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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Resilient Heat Rout Celtics in Boston in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals

After the Miami Heat suffered a devastating game six loss at home to give up what had been a 3-0 Eastern Conference Finals lead versus the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics, it would have been easy to count out the Heat in game seven at Boston--but, to paraphrase the best line of the previous NFL season, people may have written the Heat off but they didn't write back, routing the Celtics 103-84 to earn their second trip to the NBA Finals in the past four seasons. Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 28 points while grabbing seven rebounds and passing for six assists; in recognition of his all-around excellence during the series (24.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 6.2 apg, 2.5 spg), Butler won the second annual Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP. Caleb Martin scored a playoff career-high 26 points and fell just one vote short of winning the Eastern Conference Finals MVP. He shot 10-16 from the field, tied for the team lead with 10 rebounds, and scored seven more points than any Celtic. Bam Adebayo added 12 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. The Heat shot 14-28 (.500) from three point range, which is a credit to them but also an indictment of the Celtics' defense. Five Heat players hit at least two three pointers, with Martin (four) and Butler (three) leading the way. The Heat became the first eighth seeded team to reach the NBA Finals since the New York Knicks in the lockout-shortened 1999 season, while the Celtics failed to become the first NBA team to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

The Celtics failed to score at least 90 points in a game for the first time this season; they had their worst offensive output at the worst possible time. Jaylen Brown finished with 19 points on 8-23 field goal shooting while compiling eight rebounds, five assists, and eight turnovers. Only a field goal that cut the Heat's lead from 23 to 21 with 4:56 remaining in the fourth quarter prevented Brown from posting a "Harden" (a playoff game in which a player has more turnovers than field goals made). Brown was one of three Celtics to score in double figures. Derrick White, whose last second putback won game six, scored 18 points. Jayson Tatum, who erupted for a record 51 points in Boston's game seven win against Philadelphia, scored 14 points on 5-13 field goal shooting while grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. He was clearly hobbled and limited by a sprained left ankle that he suffered on Boston's first possession of the game when he landed on Gabe Vincent's foot after driving to the hoop. Tatum's injury is unfortunate but it is also part of the sport, as Tatum noted after the game--and it could be argued that if the Celtics had managed to win one of the three games that they lost earlier in this series then there would not have been a seventh game in which Tatum got injured. Tatum gutted it out to play 41 minutes.

It should be remembered that the Heat ranked among the league leaders in games missed due to injury this season, and they won the Eastern Conference Finals without the services of Tyler Herro (their third leading scorer in the 2022-23 regular season) and Victor Oladipo, a two-time former All-Star who averaged 10.7 ppg during the regular season and 11.5 ppg in two playoff games as a key reserve before suffering a season-ending torn patellar tendon. Herro and Oladipo are not in the same class as Tatum, and the Heat had time to figure out how to survive without them while Boston lost Tatum in an elimination game, but the point is that injuries can strike any team at any time.

Even though Brown's eight turnovers stick out, the Celtics only had three more turnovers than the Heat (15-12). The Heat outrebounded the Celtics 42-40, but that slim margin did not lead to a 19 point blowout. The one statistical category in which the Heat dominated the Celtics was field goal percentage (.488 to .390), and specifically three point field goal percentage (.500 to .214). Throughout the series, the Celtics were at their best--both in the games that they won, and in the segments of their losses when they had the lead--when they attacked the paint to score, which resulted in high percentage shots in the paint, free throws, and wide open three pointers when the Heat's defense collapsed. The Celtics ranked second in the league in both three point field goals made and three point field goals attempted while ranking sixth in three point field goal percentage, and their three point field goal attempts in game seven were in line with their regular season per game average (42.6), but there is a difference between creating open three point shots off of paint attacks versus just jacking up three pointers; also, in this matchup the Celtics enjoyed a size advantage and they had the advantage of having multiple playmakers, so instead of looking like the Houston Rockets in game seven of the 2018 Western Conference Finals the Celtics should have used their advantages in size and playmaking to create better shots. Obviously, Miami's defense played a role in the Celtics' poor shooting, but the Celtics won three games in this series by attacking the paint against that same defense. This is not an "adjustment" or an "in game adjustment," because it is not a new strategy or concept; it is the opposite: the Celtics should have stuck with the game plan that had been most successful throughout the series and throughout the season. The problem is not that the Celtics attempted 42 three pointers, nor is the problem merely that they had a bad shooting game; the problem is the quality of the shots that the Celtics created.

