TrueHoop: League-Wide Issues
AP Photo/Bill HaberNew commissioner, new rules.
On the flight to New Orleans for the first Sternless All-Star Game of my career I had a fleeting thought: Was All-Star Weekend possible without Stern? Or, for that matter, was the NBA? Maybe Stern was everything. CEO-as-bedrock.
So it's no surprise the lion's share of the news that Adam Silver is the new NBA commissioner has been built around the idea that Stern stepped down after three decades. Stern's absence has been the real headline. To the extent Silver has been defined it has generally been versus Stern -- for instance, he's taller, younger, more of a consensus-builder, etc.
A couple of weeks into the Silver Age, however, what's emerging is that there's a lot more to the new commissioner than the mere fact that he's not the old commissioner.
And in fact, the early evidence is that he'll be making his mark profoundly and quickly.
At Stern's final board of governors' meeting in October, a major function of which was the transfer of power to Silver, NBA executives suddenly began saying, repeatedly, that the worst reason to do something is because that's the way it has always been done.
It was not something I had ever heard them say before, and while it sounds canned, in fact it's a line that comes with huge implications. It means, essentially, that everything is up for review. It invites questions, which is an awkward thing to invite unless you intend to have answers.
Evidently it wasn't just corporate-speak, either. As Silver's agenda comes to light, it fits a theme: innovation. Silver addressed an invite-only crowd of powerbrokers (Mark Cuban, Vivek Ranadive and a few hundred others) at the Tech Summit in New Orleans on All-Star Friday. The talk was off the record, but word that everyone came away with from the conference was "innovation."
"He laid it down," a grinning team executive said in the hallway after hearing Silver talk. "It's a brand-new day."
Saturday, in his first major news conference, Silver sent more signals of change. Sponsorships on jerseys? "It ultimately will happen." The draft lottery? "The system's not perfect right now."
In a league that has long been dominated by lawyers, that counts as crystal-clear communication.
Meanwhile, the keepers of the game's rules, league executives Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe, disclosed on TrueHoop TV that their aim is to have real-time, off-site video review as soon as next season. Later it emerged that NBA personnel have already been building and rehearsing in a studio in New Jersey, stocked with a vast array of screens and digital tools. That's happening.
A couple of weeks into the job, D-Leaguers are wearing "performance analytic devices" in games, something that is still banned in the NBA. Things that have long been ideas are now happening.
Asked about all kinds of radical things -- speeding up the game, enlarging the court, 4-pointers -- Vandeweghe and Thorn sounded surprisingly open-minded tones.
"Players are faster, they're bigger, they're stronger. Coaches are smarter. ... With that you evolve the rules, too," Vandeweghe said.
But that's not to say Silver, a noted consensus builder, isn't aware that change can be scary. "People keep encouraging me to do new things," says Silver, addressing a question about the NBA's controversial new T-shirt style jerseys. "And then when we try new things, they say we've lost our minds."
There's almost no chance the NBA will look in five years like it does now.
February, 7, 2014
The NBA says the third-graders at the Paramount School of Excellence in Indianapolis had no idea Roy Hibbert was coming to school. The results are wonderful, and will debut on TV later today.
February, 4, 2014
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport"I’m still new to this whole 'star player' thing" says the Rockets' leading scorer, James Harden.
“I’m super selective,” said James Harden from the stylist’s chair on the Houston set of the ad shoot, “about who trims my beard.”
It was an off day in mid-January, and Harden was in full NBA-leading-man mode. It's not just that the iconic global brand on his chin was being groomed. It's routine offseason trips to Asia on behalf of sneaker companies, his status as a shoo-in All-Star, his highlight-ready score-from-anywhere game, his flirting with the unofficial "NBA's best shooting guard" title. On top of all that, Harden had a reporter on speakerphone and an assortment of “people” hovering at the ready -- from Foot Locker, from various agencies -- to fetch things or chime in to protect Harden, the beard or the brand, as necessary.
Although Harden has a disarmingly low-key way of talking -- part of his appeal is everyday nonchalance -- his message can veer into star territory. At one point, he circled back to add “you know, me and Dwight,” after, accidentally or not, calling the Rockets “basically my own team.”
