What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
It’s no secret the Cleveland Cavaliers owner is an emotional guy. But he’s also an idiot. But it is his very instability which will allow us here at Dubsism to perform one of our patented line-by-line breakdowns to illustrate exactly why he personifies the problem which clearly still exists in the NBA.
In the wake of the proposed-then-rejected three-team Chris Paul trade, Gilbert popped off another one of his delusional rants. However, in this one, he exposed himself as the soul of the problem. It’s subtle, which is why we spent a few days combing over his statement so we could tease out what he really means.
It would be a travesty to allow the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul in the apparent trade being discussed.
This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.
One of the big problems we have in this country is we spend to much time listening to people who don’t matter. Trust me, the irony of saying that on a blog which gets six readers isn’t lost on me, but until Dubsism buys ESPN, this is what I’ve got.
Even thought the league “owns” the Hornets, and even though Gilbert owns a franchise in the NBA, Dan Gilbert doesn’t matter to the big picture of the league and he knows it. At one point he mattered; when his franchise had the biggest star in the league. He will go to his grave pissed off because when LeBron James left Cleveland, Gilbert simultaneously became irrelevant and the value of his franchise dropped 30%. The whole reason he wants to have a vote is because it is the only way anybody will give a damn what he thinks.
“Over the next three seasons this deal would save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.”
Here’s another dead give-away that Gilbert is simply being a petulant, self-absorbed pain-in-the-ass. Re-read that paragraph, bearing in mind we’ve just emerged from a six-month lockout all during which everybody from the ownership side kept beating a drum to the tune of controlling the cost of business.
So, we have the Lakers figuring out a way to get “the best player in the trade” and spend less money on top of it, and this parasite is criticizing it. Re-read it again if you must and note what he is NOT saying. It is important to note he’s not upset about “competitive balance,” he’s not bleating anything about “big market/small market,” in fact he has yet to mention ANYTHING about the “collective good of the league.” Keep and that in mind as you read forward.
“I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process.”
Remember, this is coming from a guy who couldn’t figure out how to keep the ONE asset which made his franchise valuable in a league which had the “Larry Bird” rule. Remember, his failure was visible to everybody who can read; who knew that the contract between James and the Cavaliers ended on a particular date. Yet Gilbert loves to pretend like LeBron skulked out of town in the middle of the night with no warning.
It is Gilbert’s head-up-his-own-ass attitude which explains why some franchises do well and some don’t regardless of how a league is structured. Gilbert is simply not a very good owner; it’s not like the LeBron situation was the only time he had to make decisions. Look at the roster of slag-heaps with which he surrounded his star. He doesn’t know the first thing about building a winner, and he never will.
This is only going to get worse in a league with increased revenue sharing, or as I like to call it “rewarding failure.” Gilbert is literally banking on the the Lakers to overspend because he gets paid if they do. In other words, he is living off the success of others by being a failure himself. You can follow Gilbert’s logic as he keeps digging his own grave…
“And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player).”
This would be laughable, if it weren’t so pathetic. Here’s a guy who can’t run his own franchise, yet somehow he has the temerity and the foresight to tell us just where the Lakers might be headed. That last paragraph is the one in which he’s finally getting off his own whine and takes up the “small market” argument without actually saying those particular buzzwords. In the span of three sentences, he goes from “The Lakers are going to be better than me” (like they weren’t already) to “The Lakers need to pay for my failure.”
Let’s talk about that “small market” thing for a minute. It is obvious there is a money problem in the NBA, but blaming it on this “class warfare” type argument is ludicrous. Ask yourself a question: If market size is the be-all, end-all of franchise success, why have Clippers sucked for 30 years? With precious few exceptions, why have the Knicks and Nets been terrible for just as long? Conversely, how have the Spurs been a consistent contender? How did the Pacers stay a playoff team for the majority of the past two decades?
“I just don’t see how we can allow this trade to happen.”
Let me see if I can explain that to you, Dan. First of all, it isn’t up to “we.” Secondly, since you seem to believe that Jerry Buss is your own personal ATM, then the league should probably find a way to let him make some money since you obviously can’t. No matter what you do with revenue-sharing, at the front-end of the process somebody has to make the money. The league has a much better chance of doing that with a few “super teams” than with a league full of teams with razor-thin operating margins.
No matter how you slice it, New York will always be a more profitable market than Indianapolis. But the dirty little secret is that profitability and “competitive balance” don’t go hand-in-hand. Take the example of the Knicks and Pacers. The Pacers have been in the playoffs 16 out of the last 20 years, and are a financial black-hole. In that same stretch the Knicks have largely been a competitive bottom-feeder, but they’ve been a profitable one.
When you boil it down, what is really killing this league is not the fact that we may end up with five or six “super teams,” it the fact that is has far too many Rashard Lewis and Samuel Dalembert types; guys getting 11 points a game on $100 million contracts.
“I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do.”
I am always suspicious at people who presume to speak for others. They almost never do.
“When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?”
I really can’t improve on the answer to this question offered by Tommy Craggs over at Deadspin…
“When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?” obstreperous bullshitter Dan Gilbert said in a message to Stern, apparently written in the sort of pleading, self-pitying prose one finds in prison letters. Here’s the bullshit thing about that: You are the Washington Generals. You have always been the Washington Generals, and until the NBA goes commie and starts arming the peasantry and redistributing the land—a la the NFL—you will go on being the Washington Generals. All sports are rigged to one degree or another. The NFL is rigged so that everyone is the Washington Generals. MLB is rigged so that the Washington Generals, upon receiving their annual bribe, are mostly content to remain the Washington Generals. And, yes, the NBA is rigged so that a handful of teams—the teams the general public actually likes to watch on TV—get to enjoy their native blessings, and everyone else is the Washington Generals.”
Like I said, that really nails it down, but I will need to come back to this in a minute.
You asked for it, so here’s the best advice I can offer you, Dan.
You might as well sell and get out, because the only people who buy your argument are other people who don’t matter. Even David Stern doesn’t give a shit about what you think; don’t believe for a minute he killed this trade because of what you said.
Let’s dissect that. First, there’s your complete irrelevancy. Stern is a guy who in theory works for all the owners, but in fact he works for the ones who make money. They are the ones who matter, and you are not one of them, Dan.
As to the reasons why Stern killed the deal, while he may work for the owners, he is also a self-preservationist. Face it, even though there are 20 owners in this league who individually don’t matter, together they can cause Stern a political problem if they decide they want him out.
Remember, Stern just led them in a war which those 20 owners were led to believe was being fought on their behalf; his “Remember The Alamo”-style unifying mantra being “competitive balance.” Make no mistake, there’s going to be five or six “super teams,” but Stern couldn’t play a role in making it happen before the ink on the new collective bargaining agreement was even dry.
Worse yet, “competitive balance” was more than a mantra, it was the whole reason the owners went to war in the first place. This means Stern really has to wait until he has the next bribe for those small owners before he can give them the unlubricated prison-rape which has been in their future for about three years now. In other words, Stern needs to maximize the value of the Hornets (which never happens with Pao Gasol as your “marquee” player) so the cut the owners get from the league’s sale of the team is therefore maximized.
Once he’s fattened up the 20 minnows, Stern is going to let them swim with the 10 sharks. Dan Gilbert, whether you like it or not, you have two choices. Either take you chances as a minnow, and accept whatever fate is dealt to you, or get out of the water.