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The NBA owners and the myth of competitive balance

Nov 18, 2011, 5:25 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls - Game Two Getty Images

The owners got their money and it was not enough. The players offered to come far enough down on the split of revenue to cover all of the owners claimed losses of $300 million a year.

And it was not enough. The owners demanded changes to the system so that any team can compete for a title if well run. The Bobcats want to compete with the Lakers.

It’s all crap. First off, if you are defining competitive balance as parity like the NFL has, you will never have it in the NBA. If you define competitive balance as the chance for any franchise to win if well managed, it already exists.

Closer games and more teams able to compete for a playoff spot is not going to increase NBA popularity — the NBA is a star-driven league and its popularity will always ebb and flow with those stars, how they do and where they play.

There have been a couple great blog posts on this issue in recent days (by two of the best in the business).

One talks about the importance of the draft, as reported by Henry Abbott at TrueHoop.

Sources say the Bobcats, for instance, feel they lose so many games because they will never be able to afford the Lakers’ payroll. But basketball is not baseball. The Bobcats have not been forced to give up top young talent to basketball’s equivalent of the Yankees. ….

The problem the Bobcats — and most consistently bad teams — have is that they have made bad decisions, which is especially noticeable in the draft. From 2004 to 2008, Charlotte had a top 10 pick — the holy grail of NBA assets — every single year. They picked second, fifth, third, eighth and ninth. Picks like those are the way teams get superstars. They are the way small-market teams like the Thunder (thanks to Kevin Durant) and Spurs (Tim Duncan) have been able to compete with small payrolls.

And out of all that, the Bobcats got Emeka Okafor, Raymond Felton, Adam Morrison, Brandan Wright and D.J. Augustin. Only one of those players even plays for the Bobcats anymore, and none are centerpieces of any franchise. For the same money they paid their picks, the Bobcats could have employed Rajon Rondo, Joakim Noah and Nicolas Batum. Instead, the Bobcats’ own decisions left better players to other teams.

Once you get that star player via the draft (or stripping your payroll down so far you can attract someone as a free agent), then you spend to win. Which is why you can say teams that spend win in the NBA, but you confuse causation and correlation, as Zach Lowe points out at Sports Illustrated.

The Mavericks, Lakers and Knicks are the prime examples of (big spenders) the last decade. These teams do have an advantage. They can use the mid-level exception every season and re-sign all their own guys via Bird Rights, though that, too, is a function of profitability. They can act as predators, sending unproductive guys on expiring contracts (i.e. Kwame Brown, Erick Dampier) to cheap teams in exchange for productive guys on big contracts (Pau Gasol, Tyson Chandler)…

But I don’t see any of these rules tilting the balance in any significant way. Why? Because we’re talking about rules that might limit big spenders from signing expensive fringe starters (Ron Artest, Jermaine O’Neal, Trevor Ariza), so-so bench players (Steve Blake, Quentin Richardson, James Posey) and out-and-out busts. We are not discussing solutions that would change the distribution of star players….

Again, I’m open to the idea that putting more Artest-level cogs on the open market might help competitive balance a bit; the Mavericks are proof that if you keep spending to adjust your mix of such players, you might eventually find the right ingredients. But they are also proof that a top-20 Hall of Famer remains the most important cog of a champion.

The owners are fighting for a system that will help save them from bad general managers and poor basketball decisions. That doesn’t exist. The Clippers squandered great picks for years, but a few years back they started to get it right (Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, etc). And what do you know, the Clippers are on the verge of going from a low payroll to high payroll team. Because you spend when you have the cogs in the NBA.

Nothing in the new CBA is going to change that. This is not worth being still locked out over.

  1. charlutes - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Bullseye.

    • yournuts - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:01 PM

      Kurt is so up the players butts it is just so disgusting. All these player posse members trying to change public opinion in the players favor! It wont happen because nobody feels sorry for a player who makes multi-million dollars each year complaining about his boss and the amount of money he gets paid. The fans support the owners by a wide margin and can’t stand the players who are trying to hijack the league. I for one hope that the there is no season and the BMI is taken down to 25% due to the players selfish attitude towards the fans.

