Fun Friday: NBA Basketball

I watched the President talk to Bill Simmons about the Chicago Bulls (and Jeremy Lin) just now. I hope Obama gets his wish to welcome the Bulls to the White House as NBA Champions.

But I don't root for the Bulls. They killed the Knicks too many times in the 90s for me to ever be able to do that.

I'm a Knicks fan. And it's been fun to go to The Garden the past couple years. It's not just Jeremy Lin. The Knicks have a lot of weapons this year. They can run their entire bench without giving up much against most teams.

But I'm also a Oklahoma City Thunder fan. I've been into Kevin Durant since his brief college career. His game is so lovely to watch. His jump shot is pure and so good, and he can explode off the dribble as well as anyone. Last year in the playoffs, particularly against the Grizzlies and the Mavs, my son and I watched every game and became hard core Thunder fans. Westbrook has a ton of talent and James Harden is one of the smartest young players in the game.

I don't root for the Heat. I don't enjoy watching LeBron. He plays basketball like a linebacker. It's not beatiful but is effective. I do enjoy watching Dwyane Wade. But as the President says in that Bill Simmons interview, it will be hard to beat the Heat this year. They are playing much better than last year.

This shortened season is fun for the fans. There are a ton of games to watch every night. The lockout sucked but I feel like NBA Basketball is having a great season post lockout. I'm expecting the Thunder to get to the finals this year and hopefully they'll be playing the Bulls instead of the Heat.

Do you like NBA Basketball? Who do you root for? And who do you think will be visiting the President at the White House this year?


Comments (Archived):

  1. Maneesh

    Love the NBA and *love* that you are an NBA fan (not too many in startup-tech, especially out here in the bay area).True, your Knicks have lots of weapons, but you guys don’t do the two most important things that matter — especially in the playoffs – DEFEND and REBOUND. (Chandler helps though…)that said, your Knicks are fun to watch and have the smartest SAT score starting backcourt in NBA history too :)I’m a Laker fan.Heat are the favorites but I think Chicago could take ’em….

    1. fredwilson

      and what do you think about the Thunder? i watched them play the Lakers a week ago and the Thunder looked great.

      1. Maneesh

        Thunder is the best regular season team in the NBA right now.They don’t have much of a halfcourt game, though.  No post player to throw the ball into that will command  double team.

      2. Maneesh

        my heart says Lakers vs Heat in finalsmy head says Dallas vs Heat (again).  J Kidd and Nowitzki’s veteran leadership and great coaching (Carlisle) will probably win out.

        1. fredwilson

          I’m hoping the Thunder prove you wrong

          1. Maneesh

            if Serge Ibaka could develop a low post game, they would go 72-10 and sweep the playoffs!!

          2. fendien

            @facebook-723785008:disqus  have you seen Dallas this year?  they lost chandler (nice pickup for knicks) and some other key pieces of the championship team. they’re not playing well at all, further evidenced by a loss to NJ right after All Star weekend.@fredwilson:disqus it is going to be OKC-Miami in the Finals and my boys from south beach are gelling so well this year (nice 9 game win streak all by double digit margins) that i think we got it.  last year our run was great, but we didn’t have enough experience playing together to get things done

          3. fredwilson

            can’t argue with any of this. i think you are most likely right. the pres basically said the same thing.

      3. paulmunsch

        I think Heat over Thunder in the finals. The linebacker is named MVP.

        1. fredwilson

          i hope that nickname sticks!

  2. Humberto

    dont like basketball.before being in the US didnt even touch it, apart from gym classes when we’d piss the coach so badly he’d prohibit soccer.Then i was twice in California, apart from some street games where i mostly watched, didnt make me turn. 2 friends are huge friends though, and when i moved to Boston for mba i went to Celtics vs. Knicks, and when i moved to NY i watched the same teams play.I could barely watch 50% of each game, i was always getting distracted by some ad, pause, announcement, whatever. Its super awkward to watch. there are too many pauses, too many people near the actual game field… too much advertising, too much show, for a field so small. at least in soccer you have a 2*45 minute game, straight with little pauses. mostly tactics, endurance, etc, and you can get a decent view of the wide field..i guess its *very* cultural

    1. Maneesh

      check out this very cool technology called DVR.

      1. Humberto

        i believe DVR is more suited for people who are already fans.a new fan is captured through Awesomeness, Magic and Wonder, not convenience. Kind of like startups. in the metaphor, my reaction to basketball would be the reaction of a new user to Facebook nowadays: he’d probably feel overwhelmed with the features and different views and ads and whatnot. obviously he can still feel like part of a social thing, and get excited at the artifacts of the gamified experience. most do stick around.i do like that they sell beer on the stadium..

        1. LIAD

          “a new fan is captured through Awesomeness, Magic and Wonder, not convenience. Kind of like startups. ” = very cool dude.

    2. Yalim K. Gerger

      I hate the pauses too. Especially for the free throws. I wish they’d find a way to play this game without free throws. At least until the last two minutes or so.

  3. LIAD

    If the world’s professional sports industry vanished in a puff of smoke I wouldn’t notice or care.#justsayinI am interested though in the psychology behind supporting a team. You support a team for decades or even a lifetime, families support the same team over generations.The players change, the coach changes, the stadium changes, the logos and kit colours change… everything changes, but you’re still there supporting your ‘team’ through thick and thin. Who are you really supporting?People make the teams successes and failures a proxy for their own.#makebelieve #fairytale

    1. Rohan

      The Romans had a clear formula – you need food and sport to keep people happy.Hence, the colloseum.There’s something very tribal in the experience of supporting teams (and forming gangs) that we seem to gravitate to as human beings.

