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@FredPahlke Um. Did I pick the wrong word, here? Is "Pay" him the money more appropriate? It's easy to tell someone what to do with their money when the choices are between "pay a star basketball player star basketball player money" and "pay less to be mediocre." This stuff actually isn't all that complicated after all. Ask Suns fans how shedding good players (and shedding 1st round draft picks--which fortunately, the Thunder haven't indulged in yet) to save money worked out for them. Or are you objecting to me rendering an opinion when I am not one of the world's genius wizard GMs like Sam Presti for example, who doesn't mind losing the league's most promising two guard right when his team is starting to reach its peak?
Of course, there are other factors (Presti isn't the only decision-maker for example--ownership ultimately controls the purse strings) but this decision isn't very difficult from a basketball standpoint. OKC can be a great team which like other great teams costs a lot of money or they can be a glorified sideshow, a senators stop on the Lakers' and Heat's globe-trotting tour. We are confounding and mystifying the issue by talking about hometown discounts and trades.. For a player of Harden's caliber this whole discussion is a little bit insulting. So, the choices are: 1. Pay Harden 2. Move to an actual big city where there's money to be made or 3. Be half-assed and pretend to be clever about it (in which case, Bulls fans like me won't have much cause to comment on OKC blogs anyway). Feel free to expand on these options, Fred, if you have any opinions about this other than "that Scanlan is a whipper-snapper" which has already been noted.
2 years, 6 months ago on Report: James Harden wants the max
Give him the darn money! This stuff about the sentiment is all very nice and I'm sure they all like each other down there in OKC, but it is borderline insulting to expect a hometown discount. The fact that Harden is willing to come off the bench is sacrifice enough. I just don't see why it's such a stretch to think that if you have a championship-type roster you shouldn't have to pay for it. Besides, keeping this stacked roster together is the only way that this organization is going to succeed in (no offense) Oklahoma fricking City. I understand that Seattle would be interested in getting an NBA team if you can't afford the players...
2 years, 7 months ago on Report: James Harden wants the max
@EthanSherwoodStrauss @AndrewScanlan where did you get your quote? I admit I couldn't find a good Dean Oliver pull (I was thinking of something from the text of Basketball on Paper which isn't readily available on the internet the way WoW stuff is), but as far as I remember Oliver's stuff--which never claimed AI wasn't inefficient, btw, its point is that the load big stars carry can benefit the rest of the team--is much higher on Iverson than that. He was working in the Denver front office when they traded for him... I can imagine the varnish came off his opinion after those ugly years, but I have a hard time imagining that he thought Iverson was merely average. In fact, that's my whole point. Iverson was not a model of efficiency, he didn't get the shots Duncan got, but let's not be simple-minded about what that means. If the responses to this post haven't made the point clear here, Iverson does not digest down to ".500 contributor." Just because he doesn't play anymore we shouldn't start calling him an average player. 30+ USG% can help a team, btw. You might mention he led the league in that category for 5 of 6 years in the time period in question. The fact that you are using ts% against him in an era when the defense was king is also pretty darn unfair. Maybe next week we'll find out that Bob Cousy wasn't very good because he never shot above 40%.
2 years, 7 months ago on The Tyranny of Allen Iverson
Efficiency stats are only one way to look at a player--you should never, ever site one (even a good one like ts%) as gospel. Besides, Iverson's "inefficiencies" are well-reported (and the wages of wins guys--not mention Malcolm Gladwell-- beat you to dissing Iverson by a few years: http://wagesofwins.com/2008/11/04/did-i-mention-i-was-an-allen-iverson-fan/) but not all basketball stat heads focus exclusively on efficiency stats. Dean Oliver's possession-oriented stats evaluate Iverson very differently Generally speaking, I'm fonder of possession stats. They are less prone to evaluations like this recent gem from WoW: "The Hawks lost their best player from last season, Marvin Williams." http://wagesofwins.com/2012/08/13/grading-the-atlanta-hawks-offseason/ (Refer to GhostofGeorgeLynch's comment for the pro-iverson argument)