Peace in the valley
From what ESPN's hearing, the solution is a classic compromise. More cap room, but shorter contracts; before you go and forecast an MLB-like arms race, think about how much money teams have tied up in shitty, useless long-term deals. All this means is that these won't absolutely kill a roster for years, since they'll have some flexibility even if they do continue to make terrible signings (trust me, they will) and these contracts will only sting for so long. You'll see a slightly greater turnover in bad contracts, but never will one or two tie the hands of team. I think this will also help the overall depth of teams that are smart while still putting teams run poorly, not those with less money, at a disadvantage. The players and the league both get what they want, and it works out to benefit the fan on both counts.
And then there's the age limit. I can rattle off a million socio-political reasons why there shouldn't be one, and of course sentimental economics sits squarely on the side of the high schooler with a dream. But one year in college is hardly a life sentence, it gives them some much-needed experience, makes them easier to assess, betters the NCAA, and even if they aren't insatnt, Melo-like stars they still shouldn't lose their allure as pro prospects (see Marvin Williams). Apparently the latter has been a big concernt with international players, who, while wanting to get a lottery promise, also don't want their reputations to be tarnished by growing pains at the overseas pro level.
Also, plenty of high schoolers are nineteen by the day of the draft. I know for a fact that Amare was; LeBron was close, but due mostly to his birthdate. So this hardly spells the end of preps-to-pros, however unintentionally. I don't know, it does seem a little strange that being old for your grade could have the ultimate result of letting you go to the NBA out of high school, while your AAU running buddy has to go play for Duke for a year.
There's probably some stuff to be said about tonight's game, but frankly I think the series is over. Duncan can't continue to be this hollow. Detroit is inconsistent. No one wins in San Antonio, no one wins on the road in this series. And, more importantly, this year's Finals was destined to give us one truly indispensable game, just enough for everyone to rain holy fire down on me for doubting its profundity or value to the lexicon of hoops. Very much like the two teams in it.
No, I'm far more excited to hear that there will be a league next year, so I can see some basketball that, by and large, doesn't make me feel like it's a job or point of professional pride to care.
Yeah, I know. . ."that game was amazing." Fine. Does it make up for the four that preceded it?