Why Hornets fans and Magic fans should be rooting for the Heat to win it all

By:
Published: May 9, 2011

On July 1st, the NBA owners are going to lock out the players because the current economic model is simply not working. The summer will be spent negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and that battle is not just an Owners vs. Players battle; it is a Players vs. Large Market Owners vs. Small Market Owners battle that will be fought to the death. Actually, small market and large market is not completely accurate, as a couple of the smaller markets have mega-wealthy owners, premier locations, or a lack of state income tax. All of those things shift the playing field considerably. But make no mistake, it will be owners vs. owners vs. players, and that is why this one will be much tougher than the 1998-99 negotiation that locked players out from July 1st to January 20th.

What the owners with less resources or (how do I say this nicely?) less glamorous cities will ask for is a level playing field, in which they have the same opportunities to build a contender or keep their superstars. Last summer was brutal for Toronto and Cleveland, and although the Nuggets played well after the Melo trade, they had to go through hell for several months due to the drama. If nothing is changed, we could very well see similar situations arise in New Orleans and Orlando. After that, we will hear talk of Kevin Love and Blake Griffin setting their sights elsewhere, and so on and so on.

That is why every fan of a team that does not fit the criteria that only four or five franchises maintain, should root for the Heat to roll through the competition on the way to the NBA title. After disposing of the Celtics, pray that they destroy Chicago and Oklahoma City, two teams that built their franchises the right way. Strike fear into the owners that this is the wave of the future. Mega stars teaming up in five or six markets while every other team’s best case scenario is to take the Nuggets route of having ten quality players but no superstar. Worst case scenario? The league has eight Cleveland’s.

As human beings, we are all prisoners of the moment, and owners will enter negotiations with images of Lebron, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh hoisting a trophy fresh in their minds. They will see the writing on the wall as Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Deron Williams all send out congratulatory tweets. NBA fans will start to wonder if they will be stuck with the franchise that becomes the leagues’ version of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Owners will too.

The Heat winning it all less than a month before the real CBA negotiations begin might be the only thing that can create the parity that his league has never had. We all know the numbers. We are all aware that only a handful of teams are represented on the list that reads NBA champions, and even fewer on the list that includes franchises with multiple championships. For some reason, NBA fans and owners have bought this lie that small market teams can build dynasties too because the Spurs did it. As if every franchise will have the ability to have the #1 pick in a year where a top 10 All-Time great (who actually doesn’t want the limelight of a big market) is coming out.

Yes, it is possible, but possible and probable are two totally different things. So here’s to the Miami Heat. All of us fans in markets that can’t overspend or can’t attract will be rooting for you. Your domination will unite the owners, who up until this point, have been a silent majority. But no longer. Hard cap? Maybe. Increased penalties for luxury tax spending? Likely. Franchise tag or something close to it? Most definitely.

And for that, I am willing to sell my soul for the next month to root for this collection of individuals that I hesitate to even label a “team.”

38 comments
Sasha
Sasha

I am saying one thing. Go Peja and Tyson!!!!

kempleton
kempleton

This is a very nice discussion. I have been waiting for the weekend to write my comment. I have to disagree with McNamara that I would wanna root for the Heat. However, I believe that this is all about what the player wants! Big market? Championship? If Heat looses to CHI or OKC/MEM vs. DAL, does that show the players that creating your own big-3 might not lead you to a title? If you care about the championships, would that make you think twice? Or maybe your priority is the big market, so you only want to go to for example, New York, unite with fellow friends, aka Melo and Amare. Maybe you will not be able to win a championship at all (remember you have to play against CHI and MIA for years to come) but that's OK. Now, you are in the big market and that's what matters to you. Garnett-Pierce-Allen was a big three too. And they won only one championship. So, I kinda believe that it depends what the player wants, championship or just money? Yes, you may choose money but you gotta remember that any big-3 will not guarantee you championships. However, if the new CBA will let you earn considerably more money if you RESIGN with your team, that might change things. What I hate is what Melo did. I think that was worse than what Lebron did. No player should be able to dictate his team what he wants to do. Nobody forces a player to sign an X-year deal of Y amount of dollars. You have to honor your contract until your owner decides to get rid of you. And, you gotta go whereever your owner sends you as part of a trade. So, I would not care if Melo wants to play in NYK or NJN. Once he tells you that he is not going to resign, you are entitled to send him anywhere you want to get the best available in return. I think they have to solve that problem. I am sorry. This was very disorganized and I gotta go now. I might continue later.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Dont ya think CP would be more inclined to say he needs to make his OWN super team if Miami were to win it? I think if Miami wins it, so long from New Orleans, Chris Paul.

