On Tuesday morning, President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge received an email. The sender was: [email protected] You don’t become the President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics by being a dummy. Knowing that it was a scam of some sort, he asked his secretary to dial up the IT department so that they could help him reconfigure the spam folder settings. He saw the light for the IT department flash three times on his state-of-the-art phone before Jane, his secretary, intercommed over that Art was on the line. “Hey Art. This is Danny.” “What can I do for you, sir?” See, Art, I received this email from a Nigerian prince this morning and I was wondering if you could fix the problem so I won’t receive these spam emails anymore.” “Sir, did you try shutting the computer on and off?” Just at that moment, Jane intercommed over to say that Koby Altman, general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was on the line. “Hey Art. Hold on a sec.” “Hi Koby, what can I do for you?” “Well Danny, I have a problem. You see….” Koby kept talking and talking and talking, but what Danny didn’t know was that the hackers that Dan Gilbert hired over the Dark Web a week earlier figured out a way to hypnotize an individual via their computer screen. Not to get too technical, but it required a specific state-of-the-art phone that had two lines open at the exact time with an email displayed from a particular address emanating from the screen. Unbelievable you say? Then how else can you explain the trade that went down?!

Ok, I kid. Just wanted to have fun with things. Before I get too serious, though, why was the first thing to pop into my head when the trade was announced this song?

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Philadelphia has #TTP. Orlando has #??? Since they blew up the operation when they traded Dwight Howard in 2012, the Magic have drafted Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O’Quinn, Victor Oladipo, Romero Osby, Aaron Gordon, Dario Saric, Mario Hezonja, Tyler Harvey, Domantas Sabonis, Stephen Zimmerman, Jake Layman, Jonathan Isaac, Anzejs Pasecniks, Wesley Iwundu, and Ivan Rabb. They traded away O’Quinn, Oladipo, Saric, and Sabonis. So, they basically have Gordon and Hezonja and haven’t had enough time to trade away this year’s crop of rookies. The player they traded Oladipo and Sabonis for was Serge Ibaka, who they traded away to the Raptors. They just gave Evan Fournier a five-year, $85 million contract. What’s the vision here guys? I believe that languishing in mediocrity is the worst place to be in sports. You either have to tank to try and acquire a franchise player through the draft or go for it if you’re in the position to do so. What’s the point of trying to win 30 games?

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I love videogames. I can’t play them as much now since I’m a father of two, but I’ll sneak in a game or two when I get a chance. Anyways, I especially enjoyed sports videgames: baseball, basketball, football, and even hockey. After spending countless hours…who am I kidding? After spending countless weeks drafting and tinkering with sliders, I’d finally embark on playing a season. At first, it’s a rush. Everything is fresh and vibrant. Over time, though, the monotony sets in. Things start to drag. You start seeing the same things over and over again. That’s where I’m at with these rankings. With that said, I love doing them. Like how I trudged through all those videogame seasons. I’ll admit, I’ve never been able to finish a complete baseball season, but c’mon!!! 162 games with more for the playoffs? I’ve come close, but I blame the corporate capitalistic videogame maker pigs for releasing a new version every year. I know I’m the idiot for buying it every year, but….I have no excuse. I’m just an idiot. Anyways, here’s my Top 75 for 2017.

Links for:

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It’s nice to live minute-to-minute. Riding the wave of life, experiencing the gamut of emotions, and acquiring a rolodex of memories with nary a stress in the world. A life lived like this is unfulfilling, though. To truly get the most out of life, one must try to achieve. And in order to achieve, one must have a plan. Look at the current NBA. So many smart people running teams, yet they navigate the landscape like a stoned teenager walking through a grocery store. Look! Twinkies! Mmmmm, I’m so hungry. These will taste so good. Oh! Chips. 

Former general manager of the 76ers, Sam Hinkie, had a plan. If you haven’t read his Manifesto, I highly recommend that you do. There’s so much goodness there, but I wanted to focus on this excerpt:

“It is critical to be cycle aware in a talent-driven league. In a situation like yours at the Sixers, where a variety of circumstances left you near a trough in the cycle (and falling), amplifying this cycle became crucial. Today’s outcomes for every team are heavily impacted by decisions past (who to draft, sign, trade, hire, etc.). Jeff Bezos says that if Amazon has a good quarter it’s because of work they did 3, 4, 5 years ago-not because they did a good job that quarter. Today’s league-leading Golden State Warriors acquired Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut, and Klay Thompson almost 4 years ago, nearly 4 years ago exactly, and almost 5 years ago. In this league, the long view picks at the lock of mediocrity.”

TTP. Trust the Process.

