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Our NBA award votes

We voted for the TrueHoop Network Awards, and here are our complete ballots.

My explanations for Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year and Most Improved Player can be found at Basketball Prospectus.

Most Valuable Player

Dan Feldman

1. LeBron James

2. Kevin Durant

3. Chris Paul

4. Dwight Howard

5. Kevin Love

Patrick Hayes

1. LeBron James

2. Chris Paul

3. Kevin Durant

4. Tony Parker

5. Russell Westbrook

This award is basically LeBron James and everyone else. The only other player I seriously considered in my top five was Love. I probably went with Westbrook because of this.

Defensive Player of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. Tyson Chandler

2. Dwight Howard

3. Kevin Garnett

Patrick Hayes

1. LeBron James

2. Tyson Chandler

3. Andre Iguodala

I’m tired of the bias against perimeter players in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. I’m fine with Tyson Chandler winning, but LeBron James is the most impactful non-Dwight Howard defender in the league. He’s always in passing lanes, he can block shots and he can lockdown any of the three perimeter positions. Plus, he could probably guard most power forwards in the league effectively.

Rookie of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. Kyrie Irving

2. Ricky Rubio

3. Kenneth Faried

Patrick Hayes

1. Kyrie Irving

2. Ricky Rubio

3. Isaiah Thomas

Choosing who to pick third between Manimal and Thomas was one of the tougher choices on my ballot. Ultimately, I picked Thomas not only because he was very productive, but because of his draft position (last player picked) and the fact that the Kings’ backcourt is loaded with players with better pedigrees — Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, Marcus Thornton — in front of him, his path to earning minutes as a rookie was harder. He not only earned minutes, he was better than all those guys in front of him.

Sixth Man of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. James Harden

2. Jason Terry

3. Taj Gibson

Patrick Hayes

1. James Harden

2. Lou Williams

3. Thad Young

Seriously, there was no competition for this one. Harden was by far the best non-starter in the league. As for my other picks? Williams and Young were both integral parts in Philly’s surprising start to the season. I had a hard time picking just one of them, so I picked them both. I could easily flip-flop them between second and third though. I could argue Taj Gibson in that mix though too.

Most Improved Player

Dan Feldman

1. Jeremy Lin

2. Nikola Pekovic

3. Ersan Ilyasova

Patrick Hayes

1. James Harden

2. Nikola Pekovic

3. DeMarcus Cousins

Harden went from nice scorer off the bench to a legit ‘third’ for an Oklahoma City big three. Pekovic made the Darko Milicic signing easier to forget. I normally wouldn’t pick a player like Cousins, who should’ve improved anyway from year one to year two, but after Paul Westphal was fired, not only did Cousins production improve immensely, so did his demeanor. He also came into this season in much better shape. So he gets a Most Improved vote for his on and off court improvement.

Coach of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. Gregg Popovich

2. Tom Thibodeau

3. Frank Vogel

Patrick Hayes

1. Ty Corbin

2. Gregg Popovich

3. Tom Thibodeau

Corbin was my choice simply because so little was expected out of the Jazz this season. For them to get to the playoffs is pretty impressive, although since it appears a good percentage of his team might hate him, I might reconsider that vote in hindsight. Popovich is the best in the world and Thibodeau held together a team that dealt with catastrophic injuries. Either are worthy candidates.

Executive of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. Neil Olshey

2. Larry Bird

3. R.C. Buford

Everyone says teams don’t get equal returns when trading a superstar. Olshey took advantage of that.

Patrick Hayes

1. Neil Olshey

2. Masai Ujiri

3. R.C. Buford

You get one of the four or five legit franchise players in he league, you get this award. Olshey did so he does. Ujiri put together an insanely fun team, got out of Nene’s contract before injuries/age could make the return on it less, picked up Andre Miller for the gigantic Ray Felton and drafted one of the most productive players in the draft in Kenneth Faried. Buford always gets a spot in this top three by default.

Sportsmanship Award

Dan Feldman

1. Shane Battier

2. Jeremy Lin

3. Antawn Jamison

4. Luke Ridnour

5. Chris Paul

6. Jason Kidd

Maybe I’m biased and voted for the Michigander, but Battier seems like the type of guy who would never do this to someone.

Patrick Hayes

1. Jeremy Lin

2. Antawn Jamison

3. Luke Ridnour

4. Shane Battier

5. Chris Paul

6. Jason Kidd

Lin dealt with distractions that I can’t even fathom this season, and handled everything remarkably well.

Citizenship Award

Dan Feldman

1. LeBron James

LeBron and Dwyane Wade’s effort to raise awareness to Trayvon Martin’s death was commendable.

Patrick Hayes

1. LeBron James

What Feldman said.

All-NBA

Dan Feldman

First team

  • G: Chris Paul
  • G: Dwyane Wade
  • F: LeBron James
  • F: Kevin Durant
  • C: Dwight Howard

Second team

  • G: Tony Parker
  • G: Russell Westbrook
  • F: Kevin Love
  • F: Blake Griffin
  • C: Andrew Bynum

Third team

  • G: Kobe Bryant
  • G: Rajon Rondo
  • F: Dirk Nowitzki
  • F: Kevin Garnett
  • C: Tyson Chandler

Slotting Griffin, Nowitzki, Garnett and a few other forwards was tough. All were very good, but none great.

Patrick Hayes

First team

  • G: Chris Paul
  • G: Tony Parker
  • F: LeBron James
  • F: Kevin Durant
  • C: Dwight Howard

Second team

  • G: Dwyane Wade
  • G: Russell Westbrook
  • F: Kevin Love
  • F: Dirk Nowitzki
  • C: Andrew Bynum

Third team

  • G: Steve Nash
  • G: Rajon Rondo
  • F: LaMarcus Aldridge
  • F: Kevin Garnett
  • C: Tyson Chandler

Yeah, I left Kobe off. Sue me. Sorry, but I found Nash nearly dragging Phoenix to the playoffs more impressive than Kobe shooting almost the same number of shots per game as the two most efficient scorers on his team combined.

All-Defensive

Dan Feldman

First team

  • Tyson Chandler
  • Dwight Howard
  • Kevin Garnett
  • LeBron James
  • Andre Iguodala

Second team

  • Tony Allen
  • Dwyane Wade
  • Avery Bradley
  • Josh Smith
  • Joakim Noah

Shawn Marion just missed my cut, and on a different day, he would’ve made the second team.

Patrick Hayes

First team

  • Tyson Chandler
  • Dwight Howard
  • Kevin Garnett
  • LeBron James
  • Andre Iguodala

Second team

  • Tony Allen
  • Luol Deng
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Chris Paul
  • Josh Smith

Putting Allen and Rondo on the second team rather than the first was the hardest thing I had to do in these awards. There’s actually a large number of really good defensive players in the league right now. You could probably make a case for four guys off the the Bulls alone to make it.

All-Rookie

Dan Feldman

First team

  • Kyrie Irving
  • Ricky Rubio
  • Kenneth Faried
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Isaiah Thomas

Second team

  • Iman Shumpert
  • Klay Thompson
  • Chandler  Parsons
  • MarShon Brooks
  • Gustavo Ayon

I could’ve gone either way on Brooks and Brandon Knight, but right now, I wish I would’ve voted for Knight.

