Legacy: An NBA Myth

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Everybody is talking and getting fined over Lebron James’ summer. People are trying to factor in as many variables as possible that they claim Lebron will use to decipher where he is going to go.

My personal favorite for humor is his legacy.

“Lebron will go to the Knicks so his Legacy can be returning them to former glory.”

“Lebron is as concerned with his Legacy as he is with the money. He wants to know what his legacy will be.”

I am sorry, but what? Do you really think that Lebron cares about all that? If you do then you are only fooling yourself in an attempt to work out a scenario that puts him on your favorite team.

Here is the simple equation for where Lebron goes that should help clear things up.

(Salary + potential plus/minus in endorsement deals + team mates and winning potential (as it relates to potential plus/minus in endorsement deals)) * if he wants to go and play in that city = chance Lebron will end up on that team.

That is it. You might notice how much of a role money is playing in the whole thing. That is because Lebron has stated with no small amount of certainty that he wants to be a global icon.

That is Lebron’s legacy and he hasn’t really made any secret of it. He plays the game for the money and the fame. No surprise but that is what 98.9% of the league does it for.

Wilt Chamberlain would have never said anything like that or even have been able to dream of the salaries and fame the current NBA touts for its players. That is why his legacy is all about someone sacrificing everything for the win.

Lebron has been compared to Jordan over and over again and do you want to know what Jordan thinks his legacy is? HE DOESN’T YET! That’s right, up until his hall of fame speech he was still pondering another comeback.

Lebron hasn’t thought that far ahead yet and he really shouldn’t. He is doing what he wants to do with his life right now and we will find out what his legacy is when it is all said and done.

I don’t think we are going to see Lebron winning 6 titles. It seems like he is reaching the point in his career where such lofty goals are slipping away. Maybe that will be his legacy.

Don’t think that Dominic Wilkins set out to never win a championship. He played in a different era of the NBA where players stayed on a team for their whole career and he never really had the greatest shot at a championship.

So before you think of talking Lebron onto you team with the tantalizing prospects of saving a franchise and restoring former glory make sure that you have a really big check with his name on it. Otherwise you are going to be playing out the various trade scenarios that could have happened over the next 10 years.

The NBA has a real challenge when it comes to bringing people to their games. Their biggest rival is my couch. Soft, comfortable, at my house; this formidable opponent is not something the NBA can take lightly.

I live in Minnesota so we are going to compare my couch to the Target Center but the general concepts apply.


At my house I have my couch with my coffee table (my grandfathers WWII war chest) for a foot stool. My couch is a sectional with loads of pillows that I use to create a bucket style seat with lower back support at a slightly reclined angle.

The “at arena” equivalent is a plastic seat that is uncomfortably close to the person sitting next to you. With my broad shoulders it is not comfortable to go to a stadium and be constantly attempting to avoid the elbows of the person next to you. With the Timberwolves attendance this is not an issue but you can imagine the non-draw.

The only plus for the “at arena” seating is the cup holder. No worries about knocking over you 6 dollar coke (I will touch on food next). At my house the cup on the coffee table is in constant danger but I have become used to it.


There is no comparison here. The food at my house has no limits and it much less expensive. The argument of not having to make it myself doesn’t hold water either because of take out. Nearly limitless refills and any food I can preplan for.

There is no “at arena” benefit from the food side. And if you consider the swarms of people who attend the happy hours within walking distance of the stadium it is mind boggling that they haven’t figured this out yet. People will begrudgingly pay the 6 dollars for a coke or happily pay 8 dollars for 2 cokes and a fries. Cheap food is a way to bring people in. First Quarter Happy Hours anyone?

Mark Cuban is the most likely to adopt this because he is intelligent and knows what it takes to make money.

Other Entertainment

At my house I can switch channels during commercial breaks, check the other scores, check my email, do almost anything during the lulls of the game.

At the arena I am pretty much forced to watch the dancers, see some elderly lady air ball a free-throw, buy overpriced food or talk with the people around me.

Why the NBA stadiums don’t have big screens with all the other NBA games going on is beyond me. Also Mascots and dancers do not count as entertaining. Mascots are mostly creepy and except for the Bucks’ mascot ladder dunk, never entertain. Dancers/cheerleaders neither lead cheers nor inspire anything except for drunk and creepy men to make fools of themselves. We need to rethink this one.

Give me something I can’t get at home… All the games. Give me the TNT halftime show with Charles and Kenny. Give me something that is at least entertaining.

Also why don’t stadiums have free WiFi when you are at the game?

Seeing the game

HD is the saving force of the NBA as well as what is going to kill going to the game. I can go to a game and never get the quality or variety of sight lines, close ups and pan shots that HD TV can offer. HD is as accurate as real life.


For as good as the announcing is there is a chasm when it comes to quality color commentators. I understand that their job is to talk incessantly about the game to fill in the dead air but outside of Charles Barkley no one does it more compellingly or entertainingly.

Here is what sets him apart. He doesn’t placate. If Chuck thinks you stink he is going to say it. Other announcers tell you that everyone everywhere is great. Reggie Miller is the closest second to this (he is still a mile away) but he just doesn’t have the voice for it.

The greatest color commentator duo was Walton and Stephen A Smith. Walton loved everything and Smith loved to push Walton’s buttons.

Okay, Imagine this. Tirico as the announcer with Walton and Barkley doing commentary. That game would go down as legend even if the game was horrible. I get chills just thinking about it.

At home I get relatively good announcing and half time commentary that is awesome when it’s on TNT.

At the game I get almost nothing.


This is the hardest one of all. My house I made to be exactly the way I want it. I can invite the people I want over to watch the game with me. I have complete and entire control over everything.

The key for the NBA here is to offer me something I can’t get at home. I guess I can’t get a huge empty stadium that is dark and uninviting at home but that really isn’t a draw.

Let’s take a quick look at the atmosphere of a Football game. Every game is very important. Any and every loss are devastating. A football game can have a retractable dome so you can use the mood around the stadium to give the stadium itself a better atmosphere.

My solution is to use the surroundings of a basketball stadium. Not a retractable roof but an atrium like roof. Let me watch a basketball game in downtown while I can see downtown. I have my tentative plans for this stadium drawn up. Also make it so when I go get one of the 6 dollar cokes that I don’t have to leave the stadium and go to a hallway to get it. Open the stadium up and make it more enjoyable and a less dark atmosphere. Don’t be afraid of people enjoying more than just the basketball game.

In short, give me a good reason to get off my couch and go to a game.

It’s a tough fight to win, but one that the NBA hasn’t even publicly recognized yet. I expect Mark Cuban to set the curve on this.



Looky Here

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