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NBA Off-Season 2019 - Bridge Over the River Kawhi

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37 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

They should make it a rule you dont go to the Olympics unless you play other tournaments. Even multi millionaires want a gold medal.

 

30 minutes ago, baxus said:

Out of curiosity, how would that rule be enforced?

P.S. You get gold medal for winning the World Cup, too. ;) 

 

I heard a comment from an NBA analyst the other day and I want to know if it is true. Do European countries value winning the FIBA World Cup more than the Olympics?

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2 hours ago, Rhom said:

Which is the irony of all this... when we started losing international competitions, we instituted the system where the best players committed to play for several years so we wouldn’t wind up in this situation, hired Coach K, and domination returned.

Now the players have forgotten those lessons in the current era of planned rest. I wonder if we lose an Olympics or two if we will summon the resolve to truly compete again. :dunno: 

Eh, players today are their own brands and businesses. I can see the calculation that the FIBA WC doesn’t add anything to it, so why risk suffering an injury like George’s if you’re a star?

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5 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Eh, players today are their own brands and businesses. I can see the calculation that the FIBA WC doesn’t add anything to it, so why risk suffering an injury like George’s if you’re a star?

And then, once the US loses. Some top player will decide it would be a big boost for their brand to be seen as the rescuer of Team USA, and thus the cycle will continue.

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Americans simply don't care about national teams versus their own league. It's a bit odd really, with all the flag-waving nationalism, that national sports teams aren't as compelling a thing here. The Womens soccer team was a lot of fun to watch, but news coverage focused on politics. We get excited for Olympic gymnasts or swimmers for about six days every few years. 

Specific to basketball, I think most American fans simply assume we will win a gold with whomever is chosen. The basketball forum I frequent overwhelmingly supports the All NBA guys to skip national teams, instead preferring they avoid risk, stay healthy, not spend the six weeks training together to learn a slightly different style of ball. 

It's too bad. I sure would love if some of the top guys said "I want to win a Gold Medal for my country as much as sign a 150 million dollar contract". I just don't think it's much of a motivation compared to their agents and handlers and fan base simply preferring they focus on the NBA careers.

Perhaps you guys are right that Americans need to be beaten by a strong European team to rattle the sabres.

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1 hour ago, baxus said:

Out of curiosity, how would that rule be enforced?

P.S. You get gold medal for winning the World Cup, too. ;) 

 

You dont get picked for next years Olympics if you dont go to this years tournament. Dead easy. 

There are very few sports where Olympics isnt more important than worlds. Road cycling, erm that's it as far as I can tell. Obviously golf and tennis but they dont really care 'that' much about the Olympics but it's not because there is a world championships to favour. 

Edited by BigFatCoward

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3 hours ago, Argonath Diver said:

Americans simply don't care about national teams versus their own league. It's a bit odd really, with all the flag-waving nationalism, that national sports teams aren't as compelling a thing here.

It's because our national basketball team is usually so much better than every other team that international play is boring.  If we field our best team, we run the table without issue.  

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44 minutes ago, briantw said:

It's because our national basketball team is usually so much better than every other team that international play is boring.  If we field our best team, we run the table without issue.  

Except for those times over the last 20 odd years when they didn't. 

Edited by BigFatCoward

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1 minute ago, BigFatCoward said:

Except all the times over the last 20 years when they haven't. 

Eh...I've never found Team USA basketball to be particularly compelling unless it's one of those years like this one where none of the best players bothered to show up.  Every other year it's like watching WWE.  You know that, at the end of the day, Cena's going over.

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Just now, briantw said:

Eh...I've never found Team USA basketball to be particularly compelling unless it's one of those years like this one where none of the best players bothered to show up.  Every other year it's like watching WWE.  You know that, at the end of the day, Cena's going over.

They lost an Olympics and I think 2 world champs in succession I think. Hence the whole 'redeem' team.

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1 minute ago, BigFatCoward said:

They lost an Olympics and I think 2 world champs in succession I think. Hence the whole 'redeem' team.

That's all part of the cycle mentioned earlier.  US dominates for a while.  The stars get tired of showing up during the summer and decide to take some time off from Team USA.  They get replaced by lesser players.  Those lesser players fuck up and lose.  The star players come back to Team USA to save the day.

You can probably guess where in the cycle we're at right now.

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8 minutes ago, briantw said:

Eh...I've never found Team USA basketball to be particularly compelling unless it's one of those years like this one where none of the best players bothered to show up.  Every other year it's like watching WWE.  You know that, at the end of the day, Cena's going over.

My disinterest in Team USA basketball is because of the original Dream Team.  They're never gonna match that.  I mean, maybe they could, but they haven't since.  And whether the 5-20 or 15-30 or whatever best American players can beat the rest of the world?  Meh, not that interesting.

