Monday, March 10, 2014

4 comments Bill Simmons' "Fuck It, I Give Up on Writing Original Material So Here's a Mailbag" Volume 2; Getting Edumencated on How NBA Teams Can Tank

In Bill's last mailbag he came to the shocking conclusion that the Celtics are the perfect place for Kevin Love to end up. Who ever saw that coming? This week Bill gives the steps to tanking perfection and answers more email from his readers, who have become increasingly desperate to get their questions answered by Bill in a mailbag. Getting a question answered in the mailbag is one of the highest honors that a Simmonsite can receive, sort of the Congressional Medal of Honor for lemming, mindless fans of Bill. Let's have Bill teach us the correct steps to tanking, since there are only 10 steps and Bill is the only one who knows them.

The best part is that Facebook comments are allowed on Bill's mailbags! So if he cared and didn't mind having his fragile ego hurt then he could read the comments and see that he isn't universally loved. Also, there is only one question in this mailbag. That's it.

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday from now until the final day of the regular season (April 16), I am cranking out an all-NBA mailbag for the Triangle with a 5,000-word limit. As always, these are actual emails from actual readers. We’re tackling only one this week.

I'm going to get the obvious joke out the way now. Bill does a mailbag with only one question in it. It seems like may be an expert on how to tank after all. Just hilarious.

Maybe this mailbag will be the one that allows him to have the guts to stop writing columns like he so desperately seems to want to do.

Also, does Bill edit his own columns? The editor's note talks in the first person, so that's what has me a little confused.

Q: What are the odds that the Sixers finish their season on a 36-game losing streak? They’re at 15 already with 21 games to go. They put two actual NBA players on the floor each night, and things are so bad that I just thought about whether or not Byron Mullens is an actual NBA player. Is there a chance for L36?
— Jack, Philly

This is the question that required an entire mailbag to answer. It's from Jack (a common name) from Philly (a large city...also notice how many of Bill's "real" readers come from "Philly" as opposed to "Philadelphia." I just find this a little weird), so we know this is a real person and all.

SG: The short answer … YES!

The long answer...the rest of this freaking column. Apparently this is such a riveting question it requires a 5000 word answer.

You know how Lance Armstrong was the greatest cheater ever? 

I don't think Bill ever digresses. I think his writing is just one big digression.

How he blended his commendable charity work with state-of-the-art science and relentless lying to pull an ongoing Jedi mind trick on the American public?

He never failed a drug test that says he used PED's, but otherwise I'm not sure parts of the American public were fooled.

The 2013-14 Sixers have a chance to go down as the greatest NBA self-sabotagers ever. They haven’t been tanking games as much as obliterating any chance of winning them.

Nearly everyone understands the Sixers are tanking though, so how is this anything like Lance Armstrong fooling the American public? The Sixers aren't fooling anyone.

And they’re doing it because the NBA gives every team the same loophole …

If you want to throw away a season, depress your fans and disgrace the league for a 25 percent chance at the no. 1 pick and a 100 percent chance at a top-four pick … knock yourself out!

All four of the major sports give their teams this loophole. MLB, NHL, NFL, and the NBA. The only difference is the NBA has a lottery that doesn't guarantee the worst team in the NBA the first pick in the draft. So as far as comparisons go, the NBA gives teams a smaller loophole than any other major sport because the team with the worst record is only guaranteed at top-four pick and not the #1 pick in the draft. The NBA does less to give teams an incentive to tank than the other three major sports.

they’ve done everything short of signing Kevin Hart and Allen Iverson’s mom to 10-day contracts. And those moves might be coming next week. Would anything shock you? Look at the self-sabotage blueprint that Philly’s new owners and GM Sam Hinkie have followed.

Two pop culture references, with one of those references being dated. This doesn't shock me coming from Bill. Also, I'm still not understanding the comparison to Lance Armstrong since it is obvious the Sixers are tanking and it wasn't obvious to the American public Lance Armstrong was doping.

Step 1: Trade your best player for future assets if you don’t feel like he can be the best player on a championship team.

And that was a GREAT trade: Jrue Holiday for 2013’s no. 6 pick (Nerlens Noel) and New Orleans’s top-five protected first-rounder in 2014.

