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View Full Version : If I Ruled the (NBA) World - Bill Simmons (v. lockout)



mattie
07-08-2011, 08:13 PM
I searched for where anyone might have posted it, but didn't see it anywhere. So if it is a repeat I'm sorries.

Any how, I hated his article. The reason the NBA has so many problems is they continue to consider each and every team as an individual business and don't realize that just like every other American sports organization they're a cartel.

The Lakers make so much more money than everyone else for a number of reasons but it is ridiculous to not consider they depend on the rest of the NBA. If they marketed the NBA as a solid league instead of the few select bigger markets, they'd have as much universal love as the NFL.

Dallas and Miami aren't huge markets, and to act as if the massive ratings they received is because of big markets winning is ridiculous. Simmons is drinking the Stern coolaid again


What Dave would tell the owners: "Fifty-seven percent was too high, and the tax created more problems than it solved. I get that. But with all due respect to Real Adam, I'd argue the Lakers should spend 225 percent as much on salary as the Kings. After all, they play in Los Angeles, not Sacramento. They make more local TV money in one year than Sacramento makes in 12. They can charge three times as much for tickets. And their owner has enough money to pay his players without hawking his prized possessions like he's on an special episode of Pawn Stars. We ARE a league of Haves and Have-Nots. Look at every great season we've ever had — when we're top-heavy and bottom-heavy, that's when we have the best teams and the best playoff games.

"Here's a newsflash: We're not the NFL. They have revenue sharing because it doesn't matter who plays in the Super Bowl, or where Peyton Manning spends his career. All that matters is parity and television money. Our success hinges on star power and big-market teams; we could never survive one year without a team in Los Angeles, much less two decades and counting like the NFL just did. Our attendance numbers these past few years have told us — pretty convincingly — that small-market fans aren't forking over money for professional basketball anymore unless their local team is good or great. And even then, they might not show up.

"We have to reinvent our league. We have to figure out which 25 to 30 cities can handle a professional basketball franchise instead of wasting our time protecting the ones that can't. We have to accept that big-market teams have a better chance of succeeding than small-market teams, for a variety of reasons, but mainly because wealthier owners want to own big-market teams and talented players want to play for big-market teams. That's the reality. That's the big picture. But yes, the small picture says we need to knock down that BRI a little. A 50/50 split seems totally fair."

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6749669/if-ruled-nba-world

spreedom
07-08-2011, 08:38 PM
I will never claim to be an expert on the economics of the NBA, but I agreed with pretty much every suggestion that he made. The thing with the All Star/Superstar/Franchise player sounds really interesting.

mattie
07-08-2011, 08:44 PM
If the NBA was a single business, that allowed the teams to compete against eachother, it would solve so many problems. Then you wouldn't have people assuming that just because LA brought in more revenue they some how deserve more of the profits. All profits would merely be the NBA's profits, and in an effort to increase profits the NBA would work to improve the entire product as a whole.

Attempting to cater to the whims of the big market teams is effectively like killing the golden goose. They're destroying the league because they think LA, Chicago and New York are their big money makers. If the league didn't blow, the rest of the markets would make them money too.

Kegboy
07-08-2011, 08:51 PM
Bill just doesn't understand the small market, and he's never tried. He's argued not only contraction, but heavy contraction for years. Why? Cause it doesn't affect him. Typical fly-over mentality.

mattie
07-08-2011, 08:58 PM
I despise the argument because he's basically arguing against competition. He's essentially arguing the NBA should fix games so the big markets win everything. I can't fathom wanting to watch a league that was anti-competition.

Sollozzo
07-08-2011, 09:12 PM
Dallas and Miami aren't huge markets, and to act as if the massive ratings they received is because of big markets winning is ridiculous. Simmons is drinking the Stern coolaid again



http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6749669/if-ruled-nba-world



Dallas and Miami are huge markets. They aren't New York, LA, or Chicago, but they are in the next tier. Dallas is the 4th largest metro in the US and Miami is the 8th. Those two metro areas are two of the largest in the United States.

But I agree with you that the massive ratings is not because of market size, it's because of star power. People wanted to watch the Miami 3 (whether they loved or hated them) and Dallas had quite a bit of pull as well once they went deep. I think a lot of people wanted to see Dirk and those guys win.

One area where Simmons goes wrong is when he implies that low attendance for poor teams is only a small market problem. Has he not seen how bad Philly's attendance has been recently?

Better yet, what about Boston in the pre-Big 3 years. In fact in 04-05, the Celtics were a poor 24th in the league in attendance (even though they were a playoff team). They only filled up to 85% capacity that year. In fact, the Pacers averaged more fans that season despite Conseco being smaller than the Celtics arena. That should NEVER happen given how much larger Boston is than Indy.

