Lijit Ad Wijit

Thursday, May 22, 2008

NBA = Not Business Acclimated

The NBA has become the punchline of professional sports organizations. I don't mean the players and the teams, I mean the business.
I got sick watching David Stern condemn Tim Donaghy through the most twisted-satisfied smile I've seen since Jack Nicholson in "The Shining."
Yes, you caught your man who was corrupting your league and you can't wait to see the law stick it to him. How convenient that you find joy in punishing one of your league's ex-authority figures.
This self-dignified celebration puts Stern on the same level as Bud Selig for his anti-steroids tirade.
It's not only that though. I'll defer to one of my favorite columnists, Gary Parrish, on why the one-year-in-college rule is a joke (even though I love watching these would-be lottery picks play for a college season.)
But there's also the calamity of the NBA Draft Lottery. How do teams like the Portland Trailblazers and Chicago Bulls deserve top picks in back-to-back years when teams like the New York Knicks have starters who would be in the D-League for other franchises?
The NFL is the model league for all things business in pro sports whether you like football or not. The teams with the worst records deserve the best picks. Just as pointless is the NBA's ordering of the rest of the draft lineup before postseason play finishes.
Last year, for example, the Golden State Warriors were the first No. 8 seed to win a playoff series. Under NFL rules they would have had the 23rd pick in the draft, dropping below all the first-round losers that weren't already above them. As it was, they selected 18th, five spots higher than they should have.
The reason you do the draft the NFL-way is for parity. That's why the NFL is so successful, David! People outside of the northeast don't like to see the Patriots win every year, but if they do it's damn impressive.
The things the NBA does to make a few more bucks is only turning the league into another P-word: parody.

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