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Thread: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

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    Default Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    By Ken Berger
    CBSSports.com Senior Writer
    Jan. 3, 2011
    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/1...th-big-markets

    NEW YORK -- Danny Granger sat in the visiting locker room at Madison Square Garden, his feet in a bucket of ice and his hands digging through a Styrofoam tray of chicken tenders. Suffice it to say that Granger's search for postgame junk food was much easier than the Pacers' search for an established All-Star to play with him.

    The Pacers, a plucky, athletic little team that let a winnable road game slip away in 98-92 loss to the Knicks on Sunday afternoon, are one of the many teams paralyzed by the NBA's inequitable competitive structure. They have no hope of breaking through the ceiling without a top-notch star to join Granger, and they have no hope of getting one of those stars as long as they play 41 games a year in Indianapolis, where no free agent worth his max contract would dare go. It is the inexorable march of a struggling team in the small-market wilderness of the NBA.

    'It's hard to compete with the big-market teams,' Danny Granger says.
    On the verge of a labor catastrophe, the league has become as popular as it's been in more than a decade and also more about the haves and have-nots than ever before. The Pacers could've followed the strategy adopted by the Knicks, Nets, Heat and Bulls last summer and chased free agents, but wisely put it off for another day. What would've been the point?

    "We're not a Chicago or a New York or an L.A., a team that everybody's going to run and go play in that city," said Granger, the Pacers' best player and also the team's player rep with the National Basketball Players Association. "We're in a smaller market and have a smaller fan base than most teams and it's tough to get free agents here. That's why throughout the history of the Indiana Pacers, they've done things through the draft. We had a good system going up until the brawl, but it's tough to lure a free agent here."

    Granger didn't arrive in Indianapolis until after the infamous brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills in 2004, when the Pacers picked him 17th overall in 2005, but he has a good memory. Go back to the summer of '05, immediately after the current collective bargaining agreement was enacted, and you can't find a single significant free agent who has signed up to play in Indiana. And it's a problem that's hardly unique to the Pacers.

    "It's hard to compete with the big-market teams," Granger said. "I remember we played one team, and between their starters they had like 35 years of All-Star Games or something crazy like that. It's hard to compete with teams like that, especially when they have deeper pockets and they can do different things with the salary cap. You just have to play through it and find a way to win."

    The team Granger was referring to, clearly, was the Boston Celtics, who along with the Lakers have combined to win 33 of the league's 64 championships -- including three straight and six of 12 since the current financial framework was adopted after the 1998 lockout. The Spurs, Heat and Pistons have interrupted the cycle here and there, but for the most part, teams like the Pacers have to be content posing as trees on the side of the highway while the basketball superpowers speed by, barely acknowledging them with a wave.

    "The NBA has progressed so much this year," Granger said. "There's so many things that have drawn interest -- Miami, with everything they've done, Kobe [Bryant] winning another championship, Boston having a great year, San Antonio being old and now playing like they're young again. We've got so many different storylines to draw the fans in and keep everything interesting. And it would be a shame to just see it all go by the wayside if we go to a lockout and lose some fans because of it. It's disappointing, but I think that's what it's going to be."

    This is not to take anything away from what the Pacers have done. Since the franchise hit rock bottom at the Palace, team president Larry Bird and general manager David Morway have slowly and carefully built a young team that has a realistic shot at making the playoffs for the first time since 2006. The improvement of Roy Hibbert, the potential of Paul George, and the quick learning curve of Darren Collison are all bright spots for a team that is building the right way under the circumstances.

    "We will make the playoffs," Granger said.

    The success of the supposedly small-market Oklahoma City Thunder is encouraging to teams like the Pacers, but also fool's gold on some level. According to gate receipts data obtained by CBSSports.com, the franchise went from being a low-revenue team in its final season in Seattle to a high-revenue team in its first season in Oklahoma City, with per-game ticket revenue increasing from $457,863 in 2007-08 to $1,122,109 in '08-'09. The Thunder, in fact, are the ideal illustration for the ongoing debate about contracting teams. Oklahoma City is slightly smaller than Seattle, so it's not the size of the market that matters, but the size of the pile of money the team makes in that market.

    With every team pricing a bloody lockout into their budgets, the revenue-challenged Pacers won't be a factor at the trade deadline -- just as they haven't been a factor during free agency for years. That's not a knock; it's reality. Indiana has only $37 million in committed payroll for the 2011-12 season, which could translate into $20 million in cap space depending on where the salary cap falls in a new CBA. But until NBA owners figure out how to share more of the revenue being hoarded by the big boys in New York and L.A. -- where the Knicks and Lakers each rake in nearly $2 million a night at the turnstiles compared to the paltry $485,000 or so the Pacers scrape together -- then all that cap space will be worthless.

