Before we get into this. Tom Haberstroh does great work. He consistently works his tail off to find different nuances of the NBA and creatively implement them into articles. He’s been featured on ESPN, The Ringer, B/R etc. but today’s article about Kemba Walker was trash you’d find from an old beat reporter at your Daily News still cashing checks and using his tenure to not get canned.
So after all the nice, foo foo, BS I’ve done to qualify that I do respect Haberstroh – that ends here.
“That’s our new NBA. The days of San Antonio are gone.”
Kemba Walker was a consummate small-market star in Charlotte and still fled for greener pastures. Beloved in CLT, Kemba’s the face of the small-market plight that just watched AD, Russ and PG bolt: https://t.co/cTQAgAOdpF
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) November 7, 2019
He tweets the quote “The days of San Antonio are gone.” to lure you in like your child being drawn to a sewer by a gender neutral clown. TH is referring to how small market teams are unable to compete with the NY & LA mass market to lure free agents. Well the last 15 NBA Champs were from Toronto, Oakland (3), Cleveland, San Antonio (3), Miami (3), Dallas, LA (2), Boston, Detroit. Two of them are in the top 5 media markets (LA & DAL). Two more are in the Top-10 (Oakland & Boston). The rest are #14 and below with San Antonio coming in at #31. The days of San Antonio aren’t done. A team exactly replicated from the San Antonio blueprint won the title in 2015 – The Golden State Warriors. The core group of the team was led by players they drafted and key veteran free agent signings. Exactly how San Antonio was constructed. Build in the draft and surround with key FA.
But anyway back to Kemba. In the story TH paints this picture that Kemba left because the Hornets were unwilling to exceed the cap and pay for luxury tax. That’s fine, plenty of teams would make that move it’s a business. But this below paragraph is dumb, and warrants only simple math to come to a conclusion.
The Supermax for Kemba would’ve been $221 million altogether. The Hornets offered him $160 mil to stay which Haberstroh said was to much for Kemba to part with, so he left. If that’s true then why did he take $80 mil less to play for the Boston Celtics? Does Haberstroh not know that these contracts are public knowledge? Does he get custom Jordan PJs every year from MJ himself and he doesn’t want to rip the Hornet’s owner and risk not being able to brag to his friends that the sweatpants Jordan designs, specifically for him he mentions, hug his ballsack like two chestnuts in a new pair of mittens?
As I get older and I do my best to relate my sad life in the cube to NBA Players. So imagine, you go into work every day and you’re tasked with completing the majority of the work load and every time you try to hand something off, an incompetent employee ruins it. We’re talking a fire drill that interrupts your day. Then you go to your boss and tell them we need more help because we’re not going to meet quarterly earnings or get the project done on time. And your boss hires new people to replace the old ones and they’re just as incompetent. Oh and some of the incompetent employees have starting salaries that make more then you do. That’s what Kemba has had to deal with.
This is Charlotte’s Top-10 draft picks while Kemba was there:
- Cody Zeller
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
- Noah Vonleh
- Frank Kaminsky
- Malik Monk
The free agency/contract moves the front office made while Kemba was there:
- Gave Batum 5 yr/$120 mil
- MKG 4 yr/$52 mil
- Trading for Bismack Biyombo and his inflated contract
- Extending Zeller and Marv Williams
Im glad the city of Charlotte looked at Kemba Walker as a role model because he is one. Kemba didn’t turn his back on the city of Charlotte to chase the bright lights and big city like AD and PG. He had no choice. It wasn’t his fault the Hornets would’ve been penalized by luxury tax if they gave him the supermax because they negotiated bad contracts. Nor was it his fault for not wanting to carry a team who’s made the playoffs twice in his career and never got out of the first round. The contract rules are in place for your team to keep your superstar. But if you’re a perennial loser why would your star want to stay there. This article by Haberstroh just felt like a hit piece against Kemba while grasping at straws that it’s not your fathers NBA. But for anyone with a clue it’s self explanatory there is only so much you can give before enough is enough.