The 10 Worst NBA Drafts in the Lottery Era

The calendar now reads June. In the NBA that means it’s time to crown an NBA Champion. However among the biggest of NBA nerds, it also means it’s time to get ready for the NBA draft. We’re only two weeks and a few hours away from the 2011 NBA Draft. This year, it’s preparing for the likes of Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight to join the greatest basketball league on the planet that has us basketball geeks totally psyched.

Wait, what?

By Peter Christian

[Read more…]

The Economics of Basketball

By Brandon Robinson
With the current recession, it is going to be difficult for a lot of Americans—even for those working with NBA basketball. At least as far as making money they were accustomed to making a few years ago.

Additionally, the biggest effect will be on team revenue. “If you think about it, it’s one big cycle. The recession affects the fans, who will spend less money on tickets and merchandise. So the league will force the players to accept less as the pie shrinks,” says ESPN.com Senior Writer, JA Adande.

 Revenue from ticket sales and sponsorship will be down next season. Player payroll is based on a percentage of team revenue. This means the salary cap will go down, which means players that are not already under contract will have a difficult time getting the kind of deals they’ve gotten in the past.

Team owners are finding ways to cut costs in a shrinking economy.

“It already had an effect this season. Teams are anticipating lower revenue and were reluctant to take on expensive contracts at the trade deadline,” says Chris Carrino, Executive Director of Broadcasting for the New Jersey Nets.

Footlocker.com

Currently, the hoopla surrounding the summer of 2010 has been hyped as the year in which marketable a-list of superstars will become unrestricted free agents. This means that NBA squads can sign them to max long term deals without that price being matched by their current team or other teams. During that summer, it is believed that Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, will bolt and sign with either the New York Knicks or across the Hudson with the New Jersey Nets. That summer has been dubbed by some as the “Summer of LeBron.” It will be very interesting to see what teams decide to do as the economy crumbles. Will people spend money?

Among that elite list of free agents: Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh, Phoenix Suns’ Amare Stoudemire, Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, New Orleans Hornets’ Tyson Chandler, San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, Milwaukee Bucks’ Richard Jefferson, Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Johnson, Houston Rockets’ Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash, Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Michael Redd.

“This will come into play in the next collective bargaining agreement, which will certainly feature shorter contract lengths and average and maximum salaries. It will become more difficult for teams to afford multiple stars, or to fit them into a smaller salary cap. So if the teams are worse, the fans won’t want to come to the arena to watch them, and it starts all over again,” added JA Adande.

Footlocker.com

A lot has happened since the current NBA collective bargain agreement, was signed during the lockout shortened 1998-99 NBA season. Players have made a lot of money. The current collective bargaining agreement ends the summer of 2011 and owners want to make strict changes. According to the Indianapolis Star-News, the Indiana Pacers have lost money nine of the past 10 years. The Sacramento Bee reported that the Sacramento Kings are expected to lose up to $25 million this season. The Sports Business Journal reported that the Orlando Magic are expecting potential losses of between $15 million and $20 million. Charlotte Bobcats owner Robert Johnson has claimed losses of $50 million since he paid $300 million for the expansion franchise in 2003.

Clearly the owners and NBA commissioner David Stern want to lower the salary cap and with good reason. The NBA salary cap went down only once in 2002. It went from $42.5 million to $42.7 because they overestimated it. That was with no economic trouble.

“I think the game will be fine, but just like every industry it’s going to take some hits” says ESPN the Magazine’s senior writer, Chris Broussard.

“The superstars are still going to get paid: Kobe, LeBron, Wade, and Dwight Howard are still going to get their money,” added Broussard. So who will take the biggest hit? “It’s always going to hurt the midlevel players, the midlevel salary will definitely drop” says Broussard.

What do players think about this? “Of course the current economic climate will affect the lengths of contracts and the amount of money people will make. Teams are tightening their spending since they are not making money the way they were before,” says Utah Jazz guard Brevin Knight.

One thing is clear, despite the economic woes fans will still need an outlet to get their minds off this economic crisis. They need something to cheer for.