So the key to tanking is making a great trade that takes advantage of an overvalued player? Isn't this the key to putting together a good team and not just the key to tanking?

they improved their own 2014 lottery chances by turning 82 games of Holiday into zero games of the already-injured Noel. A crucial part of self-sabotage: maiming yourself in the short term. You don’t want to sorta suck or kinda suck in the NBA. You want to suck all kinds of suck.

Bill feels like he needs to tell us the best way to tank is to put yourself in a situation to lose as many games as possible. Apparently he doesn't think this is obvious to everyone already. It wouldn't be tanking if a team was trying to improve the team in the short-term would it? This seems obvious to me.

I love Rajon Rondo, but if the Celtics got a Holiday-like offer for him, I’d be packing his bags and his leather Connect Four case for him.

So I think Bill would agree this was a good trade overall and not just a good trade for tanking purposes. Of course, Bill has to shoehorn this trade into his discussion of tanking because he needs as many steps as possible on how to tank so he can make it seem more complicated than it really is. I think the key to being a great NBA team is to make great trades and if any GM has the chance to trade one of his players in a lopsided trade in his advantage then he should do it, right? I'm not sure why making great trades is part of tanking perfection, but should be a part of being a good GM.

Step 2: Don’t sign anyone who can help you, even if it means dipping under the salary-cap floor and going down as the cheapest NBA team ever.

Because Bill is out of column ideas and desperately needs to kill space he is going to rephrase "Try to lose as many games as possible by putting the worst players with the shortest contracts on the court as much as possible" quite a few times in this column.

What’s the point of signing veterans like Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry, and Shaun Livingston in July just because you have the extra money?...Screw that! Fill your bench with unproven young guys, failed draft picks and fringe bodies who make you say things like, “Wait, wasn’t that the dude on Jimmer’s BYU team who got suspended for getting laid?” and, “Is that the same Jarvis Varnado who was on Miami, or is this another Jarvis Varnado?”

Again, try to put the worst team on the court as possible. There's only so many times it can be said, but Bill isn't afraid of trying anyway. So far, the first two steps have been painfully obvious steps a team would need to take in order to suck in the short-term.

Step 3: Don’t get discouraged if you win early.

Philly started out 5-4 for two reasons: Michael Carter-Williams was better than everyone expected, and its three holdovers (Thad Young, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes) clicked in a surprisingly entertaining way.

Yes, Michael Carter-Williams was better than EVERYONE expected. Bill didn't expect Carter-Williams to be this good, so obviously no one else thought Carter-Williams would be good. I thought Carter-Williams could "conceivably be great," if he shot the ball better and didn't turn it over. The talent was there, along with great height for a point guard.

The Sixers handled it perfectly — never celebrating, never improving their roster and allowing Young-Turner-Hawes to be thrown in every conceivable trade rumor without ever saying, “We kinda like what we have here … change of plans!”

Because the Sixers had already decided they were tanking and weren't going to turn their plan around. Basically, Bill is giving the Sixers credit for planning to tank and not changing their plan. Also, wasn't it just last week that Bill sort of insinuated Sam Hinkle is helping to keep his job by undergoing a long rebuilding plan? It seems like Bill wants it both ways kind of. He wants to say the Sixers have a great tanking plan (assuming the plan works) and he wants to say Hinkle was just buying himself time by dedicating the team to a long rebuilding plan (if the plan doesn't work).

By January, Carter-Williams was developing poor habits and learning to lose. Young was asking for a trade. And Hawes was mailing in games and carrying himself like the star of a hostage video. Well played, Philly.

Yes, well played. Because if there is one thing the Sixers want it is their rookie point guard developing bad habits and learning to lose.

Step 4: If you can’t get fair value for your trade assets, trade them anyway.

Before the deadline, Philly gave away Turner, Hawes and Lavoy Allen for three second-round picks, two expiring contracts they immediately bought out (Danny Granger and Earl Clark) and the immortal Henry Sims. People get carried away with second-round picks because they’re cost-effective assets if you nail them, but recent history says you have about a 10 percent chance of landing a rotation player from picks 31 to 40. 

Yes, but the second round goes past pick #40. So there is a 10% chance of landing a rotation player from 31 to 40, but what about the rest of the picks in the second round?

(Since 2009, only Draymond Green, Kyle Singler, Chandler Parsons, Lance Stephenson, DeJuan Blair and MAYBE Nate Wolters came through.) After that, you’d have a better chance of hearing someone say the words, “I think what James Dolan is doing is really smart … ” By stockpiling second-rounders (five in all), Philly gave itself a puncher’s chance of landing someone who, someday, might be 80 percent as good as Spencer Hawes.

