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Thread: How to Rebuild an NBA Franchise

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    Default How to Rebuild an NBA Franchise

    Hello Folks,

    So, we have seen a significant amount of chatter, back and forth between guys wanting Toronto to completely rebuild, and others wishing to make whats here work now. We are calling one group "Tankers", and one group "anti-Tankers". It's important to understand that on both sides, there are guys and gals here who are astute, intelligent and in some cases experienced Basketball minds.

    It's true, there are points on both sides, and the one really important reason, is that there isn't always one true way to build a franchise, it changes, always. but what remains is that the real issue guys need to look at is timing in the process of rebuilding. just where is your team?

    I, am a steadfast "Tanker" guy. reason being, I believe the assembled talent has been looked at, I know it's being assessed, and whats here, likely cannot compete as built. This gets misunderstood as feeling that as a "tanker" I feel like Toronto will lose games, get a #1 guy and then win. This couldn't be further from the truth. What I'm advocating is a full on rebuild, from assessment, dismantling, developing, and then finishing touches. "anti tankers" point to Indiana as the model they like, when Indian, in reality, had to "tank" to begin the process they are now seeing great rewards from.

    I read the following article on Hoopsworld. Maybe its been here before, maybe not. I hope you guys like it. It isn't super detailed, but what it does focus upon is a great understanding of what teams must do. Understanding that different Markets have different obstacles, and therefore the creativity has to be in place to conquer those. But make no mistake, whether you call it a tank, or an anti-tank, or whatever, when you team is consistently bad, a rebuild is necessary, and to do it right, you have to start at the bottom. Its slow. Its painful, but it will pay off.

