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With the 2012 NBA All-Star Break and game in Orlando fast approaching, that signifies the mid-way point of the 2012 season, so this seems like the perfect time to take a closer look at some of the foolish decisions made by NBA executive, teams and players thus far.
THE LOCKOUT: is there was any question about this being the biggest cluster fudge in sports this decade? Millions of young children grow up with the dream of 1 day playing before millions of fans and becoming the next Jordan or Bird, but not a single one of them ever envision a lockout and being told by “the men in suits” that they are not worth their pay. So often as fans looking in from the outside, we jump to conclusion they are being greedy, but lets take some time to put the situation in a different context we can relate to: if you were an employee of Chase Bank and the executive staff called a meeting of all of its employees and said something like “our shareholders have decided to cut your salary and take away many of your benefits you previously received, but we want you to work more hours (aka play more games)”, most of us would be like hell to the naw I quit or use way more adult language. Since the NBA comes with such large salaries it is hard to relate. Luckily, after months and months of the players union and the league going back and forth in an attempt to reach an agreement eventually one was reached and all parties were ready to return to work. (The high points of the new Collective Bargain Agreement being:
1. A band that can fluctuate between 49 and 51 percent for the players and owners, depending on the leagues annual growth, will set the Basketball Related Income (BRI) split. Previous offers had made it nearly impossible for the players to ever achieve the 51 percent share of BRI, but under this new tentative agreement they have a legitimate chance to reach that favorable split.
2. The owners relented on the “Carmelo Anthony Rule,” aiming to abolish extend-and-trade deals like the one that sent Anthony to the New York Knicks last season.
3. The full mid-level exception for non-luxury tax teams will be five years for a maximum of $5 million. The owners had been asking for shorter contract lengths on the MLE, but apparently relented on that demand in the latest negotiation. For teams that are above the luxury tax threshold, there will be a mini mid-level exception for taxpaying teams that maxes out at $2.5 million.
4. A 10 % maximum escrow tax will be withheld from players’ paychecks to structure the BRI split properly, but there will not be an additional increase as requested by the owners in the previous offer.
5. The deal is a 10-year agreement that allows either side to opt out after six years.
THE CHRIS PAUL TRADE: I have spent many years on the David Stern band wagon, the way he has handled his position as commissioner has always been with the utmost regard for both the owners and the players…that is until this year….with the New Orleans Hornets having no official owners they are under the rule of the NBA, so when the Lakers put in for a trade for Chris Paul of the Hornets this was blocked by the league, one would wonder if they were looking out for the best interest of NO or for themselves. They then turned around and approved a trade with the little sister LA team the Clippers. The Clippers sent rising star shooting guard Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman, mobile forward Aminu along with Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 first-round pick to the Hornets for Paul. The Clippers will also receive two future second-round picks. As most of my views know from previous articles, in my humble opinion this was a HORRIBLE trade on the part of all parties. Why would the Clippers trade away youth and a chance to win for years to come (Gordon) for an aging past his prime “star”?
The Gordon-Griffith combo was one that had potential to create a dynasty most fans thought would never be possible. As well as the league alienated the people of New Orleans who have been through so much already. Obviously, bringing Paul to Hollywood is great for public relations of a franchise that is in dire need of it. The Clippers haven’t been in the news this much since making it to the second round in 2007 for the first time since 1976. Eric Gordon turned down extension offer from the Hornets last month….so inquiry minds want to know how that will play out and where will see him take his talents.
THE SUNS SIGNING CHANNING FRYE: 0 for 7, which means NO points, and a mere two rebounds, this seems to be a trend with him…ENOUGH SAID! He has really struggled early this season and is not shooting with the same success he did previously, and some are already wondering whether rookie Markieff Morris deserves increased playing time ahead of him.
MONTA ELLIS SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A FRANCHISE EMPLOYEE: did you learn nothing from Isaiah Thomas or Brett Farve? Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis reportedly sent lewd photos of himself to a Warriors employee from November 2010 to January 2010. The employee is now suing Ellis. As terrible as that is, as we’ve so often learned, the cover up is always worse than the crime. The Warriors allegedly did just that–then fired the employee for bringing the claims against their star guard. If this was one isolated incident, fine. We could let the legal system run its course and punish Ellis if he in fact committed wrongdoing. The reason the NBA has a problem is because this type of behavior is becoming a pattern. Female employees are being subject to abuse and no one in the league seems to be too concerned about it.
DRUNK DIALING DWIGHT HOWARD: Many grown folks partake in too many “spirits” and make the drunk dialing mistake: calling an ex, a booty call or someone you should not, but MOST PEOPLE are NOT dumb enough to handle work matters while under the influence, especially those that have billions of dollars hanging in the balance. Former CEO of the Orlando Magic Bob Vander Weide resigned from his position after calling up Magic Superstar Dwight Howard at 1 in the morning to convey (or beg) to him how much the team and fans want him to stay in a Magic uniform. He admitted to making this call after having a “few glasses of wine”. Vander Weide should have known better than to phone his superstar so late, not o mention after having a “few glasses of wine”. The term “few drinks” is such a subjective response as well. There’s also the fact that desperation is an unattractive quality that most people try to steer clear of, and after this latest twist, Orlando reeks of just desperation that we can smell all the way over here on the west coast.
KEVIN LOVE NOT BEING VOTED AN ALL STAR STARTER: It is utterly ridiculous that a player who is averaging 25 points and 14 rebounds per game isn’t an All-Star starter, but that is just what happens when the voting is left to the fans. Most often the uninformed fans are voting more abundantly than those with true basketball knowledge, so they vote the names or “stars” they see in the media most often forgetting about players with less hype that are doing what needs to be done for their teams without all the hoopla. Thanks to the presence and flashiness of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, though, Love won’t be on the floor for the opening tip of the 2012 NBA All Star game. The Timberwolves may only be a .500 currently, but without Love they would probably be competing for the No. 1 draft pick. I will go out on a limb and say if Love played in Los Angeles he would have been elected as a starter by a landslide.
RANDOM FACT: one of the dumbest moves of the year was when Kevin Love stepped on Houston Rockets’ Luis Scola’s face earning a 2 game suspension, man up and control your temper Kev and you might earn that start.