Patrick Hayes

First team

  • Kyrie Irving
  • Ricky Rubio
  • Kenneth Faried
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Isaiah Thomas

Second team

  • Iman Shumpert
  • Brandon Knight
  • Chandler  Parsons
  • MarShon Brooks
  • Klay Thompson

I agree with Dan. He should’ve voted for Knight.

100 Comments

  • May 11, 20124:48 pm
    by labatts

    Reply

    I was thinking Meta World Peace for the Sportsmanship award.

  • May 11, 20126:25 pm
    by CNA5

    Reply

    “I’m tired of the bias against perimeter players in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. I’m fine with Tyson Chandler winning, but LeBron James is the most impactful non-Dwight Howard defender in the league. He’s always in passing lanes, he can block shots and he can lockdown any of the three perimeter positions. Plus, he could probably guard most power forwards in the league effectively.”

    Shotblocking bigs essentially guard 5 players, especially with perimeter rules as they are.  It was much easier for an elite perimeter defender to make his mark on the game before 2006 (I think that was when they made the major changes).  

    The Knicks shaved off over 10 points per game from last year to this year, in a large part due to Chandler patrolling the paint.  Also, they went from a 107 DRTG to 96 DRTG (if my numbers are correct) from last year to this year.

    I don’t think it’s so much a bias as it is a lessening impact over time.  An elite perimeter defender only takes away one guy, usually.  An elite shotblocking big can take away 3 or more at a time.

    • May 12, 20122:19 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I agree that by and large bigs have more potential to impact the game defensively. But James and Wade are exceptions to that rule. Both have tremendous impact on every player going to the rim because of their mobility. They can be on their men but when someone crashes the lane, they rotate and give excellent weakside help defense. Basically, their ability to rapidly rotate over large swaths of floor give them the same tendency ass lane cloggers to defend whole teams rather than just their men. That said, I am fine with Chandler winning. He was deserving. But James and Wade are underrated defenders.

  • May 11, 20127:46 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    I vote Harden for defenseless player of the year.

  • May 12, 20126:59 pm
    by RyanK

    Reply

    All this piston news…that’s why I come to this site.

    • May 12, 20127:04 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Not gonna be much of any Pistons news until the lottery.

    • May 14, 201210:15 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “I’ve really missed RyanK’s comments on the site lately,” says no one.

  • May 13, 20127:52 am
    by Max

    Reply

    @Dan & Patrick
    Can’t believed you guys both gave Citizenship Awards to the dark side of the force and fell for the first right marketing move LeBum has made going back even before the decision.*
    The Colluded, Corroded and Otherwise Unsanitary Heat
    TMNE–The Most Narcissistic Ever and the guy who sarcastically tweeted and laughed about “Loyalty” regarding Dwight Howard’s decision to opt in are not good citizens.  The guys who mocked Nowitski’s illness during the finals are not pillars of goodness.  They are mean people who got to vent because they have the microphone and were mad about something.  What is so commendable about that?   I fully appreciate and support their cause but they sacrificed nothing while gaining some very much needed good press–they are just acting like mean celebrities in Hollywood who try to offset things with some charity while throwing the light onto themselves.  Other athletes build wings of colleges and give millions of dollars in endowments but the genuine ones don’t do in a way to let everyone in the country know or to improve their Q rating.   TMNE famously defended his televised ESPN special by saying it was to make money for charity but he’ll never convince me he has any good intentions.   A good person exudes goodness and he radiates something else entirely.   Just watch his facial expressions and listen to him speak.
    I don’t think the award is still named after Joe Dumars as it should be but the reason it ever was in the first place is that Joe was a mensch as in a person of integrity and honor.   Has anyone ever credibly described TMNE as a person of integrity or honor?
    Grandstanding does not a good citizen make and truly good people don’t look for credit or make their supposed efforts to help people through the media.
    * I’ve hated him and thought his character irredeemably flawed** ever since he proposed the league wide retirement of #23 so he could rebrand himself like Kobe—my biggest problem was he chose the worst and most ignorant of basketball history number he could have chosen with #6.   The entire gesture to history showed an absolute ignorance of history and a young player trying to dictate league wide policy smacked of hubris,   As a determined Jordan hater who has often loved him in spite of my loyalty to the ‘Stones, I never loved him more than when he struck down LeBum’s idea as Jordan once again proved he could be absolutely humble in at least one area–his admission that the game is much bigger than himself.
    **The first thing that made me worry about TMNE’s character occurred almost as soon as he entered the league and he was talking about wanting to be the richest man in the world.   Only a bottomless emptiness that could never be satisfied combined with the smugness of a true narcissist would look right past the challenge of conquering the NBA and see it as a mere steppingstone at the point of entry,

    • May 13, 20128:04 am
      by Max

      Reply

      BTW: Watching TMNE’s career closely has greatly increased my sense that Russell must have been better than Chamberlain and that character and integrity do matter when it comes to championships.

    • May 14, 201210:20 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’m not going to bother to respond to most of that gibberish. I picked James for one reason — whether it was a “marketing decision” (as you say) or not, he lent his ample name and platform for something he believed was important. Not many superstar players who make the kinds of endorsement dollars James does wouldn’t do that. It’s worthy of recognizing.

      • May 14, 201211:05 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        It’s also an off the court issue that had absolutely nothing to do with the NBA.
        As an NBA Citizen, LeBum is a poor ambassador, barely speaks in public and when he does, fails to exhibit grace, tact or class.   This was also the year he publicly suggested contraction which would put a lot of NBA players and employees out of work.  Do you think they would vote for their fellow citizen of the NBA LeBum as their favorite or best citizen?   Can you please respond to that specific gibberish?
        It’s outrageous to me for anyone to still support him–even Maverick players said lots of people from Florida where going up to them during their time in the finals last year and telling them to beat the Heat.  The reasons for hating him and them are legion.
        Sheesh, but I knew you guys were on the side of not getting the Heat hatred as soon as I saw Battier being named for the Sportsmanship Award.  To me, he was a great guy till he joined the Heat and proved he’d align himself with the Axis Powers if he thought they would win.  If he ever runs for office, he lost my vote just by willingly choosing LeBum.

        • May 14, 201211:31 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I stopped thinking about pro sports in ‘good’ and ‘evil’ terms when I was like 10 years old, so it’s hard for me to respond to any of those points. I don’t mean that to be a jerk either, they just don’t make any sense to me.

  • May 14, 201211:36 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I’d agree with him for MVP or defensive player of the year.  Just not one called “Citizenship”.

    • May 14, 201211:46 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Fine. There were surely other deserving candidates. James posting that photo and speaking on Trayvon Martin was significant though. His platform is huge, and he used it to call attention to an important issue. I think it’s bullshit to say that he did something that obviously brought a huge amount of national attention to an important cause a ‘marketing move’ or whatever term you used above to discredit what he did. How many celebrities who make the kind of endorsement dollars he does weigh in so vehemently on one side or the other of such a hot-button issue? It doesn’t happen often.