And the commercial he's in the middle of making pivots, with a wink, on the notion that Harden is incredibly famous.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with one of the best basketball players in the world acting and talking like one of the best basketball players in the world. Harden is a business worth many millions. He is the centerpiece of a team that’s hanging tough in a stacked Western Conference. He is one of the most skilled scorers in the game. He is all that.
The surprising part of Harden’s place in the spotlight is that Harden was known, not long ago, for the opposite.
Less than two years ago, Harden was a delightful young surprise off the Thunder's bench, and his GM in Oklahoma City, Sam Presti, was telling The New York Times that what made Harden special was that fitting into a team was “really more appealing to him than being a focal-point player.”
If that was wishful thinking from a GM hoping to hold his contending squad together, it didn't sound like it. Everyone in the organization, including Harden, talked like that. It was believable, and, to those fans who prefer players who don't act like millionaires, delightful. Here was a player you could love for his jaw-dropping highlights, his blue-collar attitude or both.
Then, in the summer of 2012, coming off an NBA Finals loss to the Miami Heat, the Thunder faced a dilemma. Assorted hard realities -- no team has ever had three maximum-contract wing players, the owners were feeling a financial pinch, the team was destined for heinous salary-cap and luxury-tax issues -- drove Presti to offer Harden less than a max deal to remain with the team.
When Harden declined, he was promptly traded to the Rockets, causing an uproar that still simmers. “If the Thunder could have kept Harden” is one of the league’s enduring memes.
In Houston, famously analytical general manager Daryl Morey was ready to pounce. He had examined Harden’s production every which way and saw the elite double-team-drawing scorer his team sorely lacked. The Rockets were only too happy to give Harden all the dollars, minutes and touches any All-Star could dream of. And, more than any other move, nabbing Harden made Morey's early career. Although there will always be grousing about Harden’s defense (it’s not great) and his high usage rate (he shoots a lot) -- not to mention the coming barrage of "What has he won?" critiques that are standard for ringless All-Stars -- there's no disputing that Harden is a top-tier NBA scoring talent, and now he's a Rocket.
Yet Harden remains a source of anguish. The Thunder had the closest thing the NBA has to a fairy tale -- all those supertalented young Durants, Westbrooks, Hardens and Ibakas putting the team first. A lot of NBA watchers and Thunder fans liked the idea of Harden sticking around for the long haul as an icon of good-natured ego management. A lot of people wanted the dream of that Thunder team to last forever. Even Harden sounds wistful at times, saying, for instance, that he wishes the team could replay Game 2 of the Finals the Thunder lost to the Heat.
But it's over. And, in part, Harden plays the hero in that story -- as the player everyone wanted. At the same time, he's part villain. His insistence on more dollars helped bring it all to an end. At times, Harden has been reluctant to discuss his transition from Oklahoma City backup to Rockets leading man, but, from the beard stylist's chair on the set of a commercial shoot in Houston, he was gracious enough to address it in some detail. The conversation has been edited for length.
Can you talk? Are you allowed to move your jaw while you’re getting a beard trim?
Yeah. Little movements. But I can do it.
Do you have a beard-care strategy?
No strategy. I just let it grow. It’s got a mind of its own. If it needs trimming, it gets trimmed. I’m super selective about who trims my beard. My barber usually does it to make sure it’s fresh. But if he’s not around, then I usually comb it a lot and occasionally trim it myself.
Take me back to June 12, 2012. You were up 1-0 over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, and I think, if you asked Vegas, people would have bet that the Thunder were about to reel off multiple championships. What were you feeling like that day?
Oh. Three more. Three more, and our next game is at home. We’re going to win that game, and try to take care of business in Miami. Three games away from a championship is closer than ever. Seems like everything slipped away from there.
I guess the vast majority of NBA players never get to that point.
Right. It’s so tough in this league. You’re talking about championships, and some players go 10, 15 years without even making the playoffs. So it’s difficult. You have to cherish it every single time that you’re there.
Did you picture it? Did you picture winning it all?
Of course! Of course we pictured it. Like I said, we were there. We needed three more games. Our Game 2 was at our home court, and it was tough to beat us there. We would have to steal two in Miami. And if we didn’t, we would come back home. Like I said, it seemed like it just slipped away from there, and we lost four straight.
Miami did a pretty good job in just doing what they did. They were in that situation the previous year, and so they kind of knew, you know, how to play and especially on the road in the Finals. They stole one! And then they came home and took care of business at home.