    How To Rebuild An NBA Franchise
    One of the hardest things to do in professional sports is rebuild a franchise, so much so that fans and teams alike dread the concept altogether. Still, there are 14 NBA teams currently grappling with the prospect of doing just that, to one degree or another. What’s the best approach? The best way to get a grasp on what it means to completely revamp an NBA franchise is to talk to someone who’s done it, someone like former Indiana Pacers general manager David Morway.
    “First, before doing anything else, it’s important to do a thorough evaluation of the entire basketball operation including the status of the roster, the coaching staff, the scouting operation, the support staff, the team culture, the basketball operations infrastructure and the team’s cap situation and financial flexibility going forward,” said Morway, who worked with Larry Bird to help the Pacers bridge the Reggie Miller era and the current up-and-coming team. “In addition, I also think it’s important to spend some time understanding both the history of the franchise as well as how the franchise got to it’s current state. After all of that is done, then it’s important to develop a clear, concise game-plan for moving the franchise forward.”
    The popular way for teams to talk about rebuilding now is in the mold of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who lost a ton of games, landed good draft picks, used them well and developed their talented young players into a championship-caliber team. Of course, they also had the benefit of a franchise move, which ensured rabid fan support during the tough losses, and they also happened to land Kevin Durant, who has turned into an all-world player. It’s fine to talk about doing it the OKC way, but that’s not necessarily something just any team can do.
    “I’m not sure that there is one specific way to rebuild a franchise in today’s NBA,” said Morway. “Clearly, drafting well, organically developing your players, establishing cap and financial flexibility and then being opportunistic in using the cap flexibility created in prospective trades and in free agency are key drivers to success. However, how each franchise goes about the specifics of rebuilding is going to be very franchise-specific based on many concerns including timing issues, financial issues, ownership expectations and at some level your fan base tolerance for rebuilding. Just look at Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Miami and the Lakers, for example. Each of them went about rebuilding in different ways using the drivers I mentioned before, yet they each have been very successful over significant periods of time. At the end of the day, the goal is build a franchise that has a clear identity and a sustainable team culture centered around core players who are surrounded by a roster with depth. The one thing you see when you study franchises that have won championships in the past like the Celtics, the Lakers, the Pistons, the Spurs and Miami is a clear and consistent franchise culture that they live by everyday.”
    One of the big issues facing teams as they ponder rebuilding is the ever-growing focus on immediate gratification. Fans are closer to their teams than ever before thanks to social media, and through those mediums they can apply enormous pressure on ownership and management to move quickly. That makes it even harder for teams that aren’t in the middle of a move to keep the fans interested while doing what’s necessary to develop a team for the future.
    “Yeah, I think there is much more pressure when it comes to all those things, and like I mentioned before, every franchise is very different,” Morway said. “Most importantly though, you need to understand your owner’s expectations and tolerance for rebuilding. At some level it’s important to understand your fan base’s expectations, as well, but when you make decisions you’ve got to be able to tune out all the fans, media and all those other things. The key is making smart basketball decisions, regardless of public perception, that are based on a disciplined decision-making model that follows the game plan established at the outset.”
    Smaller NBA markets are always going to have to approach things differently from their large-market counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they will have an automatic advantage. This season, for example, teams like the Thunder, Pacers and Spurs have had a great deal more success than the Lakers, who could afford to outspend them all significantly.
    “It’s more difficult for a small market, but that’s the challenge,” admitted Morway. “There are several very successful small market franchises today that have been built with discipline, patience, creativity and above all else a culture and expectation of winning. Players see that and want to be a part of it.”
    One way that teams can develop their players is to provide extra support beyond the court to help their young men grow as people as well as players. Morway helped implement such a program in Indiana and he believes it is essential for the growth of a healthy team culture.
    “Absolutely, that’s no different than any other proactive corporation or business in the U.S. today,” Morway explained. “They invest in their people and their people are going to perform. You have to do the same thing in the NBA, but in an even more comprehensive fashion. We’re drafting young men that are 19 or 20 years old, for the most part, and we expect them to act like seasoned professionals. Unfortunately, that’s typically not the case. Like most 19- and 20-year-olds, they’re still developing both their on- and off-court skill sets. Yet the scrutiny they’re under on a daily basis when it comes to the media and the fan base is something that is atypical not only for them, but for most of us. As a result, at some level, I think it’s the responsibility of the franchise to help expedite their growth by putting resources and programs in place that are designed specifically to help them develop their off-court skill set. The key with programs like this is patience. You have to remember that it takes time.”
    Of course, there’s also the advanced statistical side of team building, made famous by the recent movie “Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. Morway sees the stats side of the game as important, but only as part of a more holistic approach.
    “The analytics movement in the NBA today is definitely a more integral part of the evaluation process and it’s important,” Morway said. “However, it’s still just one piece of a bigger puzzle which also includes, for example, the scouting side, the medical side, the psychological piece and each player’s background history. The more advanced stats we’re looking at today help to develop a clearer picture of the total player and at the end of the day the more information you have the better more solid decisions you’re going to make when it comes to player evaluation. The key issue here is to make intelligent, carefully thought out decisions that stay true to the vision of the franchise.”
    The video game age has a tendency to make it harder for NBA fans to understand just how complicated it is to really rebuild a franchise. Unlike in simulations, where a team with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol might go 82-0, the real world is much more complex. There are advanced stats, sure, but there is also a significant psychological component, as well as the court work and the training that go into developing players into a strong, cohesive unit.
    David Morway was an integral part of the team that undertook the challenge of rebuilding the Indiana Pacers, and small market or not, the Pacers have clearly made the moves and developed their team to the point where they can compete with anyone, including their large market opponents. It is this all-around approach that will most likely prove most successful as the new NBA collective bargaining agreement starts to make things harder for the team who simply look to spend their way into contention.

    Read more at http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-how...OLkbs08XSj2.99

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    like I mentioned before, every franchise is very different

    and this is why I feel tanking (at this point in time) and rebuilding through the draft is so integral to this organization. Why when people ask questions such as 'well how many teams drafted at position X and then won a championship' they are asking an irrelevant question to make an irrelevant point (whether they realize it or not). Teams that have won or have become contenders are not necessarily anything like the Raptors, and all NBA teams can't be painted with the same brush.

    centered around core players who are surrounded by a roster with depth
    When its all said and done, this is where it starts. Getting those core player(s) a team can build around. Once a team does this, then they can do all sorts of different things, take all sorts of different opportunities, take different kinds of risks. But if a team doesn't have those core player(s) a team is starting from hole and at therefore at a disadvantage.