      • franbotel - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM

        Who cares what the public think; i guess u so up into Dan gilbert and donald sterlilng dick ; the fans support the owners cos the jealous just like you nothing else; I guess u watch the games for the owners like Dan gilbert who took the water fountain out of the arena so fans can pay $6 for a bottle of water

      • rreducla1 - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:06 PM

        That’s BRI, there, big guy.

  2. worldbfree4me - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    I concur!

  3. 6thsense79 - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Not only that if owners wanted competitive balance they can implement it at the franchise level. Those massive regional TV contracts teams like the Slackers and Knicks have? Well split with. The rest of the league. Also when did competitive balance become important enough to derail an NBA season? Didn’t the Lakers and Celtics winning most of the NBA championships in the 80s? Weren’t the Bulls winning 6 championships in the 90s. How about the Lakers of the ’00s 3 peating? Or more recently Kobe’s Lakers and Garnett’s Celtics. All those teams and the NBA were extremely popular at the time. The notion that big market teams always winning hurts the league is a myth that’s never been supported by ratings numbers or any non biased numbers.

    • 6thsense79 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:04 PM

      Meant to say Lakers not Slackers. My apologize Lakers fans.

  4. redbear18 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Let’s ask Lebron, Bosh, Melo, and Deron Williams about competitive balance. For every Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose who are good people as well as players with loyalty to who drafted them, there are just as many “superstars” whose egos have been blown out of proportion that will force their way out to a big city with nice weather and nightclubs. As long as there is human nature and players are spoiled, egotistical a**holes, there will never be true competitive balance.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:35 PM

      So you still work for the same company that hired you too, right?

      And for the record of all the teams trying to get LeBron excluding Cleveland, Miami was the smallest market and he took less money to go there.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:35 PM

        First* not same.

    • dadawg77 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:37 PM

      Thats BS arguement for two reasons. One players are forced to go to what ever team drafts them if they want to play in the NBA. Why does the player owe any loyalty to the team that drafted him? They should be free to join any team they wish after that, it just the American way.

      Two, the owners created the environment that gave LeBron and other super stars that much leverage. After the last lockout they created that max salary system which created the leverage that those players enjoyed. Why didn’t MJ ever entertain ideas of leaving Chicago, because by far the Bulls could pay him the most. It was 30M+ a year in his final years with the Bulls and with the system in place no other team could come close to that. The max salary structure basically made it just a eight million dollar over three years difference between staying with your team and going to a different team instead of one that was 10M+ a year. Basic fact is player are worth more to their team then the rules allowed them to be paid, thus LeBron can make every owner kiss his ass because that is the only way to attract/keep him to/for your team. If there was no max salary structure LeBron has 40 million a year contract with the Cavs.

    • goforthanddie - Nov 18, 2011 at 8:48 PM

      “For every Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose who are good people as well as players with loyalty to who drafted them…”

      In the sake of fairness, I wanted to point out that those 3 haven’t yet had a chance to prove their loyalty.

      deadeyedesign23: Again, in fairness…a) We know why he took less to go there, and b) Florida has no state tax, so he comes out ahead anyway.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Nov 19, 2011 at 12:13 AM

        @goforthanddie

        Well we can go back and forth on his motives. In either case the point is irrelevant. This is America, you should be able to choose your employer so long as there are employers that desire you. If anything he should have had that opportunity 7 years earlier, but a ping pong ball is what put him in Cleveland to begin with.

        If you had a chance to change jobs to get to a better station in life you would have too.

    • abasketballthing - Nov 18, 2011 at 10:10 PM

      That is not true. Most of those stars have left for a better chance to win. Only Melo, who wanted to go to a .500 team with no defense and little chance to actually win a championship, was looking for a big city. Lebron wanted to win championships, which he hadn’t been able to do in Cleveland. Bosh’s team was pretty bad. Deron Williams was traded, and if he had left, it would’ve been looking for championships, which he hadn’t won in Utah, partially because of their inability to sustain a high payroll. And, while I believe Rose and Durant will stay with their current teams, I don’t think you can compare them to the stars who have left theirs. Melo, Lebron and Bosh all stayed with the teams that drafted them for 6-7 years. When Durant and Rose are in their position, then the comparison will be fair.

