Slant Pattern’s July Mailbag

It's time again for the Slant Pattern mailbag, where as always I answer questions asked to other sites' mailbags because I don't get any questions myself.

The first question, from Twitter user @StewDoom, asked on a Kentucky Wildcat site, is "Do you think the NBA should block this?" "This," refers to Kentucky alum Boogie Cousins signing with the Golden State Warriors.

Let me say before I answer that I think parity is of paramount importance in professional sports, and if the addition of Cousins makes Golden State a 5-loss team that sweeps the entire NBA playoffs, then that would be super boring. If I wasn't a Cavs fan, I'd be extremely bored by the last four NBA finals featuring the same matchup. As a kid, I was bored at all the Lakers/Celtics finals.

I'll even tell you, dear reader, that politically I am basically a socialist, or at least a Democratic socialist in the vein of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Despite all of this, I'd still be incredibly opposed to the NBA blocking this signing.

Sometimes, the NBA will block non-competitive trades, and good on them for doing so. But this is different. Cousins is a free agent. Free. Agent. Those are both important words in establishing why I feel the way I feel.

What if Cousins was from the Bay and had a sick mother there? Could he sign there, then? And how to quantify the dicey algorithm of how good a player has to be to be prevented from signing with which teams? If Cousins can't sign with the Warriors, can he sign with the Rockets? Could Kyle Lowry sign with the Warriors? These questions aren't very answerable.

I'm also wondering if at some point you can have too many all-stars. There's only one basketball, and chemistry's not guaranteed. Presumably, Cousins already understands his role and stats will be affected downwards by signing with a superteam.

But, for parity lovers like me, one can always hope there can be a thing as too many cooks in the NBA.

Anthony Tony Pecora asks, "What would it cost to get Blake Snell from the Rays? He'd be under team control, he's young and on the upswing. Would the Rays deal him to an AL East rival, especially the Yankees?"

No. This is not a Manny Machado situation. The Rays have a winning record and while the playoffs are probably out of reach, their rebuilding effort is way ahead of schedule. They're not going to mess that up by dealing the player most responsible for their surprising decency.

The guy originally answering this question thought it was possible if the Yankees offered a treasure trove of prospects, but the Yankees would have to offer at least one good, established MLB player (not just a serviceable one) in addition to prospects, and the Yankees generally don't do that.

We close with two questions from a Nebraska Cornhuskers website. The first question, from @Rawker8: "How much of an improvement would the Huskers have to make to get Scott Frost in Coach of the Year discussions?"

I don't think it would take much at all to get him into the conversation. Maybe as few as 8 wins, especially if they start off hot and one of those wins is a big upset. Voters remember when Nebraska was the dominating force of college football, so any steps bringing them back in that direction will engender some nostalgia for days past. In a sense, the country will be passively rooting for Nebraska to succeed under Frost, it would make for such a good story and easy narrative.

Not really a Nebraska question, but nonetheless @RAND_ELL asks, "Who is really America's team?"

The writers who responded to this did not limit the question to to college or the pros, nor to any particular sport, so I won't, either.

This is a super tough question with a lot of possible answers, and my incredibly anecdotal answer is just that: anecdotal. But living in Dallas (and yes, the Cowboys have a legitimate claim to being America's Team) there seems to be one team whose gear I see more than anyone else's besides local teams, more than the Yankees, Lakers, Celtics, etc.

That team is the Chicago Bulls. They seem to have held on to a significant fanbase besides not competing for championships in quite awhile, and so it seems that people did not abandon the Bulls when Jordan departed. These fans might be making something of a Jordan > LeBron statement.

Either that, or people are just big Denzel Valentine fans.

Leave a Comment

Featured Site