    "It's not fair, honestly," Granger said. "If everyone in the NBA and the owners all commit to this league to keep it going, you've got to share revenue. How can Milwaukee compete with Los Angeles? It just can't. It never will. I don't care if they sell out every game, L.A. is going to get mounds and mounds of more money. That's what I think the big chip should be in the bargaining process."

    Unlike the NFL, which splits gate receipts 60-40 in favor of the home team, NBA teams do not share most local revenues. A revamped revenue-sharing plan was a major component of the players' proposal, along with an offer to lower the players' guaranteed share of revenues from its current level of 57 percent.

    But that proposal has sat on David Stern's desk in his Fifth Avenue office for more than five months. Why? Well, why let a little labor strife ruin the good story of soaring interest and TV ratings? Plus, if the owners are so hell-bent on getting a work stoppage to force the players' hand, why bend over backwards to negotiate? But more to the point of the Pacers' role as mere deckhands on the Titanic, league owners stubbornly do not want to include the players in the process of devising a new revenue-sharing system -- seeing it as an owner-owner issue as opposed to an owner-player issue. But there could be a way for the players to legally challenge that in a way that would be almost as interesting as the Lakers vs. the Heat in the NBA Finals.

    The players could try to set a precedent by becoming the first sports union to push for a ruling from the National Labor Relations Board on the notion that revenue sharing is not a mandatory subject in collective bargaining. I'm not a labor attorney, but it seems obvious to me that if the owners' response to competitive imbalance and financial inequity is to slash player salaries by $800 million, then a sound argument could be made that the flawed revenue-sharing model is affecting the players' pay -- and thus should be required grounds for negotiation with the union.

    "You can make the argument that revenue sharing, at least indirectly, has an impact on wages and terms and conditions of employment, and has a direct impact on the ability of smaller market teams to be able to pay player salaries," said Gabe Feldman, director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane University Law School.

    Like the unions representing Major League Baseball and the NHL, the NBPA may not need to push the issue to the courts, but could attempt to use it as a bargaining chip, Feldman said. Even if the owners refuse to collectively bargain how they divide their profits, the players could at least use the issue to get other concessions and make it "part of the bundle of compromises," Feldman said.

    Until then, revenue-starved teams like the Pacers -- and stars like Granger who are stranded on them -- will just have to keep swabbing the decks. They should whistle while they work and enjoy the show, including another championship of the haves vs. the have-mores in June.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    The revenue sharing would certainly help the pacers.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    This article is just depressing and it makes me sad to know it's true. Revenue sharing would be nice for the smaller market teams. Let's hope and pray it happens one day.
    Last edited by odeez; 01-04-2011 at 01:58 AM.
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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Honestly when I read articles like this and sit down and think it threw, I really often wonder why I even follow the NBA.

    The decks are so stacked against small market teams that unless you get lucky like the Spurs and manage to get the # 1 pick twice and both times are able to draft franchise big men there is almost no hope.

    Depressing


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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    It's definitely a sobering article.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Yep, its articles like this that make me seriously contemplate the amount of time and interest I commit to the Pacers and NBA basketball. It seems we are stuck in a failure by design scenario.
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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by indianapolismarkus View Post
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    With every team pricing a bloody lockout into their budgets, the revenue-challenged Pacers won't be a factor at the trade deadline -- just as they haven't been a factor during free agency for years. That's not a knock; it's reality. Indiana has only $37 million in committed payroll for the 2011-12 season, which could translate into $20 million in cap space depending on where the salary cap falls in a new CBA.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Wow, that was a depressing read.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Anybody have any thoughts or info on the owners' attitude towards a 60-40 revenue sharing scheme? Are they unified in opposition? Mixed bag of attitudes? Open to it as a last resort if it gives them leverage on the player salary issue?
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Just a few points:

    -Clippers, 76ers, Wizards and Warriors play in relatively big markets and have gotten small market results because of poor ownership/management.

    -Teams like Utah and Phx have been very competitive in small markets. Jazz are a perennial playoff team despite playing in a city that most young millionaire athletes would put at the bottom of the desirability list. These two franchises are basically what the Spurs would have been minus Tim Duncan.