Nola Jake
Nola Jake

Sorry for the lack of editing. Too tired from work to continue staring at a computer screen.

Nola Jake
Nola Jake

[Just got home from work. I'm going to post this link which talks a lot about the CBA (revenue sharing in particular) and even mentions a potential rift between small market owners and big market owners. After reading this the comment I really see where Michael and 42 are coming from. I still don't agree that the Heat winning a title scares the owners or really does anything to affect them or the state of the NBA. http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/02/20110214/Leagues-and-Governing-Bodies/NBA-revenue.aspx ] Look at the Forbes list 42 posted. Going by operating income the OKC and Phoenix place 7th and 8th, Portland was 11 and Cleveland was 13. All those teams beat out Miami, Philly, DC, Dallas and Atlanta. While I agree that small markets are in a worse position than teams in larger ones, it's not as if they are just bleeding money. PHX could have brought Amare back. They offered him something like 70m guaranteed with 30 million based on number of minutes played. But it's not like the Suns couldn't bring him back because they couldn't afford it. If Amare breaks down in a couple of years he crushes the Knicks too. Paying a guy 20m+ a year to not play will decimate any franchise. If Gasol gets hurt and only plays 20 games over the next two years it hurts the Lakers too because they still have to pay Gasol and his contract still counts against the hard cap. While they have tons of money they can't just go out and sign whoever they want. There is still a hard cap. The team's income may not go into the red because of it, but it still hurts. Any injured player who takes up a whole bunch of cap room is going to completely derail his team. But, of course, there is flip side of that. Let's say a team is making 6 million in profit and Player X and his 4m contract expires. To sign Player X to his new 14m contract now plunges the team into that scary negative cash flow situation. But the owners themselves are often to blame for issues like that. How many players have terrible contracts (Haywood on the Mavs comes to mind). The guaranteed contracts (while amazing for the players, especially when you compare their situation to NFL players) really hurts NBA owners. The Wizards would have loved to cut Arenas and not have to pay that albatross of a salary he carries with him. But they couldn't and it wrecked that franchise. I've read a lot that Stern claims the league is losing 300m but that number is misleading. A whole ton of that loss comes from arena and loan debt. The Hornets owed the league 30m just for moving. They chose to pay that out over 7 years. That comes to about 4.3m a year (assuming there is no interest). That's 4.3m less in net income for the year. But that hit is not because a team can't compete in a small market. That's based on something before the team came to this city. Many of the Hornets problems are based off the terrible (worst in the league maybe?) TV deal they have. It's insane that the team doesn't have every game shown in their local market. There is a reason that Stern said the most important thing to the survival of the team here is that local businesses get behind it. That sponsorship money really matters. And that's when it comes back to the CBA and revenue sharing especially. But read the link above as there are two really important quotes in there: "'There is a broad consensus that the current revenue-sharing structure ought to be changed,' said Joel Litvin, NBA president of league operations and a key executive involved in the revenue-sharing issue" and "'The large markets have bought in, but this is a league run by a bunch of entrepreneurs who have never shared with their competitors,' said one source familiar with league finances.' It doesn't need the Heat winning an NBA title to unite the owners together. Yes there may be some resentment from SMOs at the situation BMOs are in but it seems that most owners are united on that front together already. Even if the CBA helps out small market teams in terms of revenue sharing, it doesn't guarantee equality. It seems that the biggest reason for revenue sharing is to stop teams from losing money. Big market teams will still have more local and national sponsorship money and those deals are unlikely to be shared under the terms of a new CBA. The Lakers will still have more money to spend on players than the Hornets. A hard cap helps even the playing field. Then the NBA starts looking like the NFL where every team is making money to spend enough on salary to hit the cap (if they so choose to--you can bet that even with a hard cap Sterling and the Clippers wont be). And if it works out like that then that is so, so awesome. But I disagree that a hard cap would limit players from forming super teams. Lets say a lower hard cap is put in place. Eventually, not right away, and I could not even guess at the time frame, this will cause lower player salaries. When the scale evens out (lets say the cap is lowered 10% then eventually player salaries will be 10% of what they are now) then the NBA will be in the same situation they are in now. Superstar are making so much in endorsements and other business ventures that their NBA salary doesnt mean as much. Does Lebron care if hes making 23m instead of 25m when he is making 30m alone in just endorsements? Would he give up 5m? Potentially. Superstar athletes can afford to leave contract money on the table. Is it going to be a common thing? No, not at all. And this will only be the case for superstar players. But if they want to play together and form a super team then there may not be many ways to stop them. Michael, I agree with all your points about the CBA. I'm buying into the idea of SMO vs. BMO (I just don't think it's a huge divide since they all already agree on a new revenue sharing model). I just don't think that the Heat winning a title is going to scare them into anything. Whatever deal with revenue sharing is going to be the same regardless of who wins the championship this year. And I think the Heat winning only encourages superstar players to play together which is the opposite of a team like New Olreans wants. And regardless of what the new CBA looks like there will still be problems for small market teams. 42 (and everyone else), if you every want to go grab a drink, maybe at the Doors because of the great memories there, and discuss NBA stuff I'm always game.