      1. S. Pandya

        I think it’s because sports presents the only safe outlet for competition and discussion. So many topics are taboo and “politically incorrect” (especially with new acquaintances) that sports (and to a lesser extent, food and travel) seems to be the only safe spot.

        1. Andrew Hoydich

          To expand on your ‘safe’ point: I think it’s because it’s a game. A game that takes place in a fantasy world created by society where success and failure is not a matter of life and death (it’s safe). If a team loses they don’t go anywhere. They get a second try. The consequences of a loss are nothing but not getting a trophy and losing bragging rightsIf a team (lets say a country) loses in the game of war, there might not be a second chance and the repercussions of that loss are real. If you are a team member of a company that loses, you’re getting laid off and there might not be a second chance for you either.

          1. S. Pandya

            Totally agree. Sports has always been a productive way to get onto common ground while showing passion. Gaming is catching up fast, including in the workplace as an impetus to breaking down barriers and fostering creativity

      2. ShanaC

        And swords…and blood.  We’ve gotten much less bloody as a society.  

        1. Rohan

          Amen to that.

    2. falicon

      I think your *really* supporting the memories you’ve built up watching and rooting for a team over the years.The generational bit you mention is one of the strongest keys (if you grow up watching/rooting for a team with your family, you have strong emotional memories and experiences tied to that team for life).Even if you didn’t grow up watching a given sport with your family members…many of us have strong emotional ties to the experience of growing up playing the sport…the more you’ve played a given sport throughout your life, the more you tend to respect and appreciate the ‘pro’ level play of said sport.

  4. David Semeria

    It would appear a key feature of basketball is that you can support more than one team.Soccer doesn’t work like that.  As the saying goes:You can change your girlfriend as many times as you like, but your club is your club

    1. fredwilson

      That may be true. I’m that way with our version of football. I don’t care for any team other than the Jets

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Same with me and the Giants. I think part of that is the difference in schedules: 16 game regular seasons in the NFL, where every game matters, followed by a single-elimination playoff. I watch every Giants game in full every season.I started watching the Knicks again with the Linsanity business, but if I miss a game or part of one, I don’t sweat it. Lots of regular season games, so each is less meaningful on its own than one NFL game. Then, if they get to the playoffs, there will be those ridiculous best-of-seven series designed to squeeze as much out of gate receipts and TV ads as possible. Sometimes less is more.

        1. falicon

          It’s also a matter of how the leagues are designed…NBA is a star driven league…people tend to root more on the player and coach level than they do the ‘team’ level.I feel like in the NFL, the stars are important, but they do it from an angle of the team first…that is, fans view it as the team makes them the star, not the other way around (except for the rare few like maybe Peyton)

          1. Michael Elling

            I like the thread developing here about fan loyalty to a given sport, team, player.  Comparing sports by frequency of play during week/season, whether they have playoff systems, etc…  What type of non-league play they have. Number of leagues and relegation/promotion opportunities.  Number of substitutions and player rotation during game.  Because of how our dominant sports leagues are set up in North America, is it easier in general for fans to support multiple teams in the same league?  As sport becomes more distributed via greater media choice these might be interesting questions. I am hoping one day soccer is big here; but not holding my breath right now.

          2. falicon

            soccer is growing a lot in the younger demographics around the US…I think mostly because so many more kids are growing up playing it (and all things considered, it’s a much more affordable/safe sport for young kids to be playing).I grew up playing football in my backyard with everyone in the neighborhood…but my kids are growing up with much less free time and are already involved in a lot more structured sports/activities than I ever was at their age…So I think the chances of them falling in love with a given sport will rely less on their backyard experiences and more on the success and enjoyment they find from the structured sports they participate in (I think this bodes well for sports like soccer in the US long term)

          3. Dave Pinsen

            I might have mentioned this in a previous discussion with Kevin, but I think one challenge soccer has in the US is that US teams don’t participate in the Champions League in Europe. Americans want to see, and compete with, the best. I enjoyed watching the World Cup, and I think I’d enjoy watching some of the top European teams play, but American MLS isn’t really in the mix. If the best handful of US teams could challenge the best European teams at the end of their regular season, that would raise the significance of the MLS.

          4. Dave Pinsen

            Well, some of that is a natural consequence of the size of teams and rosters in the respective sports.

      2. Rcaccappolo

         I feel that way about baseball – though I consider myself a baseball fan and would say it is my favorite sport, I realize I am really just a Yankee fan.  I can watch (or have on in the background) 150 Yankee games a year, but I struggle to sit through one Phillies vs Cardinals or Mariners vs Indians on TV…just no emotional tie to the team, the players, the community.Ironically, football is different for me – though I am a life-long Jets fan (Namath was the man when I was a kid), I can watch a Monday night game between other teams.Basketball is in-between for me – right now, we wouldn’t miss a Knicks game for the reasons you mention in the post and though we feel no loyalty to other teams, there are some other teams we will watch when they are on because they feature great individual players (Kobe, Rose, Durant, Nash, Paul, some of the exciting rookies, like Rubio, etc.) that play so well that you feel you will miss something if you don’t tune in. I think basketball has been that way for a while – ironically, it was 50 years ago when Wilt scored 100…would have liked to have seen that, even though it was against the Knicks… 

      3. S. Pandya

        Jets suck! J/k Fins fan – and the Jets are hated rivals!

        1. fredwilson

          AFC East FTW

          1. S. Pandya

            Probably the most competitive division for sure. It’s not a coincidence that the AFC East has been in the AFC Championship game 7 out of the last 10 years (thanks to the Patriots and Jets). If you do 2 decades, you also have substantial contributions from the Fins and the Bills.

