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Pacers’ David West explains his ‘blame the GM’ comment after last week’s win over Nets

Dec 28, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game One Getty Images

The Pacers are sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 23-5, just a half-game back of the Spurs and the Thunder out West for the best record in the league overall.

This lofty position wouldn’t seem to warrant publicly trashing an opposing team following an easy double-digit victory, especially when that team is nine games under .500, out of the playoff picture, and woefully underachieving given the talent assembled on its roster.

But after Indiana beat the Nets in Brooklyn by 17 points last week, that’s exactly what David West appeared to do.

West posted a comment to his Twitter account following the game, which read simply, “Blame the GM.” He explained the reasoning behind his remark in advance of the rematch between the two teams in Indiana on Saturday.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

“There were a couple guys that were kind of ripping us throughout the game. They sit pretty close,” West explained before the Pacers hosted the Nets on Saturday.  “They were hollering at us. We hear that everywhere we go.  That’s like the last option, when we’re about to win the game – like, “Y’all alright, but y’all ain’t gonna beat the Heat.’ It kind of gets on my nerves after a while.

“I was just kind of playing around with (the tweet) A lot of it was about us. There were a couple fans on the way out of the arena saying things about us, about where we were, about how we weren’t going to beat the Heat and all that type of stuff. Everybody has a problem with the way our team looks, the way we play. We were put together too, you know what I’m saying.”

The Pacers are going to be hearing that part about not beating the Heat until they actually do it, considering that Miami has been to the Finals for three straight seasons.

But West was justified in making this not-so-subtle remark about how the Nets were constructed. Brooklyn went the mercenary route, signing or trading for big-named stars who are struggling to fit together under the questionable leadership of a rookie head coach.

The Pacers were built more traditionally, and are reaping the rewards as one of the league’s top teams.

  1. shen90 - Dec 28, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    You mean behind Blazers not Spurs dick weed.

  2. shen90 - Dec 28, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Only thing Pacers, Thunder, and Spurs have in common is they all been beat by the Blazers.

    • zoomy123 - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:35 AM

      Your Blazers are going nowhere. They have the #1 offense in the league but a bottom 5 defense. Add to this the fact that they win almost every close game, which isn’t sustainable over the course of an 82 game season, and you’ll quickly see how fast they drop. No team with a bottom 5 defense wins a championship or has a productive season.

      • innovativethinking87 - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:42 AM

        It’s not bottom 5 first of all. Second Blazers are going to be a problem whether you like it or not

      • zoomy123 - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:46 AM

        My bad, they’re 24th out of 30. So they’re bottom 6. Lets see how far that high powered offense and bottom 5, I’m mean, bottom 6 defense gets them in the playoffs. They’ll be out in the first round.

      • muhangis - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:00 AM

        That makes them bottom 7. Know your elementary math!

        Count… 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30. That is seven numbers. Moron!

      • zoomy123 - Dec 29, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        Well, I’m glad that you gave me this math lesson. I would have been lost in the world of arithmetic without your magnanimity.

      • zoomy123 - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:51 AM

        Well, Portland just lost again. They gave up 110 points to the Pelicans. How’s that bottom 7 defense looking.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:46 AM

        One, Portland’s pace inflates their PPG a little bit. They’re actually 22nd in points per possession, which is a truer measure of defense.

        Two, they’ve got a +6.0 PPG differential. That’s a little behind the four other elite teams in the league, but being fifth in the NBA in point differential is hardly winning with smoke and mirrors.

      • zoomy123 - Dec 29, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        It is if the points per game differential is almost exclusively a function of outscoring your opponents rather than playing defense. Your comparison isn’t valid because every other elite team produces their points per game differential through balance, i.e., both offense and defense. There is simply no way to try and cover up the fact that Portland has no defense.

      • borderline1988 - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        Matthews and Lillard are shooting the lights out from 3 (ironically, Lillard’s FG% is pretty low).

        But zoomy is right; this team needs to tighten things up because the hot shooting won’t last forever. Remember the Knicks last year?

        This Portland team is essentially the same as last year. Sure, their young players are a bit more experienced and as such they should get better, but I doubt they can maintain this winning% over the course of an season. That being said, good for them; this is a young team on the rise, and they are set on at least 3 positions, if not four.

