Were Magic, Bird, and the 80s Anomalies?

Amazon Prime has older NBA games their airing now. When I say older, I mean in the 70s and 60s. I watching a few quarters of Kareem and the Big O with the Bucks, Rick Barry and the Warriors, among others. Watching a few of these games reinforced a hypothesis I had about Magic, Bird, and the NBA in the 80s–namely, they were anomalies, and the 80s were an exception rather than the rule. I’ll explain my reasons for feeling this way in the next post.

Michael Jordan’s Leadership

I have a lot of respect for Michael Jordan as a basketball player (and he seems like a decent enough guy). I don’t think I’ve ever had a negative impression or thought of him. Until now. I haven’t been watching The Last Dance, but I’ve been listening to some of the comments about the series. The ones I heard today, from Shannon Sharpe, specifically about Michael Jordan’s leadership was the first time I can remember having a negative impression of Jordan. I’ll go more why I feel this way in this thread.

Football Question: How Should a Team’s Offense Play If Their Defense is Weak?

I feel like I’ve asked this question before, but after a cursory search, I couldn’t find any thread. I apologize if this I’m repeating myself. This question often comes up when I’m interacting with Seahawk fans in the last two years–primarily because their defense hasn’t been good. A lot of people seem to think that, with a weak defense, a team should be more aggressive about scoring, which usually means passing the ball more in a way that maximizes scoring opportunities, rather than controlling the ball. Intuitively, this seems correct. A more conservative offense makes sense on a team with a great defense. That is, don’t take chances on offense, and don’t worry about scoring a lot because the defense can win the game.

However, I think one can make a conservative offensive approach when the team’s defense is weak. A conservative approach will minimize the defense’s snaps and time on the field, minimizing their exposure and also enabling them to play at their best by resting them. This second point is crucial if the defense the problem main problem with the defense is that they hit their breaking point relatively quickly.

Actually, I think a balanced offensive approach is the ideal. With a weak defense, scoring is critical–more critical than if the defense were dominant. So the offense should be good at ball control and scoring. Indeed, I think this is only viable path to a serious playoff run. An offense that’s too conservative is not going to cut it, and an offense that is aggressive will have to be fantastic at scoring TDs to make up for the defensive deficiency. That’s type of offense is difficult–you need the personnel, OC, and it puts tremendous pressure on the offense.

Where do you guys stand on this?

An Idea for Professional Sports League During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • NBA could have all the teams live in one community and play games in one arena. The teams would be separated for the most part from the rest of the community. The NBA could “rent” hotels or convention centers for whole season. The personnel would have to either not leave or be screened somehow. Or, perhaps the NBA could “rent” staff from hotels, restaurants, trainers, etc. and have them travel with the league.
  • It would be cool if fans could attend, but how could you insure they didn’t carry the virus? If cities created pop-up communities (like the idea above), the maybe the people living in these pop-up communities could attend the games.
    • One alternative: Create a segmented screen that would be in the stands. Individual fans could broadcast their reactions at home. Could they also connect and combine all the sounds made by the individual fans? If this were an episode of Black Mirror, holograms/avatars representing each fan could be sitting in the stands.
    • Fans could pay to be in virtual stands. As a benefit, maybe they could ask questions to coaches and players—and they would be the only ones to have access to this. They could receive a program from the game, maybe autographed items, etc. Basically, this would be a way for the league to make-up for lost revenue.
  • Alternative to fans: NBA and other leagues could charge a fee for streaming?
  • To benefit multiple cities, the NBA could stay for a month in one city. (Remember all the teams would be living there.)
  • Logistics may be too difficult, but the NBA could think of shortening the season and running a modified version during the summer or at least make plans to do this next year. Also, in a shortened season, it would be cool if they had a Final Four type format—do or die, one game playoffs—maybe letting everyone in.
  • Downsides
    • NBA players would be away from their families for a long time, unless their families could accompany them. (With schools being out, it might be feasible.)

NFL should be thinking about this already. The NFL has way more players, though, so this would be a challenge. One cool side effect is the economic benefits—to the city they’re in and/or the staff they bring.

Could this concept apply in other situations? For example, what about musicians? Theater? Movies? I liked the idea of a group setting up in one city/community and hiring or generating a lot of economic activity as a result.