    2. karen_e

      David, I’m going to Italy without my young son so need to make sure my phone and Internet are “senza interruzione.” Any chance you’d have a minute to discuss your adopted homeland along these lines? I am @karen_e:twitter on Twitter.

      1. David Semeria

        Sure, happy to help

  5. Yalim K. Gerger

    I love the NBA too. This year I even bought an NBA International League Pass and watch Sunday games online. The picture quality is incredible. I can even watch it without interruption on 3G.This year is indeed quite fun. I am a Knicks fan too. I hope the Lin, Melo, Amre trio can grow into a championship caliber team. They may go deeper into playoffs this year than anyone expects from them because they seem to be in the New York state of mind these days. This year I have huge respect for Kobe. He is playing his heart out. I hope he goes all the way, although he will need to pull off more than a few MJ-like performances to win a championship.

    1. Yalim K. Gerger

      I’ve just become a Regular in this blog. Cool. 🙂

      1. fredwilson


      2. ShanaC


    2. Maneesh

      let’s make a deal. Pau Gasol for Lin and Shumpert.Then you can dump Amare for a nice PG to replace Lin.are you IN, Yalim and Fred?

      1. Yalim K. Gerger

        No way. Lin is the heart of the team now. It would be an incredible buzz kill to trade him. But wait…Since we are fantasizing…Which point guard? 🙂

        1. Maneesh

          You can just sign Nash as a free agent in the summer! haha he can play until he’s 50 probably.

      2. fredwilson

        That sounds like a deal the Knicks makeCan you say Zach Randolph???

        1. Maneesh

          Zach would get back into trouble in the big apple, no? :)Zach is on a very short list of awesome true postup big men left in the world….

        2. brian trautschold

          No one will steal Zach! Huge Grizz fan here – Zbo + Allen + Gasol =  grittiest team in the league.  With great young talents like Conley & Rudy the Grizz are definitely one of the most fun teams to be a fan of. Great defense, rebounding, fast break play… Once Zach is back, I think OKC-Grizz playoff rematch.#Grindhouse

          1. fredwilson

            if they had Rudy last spring ………

          2. brian trautschold

            it would have been incredible… Shaping up for another 1st round Grizz-Spurs matchup (which is will be great)Knicks in the risky “who can get out of 8th place” race in East to avoid Heat.You think they can outpace Boston/ ATL for last 30? Potentially get the Indiana matchup

          3. fredwilson

            the new look Knicks play better against the better teams and not as well against the weak oneswe need to fix that

  6. Dave W Baldwin

    Basketball is an incredible sport.  Also fun to let coaches talk and then throw in some of the scientific elements related to strategy/stats.I’m having fun watching the development of Otto Porter Jr. of Georgetown, who graduated from a high school just a few miles South of me.  Otto, being a Freshman, has a few years to go, but he will be pro and what comes about will be interesting.

    1. fredwilson

      My NCAA team is the Hoyas. They have some great young players this year. Otto is outstanding

      1. Dan Epstein

        I prefer NCAA to NBA, but I’ll watch occasionally. I’m becoming a big fan of Grantland. The recent piece on the Malice at the Palace (… was a great read.Speaking of the NCAA, how about an AVC bracket/tourney pool for charity?

      2. Dave W Baldwin

        …and as you mention, the whole team. Dream game (local perspective) will be them against Mizzou.

  7. graubart

    I’ve been a lifelong Knick fan as well and this is the first real fun year at the Garden since probably 93 (99 was great, but not a very watchable, fun team).This year’s Knicks second team is more fun to watch than any of the “first teams” that hit the floor during the Isiah Thomas years. Shumpert, Davis, Novak, Jefferies and JR Smith play with intensity, especially on the defensive side of the ball.  And while I feel the same way that you do about the Heat, I differ when it comes to LeBron. I do like to watch him play – but on the defensive side of the ball (not against the Knicks, of course).During the Knicks long history, the Garden has always responded the most to great defensive play. And as Melo noted last week, the current Knicks can learn a lot from the defense, rebounding and diving for loose balls that the Heat show. And, in spite of D’Antoni, that seems to be happening. Tyson Chandler is becoming the leader of the team. Shumpert looks like he can become a stopper, covering the other team’s best scorer (at the 2 or 3) and Jared Jefferies goes after every loose ball and takes a few charges every game.I don’t think the Knicks are quite ready to compete with the Heat this year, but they’re fun to watch and are making the NBA fun for me again. Now, we just need Dwight Howard to sign with the Nets, so we can have a great intra-borough rivalry starting next season.

    1. fredwilson

      i’m not hoping for a championship this yeara long playoff run would be awesomenothing like the garden cranking in May

      1. William Mougayar

        I think the Knicks are getting warmed up for next year. They are missing another 1 or 2 additional kick ass players like Lin to round it up.

  8. Dave W Baldwin

    Yesterday, I did an ‘off subject’ related to Bill 868 that needs to be vetoed by Governor Scott of Florida. Please send your email to Governor Rick Scott, asking him to veto SB 868. Althought we are told this bill doesn’t attack those who relic hunt and metal detect, it still phrohibits us from removing anything over 51 years old from Florida soil. And since it’s impossible to distinguish between someone metal detecting for a coin that is over 51 years old, or a coin that isn’t… well, you can do the math.

  9. Timothy Chen

    I am rooting for the Knicks. I love the new look Clippers. 

    1. fredwilson

      Yeah the Clips might be the best team in LA this year

  10. Patrick Morris

    Growing up during the 90’s I loved the knicks. It was a great time, and they had some great (but painful) runs in the playoffs. But then I started losing interest once it became more of a one-on-one game, showcasing just the best talent instead of the best teams. Transitioned more to college basketball which I found more exciting, and more team based. A pure game. With the rise of a more team-oriented game in the NBA (esp with Lin & the Knicks) I have found it much more entertaining. The ego’s are starting to get smaller too, which is nice.