      • May 15, 201212:06 am
        by Max

        Reply

        And I call it a marketing move because I don’t believe in the man’s authenticity, or at least the authenticity of his public persona.   And he created his own marketing firm to promote himself to boot.   It led to the most tone def move ever and it came from his own ego and narcissism.  He condescendingly has treated the public like dupes for years.  Therefore, I am as suspicious of anything he does or says in public as I would be when I look at politicians or lots of other people who are in any way overly concerned with their brand,

  • May 15, 201212:00 am
    by Max

    Reply

    It happens every election cycle; although, if you wanted to be a prig, you could reduce the number of celebrities with endorsement value like his to an unreasonably finite number.
    Howard Stern, for instance, weights in quite vehemently on any number of laudable issues but no one nominates him for citizenship awards.
    In my view, a Citizenship Award isn’t one you principally win through one issue or action.  It is a marathon and not a sprint.   The most important criteria should be doing nothing whatsoever to lose the award.  It is about being impeccable in action and appearance.

    • May 15, 20129:52 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Stern would not be near the category of celebrities with the type of endorsement platform James has.

      “In my view, a Citizenship Award isn’t one you principally win through one issue or action.”

      OK, well then factor in the millions that James has given to organizations like Boys and Girls Club, Mesa Arts Academy, NBA Cares and Children’s Defense Fund to name a few and that should make him a viable candidate for this award. That is, until you once again move switch up what you think the criteria for the award should be so that you don’t have to admit that James actually has given quite a bit to civic organizations and is deserving of the award based on the criteria that voters use.

      • May 15, 20123:05 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        If Michael Vick donated a bunch of vote, he wouldn’t win any citizenship awards.   No amount of money donated can make people forget that he did something monstrous and his name would sully the award itself.

        • May 15, 20123:19 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          That comparison is so intellectually dishonest that you should be embarrassed by it. You are comparing a man who was convicted of a felony, who killed dogs, to someone who was part of a TV show you didn’t like (oh, and the TV show, the shrine to personal vanity that it was, still donated all of the money it made to the boys and girls clubs). Dumb dumb dumb.

          • May 15, 20123:48 pm
            by Max

            My point isn’t that Vick and LBJ are the same, although they both are named yearly in the top 10 of most hated athletes lists, but that you are only looking at the positive criteria regarding LBJ and ignoring the negatives.   I’m saying both are relevant and why not vote for a player who’d score highly in both categories; as in has plenty of positives and no negatives.
            Also, the TV show is just one item in a long list and I don’t like him because I find him to be the most inauthentic, narcissistic and condescending to the public athlete that I have ever seen.   And I am not alone; why do you think he’s probably the most hated figure in the entire sport?
            The Decision did specifically reveal a lot of things but I wouldn’t have even had to watch it to come away with the opinion that he is incredibly removed from understanding other people’s feeling or having even basic empathy because anyone else who had decided to leave CLE the way he was doing wouldn’t have been stupid enough to rub it in their face on TV.
            I’ve worked for multinationals in marketing.  As soon as I heard there was going to be a special, I assumed he was going back to CLE, because anyone involved in publicity or marketing would know the special could only hurt him if he was going to leave.    That he didn’t realize this incredibly obvious truth proves how colossally out of touch he is with how he effects people and that he probably doesn’t even care.  He was so narcissistic that he actually thought he was bulletproof and that people would take his side no matter what he decided.    He treated the NBA’s fans and followers as if they were members of his entourage who would celebrate his actions as if their interest centered around his own success.   I have never seen any of the athletes I previously considered sane to do something so out of touch.   I don’t judge players like Rodman or Artest in the same way because they clearly have a screw lose but LBJ doesn’t seem insane so much as he seems removed from our common reality and therefore tone def to his own actions.
            BTW: The rally after the decision was much more disgusting to me and his statements about winning a bunch of titles ring in my ears when I think of him.

          • May 15, 20125:32 pm
            by tarsier

            It is hard for me to summon the same rage about Vick that many people have. I grew up in a part of the world where people fought every type of animal they could (seriously, little kids who didn’t have money for cocks or dogs or monkeys would catch dragonflies and starve them until they would fight each other for the opportunity to eat the loser’s corpse. And I’ve had two pet dogs stolen and barbecued.

            However, what Vick did was a felony. That is important. If he wanted to fight dogs, he should’ve done it in another country. That is not even vaguely comparable to what LeBron did. He put on a big, stupid show to celebrate his finally getting to a good team. He has also had a number of PR gaffes (none more absurd than the infamous “not 3, not 4…” that was idiotic). But the only reason we know about/remember most of his gaffes is because James is put under so much harsher a microscope than even his fellow superstars.

            Seriously, what has LBJ done that was actually bad? Even if there are some good answers to that question…

            One more point: this is a seasonal award. So whatever anyone has done in past seasons is irrelevant. I understand that you say that you perceive it as a marathon and not a sprint. But the nature of it is that you are just wrong if you are looking at it as more than a one season marathon. If Austin Daye went off to average 35-10-5 and lift the Pistons to 68-14 next season, do you think he would miss out on MVP just because he sucked so much this year?

          • May 15, 20128:16 pm
            by Max

            This was the year LBJ suggested putting hundreds of his fellow NBA citizens out of work.

          • May 15, 201211:06 pm
            by tarsier

            A) Patrick addressed this below. Apparently, LeBron wasn’t for contraction.
            B) Hundreds?!?!? Where did you get that number. The most I ever heard about was contracting like maybe 4 teams. That is 60 players tops.
            C) Who cares? This is about being a good citizen of the country/world, I think, not the NBA. But even if it were, he was talking about it improving the quality of play (which it would) and going, if I understand correctly, on confused ideas about economics.
            D) Playing in the NBA is a privilege, not a right. The NBA should do whatever is best for it. If that means fewer roster spots, so be it. There will still be a place for the best players and then players who get bumped out can find other jobs/play in other countries.
            E) The entire point of mentioning contraction was to end the lockout. All of the NBA was out a job when the lockout was going on, not just “hundreds.”

          • May 16, 201212:54 am
            by Max

            What about everyone who works for a team?   It would put a lot more people out of work than just players.

          • May 16, 20126:24 am
            by tarsier

            ok, that answers B). it was simply difficult to know what you meant by “nba citizens” since that is not exactly a real term. since this was discussion of an nba citizenship award, i assumed what you meant by nba citizens were the same people who were eligible for the award. it doesn’t matter how good a citizen a stadium cleaner or cheerleader is. neither of them will ever win the award.

  • May 15, 20123:07 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I meant but a money.
    BTW:  Howard Stern routinely finishes in the top 10-20 of most powerful celebrities in the world or country and his yearly salary is over 100 million.

  • May 15, 20123:17 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I guess you are right though since Ron Artest won the award last year.   I guess you can be anyone from Mother Teresa to Adolph Hitler and still win the award if you just donate a bunch of money or speak out for a popular cause.   The rest of your life and actions and the way you treat people on a daily level doesn’t matter.  I get it now.
    From my standpoint, I think Artest’s name on the award makes the whole award look bizarre.   Anyone familiar with the philosophy of Socrates and his trial regarding what constituted a good citizen would be horrified to see Artest or LeBum named as such and that is why I’m reacting this way.
    I looked up the awards though and I’m glad to find that the Joe Dumars trophy is given for the Sportsmanship Award since I don’t like the idea of LBJ having such a close association with a good person like Joe.