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On 8/7/2019 at 2:41 PM, Maithanet said:

I think you're selling Joel Embiid short there.  His problem is staying healthy, but when healthy, he's better than Paul George at least, and comparable to the other three.  Lebron in the 2020 playoffs is not going to be able to take on the extraordinary burden he did the last time we saw him in the playoffs.  His poor defense last year wasn't all just disinterest, he's starting to fade physically.  He'll still be great if he can stay healthy, but only in shorter spurts than he was capable of five or eight years ago. 

Embiid is a great player when healthy (which is not nearly often enough for his team), but not even the best player at his position, even when healthy  In my opinion, no team in the NBA would take him over Paul George, Anthony Davis, Kawhi or LeBron.  I understand you disagree about where Embiid ranks when he is healthy, and that's okay, of course, but if nothing else I think we should be able to agree that no NBA team would even consider trading George, Davis, Kawhi or LeBron for Embiid, even if for no other reason than that Embiid's injury history is horrendous.

Regarding LeBron:  I have been following his career very closely for many years (even more than nearly all NBA fans have done, I'd say).  He is still the best player in the game, but he almost never goes full throttle in a regular season game anymore.  Once the playoffs start, though, he's got gears that no other player except a fully healthy Kawhi might be able to match, though, and even then I'd take LeBron (because LeBron is so incredibly well rounded, and can make all the players around him better in a way that Kawhi cannot.  For example, LeBron has taken quite a few very bad teamst ot he Finals, and nearly won. How many times has Kawhi done that?  Zero.), 

On 8/7/2019 at 2:41 PM, Maithanet said:

I don't really see what them taking two games on a Warriors team that was looking past them has to do with playoff experience.  They had absolutely no pressure in that Warriors series.  This year the story and the pressure will be very different. 

Yes, this year will be different for the Clippers.  They just added by far the two best players on their roster (Kawhi and PG).  And they added them to a team that made the playoffs even without those two guys.  This season is gonna be a great show to watch, no doubt.

On 8/7/2019 at 2:41 PM, Maithanet said:

Chemistry issues too.  The Sixers are a long way from a perfect NBA champ.  But they have just as high, if not higher, ceiling than the Clippers and the Lakers if things come together for them. 

"If things come together for them" is a huge qualifier.

Look, I'm not knocking the Sixers, they are clearly a very good team.   But as I think I've said, I believe that in a matchup with the Clippers or Lakers in the playoffs, the Clippers and Lakers will both have the top 2 players in a series over the Sixers, and that's what really matters in the playoffs.

But hey, don't get me wrong.  A major point by me here is that I believe injuries will decide the NBA champ next year, as they so often do.   We'll see. 

On 8/7/2019 at 2:41 PM, Maithanet said:

Losing Durant to the Nets and Thompson to injury hurts, no doubt.  But if Thompson recovers in 9 months (as is relatively typical for youngish NBA players), I'm reluctant to just count them out.  If they trade Russell for some pieces that fit better they could definitely be in the mix.  Without that, it's hard to see it, but who knows?  The 2019 Finals proved Curry/Green are a tough out, even without a strong team around them. 

Curry and Draymond are both very good players, no doubt.  (I'd take Curry on my team, but not Draymond, though. I believe Draymond brings a lot of downside, and in fact I've heard many people believe Draymond is THE reason Durant left. Oops.)

Not sure why the Warriors would trade Russell, though.  Didn't they just acquire him?  I think he'll mesh fine with the rest of the Warriors, even when Klay returns, and yeah, I would agree that if the Warriors enter the playoffs fully healthy next year (including Klay) they could be a factor.

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Isn't Popovich still the Team USA coach though?

I have a hard time seeing him not getting outstanding performance out of his team even if they aren't all the A-listers. I predict he brings back Gold.

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On 8/9/2019 at 5:58 PM, Tywin et al. said:

I heard a comment from an NBA analyst the other day and I want to know if it is true. Do European countries value winning the FIBA World Cup more than the Olympics?

I don't think that FIBA World Cup is valued more than the Olympics, but it's not that far behind. I would say that the fact that USA sends the best team to the Olympics and not to the World Cup so beating USA in the Olympics is seen as a higher achievement, though beating USA is always valued rather highly.

On 8/9/2019 at 6:30 PM, Argonath Diver said:

It's too bad. I sure would love if some of the top guys said "I want to win a Gold Medal for my country as much as sign a 150 million dollar contract". I just don't think it's much of a motivation compared to their agents and handlers and fan base simply preferring they focus on the NBA careers.

A lot of people here in Serbia had that attitude over the last couple of years when Jokic skipped the European Cup in order to improve and get the max contract. Not sure it's realistic to expect that from anyone. If given a choice to make 150 million dollars, I'm pretty sure every single one of us would jump to make the most of the opportunity.