    1. Michael Elling

      Starks was the Lin of his day.  Even though team was built around Ewing, they had great teamwork as he became less of a force.  Most painful moment was game 7 of semis when Starks missed a shot at the buzzer and Bulls went to finals.  I was watching from Amsterdam, so ended up getting to bed, heartbroken at 5am.  Was it ’95 or ’96?  Nice to see the teamwork and camaraderie against Cavs the other night.  If they keep it up and Amare continues to get his form back, who knows?

      1. Patrick Morris

        The first time I watched Lin play against the Nets I mentioned to a friend that it was like watching John Starks out there. I think they even look alike from afar.

      2. fredwilson

        let’s not talk about that eraPat Ewing is my all time favorite ballplayerhis losses were my lossesi love Starks too

        1. laurie kalmanson

           a friend suffered greatly with them during those days. he also loved the big man.

        2. K_Berger

          I’m a Bulls fan and grew up in the MJ era.  After he was gone, you realized what a treat it was to have a guy and team like that to watch every day. Patrick Ewing is one of a handful of players who never got a title because their careers coincided with Jordan’s.  Timing is everything.

  11. Rohan

    Wondering if I should start discussing Man Utd vs Spurs..  The last time we began discussing the premier league we hijacked the super bowl thread. lol 🙂

    1. John Best

      Do it! 🙂

      1. Rohan

        haha. So who’s your money on?

    2. baba12

      I am an underdog supporter.i Liked Man City, Newcastle, Liverpool and seems like they are all finally getting a few more wins than losses :)…

      1. Rohan

        Man City is NOT an underdog by any stretch of the imagination – atleast not this season. Having spent hundreds of millions of oil money, they better start winning things..Newcastle have definitely been the story of the season! Unexpected.. and nice to see!Liverpool..well.. there is always next year, isn’t it? 😉

    3. Michael Elling

      I’m in.  Where in NYC will it be showing? Go ManU

      1. Rohan

        Heh. No idea Michael. I live in London.. so I can’t help with that, unfortunately. 🙂 I think it should be an easy win. Spurs typically roll over when it comes to big games..

  12. Tom Labus

    As  a Nets fan I’m fired up now that Brook Lopez is back.  He had 38 against the Mavs the other night and there is a good core with D Will and Humphries.  Not sure we need a big trade but rather organic growth,Our biggest loss was Rod Thorn leaving.  I’m sure he clashed with Prokhorov over strategy.  Look what he did with the 76er’s.Lin is great to watch and the whole Knick team is on fire. Melo and Amare should make sure he get some of their cash.

    1. Maneesh

      love what the nets are doing. I hope D Will stays. Humphries is solid. Carmelo would be a perfect addition to the Nets… Knicks – let’s see what they do in the playoffs.  Mike D’Antoni teams don’t play defense. And if you don’t play defense, you don’t get to the finals.  Amare knows all about that from Phoenix!!!Having a solid defense in the NBA is like a startup having a solid distribution strategy and knowing their 2-3 key metrics.  It’s not sexy, but it WINS.

      1. Tom Labus

        I hope the Nets don’t go crazy and make some wild deal that tanks the team.Look at the 76er’s.  No big names and they’re in first place with a young team.  An east coast OKC.

        1. Maneesh

          Do you think Doug Collins has a lot to do with that?What do you think about Phil Jackson coaching OKC next year?  I would have said Knicks, but Jeremy Lin makes a Knicks point-guard-centric team a viable option (at least for another year for D’Antoni).I predict Phil coaches OKC next year, after they don’t get far enough in the playoffs (because they can’t fast break as much and don’t really play much D either)

          1. Tom Labus

            Phil back for a few more rings.  He may be done.

      2. fredwilson

        Chandler and Jared Jeffries play defenseSo does Iman

  13. Dave Pinsen

    I caught part of Mike Francesa’s WFAN interview with Steve Novak on the radio yesterday. Just checking the web, it looks like there’s a clip of it available:

    1. Maneesh

      Jeff Van Gundy coached Novak in Houston, and has said that Novak is the “best shooter I have ever seen”. Mind you, Van Gundy coached against Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, etc….crazy statement huh.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Maybe if he gets more minutes and keeps shooting like he has recently, those comparisons won’t seem as crazy.

    2. fredwilson

      my son and I call him Stevwe love him

  14. Dave Pinsen

    Fred,Did you attend one of Obama’s fundraisers in New York this week?

    1. fredwilson

      no i did not.if i support the President, i will do it my waywhich is not buying a lousy dinner in a room full of people dying to get their picture taken with him

      1. LE

        “which is not buying a lousy dinner in a room full of people”At first I thought “right on”. Then after a second it occurred to me that many of those wannabes might be just the type of contacts you could use to further your philanthropic endeavors going forward.#peoplecollector

        1. ShanaC

          I like the idea of people collector.  Just saying.

          1. LE

            Was a takeoff on something Fred said in a prior post that I remember reading.

          2. ShanaC

            its a good idea

        2. fredwilson

          i want to fund the philanthropic things i am interested in going forward in a kickstarteresque way, not a clintonesque way

  15. William Mougayar

    I love the NBA ever since I moved to Seattle in 78 & saw the Sonics become champions in 79.  Then in 95, bought a pair of season tickets the first year the Raptors started & Damon Stoudmire was the star then. That was a very cool interview of Obama. I wished he was as versed in foreign politics as he is on Sports. Heats & Thunders are unstoppable in my opinion. The Bulls & The NY Lins are the side shows for this season. 