      • ispysomething7 - Nov 18, 2011 at 11:44 PM

        Kurt is long on LeBron’s schlong! That’s the truth! And so are you!

  5. abasketballthing - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Money makes a very important difference. Teams that draft well sometimes can’t keep important players that could give them a chance to win a championship, instead of just being competitive. For example, the Utah Jazz have been making good decisions for a while, but they haven’t won a championship. When you look at the fact that they had to give eric maynor away to get rid of matt harping’s contract, and that they didn’t match Portland’s offer sheet on Wesley Matthews, you can see that if they were a big market team, they might have been able to become an elite team. Money allows good decision makers to win championships and be contenders for many years. The San Antonio Spurs are the exception to the rule, as they are the only small market team that has been able to win for so long.In most cases, the smart small market teams are not able to hold on to players that might someday be key in winning a championship.

    • leearmon - Nov 18, 2011 at 7:40 PM

      Well lets not forget some of Utah’s poor decisions as well. They signed Okur to a massive deal. They drafted Kosta Koufos, yes Kosta Koufos ahead of Serge Ibaka and Niclaus Batum. However they’ve also done a good deal in free agency. If memory serves me right, they signed Carlos Boozer away from a larger market. Cleveland. Imagine that. No one is saying teams have to ALWAYS get it right, thats basically impossible unless you’re San Antonio or OKC, but the Jazz, one of the smaller teams in the league, have done very well. They did go to a conference finals in 2007, and have advanced in the playoffs for the majority of the last 6 seasons.

      • abasketballthing - Nov 19, 2011 at 5:50 PM

        Yes, they have done very well, and if they had lots of money, they might have been able to win a championship in spite of those poor decisions, the way LA, Boston and Dallas have.

    • kinggw - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:38 PM

      Nice try, but in your sob story you forgot to mention that the Jazz made poor decisions in overpaying Okur and Kirilenko. You also inadvertently admitted that the Jazz were giving Harpring more money than he should have been earning. Furthermore, who prevented the Jazz from matching the offer sheet? Once again, its decisionmaking and not finances that determines the fate of your team.

      • abasketballthing - Nov 18, 2011 at 10:49 PM

        Decision making is the most important thing, but money matters too. Everyone knows they overpaid those players, but big market teams overpay and don’t make salary dump trades because they don’t need to. If they had been a big market team, they would’ve gotten away with those mistakes. And while no one prevented them from matching the offer, being a small market team played a big part in their decision. Had they been big market, they wouldn’t have worried about it and they would’ve matched. They knew he was a very good player, but they needed to consider the hit their finances would take. A rich team only needs to consider player quality, while a small market one has to balance quality and finances, sometimes needing to let good players go due to the possible financial consequences of keeping them.

        And, do you really need to talk arrogantly? I don’t see the point in doing it.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Nov 19, 2011 at 10:06 AM

      With the max contract literally every team can afford their star players. The problem is star players don’t want to live in Salt Lake City, Utah and that will never change no matter how much you cap a players salary at.

  6. abasketballthing - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    And if you compare Matthews’ production with Raja Bell’s, it’s evident that the Jazz’s fate might have been very different last season had they been able to keep him.

    • rreducla1 - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:13 PM

      The could have kept him; they chose not to. And, of course, one reason their money was tight was the money they blew on Kirilenko and Okur.

      Finally, of course, the whole argument is dumb. “Very different” means what? They get the 7th seed? Wesley Matthews is not a make-or-break player for any franchise. Utah is starting over with young guys: Brks, Favors, Kanter and Heyward.

      In addition, Utah had a very long run as a solid contender with two trips to the NBA Finals and then had several good teams after that.