Nola Jake
Nola Jake

I'm at work now so I can't really comment. This is a good discussion though. I like it

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

And just so we have more voices on here, we will have guys like Henry Abbott, Larry Coon, and other very knowledgeable people to give their point of view and help to educate us all on this mess. But I assure you that there is a division amongst the owners, and how could their not be? The Lakers spent $110 million dollars in player salary alone this year (counting lux tax) and another 15-18 million on coaches (which is triple what the Hornets spent). Phoenix, meanwhile, couldn't bring back their WCF team because of the chance that Amare might break down in a couple of years and the dead weight on their books that would result. You think the Lakers have to concern themselves with that? They pay Walton 6-7 mil per year to be the Craft Service guy on the team and Bynum twice that to miss 30-40 games a year. No way the small market owners let the big guys walk out of this negotiation with that kind of advantage again. But yes, there will still be bad owners who will lose no matter how much parity you try to create, so it is not a cure all, but it is better than what we have now IMO.

Nola Jake
Nola Jake

[I want to apologize for how long and ranty this is. Maybe I should make it a journal and respond to Michael that way.] I disagree with the post. I haven't heard of anything regarding Small Market Owner (SMO) vs. Big Market Owner (BMO). I get that SMO's may be unhappy with their situation (see the Maloofs and the Kings relocation) but is there some article showing that SMOs will be butting heads with BMOs? From everything that's been said regarding the owners feelings on the matter it's that all the owners seem fairly united in what they want out of a new CBA. I think that would actually help the player's leverage if it was SMO vs BMO. From the players perspective it is them vs. the owners (both SM and BM) and if the owners are infighting then even better. Owners know this and don’t want anything that can hurt their bargaining position so they wouldn’t let anything leak about that. So even if they are butting heads in private, using that as a basis for rooting for the Heat to unite the owners is taking a big hypothetical leap. And if there is something showing owner vs. owner then we’re in for a much, much longer lockout. If the Heat win the title then it shows star players around the league that teaming up is the easiest way to a championship. Dwight Howard (or, even worse, Chris Paul) seeing his buddies having fun and winning a championship is going to make him envious. It's going to make him want to form a super team of his own. A Heat title will not strike fear into owners. If the owners wanted to make their stand do it by not giving into the sign and trade that sent Lebron to the Heat. If he is going to leave then make him do so for less money. Show him there are repercussions to his actions. Players are going to play where they want to play. No owner will say no to a player of Lebron's (or even Bosh's) caliber. Dan Gilbert was going to lose Lebron anyway. By giving him the amount of money he asked for and trading him (remember Lebron didn’t sign with the Heat as a free agent), Gilbert only encouraged other players in the future. Yes, it is better for the franchise to get a couple of picks as opposed to nothing, but he still gave into a player’s demand. Unless the new CBA is radically different players (especially those with expiring contracts) will still be able to control where they want to play. So what if there is a franchise tag? That only delays the inevitable. In the NFL a player can be franchised two years in a row. But there is no way NBA players will agree to a tag that can be placed in consecutive years on a player. They might not even agree to one at all. And then that leaves a disgruntled player playing for a team he doesn’t want to. Look at the Carmelo situation this year. If they keep him and franchise him next year then they are stuck in the exact same boat. They didn’t want to deal with it at the