    1. fredwilson

      that 1979 Seattle team is legendary

      1. William Mougayar

        True. Downtown Freddy Brown, Jack Sigma, Dennis Johnson, Gus Williams & who was the 5th one?

  16. laurie kalmanson

    still not convinced there will ever be anyone greater than michael jordan (saw part of his reign in chicago after grad school; so awesome).growing up in nyc, the knicks rotated between awesome and sad.

    1. leigh

      his series of ads with Nike are burrrriillliant my favs:Failure:…Maybe it’s my fault:…

      1. Rohan

        It’s amazing what he did.This was the start of the industry’s use of super stars for commercials…

      2. anand

        I’ve watched the the ‘maybe it’s my fault’ ad hundreds of times.But my absolute favorite is this

        1. leigh

          url didn’t work – can you repost?

    2. bsoist

      I still relish the old day with Dr. J, but Jordan was an amazing talent. I only saw him live once – in Chicago in the old arena on Memorial Day 1989 – playoffs against Detroit (only time I ever saw Rodman too). I was so excited and then he scored 11 points. 🙁

      1. laurie kalmanson

         dr. j!!!!! dennis rodman!!!!!

        1. bsoist

          Rodman was booed fiercely back then – back then he was booed more as the enemy than as the freak.

          1. laurie kalmanson

            rodman / pippen / jordan: each made the other better

    3. Donna Brewington White

      He took it to a whole new level, becoming something of a living metaphor for the highest level of excellence and accomplishment.

    4. ShanaC

      He’s the type to be a person to learn from.  Clean cut, practices, tried and tried until he got it…

  17. DonRyan

    I live in NE Ohio. I root for whoever is playing the Heat.I have also become a Knicks convert. They look terrific this year. 

  18. Bill Davenport

    I’m a Celtics fan but really like the Thunder.  Perkins is part of that, but the offensive skills for Durant and Westbrook plus the defensive chops of Ibaka and Perkins great combo.  Such a fun young team.  I think it will be Thunder vs. Heat in the finals.

    1. fredwilson

      Perkins was a good pickupkind of like Chandler was for the Knicks

  19. Jason C

    Growing up a Pacers fan I remember all the excellent duels with the Knicks in the 90’s.  Reggie Miller scoring 8 points in the last 10 seconds was unbelievable.  With that said it’s weird rooting for the Knicks as a Pacers fan but this thing the Knicks have is fun and just what the NBA needs.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t want to think about those games. too painful.

  20. Tommy E

    I used to not like the NBA.  But I admit, I find myself watching more and more games this year. I might be starting an addiction.

  21. Brandon Marker

    I LOVED watching KD at the Drum when playing for UT. Even then his game was polished, its been incredible to watch it improve further. As soon as he steps-up on defense (he is already working on it) he will be MVP.I am from Houston. Yao and T-Mac killed our team. We had season tickets when living there, and at least there was double clutch city! With that being said, GO TEXANS!

  22. PhilipSugar

    College only for me.Nothing better than the Big East Tournament at the Garden.

    1. Dave Goldberg

      Not for much longer with Syracuse out of the Big East. Big East is going downhill fast.

    2. fredwilson

      i am hoping to go next weeki will go if Georgetown goes deep in the tournament

    3. JLM

      Tarheels v Duke Saturday.That is basketball!

  23. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    In the 70’s I lived to watch the NBA and I had no “favorite” team….The college I went to was the pre season practice arena for the Milwaukee Bucks and we were their practice team, so I got to play against Kareem Abul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, and also folks like Ernie Grunsfield and Sidney Moncrief…we also spent some time “socializing.”I also got to play against Jack Sikma, as our colleges were in the same conference, and as a freshman I outscored him and outrebounded him…Al McQuire, the coach of Marquette, became a friend (that’s a long and absurd story!)….Then as a military brat I can’t count the number of GI’s that I played against who should have been playing in the NBA, but due to the draft and the breaks of life, such as those experienced by Connie Hawkins, who was one of the greatest, never got the opportunity their talent warranted.I walked away from the game my junior year in college, realized a couple of years later that I just had to give it one more shot, so played in Europe for a year, proved what I wanted to prove and then walked away forever.  I haven’t watched an NBA game in 30 years…its just not the same game.

    1. fredwilson

      watch Kevin Love play the game will recognize the game you love in his game

      1. Suraj Jain

        His outlet passes are amazing

  24. Michael Gao

    OKC/UCLA fan over here 🙂 As much as Westbrook frustrates me with his poor shot selection from time to time (esp in the 4th), I really appreciate his confidence and athleticism. Westbrook and Durant help each other (and the team) grow so much, and it’s been so fun watching them grow each year.Harden for 6th man of the year, OKC/Miami finals, OKC winners, and Durant named MVP of this year’s NBA finals.PS: Wasn’t that OKC/Orlando game amazing last night? 

    1. fredwilson

      yes it was

  25. baba12

    I came to the U.S. in 1990, landed in Chicago and then went to UIUC. That year the Bulls had lost to Detroit in the Eastern Conf Finals, and I found out about how the Bulls always lost to the Celtics or the Pistons. I accepted them as the underdog team to support, I had not played basketball in my life indoors. Lo and behold the Bulls were champions and playing very good ball when they were not champions and I felt good. I think the Bulls have a chance to win again, we shall see. I am pretty sure that the Champion will be a Eastern Conference team, don’t think the West Conference has depth to run through the playoffs, most of the premier teams out there have aging players and I think there is more energy on the east coast teams.I have not watched any NBA games as I don’t have cable for one and two I have in a way lost interest as the value system in the NBA seems to have changed since when I was watching…

  26. AVCoholic

    In the 90’s we lived and breathed basketball and the Knicks. The along came Dolan and he sucked the life out of us Knick fans. But like you said, the last couple of years has finally been exciting again but the enthusiasm is always tempered as you never know what Dolan will do to kill things (flirting with bringing Isaiah back??! Seriously??)