  • May 15, 20124:13 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    BTW: Do you know what a Q rating is?   If not, it is a rating of a person’s popularity.  LBJ had the biggest reversal from popularity to unpopularity in the history of the rating which goes back several decades.   Michael Vick and OJ Simpson committed worst acts but even they didn’t inspire such a shift in their Q rating.   LBJ is the king of committing the worst marketing move in terms of his own popularity in all of history and college professors will be lecturing on his mishap for all of the foreseeable future.
    @Patrick
    You however must be numb to whatever it is that inspired myself and so many people to dislike him and I wonder why that is……..
    Also, you said that you have given up on good and evil in sports but I would ask why sports is such a unique place.   As far as I can tell, people can be good and evil no matter what job they hold or no matter what situation they find themselves in.   The Nazis at Nuremberg actually attempted to argue that their situation was responsible for their actions and that argument failed but you are making the opposite claim: that professional athletes job somehow prevent them from being morally culpable but if the Nazis’ argument holds any water at all, a good situation would make a person even more morally responsible for their actions.   In this way, I could argue that LBJ is wholly responsible for his actions since no one can unduly pressure him to do anything against his will.

    • May 15, 20124:28 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I know what a q rating is. I know that people hate him. I think for the most part the hatred of him is overblown and completely stupid.

      On the court, he’s arguably the most unselfish modern superstar who has ever played. He makes his teammates better, he’s an elite passer and he’s an elite defensive player. He doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight. He took less money to play for a better team in Miami because he believed it gave him a better chance to win. None of those things, to me, jibe with the “OMG he’s such a me-first selfish asshole!” that has been created for him.

      He’s certainly made bad marketing decisions. The Heat certainly did him no favors by organizing the championship parade before Wade/James/Bosh had ever even played a game together. But I have just not read anything that convinces me that LeBron James is some sort of out of control narcissistic monster. I mean, every star athlete is selfish to some extent, James included. Nothing you’ve said in these comments has convinced me that he’s a terrible person.

      • May 15, 20125:17 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        The on-court stuff is largely irrelevant to any debate on his character but I would like to take on the notion that being an unselfish passer has anything to do with being an unselfish or good person.   Let’s look at some of the greatest passers:
        John Stockton–Quite possibly the dirtiest player I ever saw and definitely one who tried to hurt people.   I think he is a great person though when I hear him speak.
        Jason Kidd–Listen to his song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v23qtE-aZmE   I love the Dr. Dre-like song but he reveals plenty about his character and specifically his paranoia and unwillingness to allow people to share in his success.    Further, he beat his wife and from everything I have heard, has always distanced himself off the court from teammates who are not prominent.
        Magic—I think he is the greatest of persons but he did cheat on his wife at the very least.
        Isiah—Do we even want to go there?   I love Isiah as much as anyone but even I would admit his character flaws and basic selfishness.
        As for LBJ, you seem like an apologist (not calling you one) when you make the weak point about him taking less money since he was going to a tax free state.
        As for your not seeing any substance in my arguments, I can only conclude he would have to actually break some laws for you to be convinced and that you don’t make judgements regarding people’s statements.    For a lot of people who don’t think like you, James would be unsympathetic just because he refers to himself in the third person so often.   I know, for me, that I always find such people immediately suspect  and have trouble not rolling my eyes at them.   This might be the crux of the matter.   He is always telling on himself.   You just have to listen to him speak and you will find out more about him then you will like.
        Also, I asked you earlier to specifically address LBJ’s gaff regarding contraction and putting his fellow citizens out of work.   Every employee of the NBA from owners to sweepers are NBA citizens in my view and LBJ showed a callous disregard for them.  This seems to me to be a very serious and tangible charge against him and winning any citizenship award so I’d love to hear how you would respond.

        • May 15, 20125:45 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          If you are talking about off-the-court selfishness and on-the-court, what evidence do we have either way? I certainly don’t know the man. I can infer from his actions that he enjoys the spotlight and being the center of attention and also that he does not pretend to be unaware of the fact that he is the best baller on the planet today (as we like to expect of “nice, humble players”). But none of that shows selfishness. That is just personality. Maybe he isn’t the kind of guy you would get along well with. Maybe you like shadow lurkers and false humility (or insufficient intelligence/awareness to recognize one’s own greatness). But that is your personality (possibly). That does not make James a bad guy.

          • May 15, 20125:55 pm
            by Max

            Read through the thread…..I provided lots of reasons.    Also, your argument that LBJ simply realizes his own greatness doesn’t hold much water since many players who were also elite all time greats didn’t fail to show grace, class and humility as a result.   Michael Jordan was never lacking in humility regarding the game and LBJ has never evinced any humility regarding anything publicly.
            Also, do you find Kevin Durant to be falsely humble?   As near as a I can tell, he is operating at a level of authenticity that LBJ could probably never approach if he saw a therapist 7 days a week.

          • May 15, 20126:44 pm
            by tarsier

            I have read through it. I basically see the decision, his public preening, his being in favor of contraction, and his misguided desire to have the league retire #23 when he took #6. If I missed anything, let me know.

            I’ve responded to the decision. His preening is just personality. Not the most likable personality in someone perhaps, but it doesn’t make him a bad guy.

            As for his stance on contraction, how does that make him bad? Yeah, it would put NBA players out of a job, but playing in the NBA is a privilege, not a right. It would also put James out of a job eventually. I could understand the scrubs in the league disliking him for those comments, but they are a perfectly reasonable perspective. Ultimately, I think his comments were borne of a misunderstanding of economics. During the lockout, he was told that some teams were losing money. So he figured, cut those and the problem is solved, just keep the teams that make money. Oversimplified and wrong, but hardly bad citizenship.

            I have no idea why he wanted 23 to be retired league-wide. Maybe it was just for attention. Then it would fit into the preening category. Probably it was because MJ was his favorite player and he wanted to make a tribute to him. I don’t know whether he knew Russel wore 6. If not, that was kinda ignorant of him.

            But all of these are gaffes. They are bad PR, but they don’t make him a bad guy. He wasn’t deliberately insulting people, he wasn’t being violent, he wasn’t breaking any laws. He wasn’t even glamorizing wild irresponsibility. Come on.

          • May 15, 20126:49 pm
            by tarsier

            And yeah, Durant is probably falsely humble. I don’t mean that as a bad thing. That is a perfectly reasonable way to be. But ask him who is the best player on his team or the best scorer in the league or whatever and I bet he wouldn’t answer with his own name. Either he believes the answer to those questions is himself but he wouldn’t be willing to say so (false humility) or he doesn’t believe he is the correct answer to those questions (lack of awareness).