    -Miami in the late 80s and early 90s was basically what the Memphis Grizzlies are now: an expansion team not doing anything or going anywhere. They weren't the desirable FA destination they are now. They were going nowhere until Pat Riley got onto the scene in 1995. Also, the big market Chicago Bulls may as well have been the Chicago Cubs until Jordan arrived on the scene.

    The biggest problem the NBA faces in terms of competitive balance is that, in a league of about 450 players and 30 teams, there are a group of about 12-15 players that are so much better than all the rest. And going further than that, the 1-5 players are probably a good deal better than the guys ranked 6-15. There are lots of players, but only a few that actually matter, and there aren't enough of them to go around.
    Last edited by d_c; 01-04-2011 at 04:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    Just a few points:

    -Clippers, 76ers, Wizards and Warriors play in relatively big markets and have gotten small market results because of poor ownership/management.

    -Teams like Utah and Phx have been very competitive in small markets. Jazz are a perennial playoff team despite playing in a city that most young millionaire athletes would put at the bottom of the desirability list. These two franchises are basically what the Spurs would have been minus Tim Duncan.

    -Miami in the late 80s and early 90s was basically what the Memphis Grizzlies are now: an expansion team not doing anything or going anywhere. They weren't the desirable FA destination they are now. They were going nowhere until Pat Riley got onto the scene in 1995. Also, the big market Chicago Bulls may as well have been the Chicago Cubs until Jordan arrived on the scene.

    The biggest problem the NBA faces in terms of competitive balance is that, in a league of about 450 players and 30 teams, there are a group of about 12-15 players that are so much better than all the rest. And going further than that, the 1-5 players are probably a good deal better than the guys ranked 6-15. There are lots of players, but only a few that actually matter, and there aren't enough of them to go around.
    You are looking at this from a win-lose point of view, when it is just as much a money issue. I don't know the financial situation or history of those teams, but win-lose record isn't always telling of how difficult it has been. Utah has done it almost completely through drafting and consistency. All of their best players came to be on that team either though the draft or trades. The same can be said about the Suns. Also there will always be bad management, and no amount of money can make up for poor management. That is a completely separate issue. When you look at the teams that have good management, it is those with money that constantly dominate over those less money. Typically those with less money only win championships by getting lucky in the draft and drafting a future top 25 player of all-time.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
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    You are looking at this from a win-lose point of view, when it is just as much a money issue. I don't know the financial situation or history of those teams, but win-lose record isn't always telling of how difficult it has been. Utah has done it almost completely through drafting and consistency. All of their best players came to be on that team either though the draft or trades. The same can be said about the Suns. Also there will always be bad management, and no amount of money can make up for poor management. That is a completely separate issue. When you look at the teams that have good management, it is those with money that constantly dominate over those less money. Typically those with less money only win championships by getting lucky in the draft and drafting a future top 25 player of all-time.
    Free Agency hasn't been the huge boon in franchise building that people have made it out to be.

    The only real earthshaking moves in free agency in the modern era have been Lebron and Shaq, and almost Tim Duncan (who very nearly went to a small market Orlando team).

    Also remember that in the highly anticipated free agency class of 2000 that big market Chicago, who had cleared tons of cap space, came away with only Ron Mercer and Brad Miller.

    And when it came down to it, small market Sacramento and Indiana were able to pay to keep their franchise PFs when those guys were up for free agency. Webber and Jermaine got their ~$120M contracts from their home teams and it wasn't like some big market team in NY was just able to offer them whatever they wanted like the Yankees do.

    Money in the NBA is definitely an issue, but the way some people are talking about it makes it sound as if the league's income inequality is like that of MLB or, worse yet, Division One level European soccer.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    When Ken Berger of CBS Sports called our Pacers "a plucky... little team" that hurt. Yes, there is many teams paralyzed by the NBA's competitive structure and we can hope that the new CBA will help fix it.

    The big market teams make nearly $2 million on home games and the small market teams make less than $500,000. If you multiply that by 41 games, that is a $61.5 million difference. The top teams making four times as much money is ridiculous. A revenue sharing like the NFL does is much better with the home team making 60% and the road team given 40%. That would make the big market teams keep $49.2 million and share $32.8 million. The little market teams keep $12.3 million and get more than $8.2 million from sharing.

    That is still a $37 million dollar difference from big market to small but $24.5 million better. A 50-50 split would be too logical.

