NBA Graveyard 2016: Kings Self-Immolate, Again

It’s March and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. More importantly, what can be salvaged going into next season and beyond? Cuz the great thing about the NBA is even when all is lost, the dead still have hope. There’s always room for wild optimism thanks to coaching carousels, the siren song of the big free agent, the franchise-saving Draft pick, the unknown potential of young assets and blind faith.

On to the Sacramento Kings, who lived more of a Jester’s life…

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Postmortem: A million gallons of ink have been spilled over the hilariously dysfunctional Sacramento Kings in the last 18 months, so in an effort to not beat a dead horse we present a simple timeline. Here are the broad strokes of the Kings’ very public self-shaming: Continue reading

NBA Graveyard 2016: The Pelicans’ Lost Season

It’s March and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. More importantly, what can be salvaged going into next season and beyond? Cuz the great thing about the NBA is even when all is lost, the dead still have hope. There’s always room for wild optimism thanks to coaching carousels, the siren song of the big free agent, the franchise-saving Draft pick, the unknown potential of young assets and blind faith. 

Pelicans haven’t been this decimated since the BP oil spill. Too soon? My bad…

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Postmortem: The Pelicans’ 2015-16 campaign never had a chance, in hindsight. After winning 45 games a season ago and making the playoffs for the first time in Anthony Davis‘ young career, they came into this season with a hot new coach (Alvin Gentry) and high hopes for continued improvement. Davis signed a 5-year extension in the summer and was a trendy preseason pick for MVP. Everything was coming up roses. Then actual games were played. Continue reading

NBA Graveyard 2016: Nuggets Die With Dignity

It’s March and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. More importantly, what can be salvaged going into next season and beyond? Cuz the great thing about the NBA is even when all is lost, the dead still have hope. There’s always room for wild optimism thanks to coaching carousels, the siren song of the big free agent, the franchise-saving Draft pick, the unknown potential of young assets and blind faith. 

Today we gather not to mourn the 2015-16 Denver Nuggets, but to celebrate their afterlife… Continue reading

NBA Graveyard 2016: Where the Suns Don’t Shine

It’s March and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. More importantly, what can be salvaged going into next season and beyond? Cuz the great thing about the NBA is even when all is lost, the dead still have hope. There’s always room for wild optimism thanks to coaching carousels, the siren song of the big free agent, the franchise-saving Draft pick, the unknown potential of young assets and blind faith. 

Here lies…LaMarcus Aldridge’s bridesmaids…err…the Phoenix Suns. Current record: 17-46. Projected finish (per FiveThirtyEight): 24-58.

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Postmortem: The 2015-16 season couldn’t have gone much worse for Phoenix, and we all should’ve seen it coming. Continue reading

The NBA: A Game of Misconceptions

I was out for dinner earlier this week with some of my dad’s friends, all white men of a certain age. We were going to that night’s Dallas Stars – Detroit Red Wings game and a couple of the guys were Detroit fans. As tends to happen when I’m present, the conversation turned to pro basketball. I asked if they were fans of the Pistons, and the answers were predictable. Though being die-hard Red Wings, Tigers and even Lions fans, both guys didn’t follow the Pistons much anymore. Back when the Pistons were the Bad Boys, now that was a greater time, I was told. Here are some excerpts from the conversation that followed:

Bill Laimbeer was just misunderstood.” Hmm. Interesting take.

“Don’t get me started on how the league changed the rules to help Jordan and the Bulls.” I’m from Chicago. This sentiment made my skin crawl.

“When it comes to basketball, I’m more interested in the college game.” Nails on the proverbial chalkboard.

“Nobody after the Bad Boy Pistons has ever played any defense in the NBA.” There it is. The clincher. Continue reading