Words by Phlip
Several posts ago, I suggested that the Lakers were the most valuable franchise in the NBA and that the NBA top brass did not like this, which led to some shady dealings as it led to moves the team could make. Despite currently sitting not-so-pretty at 8th in the conference, the news came down this week that I was right.
As an organization that has spent ALL of its time under the current ownership rarely more than 2 or 3 seasons at a time from being taken seriously as a championship contender is something that the former most valuable team can probably pin as the cause of the shift.
It’s not for nothing, either…
… it would seem that “the top of my head” was quite accurate, no?
Not that anyone would particularly EXPECT these people to maintain ties to their former employers, no matter their contributions to the “story” of said organizations, if only for mutual benefit.
Maybe it’s me, I am just used to the MLB/NHL/NFL model, where a player will complete a surefire Hall-of-Fame career, sit home that 5 years basking in the afterglow of it, wake up to be inducted into the hall, then take a “[position they played] coach” job with either the team they most famously cut their teeth with or the last one for whom they played.
“Last one they played for” is important because Patrick Ewing seems to have not bothered leaving a team once he retired, having remained on the coaching staff with the Orlando Magic since retiring as a player. The fact that he is on the staff THERE and not the Knicks, where his legend was made, speaks more to the Knicks as an organization in my “joke the Knicks whenever possible” opinion.
There is an intangible combination of luck, success and physical location that lends itself to the value of an organization, so it is only natural that the “most valuable” would come from one of the two largest media markets in the world. The small underlying details that seem to have been the difference maker as to which one would forge to the top spot, however, are not so intangible. The Lakers bridged “Showtime,” then had to take a couple years “down” in time to land Shaq, then Kobe and success was back. Blowup of the Shaq/Kobe show led to a shorter reset and in spite of their current position, no one is willing to mark them for dead just yet. Meanwhile, the Knicks last took a title 41 years ago, fell into the unenviable position of last credibly contending during the Jordan years, then changing over to an embarrassingly incompetent ownership group creating a new joke of the organization every few years, from the Isiah Thomas regime, to the Starbury fiasco(s) to the newest “Big Three” managing to lose to league powerhouses like the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Bobcats.
I know that the “value” is speculative, and that no one is putting up that kind of money to actually BUY these or any of the other mentioned teams, but is it not fun to sit and look at these things with a semi-critical eye?