    1. Michael Elling

      Saw this comment from article on Dolan’s band:  “Dolan, if you give up the Knicks, I promise to come see you sing and play. I’ll even pay admission.”

    2. fredwilson

      he’s not Mark Cuban but i feel like he’s finally learning to hire good people and let them do their thing

      1. AVCoholic

        I thought that when he hired Walsh but in the end he caused him to leave also. But time shall tell if he did finally learn his lesson.

  27. muratcannoyan

    I love watching great defense and the effort Lebron and Wade put in on that end of the court is scary. It’s really exciting to have some energy at the Garden. I feel like Chandler is just as big a part of that as Lin. Go Knickerbockers!! 

    1. fredwilson

      Tyson was a huge pickupi also love Steve Novack

      1. Jason Gelman

        Novak has been amazing.  He meshes so well with the personnel we have.  Especially when you have 2 very high usage guys like Lin and Melo, you absolutely need a guy who can stand, catch, shoot, and convert at a high %.  Crucial addition to this Knicks team.

  28. Brandon Burns

    If you grew up in Chicago during the Bulls Dynasty, as I did, that team will be etched in your soul for life. Chicago is known for its fair weather fans that’ll disown their own teams if they’re losing — except for the Bulls. We root for them no matter what.BULLS 4 LIFE!

    1. fredwilson

      i think the President shares your perspective

    2. bsoist

      Loyalty is admirable – said the lifelong Mets, Jets, and Nets fan. 🙂

    3. K_Berger

      The Bulls are great but Chicago is first and foremost a Bears town.  If memory serves, the ’85 Bears got a parade.  The bulls only had Grant Park rallies.

  29. Jason Gelman

    Big Knicks fan.  Painful to say this because I hate the Heat, but they are the heavy favorite IMO.  The Thunder and the Bulls are the next 2 in line, but with Derrick Rose a bit hobbled, I think we’ll need to see the Thunder get through the West and beat the Heat in the finals.How much fun would a Knicks – Heat playoff series be?  

    1. fredwilson


  30. falicon

    Can’t help but be sucked into the Linsanity if you live around NYC…it’s just a fun story all around.  (weapons or not, the Knicks were basically unwatchable until Lin broke onto the scene this year).Mostly thanks to ( if you just want NBA stuff) I’ve been keeping up on the NBA a lot more these days…so I’ve been a bit sucked into the all the potential Howard talk as well…but NFL is still my fav. and so I’ve also been watching turfd for all the combine info and FA stuff too… 🙂

  31. Ben Lamarca

    I totally agree about the OKC Thunder. I have become a big fan as well. Durant, Westbrook and Hardin proved once again last night against the Magic in Orlando why they are a force to be reckoned with for the 2012 NBA championship. Their 4th quarter comeback against a good Magic team at home showed the explosiveness of the Thunder offense. And don’t forget Nick Collison, the unsung hero on the Thunder, who more than held his own against Dwight Howard last night. Btw, you and your son should check out a sports site called FanFeedr at It’s the best source that I’ve found to get all sorts of content for my favorite out of market pro and college teams like the Thunder.  .  

    1. fredwilson

      i keep hearing good things about fanfeedri will give it a try

  32. Shawn Cohen

    I think everybody has stepped up their game this year. Watching ESPN’s Top 10 plays, they’re mostly dunks and shots from the previous night’s NBA games. Not a bad showing.

  33. Mohan R

    Love basketball, I was actually at Kevin Durant’s last home game in college when it went into double overtime against Texas A&M.  Its also going to be nice to see the Lakers and Clippers going at it in the playoffs. 

  34. jimmystone

    Unfortunately, think the Heat will be visiting the White House. Will be too difficult to beat them in a 7 game series, especially with extra motivation after last year’s Finals. I’m a New Orleans Hornets fan (born and raised in Nola). Praying we win the lottery and draft Anthony Davis. I also enjoy watching Durant, DRose, and Lin.

  35. aarondelcohen

    Bill Simmons singlehandedly helped me rediscover the NBA again after 7 or 8 years away during the Knicks debacle.  I’m so proud of him for this interview.  I followed Patrick Ewiing’s career as a high school student when he was at Georgetown (for 4 years!).  Became a Knicks fan in the 80’s and loved, loved the 90s disappointments and all.  Now, I’m a fan of the league as well.  Frankly, I give it too much time, but a colleague at NYU told me yesterday that our brains/species required wasted time to recharge so I’m running with that.  

    1. fredwilson

      i love Patrick toosuch a sweet guy and he was money from 14 feet

  36. gleslie

    Growing up in Seattle, I too am a huge fan of the Zombie Sonics. Watching Durant for a season in Seattle was awesome even though we were at bottom of the league. It was like working for a startup knowing that a huge IPO was just a couple years away. And when we were getting ready to cash out, our equity ended up in Oklahoma City. I know, I need to get over it but its been a dark decade for Seattle sports.Living in New York now, its been easy to become more of a knicks fan. You can only watch a team so many times before either hating them more and more (yankees) or starting to like them. I’m not going to lie, Jeremy Lin has made me infinitely more excited to watch games or go to the Garden but I am proud to be on the bandwagon.

  37. leigh

    When my brother was at KU i watched College basketball a lot (go Jayhawks!).  I actually like it much better then NBA…

  38. bsoist

    I’m a big fan of Dwane Wade and have actually always rooted for the Heat a bit, but “my team” is the Nets. 

    1. fredwilson

      pray for Dwight Howardhow great would it be for a manhattan vs brooklyn rivalry develop?

