Rapcasts, remember those?

PHDSteve and I chat about the lockout, contracts, the Raptors, and P90X.

Some topics:

  • Surprised the lockout has taken an ugly turn. We shouldn’t have been.
  • David Stern cancelling games in two-week chunks.
  • Comparisons to the ’99 lockout.
  • Who really has control in these negotiations?
  • Regardless of the facts, what do the optics here look like?
  • Race issue? NBA: black player, white owner. NHL: white player, white owner. Who does the “general” public relate to?
  • Impact on current player and future players.
  • The system and not the BRI became the issue in the negotiations.
  • From a Raptors POV, if there’s a season to miss, this might be it.
  • Teams that benefit and hurt from a shortened season.
  • Steve argues that missing a season might actually help the rebuilding process. What?
  • NBA minutes are NBA minutes, but what can you learn from them if it’s not in a structured environment?
  • The Raptor who will show the most improvement under Dwane Casey. The answer will surprise you.
  • This defensive big man the Raptors are targeting, is it really necessary or do we just wait for Jonas.
  • If contracts are voided, how would it affect the Raptors? What options might they have?
  • Hypothetical scenario. New CBA has an amnesty clause, which Raptors contract would you void? It wasn’t Bargnani or Calderon.
  • Log-jam at the power forward…who’s the odd man out?
  • Harrison Barnes.
  • Will there be a season? Christmas Day games are the key.

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (26:32, 9.5MB). Or just listen below:

  • Nilanka15

    Good discussion boys (except for the double-cohort joke :P), lots of topics covered.

    I understand what Steve was saying about Calderon having the most to gain under Casey’s new system.  But the question we should ask ourselves is, does that help the Raptors in the long run?  Let’s say Calderon does excel under Casey.  Would he then be worth re-signing long-term?  I doubt it based on his age.  Would he increase his trade value?  Yes, but once he’s traded, then there’s the same problem of implementing a new PG into our system, which almost brings us back to the stage we’re currently in.  IMO, I would rather see Bayless be given the reigns (for evaluation purposes), because Calderon’s contract will be trade-able even without improved stats.

    As for the amnesty clause, I again understand what Steve was saying.  You don’t want to use it on either Bargnani or Calderon because it’s assumed that they have some degree of trade value.  Having said that, Kleiza’s the guy I use it on (not Amir).  The odds of fully recovering from microfracture knee surgery aren’t high.  And who’s kidding who….even if Kleiza returns to his Eurobasket form, he’s still not our answer at SF in the future.  I’d say Amir provides much more value per dollar than Kleiza does, and Amir has already cemented his role as our 1st big off the bench, a role he performs fairly well in.

    And lastly, if the 2012 draft is cancelled, the 2013 draft would be absolutely insane.  If Colangelo was magically able to obtain another pick, I wouldn’t be surprised seeing a 15-20 win improvement from 2010-11 to 2013-14 (with no seasons in between).  The talent infusion from 2 draftees would be that noticeable.

    • p00ka

      I totally agree with you on Kleiza being amnestied rather than Amir, but disagree with Bayless being given the reigns.
      1. His current skill set is far better used as a scoring PG off the bench, but he’ll still get minutes to prove whether he can become more than that.
      2. Calderon may not be the long term solution, but he’s by far the best they have now to assist in the development of the young core. It wouldn’t do anything for DD’s or ED’s or Jonas’s (when he comes) development to stand around watching Bayless be the offense. If Bayless shows more in terms of running a selfless offense, then and only then should he be given starter’s reigns.

  • sek99

    The race issue is garbage. I don’t relate to billionaires any more than I relate to 6 foot 6 athletes. I believe that the players are pretty greedy, not because the colour of their skins, but rather because of the

    Also, any basketball, even losing basketball, is better than nothing. Anyone saying missing a season is ‘good’ is not a fan. I want to watch competitive ball and I’m not a huge fan of college, so I want to watch NBA, regardless whose on the Raptors. 

    Arse is totally right about playing and losing is better than not playing. It adds experience, and its how you win. Durant had a few terrible seasons on OKC, and now they’ve jumped. Losing doesn’t always necessarily beget losing. It’s called improvement.