          • May 15, 20127:13 pm
            by Max

            You missed a lot but maybe you subsumed them all under the category of “preening”.   However that may be, I have a long history of bashing LBJ long before I ever found this site and I probably should have led with a few basic concepts I hold to be true although I’m sure I’ve made the point in other threads before.
            He has been and is the best player in the game but he fails the standard set before him as a steward of the game.    He consistently says the wrong thing.  He knows this and for the most part, wisely steers clear of interviews.   The trouble is that he just can’t help himself and needs to make the big splash and poor admission.  It happens almost every time.
            He didn’t just leave Cleveland.  He thoroughly screwed them and aired his decision at a date when Cle would then be unable to recoup talent through free agency since most of the big fish had already committed.   He gave them no advance notice and they believed he was resigning.

          • May 15, 20127:52 pm
            by Max

            Maybe Durant sees grey and colors whereas you can only see black and white.

          • May 15, 20128:12 pm
            by Max

            I’d like to add that the retiring of #23 issue is as you conceded about LBJ’s ignorance but my bigger problem is the great hubris of a player and a young one at that attempting to make a league wide edict.   I can’t think of a similar instance in the entire history of the league and he wasn’t just suggesting a league wide rule but wrapping the whole thing around himself.   It is probably the worst case of grandstanding by a top player in the entire history of the NBA.

          • May 15, 201210:02 pm
            by tarsier

            What do you even mean by “Durant sees grey and colors whereas you can only see black and white”?

            I am certainly not the one painting the NBA in the “black and white” terms of good and evil players.

            But back to the point, what the heck do you mean? That Durant can be the best scorer in the league, recognize that fact, and yet not employ false humility if he denies that fact? Because he sees more colors? Or do you mean that he would simply twist/dodge the question? That he would put forth that Ray Allen is a better shooter and Howard is better at getting to the line and Lebron has a higher career scoring average? I suppose I could see not calling that false humility.

            Humility that I would consider ideal in a superstar would be if he flat out stated, “Yeah, I am awesome at this game. There have been few people in history better at it than me. But you know what, it’s really not a very important part of life. I have my strengths and weaknesses just like anyone else. I was, however, fortunate enough to have strengths that allowed me to get a lucrative career doing something I love.” Don’t pretend you’re not actually that great at it. Just recognize that is not all there is to life.

          • May 15, 201210:10 pm
            by tarsier

            Yes, LBJ has hubris that Atlas would struggle to carry. But it doesn’t really bother me for one reason, he has the talent and play to back it up. As for him giving Cleveland no warning, that is just untrue. He had made known for years that he might stay and he might leave and that management’s moves would play a role in his decision. He gave them and every other franchise reason to be uncertain. When he decided to go to Miami, who knows. I highly doubt it was before the various teams plead their cases to him (although he may already have been leaning that way). But how much more did the Cavs deserve? Teams trade players without any advanced notice. Even if you take the normal job analogy, they definitely had two weeks’ notice. They had the rest of the summer to work things out. As for other top FAs being unavailable already, who do you think Cleveland could have brought in without James to work with? Besides, even if they could have lured Amare, JJ, or Boozer, do you really think they now wish they had?

    • May 15, 20125:54 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Patrick, congratulations on being ”numb to whatever it is that inspired myself and so many people to dislike him”: challenging the system, making his own destiny, empowering his fellow players, and just acting not in accordance with fans’ ideas of one-way loyalty (which don’t involve the players even being allowed to choose to whom they give their loyalty).

      • May 15, 20126:09 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        He is sure empowering his fellow players when he suggests that many of them should lose their jobs.    Also, he took advantage of the system to collude and cheat basketball and its fans and it wasn’t any kind of rebellion or revolution.   Before the decision, he wasn’t being oppressed but was rather being treated like a god.   Even just looking at him, it wasn’t inspiring but rather pathetic and like Hercules refusing a test of strength.  Why do you think nearly every venerable hall of famer who said anything about it voiced their displeasure, disappointment and lack of identification with him?
        Your whole statement is silly.   Grant Hill left my beloved Pistons and no one treated him this way.   That same summer, Tracy McGrady joined the Magic any no one criticized him like LBJ.  Do you really think if Duncan had left the Spurs that summer that people would hate him?   No way.  He is a class act and if he decided to leave the Spurs, he would continue to be treated well because of his personality.   Any decent person in LBJ’s position could have left the Cavs and joined the Heat without inspiring the kind of fallout LBJ received because they would have operated with sense and class.    He proved himself to be mean, inconsiderate and classless.   That is why people dislike him and as I have said many times, I started to really hate on him when he ridiculously tried to get every team in the league to retire #23 and even more ridiculously decided to wear #6 in that context.

        • May 15, 20126:53 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          How did he cheat basketball? It is not against the rules for players to decide to team up. Teams may not collude. Players can do it all they want.

          This is like how it is not ok for all the pizza companies to get together and fix prices so you have to pay more for pizza. But if you and a bunch of buddies want pizza, it is ok for you to “collude” to all buy from the same company in order to get some sort of bulk discount.

          • May 15, 20127:56 pm
            by Max

            It is not okay for them to decide to play together when they are still under contract and play with other teams during free agency for the sake of appearances.    They are supposed to care about the health of the entire NBA and be good custodians of something much bigger than them.  They are very lucky than anyone cares about basketball.   Players who don’t put the NBA first are bad in general.  Top players who don’t are rascals.

          • May 15, 20127:59 pm
            by Max

            Specifically, he cheated several teams regarding his services while doing his best to burn Cle to the ground, cheated fans of seeing him properly challenged for last year, this and the foreseeable future and cheated himself out of fulfilling his total potential.   That’s how he cheated basketball.

          • May 15, 20129:50 pm
            by tarsier

            If he isn’t properly challenged, it must be a given that he will win it all. But that isn’t so. And even LeBron haters, if rational, realize that the formation of the Heat’s big three was great for the NBA as a whole. What LeBron did was finally get himself good teammates (like the superstars who spoke out against him didn’t have to do themselves because they had competent management).

          • May 16, 20121:16 am
            by Max

            He can’t win it all anymore.   He can go as far as Wade takes him.   He has given in to a crutch and we will never again see the effort he gave against the Pistons.   He will never be so pushed in that kind of moment.

          • May 16, 20126:37 am
            by tarsier

            I have seen that level of effort from him several times since. We will probably never see him score his team’s last 25 points again but that was simply an unbelievable accomplishment. That is like saying we will never see Love have another 30/30 game or Kobe drop 82 again.

            What do you even mean by “He can go as far as Wade takes him”? James carried the Heat to the Finals last year. He carried them through the regular season this year. There is a reason Wade is referred to as his Pippen. Yeah he needs the help, but last year’s Finals showed the exact opposite of your claim. Wade couldn’t carry the team. If Lebron fails to, it won’t go far. Everyone on that team goes as far as the big three takes them. And James is the best of the big three.

            But since Lebron probably can’t do it alone, I guess that is like saying that MJ went as far as Pippen took him, Duncan as far as Robinson/Ginobili/Parker took him, Magic as far as Kareem took him, Bird as far as McHale/Parish took him, Thomas as far as Dumars took him. There is no precedent for needing help making a great player less great. So does it only make you less great when you seek it out rather than having it handed to you on a silver platter?

          • May 16, 20123:24 pm
            by Max

            It will always be Wade’s team because he was there first and already won his ring.   And people call LeBum Wade’s Pippen too.
            And it does make you less great when you seek it out, but your silver platter analogy is wrong because a silver platter is exactly what LeBum sought out.

