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Thread: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

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    Default QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Or better yet........

    What if anything, should be done to save the NBA?

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Is it really that close to dying?

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Um, the NBA needs saving?

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    I'd say no more superstar treatment would be nice. All players should get the same calls. The techs for whining was a good effect, but a little too harsh at 1st... then a little too light towards the end..

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    I really believe the time may have come for a "video review" or "challenge" similar to what's done in the NFL.

    They don't have to go crazy and allow unlimited challenges but installing some mechanism for instant on-court review might be a major acknowledgment by Stern and Co. that they are going to need to do something to ensure this doesn't happen again.
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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    The NBA needs saving. Desperately. The writing is on the wall. You're wearing a very bright shade of pink glasses if you cant see it.

    Wherever you chose to throw a stone - you'll hit a mess. From the business angle thru the media angle all the way to the game itself.

    The league needs to quickly handle this latest Mob-ref scandal and Herr Stern needs to step down. This is the last straw.

    Many rules need to be changed.
    Many agreements need to be reviewed.
    Many aspects of the league need to be reformed.
    The league needs to go back to its roots, which is basketball. The game of.

    The NBA peaked at the Barcelona games of 1992 with the original "Dream Team". Since then it rode on the popularity wave of "the chosen one" for some years, and continued with the "dynamic duo" soon after. But the "wow" and awe that NBA players from the 1992 era drew from crowds are gone. The rest of the world is catching up. Fast.
    The league is trying desperately to throne new kings for the new era, but it's a doomed cause. Nevertheless it has compromised practically every aspect of the game we once called "basketball", highlighted by the last fixing games scandal.


    The league has lost its integrity, and that's something that cant be restored easily. "Once a cheater always a cheater" comes to mind. "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on ME" and other cliches of that sort are what NBA fans are musing about instead of the upcoming season.

    The writing is on the wall. The fall will be swift and hard, and rock bottom is dead ahead. Gloomy days for basketball fans.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Hire Vince McMahon?

    Seriously, the league will be fine unless it turns out that Donaghy is just the tip of the iceberg. And even then it'll be OK after Stern's forced to step down and there's a 2-3 year bloodbath while it gets cleaned up. America's addicted to cheap entertainment and what other sport will fill in from January through May?

    Of course IMO getting away from marketing individual stars and pushing teams over individuals would be a huge step in the right direction but I don't think that'll happen. Casual fans will still follow individuals while hardcore fans will follow their teams.

    Even better would be just improving the quality of officiating. If that's an end result maybe in the long run this will even be good for the league.
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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    I'm in the Doom and Gloom Brigade with NPFII. The media talking heads already were relegating the NBA to the Insignificant level akin to the NHL, if not less. Except at draft time when they had alot they could "opine" about.
    Starting today I expect them to have a field day with this and drive the NBA to an even lower level, if possible.

    So what will "save" it?

    Ultimately Stern and his cronies will have to fall on their swords. AFTER instituting changes. AND the NBAPA and Ref Association will have to go along with the changes.

    My suggestions (and most of these are to heighten the fan interest, since I think they will certainly forgive the one ref situation....eventually)

    Adopt a sliding pay scale based upon post secondary education. IOW, based upon number of years of "experience"...either minor league or College. OK, I want the players back in college period. Bird and Magic took the NBA by storm because of ther college rivalry following them to the NBA. Now, by drafting kids right out of high school we do not have that natural rivalry and the notariaty that goes with it. By paying for experience/education, as most industries do, we can get more kids to stay in college longer and thus perhaps develop these rivalries.

    Go back to more of the "old school" game. The NBA lost credibility with US fans losing to the OUS teams...constantly. Going back to tighter fouls, lessening the star system, removing the 3-point shot, etc to enhance the player skills gives the NBA players a greater chance to compete and win on a global level. (Personally, I even advocate returning the jump ball )

    Annually, require full financial disclosure by the refs much the way political candidates are required to disclose their finances. This is not an invasion of privacy, instead it would fit under the "Terms of Employment" clause.

    others:
    Abolish guaranteed player contracts
    Return to the Territorial draft (for awhile, again to heighten fan interest)
    Shorten the season and commensurately lower the player pay scales.
    Shorten the PO's by shortening the early round series to best of three or wbest of 5.