  3. scottheis82 - Dec 28, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Before January

  4. antistratfordian - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    The Pacers have developed a self-righteousness because they think they were, as Hibbert implied in 2012, created the right way while other teams had the impudence to sign free agents or make trades.

    Meh.

    • davidly - Dec 29, 2013 at 6:44 AM

      Projecting much? I mean, “implied” coupled with a wiggly italics reference doesn’t make the a solid case for self-righteousness–but it tells us how you feel, plenty.

      By implication, this is how you feel: Landing the big three in sunny Miami and then having your pick of every other free-agent vet who’s chasing rings and is desperate enough to take less money and migrate south to join them is not exactly a credit to the GM part of the GM job. Not bad, just not that impressive.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:57 AM

        Well at least you admit there is a case. Coming from such an irrational Pacers homer that probably means I’ve made a great case.

        If Indiana did the same thing this offseason – signed multiple top free agents, sans LeBron – they still wouldn’t reach the finals, let alone go there three times in a row or win back-to-back Simply adding stars isn’t going to do the trick. Consider the 2013 Lakers or today’s Nets. But Hibbert thinks Miami did it “the easy way.” And now you’re here talking about, “it’s not that impressive.” But there is something you two aren’t appreciating – probably because you’ve never experienced it – i.e. there is nothing easy about creating a multi-championship NBA team.

        I would argue that it’s more difficult for a franchise to pull off what Miami has. It’s hard enough just to find prime players like LeBron, Wade and Bosh who want to play together. You still have to convince all of them to take pay and usage cuts (getting one prime player to take a pay cut is, by itself, incredibly rare – gutting three to do it at the same time?). And you still have to come up with a way where 3 alphas (2 former scoring champions) can share the court without any chemistry killing play or resentment arising. It’s so impossible sounding that if it didn’t already happen, you wouldn’t think it could. And Riley would’ve done this 10 times already if it were so easy.

        Sucking for several seasons and eventually getting lucky in the draft requires far less work and effort.

        In any case, you’ve become as smug as the players on your favorite team. There is no justification for this dismissive and pompous attitude from any Pacer or Pacers fan.

      • nard100 - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        It’s funny that you think you can just throw some free agents together and have a championship team. Just ask the Nets, Knicks and Cavs about how “easy” or “impressive” it is to do. What people should be talking about Pat Riley’s GM history. Talk junk when you’ve actually done it (two different organizations AND multiple times), not before. It makes you sound silly otherwise. There is a reason Pat Riley has his “pick” of vets and it aint the sunny locale. It’s because, these guys know where they can get a ring and they want that. Besides, if Indiana actually does it this year, don’t you think the same process will work for them and free agents? Or do you think the organization will be so snobbish that they can’t soil themselves with free agent signings? LOL

      • davidly - Dec 31, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        @nard100, who said: It’s funny that you think you can just throw some free agents together and have a championship team.
        That’s not even remotely what I wrote. If you’re gonna go on a “LOL”-inducing rant, the least you could do is try to understand what you’re responding to.

    • davidly - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      All you did here was cite evidence that the guy that deserves credit for putting together Miami’s current run is LeBron James.

      An aged Nash and Howard post major back surgery are not in the same universe and LBJ and Bosh. Ditto Pierce/Garnett. But of course that’s you shifting the argument again because the way LA and Brooklyn went about acquiring those players resembles the way Miami in no way shape or form.

      A great GM has to be able to put pieces together and make them work; this much is true. But a great GM is also able to identify talent before it wins NBA MVP awards and puts together a staff that can develop the talent. This fact doesn’t make me smug; it just makes it a fact.

      That fact that you project your insecurities onto others at the same time you’re advocating of behalf of the best team in basketball would seem to indicate a restless dissatisfaction. Trolling won’t help that.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        An aged Nash and Howard post major back surgery are not in the same universe and LBJ and Bosh.

        Ha! Easy to say now. But we’re talking about Howard, Nash, Kobe and Gasol all on the same team – and before the start of last season there were a great many folks predicting a Lakers-Heat finals. You don’t remember all the talk about “the Lakers are the best team on paper” and even Chris Bosh agreeing with that? But throwing 4 hall of famers together doesn’t guarantee anything. Getting to the finals isn’t easy regardless of how you form your team.