    Right now I look at Toronto and I see maybe one - Jonas. Not only a player with good potential, but fills a harder to get position (not integral but still a nice benifit), and should be under contract for a long time.

    timing issues
    Opportunity in the 2014 draft + young Jonas = check

    financial issues
    this team has them and they are a burden to any team development over the next few years. Tanking could help fix them.

    fan base tolerance for rebuilding
    from every poll I've seen there has been overwhelming support for tanking and rebuilding. Aside from that, Toronto has consistently been a profitable team so even the casual or fairweather fans are showing up even at the worst of times

    ownership expectations
    ahhhh.... f*ck

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    Culture, culture, culture...that's where it starts and that has its roots in management. Its hard to make the right basketball decisions without a culture, and that's how franken-rosters get built. The keepers on this roster IMO are JV, Demar, and Ross for sure and I love Amir so I'll include him too. All are young, moldable, and coachable and can be part of something bigger...not bad at all as core players. But a system and a culture are needed to get the most of any talent.

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    Morway said....

    “I’m not sure that there is one specific way to rebuild a franchise in today’s NBA,” said Morway. “Clearly, drafting well, organically developing your players, establishing cap and financial flexibility and then being opportunistic in using the cap flexibility created in prospective trades and in free agency are key drivers to success. However, how each franchise goes about the specifics of rebuilding is going to be very franchise-specific based on many concerns including timing issues, financial issues, ownership expectations and at some level your fan base tolerance for rebuilding. Just look at Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Miami and the Lakers, for example. Each of them went about rebuilding in different ways using the drivers I mentioned before, yet they each have been very successful over significant periods of time. At the end of the day, the goal is build a franchise that has a clear identity and a sustainable team culture centered around core players who are surrounded by a roster with depth. The one thing you see when you study franchises that have won championships in the past like the Celtics, the Lakers, the Pistons, the Spurs and Miami is a clear and consistent franchise culture that they live by everyday.”
    LOL. Pretty much the same as what I posted in another thread awhile back....

    golden said....

    In my opinion, there is no such thing as a successful 'model'. There are general franchise building philosophies, such as: (1) maintaining financial flexibility, (2) developing players to exceed their initial potential, (3) culture of hard work and overachieving, (4) acquiring young talent, (5) not overpaying for the level of your talent, (6) acquiring character veterans, (7) selecting a great coach who has the balls to punish players who don't play the right way, (8) having a superior talent evaluation and scouting staff, etc..., etc...

    The rest of what happens is mostly luck, especially being able to capitalize on unique opportunities that arise at that specific point in time. But following those franchise building philosophies puts yourself in the position to capitalize on those opportunities and is a sign of good management
    http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/forum...ht=#post248055
    Last edited by golden; Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 01:48 PM.

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    Culture, culture, culture...that's where it starts and that has its roots in management. Its hard to make the right basketball decisions without a culture, and that's how franken-rosters get built. The keepers on this roster IMO are JV, Demar, and Ross for sure and I love Amir so I'll include him too. All are young, moldable, and coachable and can be part of something bigger...not bad at all as core players. But a system and a culture are needed to get the most of any talent.
    I think its worth noting and understanding what is perhaps meant by culture, and where culture comes from.

    Its easy to say one needs a system and a coach (who I would include as part of a system but thats neither here nor their), but if you don't have the players to run that system or fit in that system, then exactly how far will culture get you?

    To take that even further, the NBA has shown there are many different systems or styles that can be effective.

    So doesn't a team want that core player(s) first, and then build a system that suits or fits with them? Then go about getting the players that fit with those core player(s) and system after?

    I don't really buy into this notion of culture atleast not in the same sense people seem to use it. I see it as more the types of players and talent a team has. The Jailblazers, the Malice Palace Pacers, or Grunfeld's KnuckleHeads (ie. the Wizards). Those 'cultures' were created by the players they had - not because of what those teams were trying to do. They were irratic, short fused, individually motivated (and sometimes down right dumb or crazy).

