August, 10, 2011
By Henry Abbott
- A sophisticated examination of the data suggests that when leagues make changes to increase competitive balance, they do not, in fact, create competitive balance. They do, however, tend to bring down salaries. Some in the know suggest talk about competitive balance is just about always a smokescreen for cutting player costs.
- Besiktas, the Turkish team that recently signed Deron Williams and is now pursuing Kobe Bryant and/or Kevin Durant, has money to spend, evidently. Where does that money come from? It's a multi-sport club with a long history of success in Istanbul, where the basketball team is moving to play its home games in Turkey's preeminent indoor stadium and has hopes of making a big splash. Also, I just noticed in SportsPro magazine that in June the club signed a $26 million three-year sponsorship deal with Toyota. Not a game-changer in and of itself, and largely about soccer, but still an indication of the market.
- Dillon Sabia, the former Drake player Matt Barnes evidently took a swing at last week, tells the Marin Independent Journal about Barnes: "He was pretty mad the whole game, being a little whiner and being really immature ... I think he's a little hot head, I guess he thinks people were trying to push him around out there and we were just playing basketball. He just thinks because he's an NBA player that no one's going to play hard against him."
- Does the tutelage of Hakeem Olajuwon actually lead to better post scoring?
- Serge Ibaka, with confidence in his jumper.
- Video of Tristan Thompson playing this summer. Not sure how much he should be creating off the dribble, but he sure does have one of those long, mobile, athletic NBA bodies.
- Michael Redd due to ditch the Bucks to join a contender?
- Soul searching in Oklahoma City about Russell Westbrook.
- Joe Dumars has gone a couple of years without making a really bad move.
- There's a reason Kevin Durant is comfortable in the Goodman League. Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak: "Kevin Durant has been playing in the Goodman League since he was 16. Back then, winning and losing on the knee-obliterating blacktop of Barry Farms probably meant a lot more than it does now. Today, it’s about getting to play with his big (in every sense) brother Tony in front of the people he grew up with. It’s about the kids running around the court during timeouts like it’s a JV summer league game, probably unaware that for most people, standing four feet from KD costs about $500. That’s not to say those in attendance were treated to an MVP-level performance. Durant’s shot was broke, he lost the ball on a few drives, got lit up by And One’s Baby Shaq from deep and pounded by him on the box and, excepting a string of resounding “yep I’m on another level” cocked-back right handed hammerslams, Durant wasn’t a ton more than the tallest guy on the court. He barked and glared at the refs and clapped angrily when his brother whiffed on a lay up. These were signs he definitely cared about winning, but the rest of his play said he wasn’t about to push it. That’s fine. I consider myself lucky to have seen his liquid release, slippery crossover and long strides up close, and I bet everyone else there felt the same. Much of the crowd traveled to the game from Washington’s troubled South East quarter, home of the original Goodman outdoor league and where no one much cares that KD’s torso is covered with business tats."
- Baron Davis advises Leos to think more creatively about their futures.
- A nice little ditty about the merits of modern townhouse living (they shovel snow for you!) veers sadly into thinly veiled racism, and the death of a place to play pickup basketball.