a dynasty without a cap.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Un, Scott, Cleveland just won.

                  An obviously irrelevant exception, since James didn’t pick Cleveland for the money. Before this very unusual case, again, you have to go back to the Carter administration to find a small-market team winning an NBA title, except the Spurs. In baseball, conversely, in this time period the World Series has been won by Kansas City (twice), St. Louis (twice), Minnesota (twice), Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Plus, Cleveland had a genuinely great team that won two pennants but not a World Series in baseball’s crapshoot postseason. The NBA has been far more dominated by big markets than MLB despite the cap.

                  Also, since the Spurs’s stars have consistently left money on the table to keep the team together, I have no idea why you assume they couldn’t have won in a non-capped league.

                • Jordan

                  The NBA got the cap in the first place in 84-85.

                  In the 32 years with the cap you have had 6 years where a small market team won.

                  In the 32 years prior to that without the cap you had 6 years where a small market team won (NOT counting seattle).

                  I just find that amusing, is all.

                • Jordan

                  Good luck having a dynasty without a cap.

                  *blinks rapidly*

                  I’ve always heard it the other away around, that a cap makes it harder to keep a core group of excellent players together for an extended time. You think a cap makes it *easier* to have a dynasty???

                • mikeSchilling

                  Is Detroit a large market?

                • Jordan

                  Detroit was the major question. But its apparently now a bigger market than Seattle, and I counted Seattle as a big market, so it counts too (for my purposes of establishing a totally bogus equality between incredibly different eras).

            • cpinva

              “but recent history suggests that spending money in an uncapped environment is not the most significant factor in success.”

              just ask my Yankees about this.

              • mikeSchilling

                Man, haven’t won a title since 2009! Our hearts bleed.

          • Frequently Confused

            Aside from the Bulls, Knicks, and Lakers the Spurs revenues are pretty much in line with the rest of the NBA’s top teams. While in theory those three teams could go spending crazy in a cap free environment, I really don’t see it happening.

            The reason the union agreed to the cap is the floor they put in. Basically, they ensured that the 27 teams that aren’t making tons more than everyone else has to spend a minimum amount that is roughly equal to 80% (i think, sorry, it’s late and I’ve had too much to drink) of the cap.

            The floor makes all the difference when combined with the guaranteed contracts make the NBA that rarity of a sports league that isn’t overly favorable to the owners. That said, MLB still wins out as the most player friendly league IMHO.

      • Scott Lemieux

        The San Antonio Spurs could not succeed in a non-salary capped league.

        Based on what?

        The cap is collectively bargained. If the union thinks it cuts salaries too much it can strike,

        I assume this was from the cutting-room floor of Rehabilitating Lochner?

        • Dilan Esper

          Scott, the NBA Players Association is not a bunch of patsies. There have been several labor disputes over the years.

          You are arguing that a system THEY agreed to is bad.

          • Scott Lemieux

            You are arguing that the players and owners have similar leverage, which is idiotic. You do know how the NHL and NFL got their hard caps, right?

  • MikeJake

    1. There’s only 1 basketball.

    2. They’re shipping Bogut to Dallas, so they are absolutely going all-in on the small ball death lineups. Draymond Green was really the glue that bound that team together, because of his defensive rebounding (since they tended to shoot much better, offensive rebounds and second chance opportunities assumed great importance for their opponents; Green made them a middling defensive rebounding team almost by himself). Durant can rebound, but who will he be defending?

    3. LeBron has pretty much owned Durant during his career. And by the way, the Eastern Conference always gets disparaged for not measuring up to the West, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest that maybe free agents avoid the East because they’d have to go through LeBron.

    4. I don’t have a problem with players deciding their own destiny, but I do think the NBA is more compelling with Durant back in OKC for one last run. But this year was Durant’s only chance of going to GSW, because otherwise they would have resigned Barnes and not had the cap space next summer. It looks like Durant will play one season with GSW and opt out, and maybe get back with Westbrook (L.A.?). Will Durant end up being the maligned mercenary superstar that we thought LeBron would be?

    • mpowell

      Interesting take. I have no problem with Durant dumping OKC (yay!), but choosing GS over some of the other fine options was pretty weak.

