Is Jerry West the best NBA executive ever? I would like to hear opinions on this, but the man resume as an NBA executive is impressive. From the trade that brought in Kobe Bryant, the free agents signing of Shaquille O’Neal, the trade for Pau Gasol, the construction of the Memphis Grizzlies, and the signing of Kevin Durant. Jerry West fingerprints are all over these transactions. Now his latest move, that may be the most impressive, is the trade of Blake Griffin.

Blake Griffin is an exciting player to watch, the highlight dunks and alley-oops but the Clippers signed Blake to contract worth 173 million dollars over five years. That is almost $35 million a year. There are only four players who make more money this season there are Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Gordon Hayward, and Paul Millsap. LeBron and Stephen are superstars, so their price tag is acceptable. Millsap and Hayward were going to different teams, therefore the new teams had to increase the amount to make the deal attractive. Now on to Blake, Blake has not played an entire NBA season since the 2010-2011 season, he is often injured, and Blake is not a superstar. Blake does not have the ability to carry a team, he does not make the players around him better, he is not a great defensive player and his games depends on his athleticism. Blake is 29 years old, so towards the end of his contract will he be worth the money?

Now here is why Jerry West may be a genius, he got the Detroit Pistons to agree to a trade for Blake. I do not see many teams taking Blake Griffin based on his history of injuries alone for $35 million. In return, Jerry gets Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and a first-round pick. Tobias and Avery are good players, Tobias can easily average 20 points a game and Avery is still one of the premiers defends in the NBA. These players will make great pieces as the Clippers rebuild their team.

I do not know where Jerry West should rank among NBA executives but he has to be close to the top on everyone’s list.





In the game of basketball organizations on the college and professional level employ individuals who elevate talent. These people who elevate talent called scouts play a critical role in the future of the athletes, based on the scout’s analysis a play draft position is determined or the offer letters he or she receives can be affected by the scout. These scouts are paid handsomely for their work, they use all type of statistics to influence or support their opinion about a player but there is one thing that scouts cannot analyze and that is heart.

I am making the statement because I was recently thinking about two players who have defied the analysis of them by the experts. Those players are Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell. Donovan Mitchell was selected 13th in the last NBA draft, most scouts thought he would go around this pick but their idea of him was that he would be a second unit player. The scouts believed he would be able to score in the NBA, but he is not a lead guard and too small to be an effective two guard. The scouts did not think he had a high ceiling, I never understood that high ceiling remark because who are you to determine how far a person can go. Anyway, Donovan, in my opinion, is the best rookie of this season. Some will say Ben Simmons, but Simmons is not really a rookie and Mitchell has had more impactful games than Simmons. Mitchell is averaging more points a game while playing fewer minutes than Simmons. There are not any NBA scouts who would have predicted Mitchell being this good this early in his career. Now onto Trae Young, Trae was ranked 23rd on the ESPN Top 100 and 16th on Rivals Ranking. Trae was not as highly recruited as his counterparts, he was a five-star player, but no one expected him to lead the country in scoring and be compared to Steph Curry. Looking at it now it is hard to believe that there were 20 players better than Trae coming out of high school. Trae is projected to be the number one pick in this year’s draft. Again, the scouts, who analyze talent for a living, did not see Trae Young being this good this earlier.

There are a couple of scouts I will give credit to and those are the scouts who targeted these two players and the foresight in believing they would exceed expectation. One other thing that does affect their production and this is being in the right situation. Donovan Mitchell had no choice in where he would play in the NBA, so my hats off to the coaching staff for creating an environment for Donovan to excel in. I really impressed with Trae Young decision to stay home an attend Oklahoma, Trae could have easily gone to one of the other schools five-star players usually go to, but he didn’t. Instead, Trae went to a school that has a system that allows him to showcase his best attributes, this may be the smartest decision he has ever made.

I guess my point to all of this that basketball is an emotional game, because of this emotion stats and analytics will never provide an accurate picture of who a player is and who he or she will be with regards to basketball. Some people become great when put in good situations.





The Ball family has dominated the basketball universe in 2017, so it is only right that I start off 2018 with a post about LaVar Ball. LaVar has had his share of naysayers and haters, some of which is well deserved. I must confess I am a support of the Ball family but there is something I may disagree with. My disagreements with certain actions of LaVar are me just venting because it his life and family to do with he wants.

With regards to the Junior Basketball Association(JBA) that LaVar has stated he will create, people are upset because LaVar stated he will allow top high school basketball players to play in the league instead of going to college for one year. People are concerned because these players will give up the opportunity for a free college education. This is true because once given a scholarship that scholarship is valid for a lifetime, a player can return to college to complete his degree once his professional basketball career is over. The caveat that people are not discussing has LaVar stated the top players, top players consist of 10 to 20 players. That being said; the league will comprise of 80 players, therefore, you have to consider the other 60 to 70 players. No one is thinking about the players who did not get a college scholarship for various reasons, the streetball players, the players who have graduated college and players who did not attend high school. Everyone is only concerned about players that they can profit from, these other players no one cares about and do not offer a pathway to the NBA. Everyone knows that basketball player who you believe is a great player but has never made it. The JBA may give these players a chance to earn money playing the game they love and give the opportunity to showcase their talent to the NBA, G-League and European Professional basketball leagues.

I will admit the LaVar may not have the best business accruements but instead of criticizing his missteps individuals should be offering guidance. LaVar business ideas empower the athlete and allow the athlete to profit or increase profits from their talent.