        The way the Pacers were made does not really require a great GM. Mostly it requires bad seasons, some high picks and luck. That is how most contenders are made. That’s common. There’s nothing special or unique about what the Pacers have done. That’s how most teams operate because they don’t really have any other choice.

        What Miami did is uncommon – it’s exceedingly rare – and really, if we’re being honest with ourselves, could any other GM besides Pat Riley have pulled it off? Nah.

    • davidly - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      Easy to say now, my rear. I won’t take all the credit because there were a lot of people like me saying the so-called paper contender wouldn’t make the playoffs. A fluke got them in–but I was still closer to being right than “a great many folks”.

      I understand your wanting to focus on this little Lakers diversion as if it has anything to do with anything–so again, I’ll say: Nash at the end of his career does not even equal Chalmers (don’t even start with the “stellar” year he just had–the guy was already ancient in basketball years and prone to sitting pine), and Gasol showed he was done trying to prove he wasn’t soft vs. the Mavs, Howard was a huge question mark, and Kobe’s window was closing. None of these factors come into play with the Heat, who had a strong enough big 3 to have more than a season to gel.

      Call drafting a good team luck if you want–but that sounds beyond stupid coming from someone who credits a GM with “pulling off” a feat that required the alignment of free agency of all three players, only one of whom was playing in a town where it’s warm all year round. Skibby MaRue could’ve pulled off that deal–and he ain’ no GM.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:19 PM

        But understand that all this criticism you’re laying on Nash and Gasol, etc. is the same stuff Heat fans hear about EVERYONE on the Heat not named LeBron. Bosh is soft overrated. Wade is overrated and done. Chalmers and everyone else just sucks. That’s the basic gist of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

        All of those players in LA last year were still great – they just were used improperly and then they got injured.

        About Mr. MaRue and warm weather. Pay Riley went to Cleveland to woo LeBron. James didn’t want to be persuaded by anything else but basketball. If you fly down to Miami and get wined and dined by Riley in South Florida you might lose sight of what’s important.

        So Riley convinced LeBron during that meeting in Cleveland and it took a mention of winning history, a commitment to defense, a bag of rings and loads of charisma to do it. Skibby MaRue isn’t up to the task.

    • davidly - Dec 30, 2013 at 7:39 AM

      But understand that all this criticism you’re laying on Nash and Gasol, etc. is the same stuff Heat fans hear about EVERYONE on the Heat not named LeBron. Bosh is soft overrated. Wade is overrated and done. Chalmers and everyone else just sucks. That’s the basic gist of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

      Of course it’s not true. But what Heat fans are forced to hear (oh, the humanity!) from irrational basketball fans has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Again, you completely dodge the fact that, 1) the way the Lakers went about those acquisitions resembles in no way three prime free agents choosing to go with Miami, and 2) that I am not making the equivalent “everybody on that team sucks” argument; I’m saying that comparing recently-removed-from-traction Howard and soon-to-be retired Nash and an approaching-his-last-contract Bryant to the in-the-prime of their careers Bosh/Wade/James from a talent standpoint is just absurd.

      As far as either Bosh or Gasol being soft is concerned: it’s unfair, but goes with the territory, ie. position. They’re both incredibly talented big guys who don’t happen to bang down low constantly or garner a lot of boards for their size.

      And Gasol’s performance against the Mavs only confirmed his limitations in a lot of people’s minds. But the real point here is that his worth at the time of what you are trying to use as a comparison (the Nash/Howard acquisitions) was a guy six years older than Bosh when the respective deals went down and already approaching his twilight years in a pro-basketball sense. So the comparison completely breaks down. It doesn’t matter what Heat haters say–that has nothing to do with what we are discussion; it’s a red herring.

      Were those players still great? Sure. But they were not in the same universe as the big three. Not even close. Buss’ mismanagement does not mean “therefore Pat Riley”. And I’m not saying Pat Riley isn’t great. I’m just saying that the deal speaks to the greatness of LBJ and the simple reality that given a choice of all three uprooting–or one staying put and the other two joining him in one of the most attractive environments in North America– it was a no-brainer.

      So, yes, Pat Riley is perfectly capable of doing what Larry Bird did, but it has less to do with luck, however, than three buds deciding to park it on the beach.

