Despite the Best Intentions

Published: June 23, 2013

Where the sky begins the horizon ends
Despite the best intentions
And a big ol’ man goes up for sale
He becomes his own invention
Oh the days go slow into the changing season
Oh bought and sold for all the wrong reasons
Oh down they go for all the wrong reasons

— Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, All the Wrong Reasons

New Orleans Pelicans News

With the NBA Draft approaching, New Orleans Pelicans activity is on the rise.

In what is certainly a major compliment to the organization and potentially a major blow, the Denver Nuggets hired Pelicans Assistant General Manager Tim Connelly to be their General Manager. Connelly has strong background in European scouting and was playing an important role in getting the Pelicans ready for the Draft. The job of replacing the talent is an important one. Just prior to the Draft and Free Agency opening, its tough to tell what the effects will be: Are the plans laid, or will the lack of manpower limit the Pelicans in their ability to take advantage of opportunity? With this being potentially the most influential offseason in a long while for New Orleans basketball, everyone should take pause.

As the esteem of players rise and fall, the Pelicans have adjusted, meeting with Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo.

Pelicans fans will have 3 options to watch the draft with a large number of like-minded individuals. The Pelicans are throwing a party at Manning’s at 5:30 on Draft night. Bourbon Street Shots is throwing two: One at Tracey’s in NOLA, one at Plucker’s in BR, both also starting at 5:30.

Austin Rivers has been working out with Kyrie Irving.

Austin Rivers and any draftees for the Pelicans should appear in the Las Vegas Summer League.

The NBA announced today the 2013 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, featuring the debut of a tournament style schedule with the first ever NBA Summer League Championship on Monday, July 22.

The 2013 NBA Summer League format includes three preliminary games followed by a single-elimination tournament. All teams are guaranteed to play at least five games. Teams will be seeded following the preliminary round, with the top ten seeds receiving a first-round bye. Seeding will be determined in order by: overall record in the three games, quarter scoring totals, head-to-head results (only in tiebreaker), point differential, and a coin flip.

The New Orleans Pelicans open up the 2013 NBA Summer League on July 12 against the New York Knicks, followed by contests against the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers before beginning the single-elimination tournament. All games will be televised live by NBATV.

The Pelicans will conduct a mini-camp in Las Vegas, July 8-11.

For those not in the NBA, the Pelicans are still hosting some day camps. The ones this week are in Old Jefferson and Slidell. Camps resume after the 4th.

Monty Williams’ camp was not just basketball. He and campers took some time to serve meals from Mr. Mudbug’s to over 150 at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope. Good job by Coach and his campers.

Lastly, those interesting in being a vendor for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, check out this program.

Around Bourbon Street Shots

As mentioned above, the site has two draft parties: One in New Orleans, another in Baton Rouge.

In addition to the ongoing Sixth Pick Tournament, the site’s writers tacked some specific questions about the Draft.

Gerry V joined Ryan and Michael to discuss the Draft, New Orleans Pelicans needs, and what teams are, or should be, doing to prepare.

Lastly, a report about a local court seeing its end spurred some strong reaction.

`Voices’ of the People

Solid write-up. Compelling cases for both…and I took Burke.

To me, the modern NBA is a game of speed and attack that’s dominated by wing players (Bron, Wade, Durant, Kobe) or ball-handling point guards who can create for others and for themselves (Rose, Parker, Paul). To use an NFL analogy, in a QB league, you better have a good QB or you’re going nowhere.

That means that the Pelicans need a quality PG if the expect to go anywhere in the future. Combine that with the presence of Anthony Davis and I gotta go with Burke over Len.


I love both these players but I’m going with Porter. In my opinion they have similar ceilings (maybe Oladipo’s athleticism gets him a little higher) but Porter has by far the lowest floor. Porter has proven to make high basketball IQ plays like make the extra pass, knowing how to rebound, and pick his spots when shooting. I was surprised there was little mention of Oladipo’s competitive intensity and crazy motor. Those are two things that work well in his favor. Oh, and Porter’s poor shooting mechanics were one of the best arguments against him. That is scary to imagine porter not shooting ot the the 3pt line.


As GerryV noted, vets are extremely important.

I just started reading Mike Krzyzewski’s The Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team today, and I saw a couple interesting and insightful quotes.

“I also believe that a team needs some people with experience — veterans. Often those who have been in a particular business the longest are ignored, their contributions replaced by those of the newest up-and-comer. But it’s the veterans who have the deepest level of institutional understanding and who can pass this experience on to the other memebers of your team. The veterans are also those who grasp the concept of legacy. Legacy asks the question, ‘Who were you? Did you win? Did you lose? Did you do something special?’ Trust me, the people who are experienced enough to ask these questions can motivate your team.”

“Take the time to conduct personal interviews, face-to-face when possible.”


42 Sense


The last 7 NBA Champions paid the Luxury Tax.

This is not a coincidence. The Luxury Tax makes it hard for many teams to collect enough talent to compete with the teams that can afford to pay the Tax.

Established in the 1999 CBA, was established to try to limit the benefit of significantly larger financial resources available to only some teams. This was done by having teams with large payrolls pay a $1-for-$1 Tax for salary above a certain threshold set by the NBA and tied to Association income. This money was then redistributed to teams that did not pay the Tax, creating a two-pronged incentive to not pay the Tax.

It was with the best intentions that this systems was designed, but the cure turned out to be poison. In time, it instead became a positive predictor for winning a title. Many a team pay the Tax and do not win a title, but this is an artifact of there being only a single title. So, the question “Does paying the Tax mean I’ll win the title, or even be good?” does not make sense to ask. Rather, “Does a team need to pay the Tax to have a good chance at winning the title?” makes a ton of sense, and the answer is, “Yes.”

The Knicks are a team that has paid a ton of tax money and never really been good enough to show it, while the Spurs haven’t paid the Tax, and they won numerous titles in the Tax era, including nearly winning one this week. In the past 7 seasons, however, the NBA has changed enough to make the Spurs the only non-Tax-paying team to challenge for a title, and they happen to be loaded with Hall of Fame talent on and off the court. So there’s your exception.

The upcoming season changes the Tax rules yet again, raising the financial penalties significantly and restricting the ability of such teams to participate in player markets.

This should help.

This is intended to help.

But we’ve heard that all before.

Will it, instead, simply create an even smaller number of teams who can win a title? The owners who are slated to pay the Tax don’t think so, as they voted against this new CBA that established these rules. Some of these teams have also shed salary in the past 2 seasons. They could be wrong, however.

These Tax rules should make for an interesting offseason and may very well help the Pelicans improve.

Will it be enough? Will the Tax simply put the pie far too high in the sky for all but a few teams? Or two? Or one?


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