      • kped

        I also have no problem with him leaving, it’s his prerogative, just like I can move jobs and cities. But going to GSW…it’s like playing a video game and getting frustrated with normal difficulty settings, so you switch to “Easy”. I mean…if he wins a title now, so what? Does that help his “legacy” (which I think is bullshit anyway)? He’s going to a team that won a title two years ago and came within 30 seconds and a Lebron James miracle block of winning 2 in a row, after setting the leagues best regular season win total.

        Oh, and all of their best players are under 30. Just feels lame as hell.

        • The Temporary Name

          I also have no problem with him leaving, it’s his prerogative, just like I can move jobs and cities. But going to GSW…it’s like playing a video game and getting frustrated with normal difficulty settings, so you switch to “Easy”.

          You know, it feels good doing a good thing with other good people. As a team game it’s a beautiful sport, and getting the plays made is satisfying.

        • efgoldman

          He’s going to a team that won a title two years ago and came within 30 seconds and a Lebron James miracle block of winning 2 in a row, after setting the leagues best regular season win total.

          Are you old enough to have complained that the Showtime (Magic/Kareem/Worthy) Lakers had too many great players?
          As a Celtics fan, of course, I hated them, but they were a great, great team. For that matter, the ’86 Celtics: Bird, McHale, Parish, Dennis Johnson, with Scott Wedman and Bill Walton (!! admittedly a shadow of his former self) coming off the bench.

          • howard

            Walton was terrific off the bench (19.3 minutes per game) for the ’85-’86 champs.

          • kped

            Alive for showtime, but too young to have known what it was!

            And again, not complaining, he can go where he wants, it’s absolutely his right. It just ends up looking like him running somewhere safe, where he can be guaranteed a title, so he can cry in public again. I mean, it really won’t be much of a personal accomplishment.

            • MikeJake

              Those LeBron Miami teams were loaded, and they still lost 2 Finals. They’re never gimmes.

              • kped

                Sure, but that was a big “3”, this is a big “4”. And Wade was older than any of GSW’s big 4. Also, Wade and Lebron both need the ball in their hands, while Bosh had to completely change his game to be a 3rd wheel. That team took a bit longer to mesh, and had more holes.

                This team can slot Durant in so easily and not miss a beat. It can have 2 starters of the big 4 on at all times to rest everyone. It’s insane how good they can be.

                But for sure, games aren’t won on paper. Injuries can happen, guys can choke, etc. but this looks like a really really historically great team.

                • Craigo

                  Some currently dirt-cheap center or PF is going to become rich over the next five years from all the points he scores in a completely empty paint. Put Steph, Klay, and KD on the perimeter at the same time and what team dares to even play a big man?

                • efgoldman

                  but this looks like a really really historically great team.

                  Your veering into Denverite territory now! How’s 13 championships in 19 years? (Celtics) or even ten in 30 years (Lakers).

                • Craigo

                  How many teams were in the NBA in the 1960s?

                • kped

                  I didn’t say best of all time (although single season they might just reach that), only a historically great team. And they are well on their way to that. They just won a title, then came back and won 73 games and nearly won again (and the West is loaded, so making the finals is impressive, coming within 30 seconds of being back to back champs.)

        • mikeSchilling

          When I change jobs, I look for a company that’s badly run and unsuccessful, so I can make the most difference.

    • Dilan Esper

      There’s only one basketball is key.

      Durant will obviously contribute at Golden State, but his scoring numbers will go down, just like Wilt’s did after he joined teams like the 76’ers and Lakers who had other scoring options.

      • Turangalila

        I’m no NBA expert, but wasn’t “there’s only one basketball” a principal problem in sharing a court with Russell Westbrook?

        It seems this is an argument that comes up with almost any team with multiple stars – hence any team capable of winning a championship in today’s NBA; but since much of the identity of the Warriors is sharing the ball to coachgasm-inducing levels, I’d think it would be less of a worry there.

      • MikeJake

        If Steve Kerr can figure it out, this solves a big problem they had offensively in the playoffs, which was not having someone they could dump the ball to and create a shot when the defense tightens and their 3s aren’t falling. They were already tough to double team until Barnes shit the bed, they’re going to be damn near impossible to now. Curry can finish at the basket, but by the end of the Finals he didn’t look like he wanted any part of driving inside and taking contact.