    What a team wants is players who are motivated, willing team players, have a desire to win (ie. anti-Bargnani's ), you have that and then you can have that 'culture'. But at the same time they NEED to be able to do the things a team needs to win. Just wanting to play hard or want to win isn't enough to actually be a contender. LeBron, Paul George, Kobe, Chris Paul, whoever - they want to win to. A team needs to be able to compete against others who want to win aswell. Something always has to give .


    Just having a philosophy, coach, style/system and plan is not enough. It all starts somewhere and it starts with talent. Talent that wants to win, talent that can win, talent that can make it easier for everyone else to want to win.

    Then the team has what it foundation to do anything or everything else it wants to.

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    Great points, but at the end of the day we're just fans so we can't actually do anything except watch the games.

    Ujiri hopefully has a smart strategy in mind that he plans to implement.

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    Quote Nosike wrote: View Post
    Great points, but at the end of the day we're just fans so we can't actually do anything except watch the games.

    Ujiri hopefully has a smart strategy in mind that he plans to implement.
    My wallet and capitalism say otherwise

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    I think its worth noting and understanding what is perhaps meant by culture, and where culture comes from.

    Its easy to say one needs a system and a coach (who I would include as part of a system but thats neither here nor their), but if you don't have the players to run that system or fit in that system, then exactly how far will culture get you?

    To take that even further, the NBA has shown there are many different systems or styles that can be effective.

    So doesn't a team want that core player(s) first, and then build a system that suits or fits with them? Then go about getting the players that fit with those core player(s) and system after?

    I don't really buy into this notion of culture atleast not in the same sense people seem to use it. I see it as more the types of players and talent a team has. The Jailblazers, the Malice Palace Pacers, or Grunfeld's KnuckleHeads (ie. the Wizards). Those 'cultures' were created by the players they had - not because of what those teams were trying to do. They were irratic, short fused, individually motivated (and sometimes down right dumb or crazy).

    What a team wants is players who are motivated, willing team players, have a desire to win (ie. anti-Bargnani's ), you have that and then you can have that 'culture'. But at the same time they NEED to be able to do the things a team needs to win. Just wanting to play hard or want to win isn't enough to actually be a contender. LeBron, Paul George, Kobe, Chris Paul, whoever - they want to win to. A team needs to be able to compete against others who want to win aswell. Something always has to give .


    Just having a philosophy, coach, style/system and plan is not enough. It all starts somewhere and it starts with talent. Talent that wants to win, talent that can win, talent that can make it easier for everyone else to want to win.

    Then the team has what it foundation to do anything or everything else it wants to.
    I agree to a certain extent. It's almost like the chicken or the egg argument. What I want is a philosophy of winning and a gameplan that allows management to execute smart basketball decisions. It isn't always about finding that one truly exceptional basketball talent that can then bring in other exceptional talent, and then use that as the basis of your culture. I don't know, what I want to believe is that you don't need a Durant or Lebron to build a contender. that if you have the right culture and the right system, you can attract the right talent, and furthermore, allows you to get more out of the guys you have, guys that don't have to be top 5 draft picks. Given that this organization has had some pretty good talent in the past, but has always been unable to keep them, suggests that the culture issue is a big one for this organization. IMO, this present Raps team has more talent than any other Raps team we have had, yet despite that, we can still justify tanking, and that suggests there is an inherent problem within the organization that goes beyond the players.

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    I agree to a certain extent. It's almost like the chicken or the egg argument. What I want is a philosophy of winning and a gameplan that allows management to execute smart basketball decisions. It isn't always about finding that one truly exceptional basketball talent that can then bring in other exceptional talent, and then use that as the basis of your culture. I don't know, what I want to believe is that you don't need a Durant or Lebron to build a contender. that if you have the right culture and the right system, you can attract the right talent, and furthermore, allows you to get more out of the guys you have, guys that don't have to be top 5 draft picks. Given that this organization has had some pretty good talent in the past, but has always been unable to keep them, suggests that the culture issue is a big one for this organization. IMO, this present Raps team has more talent than any other Raps team we have had, yet despite that, we can still justify tanking, and that suggests there is an inherent problem within the organization that goes beyond the players.
    Part of a team's culture or identity is also it's primary player. Since Bosh has left, Toronto has seemed to lack a leader, whose qualities/personality the team starts to take on. It can absolutely filter down from ownership to management to coaching to players, but the team needs one player to embody the team's desired identity (think the tough, defensive Celtics with KG). Part of any rebuilding/retooling of this franchise needs to be the determination of what the Raptors' identity is going to be, as well as finding a cornerstone / leader (in public, on the court and in the locker room) who personifies that identity.

