Sunday, July 02, 2017


If Pat Riley pulls off landing Utah all-star Gordon Hayward...I will be one impressed mother-fucker. Hell, I'm damned impressed that Riley made Hayward's final three.

I cannot for the life of me understand why Hayward would take his talents to South Beach--I just made that up, I like the sound of it.--rather than Beantown or stay in the Beehive, yet luring Hayward is seen as a test if Riley "still has it."

"This is Riley’s time. His season." "Sign Gordon Hayward. Get him. Win him. Period." "Go to work, Mr. Riley." greg-cote-June29Cote-July1

Be reasonable. Sign him, get him, win him. Period. is not reasonable. Riley is working but he doesn't have as much to work with, by a reasonable look at things, as do Boston and Utah.

Take money, the happiness Americans most love to pursue. As holders Utah can offer Hayward up to $180 mil over five years. Boston and Miami can offer $133 mil. That's an over $9 mil Utah advantage per year.

But, money isn't everything, the Founding Fathers didn't write that in the Constitution, Dear Abby or somebody wrote it, but other factors do come into play. Hayward reportedly is ambitious, he wants to win, win big, that is a metric that sometimes outweighs money for professional athletes, and no amount of excess money he would get by staying in Utah is going to make the "Jazz" reasonable contenders to win the West. Are you fucking kidding me? Golden State is in the West, San Antonio is in the West, Oklahoma City with new addition Paul George, is in the West. Houston, with newly signed Chris Paul is in the West. If Gordon Hayward stays in Salt Lake he is, right now, further behind winning the West than he was just yesterday, the start of free agency. For the young NBA professional ambitious to win the mantra is, overwhelmingly, "Go East, young man."

So by those two important metrics we have a tug of values between one team in the West and two in the East. My perplexity is that Miami is one of the two Leasters. Can offer a little bit more money than Beans because no state income tax. The consensus is that the life in Miami is better than in Boston, I can understand that for a young rich guy. For a young, poor guy with no talent like me, Boston was heaven on earth.

Then there is loyalty, culture comfort, basketball culture, that is. Hayward has been in Utah for seven years, I think it is. I think the "Jazz" have a pretty good rep for team culture. Hayward was not bitching about it that I know of. But seven years is seven years! You're allowed to try a different basketball culture when your cultural life-span is probably one more five year contract. If not now, never.

League-wide, Miami's basketball culture is legendary. It is one of the very best organizations in professional sports. Erik Spoelstra's rep is WAY up after last year's second-half miracle. And lording over it all is, of course, Riley. For better and for worse. Riles' rep has taken a few dents. He did not see LBJ's return coming, until it was too late. His tone-deaf press conference after the soul killing 2014 Finals loss to San Antone, PRAISED by South Florida pencils, "Just the challenge Lebron needs," was instead, ugly and insulting. It was just the prod LBJ needed, if he needed any at that point, to put SoBe in his rear view mirror. Riley, he will tell you himself, detests the modern player culture, the BFF'S, the bro hugs, the joint vacations, the partying together of opponents, Riley does not understand it and can not get used to it. Then, Riley had a self-proclaimed "Heat Lifer," in Dwyane Wade, an uber loyalist who put money and ego aside to accommodate James and Bosh and Riley, rightly in my view,  kicked Wade to the curb when Wade's contract would have hamstrung the "Heat" in its attempt to rebuild. Business decision it was, business decision it had to be, but business decisions are the opposite of loyalty. Riley's strictly business treatment of Wade was the opposite of Wade's taking less money for the organization. Some things for Gordon Hayward to consider when he gets all broke out with culture.

The basketball culture in Boston? Danny Ainge is no Pat Riley. Danny Ainge is a little Phil Jackson. But Danny Ainge has 13,000 first round draft picks in the next couple of years, "assets" unheard of with which to build a team around--or without--Gordon Hayward. Brad Stevens is the Beans coach. Brad Stevens is one of the brightest young coaching stars in the NBA. And, Brad Stevens was Gordon Hayward's coach in college at Butler. Everyone likes Brad Stevens, Gordon Hayward likes Brad Stevens. Stevens is a player's coach and an acute basketball mind. On the basketball culture metric, I don't see Miami with an advantage.

Finally, on the pursuit of winning metric. BOSTON WON MORE GAMES IN THE EAST THAN ANY OTHER TEAM, INCLUDING THE LAKE MISTAKE "CADAVERS." They finished as the top playoff seed in the Least, twelve games better than Miami, who did not make the 'Loffs. Pat Riley can not reasonably argue to Gordon Hayward that his chances of winning the East over a currently dysfunctional culture of mistake on the Lake are greater with 41-41 Miami than with 53-29 Boston. That is just stupid.

So, my often wrong, always certain prediction: Gordon Hayward will play for Boston next year and Greg Cote will be ordered to lie down and take a powder. OR, I will be one shocked mother-fucker.

Good night.