          • May 16, 20123:37 pm
            by Max

            @Tarsier   The formation of the Heat was terrible for fans everywhere who now think their local team will have no chance for the next decade due to their formation.   Why buy a ticket to a Bucks game when you know your team has no chance of ever acquiring talent that can compete with such a team unless you get lucky and they have injuries?

          • May 16, 20124:17 pm
            by tarsier

            Ask the small market Pacers if they think they have a shot at beating the Heat. The salary cap prevents making an unbeatable team. And last year’s finals proved that other teams really do have a shot. Also, it has long been the case that being without a superstar made a team’s odds pretty bad. That is not a new thing since the big three formation. Why I say it is good for the league is that it has increased fan interest. Interest, excitement, and enjoyability drive fan spending, which is what powers the league. Hope of winning a title is one way to get those, but hardly the only one.

            And why would the Bucks have no chance of acquiring top notch talent? Most FAs go where the money is best. And that is only one avenue of team building. Draft and trades are also ways to get top talent.

          • May 17, 20123:29 am
            by Max

            I already hedge on the injury issue and that is the only reason the Pacers have any chance.
            The Bucks have had one team in their entire history that had any right to even compete with a healthy Heat squad and that was in the early 70s with Kareem and Oscar.
            If local markets are apathetic because they don’t think they have any chance and ticket sales in general go down—the TV ratings of the Heat won’t make up for it.

  • May 15, 20126:22 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    It’s all right here  and especially at the end of the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9BqUBYaHlM&feature=player_embedded

    • May 15, 20129:39 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @Max:

      I don’t want to dive any further into this, other than to close with these two points:

      - Re: “Lebron advocates contraction.” Here are his comments. Saying that “there isn’t enough talent to support 30 teams” is different than saying he thinks the league should get rid of a few. He was comparing eras — namely, that the 80s were a much better era because teams were more loaded with talent. That’s true. In a follow-up, he said he was never specifically asked about contraction in that exchange, which started during a line of questioning about how rare it is for a team to have three superstar players in this day and age. James rightly pointed out that it was at one time that wasn’t too long ago very common in the league. Here he says he would not advocate contracting teams. James is in front of media non-stop. He’s asked about everything you can imagine. I think, under those circumstances, you could understand that a person would occasionally word things poorly and at other times the media would occasionally draw conclusions he wasn’t trying to make himself.

      - Your comments strike me as kind of hypocritical. You defend labor, stick up for players you perceive would be kicked out of the league if contraction occurred and then vilify James for deciding who he wants to sell his labor to? Further, you’ve frequently blasted Kyle Singler for essentially doing the same thing on a smaller scale — selling his commodity, his ability to play basketball at a high level, to the organization willing to pay the most for it. James sold his to the organization willing to both pay for it and to provide the type of benefits/environment he and his family would be comfortable in. Serious question here: do you hate labor? Do you think the league owns the players? Or that the players own their own talent, which they sell to the league so that the league can, you know, exist? Have you ever changed jobs? Have you ever left one job for an opportunity elsewhere that offered better pay/better work environment/better place to live? If so, I hope there wasn’t a peanut gallery following you around telling you how selfish that makes you for turning your back on the company you worked for.

       

      • May 16, 20121:20 am
        by Max

        Reply

        And I never said anything against James for going to Miami or leaving Cleveland.  It was the way he did those things that bothered me and everyone else.  I made the point before; anyone else could have left their team and not gotten so much bad press because no one else would be as consistently tone def and classless as they did so.

        • May 16, 20127:11 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          But what was it about the way he did it?

          Was it the fact that he made his decision into a show? Which, incidentally, only worked because people cared that much about his decision. If I had watched it, I too might be annoyed, but with myself for wasting an hour of my time instead of just checking afterwards what his decision was. How was James’ show particularly different from watching the NBA lottery or draft? Both are very boring but have results that are important to fans.

          Was it how he didn’t tell Cleveland’s management ahead of time? We don’t have any idea how long before he knew what his decision would be. And he had definitely made it clear to the Cavs that his return was no guarantee. Also, how long do you propose saying a player must let his team know ahead of time before jumping ship in order to not be a jerk?

          Was it the fact that he basically chose to join an empty roster with a couple superstars instead of an already formed team? I certainly don’t see the problem with choosing to work with a particular pair of people because you get along well with them and they are great at what they do.

          Was it that he sacrificed money and popularity to increase his odds of winning a championship and to get to play with allegedly one of his best friends? No wait, those are all good things.

          Was it the championship-esque celebration before the season began? Yeah, that was stupid and showed hubris. But it is hardly worth hating someone over. And there were a ton of people involved but somehow all the blame is dumped on Lebron.

          Seriously, if it was the way he did it, what about the way he did it?

          • May 16, 20123:21 pm
            by Max

            If you aren’t willing to look critically at LeBum’s actions and quotes and rationalize everything you do look at that you will never understand and I would say you are being willfully obstinate since everything I’m saying is so obvious.

          • May 16, 20124:12 pm
            by tarsier

            Wow, I ask you to explain what was wrong about it and the best you can do is “it’s obvious.” That is weak. And you call me obstinate? I happily explain everything that you question me on. Yes, I rationalize things (which means looking for the reason behind them). Since you are looking to judge a person, you really should be rationalizing his actions. Otherwise, all you have are the deeds and none of the character. And you have already acknowledged that you find no fault with the action currently in question (leaving Cleveland).

          • May 17, 20123:03 am
            by Max

            I’ve explained every point at length.   You haven’t responded with anything that I feel even puts doubt on any of my points and I don’t want to simply repeat myself.   And I find plenty wrong with how LeBum left Clev, just not the fact that he left.

          • May 17, 20123:26 am
            by Max

            Rationalize means to justify something by logical or plausible means even if it’s not true.

      • May 16, 20121:23 am
        by Max

        Reply

        Also, on Singler.   My main contention and feeling on this issue is that I don’t want any players who ever had a chance to wear the uniform and declined.  I’d rather take players who would jump at the chance.  It’s that simple for me.

        • May 16, 20126:55 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Let’s see, he opted to wear a basketball uniform, so you must be referring to the Pistons uniform. David West could totally have worn the Pistons uniform last summer if he had taken an MLE. But he declined that opportunity. So you wouldn’t want him either? Or do you mean the NBA uniform? Which incidentally isn’t a thing. So then you wouldn’t want Rubio or Valanciunas? And you wouldn’t have wanted MJ during his prime (not because of any rivalry or bitterness or anything else but just because of his stint in MLB)? All I can say is that I am really glad you are not the Pistons’ GM.

          • May 16, 20123:00 pm
            by Max

            The Pistons uniform and if David West decided not to take the opportunity, then yes, I don’t want him for the rest of his career.   Not a lot of players have turned the Pistons down flat but I don’t see anything wrong with putting those few players on a list and saying they don’t belong in Detroit.   Dwayne Wade refused to work out with the Pistons during his draft process and told them that since he’d grown up a Bulls fan that he hated the Pistons.   Wade is an all time great but after what he said, he doesn’t belong in a Pistons uniform ever and that is fine–there are plenty of good players.