        Rebounding will still be key to beating them, but they’re going to be crazy on offense. It’s assumed they’ll “settle” for 60-64 wins next year, but I don’t know. Their starters could average 30 minutes a game and still win the West comfortably.

        • apocalipstick

          “I don’t care what he says, that knee isn’t going to be healed until at least six weeks after the season ends.”
          An athletic trainer acquaintance of mine after Curry dinged his knee against OKC. That’s not an excuse or even a reason, but he definitely wasn’t healthy.

          • Darkrose

            Oh definitely. Between the ankle, the knee, and his shooting elbow, Steph was a mess physically by the Finals.

        • petesh

          In Kerr we trust. So far he’s earned it.

    • apocalipstick

      There’s only 1 basketball.

      Which in OKC was in the hands of Russell Westbrook. He is the epitome of the gifted player whose ability is much greater than his value. The fact that Thunder games often came down to Westbrook taking seventeen shots in the fourth quarter makes this argument less compelling. Neither Curry nor Thompson (nor the two of them together) is the black hole created by Westbrook.

      • Juicy_Joel

        The fact that Thunder games often came down to Westbrook taking seventeen shots in the fourth quarter

        Westbrook playing hero ball is the worst part about his game.

    • cpinva

      “but I’ve never heard anyone suggest that maybe free agents avoid the East because they’d have to go through LeBron.”

      and here I always thought they avoided the East for fear they might somehow, accidentally, end up on the Wizards’ roster.

      • Craigo

        Like none of us have ever gotten on the wrong bus before…

  • Steve LaBonne

    We beat them without Durant, we’ll beat them with Durant (who has always been pnwed by LeBron).

    • Breadbaker

      “We”? I don’t remember a Steve LaBonne on any NBA roster.

      • econoclast

        He was the key piece that let them beat them this year, as opposed to the distant era of 2015.

        • jamesepowell

          Game 6 – It was the face-paint that did it.

      • Steve LaBonne

        Northeast Ohioans are feeling a pardonable sense of ownership these days. ;)

    • Pseudonym
      • Turangalila

        Felt sure I knew what that link would be before I clicked it. Mitchell & Webb FTW.

      • Dennis Orphen

        The Key and Peele of Blighty.

  • Jake the antisoshul soshulist

    I can’t blame anyone for making a job move that would take them closer to their career goals. I would think that every player in the NBA would want to get into a position to win a champioship if they were able.
    I don’t follow the NBA closely at all, but from my understanding
    Durrant is an excellent perimeter shooter in addition to his interior play, so he should fit in well with the Warriors.

    What bothers me is the discussion of “his market value”. Besides just sounding wrong, if we don’t accept market value of labor at the low end, it seems contradictory to advocate it at the high end. Personally, In my opinion, most celebrities, whether actors, athletes, or just celebrity qua celebrity are over-compensated.
    At least compared to those who actually make the things we need and use. But in the market of celebrities, Durrant should be compensated at the high end.

    • efgoldman

      Personally, In my opinion, most celebrities, whether actors, athletes, or just celebrity qua celebrity are over-compensated.

      In one of the earliest Bill James Abstracts I read (’86??) he had an essay about player compensation (nowhere near today’s levels, of course) vs what society values. Paraphrasing from memory, he said if society valued schoolteachers, nurses, or researchers as much as it did athletes and celebrities, the pay scales would show it.
      Of course the difference from an employer’s POV is that athletes, at least, are depreciable assets, who’s salaries are (they hope) all or partially offset by larger profits, whereas teachers and nurses are just costs.

      • Chuchundra

        People say shit like that all the time and it’s a pretty facile analysis.

        The fact is, most athletes make pretty shit money. Think of all those kids playing baseball down in the minors getting paid crap money. It’s only the best of the best who even have a chance of scoring a minimum salary gig in the majors and only the top few percent of those guys who get the big money.

        And the thing of it is, the 25th guy on a MLB roster is almost certainly much better at playing baseball than you are at anything.

        • mikeSchilling

          Am I at the top 750 in the world at anything? Yes! Reading my own handwriting.

          • I would like to state I am in the top 750 in the world at disseminating dead horse photos on the internet.

    • kped

      COmes down to – if you don’t want to pay the athelets, you want the money to go to the owners. And fuuuuuuck that. I’d rather the players get it. Or the actors.

