The NBA trade deadline -– just as we suspected, with this one caveat. You now have proof that if you have Lance Stephenson, it costs you your first-round draft pick to get rid of Lance Stephenson.
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Now back to the games, unless you still like talking about basketball in the suited abstract, in which case here is the Coach of the Year scenario we want. Steve Kerr and Luke Walton sharing the bauble, just so that you can hear the words “small,” “sample” and “size” shrieked by the always persistent Brad Stevens lobby.
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The long-awaited John Scott movie is apparently going to happen if John Scott is to be believed. But his first choice to play John Scott, Seann William Scott, is unavailable.
Solution: Seth Rogen, since he’s in everything, with Amy Schumer as Mike Emrick, a komodo dragon as the NHL official who tells Scott he is embarrassing his children, and Dame Maggie Smith as Brent Burns.
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Clip and save, in case your tavern arguments turn to the horrifically tendentious:
The minimum salary for a first-year player in the NFL last year was $435,000; for Major League Baseball, it will be $507,500; the NBA minimum this season is $525,093, and the NHL, amazingly, is the leader at $550,000.
Two questions arise here. One, is there any surprise that the NFL pays the lowest rate? And two, would you like to have been in the room when the NBA Players Association and owners fought for that final 93 bucks?
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As though Flint, Michigan didn’t have enough trouble importing water from Rio Di Janeiro to make up for the hot-and-cold running poison its citizens are currently getting, there is the Ontario Hockey League’s Firebirds, which were seized by the OHL after suspending owner Rolf Nilsen, his management hires and new coach Sergei Kharin.
Nilsen was suspended after firing his coaches, John Gruden and Dave Karpa, for the second time this season – the first being when he fired them for not playing his kid enough and then being forced to bring them back when the players (all of whom are in their teens) went on strike. This time, he did it for . . . well, he said it was because he didn’t think the team could make the playoffs, but it’s clearly because he’s a raving loon.
Bottom line: The league is offering counseling services to the Flint players. A guy named Nilsen trying to use Stockholm syndrome as a motivational tool – hmmmmm.
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Baseball Prospectus has put out its annual PECOTA team and player ratings (if you don’t know, you’re not going to care, but here’s the link anyway; be prepared to pay).
Anyway, the Giants are expected to finish 87-75, a wild-card team with Washington and seven games behind the Dodgers. The A’s, on the other hand, are rated last in the AL West at 75-87, tied with the Los Angeles Angels and only three games ahead of the worst team in the league, Baltimore.
Hey, take it up with Bill Pecota. He was born in Redwood City but lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and has nothing to do with the metric’s name or the rating itself, but BP took his name for its system, and he’d love to have to punch a belligerent stranger yelling at him about a bunch of math freaks he doesn’t know and never met off his front porch.
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And finally, New York Yankees chief operating officer/smug git Lonn Trost reminded us why one should never not hate the team and every single thing it stands for.
In explaining why the team no longer allows print-at-home tickets in an attempt to force fans to use either their preferred off-site vendor, TicketMaster, or their own box office, he dropped this contemptibly snotty gem:
“The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money. It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and (another) fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount. And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”
In other words, the Yankees believe in two levels of fan — the kind that pay through the nose and are therefore worthy to associate with, and vermin. Never has anyone associated with the Yankees ever done more for the image of the Boston Red Sox – or for the value of untrammelled class war.