The second round does go past pick #40 and since 2009 the following players have been selected past pick #41 in the second round.

Chase Budinger
Patrick Beverly
Jodie Meeks
Marcus Thornton
Danny Green
Lavoy Allen
Isaiah Thomas
Mike Scott

Notice one other thing about Green, Singler, Parsons, Wolters and some of these successful second round picks is they stayed in college for four years. So perhaps a team has a good chance of finding a contributors in the rotation by focusing on four year seniors? This, of course, isn't a hard-and-fast rule but just a suggestion.

Congratulations! But that’s a self-sabotage staple — you’re not throwing games, just making it impossible to win.

This is otherwise known as "tanking" and Bill will continue to rephrase, "Lose as many games as possible" in a way that makes it seem like he isn't repeating himself.

Step 5: If you can affect the playoff race just to be dicks, even better.

Philly gift-wrapped Turner and Allen for Larry Legend for 10 cents on the dollar. Then, the Sixers bought out Granger to save $500K over keeping his sign-and-trade rights and hoping one of the league’s most respected veterans affected Carter-Williams in a positive way. Granger signed with the Clippers, meaning Philly potentially improved two of the league’s five best teams. 

I'm not sure affecting the playoff race just to be dicks was part of the Sixers plan. They needed a team to take Evan Turner off their hands while getting back a player they hoped would only play one year for them and then go his own way (Granger). Then Granger didn't want to play for the Sixers so they bought him out and had no absolutely no control over which team he signed with. So the Sixers just took advantage of the Pacers willing to take on Turner and give back Granger, then bought out Granger with no regard to which team he might end up playing for.

Totally fine. The NBA enables this behavior — there’s no trade committee, no “spirit of the league” rule, nothing. So, why not?

Well, there is a "spirit of the league" rule when David Stern decides he doesn't want Chris Paul getting traded to the Lakers, but that's just a part of Stern's legacy. The "spirit of the league" rule only applies to trades made teams the NBA has controlling interest over and when Stern doesn't like what the GM of that team has chosen to do with his players. Totally fine. And Tim Donaghy was the only NBA official fixing games, so just believe it. Nothing to see here. Move on.

Step 6: Trade for Byron Mullens.

The man knows what he’s doing. Nice guy? Absolutely. Could he be your 12th man? Sure! But if you’re riding him for big minutes, you’re riding a center who doesn’t protect the rim, rebound, defend or draw a double-team. You’re riding a sabermetic eyesore. You’re riding a 3-point specialist who can’t actually make 3-pointers.

The awfulness of Mullens aside, he does shoot about 35% from three-point range on the season. So for a seven-footer that's not too terrible.

Even with the Clips pushing to dump Mullens to open up a roster spot, Philly still traded a second-round pick to get him. He ended up fetching one fewer second-round pick than Spencer Hawes did! Has there ever been a better self-sabotage move? It was like the 1987 Lakers landing Mychal Thompson, only the exact opposite.

I'm shocked they still traded a second round pick to get him. This is absolutely unbelievable. My mind is completely blown. Like really blown.

Here’s an interesting blueprint dilemma for Philly — only Carter-Williams can cost them a couple of losses (by playing too well), but the Sixers want MCW to win Rookie of the Year so that SOMETHING good comes out of this season.

My God, what a dilemma. Fortunately, the rest of the players on the Sixers roster aren't good at all, so the odds of Carter-Williams winning games by himself are not high. Dilemma fixed, thankfully.

The case for not shelving Williams with a bogus injury: He feeds into the self-sabotage as long as he’s forcing too many plays and cheating for steals over actually playing defense. Have you watched him lately? Yikes. That’s what happens when you enable an impressionable kid and allow him to chase the Rookie of the Year award over trying to win games. 

It's not Carter-Williams' fault he is cheating for steals over actually playing defense. He went to Syracuse simply so he wouldn't have to play a real defense and could sit back and hold his hands up in a zone, using his length to bother the offensive players. Carter-Williams isn't used to having to work on defense and actually play defense in a man-to-man situation. If he wanted to work on defense he wouldn't have gone to Syracuse.