      • djw

        yep. Unless we radically change the structure of professional sports, it’s labor or owners. I’m consistent–I generally support rules that allow as much of the benefits of a productive activity to go to labor as is reasonably possible.

        It’s also noteworthy that entertainment fields that aren’t majority-minority don’t see anywhere near the same level of whining about labor capturing their market value, comparisons to teachers and nurses or whatever, etc.

        • efgoldman

          It’s also noteworthy that entertainment fields that aren’t majority-minority don’t see anywhere near the same level of whining about labor capturing their market value

          Well, James was writing about all kinds of entertainer compensation. The Abstracts, of course, were primarily about baseball.
          OTOH, that’s among many reasons why the NFLPA sucks.

        • kped

          Also…I fucking value entertainment a lot! Why do we so belittle the occupations that bring us joy? Why is acting any less noble or useful than accounting (that’s my job…I don’t know if I’ve ever brought joy or heartache or melancholy or to the public by doing my job!)

          I don’t think the arts or other entertainment jobs are in any way less then other professions.

  • Nick Conway

    From Seattle, still very sad that KD left for GSW. I understand what everyone is saying, obviously KD can do whatever he wants morally, it’s just a sports game.

    But this will definitely be tough for competitive balance. Rooting for the Spurs to have a huge upset over them, maybe Golden State won’t be able to gel and Kawhi can take another huge leap forward. I don’t know what other West teams have a chance, maybe the Clippers if Chris Paul can continue to stage off aging, although they lost part of their bench. Houston will be interesting, lost Dwight but got a ton of shooters who cannot defend to put around Harden, should at least be a very fun team to watch. Trailblazers could have taken a big step forward, but seem to have made some really crappy free agency moves, gaining Evan Turner while losing Crabbe despite having a huge amount of cap space. Memphis, Mavericks, seem too old to really compete, Jazz, Timberwolves seem too young. OKC will be interesting now. Westbrook will be balling out, I still see them as a playoff team, maybe a surprisingly good one.

    East got a little more interesting with the Celtics getting Horford, maybe if they can put together another trade for someone like Butler or Cousins they can take down Lebron. But I’ll be rooting for anybody out of the East over the Warriors in the final.

    Anyways, go spurs go!

    • apocalipstick

      “…lost Dwight…”

      This is the epitome of the concept of addition by subtraction.

      • Nick Conway

        haha fair enough. He was still pretty good in the playoffs. But I think they’ll be better next year, I’m guessing like a mid-seed 3-7 range.

        • Jordan

          ehh, he was still their best defensive player. Now they have no bigs who can play defense other than Capella and he can’t stay on the court (a worse free throw shooter than Howard, and seems to always get in foul trouble).

          Subtracting howard, hiring d’antoni, and signing anderson and eric gordon means, at least for right now, it looks the Rockets only ever win if they score like 135.

          So, maybe, at least it will be entertaining?

    • efgoldman

      East got a little more interesting with the Celtics getting Horford

      The universal hope among Celtics fans was (as it now appears) that “considering” Howard was just a smokescreen to sow confusion – at least we hope so!

      • Nick Conway

        Well you don’t really have to worry about it now, Howard signed with the Hawks. I thought you guys had a shot at KD to be honest, I don’t think the backlash would have been near as bad as it would have made the East way more interesting.

  • Breadbaker

    The entire time he was in Oklahoma City, Durant said nothing and did nothing other than be a perfect ambassador of the city and its team, play his heart out and rally the city. But maybe he just hated the place. It’s Oklahoma City and it’s the middle of freaking nowhere. He had had a taste of Seattle as a rookie and since he couldn’t go back there to play, he took up on a city that’s not entirely unlike it, and with a great team. The money difference is of course at levels of irrelevancy the rest of us can’t even fathom.

    • Cheap Wino

      I’ve always fantasized that he secretly hates Clay Bennett and want’s him to suffer. This does nothing to dissuade that hope.

    • ColBatGuano

      I thought I read an article earlier this year that Durant and Westbrook were tired of “scrutiny” the OKC press put them under. It made me laugh.

      • efgoldman

        Durant and Westbrook were tired of “scrutiny” the OKC press put them under.

        Yeah, Boston would have been quite the shock. New York? Yikes!
        (I have no idea what the sports press in the Bay Area is like.)

