Sunday, December 22, 2013

You Don't Get What You Paid For

Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This word is a loanword from German. The literal English translation is 'Harm-Joy'. It is the feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune. It is also borrowed by some other languages. -- Wikipedia
Don't reach for the halo too soon. You have plenty of time to enjoy yourself, even a little maliciously sometimes, before you settle down to being a saint. -- Edith Pargeter
Debacle: 1. a sudden and ignominious failure; a fiasco. -- Google
Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed, life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in threatening world. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town. Go see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears."But doctor," he says, "I am Pagliacci." Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains. -- Alan Moore, Watchmen
During the off-season, the Brooklyn Nets signed Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. They are going to pay $80 million in luxury tax for what, as of this writing, appears to be a lottery team. They're currently 9-17. And, oh yeah, Brook Lopez broke his foot and is done for the year.

There are several lessons here.

1) The NBA isn't Major League Baseball or Euro soccer. You can't buy championships in the L, and all the complaining that only large markets can compete after the Heat signed Wade, Bosh, and LeBron in 2010 and that small market teams wouldn't be able to keep up is pretty much bunkum now. The New York Knicks are 8-18; the Chicago Bulls are 10-16; the Los Angeles Lakers are 13-14. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City has the best record in the league at 22-4 (woah!), followed by Portland at 23-5, then San Antonio at 21-6. So much for that reasoning.

2) False entitlement delusions of grandeur in sports always backfires. Just because you're a billionaire like Mikhail Prokhorov or a six-time champion like Michael Jordan doesn't mean you can have everything your way. This shit ain't Burger King. Prokhorov is probably realizing this now; Jordan probably will never*.

3) You can't "Dr. Frankenstein"  a basketball team, nor can you create a microwavable instant-breakfast fanbase in a Petri dish. Nothing works that way. New York will always be the Knicks' territory, regardless of how poorly run that franchise is. Sure, you could wait a couple of decades to build up some hardcore fans and hope that the tide eventually turns in your favor (see: Clippers, Los Angeles), but waiting doesn't seem to be on the Nets' menu.

4) Has anyone seen Andrei Kirilenko lately? Is he going fishing on Lake Placid?

* But I dig the new Hornets logo!

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