Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
As you may have heard, the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is underway again in Boston, bringing with it a ton of amazingly complex information that someone like me could not possibly begin to understand. There has been a lot of concern of advanced analysis and statistics “taking the fun out of the game” from casual fans, and while I don’t necessarily agree with that, I can understand where that thought comes from. The reason I bring Sloan up, however, is actually to bring up something that I’m actually fairly sure every sports fan would agree on.
According to this Truehoop article by Jared Dubin, Drew Carey (Yes, as in “Come on down!” and “Cleveland Rocks!” Drew Carey.) is a minority owner of the MLS’s Seattle Sounders, and replaced a panelist that couldn’t participate. While doing so he told the audience of a system the Sounders use in where every four years, the season ticket holders are actually able to vote on whether the General Manager should be fired. So I thought about this and come to a realization…..
This is, without a doubt, the greatest idea ever in the history of sports, season tickets, or history.
Seriously, how often as sports fans have we looked at a situation developing and thought “What in the name of Brandon Roy’s knees is this guy thinking? I could do a better job than him!” Well, here would be the chance to get him out of there! It’s brilliant.
I would be willing to bet that a good majority of the fans that actually shell out the hard earned money to buy season tickets for their team are going to be people that are fairly invested in the teams’ well-being. You are generally a season ticket holder because you grew up watching sports and aren’t the type of person that wants to buy season tickets to see some badly assembled squad with no discernible game plan (or worse, the Bobcats) fumble their way through a season accumulating loss after loss.
In short, you are the type of person that helped turn the sports industry into the forty-seven gazillion dollar monster that it is today. Why on God’s green earth shouldn’t you get a say in the team’s direction?
This would also lead to greater honesty and transparency from management to the fans. Mr. GM, do you want to blow up that roster that now has fizzled in the first round five years in a row? Better explain to your constituency why you want to ship your fan favorite backup point guard out of town. As often as fans are collectively left wondering what their team’s plan could have possibly been, this can only be a good thing. I mean, I’m sure Wizards fans may not like how slow the rebuild is going in Washington, but one thing I’m sure they all appreciate is that management has admitted that rebuilding is the plan.
This would also lead to an interesting dynamic between cities, creating what I would call “Yo City So Dumb” effect. Imagine that Portland had actually voted to get rid of Kevin Pritchard or Rich Cho, and one of those guys goes on to win an NBA championship with another team, say the New Orleans Hornets. The ensuing explosion of tweets and message board comments reading something along the lines of “Thanks for the ring, Portland!” from those in Nawlins would be hilarious, and could actually help to foster rivalries amongst the league.
Of course, strange things would likely happen. The New York Knicks would likely wind up with a new general manager every four years just as sure as leap year having an extra day. One would have to wonder whether there would even be enough interest among chronically low attendance teams to even make a vote worthwhile. There are certainly issues that would need to be worked out.
But on the whole I think that it would make the league a lot more interesting. David Kahn famously drafted three point guards in 2009, basically turning himself into a human meme in the process (say it with me kids, KAAAAAAAAAAHN!!!!!!). But with things turning around in Minnesota and the T-wolves looking like they may be a playoff team in the near future, or even possibly the present, I know I for one would be interested to see if the city of Minnesota would be prone to rewarding David for his patience in waiting on Ricky Rubio to come over or if they would promptly tar and feather the man and run him out of town.
One would have to imagine that implementing such a policy could only drive up the interest in purchasing season tickets as well. I know I would definitely be more likely to purchase a season ticket if it meant I actually got some sort of a voice in what direction my favorite team was moving in from here on out.
But it’s not like Drew Carey invented the idea. He actually stole it from Spain. So if the idea has been around for a while, why would it not be implemented more widely?
Sadly, I believe it may be due to the human ego. Owners paid a lot of money for a professional sports team, and of course, they want to run it how they see fit. Which is just human nature. If you buy a Ferrari, you want to drive it damn well how you please. Of course, you can’t do that, there are laws that govern the use of a motor vehicle, preventing you from driving like an idiot.
So, like the with the Ferrari example, maybe we can compromise here. Let’s say we give the owner a vote as well, and weight it more heavily than that of a single season ticket holder. Maybe we give the owner a 30% stake in the vote, and the ticket holders’ 70%. If it takes 50% to fire a GM, and the ticket holders vote half one way and half the other, the owner still gets the a large enough vote to make a decision, and even really a large enough vote to be able to override a slight majority on the part of the fan vote.
It’s not a perfect system. I can admit that. But can anyone think of any good reason not to attempt to try something like this?
Jordan Akin is sure that, if nothing else, this proves that Drew Carey is the World’s Smartest Man. You can contact him (Jordan Akin, not Drew Carey) on Twitter at @jakin1013, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org