      You might want to consider that a prevalence of irrational sports-fandom is not a quality that can be fairly attributed to anyone you choose just because of the chip you have on your shoulder. The only thing you accomplish is a successful display that you are tilting at the same windmills as those you are criticizing.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Were those players still great? Sure. But they were not in the same universe as the big three.

        Well that’s your opinion. Most people didn’t agree with it, as I said it was often repeated before the start of last season that the Lakers were the best team on paper – Chris Bosh agreed.

        So… while you think putting Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant on the same team didn’t amount to the Heat picking up LeBron and Bosh, most people thought it did, and then some.

        Also, LeBron was not a “bud” with Chris Bosh before he arrived in Miami – so it wasn’t a case of “three buds” deciding to play together. LeBron and Wade had talked about it in the same way Melo and Chris Paul or Dwight Howard and Deron Williams talked about it (in the same way players have talked about it for decades) but as we know from what happened to those guys it’s easier said than done. So many things had to fall into place for it to happen. Riles made sure those things happened – a process he started two seasons earlier.

        So LeBron would not be in Miami if it wasn’t for the efforts of Pat Riley.

        And – to be clear – I’m criticizing the Pacers for thinking they have the moral high ground because they were forced to create their team in a traditional way. That is not something you can say about Miami, whose position is basically live and let live. I’m also criticizing the Pacers for their bizarre arrogance and trash talking – which is a one way street with them – it’s all outgoing.

    • bougin89 - Dec 30, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Pat Riley may have sealed the deal but Bosh, Lebron, and Wade were all talking about teaming up years before. It wasn’t some sort of heist that Riley magically convinced them this was a good idea, that idea was already planted(and maybe agreed to) by Lebron, Wade and Bosh beforehand. This was more on the players and less on Riley.

      Also the way the big three planned their teaming up wasn’t exactly great for the competitive balance of the league.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        Yeah, and LeBron and Melo have talked about playing together as well. Players talk about teaming up all the time – that rarely means it’s going to happen – and it rarely actually happens.

        As I mentioned above, Chris Paul and Melo had plans to do the same thing in New York – Dwight Howard and Deron Williams had plans to do the same thing on the Nets – but it’s not something that you can just swing any time you want to – the situation is too complex.

        There are too many variables that are constantly changing to think that it’s easy for three franchise players to end up on the same team at the same time.

        And all of that could’ve blown up if either LeBron or Bosh balked at taking a pay cut. That is another variable. There are really so many – basically what happened in Miami was a perfect storm that you’re not going to see again for a very long time.

      • bougin89 - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        Yeah, the big three knew they were going to team up and knew which team(Miami) could setup their roster to make it happen. In a very general way of saying it Riley had to rid all the other contracts before “the decision”. Lebron and Bosh did sacrifice financially but not nearly as much if Cleveland and/or Toronto would have rejected the sign and trade deals Miami had offered.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        You are underestimating how much uncertainty there still was in Miami the night of The Decision.

        Up until that day – up until that hour – Riley was still waiting for that call and Wade and Bosh weren’t exactly sure what was going to happen. It was left up to LeBron and he still hadn’t told anybody exactly what he was going to do.

        Question to Bosh – what was your reaction?:

        It’s incredible. For one, I was watching, getting ready for everything, I was like ‘cmon guys, let’s go, we gotta get in front of the TV!’ you know just like watching this spectacular event unfold in front of our eyes on TV and you know, they were asking questions and I was like ‘cmon, get to it, get to it, get to it’ and when he finally said it, I mean, it was just… um… it was just relief.

        Question to Wade – when did you know?:

        Just like a lot of people, you dream of playing together, but you know like Chris said none of us thought it was possible or even thought it could happen. But at the end of the day the Miami Heat organization presented a way that it could happen…

        So we didn’t know until the last minute. I let Bron and Chris know that they’re welcome here with open arms and LeBron made the decision at the end of the day that was best for him. I found out right before he went up there to tell the world.

        And now – here we are again – bracing for another Decision from LeBron. Do you think Riley, Wade or Bosh knows what’s going to happen? They don’t.

