This isn’t new. Every single day, radio personalities, television sports talk hosts and newspaper pundits roll out of bed and have to come up with something to talk about. If there isn’t controversy, it’s hard to be interesting. And thus, we constantly are assaulted by questions about sports that don’t matter.
So, I’ve created a quick guide to answer all of the stupid questions I’ve heard over the past week in the world of basketball. You can read this and then ignore sports radio for a week.
Question: Should Steph Curry be the MVP?
Answer: Yes. And don’t start telling me that he shouldn’t be just because the Warriors can win without him. They could win without Lebron, too. Or KD. Or Westbrook. In fact they already have. They have the best record in all of basketball, ever. EVER. Steph Curry had such an amazing year that EA had to put in a cheat code to make the video game version of Curry as good as real life Curry.
Question: Would the Warriors/Steph be as good if playing in an older era?
Answer: Yes. Would Wilt Chamberlain be as good in the league today? Yes. Would Michael Jordan be great in today’s league? Yes. Considering how few transcendent players come along (like 1 every 30 years), this shouldn’t be a shock. Would young Shaq be great in today’s league? Yes. Would young Shaq have been strong competition for young Wilt Chamberlain? Yes. That’s the great tragedy of sports: we’ll never get to see outside of a simulated reality. When Chamberlain came into the NBA, he was the only 7-footer in the league. But he also moved like Shaq – athletic, quick, good hands, deft scorer. Any team in the NBA would take him #1 in the draft this year. Stop thinking ‘your era’ of basketball was better than the current era. In 20 years there will be fans telling kids that the modern players of that era could never compete against Steph Curry. Just stop already.
Question: Would a great college basketball team beat a weak NBA team?
Answer: No. So what if a college team has 7 or 8 NBA players? NBA teams have 12 NBA players. NBA teams have grown men with experience playing twice as many games in a season with a 24 second shot clock, deeper 3 pointers and more minutes per game.
Question: Should NCAA players get paid?
Answer: Yes, particularly for Power 5 conferences. Smaller schools, not so much. Most colleges actually lose a ton of money on sports and should stop spending so much on them. But for the big guys, it’s a pro league. The NCAA runs a pro league that rakes in money, runs licensing like a pro league, pays its executives like a pro league, and profits like a pro league. The NCAA makes millions more in revenue (and profit) than any minor league in the US and more than the Canadian pro basketball league. And it’s not even close. Yet they don’t pay their players. Legally, the NCAA has lost every challenge to their status, which is amazing considering they have deep pockets to pay high priced attorneys.
Question: Should Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram be the #1 pick?
Answer: As of today (May 12) NOBODY should be considered the #1 pick. The NBA combine starts today. Most players have not even been seriously looked at until today. The draft lottery hasn’t happened. Just because some website has been pumping out predictions and rankings for the past two years, that’s all make believe until the NBA actually starts looking at the players for real. Mock drafts done prior to the lottery selection are barely right – over the past 15 years, they are wrong 30% of the time just in the top 10 – meaning, not only are the selections wrong, but they are wrong about which players are even taken in the first round. Then, players have to go through summer league. Then, even if they play well in summer league, most of them will sit on the bench and barely be heard from. Almost all of the players drafted in the second round will be cut by the start of next season. Predicting the draft this early is just a ratings game, like the made up ‘Bracketology’ nonsense that ESPN pitches every year.
Question: Should Kevin Durant go to the Lakers, Knicks or somewhere he can have a better shot to win a title?
Answer: Kevin Durant’s current team already wins. There are very few teams that are already good enough that adding Durant would put them over the top. Normally in the past the types of moves that create a championship team require multiple players (Miami, Boston). Portland, San Antonio would possibly fit that bill. But so would bringing a superstar to OKC. Honestly, how is this even a question? It’s either going to be a blockbuster deal away from OKC or to OKC. It’s extremely unlikely that it’s going to be KD to a losing team and that’s it. Analysis over.
Question: Are NBA refs worse than they used to be?
Answer: Yes. You can (and should) find time to go watch an NBA game from the 80s. You will notice three major things: 1. Teams can shoot better today, 2. Defense in the 80s wasn’t great either and you’ve been lied to for years and 3. Refs were a lot more accurate. Don’t believe me, just go watch.