      • abasketballthing - Nov 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM

        If they were a big market team, their money wouldn’t have been tight, even with those big contracts. Before trading williams, the Jazz had a playoff seed for most of the season while having Raja Bell play 30-plus minutes a night. With Matthews, they would’ve won more games with Deron, their offense wouldn’t have had so many problems, and their defense would’ve been better. Matthews is not a make-or break player, but in Utah’s case, he could have made a big difference. Offensive and defensive issues were the reason the Jazz lacked motivation and were playing so bad. With Matthews, neither would’ve gotten as bad as it did, and frustration wouldn’t have reached such a high level. Rember Bell was very unproductive on both ends, and the Jazz sorely lacked shooting and perimeter defense. Of all non-star players, he would’ve made the biggest difference on that team. He had everything they needed.

    • rreducla1 - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:30 AM

      Four points:

      1. If Matthews is actually that valuable, the Jazz made a terrible mistake in letting him walk.You should be mad at management, not the system.
      2. You didn’t answer the question: where do you think the Jazz would have finished with Matthews? Are you asserting that he
      a) Makes them a playoff team?
      b) That in turn makes Deron Williams want to sign a long-term contract in Utah?

      You have no way to prove either assertion, but I want to know exactly what you are saying.

      3. Matthews played pretty well in Portland. He had a 15.5 PER and .582 TS%. But Portland still what they always do: dealt with a lot of injuries and lost in the first round.
      4. Matthews was originally an undrafted free agent, and third-tier shooting guards are not that hard to find in the NBA. And Utah’s decision to bring in Raja Bell was not a system issue; it was a management error. Bell is 34 years old and was never that good.

      • abasketballthing - Nov 21, 2011 at 2:08 PM

        Yes, they made a mistake, but if the system was different, they wouldn’t have made it. That’s why the system matters. A team like the Lakers doesn’t need to worry about making that mistake. They only need to look at the player’s quality, and if they end up overpaying, that’s not a big problem. As you have said yourself, overpaying a player means big trouble for a team like the Jazz, and that’s why they didn’t keep Matthews. They were afraid to overpay. The fact that big market teams don’t have to worry too much about that gives them an important advantage, as they are much less likely to make a mistake like the one the Jazz made, and not because they’re smarter, but because their money protects them.

        With Matthews, I think Sloan wouldn’t have retired and Williams wouldn’t have been traded. I think the Jazz would’ve had a 5th or 6th seed. That would have meant not losing nearly as much money as they did.

        I’m not saying that would’ve made Williams stay in Utah, but it would have probably made him lean more towards staying. Getting a 5th seed with hiim playing half the season with a wrist injury that required surgery would’ve likely made him see that, with more familiarity and better health, he had a real chance to win with the Jazz.

        What happened with Portland doesn’t matter. They didn’t need Matthews as much as the Jazz did.

        Non-stars who can both defend at a high level and be effective from long range are very hard to find. And I know bringing Bell in was a management error. I only mentioned Bell to point out how big a difference Matthews would have made.

        I’m not saying the Jazz didn’t make mistakes. I’m saying that the system made it harder for them make the right decision, and that it does that for all small market teams. When overpaying a player means years of financial trouble, it’s harder to know wether you should keep/sign it or not. When you are a big market team, you can afford to overpay a few players and not be severely limited by those contracts, and, regardless of how smart or dumb you are, it’s unlikely you’ll let a player you need go because you’re afraid to overpay.

  7. joerevs300 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    So the players should still get an average of $5M a year, instead of say $4.5M a year under the 50/50 deal because that would be an outright travesty right?

    I just love the “pro-player” slant that pretty much every single NBA writer (CNNSI/ESPN/NBC, etc.) has had. Yeah, they were perfect enough to not even put this to a FULL VOTE of the players!!! Otherwise we WOULD have NBA games right now.

    Why do the owners get all the S*** and the players/agents get a free pass (ESPECIALLY the agents, IMO they blew this up more than the other 2 put together).

    Now, the players aren’t getting squat, the agents still probably are, and the owners aren’t feeling much pain at all.

    Hello, NHL and improved ratings. I bet MLB is loving this too, since they’ll be announcing their new 5 year CBA within a couple weeks while the NBA looks incredibly stupid and short-sighted.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Nov 19, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      “Yeah, they were perfect enough to not even put this to a FULL VOTE of the players!!!”