Also, the Celtics ranked fifth in the league in defensive field goal percentage (.463) and fourth in the league in three point defensive field goal percentage (.345), so if their game seven defense had been up to par they still would have been in striking distance at the end of the game instead of losing by 19 points. The current era is often portrayed as one in which shooting and floor spacing dominate, but attacking the paint and playing consistent defense are still the two most important ingredients in a championship recipe.

The NBA is often described as a fourth quarter league, but the reality is that many NBA games are decided in the first quarter--or, at the very least, the parameters of the final outcome are established in the early going. Here, the Heat led 22-15 after a first quarter in which the Celtics shot 6-23 (.261) from the field and committed four turnovers. The Heat did not shoot a high percentage from the field (.417), but they made it clear that the Celtics would have to scratch and claw just to obtain open shots. By halftime, the Heat led 52-41, and they never trailed the rest of the way.

It is fascinating to examine contrasting narratives arising out of similar facts. If the Celtics and Heat had traded wins throughout the series prior to game seven, then the narrative would be that this was a great series featuring evenly matched teams, and there would be much talk about the "chess match" between two coaches making adjustments both in games and in between games--but because Miami raced to a 3-0 lead, a narrative took hold that rookie Boston Coach Joe Mazzulla is not the right man for the job. After the Celtics won three straight games, the people who prematurely called for Mazzulla to be fired scrambled to devise a narrative that fit both the first three games and the next three games while also praying that the Celtics lost game seven so that they could rehabilitate their original narrative. 

In contrast, last season these same teams--featuring mostly the same core rotation players--also contested a seven game Eastern Conference Finals, but because neither team took a 3-0 lead we did not hear as much of the "coach is not making enough adjustments" narrative. Boston won game seven at Miami last season, leading wire to wire, though the final margin was much closer than the final margin this time. Both last year and this year each team lost multiple games at home during the Eastern Conference Finals; are the home losses a sign of bad coaching or loss of focus, or are they just an indicator that these teams are evenly matched and they are both tough-minded enough to win on the road?

Boston and Miami have contested 14 Eastern Conference Finals games over the last two seasons and the tally is 7-7 with each team winning one series--but we are supposed to believe that one team lacks focus and has a bad coach, while the other team is perfect. I don't mean to take anything away from the Heat--they are fantastic--but it is odd that there is such a strong narrative that it is not enough to praise the Heat without attacking the Celtics. Instead of a narrative depicting the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals as a classic clash of two different playing styles, we are fed a narrative that portrays the Heat heroically while blasting the Celtics. It is human nature to attempt to explain a sequence of events as part of one large narrative, but in the real world things are rarely that simple; the Heat players and Coach Erik Spoelstra deserve praise for winning the series this year after losing to the Celtics last year, but the Celtics' loss this season is not necessarily a sign that the team is burdened with a fatal flaw or a set of fatal flaws: if the two greatest teams ever coached by the two greatest coaches met in a seven game series, it would not be correct or fair to focus more on what the losing team did poorly than on what the winning team did well.

The Heat have reached the NBA Finals more often since 2006 (seven times) than any other franchise. Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal led Miami to the 2006 NBA championship, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh formed a superteam that led the Heat to four straight NBA Finals and back to back titles, and now Jimmy Butler has a chance to win his first NBA title in his second NBA Finals appearance with the Heat after losing to the L.A. Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals in the Orlando "bubble."

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posted by David Friedman @ 8:19 AM



At Tuesday, May 30, 2023 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(diff anon)

I think (and thought before the playoffs started, so this is not confirmation bias) that this team's got serious focus problems.

I agree with you that had the Celtics taken care of business earlier, Tatum's injury would not have mattered. I was worried about them putting too many miles on their guys as far back as Atlanta. Besides Tatum, it was clear that Horford lost his lift on his shots, and it seemed like both Brown and Brogdon wore down as well.