”The game still is very popular. You have great young stars and rivalries in the Celtics and the Lakers. LeBron and Kobe have somewhat of a rivalry in regards to who is the best player,” added Broussard.
Something tells me, everything will be fine.

Carlos Boozer Exclusive

Paul M. Banks has an exclusive with the NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist Carlos Boozer.

Booze is a two time NBA All-Star and member of last year’s All-NBA Third team. Boozer also won a Bronze medal in Athens during the 2004 Olympic games. Since his 2002-03 NBA All-Rookie team season, Boozer has finished the season among the league’s top ten performers in field goal percentage five times and top ten rebounders twice.

He is known for his strength, rebounding and offensive skill set. ESPN.com, lists Boozer among the “game’s best post players” and among the best at scoring (or “finishing”) under the basket with either hand Boozer credits his father for helping him develop his ambidextrous ability.

In the 2006-07 NBA season, Boozer appeared in the NBA Fundamentals series hosted by TNT, in which NBA players explain certain aspects of basketball. He explained the topic “post play”. In this clip, Boozer highlighted the technique of how to establish position in the low post, and how to most effectively score from that position. Boozer showcased his array of ambidextrous slam dunks and hook shots, and reminded viewers to insert an occasional jump shot to confuse the opponent. He also expressed his admiration of retired NBA greats Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, who he sees as masters of low post scoring.

I recently sat down with him in Milwaukee and opened the interview by asking him to describe his Gold Medal winning experience in Beijing. “I’ll tell you the same thing everyone is going to tell you, it was amazing, we had a goal set in mind and I think for all of us, the players, coaches, staff all included it was probably the biggest thing we’ve been a part of in sports,” Boozer responded.

I asked Booze if he would do it again in 2012…“Absolutely, it’s an honor anytime you get to wear USA across your chest,”…and later to describe what it’s like taking the court in the NBA against someone who was previously your teammate in representing America.

“We’re like brothers, all of us have a special bond; we’re all very close. We stay in touch and talk all the time now, just because of the experience we went through, and the team that brought back pride to USA basketball,” Boozer responded.

What are your thoughts on Chicago as a sports town and Olympic host?

“Huge sports town, great fans very committed, great venue, great to have it here in the states, we haven’t had it since Atlanta. And I think it would be well received, we’d have a great turnout here I think, other countries love to come play here”

It helps that the international icon of basketball, Michael Jordan made his name for himself there….

“Absolutely, and I had a chance to see the plan, they have a great plan for it too”

Deron Williams Exclusive Part II Chi/2016

Paul M. Banks’ exclusive with D. Will

D. Will, who’s currently second in the NBA in assists per game, was once again snubbed for the NBA All-Star game. Since being disrespected, he’s played with a bigger chip on his shoulder- scoring at least 31 points in each of the last five. He was All-NBA second team in 2008, and looks like he’ll be there again this year.

In the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, point guard Deron Williams hit big shots and played major minutes. And at age 24, his best professional and Olympic basketball is still ahead of him. In part one of this interview, I discussed Williams’ relationship, past and present, with the University of Illinois. In the second part, we discuss his Olympic experience and the prospects for Chicago 2016.

I spoke with D. Will after a game on the Milwaukee Bucks home court, where 3 Redeem Teamers were on display, if he wanted to play for the United States again in 2012. “If they ask me, barring injuries or anything like that, I’d love to play. It was a great experience, a chance to represent my country, my organization, my family and win a Gold medal, something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” he responded.

As anyone who’s attended a Bulls-Jazz game at the United Center will tell you, Deron gets a fantastic reception anytime he visits Chicago. He answered my question about Chicago sports fans thusly:

“They’re great, I went to Illinois, there’s a lot of Illinois fans in Chicago, so they treat me great. I love Chicago, it’s my second home, I love being there, I spend a lot of time there in the summer. It’s a great city.”

Finally, I asked him his thoughts on Chicago’s 2016 Summer Olympics bid and what their prospects were as a host city. “They’d be a great host, I saw the 3D plans for what they want to do with it, how they’re gonna change everything around, all the facilities, it looks amazing,” Williams responded.