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Atlanta’s move would have been fine if they made better draft picks. Luka isn’t guaranteeing any championships by himself, so I actually agree with the thinking that leads to trading down and getting more picks. The problem is that Young is the only player they drafted who has any chance of being great.
Phoenix was wrong because their owner is the worst owner in the NBA and Sacramento are cowards. Luka didn’t want to go there (and somehow no one is mad at the white boy for being disrespectful to a front office during draft proceedings) and the kings drafted the first player who openly talked about wanting to be a king despite everyone saying he’s not going to be a good player.
Atlanta has a plan and their gm is fine. You’re allowed to make mistakes. Vlade divac is bad but he’s doing what his owners want. That’s how he has a job. Same situation in Phoenix. Sometimes, and this is hard for people who believe they know more about basketball than everyone involved daily in the sport of basketball, but sometimes people have bosses they have to answer to and considerations to make that we are not privy to.
People can look at rich cho and say he is a bad general manager, but if he was allowed to give Batum a rapidly declining contract the way he wanted to and pay the tax the first year and then be out of it charlotte wouldn’t look as bad as it did over the end of his tenure. Ownership had strict guidelines he was following.

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There’s some reporting out there, from Tim McMahon on Woj’s Podcast, so a little bit shaky, that Vlade and Luka’s dad don’t like each other, and that was an influence in why Luka didn’t go to Sacto.

Also gotta give James Dolan the nod for worst owner in the NBA

Not drafting the best available player because you dont like his dad is 100% insane

If you think Lamelo is the best player next year watch it happen again

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At the end of the day, the buck stops with ownership. I agree that a lot of discourse around evaluating front office/coaching performance doesn’t really take into account meddlesome owners who either aren’t acting in bad faith (prioritizing short-term profitability over long-term success) or don’t have the stomach to deal with short term pain with focusing on player development over being competitive on a season-to-season basis.

Sarver is obviously a terrible owner. Dolan is even worse. So while there’s no arguing that the likes of Vlade Divac and Ryan McDonough were/are poor stewards of their teams, they’re doing what ownership wants. Ultimately, ownership of teams dictates the direction they go in. Herb Kohl, when he owned the Bucks, mandated that they always be as competitive as possible from season to season, which meant a solid few decades of perennially chasing a 6-8 seed in the East. The various GMs over the years made a lot of short-sighted, crappy moves (hello to trading Tobias Harris for a half-season JJ Redick rental!) in service of that, but ultimately, they were executing the mandate from ownership.

TL;DR NBA ownership needs to maybe get out of the way and let smart basketball people just do their jobs, and we’ll have a lot fewer dumpster fires of organizations.

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Something happened that I never thought I’d see again, a player entered the stands again. Granted it wasn’t like the other time this happened with Malice in the Palace, but it was quite interesting. Isaiah Thomas just went into the stands to tell the fans to stop being disrespectful. I don’t know if it warranted him going into the stands to do it himself, but I think it shows a growing problem for the NBA. Fans have seemingly been getting more and more empowered to say or do whatever they want, or maybe the players are just finally tired of dealing with it. I’m glad the 76ers banned both fans for a year to all events to the arena, as well as, took away the season tickets to the season ticket holder that gave those fans the tickets. I think just showing there are consequences to your actions for fans time after time will help, but also the NBA might need to be more strict on these offenses by fans.

Also pour one out for my New Orleans Pelicans. I have no idea how the team is 8-23. Yes injuries have hurt and caused us to play players that shouldn’t be getting playing time, but even still this roster is much more talented than a 8-23 team (stats even support this). I was hoping Zion would be back for the Christmas game, but that is looking unlikely. I’m just hoping he plays this year. I want to see him play in some real NBA games. Our record should improve since our schedule has been the hardest so far, and will be the weakest in the 2nd half of the season. Hopefully the lottery gods will smile upon us again, and we get another high draft pick (hello Anthony Edwards!).

