NBA Expansion: 4 Necessary Ingredients

nba expansionNBA expansion is a popular topic of discussion for NBA fans.

It’s fun to speculate about which cities might be deemed most worthy of joining the league via NBA expansion.

Those conversations often devolve into arguments about which cities most “deserve” a franchise based on population or enthusiasm.

Perhaps someone might think to point out which cities have basketball arenas. There’s not usually much more depth to it.

Today I’m writing about what really matters for NBA expansion — the criteria that the NBA and its team owners look for.

I identified 4 key ingredients that need to be in place for a city to receive an expansion franchise in the future.


What matters more than how ready an early entry is

readyTHAT GUY is entering the NBA Draft?!

He’s not ready!

He averaged 6 points a game in college!

What’s he doing?!

We’ve all heard this one.

We’ve probably all said it at some point.

But nine times out of ten, people are wrong to say it.

I was reading Gary Parrish’s article defending Skal Labissiere’s early entry into the 2016 NBA Draft. It made me think.

A player’s NBA readiness on the court isn’t actually the main issue.

What matters is how ready the NBA is for him.

ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose likes to say, “You never get what you deserve, only that which you have the leverage to negotiate.”

(I believe Chester Karass originally said it in his 1994 book on negotiating.)

This principle applies here.


Basketball hedgehogs who feed on general managers

basketball hedgehogsHedgehogs are undeniably cute animals.

Just look at this creature!

(Live specimen not pictured.)

Hedgehogs also tell us something useful about how we discuss basketball and evaluate decisions.

I’m not talking about real hedgehogs, in this case.

I’m referring to basketball hedgehogs, a special breed of person with a taste for the flesh of fallen basketball executives and an allergy to nuance.

Why am I talking about cute hedgehogs and man-eating basketball hedgehogs?

Former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie left the organization recently.

While I don’t intend to mount a defense or critique of the Hinkie era, I do want to look at what we can learn from Hinkie’s time in Philadelphia and how people are reacting to it.


How I Started Scouting Basketball

start scoutingThe first steps in anything are often the most difficult ones.

Especially emotionally.

You feel anxious. You don’t know what to do.

Today I want to help you with your first steps in basketball scouting.

If you’ve already started, great! You’ll find value in this article, too.

I’ll begin by telling you about the beginning of my journey, and sharing some of the most important things I learned early on.

How I started scouting basketball

I was always a big sports fan growing up near Philadelphia.

I especially loved baseball and basketball. Patrick Ewing was my favorite player when I was a kid.