      If you put “Should we eat candy for breakfast” to a vote with children they’d say yes. The deal isn’t a good deal for the future of the players, including those who haven’t been drafted yet.

      <b?"Why do the owners get all the S*** and the players/agents get a free pass"

      Because the owners locked the players out and didn’t make a single concession in the negotiations. The owners said they were losing 300 million a year and that was the reason for the lockout. Now the players have taken a 12% salary rollback and that covers the 300 million annually and yet we still don’t have basketball.

      The owners are getting all the blame because, by and large, they are to blame. I mean it’s not a slant, if you look at the facts any reasonable person could see that at a minimum the owners should get 51% of the blame.

  8. santolonius - Nov 18, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    i am so sick of sports writers and lakers fans telling me i should be happy my team hasn’t gone to the finals at any time in 4 decades, and if i am not happy then i am not a real basketball fan. no one knows how really great this league could be with true competitive balance because the league hasn’t made a real effort to achieve it.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Nov 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      I’m just curious what sport you think has competitive balance? The one people keep pinting to is the NFL, but there are Lions fans out there who could say the exact same thing.

      At the end of the day no matter how you make labor try and subsidize your poor decisions, well run teams will succeed and poorly run ones won’t.

    • rreducla1 - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:20 PM

      100% wrong. Use your head for a minute instead of reacting emotionally and insulting Kurt:

      Basketball is a sport played in a way such that 1-2 guys have a huge impact.
      NBA schedules are 82 games plus multiple best-of-7 playoff series, which reduces the chance of upsets.
      Literally the entire history of the league, from the days of George Mikan, has been based on dynasties and mini-dynasties, almost entirely built around superstars.
      Small-market teams have had success.
      The two best young teams in the NBA RIGHT NOW are in OKC and Chicago. One is in a msall market and has already re-upped its star. The other was built almost entirely through the draft. the key FA they do have signed his previous FA in contract in UTAH–supposedly a victimized small-market team.

      Like Kurt said: these arguments are crap.

  9. andyreidisfat - Nov 18, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    I never post to this site, but I had to say this was the worst drivel I have ever read on “sports talk”. Is the writer 12? Your argument is that nfl style parity would not work in the nba is just dumb. The truth is fans connect to a sport based on a team and not players in bigger numbers, that’s why basketball is the third biggest sport.

    In fact if the nba had a player movement system and 3 years out of high school draft rules I think the MBA could easily grow it self bigger than baseball. Nothing is better in sports than a league where the best team can beat the worst at anytime.

    Plus when you have 10 or so major stars you push and no one else you miss out on alot of other personalities due to coverage being so focused.

    And most important if your team has a legit shot to get better next year then people keep buying tickets. I don’t know where you watch games but here in Philly I have no problem getting any seat I want for a sixers game( I think they just dropped 50%) but I would have to pay 3 times face to sit in the top .

    • deadeyedesign23 - Nov 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      That’s just wrong man. The NBA has always been a players league. The fued wasn’t Pistons/Bull it was Jordan/Thomas. When LeBron left Cleveland did you see an uptick in sales of other Cav jerseys? No, a lot fo those people stopped caring about basketball, and those same types of people bought LeBron Heat jerseys.

      It’s the 3rd biggest spor because the NFL is head and shoulders above everything and the MLB is just much more culturally relevant than the NBA. The NBA is far and away the 3rd biggest because of star players. This year was the best for the NBA in terns of rating because of the superteams since the mid 90′s. I wonder if it was a star driven league then too?

  10. mojosmagic - Nov 18, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    BS buddy. The NBA is run by the players and no league should operate that way. Cleveland was awful and got to draft Kenton as a teenager. He is gone before both gin and the team mature to their full potential. David Stern is trying to save the NBA which in the long run will be benefit everyone. The only thing your right about is it’s not just about the money it’s about the fans of all cities feeling their team can compete.

    • rreducla1 - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:22 PM

      See my other reply. You are deadass wrong.

  11. bearsstillsuck - Nov 18, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    I never thought id agree with a philly fan.

  12. MadDog Rickles - Nov 18, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    this writer is comparing apples to oranges. his argument for the status quo is crap.

