hettinger_rl

My Vision for the Future of the NBA

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I've been thinking about some of the changes that have been going on in the NBA (player movement, tanking, resting, etc.) and the leagues responses to them. The league has been fairly cooperative with the players, coaches, owners, and fans on these. You might say they've been rolling with them. To that end some more "rolling" needs to happen. There are still some problems that the league needs to address:

- too many games (especially for the playoff teams)

- long....mostly uneventful.... playoffs

- super teams rolling over everyone

So these are my thoughts on how to re-organize in order to address these problems:

1. Move Minnesota to the Eastern Conference: truth be told I'd prefer that they do away with conferences all together and just work with divisions (more on that later) but Minne is kind of an out-lier in the west anyway. They are much closer to eastern conference teams for travel's sake, moving them could cut some road trips by a bit.

2. Add teams in Seattle and Las Vegas: Both places will likely end up with teams in the future either way. This brings the league total to 32 teams.

3. Create 4 Divisions: The 32 teams work to make 4 eight team divisions

         Pacific: Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Golden State, LAL, LAC, Utah, Las Vegas

         South West: Denver, Phoenix, OKC, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis

         Great Lakes: Minnesota, Milwaukee, Chicago, Indiana, Cleveland, Toronto, Detroit, Philadelphia

         Atlantic: Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami

4. Cut down regular season: Each team plays every other team twice for 62 games, plus they play each team in their conference 1 more time through the year for 77 total games. This cuts the season by five games for everyone (player rest/ longevity).

5. Reformat the playoffs with march madness in mind: I don't mean all win or go home, but (and this is probably the most controversial change) 16 teams start the playoffs and the first round is win or go home. The 2nd round is a 3 game series, higher stakes. The conference championships and finals are 5 game series. The most playoff games possible would be 14 if no team swept the minimum would be 9 if a team swept through. This format could either help or hurt a super team, they could get beat in the first round game and get no redemption games.

6. Move toward no conferences: Eventually they could just rely on the divisions instead of conferences. Just change the schedule to play each team in their division twice more instead of every team in the conference once more (one less game). Then each division sends a team to the "final four" in the playoffs. This could also benefit the All-Star Game by taking the best 24 players in the league rather than 12 from each conference. [If you really like your leagues chopped up you could make my divisions into conferences and break each into 2 divisions]

 

Well that's the idea that was burning itself into my brain while I was trying to sleep last night. Let me know what you think.

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Not to backseat mod, but this probably belongs in the pointless realignment thread, rather than in a brand new thread.

 

As to the proposal itself, you are cutting out 75 regular season games league-wide, plus a slew of playoff games. Given that player salaries and team overhead costs are fixed, there is no commensurate decrease in costs. That alone makes it a non-starter - owners are not going to willingly sacrifice revenue like that.

 

Not a huge fan of expansion, given the already existing problem of dilution of talent in the East. Expansion would worsen that dilution of talent, and it would also give the already-powerful Western Conference two expansion teams to feast on. (Not that adding two expansion teams to an already weak Eastern Conference, therefore weakening it further, would be much better.) That said, unlike MLB and NHL, I have no doubt about the financial viability of expansion teams.

 

I do like the move away from conferences, though. The imbalance between the East and the West has basically been an issue for the NBA since Jordan's retirement after 1998, and has only gotten worse in recent times. A natural course correction may be a long way away, so forcing the issue makes sense, IMO.

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45 minutes ago, hettinger_rl said:

 

1. Move Minnesota to the Eastern Conference: truth be told I'd prefer that they do away with conferences all together and just work with divisions (more on that later) but Minne is kind of an out-lier in the west anyway. They are much closer to eastern conference teams for travel's sake, moving them could cut some road trips by a bit.

 

They'd certainly have more playoff appearances if this happened.

 

That aside, I've always wanted this just to create potential rivalries with closer opponents but especially to they'll play fewer late games.

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36 minutes ago, kroywen said:

As to the proposal itself, you are cutting out 75 regular season games league-wide, plus a slew of playoff games. Given that player salaries and team overhead costs are fixed, there is no commensurate decrease in costs. That alone makes it a non-starter - owners are not going to willingly sacrifice revenue like that.

 

Not a huge fan of expansion, given the already existing problem of dilution of talent in the East. Expansion would worsen that dilution of talent, and it would also give the already-powerful Western Conference two expansion teams to feast on. (Not that adding two expansion teams to an already weak Eastern Conference, therefore weakening it further, would be much better.) That said, unlike MLB and NHL, I have no doubt about the financial viability of expansion teams.

The owners should weigh the cost of over-playing their players and having to pay them when they're not able to perform versus what they lose in revenue or fines for sitting players out. They could sell more ad-space;). Or work out a kind of profit sharing model for the playoffs where the teams in the series get the majority, but the other teams in the playoffs get a share too. If your team makes the playoffs, then you get a bigger piece of the pie plus more helpings the farther you make it.

 

As for the expansion, the the playoff from the previous season must designate 1 player to enter the expansion draft. That player must've played in at least 2/3 of the previous season's games and averaged at least 26 minutes per game. This would cause the super teams to choose wisely. This could have a leavening effect. 

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6 hours ago, hettinger_rl said:

As for the expansion, the the playoff from the previous season must designate 1 player to enter the expansion draft. That player must've played in at least 2/3 of the previous season's games and averaged at least 26 minutes per game. This would cause the super teams to choose wisely. This could have a leavening effect. 

Yeastern Conference Champions

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The NBA has had super teams forever. The Lakers and Celtics have won like half the titles in league history. It's inevitable in a 5-on-5 sport where star players can play 95% of the game.