If you had won that year, would you be in Oklahoma right now?
I have no idea. It’s a great question. I wish we could go back and play Game 2 again.
Then you had that crazy summer of contract uncertainty. I know you played it cool, but it must have turned your stomach a little not knowing what was going to happen.
No, not really. That summer was pretty busy for me. I didn’t really have time to think about it. Right after the Finals, it was off to USA Basketball for the entire summer, so I really didn’t have much time to think about it.
We started discussing it right after the Olympics. That’s when the discussions really started to begin.
It ended up they had some salary cap and money concerns and didn’t offer you as much as you could make elsewhere. If the money had been equal and you could choose OKC or Houston, where would you have chosen?
Um. It’s a tough question. It’s a tough question.
I don’t know.
Like I said, I grew in Oklahoma City. They taught me a lot. Now I’m in Houston, I’ve got my own, basically, my own team. You know, me and Dwight. It’s kind of different situations. Oklahoma City: came off the bench. Now, I’m starting. There’s a larger role. Both are great situations.
I found this old Sam Presti quote: “James really wanted to be a part of something … [being part of something bigger] was really more appealing to him than being a focal-point player. We loved that mentality. We thought it was a really mature outlook.” Was that a phase? Was it never really the case?
Definitely that was the case. Winning is the most important thing. Winning is how anybody gets recognition. We already had our groove. We had me coming off the bench, the starters did what they did. Everybody felt comfortable in their role. That’s how it worked.
I fit in, and I bought in. And it was good for us.
Could it have ever lasted? One thing someone explained to me, that makes sense to me, is that no team has three max wings. It has never happened. If you had gotten there first, and Kevin Durant had arrived later, it would have been a no-brainer that he would have looked for his own team because he’s Kevin Durant. That you happened, by random chance, to get there later, doesn’t make it weird that you’d like to run your own team, because you’re James Harden.
I didn’t look at it that way. Like I said, those were my brothers; we were focused on one thing, and that was winning. If I had to take a backseat, I was comfortable with it. Just ’cause, you know, the most important thing was winning.
You have this incredible array of ways you score. Jabs, step-backs, Euro-steps, floaters, hesitations ... how does that evolve? Does it come from the offseason? Does it come from watching film? Do you steal from other players? Do you have a personal coach who helps you with that? Is it Rockets staff, do they help you develop it?
All of the above. I do a lot of work in the summertime. I have coaches helping me out with the Rockets. I watch a lot of film and see how defenders are guarding me. Even during the season, every single day I’m constantly working on something in my game. I’m still new to this whole "star player" thing, so I have to be on point at all times. Just me working every single day is going to help me out.
If you work on something alone, how do you know it’s going to work with defense there? What are the signs of a good maneuver?
Just by watching film. Like I said, by watching film and seeing how different defenders are guarding me and different counters to how they’re guarding me. Obviously, it’s a lot different when they’re there, but if you focus on the move and you go hard enough, it doesn’t matter if the defender’s there or not.
How deep is your shooting range? If they had 4-pointers that were 35 feet or whatever, would you take ’em?
I would probably take ’em. But not often. Not often. I’d leave that to other guys in the league.
People can do it though, right? In practice, people can hit very long shots.
Oh yeah, definitely. I see it all the time. I see it all the time. But I wouldn’t be one of those guys to take a lot of 4-pointers.
Does your left hand, still, at this level, get you buckets from the fact that people are used to guarding righties?
Us lefties are very rare. So, um, I don’t know if people forget sometimes that I’m left-handed or whatever, but it’s difficult to guard.
What was your role in recruiting Dwight?
Very small. I guess Dwight knew his choices and options and what he wanted to do and where he wanted to spend his career, and he chose Houston for the reasons that, you know, he did. As far as that we have a lot of options and a lot of growth. I guess he felt this was the right fit for him.
I saw that, when teams were pitching Dwight, some people told him that James Harden uses the ball just as much as Kobe does, so he shouldn’t go play with the Rockets because he won’t get the ball. How does that make you feel?
Uhh ... I mean, I never heard that. But I handle the ball a lot. A lot. As far as bringing the basketball up. But I’m definitely a willing passer. I would rather average 18 points and 10 assists than 28 points.