A "fresh" Boston team probably wins this series, in my opinion.

I think your framing of the "home losses" issue is too narrow, though. Yes, Boston and Miami both lost at home a lot against each other, but Boston also lost two games at home to Philly, and one to the Hawks. They averaged two home losses per series this year, for a total home playoff record of 5-6.

The also lost two home games last year to each of the Warriors, Heat, and Bucks. If we skip the Bubble year, they also lost one of two home games against Brooklyn in 2021, two home games against the Bucks in 2019, a home Game 7 against Cleveland in 2018, and three home games against Cleveland in 2017 as well. All told, in Conference Finals & Finals games since 2017 (not counting 2020), they are 7-10 at home.

It is not an issue of just them being evenly matched with the Miami Heat. They have not consistently been able to defend their home court against any good team, with their only really impressive deep playoff home win coming against a Milwaukee team missing its second best player.

Their lack of focus manifests in several ways, the biggest of which is a lack of offensive discipline where they just settle for jacking up contested threes instead of running their offense. Another is a lack of defensive intensity where they fail to rotate with purpose (we saw in Games 5 & 6 they are capable of this when they actually lock in, but in this series it was the exception not the rule). A third is the amount of time they, particularly Tatum and Smart, spend jawing with the refs instead of actually focusing on basketball.

I believe this is a mentally weak team. While they seem to me to be worse about it this year, it was also true to some extend under both Stevens and Udoka, so it is fair to wonder if that weakness starts with the players.

Tatum likes to position himself as the heir apparent to Kobe Bryant, but even before his injury he did not consistently demonstrate a Kobe-level of intensity or focus (this is not about skillset, it is about mindset). While Tatum's overall playoff numbers look good because his good nights are generally spectacular, he also failed to break 20 points five times across 20 games, and his level of defensive engagement came and went as well.

It is difficult for me to imagine Kobe Bryant missing the twenty point threshold in a quarter of his playoff games. There is more to the "Mamba Mentality" than smirking at press conferences and gloating on your good nights, and until Tatum learns that he will continue to fare poorly in the comparison he insists on inviting.

At Tuesday, May 30, 2023 5:29:00 PM, Blogger Awet M said...

I gotta agree with Anonymous here. The Celtics are nowhere near championship material, having come up too small in too many playoff games, unable to defend their home floor. Let's take a closer look at those guys.

Despite purportedly getting $295 million contract prior to the game, Jaylen Brown underwhelmed - 19 points on 23 shots, and 8 turnovers in a Game 7. I have never seen a guard such a loose, careless, handle like Brown. He definitely needs to tighten that up if he wants to take the next step.

As for Tatum, he seems to be there, but he lacks the night-in, night-out consistency. Instead it's a whiplash between his 51 point game and this passive performance in 41 minutes last night.

Now the poor Celtics will have over $600 million tied up in just two guys.
(shedding crocodile tears)

At Tuesday, May 30, 2023 8:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(first anon in this thread)

Marcus Smart: “We were a little inconsistent this year". https://nypost.com/2023/05/29/heat-vs-celtics-game-7-prediction-nba-odds-picks-for-monday/

same thing Brogdon said

reminds me of Doc Rivers always saying his team lacked effort. well whose fault was that, Doc?

and here, who is to blame? I'd start with Tatum, since the coach is too inexperienced to be expected to build consistency

your take?

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 1:23:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I still think that advancing to the ECF five times in a seven year span is laudable. Only Golden State has been more consistent and successful over that time span.

Tatum joined the Celtics in 2017-18, so his ECF record is 1-3 and his NBA Finals record is 0-1. Tatum is a six year NBA vet who is 25 years old. At that stage of their careers, neither Jordan nor LeBron had won a championship.

It is way too soon to assume or project that Tatum will not lead a team to an NBA title. A select few Pantheon members led teams to titles immediately or almost immediately after turning pro (Russell, Kareem, Dr. J, Bird, Magic, Duncan), but most great players endured some painful losses before becoming a champion.

Also, Tatum has had some huge, record-setting performances in elimination games.

I will reserve my harshest criticism of All-Star players for those who have never even led a team to the NBA Finals and who clearly have flaws in their games or personalities that will likely prevent them from doing so.

