WFNY Podcast – 2013-01-22 – Craig and Andrew Talk All Things NBA

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WFNY Podcast LogoCraig has had a pretty long string of guests on who, when talking about the NBA, have prefaced their opinions with a disclaimer that they don’t really follow the NBA much. So I begged Craig to let me come on and talk about the sport. He was nice enough to oblige. Some topics we touched on:

  • Post-LeBron NBA hangovers
  • Did the old system fail?
  • Will the new system work?
  • The disgrace that is the potential move of the Sacramento Kings
  • Will Byron Scott be around when the Cavaliers make the playoffs?
  • Where the Cavaliers are in the rebuilding process
  • And more

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    The whole “teams moving” discussion always gets me. It’s easy for us to throw stones because we got an expansion team. Only Houston can really understand how that feels. When Ravens fans don’t “get” why we hate them, it always cracks me up.

    These leagues need to realize that there are just some markets that *don’t* work. Seattle was NOT one of those cases. Charlotte, as you pointed out, is. The NHL put TWO teams in Atlanta over the past 40 years, and it failed both times. And that’s a huge media market; it’s just not a “hockey” market.

    I have no beef with Seattle getting a team back; they supported the team they had, and they were/are a good market. I don’t know if I can say the same for Sacramento, but I don’t know the specifics of their market support.

  • Andrew Schnitkey

    Sacramento is a lot like Seattle, only the Kings are Sacramento’s only professional sports team. There’s a deep bond between the city and the team, that has been fractured by distrust and betrayal from the Maloof Family. The Kings fans don’t deserve this. They love that team and they support them when not being screwed over by horrible owners.

    Good point about us getting the expansion team. It probably does make it easier for us to claim the high road. How would we feel if we stole a team? That’s a good question, DP.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I never really understood the idea behind putting an NBA team in Sacramento. It’s so close to the Bay Area that it might as well have been lumped into the Golden State market and left alone. Now you’ve got this niche market in Sacramento with its own history (albeit a crappy history) with fans who are used to having a team in their city. Those fans may or may not choose to root for division rival Golden State if the team moves to Seattle. It’s just bad foresight by the NBA in my opinion… I don’t understand the market they were going after when they allowed the team to move to Sacramento.

  • Andrew Schnitkey

    The things is, them leaving Sacramento really has nothing to do with the market. Those fans support that franchise. It’s a franchise with a rich history (though not all in Sacramento) and a passionate fanbase that has become part of the city identity of Sacramento. This move is all about the failures of the Maloofs as business people and the fans have to pay the price for their indifference to the franchise.

    Look at the offer of public funds the city made to the Maloofs to build a new arena last year. They had an agreement with the NBA and the Maloofs, except the Maloofs suddenly backed out of it at the last minute. It’s just plain wrong.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with basketball being in Sacramento. The problem is finding an ownership group willing to keep the team in Sacramento while also absorbing the Maloof’s enormous debt to the city of Sacramento. It’s a mess. But by no means should this be happening to Kings fans. They are good fans.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Oh I agree with all of that… the Kings’ fans are getting screwed here. What I’m saying is they never should have had a team to lose in the first place, and that’s on the NBA. There are tons of markets that would have accepted that team with open arms that don’t really fit into an already existing market. Norfolk/Hampton Roads for example is a gigantic market that doesn’t have a pro sports team and would support an NBA team without cannibalizing the Wizards’ market (People there identify with college basketball way more than pro basketball). I’m not arguing your point, I’m adding to it.

  • mgbode

    i’m not sure you understand the geography and demographics of California.

    if one were to want to go to a Warriors game from Sacramento that tips at 7:05, then you need to leave at 4pm at the latest (and go South through Stockton to avoid the Northern Bay area traffic crush). then, you are not getting home till around midnight. that is an 8hr commitment for a 3hr game. And, that is going to become impossible if/when the team moves to the SF side of the Bay (as you’d have to go over one of the bridges – time killer).

    Sacramento has big money corporations (HP, Intel, etc.) along with the giganticism of the California central politics residing there. They definitely ‘should’ have a professional sports team and they proved they could support it.

    Now, with the current understanding of television deals, etc. you have a point. But, in the 1980’s, people were not thinking about it that way. They were thinking about what cities could best support a team. Sacramento fit the bill.

  • mgbode

    well, if we are going to believe the storyline (and there is little to suggest that we should not), then the reason that we got a team back at all is because we stomped our feet and demanded it be done. that we backed a publicly financed stadium and wanted a team quickly. and, that we demanded it be an expansion team for the taste of another cities team would be too sour.

    the other side of the coin is that the NFL was using us (and Houston) to scare other cities into backing stadium deals and allowed it to expand one more time using an easier road (established teams to new markets, new teams to desperate established markets).

