It’s all NBA, but because we deal in buzzkill here, it’s all business.
First, the NBA, NCAA and National Association of Basketball Coaches have united to attack the “problem” of underclassmen declaring for the draft if they aren't assured of being a high pick by moving the withdrawal date from mid-April to late May, and replace the current Chicago draft camp with an invitation-only combine (ecch) to give NBA teams a chance to evaluate and offer feedback on players’ draft prospects.
This seems hinky five ways to Sunday, of course, given the organizations involved and their devotion to buying human bodies low and selling them high, but Kentucky coach John Calipari, who has choke-slammed the system, endorsed it by saying, “This may be one of the best things the NABC has ever done. This is the first time the NABC understood that they represent the players.”
The current system declares a player ineligible if he enters the draft, which is so perfectly NCAA and NABC, but under this plan, “when you put your name in, if you're not invited that should tell you to go back to school,” Calipari said. “Now after the combine you can make a decision -- go back to school or choose to go.”
Seems to make sense, but this being the NCAA, I anticipate a massive screwup that works for the adults while screwing the athletes.
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And now, so you can start catering your NBA lockout party, the NBA players union formally rejected (as in “laughed uproariously at”) a “cap-smoothing” proposal the league put forth in hopes of minimizing the salary cap rise that comes with the $24 billion TNT/ESPN that begins after the 2015-16 season.
As a result, the current cap is expected to rise from its current $63M per team to somewhere in the $90M range, or $20M higher than any previous cap spike.
In other words, gentlemen, start your security systems. It’s going to be a long, cold, unpleasant, Sarver/Gilbert-filled winter. And in local news, it could very well close the Warriors’ window of a title opportunity prematurely . . . I mean, in case you couldn’t decide whether to support the millionaires of the plutocrats in this one.
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And commissioner Adam Silver, who is pro-plutocrat by contract, told Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune that he found it “fascinating . . . it got almost no attention” when players in this year's All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest were wearing a Sprite logo on their jerseys. “That goes to show that, while I understand what the notion of NASCAR-like uniform conjures in fans, there is a tasteful way to have relatively small branding added to the jerseys that would provide additional value to our sponsors and the league.”
In other words, it will be your fault when the Warriors’ jerseys lose the sawed-off Bay Bridge tower look at replace it with the Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers logo, or worse, just the disembodied howling head of Joe Lacob in the place where the bridge was –- because the team’s currently dignified look really isn’t in keeping with the “relatively small branding added to the jerseys that would provide additional value to our sponsors and the league.”
In other words, this is Adam Silver’s first official icky moment as commissioner. You’re forgiven if you feel like soaking your head in a vat of hand sanitizer.
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And his second one came when he told Eggers he was intrigued by (read: endorsed) a hard cap, like the one the NFL has. Great -– Silver’s three legacies will be the Boston Celtics Brought To You By Gawker, the end of guaranteed money and a lockout that lasts until the planet ices over, and the patented look of a perpetually haunted man who could really use a sandwich.
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Uhh, can someone explain why Draymond Green, is good while Richard Sherman, who is articulate, bright, funny and gets under opponents’ skins, is evil? And no, “Erin Andrews” is not the correct answer. The correct answer, as we all know, is “Well, Draymond Green is OUR guy, and Richard Sherman isn’t.” And if Green follows his rumor and goes to the Detroit Pistons, you will hate him like he gutted your pension and seized your home and assets, and you know it.
And if Sherman ever becomes a 49er or Raider . . . well, we rest our brilliantly constructed case.
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And finally, something that isn’t basketball at all. The Hartford AA baseball team has reduced the potential nicknames for the franchise down to five, which moves from New Britain and begins operations in 2016 to . . .
2) Praying Mantis.
3) River Hogs.
5) Yard Goats.
The winner ought to be some sort of hybrid name, frankly, like “Hedgebirds,” “Whirlygoats,” “Praying Hogs,” or “Yard Mantis,” but any of the five would be better than what Silver would want to do –- name it after the town’s big insurance company. Specifically, to call the team The Hartford The Hartford.
Make that Icky Moment 3.