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7 hours ago, HedleyLamarr said:

The NBA won't be really fixable until you heavily restrict the ability for star players to move to other teams.

You don’t need to restrict a star players freedom of movement, a player should not be forced to live 15 years in Detroit with a :censored:ty front office just because the Pistons tanked a season.  What they need to do is to make it inconvenient for star players to team up with other superstars. This could easily be done by using a Designated Player like MLS where a star player can be given a 300 million contract if the team so chooses and only a portion counts  against the cap. Doubt LeBron and Wade team up if one of them has to leave 100 million on the table, or Durant goes to Golden State and both Curry and him renew. Superstars could still look to join the team with the best supporting cast of not-star level players, but it’s Better than looking to play with another superstar  This would also pay the top players on a scale more commensurate with their impact on the court.

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The NHL needs to have a rule where your best drafted/developed player doesn't count against the cap. Forget the NBA, it's a complete lost cause in terms of competitive balance. But if you like dueling three-pointers, Twitter slapfights, and trans bathroom acceptance sponsored by Kia, business is booming!

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16 minutes ago, the admiral said:

The NHL needs to have a rule where your best drafted/developed player doesn't count against the cap. Forget the NBA, it's a complete lost cause in terms of competitive balance. But if you like dueling three-pointers, Twitter slapfights, and trans bathroom acceptance sponsored by Kia, business is booming!

 

Eh. You mock how "woke" the NBA is, but I'd prefer that to the alternative. Yeah, it's self aggrandizing and wrapped up in corporate sponsorship, but players are getting paid, people aren't dying, and women aren't getting beaten. Sometimes it's okay to dial back the cynicism; especially at a time when I think cultural cues may be more important than ever.

 

There's no walking back politics intermixed with everything. Especially the people running our political landscape actively seek to find points of division. If my sports leagues need to choose a side, I'd prefer they chose the right one.

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59 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

it's self aggrandizing and wrapped up in corporate sponsorship

Then why should it be sacrosanct? Sure, an NBA that has figured out how to monetize social consciousness as well as a number of other corporations is preferable to an alternative, but it's still not beyond ridicule. God knows I've never laid off the NHL.

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Because I'd rather the NBA hashtag for trans rights than take money from the military to make Donald Trump look good.

 

You and I both agree that there's no economic justice in this country, and that brands are certainly not our friends. However, we still can benefit from better conversations on social issues, and sometimes the ends do justify the means.

 

I'd rather a woke Burger King than an antigay Chick Fil A.

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Perhaps it would feel better to lay off the NBA if the product were in better shape. It's hard not to be cynical about the league when they're all making money hand over fist on crap. I think we can agree all four leagues have major flaws in their actual gameplay -- baseball games got too slow, the NFL has too much scoring, the NHL doesn't have enough -- but I don't think any league is getting away with producing more unwatchable garbage across the country than the NBA.

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Huh. I feel like unless you're an Orlando Magic fan, there's a reason to watch the games. Only two or three teams have a chance at winning the title (okay, barring injury only one), but the product is at least interesting night in, night out.

 

I also recognize that not every general sports fan buys NBA League Pass and spends hours on NBA Reddit, so I'm totally biased.

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2 hours ago, DG_Now said:

Huh. I feel like unless you're an Orlando Magic fan, there's a reason to watch the games.

I'm pretty sure Magic fans will want to watch the games just to see Jonathan Isaac.

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Basketball is not my thing, but I gave it a try. I sat through 70+ Cavs games a season from 2006-2010 because I went to college with a million Cleveland kids. I didn't find the blowouts or pointless first halves particularly entertaining back then. Is it any better now? Seems like in many ways it'd be worse. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, anythinglogos said:

You don’t need to restrict a star players freedom of movement, a player should not be forced to live 15 years in Detroit with a :censored:ty front office just because the Pistons tanked a season.  What they need to do is to make it inconvenient for star players to team up with other superstars. This could easily be done by using a Designated Player like MLS where a star player can be given a 300 million contract if the team so chooses and only a portion counts  against the cap. Doubt LeBron and Wade team up if one of them has to leave 100 million on the table, or Durant goes to Golden State and both Curry and him renew. Superstars could still look to join the team with the best supporting cast of not-star level players, but it’s Better than looking to play with another superstar  This would also pay the top players on a scale more commensurate with their impact on the court.

These players are already taking less than market value to create these superteams.  No amount of money will make Minneapolis sexier than Miami, Oklahoma City sexier than Los Angeles, etc. when these stars make a lot of money off the court.  Players have shown they'll take whatever amount if it means they can buddy-up and go for a ring. 

3 hours ago, DG_Now said:

Huh. I feel like unless you're an Orlando Magic fan, there's a reason to watch the games. Only two or three teams have a chance at winning the title (okay, barring injury only one), but the product is at least interesting night in, night out.

 

I also recognize that not every general sports fan buys NBA League Pass and spends hours on NBA Reddit, so I'm totally biased.

How would you sell me on buying a ticket to see the Hawks, without mentioning arena renovations or the opponent?

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I wouldn't sell you 1/3 of a pizza so why would I sell you 1/3 of a basketball experience?

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5 hours ago, DG_Now said:

Huh. I feel like unless you're a Brooklyn Nets fan, there's a reason to watch the games. Only two or three teams have a chance at winning the title (okay, barring injury only one), but the product is at least interesting night in, night out.

 

I also recognize that not every general sports fan buys NBA League Pass and spends hours on NBA Reddit, so I'm totally biased.

FIFY

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5 hours ago, HedleyLamarr said:

 

How would you sell me on buying a ticket to see the Hawks, without mentioning arena renovations or the opponent?

 

You're not the target audience for the NBA and never have been.

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