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    I agree to a certain extent. It's almost like the chicken or the egg argument. What I want is a philosophy of winning and a gameplan that allows management to execute smart basketball decisions. It isn't always about finding that one truly exceptional basketball talent that can then bring in other exceptional talent, and then use that as the basis of your culture. I don't know, what I want to believe is that you don't need a Durant or Lebron to build a contender. that if you have the right culture and the right system, you can attract the right talent, and furthermore, allows you to get more out of the guys you have, guys that don't have to be top 5 draft picks. Given that this organization has had some pretty good talent in the past, but has always been unable to keep them, suggests that the culture issue is a big one for this organization. IMO, this present Raps team has more talent than any other Raps team we have had, yet despite that, we can still justify tanking, and that suggests there is an inherent problem within the organization that goes beyond the players.
    and here is the thing though - there is some level of evidence that a team perhaps doesn't need those calibre guys (although would still need 'talented' guys ofcourse).

    The problem is that its so much harder to do if you don't have your superstar, to the point its arguably improbable that it can be done or replicated. Particularily if we are looking at any sort of long term success (maybe if a team catches lightning in a bottle, gets the right match ups, the injury bug benifits them rather than hurts them etc, they can do it for a season)

    I don't necessarily disagree that this team has more talent than any team the Raps have had (for a long time anyways). Even putting aside the comments we can make about how Colangelo set the bar real low (ie. its all relative to the bad teams Toronto has had for so long), the question is - do we legitimately believe its enough. If it isn't, then waiting is just likely putting off the inevitable and missing a great opportunity (this draft + earlier development of Jonas, Ross etc) along the way

    I personally don't believe its enough. And if that alone wasn't enough, we have additional concerns (salary cap concerns, contracts ending, can the team be maintained, are the players of an age close enough to 'peak' together etc) that it really push everything further in one direction for me.

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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    Part of a team's culture or identity is also it's primary player. Since Bosh has left, Toronto has seemed to lack a leader, whose qualities/personality the team starts to take on. It can absolutely filter down from ownership to management to coaching to players, but the team needs one player to embody the team's desired identity (think the tough, defensive Celtics with KG). Part of any rebuilding/retooling of this franchise needs to be the determination of what the Raptors' identity is going to be, as well as finding a cornerstone / leader (in public, on the court and in the locker room) who personifies that identity.
    I can't disagree with this, but there is a reason why ALL our top talent has decided to leave. I understand that the lure of playing with LBJ and Wade is almost impossible to overcome, but had the franchise been in a better position to compete and contend and improve at that time, we would have had a better chance at keeping Bosh. Same could be said of Carter, and both those guys could still be playing together today IF the franchise had some sort of identity, culture, and/or plan. I guess we can all argue until we are blue in the face about what comes first, the top talent or the culture, but the fact remains that we have had some top talent and the franchise was unable to take advantage of that by turning it into sustainable success.

    Furthermore, if you have an identity or culture (an idea of the type of team you want to build going forward) it completely changes the way you draft, trade and manage assets. It's not always the best idea to let the players determine the culture, figure it out and then get the players to fit the mold.

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    Culture, culture, culture...that's where it starts and that has its roots in management. Its hard to make the right basketball decisions without a culture, and that's how franken-rosters get built. The keepers on this roster IMO are JV, Demar, and Ross for sure and I love Amir so I'll include him too. All are young, moldable, and coachable and can be part of something bigger...not bad at all as core players. But a system and a culture are needed to get the most of any talent.
    We have not had that culture in T.O.

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    and here is the thing though - there is some level of evidence that a team perhaps doesn't need those calibre guys (although would still need 'talented' guys ofcourse).

