Monday, December 9, 2013

Great Idea! (Just Make Sure the Regular Season Counts)

Soon-to-be NBA Commish Adam Silver got on some kind of radio that I don't subscribe to and said that the NBA will look into abolishing divisions and indentured servitude.  Great!  I love it!

I also have a few demands requests:

1) Give the Conference Championship to the regular season champions

The NBA has long had the problem of everyone caring about the playoffs and (close enough to) nobody (for a #HotSportsTake) caring about the regular season.  Let's change that.  Let's have two big ol' 15-team (or maybe 16 team someday soon?) conferences and let's let the regular season champion of each conference hang a banner (unless they're the Lakers) and get a trophy.  The playoff champion of each conference goes to the Finals anyway.  Do they really need the trophy and banner?  Give it to the team with the top record in the regular season.  Maybe the fans will care a little bit more about those games in February (but probably not).

2) Add four games to the schedule

There are 14 fellow conference-ites (conference-ians? conferenos?) for every team.  14 x 4 = 56 conference games.

There are 15 non-conference-ites.  15 x 2 = 30 non-conference games.

56 + 30 = 86 games and 86 ain't that much more than 82.  I don't care how you do it.  Start the season in October.  End the Finals the day before the draft.  I don't care.  Four more games = about 10 extra days of season.  There's got to be a way.

3) Enact Bill Simmons's "Entertaining As Hell" tournament

The Sports Guy has had a lot of great ideas in his day, but this one is the best.  Cut the playoffs off at 7 teams per conference and give the 8th seed to the winner of a March Madness-style tournament.

Yes, this might've screwed the Bucks last season.  They'd have been the top seed of Entertaining As Hell (I'm gonna exclude "tournament" so it sounds like a WWE pay-per-view.  "John Cena is facing Randy Orton at Hell In A Cell" just like "the Bucks are the top seed of Entertaining As Hell") and they probably would've lost their playoff seed.

Or they wouldn't have!  Maybe they would've ran through the Magic, Bullets and Raps like a hot knife through butter!  Maybe they would've come together and played like they did when they beat the Heat during the regular season!  Maybe they would've won the I-94 series against the Bulls.  Maybe Larry Sanders would've punched out David West in the East Finals.  Maybe the Spurs would be the defending champs.  That could've happened.  But we were robbed of it because the NBA still needs to adopt Entertaining As Hell.

4) Move the Bucks to the West

I bug my Bucks season ticket rep a lot.  I ask for new a new jersey design, players like Monta Ellis to be signed, and players like Zach Randolph to be acquired.  (I also suggest some stupid stuff like to sign Gary Neal and to turn him into Ben Gordon-in-his-prime.)  There is one suggestion that rises above all in how strongly it was dismissed: a move to the West.

I get why the Bucks like the East.  They get to play Chicago more often.  They get more start games that air during prime time hours.  They get all of those big east coast markets to see the Bucks.

But look at what could be done if the Bucks were in the West.

The Bucks would have a natural rival in Minnesota.  A natural rival that doesn't buy up 80% of your tickets when you play them at home on a Saturday night.

The Bucks would be in a conference with other cool, mid-major cities like Portland, Denver (I know you people think you're major, but get real), Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and (hopefully in the future) Seattle.

The Bucks would play in Los Angeles twice as often.  (100% a selfish benefit.  But it's my blog.)

The Bucks would have one home game vs. Chicago per year.  They could do something cool with that game.  Like sell half the arena to Bulls fans and half to Bucks fans, like at the Florida/Georgia game.  (And reserve the right to eject any Bulls fans that buy tickets in the Bucks' sections.)  Or book Miller Park for the game.  Or create a special I-94 Rivalry alternate jersey like the Cowboys had for years for the Thanksgiving Day game.

So let's do this NBA.  Let's dump the divisions.  Let's have new conference champs.  Let's have a few more games.  And let's get the Bucks to the conference that they won their championship from.  The world awaits.

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