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NBA Players should get paid for the life they live

by ja on 11/11/2011 12:00:00 PM

@JaredDudley619 just tweeted a good thought. He said he wouldn't compare his job to a teacher or a doctor. That those jobs are more valuable. That his job only exists because of the fans.

I respect his comment. And it doesn't mean that he's admitting he should be paid less because his job is less valuable. His value will be determined by what his employers agree to pay him. And they will make that decision based on how much he helps them to accomplish their own goals. That's the only thing that should go into deciding what he'll get paid... how much is he worth to his employer.

But anyway this post was meant to be much lighter. I justed wanted to give Dudley respect for the sentiment.

I've read several posts of people complaining that NBA players make too much money (see here we are back here again). That these posting individuals would do the worth the players do for so much less (like 75000 dollars was thrown out there) is absolutely stupid. First there is the issue that they COULDN'T do it nearly as well so it almost becomes moot. But, let's say they could do it as well. Would they? Hell no. Not after they had done it for a short time EVERY DAY and dealt with everything involved. Some might, but most people just want to be at home with their kids and wife at night. They don't want the drama. They don't want the rumors. The don't want to play when their back or ankle hurts. They don't want to play all  taped up and barely stuck together. They don't want to break their nose on Tuesday due to a pick and then have to play the next night. Get it. It's hard people.

So when I was in middle school I used to laugh at this song by ICE-T. Then I heard it again 15 years later on a long car ride and I thought... "damn, that would actually suck. What a crappy day. And it could be like that more often that one wants to know." Anyway, here's the lyrics. I got them from some lyric page so if they're a bit off don't get all mad at me. You'll get the point either way. Try plugging in some of the crap you think NBA players might have to deal with and you'll really get the point.

It's eight a.m. I roll out my silk sheets
Get fly crash the limo back seats
Lookin' in the faces
Of some ladies that I never met
On the interview tip, no sweat
They ask me questions
I throw the words back
They say they write facts
I know that's bull crap
They're kickin' drama
But then drama's my middle name
That's the price ya pay for big fame
The cellular phone rings
Dot wanta pick it up
But it's my J-O-B I gotta kick it up
Another damn reporter
On the line with a word quiz
I gotta show cause I'm livin' with the show
Biz. Out the llimo, to the plane
In the pourin' rain
I hate flyin'
But there's no time for slow trains
another show to do
I gotta caatch my crew
They left last night
In the bus around two
The plane's a small one
No fun at all
Bouncin' round the air
Like a tennis ball
When it touches down
I wanna kiss the ground
But it's time to wreck a new town
Get to the arena, meet up with the crew
They tell me all the speakers blew
The cordless don't work
Sound man's a jerk
Somebody's gonna get hurt
I'm crazy mad
But my fans want autographs
I turn my angry frowns
Into fake laughs
I can't be rude
Cause they wouldn't understand
I in't human no more, I'm a superman

You can try
But you'll never understand this
You can try
But you'll never understand this
You can try
But you'll never understand this
The lifestyles of the rich a and infamous

Four hours till show time oh well
I might as well check in the hotel
Get a little rest
Before it's time to play
Ten brothers standin' in the hallway
All with demo tapes
They need the hook up
They heard that I was
The one to look up
I can't ditch 'em
Cause they already saw me
I'll put my head down
Maybe they'll ignore me
No chance "Ice what's goin' on?"
I listened to twenty-five songs
And after thaat
The brothers still wouldn't leave
They started lookin' at my T.V.
I was gonna break down
If they didn't jet soon
Snuck across the hall
And crashed in E's room
But then this freak came in
Thought I was E
Straddled her legs across me
Ripped off her blouse
Pushed her breast against my face
Started girating her waist. Sounds fly,
Like a hype sex thriller?
But see she looked like Godzilla
Pushed her off me
Home girl hit the floor
This is what it's like on tour
I hit the hallway it was crawlin' thick
"Could we take this picture real quick?"
Jumped into a pose
That I used a million times before
Took pictures
With the whole damn floor
I couldn't say no not to my fans
You see they wouldn't understand


Now it's show time, time to flow time
Evil lost the records
But we still gotta go time
The house is packed
Everybody's on their feet
So I say, "Throw on Rakim's beat."
E hits the fader and the crowd is lit
I start bustin' off some new shit
The stage is so smokey
That I almost fall off, I start inhalin' it
I'm tryin' not to cough
I'm catchin' problems from every angle
The mic cords are tangled
I try to flow smooth
But my words are mangled
Damn near slipped and broke my ankle
If that ain't enough
The police are hawkin'
Listenin' real close
To the words I'm talkin'
They wanna put a brother like me
In the back seat
Just because I curse the beat
They wanna tap my phone
Wanna keep my crib bugged
Call all my homes
Felonist street thugs
You might say
I think this lifestyle sucks?
I wouldn't tade it for a million bucks
Although it's all
Not glamour and gleam
It's still my dream

Michael Jordan is playing his part in the labor negotiation game - owes no apologies

by ja on 11/10/2011 12:00:00 PM

Okay, this whole Michael Jordan is a sellout thing needs to be addressed by someone who admires the play for what it actually is rather than make it all about integrity or owning up to this or that. TrueHoop claiming that Jordan should have to say he is sorry or he was wrong for having a different stance at a different time when he was in a different situation makes me believe that TrueHoop is missing the point of what Jordan is doing.