  • Natedawg86

    I think the thing that stings the most about the Browns move to Bal is that Bal had a chance to wait a few years and start fresh with a new expansion team (I guess in a way Bal got a super expansion team because the name and records stayed in CLE, and Bal benefitted from not having to go through the development process of a new team).

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Maybe so, but I fail to see how that’s any different than Baltimore, MD or Hampton Roads, VA or any number of cities that are close to other cities that have a team and contain major corporations. Remember, Intel and HP weren’t giants back in 1985. If you think you’re getting to a Washington (then Bullets) game without leaving at 4pm or earlier considering the traffic from either Baltimore or Hampton Roads, you’re crazy.

  • mgbode

    fair enough. but, assuming the NBA did it’s research, then they probably looked at all that and saw Sacramento didn’t have a team and could support one. they were proven correct.

    i don’t know if they were looking (or Hampton Rds/VaBeach were requesting) a team back then, but I could see why they might choose Sacramento (only game in town) over Baltimore.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Andrew I think you make a good point about LBJ wanting to be somewhere that has a young core (or a core that is coming into their prime as he arrives), and that is part of why I think he will go to Chicago. Aside from the Bulls being his favorite team during his youth, they have Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Luol Deng, Marco Bellinelli, and Jimmy Butler making a nice young core there (Deng/Noah/Gibson are the oldest, currently only 27 years old). It’s also a market capable of attracting coveted free agents.

    LA still seems like a very real possibility to me though. You just don’t see the Lakers go through rebuilding periods for long… sooner or later they are going to spend money and add stars. I never understand how it happens, but it happens.

  • Harv 21

    nice job, guys. 2 things for Andrew:

    – agree completely about Byron. I need to be able to identify what he is teaching this team to do well. Anything: fast break, transition defense, toughness, playing consistently hard … what? I’ve said before that I can’t help but compare him to Lenny in the ’80s and 90’s, who not only effectively taught fundamentals to the talented but also effectively taught and mixed in a bunch of fringe players or ones who could only do one thing well – Tyrone Corbin, Mike Sanders, Del Curry. When Byron was hired they were all going to be proficient in the Princeton offense – are they? Spacing still looks terrible a lot of the time and It’s like most guys just don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing.

    – Not sure getting Kyrie and shedding the old contracts was the “hard part” of the rebuild. I think the hard part is drafting Robin and the butler to Kyrie’s Batman. Or getting his sidekicks in a trade. As we saw with LeBron, a whole lot easier said than done. Two straight overall #4 selections and it looks like Grant is zip for 2. Kyrie won’t be hanging out waiting forever. I think this is the hard part.

  • Andrew Schnitkey

    The Cavaliers don’t really run a princeton offense. There are elements of it included in some of their sets, but in the purest sense of what the princeton is, the Cavaliers don’t run it. In a true princeton offense there are always two guys in motion (cut and fill). The Cavaliers do like to cut off the pass, which comes from that offense, but the 2nd guy filling is often missing.

    As for the hardest point, I just think it’s harder to find the centerpiece. Legit superstars who are franchise players aren’t that common. I look at the Bulls and how long it took them to replace Jordan, the Celtics with Bird, the Magic with Shaq, heck even the Lakers took a while to replace Magic. By no means is the next step easy, but if the premise is that you need two stars, it’s easier to find one once you already have the first one in place.

    Either way, nothing about it is easy.

  • Andrew Schnitkey

    The only thing is, I don’t think Rose wants to play with LeBron. When LeBron was a free agent, I know the Bulls pursued him, but I seem to recall Rose staying away and not really wanting to pitch LeBron on going to Chicago. I could be wrong, though.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    This is well put, Andrew.

  • Harv 21

    oh, leave those nits Andrew, pure Princeton, half, whatever (I’m calling it what Scott has). Either way he’s had trouble getting guys without the ball to move or space properly, and they turn the ball over an awful lot at crucial times.

    I think once you have the first overall pick the centerpiece is available. That’s usually not hard, like a GM skill (though in Kyrie’s case it was the great trade). Unless you think figuring out how to tank and then win the lotto is hard. What they have to do next is more skill than good fortune: find the star that some other teams can’t.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Wow, I believe you, but that’s completely idiotic on Rose’s part. He’s not winning a title without another star player, so it might as well be the guy who can feed you tons of easy baskets rather than the guy who takes all of your shots away.

  • BigDawg703

    You’ve seen the weird Oregon jerseys in Columbus, too? I’ve never been able to understand that!