Thursday, June 26, 2008

2008 NBA Draft

Well, I haven't been overly excited about the NBA Draft because the Dallas Mavericks don't have a first round pick. Yet again. But I decided to blog about the question on who should be the No. 1 pick.

Derrick Rose. No doubt. Especially the way penetration is paramount in the NBA. The way games are officiated. If you get into the paint, you're usually rewarded with a layup, free throws or a wide open shot. Everything you wish for on every possession in basketball. I don't even think Beasley has the most talent. Did they watch Rose during the Final Four tournament? The guy has every chance of being THE best point guard in the league for a very long time. Think of a taller, stronger Chris Paul.

Now, Michael Beasley has all of the physical tools to become a franchise forward in the league but watching him play brings back memories of Derrick Coleman. Almost to a tee. All the potential in the world but missing that one element to make his team win. Don't get me wrong. He'll put up numbers for you, but his team will lose.

Well, there's my quick blog about the draft. Here's hoping the Mavericks pull off a miracle trade and pair up Nowitzki with Derrick Rose.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Return Of Tim Donaghy

So, the proclaimed "rogue, isolated" official is in the news again. This time he is alleging most notably that "company men" officials rigged the 2002 NBA Playoff matchup between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers. In the game referenced, the Los Angeles Lakers shot 27 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Now, I know most of you consider Tim Donaghy as the lone official who would ever alter the outcome of a game. Because that's what David Stern and the NBA want you to believe. And because the FBI has cleared the NBA and other officials of any wrongdoing or illegal activity. Whether or not that just means that David Stern is intelligent enough not to have those conversations recorded is up to you to decide.

But ask yourself this. How did David Stern know without a doubt that Donaghy was the only official involved? Or fixing games in general for another reason? Wouldn't a CEO of a major company extensively research film to determine whether or not other officials were involved? What would have happened if they only investigated one executive from Enron?

Furthermore, for a league that freely admits to treating "superstars" differently and repeated altercations between certain players and officials, is it really that far fetched for the league to make games or playoff series more exciting through a little more manipulation? Isn't keeping Shaquille O'Neal from fouling out during his glory years manipulating the game in Shaq's team's favor? Why is protecting Kobe Bryant or any other superstar from fouling out any less of an offense as Tim Donaghy protecting a spread? And that's just one of the "rules" that Stern has implemented. We won't even delve into traveling and hop steps being "legalized".

Since Jordan's retirement, the NBA has experienced a sharp nose dive in ratings. Since an 18.7 rating during Jordan's last championship series, the NBA Finals has only surpassed a 10 rating five (now probably six) times. Only one of those series hasn't involved the LA Lakers. I've heard the media suggest that it would be the New York Knicks that would receive Stern's bias if it existed. What they fail or refuse to recognize is that the Lakers have far more appeal to the general public than the New York Knicks.

So, what does that mean? For advertising dollars, receiving half the amount of viewers could and has cost Stern and the league billions of dollars. What would you do to recapture billions of dollars? Do you think that might affect his paycheck just a little bit? Funny, the NBA Finals featuring the San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers last year captured an all-time low 6.2 rating. This year, it featured two of the most storied franchises the league has to offer. The Boston Celtics and........the Los Angeles Lakers.