    The average Joe-blow sports fan has found the NBA game lacking and with the latest scandal, the NBA needs to do everything in their power to bring'em back.
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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    I guess I don't buy the premise that the NBA needs saving. Sure the NBA is not as popular as it once was in the 90's (in the 80's the NBA wasn't that popular either, a fallacy that is never discussed much and yes I mean the mid 80's) The thing I see is that the NBA for whatever reason has fallen off the radar screen a little bit - it just isn't in the popular culture like it once was.

    I don't want the playoffs shortened, but I would like to see a regular season where teams play between 64 and 68 games instead of 82. Keep the season the same legnth of time and eliminate the 4 games in 5 nights, the 5 games in 7 nights and the 6 games in 9 nights. I don't know if cutting back to 66 games would allow back-to-back games to be eliminated - probably not, (partially because teams want games on Friday and Saturday nights for attendance). But the games need to be spread out more and that will increase the quality of play significantly.

    I would like to change some of the "carnival atmosphere" in the arenas, but that is more of a personal preference.

    Me personally, I love the NBA, I don't think it needs to be saved - it is a great game and the players are unbelievable. When I still excited about watching the Hawks play the Clippers in the middle of January - I know I love this game.

    it does hurt the league though when the NBA Finals isn't competitive, like this past season, but I'm not even in favor of re-seeding, I like the east vs west thing.

    Edit: on a more practical level. The NBA just signed another TV deal for a 25%-30% increase that runs for 8 seasons after this next one - so the money isn't going to dry up anytime soon. Attandance sets a new record every year and it will next year too, with the Sonics and Blazers selling out every game. The new CBA seems to be working great, the luxury tax is working, the salary cap is working (except in NY). Small amrket teams continue to win the championship and continue to get deep in the playoffs.

    NO, there is a ton of good things about the NBA right now (Oden and Durant) . Scoring is up, more teams are running, the new rules have opened the game up more. Things are not as bad as the media and some NBA haters make it seem.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 07-23-2007 at 09:08 AM.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    I'm not paying much attention to this ref thing other than reading headlines, because I'm not surprised. People being people there is always someone willing to cheat. It will get cleaned up.

    To restore peoples faith, I would say the NBA needs a challenge system in the 4th quarter of games where the coach can challenge a refs call. Give each coach say five challenges.

    What would happen at a challenge would be the two refs who didn't make the call would look at replays and both of them would have to agree in order to change the call.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jose Slaughter View Post
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    Or better yet........

    What if anything, should be done to save the NBA?
    Honesty. Make officiating reviews public knowledge like in the NFL. That would make their mistakes easier to swallow and make them more trust-worthy (something already needed BEFORE the scandal).

    Education. Make TNT and ESPN/ABC make a much harder push to teach the game DURING the broadcast (during timeouts, during pauses in the action, before the game, half-time, after the game). Not only the rules, but strategies/tactics/plays with examples scene during the game we're watching (or at least video of the two teams we're watching).

    Innovation. Mix things up. The playoff format. The lottery. Bill Simmons had the interesting idea of having an earlier tournament before the actual playoffs to determine the bottom 2 seeds in each conference in I believe an NCAA-style (or not?) tournament of the 18 teams currently not in the playoffs. I forget all the logistics, but any of those teams could potentially earn a slot. This would take place after the regular season and for a week or two before the real playoffs; giving us an entertaining finish to the season and rewarding the better teams with rest before starting the post-season (yes I know the counter-argument about rust/momentum; this is more important IMO). Do things like this that are big changes in the name of fun/entertainment without snapping the integrity of the game in half.

    This should include mixing up all-star weekend. I think it was again Simmons who suggested the following: A "high-dunk" contest. They keep raising the rim just to see who can make the highest dunk among the competitors. A 1-on-1 tournament would be fascinating (make the pot high enough that they're trying hard to win). There are other ideas that can be applied to all-star weekend.

