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Will Galen
06-13-2006, 11:51 AM
http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/question.html

Is Winning More Important Than Business?
By Conrad Brunner

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
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Q. You recently stated that the Pacers have a quality starter and quality backup at most positions. This statement bothered me just a little bit. Are the Pacers trying to build a quality team or a championship team? Do the Pacers have the players to build a championship team and if not, will they ever? Is the goal to build a championship team or to run a successful, quality, franchise? In other words, is the game or the business more important? (From Gary in Portland, Ore.)

A. The two are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they are thoroughly intertwined. Building a successful team while running a high-quality franchise is not only the right way to compete in the NBA, it's the right way to do business. This isn't Major League Baseball, where revenue sharing serves as a disincentive for some small-market owners to invest heavily in player salaries. That allows, for example, the Kansas City Royals to be a business success while a competitive failure.

The NBA is different from both baseball and the NFL because of its salary structure. In addition to a salary cap, there is a payroll minimum. This prevents franchises from trying to run things on a shoestring, which essentially leaves winning as the primary avenue to business success. And don't forget that almost all player contracts in the NBA are guaranteed, which reduces the margin for error when a team is making its personnel decisions. That margin is further reduced in smaller markets like Indianapolis, which have fewer revenue streams than many of their competitors.

Even with these realities, you should be aware the Pacers were built for a championship run last season and their payroll was one of the highest in the NBA. Things obviously didn't work out as planned, but it was obvious ownership was willing to spend to win.

Which brings us to your question about the players. For the past three years, the overall talent level was widely perceived to be among the highest in the NBA, fully capable of competing for a championship. Because it didn't happen, management is now evaluating everything about the team, including leadership, chemistry and cohesiveness. What they don't want to do is "blow up" the team, which would mean dropping into the lottery for a few years while re-stocking the talent pool.

Whatever else changes about the Pacers in the coming weeks, the goal has not. This is a franchise focused on hanging an NBA championship banner from the rafters of Conseco Fieldhouse.
---------------------------

So much for the weird idea that the Pacers are built for the regular season.

Bball
06-13-2006, 11:54 AM
:bs:

-Bball

Shade
06-13-2006, 11:57 AM
:bs:

-Bball

I don't see why that's BS. We've been considered a title contender for many seasons now. We're no longer one primarily because of a certain nutjob who ruined two consecutive seasons.

Bball
06-13-2006, 12:02 PM
I don't see why that's BS. We've been considered a title contender for many seasons now. We're no longer one primarily because of a certain nutjob who ruined two consecutive seasons.

This is BS:

"Whatever else changes about the Pacers in the coming weeks, the goal has not. This is a franchise focused on hanging an NBA championship banner from the rafters of Conseco Fieldhouse. "

It might be a goal... but it is down the list.

-Bball

Sollozzo
06-13-2006, 12:17 PM
I don't see why that's BS. We've been considered a title contender for many seasons now. We're no longer one primarily because of a certain nutjob who ruined two consecutive seasons.


Uh, considered a title contender by who?

Pacer Fanatics on this board?

Since 2000 when we made the finals, We've had 4 first round exits, 1 second round exit, 1 ECF exit. We've had one year since 00 where we were a legit contender, that was 04.

A title contender for many seasons now? Hardly.

ChicagoJ
06-13-2006, 12:59 PM
So much for the weird idea that the Pacers are built for the regular season.

What is weird about that? And whether it is weird or not, how does this possibly disprove it.

They tried to build a champion. Key word is tried. What they built was a paper champion.

This team, whether under Isiah or Rick, always peaked in the November - January time frame. That's the regular season.

So you've got two choices, and neither of them are weird.

They either 1) intentionally built a team that would have regular season success and keep fans interested but wasn't really a top-team in the playoffs (as implied in this letter and from PD posters from time to time)

Or 2) they really tried to build a championship contender and failed misearably (with some good regular season records but only one ECF appearance and one second round appearance to show for all their hard work, thus "the team was built for the regular season.")

+ + + + + + + +

I'm sorry, I don't try to turn this into a Biblical discussion. But when I think of Jesus' parable of the builders, I think the Pacers' management has perfectly illustrated the fool, building the team on a very, very shaky foundation. Injury prone players. Mentally weak players. Mentally ill players. One-trick-pony coaches. Etc.

Matthew 7:24-27 (New King James Version)

New King James Version (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/?action=getVersionInfo&vid=50) (NKJV)

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Shade
06-13-2006, 01:06 PM
Uh, considered a title contender by who?

Pacer Fanatics on this board?

Since 2000 when we made the finals, We've had 4 first round exits, 1 second round exit, 1 ECF exit. We've had one year since 00 where we were a legit contender, that was 04.

A title contender for many seasons now? Hardly.