          • May 16, 20123:26 pm
            by Max

            As for my being GM, I’m following the philosophy of Bill Davidson who never wanted players who didn’t want to be Pistons.    Any time someone even hinted they wanted out, they were traded pretty fast and I still contend that dynamic was at work with the Billups trade when he told Dumars he wanted to finish his career in Denver and got traded shortly thereafter.

          • May 16, 20124:21 pm
            by tarsier

            I doubt West was offered such a contract. but that is simply because Dumars would have already known it would be rejected. The same is true of every single good player out there. It doesn’t mean somebody doesn’t want to be a Piston. It means they want the greatest opportunity possible. You are kidding yourself if you think either Monroe or Knight wanted to fall to the Pistons.

          • May 17, 20123:05 am
            by Max

            Monroe or Knight are non-issues.  They were drafted and are acting like pros unlike Wade when he went through the draft process.  And I’m obviously not referring to any players who weren’t even offered a contract with the Pistons but only the ones who were offered contracts and turned them down.   I only brought up West because you or someone else did.

  • May 16, 20121:05 am
    by Max

    Reply

    I haven’t been defending labor.   I have been defending the NBA and I don’t think it’s comparable to anywhere I work but I can say of myself that I have always been outstandingly loyal down to being a diehard Pistons fan for over three decades now despite having never been to Michigan.
    I do not see the NBA in terms of players versus the owners but as one gigantic family that includes everyone who draws a paycheck down to the sweepers.   I have a problem when three players collude in the off season and change the direction of the league because it shows no care for the golden goose and is reckless.   And from my standpoint, that recklessness and poor stewardship has been the chief mark so far of LBJ’s ringless reign as the league top player and it is looking like a better bet that he’ll never win.   Hallelujah!   Let it be so!

    • May 16, 20126:49 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      How was the formation of the big three “no care for the golden goose”? As I mentioned above, virtually everyone recognizes that it was fantastic for the NBA. People hate the Heat, but are actively invested in hating them. That increases revenue for the whole system.

      A gigantic family? Really? How so? I doubt there is any connection between an owner and one of his team’s sweepers, much less between him and a lowly member of another team’s staff. And there isn’t even a connection between the sweepers at one stadium and those at another.

      The notion of one gigantic family is corporate bullshit spewed out by big companies to try to get their employees more concerned with the welfare of the whole company. The notion that the NBA is like that too only reinforces that it is just another big company.

      Not that whether or not it qualifies as a one big family (in which nobody know even 10% of the names of their “family members” is particularly relevant to anything as far as I can tell. It’s just a self-contained preposterous idea.

      But if you want to see it that way, what has anyone done in the last 10 years that did more good for “the family” than James, Wade, and Bosh forming a super team that everyone wants to watch/hear about?

      • May 16, 20123:12 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        It is not for players to determine the direction of the league.  I for instance have never disliked something more that happened in the league than the formation of the league.  As far as I’m concerned, it was terrible for the league no matter what you say.   Leaving that though, I called them reckless because they are mere players and not marketing or business experts–how would they know what is good for the league and if they made a good choice–it was rather lucky than otherwise and they weren’t doing it for the health of the league anyway but themselves.

        • May 16, 20123:12 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          *Formation of the Heat

        • May 16, 20124:25 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          It may not be for them to determine the direction of the league. But neither is it for the league to determine their directions. They chose to team up. Due to league rules, if they wanted any help when doing so, they would have to take less money than they would otherwise get. So they took less money. That is the league’s place. To incentivize competitiveness. But what they did was comparable to Malone and Payton joining Kobe and Shaq in 2003. And thus far, it has been similarly successful. We’ll see if they can change that and actually win a title this year.

          • May 17, 20123:08 am
            by Max

            Stop with they took less money.  They don’t get taxed in Florida and will wind up making fairly equivalent money.   Also, they broke league rules by making their plans while they were still under contract and if I was the Cavs or Raptors, I would try and find a way to sue them for breach of contract.

      • May 16, 20123:17 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        The concept of a business being a gigantic family predates corporations as a concept and a lot of people with Eastern values still think in such a way,
        The golden goose is again useful here.   Within a family, people can have their different roles and may not even know each other, but if they are committed to the family, the family as a whole will hopefully at least survive and hopefully sustain all of the individual members through their earnings.   In this way, if say LeBum does something that forces the NBA to lose half of its business, his actions will effect a lot of people who will be laid off and lose their way of life.

        • May 16, 20124:46 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I don’t care how far back it goes. By and large, it just isn’t true. Occasionally it is, but that is typically, unsurprisingly, a family business.

          And in case you couldn’t tell from my previous comment concerning Vick, I am from the Far East, specifically the Philippines. I think I am at least as aware of “eastern values” as you are.

          • May 17, 20123:22 am
            by Max

            It’s not simply true or untrue but true or untrue on a case by case basis regarding each company and each of its employees.   I can work anywhere and bring the attitude with me that I treat my company as a family and care about its health in all of its aspects including the workers.  If the company doesn’t match my philosophy and passion, I may ultimately be very disappointed but at least I can know that I acted consistently with my own values.

      • May 16, 20123:48 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        @Tarsier—the corporate bullshit about trying to get employees to care about the welfare of the company is exactly what I am endorsing and saying should be important to someone like LeBum even though it is clearly not important to him.   You said that playing in the NBA was a privilege and you were very right about that and in my view, the great players are custodians of the game and stewards for the past great players and future great players to come.   It is important for such players to leave the game in better shape than when they arrives as the former great players did before them but as far as I can tell, James is the only right at the top player in NBA history who has totally shirked his responsibilities in these regards.

        • May 16, 20123:51 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          This summer, you had top players suggesting the formation of new leagues.   If the NBA had actually fallen apart, it would have been a travesty and a reason to damn the players and owners involved forever.   The NBA is a great institution that has taken thousands of people’s work and lives to accomplish and it should always be treated with the utmost care as the great golden goose by everyone who works there as it sustains and enriches their lives.

          • May 16, 20124:27 pm
            by tarsier

            Wait, are you now trying to blame LBJ for players trying to find creative solutions to the lockout? Really?!?!

          • May 17, 20123:19 am
            by Max

            I think it shows a basic lack of care for the NBA and all of the players, coaches and people that have made the league what it was.  Risking the NBAs demise is reckless and nearly criminal in my view.

        • May 16, 20124:53 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Players are not the custodians/stewards of the league. They are its product. The commish, owners, and managers are its stewards if anyone is. The guy who sells you popcorn at a game definitely is not.

          • May 17, 20123:11 am
            by Max

            The players make 50 percent of the pie with the understanding that they are in some sense partners with the owners.   The guy who sells popcorn is dependent on the product as you call it and if the players don’t care about them, I say they are rascals and unethical.

          • May 17, 20123:17 am
            by Max

            I’d bet anything you’d like if we could prove it by asking them but I would bet anything that Magic, Bird and Jordan would agree with me about the top players having the responsibility of stewardship and that’s good enough for me.

  • May 16, 20121:07 am
    by Max

    Reply

    I should have said collude during the season.