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 1:40:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


One thing to consider is that we all--and I include myself here--may have underrated the Heat. If one buys the premise that the Heat collectively are at least as good as the Celtics collectively--which is not an unreasonable position to take after the teams split 14 playoff games over the past two years--then it would not be fair to attribute this year's result to Boston lacking focus. Did the Heat lack focus in games 4-6? Winning at the highest level is more difficult than most people realize, because most people never compete at the highest level at anything.

I agree (and mentioned in my articles about this series) that the Celtics jack up too many three pointers--but a lot of NBA teams do that now, by design. Mazzulla was asked after the game if the Celtics took too many three pointers, and he said no. He has previously said that one of the most important statistics for winning basketball is to have a high number of three point field goals attempted (presumably because he expects his team to make a good percentage of those shots, and thus benefit from the "extra" point per shot). I don't agree with him about the importance of that stat, and I don't agree with the implication that all three point attempts are equally good; three pointers off of paint penetration are better shots than three pointers after "dribble, dribble, dribble." My point in bringing up all of this is that the way that the Celtics play is by design, and not necessarily an indication that they are not focused.

It also should not be completely ignored that if Tatum had not gotten injured there is a good chance that he would have scored 35-plus points and the Celtics would have won; if that had happened, then Tatum's ECF record is 2-2 and he is making back to back Finals appearances.

I have never compared Tatum to Bryant. I have noted that Tatum cited Bryant as a mentor, and I have noted how Bryant's mentoring helped Tatum add some elements to his game. It is too soon to say whether or not Tatum can elevate himself from All-NBA First Team caliber to MVP to all-time great. I would not count him out at this point, and I would not presume to call him or his team mentally weak. There is obvious room for growth, but he has already accomplished more at a team level--and individually--than most players do in their entire careers. Tatum's playoff resume is already better than the playoff resumes of many MVPs from the past 15 years or so, including Nash, Rose, Harden, and Embiid (and I know some smart aleck is going to ask why I did not include Westbrook in that list; all you have to do is look up Westbrook's individual and team success for his whole career--not the past year or the past three years or the past five years--to understand the answer).

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 1:44:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I am not sure what else I can add. I provided recaps of each game, and I have been active in the Comments section as well. If my "take" on Tatum and the Celtics is not clear to you by now, I am not sure what I can say to make it clear.

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 1:54:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


What is your source for stating that Brown received a contract before game seven?

I agree that Brown had a bad game, which is why I compared his performance to performances by Harden. The difference is that Harden rejected an opportunity to be the third option on a title contender to forge his own path and go down in flames year after year in the playoffs. Brown has been, for the most part, a reliable second option on perennially successful Boston teams.

The salary structure of the NBA (and pro sports in general) is so out of sync with the rest of the world that it is difficult to say what a player is worth (other than the cliche that a player is worth whatever a team will pay him). Objectively, Brown does not look like a $300 million player, but the reality of the situation is more complex. If Boston's goal is to maximize their opportunity to win a title (as opposed to staying under the cap or otherwise managing their expenses) then the question is not just what is Brown worth but also what can the Celtics replace him with if they balk at paying him $300 million and lose him to a team willing to foot that bill (or a similar amount if Brown, a la Kyrie Irving, becomes insulted and decides to leave). If the Celtics pay some other player $200 million but that player is not as good as Brown then they save $100 million but also stop making nearly annual ECF appearances.

I'm not shedding tears for Brown or the Celtics, because the player and the owners are both going to end up with more money than all of us put together are likely to have in our combined lifetimes.

That being said, the way that the NBA marketplace is structured means that it is difficult to avoid overpaying someone if your team goal is to contend for a championship. Look at Golden State's payroll. Look at what the Lakers and some other teams are paying to not even sniff the NBA Finals.