    Ticket sales are only about a third of the total revenue. Right now the top earning teams only share $1.1 million and no team receives more than $5 million. The teams under the luxury tax got less than $4 million last year. The luxury tax should be a dollar for every ten million over. So teams like the Lakers that are more than $30 million over the cap would pay more than $60 million in tax.

    The system the NBA is under is sad. The CBA is going to get changed but how and when? We may have another 50 game season next year, if we have a season at all.

    Indiana has suffered enough. The Pacers future lies in this negotiation because we all know that Herb's family are not fans.

    Come on Stern! Stop looking like the evil guy from Saturday Night Live that says "Yea, that's the ticket."

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    Just a few points:
    -Clippers, 76ers, Wizards and Warriors play in relatively big markets and have gotten small market results because of poor ownership/management.

    -Teams like Utah and Phx have been very competitive in small markets. Jazz are a perennial playoff team despite playing in a city that most young millionaire athletes would put at the bottom of the desirability list. These two franchises are basically what the Spurs would have been minus Tim Duncan.

    -Miami in the late 80s and early 90s was basically what the Memphis Grizzlies are now: an expansion team not doing anything or going anywhere. They weren't the desirable FA destination they are now. They were going nowhere until Pat Riley got onto the scene in 1995. Also, the big market Chicago Bulls may as well have been the Chicago Cubs until Jordan arrived on the scene.
    I quite agree with your examples but isn't the logical conclusion here that you need both a big market and good management to be a desirable free agent destination? Utah and Phoenix while perennial playoff teams aren't exceptional in attracting free agents. And while it's not always easy to get good management, it's still easier than changing the size of your local market. Take the Warriors for example. With new ownership, new management, and hopefully new results in the near future, Golden State could turn into a premier free agent location pretty quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by d_c View Post
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    The biggest problem the NBA faces in terms of competitive balance is that, in a league of about 450 players and 30 teams, there are a group of about 12-15 players that are so much better than all the rest. And going further than that, the 1-5 players are probably a good deal better than the guys ranked 6-15. There are lots of players, but only a few that actually matter, and there aren't enough of them to go around.
    Yup. And the whole point is that those top 15 players can pick and choose where they want to play. Every team who can would be willing to offer the max for these players, and they would still be mostly underpaid at that. That's where other factors like market size and management becomes important, and that's where small market teams are particularly disadvantaged.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    If anyone still actually questions why the NFL is, head and shoulders, better than the NBA, just read this article.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackey_Rose View Post
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    If anyone still actually questions why the NFL is, head and shoulders, better than the NBA, just read this article.
    Too bad the NBA can't play a majority of their games on a certain day of the week at either 1pm or 4pm that is commonly known for relaxing & watching said event. Event is the key word... Since the NFL is played only once a week most likely on Sunday, their games are easier to plan around if you want to be a STH or they are easy to make appointment television because you don't have to keep track of a schedule that is all over the place.

    Just sayin' the NFL has some inherent advantages that the NBA, NHL, or MLB couldn't have...
    ...Still "flying casual"
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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by Roaming Gnome View Post
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    Too bad the NBA can't play a majority of their games on a certain day of the week at either 1pm or 4pm that is commonly known for relaxing & watching said event. Event is the key word... Since the NFL is played only once a week most likely on Sunday, their games are easier to plan around if you want to be a STH or they are easy to make appointment television because you don't have to keep track of a schedule that is all over the place.

    Just sayin' the NFL has some inherent advantages that the NBA, NHL, or MLB couldn't have...
    The NBA does not have to play an 82 game schedule. Games would be more of an "event" if there weren't way too many.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Sad article, the deck is definitely stacked against smaller market team. Doesn't mean it's impossible to be competitive, it just means you have a much smaller margin for error. Your front office has to be dang near perfect with its decisions regarding drafting and personnel.

    The pacers have been alright in drafting, but by not being able to lure free agents amplifies bad picks like Shawn Williams and the verdict of Hans is still out.

    As far as personnel i agree with the majority on JOB, not investing in the future and being kept around is garbage. Not really sure what Larry is doing, but I'll leave it there.

    Remember before the brawl the pacers had a championship contending team. It could be done, it just takes time.