    Those are the first things to come to my mind.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    To add to Will's idea (I like having the two refs that didn't make the call being the ones to review), make the rule only applicable in the last two minutes of the 4th quarter (and perhaps at most the last two minutes of the 2nd quarter, or maybe all 4).

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    How in the world would a challenge work? Most complaints are on no-calls and so if there were a no-call and the other team broke out on a fast break, what keeps the Coach from throwing out the red flag to stop the break?

    They already review last second shots...what other calls could be reviewed, travelling?
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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Maybe it's a possession challenge and the coach specifies what he's checking for on that possession. Perhaps also a challenge can only happen during the next dead ball. Also, if the coach is wrong, it costs at least 1 timeout.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Step one is to institute a hard cap. This soft cap business has ruined each team's ability to break up dysfunctional teams. Next, get rid of guaranteed contracts. When teams have bad/incompatible players, teams have to have the tools to get rid of them.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    I'll probably be coming back and adding/changing stuff, but here's my first shot:

    Officiating - Rip down the iron curtain.

    A few years ago, Matt Millen (back when he was a great TV analyst, before he became a horrible GM) went to ref school as part of a multi-part feature for Fox. They went through all the policies and procedures he had to learn (which was overwhelming for even a former NFL player), the guided film study, the workouts, and they ended with him calling part of a preseason scrimmage, where they had a camera on him so we saw what he did.

    It was a magnificent piece. It showed how hard officiating is, how hard they have to prepare off the field and work on the field, it showed how tough their grading procedures are, and, most importantly, it humanized the refs. He talked with a bunch of them about dealing with coaches and players, working through gray areas like bump zones and holding, etc.

    Now, I'm not saying something like that would solve anything, too many would laugh it off as a fluff piece. But it's an example of the openness that the NFL has that the NBA has fiercely guarded against.

    They need to open up the books. They need to open up on the grading process. Donaghy graded out to where he ref'd 5 playoff games last year. Why was that?

    Most importantly, they need to publicly announce fines and suspensions against refs. Stern always argues that puts too much pressure on the refs, that they'd be under too much scrutiny. Bull****. That's what they do in the NFL, and those are part time employees, not full like the NBA.

    Now, yes, you can certainly argue that NBA refs have a really hard job, and this, along with the stigma they'll have now, will just make it harder. Here's my solution: Pay them more money! It's a very hard job, and they'll face more pressure than ever. They should be compensated appropriately. And, a nice byproduct of this is they'll hopefully be less likely to fall under the thumb of the bad guys, just like the players are less likely.

    Lastly, as part of them getting more money, I'd expect one more thing: Stop the showboating. No more Bavetta dance, no more throwing out mascots, etc. The game is entertainment, but their job is serious, solemn, "sacred", to quote Stern. They may think they're playing up to the crowd or whatever, but the call they made just ****ed off one team of players and half the fans, and all that does is foster emnity for the ref.

    As for instant replay, frankly I'm against it. Games take long enough as it is. If you want to give coaches a challenge or two, limit to game changing situations or playoffs or whatever, okay, but I just don't see it as a solution. They've messed with it in the NFL forever, and now college too, and it still doesn't solve much of anything.

    I'll come back later to tackle other areas.
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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    not enough jeff hornasecks and reggie millers in the league. i mean, true class act guys that people just flat love.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    First of all, anything relative to a reduction of the salary structure just isn't going to happen. Any such movement toward that would result in a prolonged strike which would damage the game even more. There is nothing on either side that is done for the "good of the game". It's either what is good for the owners or what is good for the players.

    Somebody mentioned an "educational consideration". That isn't going to happen either. There are bricklayers making more than people with college degrees now. The NBA shouldn't even touch this.

    Even though I don't think a challenge system is practical, it or something like it is going to have to be instituted now. What has happened is going to dictate it. Nor can it be limited to the 4th quarter. That's just too easy to get around.

    Superstar treatment. This has always, always been a contention of mine. Why was Patrick Ewing allowed to take four running steps across the lane? Why did Michael Jordan need ANY kind of calls? I have always argued if you gave the average guy those same advantages they would move into the star category. It's always been BS.