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Honestly, it sucks while you’re in it, but the faux-redshirt year for Ben worked out pretty well for the 76ers in the long run. (Or at least it would have if Ainge hadn’t played Colangelo like a fiddle and we’d ended up with Tatum or De’Aaron Fox instead of Fultz.) You’ve already own the Lakers’ entire draft cabinet and a bunch of potentially good young pieces, but it’s not the worst thing in the world to get more if a bad season just comes to pass. As long as Zion can come back and be healthy, y’all’s future is bright.

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No you’re not wrong. The future is bright for the Pels franchise. A crappy year this year doesn’t derail and diminish the amazing position the franchise is in to succeed. I guess I just bought into the hype this off-season by the front office about this team fighting for a playoff spot.

I guess the most disappointing part of it is the Pels haven’t really been competitive at time, and have been completely lost on playing as a team. I guess they would be more competitive given the roster talent, and it was just disappointing. Also I hadn’t seen New Orleans or the area embrace the Pels like this before. I wanted the team to be able to capitalize on it and make it so the Pels are loved even half as much as the Saints. Now based on everything I’ve seen/heard the team is right back where they were in gaining fan attention. I just want to see the Pels be embraced by New Orleans like they do the Saints because it’s such a unique fan experience.

Sorry to post again after my own post, but after the end of the Jazz/Pels game there were some interesting conversations. So for those that haven’t seen here is the ending of the game. There was a lot of contact there for nothing to be called, but I am biased as a Pels fan so. Here is a slowed down replay. I’ll let you decide if it was a foul or not yourself. In the first clip you can see JJ Reddick and Lonzo Ball try and call timeouts as soon as BI gets the rebound. As soon as it goes over halfcourt you can see Alvin Gentry put his arms down like he was also calling a timeout. It obviously wasn’t rewarded. Credit to BI he got a great shot for how little time was left on the clock. I’m not making the post to say that should have been a foul or not though.

The point is that the refs after all this went to the review monitors. Pels fans got their hopes up thinking they were reviewing the play and foul was going to be played. No, they were reviewing if there was any time left on the clock. A play can’t be reviewed and a foul called after the fact if no foul was called in the first place. But wait that isn’t always the case, there is one exception to that rule with block/charge fouls. WHAT?!? The whole point of a review system is to get the call right, so why not make all non-calls reviewable?

Ultimately this leads me to the fact that I think the NBA needs to cut back or get rid of the amount of reviews it conducts. Unlike the other major US sports (football and baseball) there aren’t really consistent stops in play in basketball. In football if you want to review a catch or something, fine, there is going to be a pause in the action anyway as people get reset. If you want to review a basket in basketball, you have to bring the entire game to a screeching fault. It just slogs the game down, especially in the final two minutes. If you want to have reviews in the games assign a ref in arena or even at the replay center to each game to specifically focus on reviews. That way the refs on the court can focus on the game. I think having a disconnected ref away from the action would benefit things greatly.

I feel like refs, across all sports, have been especially “in their feelings”. From the NFL refs almost never overturning a pass-interference challenge to quick ejections in the MLB, refs have seen to be extremely emotional in the last couple years. This game is a good example of it too. There were three technical fouls given out in the span of 1-2 minutes during the 3rd quarter I believe. It was just players voicing their frustration/showing emotion. There was also a lane violation given to a player sitting on the bench! It probably doesn’t help that I just happened to watch a video about of the Kings/Lakers Game 6 last night too, but I’m feeling less and less trustful of the refs to be impartial. I don’t think it’s some conspiracy that the NBA is orchestrating, but more so the refs are feeling defensive or influenced by outside factors.