    I hope the league can figure some way to help the smaller market teams stay competitive. It's still not as bad as baseball, but if the super stars keep wanting to pair up together and win championships it will be hard to impossible to keep pace.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackey_Rose View Post
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    The NBA does not have to play an 82 game schedule. Games would be more of an "event" if there weren't way too many.
    Actually, I'm right there with you on cutting the number of games back to say.... 60! More emphasis on weekend games and a reduced number of back to backs. The reduced gate revenue would almost have to be backed by local revenue sharing to have a chance, though.
    ...Still "flying casual"
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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    I had the same feeling as the majority of this board when I first read the article and I also felt a kick in my guts. But after thinking about it for a little longer, I remembered me always admiring the model of a salary cap to provide equal opportunities. In theory, this model of a fixed budget you can spend on players helps preventing teams to gather the best players simply due to the attractiveness of the own market or the owner's willingness and financial power to spend big time.

    Compare this model that you established in the US in every sport with the situation we are dealing with over here in Europe. The determining factors to lure a free agent to a European team are money, success, and prospect of success. Simple as that. Teams do not have financially potent owners, they can only spend what they earned before (premiums, sponsoring money, advertising, ticket revenues, etc.). After a few years, the range between the successful and the unsuccessful teams becomes bigger and bigger and it is almost impossible to reduce or overcome the gap because we do not have the lottery that helps bad teams to get better.

    I know that a salary cap is hard to establish here, partly because our leagues have to compete with other leagues while you live in an autarky in terms of professional sports (and nevertheless crown yourself World Champions), but as I said at the beginning, I always looked up to the American model.


    Coming back to this text, I don't understand why the author thinks a 60:40 split would help making the league more competitive. Granted, in the last two years some owners looked for financial relief, but genererally they are minded to spend the money the salary cap allows them to spend. So I don't think money is the real issue and I don't think Indiana's inability to lure all-star caliber players is attributable to the fact that the Knicks or Lakers pay more.

    I understand that it is easier to sellout games in a big market and I do see the benefits of this for the owner. But it is what it is and you cannot discredit or even exclude big market teams for that and I would assume that the cost price has been higher when a big market team has been acquired. Taxes, a higher rent for the arena, etc. might be other factors to mention here.

    The factors that might be decisive for a free agent to sign with a big market team could be the opportunity to self-market yourself, the guarantee to play in front of a big audience (TV, radio, arena, etc.), the national coverage of certain teams, or the knowledge that some owners might be less reluctant to spend big and pay luxury taxes.

    Well, if you are really good and bring something special to the table, you can market yourself in every market. Do you think role players get more sponsorships deals in NYC than in Milwaukee? Do you think Ronny Turiaf will be the next face for Coca Cola now that he plays in the Big Apple? I highly doubt that but at the same time this might true for the elite players and, in fact, that is what the article is about. While it might be more difficult to market yourself in a smaller market, it is not impossible. Generally, it is difficult to overcome this disadvantage for smaller markets (although we are talking about Indy as a small market that has several hundred thousand inhabitants and a metropolitan area with more than a million people).

    Let's have a look at the other advantages free agents might see in playing in a big market. The sellout crowds - well, San Antonio's place is crowded, so was Market Square Arena when the Pacers were good. I don't think this is a real factor. If the team is bad, people stay away, if it is good, people purchase tickets. I trust the marketing department of my organization and trust the front office to make the most of the available players (yikes, this is hard to type in these days). Also, tickets might be more expensive in big markets to cover the rent and due to the demand, so I really don't see why smaller market teams should per se have a disadvantage.

    Big audience. Well, sure there are more people living in bigger markets and with the assumption that on average 10% of the people are interested in the local team, they do have more potential followers. But again, if you are successful that doesn't matter. Same with the national coverage to a certain extent (they will still have an ESPN Chicago studio when the Bulls suck). I remember seeing a lot of Hawks or Bucks games last year on NBA TV albeit domiciled in smaller markets.

    Last point, the owner is more willing to spend and that increases the chance of success. Yes, fair point. I have no argument against this disadvantage for small market teams. Yes, I would also pay more money if I got more money attributed to ticket sales, sponsorship deals, etc.! That is the point, where the NBA has to step in and make it impossible to shift the balance because some owner is financially potent while the other one has an aversion to spend. I'd plead for a hard cap like in the NHL (and in the NFL?). That would make it very difficult to have more than 2 All-Star players on your roster without totally exploiting your team (yes, I am looking at you Miami). So get rid of the luxury tax, force the New Yorks in this league to let good players go simply because they cannot afford to keep them - this would automatically help to make the league a more competitive one.

  31. #21
    Droppin' knowledge, yo. Mackey_Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by Roaming Gnome View Post
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    Actually, I'm right there with you on cutting the number of games back to say.... 60! More emphasis on weekend games and a reduced number of back to backs. The reduced gate revenue would almost have to be backed by local revenue sharing to have a chance, though.
    60 is still a ton of games. That should be plenty.