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 8:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(first anon)
"At that stage of their careers, neither Jordan nor LeBron had won a championship." --> This comparison is faulty. Tatum joined a team that had made the ECF the prior year; I believe the draft pick had been acquired from the Nets back in the Pierce/KG deal. By contrast, MJ and LBJ joined teams that had little support initially. A better comparison would be Magic, who joined a strong team and won a title -- while starring in the NBA Finals -- in his first year. Tatum's physical brilliance is matched by his lackadaisical mental attitude; why did he take zero 4th quarter shots in Games 1-3? Why did he disappear in the end of games in last year's finals? Tatum seems to have mental issues similar to (or worse than) the unreliable version of LBJ, but not the same game as LBJ, who is a true all-time great despite the mental issues. Also, there have been various full postseasons where LBJ has transcended his mental issues; the same cannot yet be said of Tatum

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 9:50:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


My larger point is that most great players do not win championships immediately, so it would be foolish to give up on a 25 year old All-NBA player, and it would be odd to suggest that only "mental issues" could explain why that player has yet to win an NBA title.

Specifically regarding the 1980 Lakers and the 2018 Celtics, the season before Magic joined the Lakers the team went 47-35 and lost in the second round of the playoffs. The Lakers were hardly a powerhouse, though of course Kareem is arguably the greatest player of all-time. The season before Tatum joined the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Jae Crowder led the team in minutes played, while in Tatum's rookie season the three minutes played leaders were Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and Jaylen Brown. The injured Irving did not play in the playoffs, and Tatum led the Celtics in playoff scoring as the team reached the ECF before losing to LeBron's Cavaliers, who won their fourth straight Eastern crown.

I just don't get why you are so down on Tatum. I reserve my harshest criticism of All-Star players for those who regularly choke in the postseason, who regularly fail to reach the Conference Finals, and who regularly miss a lot of games due to injuries.

In the fourth quarter of game one of the 2023 ECF, Tatum shot 6-6 from the free throw line. Drawing fouls and making free throws is part of being an effective offensive player. Could Tatum have been more aggressive in certain situations? Does he have room to grow? The answer to both questions is yes, but that does not mean that he will never lead a team to a title.

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 11:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 An 2 Nonymous

I don't think the issue is the number of threes they take as much as which threes they take. When Boston is at their best they take mostly open kick-out threes. When their focus wanes, they take Harden/Lillard "dribble dribble" hero ball threes. As Charles Barkley so succinctly put it, they play stupid.

I do not believe the Heat & Celtics are evenly matched from a talent perspective. That they are evenly matched in practice speaks to the difference in their focus, mentality, and discipline. The Heat have two All-Stars who are fringe All-NBA players. The Celtics have an All-NBA first team star, an All-NBA second team sidekick, last year's Defensive Player of the Year, this year's Sixth Man of the Year, yet another recent All Defensive player in Williams, and a former 5x All-Star and All-Defensive selection in the still very good Horford. Even if we say that Playoff Jimmy is equal or superior to Tatum, the rest of the balance sheet still reads very much in Boston's favor.

Miami gets more out of their scrappy undrafted types than Boston gets out of their decorated stars, because Miami is more likely to play consistently to their ceiling than Boston is. We saw in games 4 and 5 that Boston's ceiling is higher, and when they reach it there is little Miami can do to contend, but those were the only two games in the series where Boston truly felt "locked in," particularly defensively.

As for Miami losing three in a row, I think it is always harder to beat a desperate team on the brink of elimination, particularly when that team is more talented than you are. I think it is much more concerning to lose the first three games of a series and put yourself in a hole than it is to struggle to close out a suddenly desperate team that has more talent than you do.

But again to make it about just Miami is to miss the trend; Boston has been an unreliable playoff home team for the entire Tatum/Brown era, and they have lost to lower-seeded opponents in the ECF now four times. Their ceiling is as high as anyone's, and they can win in any gym on any given night, but they lack the consistency to finish off series against elite teams (and that same lack of consistency sometimes leads to them allowing lesser teams like Atlanta and Philadelphia to extend series unnecessarily).

Specifically in crunchtime, they often lose their their connectivity on defense and default to turnover prone, jack-it-up offense. These are not talent issues, they are mental issues. Those issues may soon be solved by age or experience or a new coach, time will tell. But as of 2023, they are the biggest reason the Boston Celtics have not yet won a title in this era, and the reason they struggle so to defend their home court.