    • May 16, 20126:39 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Besides it not being against the rules, how do you know there was any collusion during the season? Is this anything more than your confirmation bias: “Lebron is a terrible dude, so he would collude. Oh man, he colluded, what an asshole.”?

      • May 16, 20123:09 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I have read a lot about the issue and I believe the assertions that say they colluded during the season before they were free agents.  No, I don’t have a recording or proof that would hold up in court.   I also believe the stuff about Paul, Anthony and Stat and you can see for yourself that their plan, which I read about long before any of them switched teams,  became 2/3rds true.  All six players are guilty in my view of putting their own career ahead of the interests of the NBA and circumventing its rules by violating their own former contracts by making their plans while still under contract.  All six are guilty of not caring about the golden goose.

        • May 16, 20124:42 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Yes, Paul, Amare, and Stat at some point floated the idea of teaming up. Are you saying now that that should be banned too? So are Marcus and Markieff Morris allowed to talk to each other about hopefully ending up as teammates again?

          Heck, if Blake Griffin said next year that when his contract, he will go to say Boston if they will have him, that is fine too. There are rules that govern what a player may or may not do. As long as they stay withing those rules, they may do whatever they want. Sometimes they might work the system, but if you are gonna complain about that, you should complain about things like S&Ts too, which are a way for teams to technically stay inside the rules while kinda working the system.

          • May 17, 20123:12 am
            by Max

            Of course it should be banned and as far as I know, it is against the rules for players to talk with members of another organization, including other players, about joining each other teams.  It’s called tampering.

      • May 16, 20123:13 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        And it is against the rules.

        • May 16, 20124:28 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          what rule?

          • May 17, 20123:45 am
            by Max

            Tampering.

    • May 16, 20127:45 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      also, i am still wondering what you could possibly mean by durant seeing more colors than i.

      • May 16, 20123:05 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        You boiled the question of Duran’t hubris down to a single question about whether he would name himself as the league or his team’s best scorer and I thought that was a simplistic way of looking at things and that leading the league in scoring doesn’t mean you are the best scorer–it’s just a stat and it had everything to do with with context, health, teammates, coaching and opportunity.
        Durant could easily answer such a question in the negative without lying, being unauthentic or displaying false humility if he doesn’t see things in the simplistic terms of, “I led the league in scoring, therefore I am its best scorer”

        • May 16, 20124:31 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I recognize that there is more to being a great scorer than leading the league in scoring. I would have called Durant the best scorer in the league even if Kobe had played his last game and dropped the 38 I believe he needed to take the scoring crown this season. Anyway. I included multiple examples because I counted on such a response. Yes, you could argue that Durant is not the best scorer in the league. Most people would disagree with you, but whatever. Even if it were beyond debate, do you think Durant would admit it? Also, you could not make a reasonable argument that he is not the best player on his own team. But do you think he’d claim that title?

          • May 17, 20123:14 am
            by Max

            Plenty of people and so called basketball experts do contend that Westbrook is the best player on the team although I am very far from that camp.

          • May 17, 20123:48 am
            by Max

            It couldn’t be beyond debate.  There is no magical formula or otherwise for judging basketball players and looking at their stats doesn’t help in an absolute sense since there is no non-arbitrary way to assign proportionate values to the various stats.   Scottie Pippen has been known to contend that he was a better player than Jordan.   You and I can only think he is wrong and Pippen knows a lot more about basketball than either one of us.

        • May 16, 20124:35 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          And no, I did not boil it down to a single question. I used a couple questions as examples to show you what I mean by false humility. Unless you are stupider than you appear, you should have been able to understand the point. That is that Durant is a phenomenal player, he knows it, but he would not be willing to claim it. That is fine, it’s not a bad thing, and it certainly doesn’t make him a bad person. In fact, it is an oft-commended way to be. But it is still less authentic than simply owning up to his own greatness.

          • May 17, 20123:15 am
            by Max

            You just changed the question though.   I think Durant would admit to being a great player–just not the best.

  • May 17, 20123:56 am
    by Max

    Reply

    I thought it was a very bad case for saying Durant displays false humility and treated the point sarcastically.   I meant no offense but was just trying to deal with the issue rather quickly and flippantly by saying you were looking at the issue of humility in too limited of a context.   Humility is a state of mind and the greatest of the greatest can exhibit it if they are down to earth and have a proper sense of reality.   Even if Durant thinks he’s the greatest basketball player, my guess is that he is not the kind of person who thinks that makes him better than anyone else as a person—-which brings me to one of things I hate most that LeBum did and I haven’t brought it up yet.
    After the Heat lost year, LeBum said that the NBA fans who disliked him all had to go back to their lives now.     I find his comment despicable but think it reveals his true character well.    It is also, once again, the very opposite of good stewardship and was a case of him attacking and alienating the NBAs fans.  Durant was raised better than for such a comment to even occur to his mind.

    • May 17, 20124:49 am
      by Max

      Reply

      The Durant thing can be instructive here to hopefully just wrap it up.  A big reason why I was flippant about your Durant example was that it was too limited and theoretical.   If you want to say Durant has displayed false humility, you should establish a list of significant events and statements to prove it when you act like I haven’t made any case against LeBron.
      I don’t feel like I know Durant yet as well as I think I know LeBron.
      Forget evil or anything silly.   I know LeBron is a magnificent, once in a lifetime, athlete who is also supremely intelligent and hard working in his craft.
      What I think I know about Lebron is that he is overly self-promoting, somewhat given to delusions of grandeur and very out of touch with how he thinks people will react to his actions and statements.  I also think these points against him are obvious.  Taken together, and it is usually present in the little things when he speaks, he seems to be to be a classical narcissist.  And I don’t think any of these things because of any individual things he has done but because of a consistent pattern.
      If you consume basketball literature as I do, the behind the scene reports all confirm all of this consistently.  Look up the stuff on how he acted during the Redeem Team.  I love basketball and it’s silly but he embarrasses me.   Everyone who knows me says of me that I love everyone.   For some reason I hate LeBron.   I find him to be profoundly unlovable and because I actually love the NBA and like to pretend that it is a special entity on this Earth, it is repugnant to me that he has done all of the things he has done while being the league’s best player by far.
      This debate has gone a little too far at this point.   It’s like we could just debate it endlessly but I don’t feel like you’re going to accept anything I say about it and we might just be looking at it very differently.   I thought LeBron was the best from the very beginning but he has just done so many things to disappoint me and I come to basketball with my own passionate perspective.

      • May 17, 20125:04 am
        by Max

        Reply

        POST:  And I wouldn’t have even started ranting against him if not for the Citizenship thing.   That he should be named in such a way sounded like certain dictators winning Time’s Man of the Year or the Nobel Peace Prize to my ear.   These kind of things happen but they always shock me.    It’s actually funny, last year, LeBron wasn’t allowed to win MVP because of what he had done (and he has said so) but this year he wins MVP and maybe the Citizenship award.   I thought he should have won MVP last year and this year but I would never have thought he’d get the kind of honors that are reserved for decency,  How quickly people forget.

  • May 18, 20123:31 am
    by Max

    Reply

    One more thing:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder
    Read the list of symptoms and tell me that it doesn’t perfectly sound like LeBron.

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