That's just one year that I cherry-picked. But all of the pre-big 3 years were pretty bad as far as Celtics attendance goes. Several seasons below 90% capacity. That shouldn't happen when you are in a large market and have the most storied team in the NBA. Instead of picking on small market teams, Simmons needs to acknowledge that Boston can be as fickle as anywhere else. The bottom line is that no one anywhere wants to see poor NBA basketball. No fan base will come out in groves for 41 games a year to watch crap.

http://espn.go.com/nba/attendance/_/year/2005

joeco
07-08-2011, 09:26 PM
I cant say it enough, I love Bill Simmons and 95% of his ideas. He's got flaws in his arguments for entertainment purposes but he truly is a pioneer in this young age of the internet sports columns.

OakMoses
07-08-2011, 11:03 PM
Simmons is a Celtics fan and a fan of good basketball. He can make all sorts of pro-contraction, pro-big market arguments because, no matter what happens, the Celtics are going to be sitting pretty.

His arguments make sense from a historical perspective. He wants to watch the best basketball possible. He wants an NBA finals that contains 8 all-stars. His general premise is that it's more entertaining to watch the best possible players all playing against each other at the same time.

Sollozzo
07-08-2011, 11:14 PM
Simmons is a Celtics fan and a fan of good basketball. He can make all sorts of pro-contraction, pro-big market arguments because, no matter what happens, the Celtics are going to be sitting pretty.



Not true at all. From 1992-2007, the Celtics were beyond irrelevant. They won three playoff series' in that span. The Celtics were a complete afterthought in Boston before KG and Ray teamed up with Pierce. They could easily fall back in the toilet once those guys leave.

The Knicks were the scum of the league during the 00's.

There's no guarantee that big market teams are always going to be sitting pretty. In fact, the only big market team that has virtually ALWAYS been good is the Lakers. Aside from about 5 down years in the 90's between Magic and Kobe/Shaq, that team has always been in contention with it's star-studded rosters. That tradition will probably continue once Kobe leaves and they have cap space again. They will convince someone to go there.

mb221
07-09-2011, 12:10 AM
Love the Entertaining As Hell Tournament idea.

Eleazar
07-09-2011, 01:23 AM
Dallas and Miami are huge markets. They aren't New York, LA, or Chicago, but they are in the next tier. Dallas is the 4th largest metro in the US and Miami is the 8th. Those two metro areas are two of the largest in the United States.

But I agree with you that the massive ratings is not because of market size, it's because of star power. People wanted to watch the Miami 3 (whether they loved or hated them) and Dallas had quite a bit of pull as well once they went deep. I think a lot of people wanted to see Dirk and those guys win.

One area where Simmons goes wrong is when he implies that low attendance for poor teams is only a small market problem. Has he not seen how bad Philly's attendance has been recently?

Better yet, what about Boston in the pre-Big 3 years. In fact in 04-05, the Celtics were a poor 24th in the league in attendance (even though they were a playoff team). They only filled up to 85% capacity that year. In fact, the Pacers averaged more fans that season despite Conseco being smaller than the Celtics arena. That should NEVER happen given how much larger Boston is than Indy.

That's just one year that I cherry-picked. But all of the pre-big 3 years were pretty bad as far as Celtics attendance goes. Several seasons below 90% capacity. That shouldn't happen when you are in a large market and have the most storied team in the NBA. Instead of picking on small market teams, Simmons needs to acknowledge that Boston can be as fickle as anywhere else. The bottom line is that no one anywhere wants to see poor NBA basketball. No fan base will come out in groves for 41 games a year to watch crap.

http://espn.go.com/nba/attendance/_/year/2005

I think this says a lot about the product of basketball that the NBA promotes. Get rid of the star treatment, ticky tack fouls, and rules likes defensive 3 seconds and emphasize the team game I have absolutely no doubt you will see attendance go up. If you got rid of the star treatment I am willing to bet there would be a lot smaller gap between the stars. Try to make it difficult to amass a large group of stars on one team via trades and FA, and more teams will have stars giving more fan bases a reason to think they can compete, and they could actually compete.

mattie
07-09-2011, 03:54 AM
I think this says a lot about the product of basketball that the NBA promotes. Get rid of the star treatment, ticky tack fouls, and rules likes defensive 3 seconds and emphasize the team game I have absolutely no doubt you will see attendance go up. If you got rid of the star treatment I am willing to bet there would be a lot smaller gap between the stars. Try to make it difficult to amass a large group of stars on one team via trades and FA, and more teams will have stars giving more fan bases a reason to think they can compete, and they could actually compete.

Exactly, to act as if people will only watch superstars play is to act like people won't watch college basketball.

The league suffers now because of terrible marketing, and horrible competition. The front office has no intentions of allowing a completely level playing field, which is the opposite of every other major league in the US.