trade deadline so why would they want to deal with it for a whole other season? Maybe the CBA can fix all of this. A hard cap and a limit on the number of max contracts a team can have will help. But I don’t think there is a divide between SMOs and BMOs on this. Saying that teams will eventually become the Pitt Pirates is incorrect. The Pirates trade players because their owner is terrible and wants to keep payroll down as much as possible, almost to the minimum. The Nuggets didn’t trade Carmelo to Knicks because they didn’t want to pay him. An extension was on the table. He was traded because he wanted to play in NYC. Maybe it was because he’s from there. Maybe it’s because he wants to play with Amar’e. But it doesn’t matter because he choose where he wanted to go. And I don’t exactly see what in the new CBA could prevent that. Lebron, Bosh and Wade all signed for less money to play together. It wasn’t that much less but I’d be willing to bet Lebron would have given up 10 million over the life on his contract if that’s what it would have taken to make it work. If a player is willing to give up money how is a CBA going to stop them from teaming up? If Chris Paul says he wants to play for the Bucks how is anyone supposed to stop him? Teams and players will find a way. So to put it simply: Rooting for the Heat will only empower the players more. Players will start acting the same way Carmelo did and pick and choose which teams they want to play for before they become free agents. If a team like the Thunder or Bulls win then it shows players like Howard and Paul that if you trust your front office to draft well, make smart trades and free agent pick up then you can win a title that way too.

NolaHog
NolaHog

I think if rules are put in place to allow small market teams to financially compete with bigger cities, then franchise tags aren't necessary. I wouldn't be upset if a franchise tag was introduced, but I think players should be allowed to go where they want. The rate limiting factor should be how much salary any one team can take on, not a restriction on players' freedom of choice. If some type of harder salary cap was implemented, New Orleans wouldn't need the benefit of a franchise tag. Paul will stay here if we grow a culture of winning. Not every player is desperately seeking friends/surrogate families like LeBron James, and the main reason Carmelo went to N.Y. is because that's where he's from. Durant is no danger of leaving OKC. Zach Randolph is thrilled to be playing in Memphis. If an organization puts together a good team, then people will want to stay. Chris Paul will definitely opt to stay here if our current management stays in place and a harder salary cap is implemented. I will be rooting AGAINST Miami because I want to see their model fail. If the majority of your cap space is spent on 3 superstars, but you have no bench or supporting characters, then I think you'll lose in the NBA. Hopefully, I'll be proven right.

NO-CHI
NO-CHI

Ugh. Not Miami, any team but Miami. No, here's what would be the best for the Hornets. Memphis wins the NBA title. Because let's face it geographically, it's stupid for Memphis to be in the West. CHICAGO is west of Memphis. Besides, look at it this way. The Lakers and Spurs are broken, and so are the Mavericks. (One time, they do something incredible. After that, they expect everything to just be handed to them.) Who else wishes that the league would give, every year, MN, MEM, and NO their own versions of the "circus road trip" ? Every year: have MN, MEM, and NO all go on this, like 10 game road trip along the West Coast? (OR AT LEAST SCHEDULE AN LA WEEKEND WHERE THEY PLAY BOTH TEAMS IN LA!) It doesn't make any sense. At least give both teams, equal amount of rest. Unless it's an @ Lakers - @ Clippers (or vice versa) the NBA shouldn't schedule anymore back-to-backs where the 2nd night is a road game. It's entirely unfair. It cost the Hornets the Number 1 seed in 07-08 because they had a tough Laker team the first night and then were FLAT for the following night in Sacramento. They lost both, and lost the #1 seed because of those 2 games.