    Calderon is in his late twenties, has been through different coaches, different systems, different roles, and it’s only worked one season. Calderon is what he is, and expecting he’ll improve drastically under a new system with the same exact roster is a backwards to me.

    I love how Arse is laughing at Steve the entire time he mentions the amnesty. Listening to Steve is always comedy.

  • sek99

    (first paragraph) *they want more millions and it’s all profit, while a team cannot operate while losing money. That’s got nothing to do with race, and only have to do with simple economics.

    • Bendit

      Yeah, pity the NHL bros. couldn’t use the race card…white owners, white fans and white players. No wonder they lost.

      Nice chat though.

  • SockRolid

    If I could offer an opinion…

    I find it funny how the players complain for 2-3% in BRI, yet some of them are playing overseas (and many more are considering it) for a fraction of what they’d earn in the NBA. I think Billy Hunter and Mr. Kessler has brainwashed them to a point where it has become a “fight-for-our-rights ego thing.”
    Dumb players, they should’ve just accept the deal and give us basketball again. At least the owners have a legit case, many of them actually lost money, lots of it (what did players lose?), and they want the NBA to be a more competitive league. 

    Again, it’s just laughable listening to many of these players rant on Twitter about the “greedy owners” as the reason they are locked out, all while they are overseas travelling making a generous income on sponsorships and endorsements in addition to the large sum of money they already have. Boo-hoo. 

    The MLB work stoppage back in 94 cost them a lot of fans, and many still haven’t forgiven them to this day. 

    We’re in for a long, cold, “nuclear winter” without basketball and it’s a damn shame.

    Sincerely, a frustrated basketball fan. 

    • Juicy

      While I agree with most of what you said, their main complaint and the reason why we are here is less about 2-3% of the BRI, as they accepted the 50-50 compromise on that point.  The main issue was the “System Issues” in that they wanted to secure (or maintain) better job security. 

      Sincerely, another frustrated basketball fan.

      • p00ka

        Is it really about “security” or freedom to move wherever they want, a la Lebron, bosh, Melo?

  • Paradigm Shift

    That was a nice thoughtful analysis on the labour situation. I am still listening to the rest of the podcast ( I paused to write this)  but I wanted to applaud your courage for raising the issue of race. I have been posting on the lockout more than I usually post on RR and decided to stay away from that issue for fear of being dragged into the gutter. I find it interesting how the popular discourse comfortably sways to the illegitimacy of the players (being greedy) but does not seem to problematise the owners (‘ greediness) to the same degree. A cannot imagine that there is not a level of racism behind the discrepancy.

    • Nilanka15

      I dunno.  Both sides can be labelled as greedy.  But the players failing to realize their lack of leverage is what also labels them as morons (it didn’t have anything to do with race for me). 

      The NBA is a monopoly.  The players “should” know that.  Sure, they can go play in Istanbul or Shanghai, but it doesn’t even come close.  The players had no power in these negotiations whatsoever, but acted as if they did. 

      I suppose the owners could’ve eased up on their hardline stance, but why should we expect them to do so?  They have every right as business owners to prevent losses from continuing.  The last deal they offered was still better than the players would receive anywhere else in the world for their craft, but they rejected it for no other reason than to save face.  When you make decisions based on pride rather than logic, you’re a moron.  Again, not a race issue….more of a common sense issue (or lack there of).

    • CalgaryRapsFan

      The last time I checked, fans who viewed the players as “greedy” felt that the black players, hispanic players, caucasian players, european players and asian players were all equally greedy.  I wasn’t aware the NBA was a negro league, whereby saying “players” equates to saying “black guys”.  To me, “players” is an all-encompassing phrase that means every player, regardless of their ethnic/geographic/cultural background.  That is NOT racism.  Sorry to burst your bubble.

      • Paradigm Shift

        I think we need to get beyond our 1970s concept of racism. We have undoubtedly progressed since then but we have by no means eliminated racism completely. The racism I (and, maybe, Steve) am talking about is not the kind where Bubba and his boys overtly inquire about a gentleman engaging “a white girl”. It is more subtle and often goes unnoticed without honest reflection.