    The problem is that its so much harder to do if you don't have your superstar, to the point its arguably improbable that it can be done or replicated. Particularily if we are looking at any sort of long term success (maybe if a team catches lightning in a bottle, gets the right match ups, the injury bug benifits them rather than hurts them etc, they can do it for a season)

    I don't necessarily disagree that this team has more talent than any team the Raps have had (for a long time anyways). Even putting aside the comments we can make about how Colangelo set the bar real low (ie. its all relative to the bad teams Toronto has had for so long), the question is - do we legitimately believe its enough. If it isn't, then waiting is just likely putting off the inevitable and missing a great opportunity (this draft + earlier development of Jonas, Ross etc) along the way

    I personally don't believe its enough. And if that alone wasn't enough, we have additional concerns (salary cap concerns, contracts ending, can the team be maintained, are the players of an age close enough to 'peak' together etc) that it really push everything further in one direction for me.
    Don't get me wrong I am not suggesting we keep this team together. I also agree it isn't enough. But one thing that disappoints me with this situation is that we are by no means getting as much as we can from this team or these players. We all talk about ceilings of players and teams, and I don't think for a second that this team has come close to its ceiling. Nonetheless, I also don't think that this teams ceiling is high enough regardless of the situation to be a conference finalist or contender, so I am certainly up for some change. However, when you have a team that cannot reach its ceiling, its very difficult to evaluate the roster and make smart decisions about how to improve the team going forward. The only thing I can be sure of in my own mind at this point is that the coaching staff is failing. I also have an issue with Rudy, but that has been beaten to death already.

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    I can't disagree with this, but there is a reason why ALL our top talent has decided to leave. I understand that the lure of playing with LBJ and Wade is almost impossible to overcome, but had the franchise been in a better position to compete and contend and improve at that time, we would have had a better chance at keeping Bosh. Same could be said of Carter, and both those guys could still be playing together today IF the franchise had some sort of identity, culture, and/or plan. I guess we can all argue until we are blue in the face about what comes first, the top talent or the culture, but the fact remains that we have had some top talent and the franchise was unable to take advantage of that by turning it into sustainable success.

    Furthermore, if you have an identity or culture (an idea of the type of team you want to build going forward) it completely changes the way you draft, trade and manage assets. It's not always the best idea to let the players determine the culture, figure it out and then get the players to fit the mold.
    Lost in this is that the talent has to match the culture. Which you touch upon in the last paragraph.

    -You cannot simply go for an organizational culture change and then expect any player you bring in to be made to fit that culture. Does San Antonio impose culture on its players? Or does it draft players who fit it's desired culture? I'd say it's the latter. San Antonio probably wouldn't draft someone like a DeMarcus Cousins, because of how difficult it would be to fit him into what they prefer their team culture to be.

    -And it works going the other way too. As much as it helps to have the "right" kind of top player, it's not going to help unless the organization and roster match that type of personality. You couldn't add Durant to a team of headcases and suddenly expect everyone to buy in. The process has to be top-down, and every piece brought in has to show something that makes you believe they'll fit in your team's culture.

    Could the Raptors have developed that culture around either Bosh or Carter? Tough to say. Neither have ideal personalities for it. They were on the right path with Butch as a coach in Carter's early years (culture-wise that is), and then that was all lost when they brought in Lenny. As for Bosh, he's a pretty soft player. He can maybe be part of that culture, but can he be the leader on a team that displays a tough, disciplined winning culture? I'm not confident he could've been.

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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    Lost in this is that the talent has to match the culture. Which you touch upon in the last paragraph.

    -You cannot simply go for an organizational culture change and then expect any player you bring in to be made to fit that culture. Does San Antonio impose culture on its players? Or does it draft players who fit it's desired culture? I'd say it's the latter. San Antonio probably wouldn't draft someone like a DeMarcus Cousins, because of how difficult it would be to fit him into what they prefer their team culture to be.

    -And it works going the other way too. As much as it helps to have the "right" kind of top player, it's not going to help unless the organization and roster match that type of personality. You couldn't add Durant to a team of headcases and suddenly expect everyone to buy in. The process has to be top-down, and every piece brought in has to show something that makes you believe they'll fit in your team's culture.