  13. jbthedon - Nov 19, 2011 at 5:37 AM

    Totally disagree with this article. First off talking about the draft thats why the age limit should be raised because all the good players are one and done and come to the league as projects. And you talk about the bobcats drafted wrong. Okay even if they drafted Rondo,Noah, and Batum you know what you got the 7th or 8th ranked team in the east.I’m glad this league is locked out. They need to blow it up and start over again because the product stinks. If the players have it their way it will be a league of 5 globetrotters and the rest 25 Washington generals franchises.

    • leearmon - Nov 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      Exactly how are the one and done players projects? Rose doesnt seem like much of a “project” you are aware he is the reigning MVP. Im positive most GM’s would love to have a “project” like Kevin Durant on their hands. Actually if you look at the top players in the league, most of them either played one year of college ball or didnt play at all. As you will see the exceptions are made up of the Duncans, Pauls, Wades ..

      Kobe – H.S.
      Lebron – H.S.
      Howard – H.S.
      Nowitzki – No college
      Rose – 1 year
      Love – 1 year
      Durant – 1 year
      Garnett – H.S.
      Anthony – 1 year
      Ginobili no college
      Gasol – no college
      Stoudemire – H.S.
      Aldridge – 1 year
      E. Gordon – 1 year

      I could go on.How can you be certain that a team with Rondo, Noah and Batum would be 7th or 8th? There is no telling how those players would mesh especially as Rondo has a ring, and Noah was apart of the best team record wise in the league last year.

      • jbthedon - Nov 19, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        For every player you got I can put 15 in every draft that were bust. And you must not watch ball if you think Rondo,Noah, and Batum would be better. They wouldn’t even be better than the hawks.

      • 6thsense79 - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

        Jbtheon…by all means please list the 15 1 and done bust for every 1 and done superstar. You can’t cause that’s bull. This subject was something I wrote about in my sports management class. Kids with little or no college experience make up a rediculous number of star or role player in the NBA. If you are a 1 and done or hs player getting drafted you have a better chance statistics wise of sticking in the league. This is because it’s so much easier to identify NBA stars at a young age than it is for other sports.

  14. hellinisamoron - Nov 19, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Hellin. If you made one pro owner arguement during this entire process people might take you seriously. Each team having the same amount of money to spend will not make the leauge more competitive? If you truly believe that you are a complete moron. Yes, the better managed teams will still win out, but the rest of the teams at least start on equal footing.

  15. leearmon - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Ok i named 15. You said you could name 15 busts for each I named. Thats 225 busts. Please go ahead and start naming, I’m completely interested. And you do know the Hawks were the 5th seed this past season right? So to say a team of Rondo Batum and Noah wouldn’t be better than Dwight Howard and the Magic doesn’t sound that bad.

    • leearmon - Nov 19, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      P.S. you must not watch much basketball If you don’t understand Rondo is top 5 best P.G. in the league. Noah is top 5 centers in the league, and Batum is one of the better on ball defenders in the league. So how does a lineup of Rondo, S. Jackson, G. Wallace, B. Diaw, and Noah with Batum as your sixth man sound? Because that would have been the opening day roster for the Bobcats last season. Sounds pretty good to me, but you wouldn’t agree because you seemingly don’t know the NBA.

      And I am honestly hoping for you to provide us all with that list of busts. Here’s hoping you’re a man of your word, and not copping out to a “It was just a figure of speech” type of guy.

      • rreducla1 - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:05 PM

        I give Kurt some credit for going to this well again, knowing how many guys who post here are 100% ignorant of how NBA ball is played and of the league’s history and are just here to troll and vent. I also see that there are a few posters here who do actually get it. Good to know.

        The funniest post is the guy who said that Kevin Durant, who is committed to OKC through 2016, has not proved his loyalty yet. You can’t make this stuff up.

        I also notice that the only posts with actual facts and examples, like leearmon’s, are the ones that mostly agree with Kurt.

  16. abasketballthing - Nov 21, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    rreducla1, LeBron James didn’t go to free agency after his rookie contract was over. He signed with Cleveland. He did the same thing Durant did last year. Did that prove LeBron’s loyalty?

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