    NBA basketball is on the same course as about every other American sport in it's own actions downgrading its perception. Stern is about to move into the Bud Selig arena.

    Does the NBA need to be saved? The more important question is does it matter? The old saying "you can't help those who won't help themselves" is a perfect description.
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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    To restore peoples faith, I would say the NBA needs a challenge system in the 4th quarter of games where the coach can challenge a refs call. Give each coach say five challenges.

    What would happen at a challenge would be the two refs who didn't make the call would look at replays and both of them would have to agree in order to change the call.
    I don't think this would work.

    The largest issue most people I know who don't watch a ton of basketball have with the game is how ridiculously slow and boring the last two minutes of a close game are. They really have an attention span problem caring about what happens in between all the fouling and free throws that so often take place in the final minute especially.

    To all of us, it makes perfect sense and we understand that that is the strategy that must be used to get back in the game and that you have to take a timeout to advance the ball to half-court and to set up a play (all while the audience watches another commercial) that will take as litte time as possible off the clock.

    I personally have no problem with it. It's all game strategy and very necessary. But I do think the average casual fan much prefers the NCAA system of no half-court advancement and fewer team timeouts that leads to mad dashes (Tyus Edny) and long, chaotic prayer shots (Bryce Drew) than this calculated, methodical system of the NBA.

    I'm not saying the way the NBA does it needs to change, but adding in any more stoppages and commercials and downtime will only make endings that are extremely anti-climactic to many fans even more so.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDawg44 View Post
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    not enough jeff hornasecks and reggie millers in the league.
    I'm not sure the solution for the NBA is more really, really, ridiculously bad-looking people.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    I don't know that the NBA needs to be saved, but getting rid of Stern would be a good place to start. Seriously, as far as I'm concerned it's a miscarriage of justice (or something like that) that the public doesn't know how the refs are graded or if and when they ever get in trouble. If it's true that the league knew that the ref was gambling and they told him to stop they should all be fired.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    1.Put more than the same 3-4 teams on national tv. That would make more people watch the games because i'm sure that people get tired of seeing Lebron or the Pistons every week.

    2.Call the games fair and quit giving star treatment to players.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    i want to change my statement from before. the nba needs more greg odens. not size and talent. but personality and character. that was the example i was searching for. i think that if we can find more people like greg oden and not stephen jackson. more people will be drawn to the game because they want to see the people succeed.

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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Playoffs

    I've been against changing the playoffs for a long time, but this year changed my mind.

    First of all, there's no reason why they shouldn't re-seed after the first round. Every, single, other sport does it. It's ludicrous to have the defacto NBA Finals in the second round.

    I don't believe in a 1-16 seeding, though, not when intra-conference play is much higher than inter-conference play. Plus, keeping the conferences will cut down on travel. However, I do subscribe to the Wilbon proposal, of doing away with the conference finals and seeding the top-4. We would have had Phoenix-Cleveland and San Antonio-Detroit, with almost definitely a Phoenix-San Antonio finals.

    A byproduct of this is making the Finals would really mean something. How many of us hate hearing Portland fans say they would have won the in 2000 if it hadn't been for that 4th quarter? I think that's bull, we would have matched up great against them, but we'll never know. If it'd be re-seeded, we would have played Portland, and LA would have played NY, and there'd be no doubt we were the second-best team that year, as opposed to that year's East fodder.

    Then there's the argument of cutting playoff games. I really don't see that happening, because of the lost revenue. However, they should condense the schedule. Stern's got it in his head that a majority of people are going to watch every single playoff game. That's bull, especially with 7 game series. Go back to the days when you had concurrent games on TNT and TBS, or ESPN and ESPN2. If a game's a snoozer, chances are the viewer will switch to the other game, which is a lot better than turning the game off. And in the days of Tivo and League Pass, it's not like people who want to watch every single play won't have options.