        So when I read an article about an out-of-control Kevin Garnett’s outburst or how Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher are being out manoeuvred by the Stern and the owner’s. Or when I read an article wondering why Lebron, Wade, Durant or Paul have not done their part to support the union message, I wonder why, at first glance, these criticisms ring so true. I ask myself why the owners seem like smart business men protecting their investments while the players seem like arrogant egoists who bring nothing to the sport but physical talents that have no legitimacy off the court.

        And I wonder if the stereotypes and stories about the two sides make so much sense and fit so well into our way of thinking because of the remaining racism I still hold inside of me. The thinking that I have to be ever vigilant about checking. The kind of thinking that only gets stronger when I discount is as ridiculous because there are Europeans and other White player in the league; eventhough, they are not the ones invoked when the players are criticized in this manner.

        • Bendit

          I do believe that you are maybe misplacing “elitism” with “racism”. Elitism whether economic, cultural or intellectual is a constant around us and most times is agnostic about race. To be clear there are many examples of “elitism” within a racial makeup and homogenuous societies. I applaud your need/concern for self monitoring (as do I) but at the same time we do need to be able to opine purely on the merits of a debate without the bogeyman being inferred.   

          RE your point about Euros/white players in the league…they have been for the most part absent from view or comment (other than Bonner). The Euros I believe would be signing on to the deal in a jiff and hence escape mention in reports or fan negativity.   

          • Paradigm Shift

            I am not completely sure that I grasp the implications of the distinction you make between “elitism” and “Racism” but I would say that one person’s “bogeyman” is another person’s “elephant in the room”.

            I think it is important to call it what it is. If we treat racism  as a bogeyman better left alone, it is free to fester. At the same time I acknowledge, that it can be a trigger word that often inflames a discussion. That’s why I tried to take some of its sting out by sharing my own failings.

            Re. your “Re.” I think you’ve stated it, in your last paragraph, stronger than I would have. I gather then that your would say that the face of union during this lockout is for the most part African American, even if it does represent an international group. I think that brings us back to PhD Steve’s characterization, which started me down this road.

            • Bendit

              Yes it is a difficult subject and I shall give this one more go to possibly explain myself further.

              Racism is an abject and odious moral failing where interaction and/or domination is based purely on the basis of race. Elitism is a snobbery and superiority, while also distasteful qualities, it’s practice is in my view race agnostic since it also occurs within homogeneous/racial groups. 

              The “face of the union” may well be African-American but the dealings of the NBA with the PA encompassed the entirety of its membership (incl. it’s euro/hispanic groups). My point only is, that in a business negotiating event, must one party cede it’s even draconian position because a segment of it’s opponent group is of a particular racial makeup? Such feelings of course are rooted in historical and contemporary events not to be discounted or “left alone” but I see an inappropriate raising of racist practices in these labour negotiations. Of course with the caveat that I wasn’t there.      

              RE my point about the Euro group of players taking the deal…this may well show that they were unencumbered emotionally by the race question which is as it should be in the absence of course of some very direct evidence to the contrary.  

              To the credit of Hunter and others, I understand they “made” Kessler apologize to Stern for the plantation remarks.

              • Paradigm Shift

                I don’t think that you and I are disagreeing as much as we may focusing on similar but different aspects of the issue(s)?

                What has fascinated me throughout this labour dispute is how much of the fan response to articles and blogs seem to demonize the players and celebrate (or minimally excuse) the owner’s right to do whatever it takes to maximize their bottom lines. To use a statistics metaphor, I believe the majority of the variation can be explained by the general tendency in North America to crap all over unions and workers, but I have always thought there was a significant portion of variance left over that could be explained by the fact that “the face of the players is black”. To me that is an aspect of Racism. It is clearly not the worst example we encounter or have encountered. It may speak to how far we come, that it is so relatively subtle (or it may speak to how far we have to go).

                If you prefer to use the word Elitism because you feel that Racism is too loaded and turns people off, I can respect that though I prefer to stick with the latter because it feels more honest to me. If that is the only place that we disagree, then I think we are simply disagreeing about tactics.

                However, I do not believe that this aspect, that I believe is contributing its part to the anti-union discourse, is as you say “race agnostic”. I believe race is playing a part. I call that Racism.

