Really long one here
but here is the part applicable to us
Interesting that Cho hints he mandated this current strategy as a condition of the team hiring him. Notice how he talks about adding NO SIGNIFICANT FREE AGENTS when they are in the tank mode. It is a long multi year plan and we are just finishing up the first year of it and it is possible that the 2nd year could be just as miserable.
Here's where tanking gets really crazy: When teams with really smart front
offices are forced to mimic teams with really bad front offices.
"The process of rebuilding is extremely rough on everyone," says Raptors GM Bryan
Colangelo, "and unfortunately made worse by the reality that the whole system is
counterintuitive. Strangely, losing may help you eventually win. But players,
coaches and management are all in this place trained as competitors. How in the
world do you tell a player or coach to go out there and lay down? The answer is
you don’t. But I continually stress that even in defeat we must win in other
ways with the intent of moving the dial forward."
In other words, build with talent, build with coaching, build with culture and build with the
long-term benefits of losing.
Or take this year's worst team, the Bobcats, now run by Cho, who is well-regarded. What's plaguing the Bobcats is a
history of mistakes, but also the reality that the front office -- Michael
Jordan, Rod Higgins, Cho and company -- is not doing all it can to win right
now. If there are cheap free agents they could add to make this team better,
they have not added them. If there are better coaches available, now would not
be the time to hire them.
Cho says he made something like that a condition of his joining the team. "They called me the day after I got let go by
Portland," he recalls of the Bobcats. Cho had three years left on his Portland
contract, and had that finest of luxuries -- he simply didn't have to work. "I
had thought about taking some time off, or teaching at a high school," he told
me on a recent episode of TrueHoop TV. "I thought about maybe
coaching high school tennis, which I've wanted to do for a long
But he flew to Charlotte for a conversation that came down to a
key moment, when Cho asked if the Bobcats really wanted to win. As in,
did they want to win so badly that they'd be willing to follow in the footsteps
of Cho's former employer, the Thunder, who won 20 games one season, and then 23
the next, in the process of amassing the core of their current team?
In other words, Cho was asking, were they willing to lose? "Are you
willing," Cho remembers asking, "to take a step back to take two steps
Cho says the room answered, unanimously, "yes." A few months
later, that team is 7-40.
Cho explains how the Thunder did it. When they
had cap room, they didn't use it. Massive losing streaks helped too. The team's
point guard of the future (Russell Westbrook) learned on the job while leading
the league in turnovers.
There is no suggestion that any of the players
or coaches didn't try their hardest. But the fact is the front office trotted
out a young, cheap and, frankly, bad team for a good long time. Intentionally.
During those same years they could have been, with a different strategy, far
more competitive. But if they had done that, they'd never be leading the Western
Conference right now, because they wouldn't have gotten the good players that
came with the good picks that came from losing.
Kemba and Bismack: The Future Has Arrived
I am not concerned with the lack of wins on the season if the front office's endgame equates to the Thunder/Blazers/T'Wolves promising future outlook. Even the Charlotte Hornets when they were here, always mired in the mediocre "almost there, but not really" 5-8 playoff slot and didn't have what it took either through free agency or trades to amass themselves atop the Eastern Conference Elite. I think next year will be just as bad as this, but a few things will help make it more palatable..... hopefully:
- No more Paul Silas
- No Boris
- No Najera (though I love him as a personality on this team)
- Amnesty Tyrus Thomas or Diop
- Anthony Davis in a Bobcat uniform
- Kemba Walker and Bismack with a year of experience under their belt
- Acquire enough assets between now and the 2013 draft to ensure that we draft Shabazz Muhammad
I'd much rather watch a team that has a clear blueprint, has young future studs in the stable (Henderson, Walker, Biyombo, Davis), is not taking on garbage contracts (Diaw, Carroll, Diop), and a competent coaching staff that puts effort in every night. If this team trots out only 15-20 wins next year and 25-30 wins the next, I'm okay with it because in the long run, we will be viable and scary. We've seen this team win the same quantity of wins that I mentioned, but with a jumble of crappy roster, bad trades, missed draft picks and terrible coaching.
The thing about that too me is, that they could easily lose the remaining fans of NBA basketball that Charlotte has left. The Thunder was a new experience for OKC, so people are still gonna be naturally excited by the team, and more than willing to stand by it.
A few more years of this, and general fans won't have a single fuck to give about the Bobcats.
I would gladly suck this year and next if it meant Davis and Muhammad would be Bobcats.
It depends on a few things on rather we can be competitive in 2 years or 3 years.
If we win both this draft and next. We pick up Davis and Muhammad. 2 very talented players to be the real building blocks to this team. Add a talented free agent in 2013 and we are good.
We dont win both drafts. We are forced to pick up talent just below both of these guys. This will force us to suck just one more year so we can have a bigger foundation to make a run for a title.