On 8/9/2019 at 6:45 PM, BigFatCoward said:

You dont get picked for next years Olympics if you dont go to this years tournament. Dead easy. 

Yeah... dead easy...

So, next year you get to choose from the 12 players who go to this years tournament.

What if one of the guys from this years squad retires? Or is injured next season? You would have to bring in someone new. How do you decide who qualifies? Anyone who wasn't on the initial list? So, why would Team USA put their biggest stars on the list for the World Cup in the first place, knowing they are likely to not go?

Or what if someone who wanted to go to this years tournament is injured and has to skip it? Even worse, what if someone who was initially on the longer list for the squad gets injured playing in prep matches for the national team (like Milos Teodosic did against Lithuania) and has to skip the tournament (as Milos Teodosic is likely to).

There's so many ways to find loopholes in this rule that the rule itself is ridiculous. And plugging those holes would make this rule more trouble than it's worth.

On 8/9/2019 at 11:13 PM, BigFatCoward said:

They lost an Olympics and I think 2 world champs in succession I think. Hence the whole 'redeem' team.

Yeah, they lost World Championships in '98 in Athens and in '02 in Indianapolis, both were won by Yugoslavia.

It has to be said that the one in '98 was during the lock out in the NBA and the team was made of college players who still managed to win the bronze after losing in semifinals to Russia, if memory serves. In 2002 it was not the best team USA had but it was far from a bad team.

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6 minutes ago, baxus said:

 

Yeah... dead easy...

So, next year you get to choose from the 12 players who go to this years tournament.

What if one of the guys from this years squad retires? Or is injured next season? You would have to bring in someone new. How do you decide who qualifies? Anyone who wasn't on the initial list? So, why would Team USA put their biggest stars on the list for the World Cup in the first place, knowing they are likely to not go?

Or what if someone who wanted to go to this years tournament is injured and has to skip it? Even worse, what if someone who was initially on the longer list for the squad gets injured playing in prep matches for the national team (like Milos Teodosic did against Lithuania) and has to skip the tournament (as Milos Teodosic is likely to).

There's so many ways to find loopholes in this rule that the rule itself is ridiculous. And plugging those holes would make this rule more trouble than it's worth.

 

If you are offered a slot and don't take it you don't get to go to the Olympics next year, if you are injured that wouldn't apply.  if you weren't offered a slot this year that wouldn't apply. 

 

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4 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

If you are offered a slot and don't take it you don't get to go to the Olympics next year, if you are injured that wouldn't apply.  if you weren't offered a slot this year that wouldn't apply. 

 

And that would only lead to none of the top 20-ish USA players not even getting called up for the World Cup.

How would you handle that?

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2 hours ago, baxus said:

And that would only lead to none of the top 20-ish USA players not even getting called up for the World Cup.

How would you handle that?

How?  I honestly don't know what you are talking about mate.  You get called up for the world cup and if you are fit and choose not to play you don't get to go the Olympics next year.  If you want an Olympic medal you play for your country when you get called up.  Footballers can't pick and choose which international games they want to play in, it would be no different. 

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Don't get this the wrong way, but only a Brit would say "it works in football, why not in basketball?"

Biggest difference between football and basketball is that FIFA is much more powerful than FIBA. FIBA has zero influence with the NBA. Hell, FIBA has zero influence with Euroleague. FIBA set up qualifying rounds for the World Cup right in the middle of the season and no players playing for NBA or Euroleague teams played for their national teams in those matches. Guess what? If FIBA tried to punish anyone for that, they'd be laughed out of the room. They can't ban players from playing for clubs in competitions outside of their jurisdiction, and neither the best league in the world nor the best European competition are under its jurisdiction.

Most of the biggest USA stars wouldn't play in the World Cup either way. They aren't going to spend 3 out of every 4 summers playing for their national team in AmeriCup, World Cup and Olympics because they are getting paid hundreds of millions of dollars to play for their clubs, not their national team.

The thing you are proposing would end with top-level players either:

  • getting banned for Olympics
  • not getting called up for other tournaments so they can't get banned for the Olympics for refusing to play
  • submitting a flood of faked injury reports.

To be honest, I would like to see football clubs take the same approach. Those bastards at FIFA need to be taken down a peg.

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I didn't read it as a FIBA proposal in his suggestion... I thought of it as a USA basketball policy.  You play for us and get ready to put our best team out there, or you don't play for us.  Seems simple.

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1 hour ago, Rhom said:

I didn't read it as a FIBA proposal in his suggestion... I thought of it as a USA basketball policy.  You play for us and get ready to put our best team out there, or you don't play for us.  Seems simple.

Thank you. 

'Harden, you want an Olympic gold?' 

'Yes please'

'Well get your kit, you are going to the world championships this year'. 

Edited by BigFatCoward

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