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Things are so bad for the Nets that Jay-Z doesn’t want to be an owner of the team anymore. Ok, he sold his stake because of Roc Nation Sports, a sports agency firm he started, which would have been a conflict of interest, but still…Things are so bad that my brother-in-law, who was born and raised on 16th Avenue, still roots for the Knicks. Think about that for a sec. I get it, though. It’s a franchise that used to reside in New Jersey. Ewwwwwww. That’s where New Yorkers used to dump their garbage. It’s a franchise that gave up three first round picks, as well as the right to swap another, for a 38-year-old Kevin Garnett and a 36-year-old Paul Pierce. That trade was so ridiculous that I can’t even come up with an analogy. If I tried to replicate that trade in a videogame, it wouldn’t go through, even if I selected the override trade option. It’s a franchise that acquired Linsanity, but without the sanity. But things are looking up. General Manager Sean Marks has come in and done some competent things. Hopefully he brings it back Crooklyn Style…

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Before I begin, head on over to the football side and play and/or host some RCLs by clicking here. I’ve got my league up, so come get it. I have no doubt that you are a degenerate so I’m just trying to help a brother or sister out. Also, check out Jay’s rankings. Not because he’s a swell guy, but because he was the third-most accurate ranker according to FantasyPros.

Ok, now back to hoops. If you missed it, here are the links for the Top 10 and Top 25. I’ll keep the intro to this piece short and sweet because there’s a ton of players to get through.

As always, big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and insight.

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Last week, I gave you my Top 10 for 2017 Fantasy Basketball. Today, I present to you the Top 15 after the Top 10. Since I’ve included the link for the Top 10, it’s technically the Top 25 but not really. Top 15 after Top 10 just doesn’t flow off the tongue properly, so I’ll just go with Top 25. Plus, it’s so cumbersome and annoying for me to write. Similar to if I had to spell out Giannis Antetokounmpo every time. Sure, I could just copy and paste it, but what if I had to copy and paste something else? What if I had to turn off my computer and re-copy and paste? I ain’t got time for that nonsense! Bing! Lightbulb suddenly appears over my head, which is good because my halo is now illuminated. From this day on, I shall call Giannis Antetokounmpo, G. I believe that gets G up to five nicknames now, right? That has to be the dopest nickname of all time. Hear me out. One-names were all the rage back in the day. Cher, Prince, Pele, etc…but then Prince took it to another level by eschewing letters altogether and just going with a symbol. But you know what? A symbol, while cool, is difficult to write. It’s also very difficult to utilize on the computer, although, it’s pretty amazing that people figured out a way to do it. Anyways, G is already on the keyboard. Yes, you do have to press Caps Lock or Shift to get it right, but…damn, you lazy!! Who else do you think of when I say G? When I say G, you say what? G. Anus. See?  No bueno. It’s a good thing no one ever reads intros. Well, at least I will know who didn’t read this intro when I get the inevitable, “What does G stand for?”

As always, big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and insight.

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This is the best time of the year. Baseball is going to get real soon, pigskins are being thrown around, it’s the eye of the WNBA season, and my rankings start flowing out. I also forgot that my kids go back to school soon. I love my kids and all, but they need to start getting edumacated again. You scoff at the WNBA mention? I admit, I was not a fan in the early days, but those ladies got skills. In addition, they play beautiful basketball and the offensive sets that they run are poetry.

Since August 1st happened to be on a Tuesday, I’ll release rankings every Tuesday from here on out. Can one be semi-OCD? That’s an oxymoron right? Maybe I’m just a moron. Anyways, I get a little particular about things, like it would’ve bothered me if I started this whole endeavor on Monday the 31st. I know. I know. I’ve got issues, but lucky for you, the subscription is free!

Ok, before I begin, shit happens. As a result, I’ll put out a Top 200 list in early October that will highlight any player movement that happens over the next few months.

A big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and his thoughts and opinions on many players.

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As much as I love football and baseball, there’s just something about basketball. On a practical level, you can always find a game somewhere in the neighborhood. If you can’t, you can shoot hoops by yourself. Football? It’s doable but not as fun. Baseball? Not unless you’re the Flash.

The flow is so much better in hoops, although time outs and free throws muck it up. That’s one thing I really appreciate with soccer. The flow is just fabulous in that game. Like a dance. Anyways, as long as the game is being played, there’s usually constant movement. Usually being the key word there, as there are some definite black holes in the game which can freeze time and space.

The combination of movement and creativity is second-to-none. Barry Sanders made my jaw drop on the football field, but there’s only so much one can with the football. A stiff arm here and there, but mostly it’s hold the ball high and tight. Baseball? Uh, yeah. Some of the players in the NBA move like Sanders while dribbling a basketball at the same time.

Ultimately, though, I think what makes basketball great is the depth of interaction that each player has with his opponent. In baseball, it’s primarily a battle between pitcher vs hitter. In football, it’s the offense vs defense. In basketball, players have to play both ends of the floor. As a result, trash talking means more because…well, they actually talk to each other.

If a player dunks on someone, the embarassed player theoretically has the opportunity to come back and return the favor. Now, there are questions of whether that player can dunk at all, but that’s a little thing we call semantics.

In baseball, if a pitcher hits a batter, the plunked can either walk to first or charge the mound and fight. He cannot pick up the ball and have the plunker bat so he can be the plunkee. In football, if a cornerback intercepts a pass thrown by a quarterback, the quarterback will never have an opportunity to return the favor.

The great thing about the NBA is that they take full advantage. They market their stars and personalities. Breaking ankles, not literally of course, and dunking on heads is celebrated. Rivalries and rifts are milked. There’s a reason Spike Lee was utilized for MyCareer in NBA 2K16. The fact that mode was terrible is irrelevant. The NBA and social media are a match made in heaven.

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