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NBA 2017-18: A Tale of Two Conferences

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On 2/23/2018 at 10:35 PM, OnWis97 said:

I hope all you non-Minnesota fans appreciate what you have.  The Timberwolves playoff drought just got extended by a decade.

I'll happily switch my teams for yours ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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8 hours ago, dfwabel said:

How did Zaza "fall"?

Grassy knoll at Oracle.

 

 

 

Was coming to post the same. Zaza is a garbage player and shouldn't be in the league anymore. This is ridiculous.

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Heard that neither of the other philly teams have lost since the Eagles Super Bowl. Just checked the standings and the Sixers are only a game out of the 4 seed in the east.  Trust the process. 

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Zaza is dirty but sometimes Westbrook deserves what he gets. 

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Zaza:

 

tumblr_noczzpXtDN1ty8uiqo1_500.gif

 

Zaza, please get off of this team I kind of support.

 

Is it bad that Team Four Star’s interpretation of Vegeta fits the Warriors to a T?

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The Cavs should've packaged the gray City uniforms along with the outgoing players in the deadline deal.

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On 2/16/2018 at 3:54 PM, DG_Now said:

And clearly you're not the only person who doesn't want to blow the NBA. There are plenty of KKK members who would never do that either.

 

1998: I Love This Game!

2008: Where Amazing Happens

2018: You'd Have to Be a Klansman Not to Consume Our Product

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1 hour ago, the admiral said:

 

1998: I Love This Game!

2008: Where Amazing Happens

2018: You'd Have to Be a Klansman Not to Consume Our Product

 

I hate when I put in (just kidding) and people take it out.

 

The NBA does lean hard into social justice issues. If that's not your thing I can see how it could be exhausting.

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17 hours ago, DG_Now said:

 

I hate when I put in (just kidding) and people take it out.

 

The NBA does lean hard into social justice issues. If that's not your thing I can see how it could be exhausting.

I think the NBA brass know that trying to put the focus on the teams outside of the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, Lakers and the Cavs would bring viewership down more than not allowing players to speak out on societal issues. That's why it appears that basketball players are more outspoken than MLB and NFL players. In those leagues it's more about the jersey than the people wearing them. 

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3 hours ago, who do you think said:

NBA players aren't any more or less intelligent than NFL or MLB players. They sure think they are, though.

 

If you look at NBA player contracts, I think there's a case that, yeah, they are.

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It's probably about the same continuum of bright guys and boneheads as any other sport. There does seem to be a concerted effort on the part of sportswriters to present NBA players as the intellectuals of sports that I don't think is present in, for the sake of argument, today's baseball, a sport which used to have the reputation for harboring the most eccentrics. That's how you get headlines like "LeBron James Realizes The Limits Of Human Empathy." But what it really seems to be is that these very academic basketball writers, as one would expect, struggle to find much commonality with sevenish-foot dudes who devote their lives to a sport and watch their worlds narrow accordingly, so they project themselves onto the players they cover. I imagine it gets demoralizing. Believing that LeBron James is really really smart just like you because he called Trump a bum probably helps you cope. This guy sorta nibbles at it here:

 

Quote

The culture of athletes is treated as alien and toxic, a kind of pit in which womanizing bros, aggressive rageaholics, and icky religious freaks are allowed to flourish and enjoy a high income and status that would be justly denied to people who act and think in this way in any other profession. When macho athletes like Yasiel Puig are profiled, it is often in a superficial way in which their background is mined for all political resonance and dramatic tension, but the actual personality is carefully obscured. Athletes are famously hard to get to know, but sportswriters often just seem incapable of getting their head into a macho, competitive, aggressive culture. And sometimes, sports writers seem to be appealing to the general manager or team HR departments to enforce liberal norms on their highly paid assets.

 

The smaller portion of athletes who happen to share cultural affinities or political commitments with liberal sports writers are given glowing, intimate, get-to-know-you portraits. Stories like "How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective-loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player." I wonder if there was a follow-up asking all other football players whether they were redefined by Barwin's presence. It's notable that journalists who do seem to get along with average athletes, like Bill Simmons or even Stephen A. Smith, are treated with a little bit of suspicion by the rest of the sports writer tribe.

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1 hour ago, DG_Now said:

 

If you look at NBA player contracts, I think there's a case that, yeah, they are.

I'm not exactly sure how NBA and MLB contracts evolved so differently from NFL contracts, but I don't really think it's a sign of players in any sport being any smarter than those in any other sport.  My guess is it's because there are more "expendable" players in the NFL than in other leagues given the big rosters.  The rank-and-file NFL players are trying to just keep their current incomes going for as many years (weeks) as possible, while the NBA rosters are comprised of a higher percentage of players whose jobs are secure.  The NFL has successfully made the players faceless robots (hell, it's how the current dominant franchise has remained dominant), while the NBA is reliant on individual star power.  There are a lot of different circumstances and even if the NFLPA didn't use its leverage as well as its NBA counterpart, I don't think it's a reflection on the intelligence of the players in either league.

 

NBA players are definitely more outspoken.  And it is in large part because the leagues and teams are more comfortable with it than the NFL and its teams.  The NFL does not seem to like players to have non-football interests.  Regarding political/social stances, I wonder whether this is about the fan-bases at all.  There's got to be a ton of overlap, but I get a sense that football fans sort behave like the teams want them to, i.e., thinking of the players are helmeted/masked robots.  They don't seem to react well to anyone rocking their boat (as evidenced in the Kaepernick saga).  NBA fans seem to accept it a little bit more; I'm sure many don't like it, but it just seems a bit more accepted.

 

 

SI did a pretty interesting piece contrasting the reactions of the Panthers and Mavericks players and coaches:

https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/23/mark-cuban-dallas-mavericks-jerry-richardson-carolina-panthers-crisis-response

 

There does seem to be something different.  I dunno, maybe if it was a different NFL team and a different NBA team those scripts would be flipped, but I tend to doubt it.  I think it comes down to that football "team" mentality vs. the individualism in basketball.  NBA players get slammed for that, but maybe it contributes to their having more courage to say what ought to be said.

 

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Obviously the scarcity of NBA talent provides players more opportunities to get paid and speak out without repercussions. There's no inherent intelligence difference among the leagues, except for maybe NFL because of all the brain trauma.

 

Ask most wide receivers if they'd rather be a small forward and I bet the answer is yes. The game is safer, you have more visibility and the job is more secure. That security provides way many more avenues to do what you want. Which may include U bum.

 

BTW, LeBron is a marvel at coping and managing expectations and performance.

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3 hours ago, OnWis97 said:

I'm not exactly sure how NBA and MLB contracts evolved so differently from NFL contracts

 

The MLBPA had Marvin Miller and the NFLPA didn't. Marvin Miller for Cooperstown.

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Sure, sure, but what's San Antonio's cap situation for 2018-19? LeBron/LMA/Kawhi (or just LeBron and Kawhi!) would be ruthless.

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