2020 NBA Catch-All: Offseason

LeapingGnome wrote:

I watched episode 1 and 2 on ESPN and I don't remember a lot of beeps. In episodes 3 and 4 there were probably at least 20 f-bombs, I am not sure if they beeped them out on ESPN or just censored it some other way. It was kind of nice because it showed the more natural way these guys talk.

I was wondering what happened. Did the FCC bust them after the first week? Are there other time slots for the uncensored versions?

ESPN was full uncensored. ESPN2 was the kids version.

There was one f bomb beeped out but it was footage from another interview so maybe only available that way.

Jordan, Rodman, Harper, Ho Grant, there was all kinds of swearing in eps 3 and 4

The shrug game. Dream Team. Good stuff in the first hour tonight.

Stele wrote:

The shrug game. Dream Team. Good stuff in the first hour tonight.

I'd forgotten until the end of Episode 5 that Seinfeld ended around the same time. You'd think I'd have a better memory about it since that same year I graduated from high school.

MJ is #1.

Come at me bro!

And yes, arguing about this is silly. SPORT IS SILLY!

The problem is that it’s silly, it’s that it’s uninteresting.

Vector wrote:

The problem is that it’s silly, it’s that it’s uninteresting.

I’m with you. I’ve used tiers when thinking of all-time greats. It’s so subjective, that there is no actual answer. I mostly feel that way with MVP and various player of the year awards.

I mean, it’s cool that a bunch of people voted and said X is best, but it literally changes nothing about a season or career.

One of my favorite Bill Self quotes came after Kansas best Memphis for the National Title. He said he had just become a much smarter coach, and one that prepares his players to win under pressure because Chalmers last second shot went in. Had he mused, the stories about how good of a coach he is would be much different.

But let’s say we were using NBA2K to build a a league with all-time players. When it came time to draft players, you wouldn’t look at their OVRs, you would look at their strengths and weaknesses and what they could add to what kind of team you want.

Would a team that had Lebron or MJ really have an advantage over each other? Or would itcome down to how well you built around them?

Since the NBA is not one one, a more interesting way to discuss these guys would be their effects on other teams throughout history. How would they fit in? Would they make a team better, or would the situation make the player worse?

But who is #2 vs who #1 just seems like talking to talk. You don’t really broaden an understanding of the game in that discussion.

Besides, Shaq is the greatest player of all-time.

I’m not sure if you’re joking, but peak Shaq is ridiculously underrated. In my minds eye I see him dunking on Wilt Chamberlain the same way he did over Sabonis or Rick Smith. Bill Russell would have struggled to guard him.

Unfortunately peak Shaq only lasted a few years, so he doesn’t make my GOAT argument.

However, if I were choosing teams of all time players at their peak in some sort of NBA version of Field of Dreams I would be tempted to pick Shaq near the top.

Jayhawker wrote:

Besides, Shaq is the greatest player of all-time.

You know I saw numbers some years ago. If he had increased his FT percentage to just a mediocre 60%, he would have won x more games and possibly y more titles, could have caught Jordan in all time scoring.

It was an interesting numbers game. He was great but left a lot of points on the floor.

Shaq is probably my favorite NBA legend. If I were building a team, he is the center I would want. I

Let’s say we were building that fictional league. If six of us were drafting legends, what round would Shaq go?

Might be a fun experiment honestly.

I finally got around to watching the full Kobe memorial.
It's bizarre to go back 9 weeks and see how utterly unconcerned we were with a pandemic at the time. Huge crowd everywhere. I'm sure people were sharing tear soaked hankies.

MJ's speech was gutting and amazing. His speech and Vanessa's are the indelible memories out of the whole event.
Shaq - the feed cut out which was really poor timing. His earlier speech on the air covered it pretty well though and was also gutting.
Pelinka's was the only dud. You can tell he absolutely loves talking about himself.

Speakers that should have been heard from but were bizarrely left out: Phil, Magic, and Kobe's parents.
My guess is the first two were a Pelinka power play.

I put Shaq, Duncan, Bird, Malone, Durant, and a big swath of absolutely outstanding players in just a tier below the guys I listed earlier for a whole thwack of individual reasons. I definitely group them in tiers. I have a huge blank spot for the history of the sport, though. Comparing Shaq to Russell is difficult, for me, because comparing eras is so hard. Would Russell be able to take advantage of sports science that Shaq or would it not even help considering Shaq is superhuman? So hypothetical we can't answer it. We do know that Shaq would be writing insult rap about Russell and Russell would just have an ever burning hatred for the man.

The NBA has such an amazing history that you could create multiple starting 5s with completely different players and have an argument for each of them.

Testing these hypotheses is what NBA2k is for. Lol.

DSGamer wrote:

Testing these hypotheses is what NBA2k is for. Lol.

I already re-downloaded 2K and have been messing with this. I even downloaded a file with the best version of every legend, with no duplicates. With the #1, but a snaked draft, I took Lebron with my #1 pick.

I got Reggie Miller with the last pick in the 2nd round, and Bob Cousy with the 1st pick of the third. That's with a full league drafting only legends.