        • Darkrose

          Very friendly for the most part.

        • kped

          Toronto is pretty brutal press wise, but more so for hockey then anything else. (See: Whisper campaigns about which hot dog vendor Phil Kessel visits for daily snacks…)

    • Juicy_Joel

      It’s Oklahoma City and it’s the middle of freaking nowhere.

      Oklahoma City sucks shit and has to be one of the worst cities in North America. I look forward to when Westbrook leaves next year (assuming they don’t trade him) and they never win more than 30 games again. At least the fans will be able to look fondly back on the title they “won” in 1979.

  • Craigo

    LGM turned into a sports radio call-in show so gradually I didn’t even notice:

    1. People dislike Stephen A. Smith because he’s uppity, and not because he’s hateful, stupid, and a misogynist.
    2. A player who spent his entire pro career next to Russell Westbrook and half of it with James Harden will be confounded by the idea of “sharing the ball”
    3. Labor and capital have equal bargaining power, and accepting an agreement as the best as you can get at that time ipso facto means it is equitable
    4. Stars never sign in small markets, and small market teams can’t win titles in uncapped leagues which is why Kansas City wait what was I saying

    • jamesepowell

      Okay, I get it, but I don’t think that we need concern ourselves with the people who believe those things are true.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yeah, this thread had an unusual density of received anti-wisdom for an LGM thread.

      • Captain Oblivious

        From the usual suspects, however.

  • Casey

    I feel sad for basketball. OKC made some good moves in the offseason and was looking like the #3 team in the league going into next year. It’s not great having only 3 teams out of 30 that have any reasonable shot at winning the NBA championship, and that’s a little generous to the Spurs at #3, who have no offensive playmaker on the perimeter now that Ginobili and Parker are mostly rust and bondo.

    A lot of Russell Westbrook’s reputation for being a ball-hog comes from playing on a team without a ton of good shooters. (Well, and he is a chucker.) This year Westbrook averaged 14.8 assists per 100 possessions, which is an incredible rate. That’s better than Magic Johnson (14.5), Steve Nash (13.8), Rajon Rondo (13.7), Ricky Rubio (13.3) have had over their careers, to name a few classic pass-first point guards.

    He’s not a shoot-first point guard the way Curry is (though he was the first few years). Westbrook is a willing passer when there’s someone to pass to (besides Kevin Durant getting double-teamed). He ends up taking a lot of bad shots late in the clock because he’s the primary ball handler and OKC has a bad offensive scheme. There’s a subtle difference between being a chucker and being a ballstopper.

    So the “there’s only one basketball” Take might apply. He’s definitely going to get a lot fewer touches. And sometimes that messes with players’ heads even if they think they’re going to be cool with being the 3rd offensive option. I hope it does. The league’s more interesting without superteams. And I love seeing ring-chasers getting screwed over by the fates. It was great fun seeing the Payton/Malone Lakers lose.

    I’m not going to bother touching the rest of the Bad NBA Takes in this thread… did everyone start drinking early or what? Someone’s going to get e. coli poisoning from all these improperly cooked takes! For one like “Kevin Love is a competent NBA defender”, you’re gonna want to get that Take up to at least 165 degrees in the center before serving or you’re gonna make people sick.

    • Breadbaker

      I wouldn’t call them the “Payton/Malone Lakers”, but I agree it was fun watching them lose. And also the 2005 Yankees with ARod and Randy Johnson (who were more important to that team than Payton and Malone to the Lakers). But Durant is in his prime; Payton and Malone were over the hill. It’s not really a valid comparison.

    • Jordan

      But these takes ARE hot takes! Scorching hot takes even!

      They are just hot and bad. So, say, Phoenix takes.

    • Grocer

      The rumor is that OKC is looking to trade Westbrook as he obviously will not stick around next year. Good move on their part. Interesting places he could land are Boston, Atlanta, Orlando… Boston would be an interesting place, they could put together a good package for him without mortgaging their future. LA and Philly could as well but whoever’s trading for him would probably want some assurances of him re-signing. None of that would threaten Golden State’s dominance but I think it makes basketball more interesting..

  • Jordan

    This makes it harder for the Rockets to ever win with Harden, so I HATE THIS MOVE FUCK YOU KEVIN DURANT

It is main inner container footer text