jmbell
jmbell

Oh and the knicks and nets are trying to monopolize the league along with those others mentioned^

jmbell
jmbell

I love it. This changes my complete perspective. When they all gathered in miami over the summer, I hoped the worst since they manipulated the system. But I completely agree now. Let them manipulate the system so that we may stick it to 'em during the CBA negotiations.

Kyle
Kyle

Well Miami is actually my second favorite team behind the Hornets. I can't help but cheer for a team that has 3/5 of my favorite player from the past Olympic team. Also, hate him or not, LeBron is one of the most entertaining players in the league and Wade isn't far behind in that category. With all that said, I love the Hornets FAR more so if Miami wins and it has the effect you suggest all of my aforementioned feelings are merely lagniappe.

sweetpea
sweetpea

I"m kind of repeating what some other posters have indicated ... however ... It never ceases to baffle me how baseball and basketball owners, as self-interested maximizers, don't look over at the NFL and see how collusion, profit sharing, salary caps and limited free agency haven't reaped such incredible benefits to that League, completely separate and apart from how many playoff appearances or Super Bowl trophies a given franchise has. A rising tide lifts all boats. Hasn't it occured to them that the NFL's boom in the last 15 years or so is tied to the fact that all but two or three franchises each year have a legitimate shot to make it not only to the playoffs, but have a deep run??? It seems like all NBA owners should realize this more quickly, them being such successful businessmen and all.

Brazilian Hornet
Brazilian Hornet

Miami Heat is already an elite franchise. A team that possesses Dwyane Wade and LeBron James together can not be labeled as a defender of the weak and oppressed. Heat's victory is the victory of the elite. So in this case I prefer that the Celtics will be the champion. Another Celtics' title will be the ultimate proof that if nothing is done, the league has 30 teams, but with only three or four (Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Heat) monopolizing everything. And for that landscape is altered, nothing better than a nice CBA to have a more balanced and exciting competition. I think a win would be the Heat's nothing more than a new elite team in a scenario where 25 participating teams only to lose. That's what I think.

Stefan
Stefan

Two former Hornet starters from our best season ever got to sweep the Lakers this year. I'm happy.

Hordan
Hordan

Can't root for the Heat, never have, never will.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

I'm supposed to root for the heat off of the hope that maybe it will sway the owners to think that allowing teams like this to happen is a bad idea? If they don't already see that its a bad idea they have other things to worry about, like how to wipe their ass after they are done popping a squat. If the Heat win they win, if it inadvertently helps the New Orleans Hornets great, but let it be known I never rooted for the Miami Heat. The mere thought is stomach turning

edbballin504
edbballin504

Agree 100% MM! I hate the Heat but if them winning this one title now helps the Hornets and the NBA in the longrun, then I am willing to sell my soul as well!

42
42

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. My enemy is the force that keeps the NBA locked in to professional sports bridesmaidism. Your argument is sound. I'll say this: I was going to root for them over Dallas anyway.

42
42

Since you had the idea, Jake, I guess that means I buy the pie... Pizza, dissecting NBA financials, and metal talk... Bliss...

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Great post, and I can't wait to see how it plays out. As I said to Queen Bee, I agree that the Heat winning will encourage superstar players to want to play together (as you put it). But to me, that reenforces my original point more than anything else could. If CP3, Dwight, etc want to form super teams more than ever after seeing Heat win, then the owners will be more assertive if denying that want. Personally I wanna see a system in which the ticket sellers, a.k.a. the superstars, have no limit on what they can make and everyone else's salary is greatly reduced. To me, that is fair. Hornets fans pay to see CP3, not David Anderson. CP3 makes 6 times what DA makes. There are not 6 CP3 fans for every 1 David Anderson fan, there are 600,000 CP3 fans to every DA fan. So why does CP3 have a cap on his earning potential? 45 million dollar hard cap plus one unlimited slot per team. Will never happen because only 30 players out of the nearly 500 would benefit, but that is what it SHOULD be.