Apparently you haven't paid too much attention to the media. We were considered contenders in both '05 pre-brawl and '06 pre-trade request. We were also considered the overall favorites in '99. Many media people jumped on the bandwagon in '04. In '98 and '00, nobody was considered a contender because of the Bulls/Lakers.

Unclebuck
06-13-2006, 02:03 PM
Pacers were prime title contenders entering the 2004 and the 2005 seasons

Putnam
06-13-2006, 02:20 PM
Bruno is right to point out that the organization was willing to spend. The $80 million payroll was not a profit maximizing decision, but an effort to build a winner. Nobody knew that the players and coaches wouldn't get the job done, but the owners owned like they wanted a championship.

The disappointing results came about because plans broke down -- not because anyone planned for mediocrity.




Pacers were prime title contenders entering the 2004 and the 2005 seasons

There is an important distinction: The Pacers were "title contenders entering the 04 and 05 seasons." But when those seasons were over and the Finals came and the titles were actually being contended for, the Pacers were not there.

Peck
06-13-2006, 02:25 PM
Bruno is right to point out that the organization was willing to spend. The $80 million payroll was not a profit maximizing decision, but an effort to build a winner. Nobody knew that the players and coaches wouldn't get the job done, but the owners owned like they wanted a championship.

The disappointing results came about because plans broke down -- not because anyone planned for mediocrity.





There is an important distinction: The Pacers were "title contenders entering the 04 and 05 seasons." But when those seasons were over and the Finals came and the titles were actually being contended for, the Pacers were not there.

Yea, that pretty much say's it all.

Shade
06-13-2006, 03:41 PM
Pacers were prime title contenders entering the 2004 and the 2005 seasons

Actually, they were considered contenders entering the '05 and '06 seasons. Most people didn't expect us to do as well in '04 as we did, but they jumped on the bandwagon afterwards.
--- Edited Follow-Up ---

Bruno is right to point out that the organization was willing to spend. The $80 million payroll was not a profit maximizing decision, but an effort to build a winner. Nobody knew that the players and coaches wouldn't get the job done, but the owners owned like they wanted a championship.

The disappointing results came about because plans broke down -- not because anyone planned for mediocrity.





There is an important distinction: The Pacers were "title contenders entering the 04 and 05 seasons." But when those seasons were over and the Finals came and the titles were actually being contended for, the Pacers were not there.

Had the Sheed trade not happened, we would have probably been there in '04.

Had the brawl not happened, we would have probably been there in '05.

There are plenty of contenders who never come to fruition. But they were considered contenders nonetheless.

Bball
06-13-2006, 03:46 PM
Well, if the Sam Smith article can be taken at its face then one could extrapolate Bird didn't consider us contenders heading into the season in question.

And Reggie, a person with a tie or two to the Pacer lockerroom, also downplayed the Pacers' chances this past season at the start.

So not everyone close to the organization was sizing up a spot for a new NBA Finals banner in Conseco.

-Bball

Hicks
06-13-2006, 04:13 PM
Going by some of the logic in this thread, the Spurs and Pistons were not contenders for the title this year. Right.

Sollozzo
06-13-2006, 06:05 PM
Apparently you haven't paid too much attention to the media. We were considered contenders in both '05 pre-brawl and '06 pre-trade request. We were also considered the overall favorites in '99. Many media people jumped on the bandwagon in '04. In '98 and '00, nobody was considered a contender because of the Bulls/Lakers.



You seem to be going on being a contender in October before the season starts. Anyone can be a contender in October. October is a magic month for Pacers fans. All of the players are usually healthy for the moment. If you're still playing great ball in March, that's when you're a true title contender.

So the Pacers were a contender all for 10 games in the 04-05 season. I don't think many neutral minds had the Pacers going far in 05-06. There was a lot of over the top hype on this board. How people thought that the Pacers could put something as devasting as the brawl behind them while inserting the main cause of the event back into the lineup and magically make the finals is beyond me. Not to mention they lost Reggie Miller, who rode the team on his back the previous season and played his *** off against Detroit.

Most neutral parties knew it would come down to Detroit and Miami in the East again.

The Pacers were legit contenders on and off from 1994-2000, no doubt about it. But since they went to the finals in 00, there is only one time, 04, where they were playing great ball in March/April and deserved to be taken seriously. 01, 02, 03, 05, 06 THe Pacers weren't anywhere close to being considered a contender by the time March rolled around.

Serious contenders year after year? Not even close.

Lord Helmet
06-13-2006, 07:55 PM
Uh, considered a title contender by who?

Pacer Fanatics on this board?

Since 2000 when we made the finals, We've had 4 first round exits, 1 second round exit, 1 ECF exit. We've had one year since 00 where we were a legit contender, that was 04.