      • bougin89 - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        You actually believe they didn’t know until the hour of the decision? “The Decision” was a lot like “reality” TV.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        They did not know for sure until there was a call to confirm it. That didn’t happen until that hour. It’s pro sports – crazy things happen – nothing is certain. You feel a lot better when you see a guy commit to it in public and even then you’ll feel much better after he signs the contract.

      • bougin89 - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        Like you, I’ll use my opinion as fact here.

        They knew.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 30, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        You can do whatever you want. I really don’t care.

      • bougin89 - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        I’m not copying you. I’m not going to go full blown bandwagon and become completely biased.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 31, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        Too late.

      • bougin89 - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        Neither.

      • bougin89 - Dec 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        Also, why did Bosh say he had been talking about this moment for months when they held their free agency rally?

        They knew you’re pretending they didn’t.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 30, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        Yes, we know they were talking about it. There is a huge gap between talking about it and it happening.

      • bougin89 - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        It was planned ahead of time by the players. The plan was executed. The point all along was this wasn’t some magical heist by Riley. He did his job just fine, but the players didn’t need much or any convincing.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 31, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        the players didn’t need much or any convincing.

        Well now you’re just trying to convince yourself.

        If you changed the GM and owner in Miami from Riley and Arison to Pritchard and Simon – neither LeBron or Bosh would be in Miami, regardless of if Wade was there or not.

        Arison and Riley are both major selling points for the franchise. Players think very highly of both.

      • bougin89 - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:31 AM

        I would agree that Riley is a big selling point for the big three. This is part of why it was planned ahead of time. Maybe even two years ahead of time.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        Right, and that’s not luck.

      • bougin89 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        The players had a plan and they executed it, who said anything about luck?

      • antistratfordian - Jan 3, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        Right, like Lebron and CP3’s plan, like Melo and CP3’s plan, like Howard and D-Will’s plan, like the plan that some Pacers players made with their friends around the league. Like Wade said, players talk about stuff like that all the time – doesn’t mean they think it’s actually going to happen. PLUS – and this is the biggest part – they know that they don’t call the shots.

        It’s entirely up to a GM/owner to make that happen. They’re the ones who have to have the vision, who have to make the room, who have to come up with a plan to surround those players with supporting talent, and who have to agree to pay the inevitable luxury tax penalties. Not every team is willing to do that. And Miami’s vision doesn’t even work at all if the Heat don’t make it to the finals that first year (to attract veterans at a discount).

        So contrary to what Hibbert thinks, it’s not easy to pull off what Miami did. The Mavericks just took a swing at that (D-Will and Howard with Dirk) and struck out. Most teams will have a much better chance doing what the Pacers are doing – what the Thunder did – what the Bulls did – what the Spurs did – what most teams do – and that’s building through the draft and picking up some complimentary FAs along the way. The common way. But there’s nothing noble about that – it’s done mostly out of necessity.

      • bougin89 - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        Those guys didn’t have a a plan like the big three did. They didn’t plan for years ahead of time like the big three did. The Mavs may have been available/ready to make it happen but if Howard and D-Will would have agreed to play together there ahead of time Howard wouldn’t have waived his player option and D-Will wouldn’t have resigned with the Nets. Same goes for Melo and CP3 and the Knicks. They may have talked about it at a wedding but it was never serious enough to have a formal plan like the big three had.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        They all “planned” it in the same way – just talking about it when they were together either for the olympics or in the offseason. Dreaming, basically.

        How could these guys think it would be possible when it’s never really happened before? Pipe dream at best if you’re talking about 2008.

        Riley made the dream come true.

      • bougin89 - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:11 AM

        Riley facilitated the big three’s plan. I’ve been saying that all along.

      • davidly - Dec 30, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        Yeah, I knew he was biased and should know better than to let him troll me. It’s just annoying in that he’s not the first one I’ve seen act as if the Pacers’ expression of confidence in their team and motivation to win somehow = trash-talking punks.

        Also, he even argues with people who agree with him because the Bron-sized chip he has on his shoulder leads to bizarre assumptions that everyone is an irrational Heat-hater.

      • bougin89 - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:44 AM

        Agreed. It’s pretty weird how obsessed he is about Lebron and defending him.

    • davidly - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      It doesn’t matter what kind of team people thought they had on paper. Turns out they didn’t. They were too old and injury prone. That counts. So the people who thought they’d be a powerhouse contender were wrong wrong wrong. Bosh too. Though he might have just been being polite.