Haven't looked at other teams yet, or really mine. What I was hoping was that there was a way to do a league of six, to get an elite squads to compare. If there is one thing I hate about modern sports games, it's the loss of custom-sized leagues that friends could draft from. Hell, when I was in grade school, I used Strat-O-Matic to play short seasons with leagues with four all-star teams, one from each division. This sounded like a fun way to do that.

Shaq is a 98 OVR, and Kareem is the only 99 center.

Is the snake draft a feature of 2k?

It is when setting up a custom league. You can select from an official or user-made roster, then set fantasy draft to on, and you can have it be straight or serpentine.

No idea how well the CPU actually drafted, though.

I’ve been messing around with all time NBA draft team building.

Jordan plus Arvydas Sabonis is a nasty, nasty combo. I picked Larry Johnson as the 4 but he’s not quite the rebounder you’d want to make up for Sabonis being on the perimeter pretty often. Might try Kemp instead.

Used my second pick on Nash which seems to be a mistake. Either him or Jordan get relegated to standing by the arc.

I recommend using a high pick on a 3. There aren’t a ton of awesome all-time 3s it turns out.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Arvydas Sabonis

Was I the only one who read that in Marv Albert's voice?

Marv Albert does it all the time.

Rat Boy wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:

Arvydas Sabonis

Was I the only one who read that in Marv Albert's voice?

No lol

Jayhawker wrote:

It is when setting up a custom league. You can select from an official or user-made roster, then set fantasy draft to on, and you can have it be straight or serpentine.

No idea how well the CPU actually drafted, though.

Fun. I’ll have to try it out even if it’s just for the draft.

I'm just going to say what we've all been thinking for over twenty years: Bugs Bunny made Michael Jordan a better basketball player.

I agree with Ken Burns that you can't have the subject of the doc be the producer. It skews the narrative.

This thing, as much as I am enjoying it, is hagiographic version of those teams. It's the MJ Story, as told by MJ, starring the MJ Singers, at the Grand Ol MJ Opry.

On Jordan's drive and being an a-hole teammate.

You could see that, deep down, he knows his approach had negative effects on the people around him. That his fierceness (anger?) had impacts that he probably regrets. Is this guy actually happy? Content? It really doesn't seem that way, to me.

I feel like he covers those emotions (guilt?) up with: I'm a competitor and this is what it takes to win. Is it? The list of winners without being an a-hole is long:

Phil Jackson
Drew Brees
Pete Carroll

There's a survivorship bias in sports where the system is built to produce athletes like Jordan and Kobe. But it doesn't have to be that way.

And, like elephants, some people are just jerks.

So far I think Hehir has done a damn fine job walking the tightrope between showing the warts and singing the praises.

I wouldn't go so far as to call it a hagiography. It's certainly worth pointing out that it doesnt get made if MJ doesnt approve. That's not helping any argument that it's unbiased.
And it's not overtly or overly critical of him. The tone is mostly laudatory - but he is one of the most revered athletes of the last 30 years.

It is examining the negative aspects of his personality, his gambling and his bullying, even if it's not going as in depth as some might want on those topics. The series does seem fairly sypathetic toward the premise that celebrities should have some privacy and a lot of what is written or reported about them is salacious tabloid garbage. Which is a fair point.

It at least touches on the sensationalistic headlines like was MJ suspended for gambling, did he veto Isaiah off of the Dream Team, and was his father murdered because of him or his gambling.

Multiple former teammates said in the doc point blank that he was a bully and he would regularly cross the line. It doesn't handwave that away or pretend it didn't happen.
Some say they only realized later how much it pushed them to improve.
Both points are being presented though - it's not like everyone is singing hosannas.
I'm not sure what more you'd want out of this doc. Maybe one that focused primarily on bullying would keep examining this issue, but it's just one of many covered here.

The interviewer straight up asks MJ if he thinks he gave up any chance of being remembered as a nice guy in his obsessive and abrasive pursuit of winning. (I'm paraphrasing the question, but the point is there.)

I really liked MJs answer and Hehir's willingness to let the answer sit and breathe: Winning comes with a price. Followed by a long pause. MJ then says how we perceive him is mostly about us and our biases. Which is at least partly true. But what do you expect MJ to say? Yes I was a total asshole and I regret my earlier behavior?
First, I don't think MJ regrets it. He's at least willing to be reflective.
Secondly, in real life people don't make those kind of damaging admissions, particularly not when they are being recorded. That only happens in old courtroom dramas like Matlock and is totally unrealistic - in my professional opinion as at least a moderately skilled interviewer.

Thank goodness for the baseball strike. We might not have got the 72 win Bulls.

Such a tease at the end with Reggie and the Pacers series tipping off. The only Game 7 during the Bulls 6 championships... next week. Reggie was so close.

I do hope they flash back to the Reggie MJ fist fight from 93. Pretty sure that's the only time Jordan lost his cool in an actual game. Not like practice against Steve Kerr.

I do wonder how much time they're going to spend on the causes of MJ's illness during the "Sick Game" as Chicagoans like Wilbon call it.

I have always heard it as the “flu game”.

LeapingGnome wrote:

I have always heard it as the “flu game”.

That the normal reference. Some in Chicago say it was something else. We'll see.

Stele wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:

I have always heard it as the “flu game”.

That the normal reference. Some in Chicago say it was something else. We'll see.

Given Jordan's involvement in the documentary, I really don't think we will.