                Re. Kessler +1

                P.S. Amir has the most overrated contract on the Raptors!!!!! (sorry, I had to remind myself that I was posting to a basketball site :-))

  • 511

    I’m finding Friday nights in November with no Raptors … are … the … worst. 

    Thanks for the podcast. Don’t agree with the race thing Phd mentioned. Still pondering tho. 

    • 511

      So, a couple days later and I’ve pondered myself over to beginning to understand that race is an issue in these talks. 

      It took reading a Bill Simmons column and a column from Mike Wise in the Washington Post that Simmons linked to to get me to nod along knowingly (or understandingly), as I was reminded of moments I had already forgotten – Bryant Gumbel comparing David Stern to a plantation owner – as well as facts that I had not been aware of, such as Spurs owner Peter Holt donating over a half million dollars to Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate, Rick Perry (if you don’t know why that might be an issue for the players, read up some) and Clippers owner and real estate mogul Donald Sterling who, former employees claim, discriminated against blacks and Latinos by not wanting to rent apartments to them. I can imagine that if I was one of the players, one of the black players, somewhere along the line I’d have probably thought something like, “and those are just a couple of things that we KNOW about”. 

      Imagining what the boardroom scene must’ve been like in each instance with the owners on one side of the table – 28 out of 29, white – and on the other side of the table, the players, 84% of them black, I can see how the issue of race would have to be hanging in the air, knowing the above truths about some of whom they were dealing with. 

      What a mess. 


      • p00ka

        Gumbel’s a jackass speaking out of his arse. I think the only place that race is a factor in this mess is in the players/union minds,,,,, and words. They’re playing the race card to garner support, but it’s bullshit. Any of the actions/words coming out of the owners is easily attributed to employee/employer relationships, whatever the race on each side. The players are idiots for playing that card. It gets them nowhere, and trying to use it demeans themselves.

        • 511

          Actually, it wasn’t Stern that Gumbel compared to plantation owners (my mistake); it was the owners. Regardless … if ‘race is a factor only in the players minds’, well, it’s a factor. 

          Having lived in the U.S., I can attest to the race issue being more prevalent there than what it generally is in Canada. To varying degrees depending where on you are on either side of the border of course, but it is (I’d say) more of an issue there than it is here. 

          More importantly though, I suspect that if one is black and (especially perhaps) if one has lived for any length of time in the States, only then can one probably know and understand what it would mean and feel like to be sitting across from league owners (team owners), some of whom have demonstrated callous disregard for racial sensibilities that, for blacks (in the U.S. especially) would probably be a life-long constant. 

          Of course, I’m a Canadian white dude, so I’m talking out of my butt somewhat, but … I’ve read the history and been around enough to have a sense at least, of what-all might be going on in some of their minds. And whatever it is (almost), I wouldn’t presume to say (or even think) that it’s not justified. 

          • 511

            I’d redo that last sentence if I could edit. 

  • Sprechen

    Nice Rapcast overall. However, anyone who watched virtually every game the past two seasons will realize that Amir Johnson was the only one who showed up for every game (barring injuries) and gave 110%. It is absurd to me to throw him under the bus. Also, he has maintained a great relationship with the fans. Amir is the first guy I would keep on the squad after DeRozan.  

  • Raptor4Ever

    Thank you for Great Rapcast. It was nice to have another one of these to listen in the way to work. 
    I agree with PHDSteve about Amir Johnson and his contract. I also think AB has many suitors and can be traded much easier than Amir and his contract. After the cancelation of this season, there should be no need to release Jose as well since his contract will finish anyway in a year. 
    So If we HAVE TO release someone, it would be Amir or Kleiza, two recent signing of BC. Hopefully, the new CBA can get you a much better players with 6 and 4 million respectively. 

  • p00ka

    OFF TOPIC: Clicking on the link for “How many rookies…….” produces a warning (AVG standard settings) that this is an attck page. What’s with that?

  • Sprechen

    I’m surprised that the race card has been so frequently discussed. I myself have not viewed the issue as one of race. Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher have done their best without any leverage to negotiate with. The owners have much more clout with the media and they are experts at massaging their message. My sense is that the owners would be pushing for the same deal regardless of who was on the other side of the table. The idea that they are being harder on the players because they are mostly black is unsubstantiated and seems pretty far-fetched. Not that I’m an owners fan in any way.