Friday, September 12, 2008

FIBA-NBA-NCAA - April 04, 2008

EXPAND D-LEAGUE

The NBA Developmental League has been a great idea thus fair. It has helped to provide a semi-professional division to create a stepping-stone to the NBA. Though still in the works the league has one distinguished flaw: each team doesn't have it own team. Only the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs own a D-League Team to themselves; all of the other teams share roster spots on teams. The Spurs and Lakers have been leaders throughout the history of the NBA, especially now. The Spurs are considered the Dynasty of this era while the Lakers are considered to be the best team in the West when fully healthy. These two wouldn't be bad role models to follow and purchase a D-League team. A personal D-League Team also establishes an identity which will be taught to the inflowing youth players of tomorrow so instead of a new player struggling with the Triangle in LA for half the season, the player can come in and all the necessary knowledge and instinct involved; of course it will still take time to feel it in the NBA but the principles will be down and the stressful learning process will be obsolete.If each team has a D-League team then that will create 450 roster spots in the USA pending that each roster is filled. Instead of all the college talent going to Europe to play professionally they now have the ability to stay national and possibly find a quicker route to the NBA. The best European talent will also be drawn to come to the NBA knowing that they will at least have a shot if they come to the USA and work hard on a developmental team. All of a sudden Die Hard European fans will be drawn and eventually forced to follow the NBA, thus creating a more solidified market in Europe. Along with the expansion of the D-League all of the players that wouldn't pursue NBA careers would be intrigued to give the league a year and see if they can make it there before turning to another occupation.The long term goal of the NBA should be to form a model minor league system paralleling Minor League Baseball. If the NBA can try to collaborate some of the less known leagues more talents like Jamario Moon could make it to the NBA who would normally be stuck in these untelevised leagues. Basketball is a raising sport and if more players see they have an opportunity to play basketball professionally, the athletes may stick with basketball instead of football when entering college. The NBA should negotiate with the NCAA to form some sort of adequate system for High School players prone for college and then the NBA because the current 1 and done system isn't looking to good. Players should be at least 2 years out of high school before they play in the NBA. Whether they spend 2 years in college, 2 years in the D-league, or 1 year in each, most of these 18 and 19 years old aren't ready for the NBA. Plus if players are forced to wait 2 years they may consider staying in college for another year or two in order to earn a degree and carry out a more satisfying profession other the NBA analyst. Being an analyst is a fine job, but here are some of the brightest minds in the country limiting their experience and exposure to the world. If players choose to play in the D-league they could receive sponsorships in addition to their salaries if they need finances immediately to help their families. Now it may seem complicated to follow 3 different basketball leagues, but after a while it will settle in and become customary as it is in Europe to follow 8 different soccer leagues.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE/UEFA TOURNEY

For those not familiar with soccer, the Champions League and UEFA tournaments and tournaments for the top performing soccer clubs in Europe. Basically they take the best few teams from each league have a have them play against the other premiere teams to see who is the best of the best. Recently the NBA has tried to Globalize by having teams play exhibition games against European teams in which the NBA teams used to prepare for the regular season; how about once every three or four all of the premiere teams around the world and have tournament to see who the best is. To assure that the players are trying, a reward other than pride can be used to motivate the players. If the players see this and their agent realize the ability to market their players internationally, we can have global phenoms like David Beckham and Ronaldhino in the NBA.The most watched television event in the US was the season finale of M*A*S*H* with 105.9 Million viewers on February 28, 1983. The Second was this year's Super Bowl between the Patriots and Giants at 97.5 Million viewers. That is roughly 203.4 Million viewers combined for the largest television spectacles in the US. According the an ESPN exert on November 9, 2007, in a Regular Season Game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rocket, over 200 Million fans watched this game (
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=271109010). That is because fans know about Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian from exposure. Now expose them to LeBron James and Kobe Bryant at the same intensities at higher stakes (International Basketball Championship - because we know American teams are far better than European ones) and there is the potential to meet the 1.2 Billion that watched the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Basketball is a skyrocketing internationally and there is way too much potential in the Global fan base to waste it on exhibition games. Basketball is becoming a world phenomenon and has the potential to be the most popular sport in the world. Using the World Population Distribution Pie Chart (2005 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:World_population_distribution.svg), it can be established that basketball can over power sports like soccer and cricket as the most popular in the world. Basketball is already a quarter-stone of American culture and is steadily infiltrating Europe and China. Besides Russia, basketball is well accepted in the 5 most influential nations in the World. If France continues to encourage basketball in Europe and China continues in East Asia basketball can be accepted in 40 - 50% of the global population. In addition to this, the NBA can collaborate with other charities and programs to help use basketball as a unifying force and source of improving conditions in sub-Saharan Africa. If basketball is emphasized the way it in urban cities in the US then basketball can be used as a base for the modernization of sub-Saharan Africa in turn it will become a prime aspect of African culture providing an even wider range of fans. This would be a long term process and would need the assistance of global organizations such as the United Nations, but using sports to unite the people of Africa to find an aspect of society accepted by all can work. Even though a stretch, the numbers possible are absolutely mind-bottling. Right now the NBA is looking like a freshman. She has all the potential in the world and can choose to be satisfied with herself as a High School Girl or she can shoot for the Stars and go for Prom Queen. Yes, an awkward simile but with the right moves the possibilities are truly endless because the fact is that everyone enjoys basketball whether or not you follow sports.