A title contender for many seasons now? Hardly.
Let your negativity cease for a couple seconds. We've been considered contenders before the last two seasons began.

Two years ago after the 61 win season that everyone on this board seems to hate, we had that same core of players minus a traded Al, whom we thought we got a decent "shooter", which is what we needed. We started out well that season then it was ****ed over by the brawl.

This season we were considered contenders, since it was basically the same group of the 61 win team, still. With the steal of the draft, Danny and a high-profile PG from Europe in Sarunas.

We've been considered title contenders for the past two years now, and just havn't done anything much after the 61 win ECF team.

I will say most of the reasons we've been considered title contenders is because each of the last couple of years we've had that same '03-04 team except a few players.

bulletproof
06-14-2006, 01:42 AM
This is BS:

"Whatever else changes about the Pacers in the coming weeks, the goal has not. This is a franchise focused on hanging an NBA championship banner from the rafters of Conseco Fieldhouse. "

It might be a goal... but it is down the list.

-Bball

How do you know that? Oh wait, you don't.

Bball
06-14-2006, 01:59 AM
How do you know that? Oh wait, you don't.

I know it... and you know it... Whether you'll admit it is another question.

-Bball

beast23
06-14-2006, 02:15 AM
I know it... and you know it... Whether you'll admit it is another question.

-Bball
Wow. Bball, even with Bird and his highly competitive nature, do you really think that winning all the marbles is THAT far down the list?

From my perspective, I believe the Pacers have one major business concern. Considering the two seasons we've just had, I think they are afraid that may lose even more fans.

I believe that Goal #1 is to increase the number of butts in the seats.

I think Donny and Larry are both smart enough to realize that they can probably do that by getting rid of the knuckleheads while also improving the team.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that both major goals can be accomplished by packaging the knuckleheads in trades that bring back draft picks and players that fill the holes on our roster. Doesn't that move us in the right direction?

Sollozzo
06-14-2006, 09:16 AM
Let your negativity cease for a couple seconds. We've been considered contenders before the last two seasons began.

Two years ago after the 61 win season that everyone on this board seems to hate, we had that same core of players minus a traded Al, whom we thought we got a decent "shooter", which is what we needed. We started out well that season then it was ****ed over by the brawl.

This season we were considered contenders, since it was basically the same group of the 61 win team, still. With the steal of the draft, Danny and a high-profile PG from Europe in Sarunas.

We've been considered title contenders for the past two years now, and just havn't done anything much after the 61 win ECF team.

I will say most of the reasons we've been considered title contenders is because each of the last couple of years we've had that same '03-04 team except a few players.


Like I said, anyone can be a contender the month before the season starts. When you're playing great ball in March, that's when you're a true contender.

Putnam
06-14-2006, 10:50 AM
I'm bumping this thread back up because I hope Bball will answer the question posed by beast23:



Wow. Bball, even with Bird and his highly competitive nature, do you really think that winning all the marbles is THAT far down the list?

From my perspective, I believe the Pacers have one major business concern. Considering the two seasons we've just had, I think they are afraid that may lose even more fans.

I believe that Goal #1 is to increase the number of butts in the seats.

ChicagoJ
06-14-2006, 10:56 AM
I agree, Beast, and the best way to do that in Indiana is with a competitive team that "plays the right way."

A contender that doesn't play the right way fails to achieve Goal #1.

The key question: is having a competitive team the primary goal or is it a means to increasing the number of butts in the seats?

Bball
06-14-2006, 11:33 AM
I'm bumping this thread back up because I hope Bball will answer the question posed by beast23:


Look at the teams that are the true contenders at the end of the season or late in the playoffs. How many of them got there by being patient... or satisfied?

Look at the changes the Mavs, Suns, Miami, even Detroit went thru.

IMHO the Pacer hierarchy's overriding goal is so strong that we just don't push the envelope once we reach a certain plateau. Once we are a playoff team, certain members of TPTB get satisfied. We might make a barely significant tweak here and there, or we might let a player or two go because we're still going to be 'good enough' without them. But we rarely (ever?) put it on the line and do something meaningful with a playoff bound team.

Championship teams don't let things fester. They don't wait. They are proactive. They have a singular vision and plan they want followed.

Butts in the seats and playoff is the overriding goal. True, you can't get a championship without that step... but then if that step satisifies you too much then you won't be getting a championship anyway. The other teams aren't standing still. Even midseason.

-Bball

fwpacerfan
06-14-2006, 11:59 AM
I don't see why that's BS. We've been considered a title contender for many seasons now. We're no longer one primarily because of a certain nutjob who ruined two consecutive seasons.