    Could the Raptors have developed that culture around either Bosh or Carter? Tough to say. Neither have ideal personalities for it. They were on the right path with Butch as a coach in Carter's early years (culture-wise that is), and then that was all lost when they brought in Lenny. As for Bosh, he's a pretty soft player. He can maybe be part of that culture, but can he be the leader on a team that displays a tough, disciplined winning culture? I'm not confident he could've been.
    I totally agree with all this, exactly what I was trying to say. I have no example, but I wonder if San Antonio has passed on more talented guys (in the draft) to find a player that fits their system and culture better? I guess the same could be asked in terms of trades. It certainly helps to have a core of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili, but even those guys may have been picked/acquired because they were thought to be a better fit than other, possibly more talented players. In any event, if I have the option of trading with San Antonio or Sacramento, I'm trading with San Antonio, all else being equal.

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  22. #16
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    Great posts guys.

    Thanks for making this a thread other Forums would be envious of.

    Cheers

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    I totally agree with all this, exactly what I was trying to say. I have no example, but I wonder if San Antonio has passed on more talented guys (in the draft) to find a player that fits their system and culture better? I guess the same could be asked in terms of trades. It certainly helps to have a core of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili, but even those guys may have been picked/acquired because they were thought to be a better fit than other, possibly more talented players. In any event, if I have the option of trading with San Antonio or Sacramento, I'm trading with San Antonio, all else being equal.
    I think a lot of their draft success has been to take guys that are falling in the draft. It always seems like there's somebody who's falling in the draft, then San Antonio picks them, and everyone nods and says, 'damn, now he's going to be a good player'. Leonard, Blair, and Splitter were all guys who were dropping on draft night and ended up getting picked by San Antonio and turned into something useful. Probably that's having both the patience and confidence that they can develop these guys. They've certainly reached on some guys as well, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    I totally agree with all this, exactly what I was trying to say. I have no example, but I wonder if San Antonio has passed on more talented guys (in the draft) to find a player that fits their system and culture better? I guess the same could be asked in terms of trades. It certainly helps to have a core of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili, but even those guys may have been picked/acquired because they were thought to be a better fit than other, possibly more talented players.
    It's not even about Manu and Parker, although they're certainly good pieces. San Antonio has been able to build the system and culture they have because they've been able to build around Tim Duncan, the best power forward to ever play the game and someone who at this point could be a Bill Russell-style player-coach if he wanted it (which he doesn't). Having a top-10-of-all-time player for the better part of two decades makes building a longterm dynasty a lot easier because you build around your star and worry less about what he's best at doing.

    Right now San Antonio's concern is that Duncan is at the tail end of his career and they don't have a superstar to replace him (Kawhi Leonard is great but he's not a Duncan-level player by a long shot). God knows how they pull that off.
    Last edited by magoon; Tue Nov 26th, 2013 at 04:01 PM.

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    Quote octothorp wrote: View Post
    I think a lot of their draft success has been to take guys that are falling in the draft. It always seems like there's somebody who's falling in the draft, then San Antonio picks them, and everyone nods and says, 'damn, now he's going to be a good player'. Leonard, Blair, and Splitter were all guys who were dropping on draft night and ended up getting picked by San Antonio and turned into something useful. Probably that's having both the patience and confidence that they can develop these guys. They've certainly reached on some guys as well, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
    I think another part of that perception has to do with the role those players played in SA, compared to much higher expectations and more significant roles they would likely have been expected to play on other teams. I think it ties into the ongoing conversations about team culture/identity and building a team the right way (ie: talented pieces that fit together and know their role, buying into the team concept).

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    Quote magoon wrote: View Post
    San Antonio has been able to build the system and culture they have because they've been able to build around Tim Duncan, the best power forward to ever play the game and someone who at this point could be a Bill Russell-style player-coach if he wanted it (which he doesn't).
    No.

    Wrong.

    while he was definitely huge part, hiss lkill isn't what has helped the most. Duncan was a star that was intelligent, selfless, and bought into the system. his demeanor and behaviour matched the culture you need to have a winner. Simply dismissing San Antonio's success as an anomaly based upon Duncan being a great player is bullshit. He IS a great player, but a great player that REINFORCES an already existing culture.

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