42
42

Quick! Kick him while he's down! Kick him while he's down! Really though: Agreed. This is top shelf stuff. Economics, labor, game theory, taste and aesthetics, and political philosophy. And a leather ball.

QueenBee
QueenBee

"If the Heat win the title then it shows star players around the league that teaming up is the easiest way to a championship. Dwight Howard (or, even worse, Chris Paul) seeing his buddies having fun and winning a championship is going to make him envious. It’s going to make him want to form a super team of his own." This is my thinking as well. This is how I think the players will feel. Maybe they won't but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

42
42

Jake: I read a good deal of news. With $300m a year net loss, and ~8 team making money, that's at least a $12.5m loss per team among the money-losing teams, but more really since the $300m is a net figure. Add to that a trend of that number increasing from 12, to 17, to 22 in recent years, and you have a super-majortity of money-losers, when they were a sizeable minority just recently. There's no declaration of war among the owners, but the inference is not outlandish. In fact, it'd have to be that way. As for the Heat thing: My simple restatement of Mc's point is that slaughtering teams on the way to a title will just turn up the gain on reading what the Heat 'means'. What it means is a coup. The inmates are running the asylum. This, according to Marx, will scare the Perrier out of the owners. Billionaires, and people like them, don't like to have terms disctated to them, especially by college-drop-out hired help. I don't think policing via 'lessons learned' works. It's not about aggregate behavior; it's about the rogue team's behavior, it's about the ensuing arms race in conditions of great scarcity. There are enough superstars for people to double up. If you don't bring enough superstar for everyone.... As far as this player movement / franchise: Fixing the cap will fix the team stacking. I personally think Mc's point is correct. I can't choose how I root, however, so we'll see what happens. http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/15/league-says-22-teams-to-lose-money-300-million-total-this-season/ http://www.businessinsider.com/forbes-17-of-30-nba-teams-lost-money-last-year-2011-1 http://www.aolnews.com/2009/12/10/forbes-12-nba-teams-lost-money-last-season/

jmbell
jmbell

That's an interesting perspective. I guess there are pros and cons to miami and a team like OKC winning. I think it comes down to this: would you rather your owners have more control over the star players or would you rather those star players just think they're better off in a small market.

42
42

It cost Chris the MVP, too, for what it's worth.

paul
paul

I agree. IF owners need me to root for such an insane group of athletic egos as this JUST so THEY feel the pain of the reality hell they are in, no can do. They need to look elsewhere for their kick in the pants. And I am not so sure the work is going to be all that hard. If the average NBA player thinks he has to satnd behind thses assholes in Miami, or really only a handful of elitest players, then he is more stupid than I thought. I find it hard to believe 80 percent will sell their souls for the 20 percent. No, the mojority will vote for something favorable to all players, not just a glory few that ends up killing their teams and futures. I think most players are as unhappy with last summer as the rest of us.

42
42

Seantonio, I'm with you on this one. I find it very difficult, and to a degree, repugnant, to mix my rational desires with my irrational ones. A parallel: I will never do fantasy football. Never have, never will. Why? I never want a rational desire to ever overtake my pure dionysian revelry that is appreciating the Saints. I will never root for Dev to score over Marcus, or the other way around. I will never root for Carolina to stop the Saints, even if the good guys are up 42-0, so that some guy will beat this other guy and I'll avoid the tougher one in the first round of the playoffs. No way. This is all nice, but my heart tells me for whom to root. I'll will appreciate the consequences whatever the outcome, and I mean this evenly, not meaning `like' the consequences. I rooted for Texas over USC in the title games years ago because USC can kiss my ass, even though Texas can kiss my ass well. I rooted for other teams, however, to win on other occasions to send the NCAA into complete chaos. The latter wasn't really in my heart . . . it was just the imp in me. This is higher stakes and plays close to home, but it'll have to be presented before me before my heart tells me where I lean.