Step 8: Give tons of minutes to young players who aren’t ready for them, and come up with as many doomed/goofy/ridiculous lineups as possible.

Whatever. If the Celtics landed Kevin Durant in 2007, do you think Boston fans would care seven years later that we played Allan Ray too much, or that Young Gerald Green had the green light to shoot from any spot on the floor, or that we played two and three point guards together at the same time?

A little revisionist history here. I think it was Greg Oden that teams were more excited to land originally in the 2007 draft, but I think it's fun to pretend it was Kevin Durant that teams were excited to acquire with the first pick in the draft. Durant eventually snuck up a bit on Oden, but mostly NBA teams were excited about Oden. Except the Celtics of course, because they are smarter than every other NBA team.

Again, we repeatedly played Delonte West, Rajon Rondo and Sebastian Telfair together at the same time.

Oh, "we." I didn't realize Bill played for the 2007 Celtics team. That is something that I did not know. 

Within a few months, we had KG and Ray Allen and nobody cared. Sixers fans won’t care in six months, either. Assuming there are still Sixers fans. 

I forgot "we" had them. Good point, Bill. I guess Bill was released off the Celtics roster fairly quickly during the 2007 season, because I don't remember him being on the roster. Also, the Sixers are rebuilding, which is different from being impatient and trading for two Hall of Famers because your fan base may not want to deal with a rebuilding situation. The Celtics didn't have the patience to rebuild.

Step 10: Weigh the benefits of self-sabotage against the long-term damage to your most valuable asset.

Isn't it a little funny that a fan of the Celtics, which is a team that hasn't ever really gone through a long rebuilding period with an actual plan to rebuild, is handing out the ten steps on how to tank? The Celtics have never had a long-term plan of being bad over multiple seasons to get better draft picks until this season, the 1997 season and possibly the 2007 season. Other than that, they mostly have been in "compete now" mode over the last...well, as long as I can remember.

The Sixers are only one loss behind, with no plans of ever winning again. But they shouldn’t ruin Carter-Williams to do it. In 1997, I watched M.L. Carr irrevocably alter Antoine Walker’s career with that same “Rookie of the Year on a Crap Team” carrot. As the Celtics threw away their last two months for Duncan ping-pong balls, they had Antoine playing out of position at center, hogging the ball, chasing his own numbers and learning horrendous habits.

Celtics, Celtics, Celtics, Celtics, Celtics...apparently they are the only example of a team that has tanked during a season in order to get a good draft pick. I would dare Bill to write a column about the NBA and not mention the Celtics. He can't do it, partially because he only does mailbags and doesn't write columns, but also because he's still the Boston Sports Guy. It's all he knows.

Trust me: Antoine was only 20 years old, and he NEVER recovered from those two months. He learned all the wrong things. All of them.

Oh yeah, I trust you. When have you ever lied or tried to deceive your audience by believing you could read minds?

Well, the same thing is happening to Carter-Williams right now. He might be special, he might never get there … who knows? He’s a fantastic athlete with size, and someone who quickly adapted to the speed of the NBA game and belonged from day one. Could he have the career that we always wanted Shaun Livingston to have — just a slew of 22-9-12’s on a series of entertaining teams?

"We" always did want Shaun Livingston to have that kind of career. I would have preferred Livingston have that kind of career after spending at least one year at Duke of course (he had committed there), that's what "we" wanted.

But he’s also a genuinely dreadful outside shooter (see Kirk Goldsberry’s shot chart below)

As I said back in June, he's gotta learn to shoot to be an outstanding player. The benefits of watching college basketball and not simply watching the NCAA Tournament and claiming to be an expert on college basketball players is immense.

he’s a little older than you think (at 22, he’s actually five months older than Kyrie Irving).

Don't tell me how old I think he is. I know exactly how old Michael Carter-Williams is. Not everyone ignores college basketball or lacks the knowledge that Bill thinks they lack because he lacks that knowledge. Shockingly (to Bill Simmons), there are people who know as much about basketball as Bill Simmons does.

They’re better off punting on Rookie of the Year, coming up with a bogus injury and keeping him away from the team’s festering stink. There are no good lessons from intentionally getting your asses kicked every night.

And of course because Carter-Williams is a robot, and not a human being, who doesn't care about his future earning value he will gladly sit out games with a fake injury in order to cost himself the Rookie of the Year award and perhaps get a reputation as slightly injury-prone. Why wouldn't Carter-Williams sabotage his future for the good of the Sixers team?