AesopRockOn
07-09-2011, 04:14 AM
Did anyone else cringe a little when he says,
forking over hard-earned profits to make sure basketball can keep limping along in Sacramento, Milwaukee, Philly, Detroit, New Orleans, Charlotte and Indiana are between 0.0 and 0.00000001 percent. But then breathe a some sighs of relief when we aren't included in:
Why do you think rich dudes weren't exactly lining up to purchase the Hornets, Kings, Pistons, Bucks or Sixers? but included in:
landed a Friday Final Four of the Grizzlies, Clippers, Pacers and (in a feel-good story) the upstart Cavaliers. Not saying his word is gospel or anything, but two out of three has to mean its getting better for Pacers fans, right? :)

HeliumFear
07-09-2011, 12:25 PM
I like Bill Simmons,but I hate his anti-small market propaganda. This column is trash.

asmithxc
07-09-2011, 12:45 PM
Bill Simmons has the luxury of posting in the abstract without having to deal with the real world.

Smits Happens
07-09-2011, 12:50 PM
Love the Entertaining As Hell Tournament idea.

Me too. That would be, well, entertaining as hell.

Shade
07-09-2011, 05:39 PM
If Simmons ruled the NBA world, the league would have gone under years ago.

spreedom
07-09-2011, 05:42 PM
I don't really agree with that... I wouldn't passionately disagree either but I don't think his ideas are bad. They just favor the "haves" while eliminating the "have nots" instead of just ignoring them.

AesopRockOn
07-09-2011, 05:52 PM
If Simmons ruled the NBA world, the league would have gone under years ago.

This has to be the first pro-David Stern comment I've seen from Shade. :D

A.B.Hollywood
07-09-2011, 05:55 PM
Not true at all. From 1992-2007, the Celtics were beyond irrelevant. They won three playoff series' in that span. The Celtics were a complete afterthought in Boston before KG and Ray teamed up with Pierce. They could easily fall back in the toilet once those guys leave.

The Knicks were the scum of the league during the 00's.

There's no guarantee that big market teams are always going to be sitting pretty. In fact, the only big market team that has virtually ALWAYS been good is the Lakers. Aside from about 5 down years in the 90's between Magic and Kobe/Shaq, that team has always been in contention with it's star-studded rosters. That tradition will probably continue once Kobe leaves and they have cap space again. They will convince someone to go there.

Its not that Boston or all the big markets are always good teams. Its that these teams would NEVER be in contraction talks.

And he's right.

Shade
07-09-2011, 06:00 PM
This has to be the first pro-David Stern comment I've seen from Shade. :D

The lesser of two evils.

I still feel dirty.

Kstat
07-09-2011, 07:13 PM
Blaming the WNBA for the NBA's financial woes is asinine beyond belief. Rip Hamilton makes more money than every WNBA player combined.

I have no love for the WNBA anymore, but Simmons tarnished his own article by including that bit.

That article is full of both good ideas and poorly researched off-the-wall crap.

spreedom
07-09-2011, 08:41 PM
Blaming the WNBA for the NBA's financial woes is asinine beyond belief. Rip Hamilton makes more money than every WNBA player combined.

I have no love for the WNBA anymore, but Simmons tarnished his own article by including that bit.

That article is full of both good ideas and poorly researched off-the-wall crap.


I feel somewhat ignorant for having to ask this, but is that really true? Do some WNBA players make "only" a few hundred bucks per game?

Kstat
07-09-2011, 09:12 PM
the salary cap in the WNBA is around 850K. multiply that by 12 teams and that's 10.2 million. Rip Hamilton made 11 million last season.

Around 40 NBA players made more than $10.2 million last season. The cost of operating the WNBA is a drop in the bucket. They have a long-term TV contract with ESPN. The NHL doesn't even have that.

It wouldn't surprise me if they weren't losing money at all.

smj887
07-09-2011, 11:33 PM
Did anyone else cringe a little when he says, But then breathe a some sighs of relief when we aren't included in: but included in: Not saying his word is gospel or anything, but two out of three has to mean its getting better for Pacers fans, right? :)

Well, it's not like he's just throwing the Pacers under the bus in the last one. The way he pitches the Entertaining As Hell Tournament, we (as 8 seeds) would have presumably been in the Final Four along with the WC 8 seed Memphis and whoever else.

Bball
07-10-2011, 01:19 AM
Bill Simmons needs to talk to our own T-Bird.

spreedom
07-11-2011, 05:04 PM
the salary cap in the WNBA is around 850K. multiply that by 12 teams and that's 10.2 million. Rip Hamilton made 11 million last season.

Around 40 NBA players made more than $10.2 million last season. The cost of operating the WNBA is a drop in the bucket. They have a long-term TV contract with ESPN. The NHL doesn't even have that.

It wouldn't surprise me if they weren't losing money at all.


Good lord... the WNBA must have a huge profit ratio from the TV deal alone. I know they probably only average a few thousand fans per game, but that's all gotta be gravy, right?