When teams such as the Warriors have depth throughout their roster, the chances of someone like Anthony Davis dragging his team to the Finals diminish
I have very little hope for the upcoming Donald Trump presidency. I know, Im really out on a limb with this one. Dont worry, folks. The rest of this column wont be nearly as controversial. A xenophobic, racist Batman vigilante figure chasing women around the Oval Office like a billionaire Benny Hill sounds particularly odious to me and about 45 million other people in this country.
But one thing I do know about Donald Trump that could work out in our favor is that he is a sports fan. Sure, hes the type of sports fan that thinks football players exiting games after concussions are soft, but I suppose you could squint and spin that sort of maniacal disgust for the frailty of the human body into passionate interest. Im going to give President-Elect Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt for a moment here, because I need him to do something very important, something that could forever alter the fate of this country: I need him to contract the New Orleans Pelicans. Why? Because they are slowly strangling the life out of Anthony Davis and we cannot allow that to continue.
Yes, this is a drastic step, making an entire NBA franchise disappear like the assistant at a bad Vegas magic show, but it has to be done. Weve been given no choice. Put aside the noticeably silent crowds, the terrifying mascot, and the arena named after a chain of smoothie bars. The real problem is that were being robbed of years of a transcendent players prime years because he has to play next to Omer Asik and ETwaun Moore.
The reality of the modern NBA is such that a single superstar is enough to drag a terrible team to the playoffs, a phenomenon that Deadspins Tom Ley pointed out in a piece on this very issue this week. But the Finals are a different proposition. We may never see a scenario like Allen Iverson dragging Raja Bell and Eric Snow to the 2001 NBA finals ever again. Its the era of the super team, so much so that teams that very clearly are not super do their very best to brand themselves as such, at least until they start playing the games and exposing themselves.
These Pelicans (and the OG Hornets before that) did what every small-market NBA team with big market dreams is supposed to do. They sucked for years and lucked out on a once-in-a-lifetime talent in the draft. Thats how the NBA baked parity into their league, through the bouncy ball carnival game we call the lottery. Except, its hard to say that this method actually works to create champions.
Sure, the Warriors were grown through shrewd draft picks, but Steph Curry was the seventh pick in the 2009 draft. Klay Thompson was drafted 11th two years later. Draymond Green was drafted 35th. None of them were expected to blossom into Hall of Fame locks this rapidly (or at all). The Sixers process still seems like a sado-masochistic mind game played by a very bored Stanford Business School graduate. The Cavs drafted No1 two years in a row and didnt even sniff the playoffs until LeBron James came back.
The rules that artificially keep players on the teams that drafted them might keep small-market teams like the Pacers as perennial contenders, but they also prevent Davis and fellow budding superstars like DeMarcus Cousins nailed to franchises that do not know how to manage precious assets. As much fun as it is to watch the Brow go for 50 and 16 in a losing effort, Id much rather see him drop 20 and 12 in an actual competitive contest So, President-Elect Trump, its time you do the right thing. On day one, repeal and replace the Pelicans.
This might sound a bit draconian, but hey, its 2016. Our next commander-in-chief is best friends with this guy. Im sorry, New Orleans. We all have to make sacrifices. You can keep the Saints. I mean, if you want to. Now, you might ask what happens to Davis after this shocking swerve. Simple. He goes to the city that needs him the most, the franchise still licking its wounds from the rise of the super team, the poster child for the small market, another home to a wayward and lonely superstar: the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It might sound peculiar to feel sorry for a team thats 6-2 and gets to run Russell Westbrook out every night, but regardless of the fast start, this is a 40-45 win team. The Clippers are deeper, the Spurs (who are struggling, but well get to them later) are better coached, and the Warriors are the Warriors. The Thunder are Russell Westbrook, whatevers left of Victor Oladipo, Cameron Paynes dance moves, and Steven Adamss facial hair. Russ might be the closest well get to a guy who can carry a team to a decent playoff run while scoring most of the points (and from what Ive heard, an excellent photographer).
Contrary to the jabberings of the embrace debate crowd on cable, there is no nobility to losing if you dont have to. Westbrooks passive-aggressive trolling tour of the NBA is amusing to witness from afar, but it doesnt end with Clay Bennett spooning with Larry OBrien like this photo of Mario Batali I just found. What the hell is Mario Batali doing with the trophy? Lets leave that a mystery, shall we?
I say, everyone gets a super team. Call me Oprah, because you get a super team and you get a super team. Look under your seats, folks. Theres a super team waiting for you to take home. General Mills should put super teams at the bottoms of cereal boxes. Put Boogie and Brow on the Thunder. Send Devin Booker to the Timberwolves. Hand deliver Paul George to my Lakers. If I have to spend four years with a 7-Eleven buffalo chicken roller as president, the least he can do is make the NBA regular season slightly more intriguing so the time passes faster. Also, it will mean I never have to see this shit again.
OK, maybe the Spurs arent awesome
San Antonio have now lost three of their last four games, most recently falling to the Rockets by two. In the last few days, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has been spotted in a Vote for Pedro shirt hours before getting demolished by the Clippers and been called the NBAs most woke coach by ESPNs The Undefeated two events I am convinced have helped conjure up these Ls. I also believe that the Spurs jinxed themselves by letting Boban walk. Boban was the heart of that team. You ripped their heart out!
Stan Van President?
Are we even sure Pop is the most woke coach after both Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy and Warriors boss Steve Kerr ripped into Donald Trump post-election day? Maybe theres some secret wokest coach competition going on in the NBA and all of these guys are trying to top themselves. Well know for sure if Quin Snyder shows up to Vivint Smart Home Arena in a dashiki.
Splash Brothers v Actual Brothers
Steph Curry rolled his ankle last night and is now listed as day-to-day. Who caused this potential calamity? The legendary handle of his brother Seth Curry, of course. Sous Chef Curry is just too much to handle, as you can see from this Vine.
Wait, a Vine? Hey, why is anyone bothering to upload videos to Vine? Its getting shut down. Uploading to Vine is like opening up a Blockbuster Video franchise in midtown Manhattan.
The Clippers are very good
Theyre killing everyone and held a fun Blazers team to 80 points, seemingly as an f-you payback for the Blazers upsetting an injury-plagued LA team in the first round of the playoffs last year. The Clippers held Damian Lillard to eight points on one-for-10 shooting and one lonely assist. This reminds me: President-elect Trump, I think Damian Lillard would look great feeding Andre Drummond in a Pistons uniform. Just think about it. You know, when youre not busy ruining the country, maybe you can look into this.
Read more: www.theguardian.com