WBA’s Top Stories of 2017

by
Zagrieb Zano

The regular season is quickly coming to when the playoffs will begin. And while the playoffs are normally a big story in itself. We are going to reflect on the on the stories throughout this season.

These are listed in no particular order.

Toronto Dinos take their two time World Conference Championship team and trade it away their All-Stud players to Kansas City and Paris.

This was the creation of the #Myofferisbetter hashtag. Few things cause the league to get into a frenzy than when they see players who are the best in the league being traded for what is viewed as less then equal value. Now when you have a team do it multiple times in the same season, the many sharks that swim the murky waters of the WBA were in full blood thirsty mode. Sending Walt Jackson, who is regarded as the 2nd best player to the league and getting a player like Marquez Houston in return? Or sending Jervon Timmons the two time league defensive player of the year and replacing him with Wayne Taylor who is 8 years his senior. This was a rebuilding mode that didn’t need to happen, nor should it have happened. Most of the league was shocked especially that the trade committee allowed the Timmons trade to go through. When in fact their hands were tied. Toronto management claimed that this was a way to rebuild the team. They were called out on their way of spinning the decismation of one the best teams the league has ever seen. Specifically, as they never put their stars on the block, so they didn’t truly try to get the best offer.

With these moves they have gone from the undisputed king of the World, to currently being 6 games under .500. They are clinking on to the 8th seed, but it won’t be surprising if they miss the playoffs entirely.

Injuries

We all know that injuries are part of the game. But the common “joke” is any team that may be getting ready to compete with Brooklyn will soon face a significant injury. Some teams have had to deal with significant injuries. Miami the past couple of seasons has to wonder what if. They had a once-proud team that GM Brent Bangerter claimed he wasn’t afraid of Brooklyn. Which is ok, because Brooklyn wasn’t afraid of the Xtreme every time that the Rage would pound them into submission. It is tough to compete when you have your starters suffer significant injuries. Milan’s Bohm missed a good portion of the season due to a broken leg. They were still able to hold off the feeble teams in their division to keep the top spot in the division. Now that Bohm is back, he is scoring as if he never missed a day. Birkhead who is now with the Fighting Cocks suffered a significant injury early in the season, and while he is back playing. His numbers are down quite a bit. This could be a result of playing with better players, so he doesn’t have to be the star like he was in Miami.

As we get closer to the playoffs, any significant injuries could easily sway the advantage from one team to another. That is why we see some teams no longer playing their starters quite so many minutes. They are hoping their key guys will be available for when it really matters.

Jesus goes to California

We never thought it would happen, but Miami fearing that they would not be able to resign Jesus Morrell, traded him to California along with Birkhead. California is one of those teams that had been having a terrific season, and as they were looking at ways help to them achieve a championship this season. They have been quite the mover and shaker this season. Adding both Morrell and Birkhead really solidified their frontcourt. While they are still trying to figure out the new rotation, they have yet to be able to defeat Brooklyn since the trade. Regardless California will go down as having their best season to date.

Barcelona actually counts

Often the butt of many well deserved jokes. Now Barcelona is the one that is laughing. They are the new king of the World Conference. They have some of the best backcourt players and backups in the league. They used to simply try to run opponents out of the gym, but they have learned to play a little bit of defense. And as their defense has improved, so too has their ability to win games. Don’t be surprised to see the Counts competing for their first WBA Championship. And let’s be honest they are one of three teams who have actually beaten the Rage. So we would pretend that it would be an interesting series.

Brooklyn looks to win 75+ games

The Rage have been the dominate team for the past few seasons. But they are looking to garner the best winning season in league history. They are on pace to go 77-3. Bailey and Miles are putting up stellar years as to be expected. And the rest of the team is playing their roll. In fact, normally we would be celebrating their success more if it wasn’t overshadowed by the biggest story in the league. For the most part the only person who is celebrating Brooklyn’s success this Rondall Reynoso.

Money issues destroy league competitive balance

In an issue that breaks the 4th wall. It has been well documented that flaws in the game system (i.e. Luxury tax isn’t calculated using the current NBA model). The financial side of the game is broken to a point of ridiculousness.  While most would agree that if a team has success on the court they should be rewarded for it. And also, every WBA team should have a realistic arena. But when you are able to have a salary that is exceeds over 40 million of the salary cap. This simply destroys any form of competitive balance and therefore takes away from the awesomeness of the league. I know several ideas have been thrown around to help reign in the issue a bit. Ideas of having a hard cap that no team is allowed to go over. Or a modified hard cap, that only signing minimum salary guys would allow you to succeed. There has been the idea of creating a formula based off the amount a team is into the Luxury Tax, which would reduce their team budget. For example, for every 5 million the team is into the Luxury cap, the following year, their Team Budget is effectively reduced by 10 million. As Commissioner Rondall Reynoso has said that he will make a decision in the coming weeks. And to be honest he is in a challenging position. Because his team is one of those that benefits the most from the current financial landscape. So as we watch to see will he make a decision for the betterment of the league that will remove his possibility of keeping all of his starters from this year’s squad? Or will his say business as usual that allows him to keep the team, and essentially telling the league there is no problem. I have quoted Rondall in the past where he has said. “All WBA teams are equal. Some are just more equal than others.” As a self-proclaimed socialist, we will soon see that if that level of socialism only counts until he is able to benefit from it.

Regardless, it is a difficult decision, and what would you do if the roles were swapped. Do you subscribe that the needs of the many out way the needs of the few? Could you make a decision for the betterment of the league, which hurts your own personal team? Only time will tell.

This entry was posted in Editorial.

2 Comments

  1. Marc Hameleers April 25, 2018 at 5:08 am #

    2 remarks:
    1) not every member of the committee voted for that trade. Rumor has it the member that disagreed eventually resigned due to lingering hostility over that vote..

    2) The league was warned by one of their own about the financial system, and how it would favor good big market teams immensly.
    To quote a GM: ‘ i told you so’

  2. Pablo April 27, 2018 at 11:15 pm #

    Solid post by Zano.

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