      1. bsoist

        We are very excited about that possibility. 🙂

  39. John Rorick

    Knicks from the moment they drafted Mark Jackson out of St. John’s…and it has been an abusive relationship ever since.

    1. fredwilson


  40. Drew Moynihan

    I grew up in Central Texas, and I am a Spurs fan through and through.  Something has to be said for the big three (Duncan, Parker and Ginobli), they may be more like the “old three” now, but they still pull it off with class and zero drama.  With their current record, with Manu probable for the next game and the remainder of the season (?), and their deep bench I think we may see them take the West.  And one comment about the Knicks, Linsanity has even reached down here, WOW what an amazing story, and he is a joy to watch on the hardwood!

    1. fredwilson

      Duncan is such a class act in an era where there are too few of them in the game

  41. matthughes

    I’ve never felt like TV does justice to the NBA.Live games in person are so much more compelling -The NBA’s biggest challenge moving forward is ensuring competitive integrity.They need to move away from the obvious bias the home team and ‘super star’ players receive.Even the slightest hint that competitive integrity is in question turns the casual fan off -This is the most exciting regular season in recent memory. Lin and KD are so fun to watch.

    1. fredwilson

      agreedfootball is better in the living room than livei go to a couple Jets games a year. ideally when the weather is warmnothing like being the garden with the game on the line and the place is literally rocking

      1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        The reality is that ANYTHING in the Garden is better there than anywhere else for some reason!I have been to the Garden for a Knicks game back in the early 70’s where I got to watch Walt Frazier, for a boxing match, and a couple of dog shows….There is something about the Garden that makes even dog shows rock!  

        1. fredwilson

          back when clyde was doing the “swishing and dishing” instead of just talking about it

      2. Suraj Jain

        A basketball game is the best sport to watch in person (with apologies to hockey). Football is awesome because of the tailgating, but the actual in-game experience isn’t as riveting as basketball. And baseball is generally utterly boring unless it is gorgeous weather outside and the beers are flowing.

        1. fredwilson


  42. Bryan J Wilson

    Sadly, I don’t care for the NBA like I used to – I was turned off by some of the rampant selfishness that seems to have taken over the came in the past decade or so. Maybe it’s changed for the better recently (Linsanity helps?), but too much damage was done for me to come back just yet. As a native New Englander in NYC though, I’ll always have a soft spot for the Celtics. I just don’t know what Danny Ainge is doing over there…

    1. fredwilson

      great point guards like Steve Nash make the game fun to watchLin may get to that level in timehe sure seems to work at it

      1. Bryan J Wilson

        I agree – wish more players were like Nash. I really wanted to love Rondo, but he seems to have no joy while out there, despite incredible vision and passing talent. I’ll root for the Thunder this year, though I’ll surely be more into March Madness – now there’s some fun bball!

  43. T .S Vineet Devaiah

    I am rooting for the Bulls.. but my safe money is with the Heat or Spurs

  44. hidrees

    As a Torontonian, I have to be a (somewhat) loyal Raptors fan. Having said that, I am under no illusion that they will make it to the playoffs or anything.Big Tony Parker fan, so I root for the Spurs a lot, also big on the LA Lakers (Kobe, no duh). They have a great team – a good balance of young energy and seasoned experience. I’m hoping they’ll go all the way this season.Big big fan of Derrick Rose and the Bulls, but I’m afraid the team is far too young and inexperienced to make it all the way to the finals.

  45. Mike Duda

    I root for Steve Nash because he co-founded an awesome company named Consigliere Brand Capital…it’s just too bad that his co-founder is a bit weird.; )

    1. ShanaC

      Oh, be nice to yourself. 😉

  46. Steve

    I am a celtics fan (unfortunately for me), but they ARE going for three wins in a row tonight. My first love though is Arsenal, who had a great success against Spurs last week – to those discussing the Man U – Spurs game, it will be the only time all year I want Man U to win!

  47. Dan

    So true that this NBA season has been fantastic, and honestly all of them in recent years have been!I grew up in Florida watching the Shaq and Penny Hardaway Orlando Magic teams, and my heart is still with the Magic. I hope Dwight Howard doesn’t leave them, but if he does the next best thing would be watching him play for the (soon to be) Brooklyn Nets!! As much as the Knicks are now my number 2 team since moving to NYC, I’m pumped to have a true Brooklyn team. Say what you will about the Atlantic Yards project, but having a NBA version of a subway series is going to be great!

  48. Ryan F. Salerno

    You don’t enjoy watching LeBron’s game because he plays like a linebacker? That’s interesting. Amare bullies his way into the paint as much as anyone… and I love his game for it. I’m not sure there’s anything more spectacular right now than LeBron running full speed in transition. 

    1. fredwilson

      KD running full speed in transition and Westbrook getting him the ball well above the rim is a candidate for more spectacular

  49. BillMcNeely

    Maybe the NBA should make the shortened season “the new normal” ?

  50. Geoffrey Vitt

    Monster Celts fan but can’t say I’m surprised at the team this year. They don’t have the requisite joy and passion it seems to compete in the increasingly difficult eastern conference.Very hard not to like the Thunder. Such a great team

    1. daryn

      “Very hard not to like the Thunder. “Unless you’re from Seattle 🙂

      1. Geoffrey Vitt

        Touché and too true. I still feel like Stern was WAY too easy on the owners.Schultz better emerge as a big buyer for the next opportunity that comes through

  51. Steve Poland

    Let’s talk hockey! #GoSabres

  52. Drew Nagda

    And hopefully they’ll be playing….. THE KNICKS! C’mon FredHowever, I think ultimately the Thunder will visit the White House. The Heat WILL be knocked out by the Knicks first round of the playoffs (project Heat #2 seed, Knicks #7 seed) BUT, don’t sleep on the Spurs.