So, whatever it takes to win, that’s the kind of team player that I am. You know, my job is to make my teammates happy, and Dwight happy.
January, 31, 2014
By Ethan Sherwood Strauss
Rocky Widner/Getty ImagesAfter building a buzz last postseason, Harrison Barnes has crashed back to earth -- hard -- in Year 2.In a moment, Harrison Barnes reminded fans that the hype isn’t wholly empty. On Thursday night against the Clippers, he raced behind a weaving Jordan Crawford, received the pass, then soared past Willie Green for a powerful and-1 dunk. If the crowd's crazed reaction for a merely cool second-quarter jam was a little over the top, it may be attributable to a certain nervous energy regarding the Barnes situation. He’s been adrift on this roster this season, and the murmurs of doubt and disappointment have been growing louder.
As Anthony Bennett hogs the national “draft bust?” spotlight, it’s easy to forget that there are other young players under local scrutiny. In an ideal world, we wouldn't hold these young men to expectations they didn't set, but that change isn't happening anytime soon.
In Barnes’ case, the expectations don’t stem just from being the No. 7 pick. There’s more to the anxiety of “Is this it?” than his lottery status. First, Barnes didn’t storm the scene just last season as Bennett did en route to becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft. Barnes is coming off his rookie season, but the former No. 1-ranked recruit has been underwhelming nervous fans for years now.
Barnes played for a high-profile North Carolina program and was featured before a March Madness TV audience that dwarfs that of Warriors games. His freshman year at Chapel Hill was underwhelming, albeit mildly so. Barnes scored, but didn't do it that efficiently, and did little else. He still probably would have been a top-three pick if he had opted for the draft then, but he elected to stay a year, which worked out badly for his draft stock, if not his “brand.” Sophomore Barnes played like freshman Barnes. His "NBA body" continued to move as though animated by what draftniks might call a "low motor." His handle remained stilted, his shot remained average, and his disappearances from the team’s offensive attack remained frequent.
As Barnes drifted through his final college season, the Warriors set about a deliberate course. They tanked mightily in pursuit of a top-seven protected pick. The process was excruciating for just about anyone who followed the team closely out of either obligation or habit. It made a grim mockery of Mark Jackson’s first season as head coach as he strove to prove himself with suited stars and a massive organizational incentive to lose, lose, lose.
Barnes was the prize, the guy who would vindicate the intentional indignity of 2012. And in the 2013 playoffs, after Warriors fortunes had dramatically reversed for the better, Barnes appeared to do just that. His rookie season was uneven, but Barnes got something of a spotlight during Golden State’s first-round upset of the Denver Nuggets. David Lee went down with a hip injury, and Barnes, who had seen almost no time at power forward to that point, was called upon to be the replacement.
Barnes thrived with more space on the court, using his long strides to sail toward the rim. Denver frequently left him open beyond the arc, allowing Barnes to shoot 40.6 percent from deep in the series.
The following Spurs series didn't help Harrison’s efficiency, but it did bolster his national cachet. Tony Parker "hid" on Barnes defensively, which goaded the Warriors into bogging their offense down into repeated post-ups with their rookie. The result was plenty of points for Barnes (an average of 17.3 over the six-game series), but at a below-average 51.4 percent true shooting mark. Since raw point totals still command a lot of respect, many filed Barnes’ series as a breakout performance.
The Warriors themselves were reputed to be highly optimistic about Barnes during last summer’s training camp, even if they did bring Andre Iguodala in to take his starting spot. Rumors about Barnes' killer training camp set off yet another drum roll in a career comprised of so many anticipatory drum rolls.
Rocky Widner/Getty ImagesBarnes has struggled to produce despite ample opportunities.
Barnes began this season with a foot ailment, and he’s been, to put it bluntly, quite bad so far. It's not often that you’ll see a player with a 9.95 PER get so many opportunities. Jackson continues to post Barnes up as though his high-flying wing is Al Jefferson waiting to happen. The results have been miserable, mostly because Barnes claims neither the shooting ability nor passing vision to capitalize on frequent post-ups. It’s not all Jackson’s fault, though. Barnes dribbles with the stultifying caution of someone who fears the ball might set off land mines. He also holds on to it with the slow, deliberate focus of someone consulting a Magic 8 ball. To summarize, he’s a ball-stopper, but without the gaudy individual offense that many ball-stoppers can conjure up in isolation.