It is wrong (and I'm partly guilty of this myself) to primarily frame this as a Tatum issue. At the very least Brown and Smart are equally guilty, and arguably their various coaches are the most guilty of all. Nonetheless, the flaws and results have both been consistent. They tend to lose the same way on the same court, and they often have a talent advantage when they do it.

As for the Kobe comp, I did not mean to imply that you had made the comparison, but Tatum himself regularly invites it; one only need check any of his social media headers to see him positioning himself in Kobe poses side-by-side with old Kobe photos, to say nothing of his performative stunts like wearing Kobe's warmup jersey before a Finals game or texting Kobe post-mortem and making sure ESPN knows about it. He insists on positioning himself as New Kobe, but thus far his results have not lived up to that positioning (though in his very mild defense he is not playing with New Shaq).

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 1:07:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


We agree that the quality of Boston's three point shot attempts is more important than the quantity.

We agree that Boston's home playoff record in recent seasons is a source of concern.

We agree that Tatum is not Kobe, and that Tatum does himself no favors to the extent that he compares himself with Kobe (but I would argue that there is nothing wrong with him indicating that he is inspired by Kobe and that he aspires to be like Kobe).

I would still argue that the Tatum-Brown duo has been successful overall, and that it would be premature to assume that they cannot lead Boston to a title. How many times did Shaq's teams get swept out of the playoffs before he won his first title?

If the Celtics break up Tatum and Brown, that will set the franchise back five years unless they luck out and get a tremendous haul in return.

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 1:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To clarify, I am not saying they cannot ever win a title, I am saying the reason they have not won one yet is primarily a question of mentality/focus/discipline rather than talent or circumstance (on the contrary, they have had a few lucky breaks with regards to opponent injuries and prior to Game 7, been fairly healthy themselves).

I think Shaq would be the first to admit he did not have the correct mentality to win a title early in his career, either, and that Phil Jackson helped him reach that level of commitment/focus/etc.

Some players (like Shaq) are able to get there in time, others (like Harden) are not. Which one Tatum (and Brown) turns out to be remains to be seen.

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 1:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Follow up: assuming they decide they have to trade Brown, what would you think is the best plausible kind of package for him? Neither of the proposed Portland deals impress me much.

At Wednesday, May 31, 2023 4:57:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I would not trade Brown for anything that is likely to be available. He is a young wing player who scores, defends, and can facilitate, and he is just entering his prime. If I were the Celtics, I would rather try to figure out how to win the ECF then take a step back and have to figure out how to get to the ECF.

At Friday, June 02, 2023 7:37:00 PM, Blogger Awet M said...

David, I was mistaken - the news that broke before the game that Brown was going to get a $290 million contract made me think he already signed it. But that's going to be his next contract.

As for the contract itself, it will be impossible for teams to stack talent after the new CBA. The luxury tax will make it prohibitive for teams to sign buyout players or trade first round picks. They screwed over the teams you mentioned like the Warriors. They won't be able to make any moves at their salary level. 3 Max guys is no longer possible. No more MLE. Bought out veterans will have to fight for low salary contenders, or play out their days on bottom feeder teams like the Hornets.

No more superteams, more parity. Bad for the casuals, but good for the quality of competition.

Otherwise we were heading for one guy making a cool $100 million per year. As it stands right now, with the agreed raises and percentages, a supermax contract 3 years from now could have a final season payout of at least $98 million, and that is with cap smoothing that reduces the potential raise with revenue.

Where can the NBA go from here? Perhaps growth will finally stop once gambling is legal in all 50 states? Perhaps expansion, an European division, or get the players to drastically cut down their percentage of revenue in return for other concessions. Massive bump in pension payments, lower threshold to earn it?

At Friday, June 02, 2023 9:39:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Brown is eligible to be offered a contract in the neighborhood of $290 million, but it is not yet clear that (1) Boston will offer that deal to him or (2) that Brown will take the deal. Brown may prefer to play elsewhere.

We have heard for decades that high salaries are going to kill pro sports, but it hasn't happened yet. That doesn't mean it can't happen or won't happen, but I remember when a big fuss was made about Nolan Ryan being the first million dollar per year ballplayer. Now, even a bench player would be insulted to be offered one million dollars per year.


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