Jordan was a Chicao Bull. And he would go out there and die out there for his Bulls (or atleast for the 'W'). But if they traded him then what do you think he would have tried to do the next time he came to Chicago. He would have tried to go for 75 and a 'W' against his former team.

At that time Jordan was a player. And when it came time for players to negotiate a deal then Jordan did what he needed to do for his other players and for his bank account. Telling ownership that if they can't make a profit then they need to sell their team was his way of crossing over and then letting his tongue hang out on the way to the rim. He was competing for his side in those negotiations, that's all. Good for him. That's what he is supposed to do.

Now Jordan is an owner. And guess what. He's doing his job. He's protecting his interest and those to whom he is now most closely bound to in terms of those interests. The other owners are his teammates right now and he's following the rules, but doing whatever it takes in this battle against the other team.

Everyone knows that negotiations are made up of all kinds of posturing. There have been empty deadlines on the owners' part and there have been "concessions" that the players swore they would never make. Does this mean that none of them are to be believed and that they are all full of crap. Well, the answer is both YES and NO. They're all doing what they're supposed to do in the negotiation game and trying to get the best outcome for their respective teams, but they're also all atleast somewhat full of crap.

Michael Jordan can say whatever he wants (true or not) because that's how this game played at the negotiating table. He's not the only one doing so. He's just the most obvious one and the easiest target. And that may be part of the plan. After all, if MJ would say such a thing then, considering his past, it must be news and the players better listen up. Or they can rally against him and still give the owners what they want. 

It's tactics. It's nothing more. And it's brilliant.

He doesn't owe the player's a thing. Nothing other than to keep paying 15 or so of them every year should they agree to a plan that allows him to do so.

Flip a coin? No, sir! Shoot for it! A lockout solution.

by ja on 11/2/2011 12:00:00 PM

Checking out twitter earlier and saw this tweet:

@KBergCBS - My son's lockout solution, "Flip a coin", he said.

Interesting I thought, but I propose something a little more old school basketball.

Back in my playing days when both my legs and my back could agree on what they were going to do from one minute to the next we solved things differently. When it came to basketball we didn't flip a coin. If someone made a call and you thought is was garbage you argued the call for no more than about 10-15 seconds and then when it was obvious that neither guy was going to agree then you finally just said "Fine then. shoot for it".

There was no arguing about whether you could shoot for it. It was some sort of basketball god given right to argue a call by shooting for it. And there was no taking back the right to shoot for it once it was underway. And there was no arguing afterwards. Maybe it bit of cussing and name calling and whooping and hollering about how the "ball don't lie" until the game resumed, but then the game was on and everyone was ready to roll.

I'd like to see the NBA Labor negotiations be converted into something like that. David Stern and Billy Hunter can sit down with 4 each of their crew. Hunter can bring any 4 members that are in the union. And Stern can bring any 4 owners
or employees who are currently still getting paid (coaches and assistants, trainers, GMs, webguys, whatever). What are the rules?

First is the jump ball. We'll let Jason Berger have his coin toss for this.

We'll being playing this game outside since we're doing playground rules. I need somewhere with wind. Somewhere where anything can happen during a shot.

Then comes a possesion. The team in possession runs a play (they make a proposal for some part of the CBA ). They can pretty much choose anything they want except BRI. That one has all the drama of a game winner so obviously it has to be done last. So they make a proposal and if after a short deliberation their oppenent agrees to the proposal then the ball changes hands. If not, then a brief argument (fine, call it a negotiation) can happen where ANYTHING can be brought up (past plays, potential future plays, whatever), but if they can't agree within a short time then they "shoot for it". Literally. They "shoot for it". The proposing team gets to pick a player from the defense (no player can be picked twice in a row) and makes them earn their right to take the ball back. A made shot is like a steal. They get the ball and get to drive the next topic. The topic under negotiation is still undecided and can be brought up again. If the defense misses then the proposal is done and the team that was on offense gets what they wanted. Sure, it can still be used later in negoiations, but it's basically done. It can't be brought up again independant of anything else. And it can't be used to freeze the process up anymore.

So this will go back and forth for a little while each team scoring points here and there. They'll agree on some things without arguing and they'll "shoot for it" on others, but the game will be played.

When BRI comes up it'll be quite a show. It has to be last possession. There will be tons of drama. They'll put it on TNT. We'll find out if there will be a deal or no deal. Then, once there is no deal (and we know neither group will accept right away here), we'll watch the arguments and find out why and if they might change their minds. Then, we'll do another commericial after we find out who will be shooting. We'll see a split screen between the two groups trying to figure out what to do and a view of the basketball goal. We'll see a flag on a flagpole so we can see the wind. The participants will see it too. Preferably it'll be a gusty, but not necessarily windy day. The participants will have to decide if it is worth it to negoiate somewhere between their current position and their opponents position in order to avoid an all or nothing "shoot for it" scenerio. Maybe they will. Maybe they won't. But in short order a decision will be made and all with very little argument. And we'll finally be watching the best basketball players in the world do their thing. We'll be watching basketball!