Please remember that Bill Simmons wants to be an NBA GM and has passively-aggressively attempted to land two NBA jobs over the last decade (Minnesota and Milwaukee). Can you imagine him as a GM going to his team's best player and telling that player to pretend to have an injury and sit out the rest of the season? I can't imagine how this would hurt this player's relationship with the team if the GM basically says, "We are trying to lose games, so be a sport and don't play the rest of the season and hurt your individual value for the good of the team."

We have too many teams (that’s never changing), a season that’s too long (that could easily be fixed) and far too much incentive for non-contenders to intentionally fail (that can DEFINITELY be fixed).

Again, I would argue the incentive to fail in the three other major sports is stronger because the NBA is the only major sport that has a lottery system which doesn't guarantee the worst team the first pick in the draft. Of course, in the NBA only five players play so one certain player can dramatically turn a team's fortunes around. I guess that's the flip side, but the NBA gives teams less incentive to tank by instituting the lottery system.

We also don’t have any penalties in place — not even something as simple as, “If you lose 90 percent of your games for any 35-game stretch during a season, your season-ticket holders receive a 30 percent discount for the following season.”

Oh, so the NBA would tell teams how much they have to charge for games. I can't imagine what's wrong with a heavy-handed approach like this, as nice as this sounds on paper.

Would we see as much self-sabotage if the owners’ wallets were involved? Somehow I doubt it.

Right, but good luck getting the owner's representative, the commissioner Adam Silver, to recommend measures that takes money out of his constituents' pockets. Not going to happen. Welcome to the real world, Bill where money matters.

Two weeks ago, I wondered about the best way for an NBA general manager to make sure he stays employed for four to five years. “The answer: Blow everything up, bottom out, build around young players/cap space/lottery picks, make a bunch of first-round picks, and sell the ‘illusion of hope’ to your fans. I’d like to see people in other professions try this.”

As a San Francisco reader named Aziz pointed out, I inadvertently “described the private equity business model. Take over a bloated company, load it up with debt, dump assets, cut research & development, and basically guarantee the company can’t do anything innovative for a decade. Once the debt is paid off, you have a company with nice free cash flow (‘cap space’).

What Bill means by "inadvertently" is "I had no idea the private equity business model worked like this, but I won't acknowledge that because I have to be the smartest most clever person in the room at all times and admitting I don't know something isn't going to ever happen, so I will think of a bullshit excuse like I inadvertently described a business model rather than admitting I didn't know this was the private equity business model."

Many NBA teams are now owned by private equity or venture capital investors, including some of our most unapologetic tankers.” One of them? Philly’s Josh Harris. Hmmmmmm. Could there be a correlation? And why would the NBA want any correlation?

Because if the end result is a really good team in Philadelphia then this model will have ended up working well.

The dirty secret of Stern’s last 18 months was that, as much as the 30 owners respected him, they also believed it was time for him to leave. And somehow, the smartest guy in the room was the last guy who realized it.

Who would have thought this would happen and has it ever happened before? Has a powerful person stayed past his prime and no one had the guts to notify him that he had stayed past his prime because they had respect for the job he had done. I'll say, "no," this is the first time this has ever happened.

It didn’t just win the last collective bargaining agreement; it destroyed the players and checkmated a fractured union. Do you realize that Brian McCann signed for more guaranteed money this winter than LeBron’s last contract?

Yes, I think many people are familiar with the comparisons of MLB salaries as compared to the salaries of players in other sports. In McCann's defense, he does stand up for traditional baseball values like not slow-trotting a home run, which is super-important to a sport that has a death-grip on it's past while refusing to allow the future to breathe.

His owners want to hear a little less about “growing the sport abroad” and a little more about “building the sport domestically.” Other than the way he treated people and carried himself, that was their single biggest issue with Stern.

Other than his heavy-handed approach to nearly everything and the fact he probably covered up a huge officiating scandal with the popular "lone gunman, not a conspiracy" argument, while waving his hand telling anyone who questioned him on this that "These aren't the droids you are looking for," and also finding a way to lose all of the momentum that the Bird/Magic/Jordan era gained during the late 1990's and early 2000's of course. So yeah, I think maybe the owners could have bigger issues with Stern than how he grew the game abroad...if they chose to of course. I personally believe David Stern grew the game abroad because he had no clue how to build the sport domestically.