Though blessed with the body of an elite perimeter defender, Barnes has shown none of the instincts this season. While it’s understandable that a younger player might struggle on defense, Barnes’ flaws on that end are highlighted by the dogged defensive efforts of less-touted second-year man Draymond Green.
Draft disappointments don’t just let fans down on their lonesome, as disappointment needs a comparison to some better, imagined outcome. Sam Bowie wouldn't be “Sam Bowie” without Michael Jordan. Perhaps the most agonizing aspect of draft pick disappointment is the emerging picture of the alternatives. As the draft pick hindsight gets more clear, less blurry, it shows Andre Drummond dunking off a high screen lob from Stephen Curry. It shows John Henson blocking a shot simultaneous with Andrew Bogut. It shows Terrence Ross claiming membership as a Splash Brother with a 51-point opus. It shows Terrence Jones as an even better stretch 4 than Barnes in the Denver series. It shows Jeremy Lamb as what Kent Bazemore was supposed to be defensively. Depending on the day, it might even show the better side of Jared Sullinger, Kendall Marshall and Tony Wroten.
Barnes still has time and still has plausible excuses (remember the early-season injury?). Mark Jackson repeatedly extols his work ethic. Nobody on the team has criticized Barnes for a lack of desire or effort. If you’re hopeful about Harrison, you’ll have to lean on the subjective because the statistical profile is looking bleak. If you’re looking for optimism, you’ll have to consider what Curry said about Barnes after the victory over the Clippers: “He’s still young. He’s still trying to, you know, find his way. New role this year, obviously, coming off the bench. He’s going to get it. We still have confidence in him, we keep staying in his ear; he has confidence in himself, and obviously he’s shown that he can make a huge impact.”
The idea is that the NBA draft will help the weaker Eastern conference catch up to the West. And it might. But ... some good West teams will be rewarded with much better picks than they'd get in the East. Here I reiterate a point I first learned about from Curtis Harris.
January, 23, 2014
By Kevin Arnovitz
NBA players' contracts require them to make a certain number of community appearances on behalf of their teams. They’ll pay visits to hospitals or schools and show up at charity functions or galas. Outside of what they do for their teams, most players will get hit up by nonprofits or organizations who want them to lend their faces, names and free time to the cause. Most of the requests are well-intentioned, but players generally don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do. Nobody will force them to say yes. And if they say no, they still have a laundry list of good works performed on behalf of team and league they can cite.
That’s why the Denver Nuggets’ You Can Play spot featuring Kenneth Faried, Randy Foye and Quincy Miller is meaningful. You Can Play’s mission is to promote an inclusive environment on playing fields and in the locker rooms for gay athletes. You Can Play has forged formal partnerships with NHL, MLS and NCAA teams. A number of pro athletes such as Klay Thompson have participated in YCP videos, but the Nuggets become the first NBA team to have multiple players featured in support of the project.
As agendas go, YCP’s is radically moderate. It wants a world where gay athletes can suit up and play without fear of harassment, physical harm or having their talents passed over because of who they are.
That last item is a big one. Being on the receiving end of an epithet is an indignity, but what really terrifies a competitive gay athlete is not just the threat of physical or verbal abuse, but the prospect of never getting a rightful opportunity to perform and succeed. This discussion isn’t about being nice; it’s about being fair.
Thanks to You Can Play and many others, great progress is being made at the collegiate and high school level, but it’s been a tough season in the NBA. Jason Collins moved the conversation forward when he came out last April. Around the NBA, players have reported that his announcement inspired the most honest conversations to date about homosexuality in basketball. But the aspiration was for something much larger: bringing hypotheticals to real life.
By now, many of us wanted to be talking about how integrating a gay ballplayer into an NBA locker room was made easier, how morale was compromised at first because change is by its very nature disruptive, how that discomfort ultimately receded thanks to strong leadership and an appeal to our better selves. With Collins not on an active NBA roster, we’re not talking about those things. We can debate what role his identity as a gay man plays in that reality, but NBA executives and agents have stated that it’s a factor larger than zero.