Twitter, Reddit, and other social medias allow fans to see and spread replays of bad calls so quickly. The refs are now so much more aware of when they mess up than ever before. I think the reviews and coach’s challenges are only exaggerating it more as now they’re being questioned in real time by their peers, essentially. I’m sorry this became such a long post, but I just started typing and it went. I just feel like I enjoy watching the game of basketball. It’s fast, beautiful, and electric, and all these reviews slow it down and muddy it. That also only adds to the refs feeling attacked or jaded and influencing the game more. This takes the game out of the players’ hands, and I would guess most fans enjoy what the players can do rather than a ref feeling hurt and muddying up the game.

I’m not sure if that was a foul or not. Seems like a tough call either way.

As far as reffing and replay goes though, yeah, the NBA isn’t in a great spot. I don’t blame the refs for this, though. I blame the rulebook.

The NBA has gotten so complicated as far as the specificity and technicality of rules. When you’ve got world class athletes moving at full speed, figuring out who fouled who in a tangled mess of bodies is just becoming impossible to do accurately. So I understand why they would want to start utilizing replay.

But replay sucks. It slows the game down, and is making the game less watchable. At the end of the day, basketball is entertainment. Using extensive replay to get every call right is a great way to make the game less exciting and interesting. Not to mention that using slow-motion, frame-by-frame replay is also leading to more calls that are technically correct, but against the spirit of rules, a lot like the NFL has dealt with in figuring out what is and isn’t a catch.

Exhibit A: Lakers-Clippers on Christmas Day. Patrick Beverly blocks LeBron James’ shot out of bounds. To anyone watching the play live as it happened, it clearly was a great blocked shot, but Lakers ball. But on replay, the ball technically grazed LeBron’s shooting hand as it went out. That could not have possibly been seen without frame-by-frame replay. And without replay, nobody would have thought it was a missed call! He clearly batted the ball out of bounds! But because Beverly’s hand left the ball a fraction of second before LeBron’s, it’s then ruled Clippers ball. It was a correct ruling - but was it the right ruling? I’m not so sure. I’d bet countless plays like that happen throughout the season, but only because it was at the end of the game, they did a review. And only with a review could it have possibly been called the way it was.

So yeah, the officiating in the NBA isn’t in a great spot. And I don’t necessarily know all the spots that should be simplified in the rulebook, but I think the best place to go is to simplify as much as possible so that it’s possible to get an accurate call as often as possible in the moment without having to muck around with replay.

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Literally every sport is upset with their referees. The premier league (English soccer/football) just got video review and it’s been a disaster. Football fans are constantly complaining about reviews. Baseball got review a few years ago and nobody seems happy, either.

I think the bar is too high. Give referees credit for doing a super hard job and don’t get frustrated when they miss calls, because they always, 100% of the time will and eventually it’ll benefit your team.

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(sort of) Honestly, let’s end pro sports on TV. Just live sports, in person stuff. You want to see Zion, go down to New Orleans, or wait until the Pels come to your town.

Can you sleep after seeing Zion murder a grown man in-person?

The rest of the country only hears whispers of what other teams’ players are doing, newspaper sport sections are revived, and the legends just get ~out of control~ “Did you hear, JJ tomahawk dunked?”

At least, that would solve the replay problem (a little, still gotta do something about in-arena cell-phone cameras)

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Sports, but with the attitude of a speakeasy.

The core problem with replay review is that whether or not the league has it, the fans have it. So unless every single thing gets replayed (which would make most events twelve-hour marathons), something will be missed, and fans will see it and complain. Every step on the “more replay is the answer” side lately seems to have backfired—NBA games are taking twenty minutes to end with 90 seconds left because of reviews and the NFL’s pass interference rule is basically broken beyond repair at this point.

The only exception is in baseball, and that’s because it’s used in a super limited fashion for objective calls only—to confirm a foul ball or whether someone stepped on a bag first or actually caught a ball before it hit the ground—rather than for things like balls or strikes. Whenever you allow replay review of a subjective call—like pass interference or a foul—you’re going to have fan controversy.