42
42

It's almost 2 and I'm pissed off and at work, but I'll offer an alternate idea: $H million in hard card money per team, tied to BRI (Basketball related income) $A million in one slot, tied to BRI. Equal across the Association, can be doled out in 2, 3, and 4 year deals, can be re-upped, of course. Owners can drop a guy out after a bad year, owners aren't tied for 6 years like with Bird Sign and Trade deals. Allows bidding by owners with longer deals, keeps owners accountable if plays opt for a 2 and they are a Wade-type, keeps players accoutable if they are a bubble-max guy. Offers stability to team for Duncan-types. Tied to BRI so deals don't get larger when income gets smaller. All deals should be indexed by BRI, as they are now. If this is stupid, I already stated my excuse.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Right- players WILL feel this way, and that is why owners will move quick to ensure the players cant act on this feeling. "Oh Dwight, you wanna team up like your buddies did? Well too bad, you've been hit with the franchise tag."

paul
paul

42... I have not listened to them in any depth. I watched a few of their recorded interviews and really, really like them! Please, if you would over the summer, find a way to keep in touch email wise. Not sure about the email address over the blog. The sight owners an give you mine. I would love to get another friend. That would make 6. Well, 5...I am not so sure about my wife.

paul
paul

Um, that the deluded are destined for their own destruction,right? Now if I get anything right, I can have a star or something? Come on, 42...I need to get something! Off message...I had some good ol boys at my moutain lake house this weekend and they were trying to teach this city kid how to fish. Let's just say it was humbling and the fish are very safe and slightly more fed this morning. And they say I talk to much.

42
42

You got it Paul. If the players don't see that the Miami machinations were anything but an assault on them, then they are deluded. If the owners don't see that the Miami machinations were anything but an assault on them, then they are deluded. Reason doesn't reach the deluded. And, yes, I know exactly what the implications of what I'm actually saying are.

RobertM320
RobertM320

Seantonio, I agree 100%. That's my same order of preference as well, other than OKC over Memphis. I think its because they're a division rival. After that, its Atlanta, then Boston.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

That Lakers-Mavericks series was a very difficult one for me personally. As I despise the Mavericks and more than anything that smug oompa loompa jason terry, but i digress I hated the Lakers for what they stood for and what they did to my boys in creole blue but I also hated the mavs it was a twister of emotions that im just glad is finally over. I have decided that Memphis is my 1st choice to win it all because i want to see a team prove that going to the mattresses, sweatin it out, grinding off pure determination can win no matter whose names on the back of the jersey. Then I want the thunder cuz they built that team up to what they are w/o cheesing and durants the classiest superstar there is and then ill take hotlanta (dont like them but out of the east who is there to like) and if all else fails give another championship to Boston because really would it change anything they already have like 50

42
42

You got it, paul. When I take school out behind the ol' barn, you and I are doing some organized reading... Hmmmm.... Hornets247 book club? Can anyone on here show me how to read?

42
42

Barehand them, paul. The big mistake people make is aiming poorly. The fish is actually slightly toward your eyes from where it appears (think pool cleaning apparati). And you are right in the "3 people who've never been in my kitchen" sense (3pwnbimk), but that is not what I meant. What I meant it something 'bad', I suppose. More on that later. However, don't sweat it. It's not supposed to be a Car-Talk-style puzzler. My mom has told me before, and it's true, that I go from A to Z and don't tell anyone. I guess that just happened. 3pwnbimk is a Cheers reference. Cliff was killing it on Jeopardy!, but screwed up in Final Jeopardy. He had to name the stage names of three people, and he didn't know them. Instead, he said the phrase of interest. While correct, it wasn't right. I, frankly, love 3pwnbimk. I was thinking about you this morning, Mr. Pellico. I was listening to Bad Religion and was wondering if you continued to explore their music.