Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Guy to save Lakers Hoops

NBA basketball doesn't get a lot of run here in The Hater Nation -- and rightfully so -- but if there is one guy who makes us take notice and watch games, it's Andrew Bynum. It was noted in this space last year that Kobe Bryant's dismissal of Bynum was highly ironic. Remember, if was Kobe lofting air-balls in Utah, ruining the Lakers chance at the finals.

Bynum is now starting to fulfill that promise that made him the No. 10 overall selection and leading many to breathe a sigh of relief that Mitch Kupchak stuck to his guns. The Lakers aren't quite at the top of the mountain, yet. And out here, you have to win championships. But the Lakers are a lot closer right now, then they would have been if they had traded Bynum to New Jersey for Jason Kidd.

(Of course, if the Nets want to give away Kidd for say, Kwame Brown straight-up, that's cool. And that's really Mitch's only blunder, trading Caron Butler for Brown.)

The Lakers, even if they don't make any moves, are getting closer to being a factor in the West. And it seems that Bynum's presence has helped to appease Kobe, too. You notice he's no longer asking for Jermaine O'Neal because he has a younger, maybe better version of O'Neal right on his own team. It's too bad Michael Cooper or James Worthy isn't the GM of a scrub team with a superstar who could just give somebody away to the Lakers for nothing.

But right now, just watching this team starting to become a contender again is satisfying.


DAWUSS said...

In more significant news, both CBS and NBC are also broadcasting the NFL Network game between NE and NYG.

The last time this happened - Super Bowl I.

Think about what type of message the NFL is sending here.

Diane said...

The message that they don't want to lose their anti-trust exemption?

buckyor said...

What anti-trust exemption?

NFL Adam said...

What do you mean, Bucky?

I find it laughable that the NFL caved. I'm surprised they just didn't make everybody come to to watch it.

buckyor said...

MLB has an antitrust exemption; I am unaware of any similar exemption enjoyed by the NFL.

As for the NFL caving on Saturday's games, I can give you three reasons:

1. New.
2. York.
3. Giants.

DAWUSS said...

I thought the above post was supposed to be Lil' Hater's line...

Conrad Bain said...

1) Shula
2) naked
3) cannon

BostonSucksMyBlog said...

nice shot at the celtics.

Diane said...

bucky - from Yahoo Sports

The NFL had claimed that the onus of making the game widely available fell on the major cable providers with which the league has bitterly feuded. Companies such as Comcast and Time Warner have declined to carry the network as part of basic packages.

But lawmakers have pressured the NFL to ensure more viewers could see the game. Last week, two prominent members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Goodell threatening to reconsider the league's antitrust exemption.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who co-wrote the letter with Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he was "delighted" by the NFL's concession.

"I think it was a smart move on their part," he said in a phone interview.

buckyor said...

Again I ask- what antitrust exemption? Where does it come from? Is there a statute on the books that exempts the NFL from the application of antitrust laws? Anybody got a cite?

buckyor said...

Ok, I found it. It is the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, 15 U.S.C. s. 1291. The Act is pretty short:

The antitrust laws, as defined in section 1 of the Act of October 15, 1914, as amended (38 Stat. 730) [15 USCS § 12], or in the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended (38 Stat. 717) [15 USCS §§ 41 et seq.], shall not apply to any joint agreement by or among persons engaging in or conducting the organized professional team sports of football, baseball, basketball, or hockey, by which any league of clubs participating in professional football, baseball, basketball, or hockey contests sells or otherwise transfers all or any part of the rights of such league's member clubs in the sponsored telecasting of the games of football, baseball, basketball, or hockey, as the case may be, engaged in or conducted by such clubs. In addition, such laws shall not apply to a joint agreement by which the member clubs of two or more professional football leagues, which are exempt from income tax under section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 [26 USCS § 501(c)(6)], combine their operations in expanded single league so exempt from income tax, if such agreement increases rather than decreases the number of professional football clubs so operating, and the provisions of which are directly relevant thereto.

As I read this, what this does is exempt the joint sale of television rights for the professional sports leagues (football, baseball, basketball or hockey) from the applicability of the antitrust laws. It allows the league to sell the rights as a package, rather than forcing each team to sell its own rights, which is probably for the good of the league (and certainly for the good of small market teams such as the Packers).

So what Leahy, Specter et al. were threatening was to remove the reference to football from this paragraph? Hmm.