Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

RISE UP

In the opinion of the Dar, the NBA Draft Lottery went well. My Atlanta Hawks landed the #3 pick, savign themselves from having to send the pick to Phoenix. In addition, they got Indiana's pick at number 11. Plus the tankerous Trio of Memphis, Boston, and Milwaukee may have been victims of another David Stern conspiracy to punish them for losing games on purpose. Anyways, being a new fan to the Hawks, I did know enough to find these posts from the ESPN message board very amusing...

For anyone who thought the Hawks might get the #1 or #2 then you haven't been a hawks fan long enough. Because anyone who has been part of this nightmare knew that when we were part of the final 3 that if there were 2 great players then we would be #3. If there would have been 3 great players then we would have been #4. Thats what being a hawks fan is all about.

More bad karma for my poor Hawks due to the terrible Dominique trade of yore (I'm convinced the Gods are still angry about that one -- I know I am). I'm sorry, but I like Law better than Conley, Jr. Bigger, stronger, and much more experienced. Conley reminds me of TJ Ford who has just now become an okay NBA point guard, except Conley's not that good. The Hawks don't have three years to wait for Conley to develop (or not), and he's shorter and weighs less than just about every other premier point guard in the league, except Allen Iverson (and he is NO Iverson). Not good for matchups. I think we Hawks fans need to be more wary of a player who is essentially a one-tournament wonder. Would Conley Jr. be a lottery pick had not Greg Oden edged OSU to victory in a couple of crucial games? Can Corey Brewer not be turned into a point guard? No? Oh well then. Just our luck to need a point guard this year -- why didn't we land Iverson again? Let me go drink myself into oblivion.


I won't tell him that Oblivion has broken up. However, it says alot that they are still talking about that Wilkins for Manning trade back in 1994 while admitting that they don't know what will happen, but knowing the Hawks will screw it up. If you know your NBA history though, the Hawks have made it one debacle after another over the years. Starting with Pistol Pete Maravich, but continuing through John Battle, John Koncak, as well as the recent Marvin Williams/Chris Paul fiasco.

But Seth has a bit of general sports perspective on the situation...

"Well, Atlanta's hockey team more than makes up for the karma. They're one of those East teams that built with a ridiculous string of draft picks -- can't bitch about draft luck when you're simply three of the league's best forwards, a top young defensive pairing and a franchise goaltender.

Another of those built-by-Bettman teams, by the way, is Ottawa. However, since Chris Pronger can bite me, and Giguere is representative of everything that's wrong with goalie pads, I'm jumping on the Canada bandwagon and rooting for the Senators. Besides, if any city ever deserved an NHL expansion and Bettman draft job, it was this one -- they had a legendary NHL franchise back when the Red Wings were playing in Victoria, British Columbia, and calling themselves the Cougers (1920s).

See what I did there? I took an NBA conversation and totally made it an NHL conversation.

People are complaining about the Pacific Northwest winning the two towers in Durant and Oden, but I think it's poetic justice. Sometimes when we see things that "aren't fair" it's really just the system working like it's supposed to. Memphis, Milwaukee and Boston were so obviously tanking at the end of the season (Boston was doing it from the get-go). And the reason we have a lottery is to make tanking not worthwhile. The alternative system would be the NHL, where a team can spend five seasons tanking games, living off profit sharing from "big market teams" while complaining about competitive balance because their fans won't come to watch their team lose on purpose, and be rewarded with five or six young franchise players.

As for the Hawks, every sport has one or two really crummy franchises (like the Devil Rays, the Lions, the Florida Panthers and Michigan State) who consistently stink so their divisional rivals can look good. How could Martin St. Louis win a Hart trophy if he couldn't spend 8 games racing around the Panthers? What would Wisconsin think of Brett Favre if he hadn't had a team like the Lions on which to pad his stats every year? Could the Yankees and Red Sox have their annual epic battle without those pleasant trips to and visits from the minor leaguers in St. Petersberg every few weeks? And how many of those wins for the winningest team in college football history came against the agricultural college on the next train stop? Would the Lakers dynasties have been so potent without the Clippers to beat up on? The Hawks exist so the legends of D-Wade and Arenas and Howard and Okafor can be built.


Well for as bad as the NBA can seem sometime, it's always nice to remember that at least the league is not run by Bettman. Im not sure how the NHL works, but in the NBA rookie contracts last only 3 years, so even if you get a LeBron, you have to bust your butt building around him or you will lose him to the Knicks, Lakers or Mavs. For example, it never mattered that the Clippers drafted Lamar Odom, Quentin Richardson, Corey Maggette, Elton Brand, Michael Olowakandi, and Chris Kaman with all their great draft picks because by the time they had run out their rookie contract they went Andre Miller and declared "I aint doin' shit for the Clippers."

I agree there was a great deal of tanking this year. But it was nice to see Milwaukee and Boston face lady Nemesis. I feel that Memphis could have deserved Oden/Durant since their 2007 was similar to the Spurs of 1997 (a solid team that had a bad season due to the season long injury to Robinson). And as for Atlanta, I would put them in a similar boat. They most certainly tanked, but they were also on pace to win about 35-40 until they got popped by the injury train. Since they knew the pick was only lottery protected, the odds were in their favor to lose because only a lottery would help them (unlike Memphis, Boston or Milwaukee that are facing a sort of win-lose scenario).

The only thing I dont like is that this draft reinforces the dominance of the West. Statistically a bad east should be helped through the lottery to make them less pathetic and distribute a bit more competitive equity coast to coast. Instead we are looking at the rise of another killer division with Denver, Utah, Seattle and Portland all looking to contend in the years to come (and poor poor Minnesota will probably spend the next decade as the crummy franchise).

But going into the draft, since there is no clear number 3 pick, I would not be surprised if the Hawks traded down to get Mike Conley Jr. Supposedly, he is the best point guard in the draft. But I don't know how much faith to put in his game considering that he has made a career of getting the ball to Beast Oden. With the 11th pick look for the Hawks to get an energy post player to fill the middle such as Joakim Noah (assuming they can't turn the number 3 pick into a trade for Jermaine O'Neal, or Zach Randolph).

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