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Why The NBA System Needs A Radical Rethinking

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kyrie irving

The 2017 NBA playoffs were the worst NBA playoffs in this decade, if not this century. Few series were competitive and two teams utterly trounced their competition before Golden State flattened Cleveland in turn. And while NBA proponents want to claim that the league is in fine shape just because ratings for the NBA Finals were good through five games, total viewership was down because there were so many sweeps or five-game series.

And if the playoffs and the utter dominance of the Warriors is not enough to show that parity in the NBA is broken beyond repair, the announcement that Paul George has indicated that he wants to go the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 should make it clear. The Lakers have interesting prospects, but they are totally unproven and the team will almost certainly be a train wreck again next season.

It doesn’t matter. Paul George wants to live in Los Angeles, so he is going to be a Laker.

The NBA’s CBA ostensibly claims to be in effect both to protect parity and to give small market teams a chance. But Golden State’s utter dominance and George’s decision to go from Indiana to the Lakers shows that it has failed in that purpose. Ever since LeBron formed the Miami super team in 2010, the NBA has made small changes which would ostensibly protect the small teams’ ability to keep their stars. But those changes failed to help small markets, and in some instances like Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves made things even harder.

As small markets lose their stars who flock to Los Angeles or Cleveland at the first opportunity, they have no choice but to tank and hope that they will draft a star. Tanking has become so ubiquitous with the NBA that analysts routinely mock mediocre teams for not tanking and daring to do something as crazy as win basketball games.

The inability of small markets to keep their stars, the stars’ desire to flee to winning teams or even just sexy cities like Los Angeles, and the growing popularity of tanking has created a NBA product where the glow of Golden State obscures a miserable product. Two teams, Golden State and Cleveland, whose players are covered in tattooes, will be in the NBA Finals next year, and the year after that, and probably the year after that. A few other teams piddle around hoping for a miracle. And the other teams tank, intentionally lose games, and hope that maybe, just maybe, this star won’t flee to Los Angeles like the last one did.

If the NBA actually cares about parity and does not just talk about it every now and then to keep the small market fans hopeful and buying tickets, it needs to understand that the current system – the draft, free agency, all of it – has utterly failed and super teams are more dominant than ever.

Instead of making patches here and there and keeping outdated legacy rules, the NBA must build a completely new system, one which actually rewards intelligent dealing and promotes a NBA where fans can actually not know who will be in the Finals at the start of the season. Instead of haphazardly making rule changes here and there, everything must be looked at holistically to make the best, fairest product possible.

NBA

Kings, NBA Announce Start of Joint Investigation into Allegations Against Luke Walton

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The Sacramento Kings and the NBA have announced that they have started a join investigation into the allegations of sexual assault made by
Kelli Tennant, a former host on Spectrum SportsNet LA, in a civil suit filed against new head coach Luke Walton from alleged incidents back in 2014.

“The Kings and the NBA take these allegations very seriously and will collaborate to conduct a complete and thorough investigation,” the team and league said in a statement.

The Kings’ investigation will be led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden, the founding partner of Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, and Jennifer Doughty, a senior associate attorney at the firm, while the league’s investigation will be led by Elizabeth Maringer, the league’s senior vice president and assistant general counsel, integrity and investigations.

Tennant held a news conference earlier this week to comment on the allegations to which Walton’s attorney responded by calling the allegations “baseless” and calling Tennat “an opportunist”.

Walton became the head coach of the Sacramento Kings immediately following his dismissal as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month.

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Former NBA Player Sebastian Telfair Convicted in Gun Case, Faces 15 Years in Prison

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Former NBA player and once highly touted young prospect Sebastian Telfair has been convicted of possessing a firearm and could face up to 15 years in prison, according to TMZ Sports.

Telfair, 33, was busted back in June 2017 in Brooklyn, New York after cops found several weapons in his possession during a traffic stop.

Telfair, a high school phenom, played for the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, and Phoenix Suns, among others, throughout his 12 seasons in the NBA, but many believe that he never reached his full potential.

Telfair plead not guilty and tried to fight back the charges, but a jury found him guilty on Wednesday of felony criminal possession of a weapon.

Telfair, who could face up to 15 years in prison, is scheduled back in court in June for sentencing.

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Golden State Warriors

Sports Reporter Suing Kings’ Luke Walton for Sexual Assault Allegations

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Sacramento Kings new head coach Luke Walton is already in the news, but for all the wrong reasons, and he has hired attorney Mark Baute to defend him against the allegations of sexual battery made by sports reporter Kelly Tennant, who is suing Walton.

According to TMZ Sports, Walton and his legal team are blasting the accuser, and Baute issued the following statement;

“Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations,” Baute said. 

“The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, & her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom.”

According to the suit, Tennant, who worked as a reporter for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA, claims that while Walton was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, he asked her to come and meet him at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, California, to drop off a book she had published.

Tennant says that she asked Walton to write the forward in her book due to a business relationship that the two had had for several years.

Upon arriving at Walton’s hote, he conviced her to come up to his room so that the two could “catch up” and upon arriving in his room Walton pinned her to the bed and placed his hips and legs over her body, forcing kisses on her neck, face, and chest.

Tennant claims that she screamed for him to stop and attempted to break free, but Walton held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.

Tennant claims she was “in shock and fear. She was afraid she was about to be raped,” the suit states. 

Additionally, Tennant claims that when Walton finally stopped and released her he escorted her out of the hotel room as if nothing ever happened and she claims that “He smiled, laughed again and made the disturbing statement, ‘Good to see you,'”

The disturbing behavior allegedly continued while Walton was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers back in May 2017, and Tennant claims that Walton once greeted her by uttering “vulgar, guttural sounds at her” and said, “mmmm … you’re killing me in that dress.”

The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Sacramento Kings all stated that they had no knowledge of the alleged incident during Walton’s tenure.

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