I would've agreed with you that Ron Artest was the reason for this team's demise in December, but I think he gets too much credit and blame for this team's demise. There are so many people to blame that there is no way to make Artest the scapegoat. This franchise lacks leadership. It lacks it on the floor, in the lockeroom and in the front office. Bird's recent admittal that he wanted to shake things up last summer only to be stonewalled shows that everyone is not on the same page in this organization. That can and usually does filter to the lockeroom in some fashion, especially if the disagreement is about players AND coaches. Couple that with a group of players without a true leader and an inability to get along and you have a powderkeg being lit.

DW, Bird and the Simons need to have a sit down and get on the same page. Changes are needed and they all need to agree to make them. If they don't I could see Bird getting frustrated and leaving. With Walsh talking about retirement that would leave this franchise in a bad position.

bulletproof
06-14-2006, 08:58 PM
Look at the teams that are the true contenders at the end of the season or late in the playoffs. How many of them got there by being patient... or satisfied?

Look at the changes the Mavs, Suns, Miami, even Detroit went thru.

IMHO the Pacer hierarchy's overriding goal is so strong that we just don't push the envelope once we reach a certain plateau. Once we are a playoff team, certain members of TPTB get satisfied. We might make a barely significant tweak here and there, or we might let a player or two go because we're still going to be 'good enough' without them. But we rarely (ever?) put it on the line and do something meaningful with a playoff bound team.

Championship teams don't let things fester. They don't wait. They are proactive. They have a singular vision and plan they want followed.

Butts in the seats and playoff is the overriding goal. True, you can't get a championship without that step... but then if that step satisifies you too much then you won't be getting a championship anyway. The other teams aren't standing still. Even midseason.

-Bball

So you think guys like Bird and Walsh are guys that are satisfied with just being competitive? Yeeeah.

Anthem
06-14-2006, 10:18 PM
So you think guys like Bird and Walsh are guys that are satisfied with just being competitive? Yeeeah.
Well, it would be a nice change.

Shade
06-14-2006, 10:28 PM
You seem to be going on being a contender in October before the season starts. Anyone can be a contender in October. October is a magic month for Pacers fans. All of the players are usually healthy for the moment. If you're still playing great ball in March, that's when you're a true title contender.

So the Pacers were a contender all for 10 games in the 04-05 season. I don't think many neutral minds had the Pacers going far in 05-06. There was a lot of over the top hype on this board. How people thought that the Pacers could put something as devasting as the brawl behind them while inserting the main cause of the event back into the lineup and magically make the finals is beyond me. Not to mention they lost Reggie Miller, who rode the team on his back the previous season and played his *** off against Detroit.

Most neutral parties knew it would come down to Detroit and Miami in the East again.

The Pacers were legit contenders on and off from 1994-2000, no doubt about it. But since they went to the finals in 00, there is only one time, 04, where they were playing great ball in March/April and deserved to be taken seriously. 01, 02, 03, 05, 06 THe Pacers weren't anywhere close to being considered a contender by the time March rolled around.

Serious contenders year after year? Not even close.

Funny, but I seem to recall the media proclaiming the Pacers to be up there with, or better than, the Pistons heading into this season. Teams like Atlanta and Toronto sure weren't considered contenders.

We may not have lived up to expectations, but those expectations were in place nonetheless. Going by your logic, virtually nobody is considered a contender but the eventual champion.


I would've agreed with you that Ron Artest was the reason for this team's demise in December, but I think he gets too much credit and blame for this team's demise. There are so many people to blame that there is no way to make Artest the scapegoat. This franchise lacks leadership. It lacks it on the floor, in the lockeroom and in the front office. Bird's recent admittal that he wanted to shake things up last summer only to be stonewalled shows that everyone is not on the same page in this organization. That can and usually does filter to the lockeroom in some fashion, especially if the disagreement is about players AND coaches. Couple that with a group of players without a true leader and an inability to get along and you have a powderkeg being lit.

DW, Bird and the Simons need to have a sit down and get on the same page. Changes are needed and they all need to agree to make them. If they don't I could see Bird getting frustrated and leaving. With Walsh talking about retirement that would leave this franchise in a bad position.

This team was built around Artest just as much as it was JO. Extracting half of that duo pretty much killed our team as currently constructed. Now it's up to TPTB to reconstruct this team in a new mold.

bulletproof
06-14-2006, 10:35 PM
Well, it would be a nice change.

Don't tell me you didn't think we had a shot going into the ECFs, especially after we won game 1. Or the following season before the brawl, or going into this season. Or the 2000 finals, for that matter, or with any of those late 90s teams.

Shade
06-14-2006, 10:38 PM
Don't tell me you didn't think we had a shot going into the ECFs, especially after we won game 1. Or the following season before the brawl, or going into this season. Or the 2000 finals, for that matter, or with any of those late 90s teams.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

Robertmto
06-14-2006, 10:40 PM
20/20