BARON DAVIS - WHERE IS THE LOVE?

I have seen Baron Davis play six or seven tomes this year and it is difficult to figure out how he didn't make the All-Star Game. It maybe a coincidence that he has a great game every time I watch him or he is truly one of the greatest guards to ever play the game. He is easily one of the Top 5 Point Guards in the NBA (let alone the West) along with Chauncey Billups, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, and Allen Iverson. When any of these guys step on the court, their teams have a shot to win no matter that is playing. Davis should be one of the candidates for MVP. Checklist? Stats: 22.ppg, 7.apg, 4.rpg, 2.spg, with only 2.8 turnovers per game (Nash - 3.7 tpg, beloved Kidd - 3.5 tpg). His shooting is questionable when he is not in clutch situations. If there are 6 minutes left in the first quarter his shot may not be on but if there are 2.4 seconds left in overtime, then he is your man for the shot. Intangibles? He is great establishing a tempo: when teams play Golden State they end up playing Warrior basketball not their game plan. He brings a great sense of leadership on the court and is constantly encouraging teammates. He can penetrate as good as any 6'3" guard in the NBA and is extremely effective around the rim; not only can penetrative and rebound but he is probably the 2nd best post guard in the NBA next Billups with his back to the basket. Other point guards are not matches for his strength on the low block and bigger forwards are no match for his speed. Once he gets down low he will make the back to the basket moves ease and once teams are frustrated and start double teaming he can dish it out to Ellis, Jackson, Barnes, Harrington, Pietrus, Azubuike, Croshere, and Belinelli. The only possible way to stop the man would be to subject him to an instructional Gourmet Popping Corn hosted by Charles Barkley.Besides Baron two other Players that definitely deserve some credit are Carlos Boozer and Jamal Crawford. Boozer is a monster on the offensive end for the Jazz; not Deron Williams isn't a great point guard but Boozer really opens up the floor. Crawford on Knicks doesn't get nearly enough recognition for what he does. Night in and night out he comes into the losing atmosphere giving it all he has healthy or injured. He has hit some of the most acrobatic shots they look like they came straight out of Rucker Park. Unfortunately his great performances have been overshadowed by complete disarray.

NBA DRAFT EXPANSION

The NBA DRAFT should be expanded to include another round. Way too much talent is being lost to Europe, South America, subordinate leagues, and other professions. The talent has to stay in the US before other league grab hold of our stars the like how the MLS obtained Beckham. Definitely not in the immediate future, but if too much talent flows out of the US other nations can catch up to our talent levels and we will soon lose a beloved product. With 3 Rounds and an expanded D-League, the NBA can become the official home for international talent just like how the MLB is for baseball, the NHL is for hockey, and the English and Spanish Premiere leagues are for soccer. As basketball grows, the talent keeps getting deeper and deeper; this talent cannot be lost if basketball once to reach the peak of the global sporting industry.

LEAVE NCAA FIELD ALONE

Everyone wants the NCAA to expand the field from 65 to 128 teams to include more teams deserving of a bid. 65 are a fine number that efficient and tradition. For the tradition part, what if the MLB added 8 more teams to the playoffs or the NFL gave out 10 Wild Card spots. Nobody would approve of this; the same feelings should be applied to the NCAA Division I Basketball tournament which has been around since Batman.With 65 teams there are usually 4 to 10 legitimate teams in the running for the last 4 spots. It is important remember that the NCAA is more like a pyramid than a ladder. Americans are used to the NBA where there are an equal number of premiere teams, mediocre teams, and poor teams. In the NCAA as the teams get worse there are more and more of these worse teams. So instead of a 10 team debate in a worst case scenario there are now 30 - 40 teams with identical resumes battling for the last 4 spots. All these teams are going to be playing .500 ball, with no quality victories playing schedule that consist of only conference games. The basis of comparison will be completely distorted leaving team out of the tournament for all the wrong reasons instead of not being in the discussion. Picking among Villanova, Syracuse, and Ohio St. was probably a decision that the committee had to make; there is definite evidence that support all the teams and legitimate arguments can be made for all of them but eventually a reasonable deciding factor is reached. How are Middle Tennessee, Niagara, Western Michigan, UNC Greensboro, Cincinnati, and 35 other schools supposed to be compared to each other? The committee will end up picking experience BCS schools thus continuing the favoring trend and not solving any problems.It is a great tournament, leave it alone.

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