Derivative Hoops

Hubie Brownstone has more than a decade of experience in and around the NBA, and is contributing to

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  1. This is remarkably spot-on as a take. Personally, while I was a huge NY Knicks fan growing up in the NY suburbs, the game evolved over time from the quintessential team sport, where all 5 players contributed constantly, to a superstar focused playground sport with teams seeking the biggest star and clearing half the court to let him do his thing and bring the team to victory. Alas, that was a far less interesting game, especially for the core audience of kids who played basketball in rec leagues or school or even on friends’ driveways, and who learned much about teamwork and its importance in that setting. Add to that the willingness to celebrate players of morally dubious character (Latrell Sprewell anyone?) simply added to the growing disenchantment. At this point, I no longer watch nor care about the Knicks or the NBA.
    And the analogy to our economy and the real world is extremely accurate and telling. How many things that seemed important to us all earlier in life have become almost parodies of themselves and now carry no weight or import at all?
    thank you for a thoughtful discussion here.

  2. Terrific! Eventually, please do other sports, like PGA / LIV. And are the players actually paid the astronomical sums quoted in the press (e.g. Cristiano Ronaldo > 130m annual, > 1b lifetime), or is it a marketing ploy?

  3. This was a fantastic post! Watching owners create synthetics to juice returns for their investments in these teams where the prior 30 years cannot be replicated rings very similar to the United States of BBY article. But BBY was a dying retailer made less relevant by AMZN. Pro sports are tied to the cultural fabric of modern society and I hate to say it but that society will be willing to tolerate the synthetics for much longer than anyone commenting on this kind of article would like.

    As a follow up article at some point Hubbie I’d be interested to see a post about the NFL’s Thursday night football. The quality of play is horrible, player safety willfully ignored but hey the NFL can squeeze some more money out of another TV network so the show goes on!

  4. Avatar for Laura Laura says:

    Really interesting read, even if one is not necessarily an NBA fan. The concept “thermocline” was a new one for me, and I am chewing on that tasty bite of knowledge!

    I had read recently that the “San Francisco” 49ers are slowly taking over the town of Santa Clara, whose voters decided to help fund the stadium that San Franciscans were reluctant to. Proving your point, sadly. 49ers faction in Santa Clara wants to topple elected police chief

    And from a business model innovation perspective I’m thinking about “too many games” and wonder how fans/customers of the games might be more or better engaged around the game of basketball itself. I don’t know if it maps to basketball but e.g. I’m thinking about how Lego lets its fan base create products that sometimes get taken up by the company to produce as a series.

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