April 20, 2006

Start Your Own NBA Franchise!

as the nba season just ended, i thought this was a good time to roll out an entry that i've been writing for weeks. at a thursday "tim dinner" a few months ago, someone brought up the following question:
If you could pick one basketball player RIGHT NOW to start an NBA franchise with, who would it be?
keep in mind that all of the following factors count:

1) winning games: we want to win games. period. what player gives you the best opportunity to build a team to win? after all, winning ultimately, leads to...
2) filling seats: we want to make money off tickets, concessions, parking, the whole deal. this is a game, but it's also a business. gotta get that paper.
3) team popularity: having a popular team nationally and internationally increases merchandising profits.
4) longevity: having the big aristotle (as an aside: i was SHOCKED to find out there's no wikipedia entry for me to link to for 'big aristotle') might win you games and make you money, but what about five years from now?

i've been thinking about this a lot (yes, i do spend lots of time thinking about these things) and my list looks like this...

Popular choices, but not MY popular choices: Shaq, Steve Nash, Allen Iverson... all for various reasons.

I had a horrific time picking the fifth spot. Here are the other guys I debated amongst. Just missed the cut, in no particular order:
KG (+ versatility... - age, needs help)
AK-47 (+ defense, team play... - injuries, marketability)
Chris Bosh (+ age, overall game... - marketability? winner?)
Dwight Howard (+ age, defense, rebounding... - raw offense game, marketability? winner?)
TD (+ best player in basketball when healthy... - age, marketability)
Dirk Diggler (+ offensive game, clutch performer... - marketability)

5. Carmelo Anthony: i'm still not quite sure i want to pick carmelo at number five, as i struggled with this decision FOREVER. in fact, it's the only reason i haven't posted this till now. i think he made a tremendous LEAP this year. and any time you can get somebody who is that dominant of a scorer at the age of 21, you have to consider him even though he plays shit defense. add the facts that he is one of the top jersey sellers in the nba in one of its smaller markets and that he is incredibly clutch with a great public persona... bingo.

4. Kobe Bryant: regular readers of this blog know how much i detest kobe bryant. he is selfish, arrogant, and a bad teammate. he shoots too much. he demands the ball too much. and... he is the most dominant player in basketball. this guy takes shots that i used to yell at my players for even contemplating. he'll jumpstop at the three-point line, pump fake a guy in the air, and THEN pull up for a 25-footer. and the craziest part is, you're always shocked if he misses it, no matter how ludicrous it is. i heard an unnamed expert on the radio a few weeks ago say that he thought kobe was the most dangerous scorer he has ever seen on a basketball court. think about it: mike, kareem, and all the others always had a few spots on the floor and a few moves that they went to. they murdered you from those spots. but kobe? what's his "signature" move? is there any move or shot on the basketball court that he doesn't have in his repetoire? not to mention he also plays his ass off on defense and has big-game playoff experience. after all this, he's only 27. that's astounding. and if being charged for rape didn't hurt his popularity with his fans, then really nothing short of pulling an OJ will. painful choice...

3. Chris Paul: before the draft last year, i wrote this about chris paul:
I still think this guy is the easiest pick to be a perennial all-star for the better part of two decades. he's strong, fast, ultra-quick, smart, hits big shots, talented, supremely confident, defends like a beast, interviews well, and he has a ferocious mean streak....
ceiling: isiah, without the blatant homosexuality. marbury's game with a winning attitude.
floor: steve nash plus the ability to defend my mom, not to mention real nba players.
the two biggest ass-faces in the draft last year? atlanta and utah, both of whom NEEDED a point guard. neither of whom went with the easiest pick in ten years. best of all, he seems to be a class act who plays his ass off with no baggage. awesome.

2. Dwyane Wade: as crazy is it is to pick anyone but my number one, i came thisclose to doing it. when wade was a junior at marquette, i was a huge fan. i picked them to go to the final four and thought wade would be a fine pro. he was versatile, defended SO well, understood the game, and seemed to have a quiet confidence that was obvious. i thought all those things and i never once thought he would be as good as he is today. he's getting better every ten games, he's getting stronger every year, he seems like a great person, he's a top-level defender, and he is one of the five best in the league in the last five minutes of a game. i think he's 1a. john hollinger thinks he's the mvp this year.

1. Lebron James: let's be honest, his birthday was December 30, 1984. i'll type that again: 1984. that means that he's 21 years old. 21! at 21 i was trying to figure out what beer to drink. he's 6'8" and 240 lbs. he has credibility with white corporate america and urban culture. he has "the look" and "the swagger". but most of all, he's one of the top four players in the game from minutes 0-46 and he's getting better. only time will tell if he becomes the same in those last two minutes, but i think you'd be nuts to pick anyone else. of course, we'll see how he does in the real show, starting saturday at 12pm pacific.

of course, the beauty of sports is everyone gets their own opinions. feel free to let me know where i've gone wrong...

tags: ,


At 4/20/2006 01:29:00 PM, Blogger crosbyisgod said...

hey Jack, this is Ricky Ruhlen from way back in the day. I just stumbled across your blog from the comment you left on box.net's blog. I see you are a PM at Oracle and the start up I am at is looking for 2 PMs. Our site is www.simplyhired.com. If you would be interested in working for us then please email me at Ricky@simplyhired.com. We offer decent pay, benefits, and stock options and it is very fun working here and we are about to take off. good luck with everything btw.

At 4/20/2006 01:50:00 PM, Anonymous bon said...

are you joking me? did you just get a job hookup through your blog? and so it begins.

i was just going to comment that i'm surprised you never got into soccer- it seems like a sport you'd really enjoy talking about.

At 4/20/2006 04:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

soccer sucks...

At 4/21/2006 09:30:00 AM, Anonymous king said...

soccer does suck.


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