That means that there’s work to do -- and the Nuggets, Faried, Foye and Miller are doing it. In the absence of an out gay player in uniform, the onus returns to individual teams and players to lead on the issue. Nothing in the body of the NBA charter or these Nuggets players’ contracts stipulated that they needed to, but they did.
January, 23, 2014
Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesThe NBA is better than ever! ... Right? The injuries, losses and forced rest are starting to pile up.The NBA is winning. It's already a "global money machine," according to Forbes, and new TV deals will only make that sweeter.
Not to mention, it's fun! The NBA's young players include an embarrassment of promise -- not just "plenty years left" stars such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, but also James Harden, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard and so many others. This year and every year for the foreseeable future, the playoffs will feature one amazing showdown after another. Hats off to all involved.
So, it's time to rush out and buy a ticket to a game, right?
"Listen, I do feel badly for fans," said Jeff Van Gundy, on the phone to The Herd from San Antonio on Wednesday. "I feel awful that we make them watch back-to-back games that often turn out to be, you know, low-energy affairs. I think the league has to eliminate back-to-back games, or at least reduce the number."
So sometimes you'll see a team that's mailing it in.
But what about if you go and see a primo team, a team thick with stars, like the Heat? You'd be safe then, right?
That's a little tricky, too. "Their performance over the last couple of weeks has been totally substandard, when it comes to championship focus and effort," Van Gundy said of the defending champions. He pointed out that this is hardly the first time the Heat have mailed it in. "Now last year they also were in a point of struggle, until they ripped off that 27-game winning streak."
In other words, there are times the Heat are the best team in the land, but it's in fits and starts, not every game. They save their best efforts for certain moments, and the regular season is iffy.
That's also true of many good teams, including last year's other finalists, the Spurs. They frequently sit their best players for part or all of regular-season games, in the name of rest -- something that's emerging as a trend among cutting-edge teams.
And, evidently, with good reason! Yet again this season, stars who play long minutes, going hard all regular season, seem to be getting hurt at a bummer of a rate. Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are all out for extended periods. Dwyane Wade is in and out of the lineup. Eric Bledsoe, Kemba Walker, Al Horford, Brook Lopez, Danilo Gallinari, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday are needle-moving players who are on the shelf.
It has been a decade since a team won a title with its top players playing heavy minutes, and that's a reality that contending teams wrestle with all regular season. As much as Erik Spoelstra may want to delight fans by playing Wade every night, doing so evidently hurts his team's chances in the postseason. What would you do if you were in his shoes?
And of course, we haven't even yet mentioned the biggest problem with the regular season: A lot of the teams don't even want to be there. Every season many teams have front offices who hope the entire 82 games go by in a flash, having created intentionally putrid rosters designed to lose now, with an eye on draft picks. This season, for a lot of teams, culminates not in title hopes, but in lottery hopes. The tankapalooza is on.
Injuries. Fatigue. Forced rest. Intentional losses. Buy a ticket to a regular-season NBA game, and there's an excellent chance one or more of these factors will keep you from seeing the best basketball in the world.
There's a unifying theme, there, though. A root cause: Too many games.
The promise of buying a ticket to an NBA game is seeing the best athletes in the world at peak performance. LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose ... the best players in the world are the league's most precious resource. And they are as well prepared and competitive as humans get. But the facts on the ground are that their best efforts are finite, and 82 games appears to be too many times over a year to ask them to turn it all the way on. Whether limited by injury, fatigue, schedule or strange draft rules that reward losing, the simple fact is that 1,230 regular-season games is, evidently, and increasingly obviously, more than we can reasonably expect the NBA's 400 or so athletes to produce their best. All kinds of players and teams are limited in delivering their best level night in and night out.
One of the worst strategies you can have, in this ultra-marathon, is to go all-out every minute. That, as we'll be exploring more as the season unfolds, is exactly what fans rightly want on any given night, but it's not a good long-term plan in a game where injury avoidance and rest are paramount to title chances.
So, yes, the NBA is in fantastic shape, because of its global fans who delight in the hard work and brilliance of its players, coaches and executives -- and despite the excessive and compromised regular season.
January, 22, 2014
In Forbes' 2014 ranking of team values, the NBA is said to have become a "global money machine," with almost every team making money and franchises like the Knicks, Lakers and Bulls worth more than a billion dollars each. Editor Kurt Badenhausen explains.
January, 17, 2014