    Television coverage

    Along the same lines, they need to do a better job with their TV coverage. As many have said on here, they should get back to the "game as an event" methodology, where you know there's gonna be the Sunday double-header on ABC, or Wednesday games on ESPN. All we have now is the TNT set in stone, and they've benefited from that being an event.

    Another thing I'm for is what Hicks has talked about, more strategy, more telestrator, etc. Hardcore fans will love it and casual fans will learn there's more to the game than 4 guys standing around watching the 5th (as long as Rick's not coaching, that is.)

    Since we're stuck with ESPN/ABC for the next millenium, it seems, they need to get better people. All the talent goes to TNT, and rightly so, because people know they've got their **** together.

    Miscellaneous

    At the Stern luncheon, I asked him two questions.

    One was about the age limit negotiations in the then upcoming CBA negotiations. I threw out the notion I'd heard of setting a sliding-scale on rookie contracts, where, in effect, the length of the contract is impacted by how long they played in college. For example, if somebody claims financial need and wants to join the league after high school, that's fine, but their rookie contract is 7 years (with various outs for the team if he's a bust). If he goes to college and stays for 4 years, than his rookie contract is only 3 years. This would combat the notion that players enter the league early so they can get done with their rookie contract earlier and get their payday. There'd be no long-term financial incentive for early-entry. You could even set the scale where in effect the college graduate would get paid the same over 3 years that the HS'er would get paid over 7.

    Stern stopped me halfway, saying he didn't want me to give away his playbook. Of course, as we know he still went for the straight 1-year, and that was what he got.

    I think we can all agree that that rule helped the league tremendously this year, culminating with the Oden-Durant debate. I still think there's room for improvement, whether making it a 2-year rule or through other mechanisms, to encourage college play. It gets back to the days where the NCAA was our feeder system, not only developing talent but developing market value for name players.

    My other question was about his European push, when he was talking about possibly placing teams overseas. I was skeptical and instead suggested trying NBDL teams over there first, but he said they would either "go big or go home." He then talked about NBDL expansion, which we're now seeing come to fruition with our Mad Ants. Hopefully, they'll continue to develop the D until it's a true minor league system that teams can rely on.

    As for Stern's international aspirations, I would rather he puts those off. Marketing is one thing, but I'd rather fix what we have before trying to expand a flawed product.
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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    FIRE DAVID STERN AND HIS POSSE

    then hire someone who could run the NBA.
    Barak Obama anyone??
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    Default Re: QOD - What, if anything can be done to save the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays View Post
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    First of all, anything relative to a reduction of the salary structure just isn't going to happen. Any such movement toward that would result in a prolonged strike which would damage the game even more. There is nothing on either side that is done for the "good of the game". It's either what is good for the owners or what is good for the players.

    Somebody mentioned an "educational consideration". That isn't going to happen either. There are bricklayers making more than people with college degrees now. The NBA shouldn't even touch this.
    Even though I don't think a challenge system is practical, it or something like it is going to have to be instituted now. What has happened is going to dictate it. Nor can it be limited to the 4th quarter. That's just too easy to get around.

    Superstar treatment. This has always, always been a contention of mine. Why was Patrick Ewing allowed to take four running steps across the lane? Why did Michael Jordan need ANY kind of calls? I have always argued if you gave the average guy those same advantages they would move into the star category. It's always been BS.

    NBA basketball is on the same course as about every other American sport in it's own actions downgrading its perception. Stern is about to move into the Bud Selig arena.

    Does the NBA need to be saved? The more important question is does it matter? The old saying "you can't help those who won't help themselves" is a perfect description.

    Dat be me. There have always been "bricklayers" making more than degreed people. That isn't the point. Industry pays for experience. Two applicants may warrant two seperate pay scales because industry is willing to pay for experience. We're not talking about CEO pay vs. janitor pay, I'm talking about two candidates for the same job. In industry the more experienced candidate will be offered the job sooner and at a higher starting salary than the one fresh out of school.

    AND I am talking at a time after the house of cards falls down and the entire league is having to be re-built, because I see that happening. Loyal NBA fans will be there but the casual fan is going to disappear. At that point the league is going to evolve or become less than the NHL.
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