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Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Second 2014 Tremendous Basketball Player Names Tournament - First Round

Funny names are funny, and the idea of bracketing a bunch of them is not new. The Name of the Year competition started back in 1983, before the author of this bracket was even a sperm, and that baton has been passed to new ownership, who last year awarded Leo Moses Spornstarr the 2013 winner of the world's ultimate accolade.

Inspired by, and in homage to, this decades long legacy of doing God's work, there hereby follows the second Tremendous Basketball Player Names Tournament Bracket, featuring basketball players of different sizes and calibre, of players both current and retired, male and female, from all around the globe. The question we ask here, as always: which name is better?

To give some context as to the standards we hope to achieve here, the inaugural Basketball Player Names Tournament was won by Steeve Ho You Fat, who beat Grienntys Chief Kickingstallionsims in a tense final. Standards are high. Dreams are bigger.

As can be seen in the full draw above [click to fully expand], the bracket accords with the March Madness tournament bracket style, except arguably with less arbitrary divisions for the regionals. Things of note:


* No consideration is given to a player's current status. Some are long since retired, and some never even went pro. Yet it matters not - if you were a basketball player to an organised standard (e.g. college, its equivalents, and above), whose existence, career and name can be found, you count. Anything college and above is sufficient, although this does mean high schoolers and recreational players are not permissible, which is bad news for fans of Sean Sohappy, Tommy Ghost Dog and Rocky Three Irons the world over. But you gotta have rules, even if I do bend and outright break them later on.

* The age cut-off limit is slightly arbitrarily set at 17, due to anything less than that being impossible to verify. This is bad news for fans of Spanish team Unicaja Malaga, who boast in their youth ranks a 13 year old named Golden Dike. When the story of the hilarity of his name breaks in American media in a few years, remember that you heard it here first.

* All names are verifiably true via other internet resources, and links to such are given where necessary. In one instance, there exists only one reference to the person on the entire internet. But it will do. Play along.

* Little consideration is given to how names are actually pronounced. The only criteria used is how the name looks like it would be pronounced by a particularly ill-informed English speaker.

* What constitutes a 'better' name is entirely in the eyes of the voter only. Vote with your own criteria. Different strokes for different folks. The only demand is that names are judged on names alone, irrespective of the skills, life, times and career of the players to whom they are attached.

* The depth of research that went into this is mildly disturbing, but there is always the chance good names have been missed. If you know of a great name not listed in either this pool or the other one, email it in to mark@hoop365.com.

* This tournament follows the NCAA tournament bracket style, save for the abolishment of play-in games, because, duh.

* There is no condescension here. We love the names and thus we love the people behind them. There may be occasional amazement as to how such names came to pass, but it is not ever intended to be derogatory. Give me the esoteric over the bland all day. (Also, my own name is basically Dirty Penises, so I have no room to talk.)

* Seedings are somewhat arbitrary and open to much conjecture, as is unavoidable, but were determined via consultation with others (who I supposed you could term a selection committee). Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com, who enjoyed the first incarnation more than anyone should ever really enjoy anything, was not of much use at all really.

To the matchups!



The Name Is The Window On The Soul Regional (a tenuously cobbled-together group of players whose names either contain anything that could be conceived as vaguely descriptive; the regionals get less tenuous later on!)

(1) Chastity Gooch v (16) Ashley Awkward:

Awkward, a one time WNBA player and financial consultant who who wants to fatten up Allen Iverson, boasts an awkward surname and the always beneficial use of alliteration. But she surely stands little if any chance of the 1 v 16 upset against Gooch, one of the best players in female college basketball, who sports all three of a tender body part, a belt and a former England cricket captain in her name. If you don't know where on the body the gooch is, then guess, and you're more than likely within a few inches of being right.

Chastity Gooch or Ashley Awkward?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sorry guys, Carmelo Anthony did not get $62 million in advance

(originally posted elsewhere)

For the most part, NBA players are paid on the first and fifteenth of every month, with a standard of 24 paydays per calendar year. Players earning more than the minimum can agree to 12 payments over six months or 36 payments over eighteen months, yet the norm is the norm.

There is room for some further deviation from these standards. Players can receive both advances on their salary, and receive loans from their teams.

There is not, however, room for the amount of deviation that is currently being reported in the case of Carmelo Anthony.

It is being reported in several places around the web, most notably (and I believe initially) the Wall Street Journal, that Melo received 50% of his new $124,064,681 contract in one up front payment. Admittedly, it is not so much expressly stated as it is implied that this is the case, but whichever it is, the idea it spawned that he will or might have already gotten $62 million is wrong. The confusion comes from a misunderstanding about how, when and to what degree NBA contracts can be advanced, a confusion I hope to clarify here.

The first and most important point to make is that salary for a future season can never ever be advanced. NBA seasons begin on July 1st and end on June 30th, so if it is October 6th 2014 and you want an advance on your 2015/16 salary, you are begrudgingly going to have to wait until July 1st 2015 to get so much as a piece of it. This rule alone is enough to show that the idea that Melo received a full 50% of the full life of the contract up front is false.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Jusuf Nurkic revisited

This post from yesterday talks about how Nuggets drafteee Jusuf Nurkic was set to receive less than 120% of the rookie scale, the customary amount. And in doing so, it was mentioned that he would be the highest first round pick to ever do so.

Not quite. It turns out this is a misreporting on my part. Nurkic will receive less than the salary of the 120% rookie scale amount, but he will count on the cap for the 120% amount. Nurkic's buyout with Cedevita was for larger than the amount NBA teams can pay cap-exempt ($600,000 this season), and while teams are eligible to pay more than that amount in an international player's buyout, they must do so by putting any amount greater than that paid into the cap hit in the form of a signing bonus. This is not especially to do in a rookie scale contract, with its fixed parameters, but it is doable if sufficiently small. The figures listed for Nurkic were an even $350,000 smaller than what the full rookie scale would have been, and that is the extra amount of buyout Denver paid, charged as a signing bonus.

These rules were known to me, of course, and the practice is not uncommon. Bismack Biyombo, Andrea Bargnani and several others have been in this same situation, getting less than the full 120% in actual salary yet counting against the cap as the full 120% (and to anyone other than the people signing and receiving the cheques, i.e. us team building fans, only the cap number matters). Nevertheless, it was understood in the instance that the figures given were the actual cap hits and thus included the buyout signing bonus. It was counter checked and passed both tests. And yet now the opposite is said to be true, that Nurkic is signed for the full 120%, and that the whole issue is irrelevant.

There is a process we (I) go through in order to get salary information. It does not always work.

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