Can you tell I'm not a big David Stern fan?

And that’s why this tanking bullshit matters. When 36 percent of your league is willfully throwing away the last five weeks of an 82-game season, you’re doing something wrong.

Remember when this column was about tanking? This is how Bill is ever-so-tenuously tying in tanking with David Stern. It's like Bill had enough for half a column about tanking and half a column about David Stern, so he just threw the two topics together with a mailbag question from a person named "Jack" who lives in a large city.

Stern stuck his head in the sand. He pretended self-sabotage wasn’t a recurring danger, just like he pretended the broken officiating system was fine … and the always-disappointing All-Star Saturday was fine … and the annoying 2-3-2 Finals format was fine … and the stunning lack of minority league executives at every CBA bargaining table was fine … and the embarrassing Chris Paul trade veto was fine … and The Decision was fine … and the Maloofs destroying basketball in Sacramento to the point that the fans had to revolt was fine … and Clay Bennett extorting Seattle for a new arena and ultimately hijacking the team was fine … and the league owning the New Orleans franchise as it landed the no. 1 overall pick was fine … and starting off Silver’s commissioner transition by hovering over him for an extra eight months was fine.

I completely agree with Bill. I'm not sure I see the tie-in with tanking, but I agree. Though notice that Bill Simmons didn't take these pointed of shots at David Stern while he was the NBA Commissioner. That's not coincidence. This is fairly typical of Bill to take shots at someone after they can't hurt him (because, let's be honest, if Bill had been this critical of Stern in a public forum while he was commissioner then he's just a little bit afraid Stern would derail his career momentum on the ABC/ESPN NBA pregame show...just a little bit concerned) or takes shots at a person and then backs down once he meets that person. Look no further than Bill bashing Isiah Thomas for years in print and then meeting Thomas in Vegas where Gus Johnson played peacekeeper between the two as they reconciled their differences (i.e. Bill backed down).

I would be a little afraid of Stern too if I were Bill, but it's no coincidence Bill goes a little harder on Stern once he isn't the NBA Commissioner anymore.

This isn’t tanking. Nobody is throwing games. They’re just shitting on them. And they’re doing it because it’s the smartest thing to do. Don’t pretend this is fine. It’s not.

I think it's completely fine. I don't like it and tanking is a good way to alienate your fans, but if the Sixers think this is the best way to turn their team around then that's their decision as an organization. NBA teams still have to draft well for tanking to work, so if the fans can wait it out and the team drafts well, then it could all work out in the end.

So this mailbag had one question. Next week, will the mailbag feature half a question before Bill interrupts the question and just talks about the Celtics for 5000 words? Stay tuned...


Crazee said...

I think the hysteria over tanking is so overblown at this point. Other than the NFL, where teams go from 2-14 to 10-6 all the time and every team can win the Super Bowl, this is basically the status quo in sports. In MLB, the Cubs and Twins have been doing this. Lose to build a farm system, trade good veteran players for prospects....all to build a sustainable winner. I know Simmons never has to deal with this as a Red Sox fan, but...

The biggest problem with the NBA is that only teams that draft franchise altering players can win titles. At any given time, only 4 or 5 teams have a chance at winning a championship. And because of Superstars running the league and wanting to play in big cities, some franchises seem doomed to be bad forever unless they get lucky and get one of those franchise players (like OKC and San Antonio did). It's a tough league to be a fan of when the regular season is just a farce and your 55 win team has no chance to win a title.

Bengoodfella said...

Crazee, tanking sucks for the fans, but teams do it a lot. The Panthers essentially tanked their way to getting the #1 pick in the 2011 draft by releasing veterans and allowing John Fox to coach while being a lame duck. It happens unfortunately.

See, the fact superstars can turn a team around means teams like the 76ers have incentive to tank. I don't know if they have more incentive or not, but NBA teams know if they land a LeBron, Durant, Wade-type player then they can be competitive.

JBsptfn said...

San Antonio didn't just get one, they got two superstars #1 overall. And, if they didn't get the Admiral in 1987, the Spurs would probably be in New Orleans today because they weren't doing that well at the time.

Bengoodfella said...

JB, good point. I don't remember back to 1987, so I'll take your word for that. It seems New Orleans had been looking to poach an NBA team for quite a while.