Real basketball. Something we can enjoy after a hard day's work. Something our kids can watch and they can dream about being a part of while they're on the playground making plays and arguing calls until one of them finally sighs and then blurts out "Fine, just shoot for it".

Amnesty - Good for fantasy, good for the NBA.

by ja on 11/1/2011 12:00:00 PM

I just read Zach Lowe's piece at The Point Forward about the amnesty clause. I laughed during the first paragraph when he stated "This is why it is called an 'amnesty' clause and not 'you get a chance to cut this one guy for no reason' clause.For those of you that play in my particular league here at SignAndTrade (and also for those of you who play here in a different league but made use of my league's "constitution") you certainly know what I think is funny about that. Here's the line regarding our "amnesty" clauses for my league.

In an effort to keep injured players or unexpected midseason retirement from causing a team to be completely hopeless, the following types of insurance are available for US dollars. This money will be added to the pot for the year the insurance was purchased.
$10 Team insurance: Can be used on any one injured player for 50% relief. Player will go to waivers and then on to free agency if not claimed. Player filed against must have collected stats since the purchase of insurance before it can be used on them. (Can't buy insurance on an already injured player).

$10 Ohh, I just have to have the cap space insurance: Can be used on any one player for 100% relief. Once added to a team, a player can only be dropped after a period of 2 weeks of NBA regular season games. The only exception to this rule would apply when a player has a long-term injury (the commish will rule on this kind of drops on a case by case basis). This insurance can only be used as many times as needed by a team.

$5 Individual Insurance: Can be purchased for use on one specific player that must be named at the time of purchase. If the player is injured/retires, you will receive 100% relief of their salary. Must drop player to FA. Player file against must have collected stats since the purchase of insurance before it can be used on them. (Can't buy insurance on an already injured player).

The "Ohh, I just have to have the cap space insurance" is the one I thought of when I read Lowe's article. The managers in my league sneaky and agressive. We don't bid one player and then the next. We bid just like in the NBA. We might have 40 different players up for bid all at the same time early in the year with everyone tryingg to fill their remaining roster spots from those who's contracts expired during the previous offseason. We sign players to multiple year offers (up to 3 years) just to have something to build around in future years. Other owners who don't even want your player will make an offer anyway in hopes that you'll be forced to outbid them. Bids are open for 2 days and if a new bid comes in on a player the clock starts over for them. It's a dirty little secret (that's not really a secret at all) that we'll bid on players just to keep you from locking a player down. After all, if you lock a player down then that is one less variable you have to account for. I want your bidding to be HARD and you to think twice about bidding on the player I'm trying to get. Or if I know you really want the guy... then I just want you to have to pay more for him, because that's less money you can spend elsewhere.

But what happens if you just let him go when I try to run the price up? You "stick me with him". That's a strategy too. Fantasy owners will bid on players and hope someone else comes along and tries to run up the price. When they do they find out they just took over a bid that noone else even wanted. It's fun and it's crazy and it's trash talk heaven. But it's an opportunity to cause major damage to your team as well.

Though our amnesty clause was originally intended to keep injuries from just ruining a fantasy team's entire year it quickly became a "Ohh crap. I can't believe I actually bid $25 gazillion for Marvin Williams for 3 years! What the hell was I thinking  back in October? Maybe I should have let that other guy have him for $24 gazillion! Well, I don't want to carry his contract into next year so and the year after so I'll just buy it out now." Our amnesty clause is by far now used more in this capacity than for what it was designed. In a league where your cap is 175 Gazzillion and you pick a bust (or any underperformer really) for a huge salary and then compound that by signing them for multiple years you're pretty much screwed. Unless you have amnesty insurance.

Honestly, I think the NBA must just have smart owners to see this coming. They've experienced that sometimes they make mistakes. They've acquired Dampier during free agency following a career year in which he "did the work" and then watched him not work so hard afterwards. They've seen flashes of potential and then attempted to beat everyone to the punch only to find that while the potential was there it would remain unfulfilled for
whatever reason.

I'm all for the amnesty clause especially the way it is designed (or how I understand it). If the owners are going to pay the players what they agreed then I don't really see who loses. In our fantasy league the people who spend the most buying out contracts still generally don't win that year anyway. They just sweeten the pot for those who played well and didn't have to use the amnesty clause themselves.

And as far as the idea of trading amnesty for draft picks, etc... I'm down. We're not allowed to do so in our league (not blatantly), but we'll trade a player we want to get rid of along with either draft picks or another player we would like to keep to a team that still has an amnesty "drop". The new owner will simply drop the player and enjoy the valuable little "bonus" they got for managing well.

And the other owners are all glad to see another $10 go into the pot for the winner. Everybody wins.

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