    I really wish the NBA would play more early afternoon weekend games. Especially after the football season is over the first week in February. It is nice to be able to go downtown for a 1 o'clock kickoff for a Colts game, and be home by 5 and enjoy the rest of my Sunday.

    I love the NBA, but I think from a marketing perspective, trying to convince the average fan that 82 games are necessary is impossible. I really don't think you need to play more than twice a week. Have one game every weekend, and one game during the week. This is one area where I think the college game has it right. College basketball maintains that event feel. If you follow a certain team, every game becomes either appointment television or an easy opportunity to plan on attending.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Can Pacers, a small market team, win in the current NBA?

    by Rick Wagner on Jan 4, 2011 8:15 AM EST in Indiana Pacers News

    http://www.indycornrows.com/2011/1/4...he-current-nba

    I came across an interesting article last night on CBSsports.com that highlighted the Pacers' struggle to compete with the big-market teams. Danny Granger actually had quite a bit to say about this topic, almost sounding a bit bitter about the situation.

    I guess I am one to think David always has a shot at Goliath, but this view point obviously isn't universal (nor should it be). We have all seen the success the Pacers have had in the past, even making it to the NBA Finals in 2000 against the perennial NBA Goliath, the Los Angeles Lakers. This, as we all know, didn't turn into the Pacers' first NBA Champship, but a 6 game series with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and the Lakers celebrating with the O'Brien Trophy. There were countless Eastern Conference Championship appearances (5 over the last 20 years); however, no such luck pulling out the championship for the lowly Indiana Pacers. After the jump, check out which small market team can win in this NBA and more....

    These facts would certainly point to the difficulty in winning the NBA Championship as a small market team, but what about the San Antonio Spurs?! They are considered a small market team and have one three championships this decade. I am in no way saying the Indiana Pacers are the San Antonio Spurs or anything close to them. However, championships can obviously be won by a small market team....right??

    I believe a couple of things...first, big market teams definitely tend to have deeper pockets, which can easily lure most players...I mean, it's a job, they are looking for raises just as you and I are. Second, Indianapolis isn't necessarily where most people would take a vacation as some of the deeper pocketed cities are. However, I also believe that teams can build mainly through the draft (see Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, etc.). The Pacers have built up a strong core going forward (mainly through the draft), but they have money available this year. I completely understand that for some people Indianapolis is not the most entertaining city to live in compared to other options, but if we are able to throw some money towards a player won't he bite?

    So, the debate is out there....are small market NBA teams able to win in the current NBA? And, more specifically, are the Indiana Pacers able to win an NBA Championship in the current NBA? A lot of this comes up because of the CBA and the revenue sharing issue.

  34. #23
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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by indianapolismarkus View Post
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    On the verge of a labor catastrophe, the league has become as popular as it's been in more than a decade and also more about the haves and have-nots than ever before. The Pacers could've followed the strategy adopted by the Knicks, Nets, Heat and Bulls last summer and chased free agents, but wisely put it off for another day. What would've been the point?
    Pacers didn't have any cap room last summer - so that is just a false statement there



    Granger didn't arrive in Indianapolis until after the infamous brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills in 2004, when the Pacers picked him 17th overall in 2005, but he has a good memory. Go back to the summer of '05, immediately after the current collective bargaining agreement was enacted, and you can't find a single significant free agent who has signed up to play in Indiana. And it's a problem that's hardly unique to the Pacers.
    Not having any cap room at all and not wanting to pay the luxury tax has a lot to do with that.

    Overall I enjoyed the article, but I still think small market teams can compete if they make smart decisions.

    I would love to see an article on this topic from 1984 or 1985 - it was so much worse back then - not even close
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-04-2011 at 09:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackey_Rose View Post
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    The NBA does not have to play an 82 game schedule.
    Completely agree ... but neither does the vaunted NFL have to play regular season games into January and the Super Bowl well into February. Damn television "creep." I actually miss the good ol' days when you could watch the national anthem just before the station turned off for the rest of the night. I think about how much television tries to control our lives today and start singing, "Let it [television] snow, let it snow, let it snow."

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    Default Re: Granger looks on as Indiana tries to keep pace with big markets

    Quote Originally Posted by thefeistyone View Post
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    It's still not as bad as baseball, but if the super stars keep wanting to pair up together and win championships it will be hard to impossible to keep pace.
    for me MLB more interesting then NBA

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