There was a partial solution—specifically for the PI reviews in football, but I think it could work for fouls too—suggested by an NFL writer (I think Chris Wesseling) a while back. Make all replays real-time or freeze-frame—no slow-motion reviews. Freeze-frame should be able to show you if a ball hits the ground in football or someone steps out of bounds in basketball, eliminating the need for slow-motion that makes things like PI or possible fouls more controversial. The rationale was that if you can’t see it happening in real-time, then whatever was called on the field/court should remain the call, because that keeps the spirit of a rule that was designed for real-time calls.

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Well that was fun. What a debut by Zion. The energy was electric. I’ve heard it that loud only a few times, and it was always during the playoffs. It was a bummer he wasn’t able to get more run time out there. I feel like the 4 minute chunks didn’t give him enough time to really get going. I also respect and understand why the team limited him like that. It’s a bummer that the other Pels had such a poor game, because they had a real chance to win this one. It’s probably going to take some time for everyone to get used to playing together, and rotations will be a bit off too.

If you’ll excuse me I have a small rant coming. ESPN why on Earth did you think having Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy commentate this game? The biggest debut of a rookie since Lebron and you decide to put this turd sandwich on the call? Thank goodness I live in the local market and was able to watch it with the local guys (I love you Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels!)

Also with the influx of Zion, and even a lesser degree of Lonzo and Brandon Ingram, the fanbase of the Pels has completely changed. It was originally a small, but passionate group. For the most part everyone was pretty well-educated on basketball, and there was a ton of constructive conversations between fans and/or writers. Now… boy howdy are there just some really really bad and uneducated takes. Look at this tweet! Gentry is short-sighted because he isn’t leaving our superstar out there longer after a major injury to fight for the 8th seed this season. WHAT!?!? That’s just a taste of it. There were a bunch of messages like this last night, and the fans booed when the team lost last night. It’s just a change from the fanbase I had come grown accustomed to, and I don’t like it. It’s going to make me interact with fans less, and only interact in very specific circumstances which is a bummer. Was it like this when Lebron came to Cleveland?

So what was it like as a non-Pels fan? Did his debut live up to the hype?

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Dude was absolutely electric. You could feel the excitement all the way up here in the cold NE. Every basketball fan that I know is totally buzzed about his 4th quarter performance. Watching footage had me clutching my head like “YES DO MORE OMG SHOW THEM.” Insane. He stays healthy and the coaches continue to be smart of his play time and dude will be an absolutely dominant force, no doubt.

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I had to go to bed before the game started, but yo, Zion with an outside shot is going to wreck the league. Really excited to see his career develop.

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As east coaster, I unfortunately fell asleep at half time so my only real impression was the broadcast crew was unbearable. They really could have used Doris for that game cause she is much more excited about where the league is right now as opposed to being a grump

I’m excited to see future Zion games though!

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Yeah a few highlights I saw posted on Twitter about the commentary were that Mark Jackson called Zion fat. Also said he would draft Ja Morant over Zion too. Also apparently both went on a rant about analytics at some point too. They’re both so unbearable. Somehow despite Mark playing and both he and Jeff coaching basketball, I consistently question if they know anything about the sport they’re talking about right in front of their face.

Doris is the only commentator that I truly enjoy. She is so smart and knows the game so incredibly well. As you said, she also gets super excited and you can hear it. It’s such a joy to hear her call a game compared to anyone else. She not only talks about the game (which is somehow hard for other commentators to do), but seems to try and teach the audience watching about the game in the same time.

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I really just wish commentators could consistently be people who, I don’t know, actually like the game? Like, so often it ends up boiling down to former players and coaches bemoaning they style of play and how it was different and better when they played, and they honestly all just need to shut up and go away.

Like, it took Mark Jackson maybe 2 minutes into the game to basically call Zion fat. That’s just not acceptable. Maybe don’t take cheap shots at a rookie who’s been rehabbing an injury.

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