      Now I can see why you’re so desperately holding on to the Lakers couldn’t do it with big names argument. It still doesn’t speak to the relative genius of Riley. Riley’s genius was drafting Wade and getting Shaq for one his first title in Miami.

      Buds or no–the big three knew they were teaming up. You just don’t wanna relent because it destroys your narrative, which is also why you’ve created this phantom “Pacers keep talking smack” bit. The Pacers players and org have done nothing more than express a cohesive motivation to overcome their biggest hurdle to the finals and that seems to bother you. Get over it.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        It doesn’t matter what kind of team people thought they had on paper. Turns out they didn’t.

        That’s exactly my point. Just putting a team together that, on paper, seems like they should dominate, doesn’t mean they’re going to.

        There is no “easy way.”

    • davidly - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      …basically what happened in Miami was a perfect storm that you’re not going to see again for a very long time.

      You have just described pure luck–what you have heretofore claimed was the draft process in a nutshell (you conveniently left out player development because it didn’t fit into your circular reasoning).

      It was a perfect storm and Riley just happen to be sitting in the eye of it. End of story.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        Nothing lucky about Riley planning two years in advance to clear enough space to even entertain the idea.

        Also, there’s nothing lucky about Riley’s bag of rings or his charm.

    • davidly - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      Nothing lucky about Riley planning two years in advance to clear enough space to even entertain the idea.
      But earlier you said:
      There are too many variables that are constantly changing to think that it’s easy for three franchise players to end up on the same team at the same time.

      So he got lucky, then.

      That’s exactly my point. Just putting a team together that, on paper, seems like they should dominate, doesn’t mean they’re going to.
      But, as I said, the very suggestion of a inkling of a notion that the “LA on paper” even remotely compares to the big three is absurd–regardless of what pundits thought. It doesn’t just make them wrong, it makes them kind of stupid. Which doesn’t make anyone else smart, just not as stupid as those who thought the LA paper tiger was gonna storm into the playoffs and challenge for a title.

      As to the “charm” you allude to: Your insistence on repeating the Lakers failure as evidence of the brilliance of Riley reminds me of the Einstein quote that Riley’s buddy Tony Robbins used to cheat people with low self-esteem out of money–with Pat’s endorsement, of course.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        Well Miami is lucky to have Pat Riley – let’s put it that way. But the brilliance of Riley is self-evident. I bring up the Lakers because they are the latest example of the nonexistent, Hibbertian “easy way.” I also brought up the Nets.

        You are not appreciating the importance of personality, disposition and appearances when it comes to any human interaction. It requires a very specific type of person to end up as Joseph Smith or Douglas MacArthur or Pat Riley.

        It’s a quality that you can immediately sense when someone walks in a room. It’s magnetism – generally referred to as being charismatic. You can convince people to do almost anything if you have that quality in abundance.

        LeBron also has that trait. Larry Bird is lacking. In fact, the entire Pacers organization is lacking in charisma. If Frank Vogel is the most charismatic person in your organization…. well, good luck with that.

      • bougin89 - Dec 30, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        davidly, Anti is way too biased and clearly not objective when it comes to the Heat. Much like other bandwagon fans, it’s a losing battle.

  5. kleahy82486 - Dec 29, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    That would make them bottom 7.

  6. metalhead65 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    why does west have to explain anything? he merely spoke the truth. when Bird was rebuilding the Pacers his every move was judged and he took allot of heat when they did not turn it around over night. he looks pretty smart right now though doesn’t he? he built a team that will be competing for years,while the nets gm took the easy way out and it back fired so why can’t west point that out since nobody else will?

  7. louhudson23 - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    The Nets took the approach that fame and money = ability and performance….proof of that fallacy is all around us…..

  8. louhudson23 - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    or is that the Knicks??

  9. jadaruler - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    He’s right blame the gm and the owner. The Nets made terrible moves.

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  2. K. Durant (2977)
  3. L. James (2912)
  4. D. Wade (2833)
  5. D. Rose (2735)
  1. J. Noah (2617)
  2. D. Howard (2502)
  3. K. Bryant (2494)
  4. A. Bogut (2327)
  5. P. George (2241)