  53. JaredMermey

    Grew up on the 1990s Knicks and spent teen years/college going through misery of Zeke era. I love the NBA. It is athleticism at its highest level of grace. Also love the model the salary cap, luxury tax, exceptions and trade rules create. (Learned it the hard way from Zeke’s failures! (Though the NYK cap failure all started with Scott Layden’s decision to trade Ewing…))Hope the Knicks win this year but it all comes down to whether the Heat will be able to play fast break ball in the playoffs when the game traditionally slows down. If they can run, nobody is stopping them. If they can’t, your OKC Thunder look to be the favorites (though I think the Eric Maynor injury will hurt them more than most realize).

  54. Ariel Jatib

    I’ve been a Heat fan since their inception. I’m optimistic about a championship, but I want to see how things shake out after the trade deadline. Also, LeBron has to get it done in the playoffs. He showed greatness in the Chicago series last year and then – nothing. DWade is the new Dan Marino of Miami, adored.

    1. S. Pandya

      Heat fan also… Even though they are hated now, I think it’s karma after the heartbreak in the 90’s – Zo and Hardaway losing every year in the first round of the playoffs (usually to Ewing and the Knicks!)Fins and Heat forever!

      1. fendien

        S. Pandya and Ariel J – are you guys native Miamians?I’m born and raised in Miami and am also a “legit” Heat fan (vs unfortunately all of those bandwagon fans out there).  My childhood was filled watching the Heat-Knicks rivalry, and I’ll never forget the epic games and all the craziness that ensued like PJ Brown flipping Charlie Ward and Jeff Van Gundy latching onto Zo’s leg like a dog.  Also cried when Allan Houston hit that buzzer beater.I love Lin because he’s humble like Wade, and because with him now perhaps the Heat-Knicks rivalry can be reborn!

        1. S. Pandya

          Absolutely! Grew up in South Florida. Not always in Miami, but close enough =)

  55. sigmaalgebra

    Watch the NBA?  Special case of more general question:Watch professional sports?Answer:  Low priority because in the famous words, “It has nothing to do with business.”.For entertainment?  Hmm ….Well, the commentary does not explain the strategy or tactics.  The action is too fast — really just a blur — for me to try to figure out the strategy and tactics during the live broadcast, and I don’t have access to high resolution, slow motion video.Then there’s the rest:  The strong, main assumption of the shows is to follow the formula fiction techniques of creating characters and having the audience identify with the characters.  But I refuse to identify with either the teams or the players.Admire the skill?  Yes.  Identify?  No.Watch?  My cable TV in NYS claims to have “all the teams”.  I wouldn’t know!  They could drop the teams, and I wouldn’t notice.Last times I watched professional sports?  Super Bowl 2012 and the last game of the NBA playoffs.  I remember next to nothing from either game.  To me, the games all look much the same.NOT a big sports fan.  Did I mention, “It has nothing to do with business.”?  Or science, math, or music! 

    1. LE

      I don’t follow sports. I don’t watch sports. I never have. Whenever I got free tickets for games I would just give them to friends. I love to read about the business side of sports in the WSJ though. I like the negotiation, deal making, and teams trying to get new stadiums by threatening to leave.  I’ve been following the Penn State saga pretty closely because I find the psychological aspects and devotion of the students fascinating. Anything regarding human nature is interesting. I remember having a girlfriend in high school and her father started talking to me about sports. I told him I wasn’t interested in sports and he literally didn’t hear me. He kept talking. He thought I was joking or didn’t care. My stepson is 10 and apparently the star on every team he is on (basketball, soccer, baseball). He is constantly watching sports. He was shooting baskets when I left for work this morning. He sleeps with a basketball or football. He was exposed to it by his father who is totally into the NY teams.The reason for lack of interest is definitely because I wasn’t exposed to it by my father (who is an immigrant). He wasn’t someone who was into any games (although he played poker with his friends every week in our house).  Of my cousins the only one who is into sports is the one who’s father died when he was young. So he had and needed a close connection to his friends who liked sports and viola he likes sports. I can definitely understand why people like sports and watch games just by understanding why I don’t.  That said the time I’ve saved by not watching sports I’ve put to good use.  And in general it’s been an advantage with women in my life. 

    2. Chris Gallagher

       Take a look at this sports analytics conference at MIT this week and then read you last sentence again.   http://www.sloansportsconfe

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Yup!But I was talking about sports on TV, and there math is like hen’s teeth!Sure, I’ve been eager to see the movie Moneyball and have long guessed that the usual baseball statistics were not good measures for predicting anything important.  Since I don’t want to download the movie from a torrent site, I went to Amazon.  There the reviews explained that the movie had next to nothing in it on the math — I can believe that. 

        1. testtest

          not much stats. in the film. great film, though.i used a torrent to download it. the last film i watched was via youtube. paid. the trouble i’ve had via iTunes, in the past, is the length of time it takes to download a film. youtube stream.i don’t do TV; i’m web only. i couldn’t even start to tell you how web services compare to TV. i’ve been going on a bit lately. and hop over to kickstumbler. there’s a ton of great content out there that still isn’t being surfaced. at least for me: n=1.   

    3. fendien

      it’s perfectly fine not to like sports, but to say “It has nothing to do with business” is a pretty myopic statement.  there is an interpersonal aspect to business, and when you can find another way to relate to someone and get along with them through a shared interest (ie in this case a popular sporting event), it certainly helps in negotiating and making deals.

      1. LE

        Agree with that 100%. Same with golf. Great for business. If I needed to do business with people who liked sports and thought that would be beneficial I would get tutored and gain understanding real fast. 

        1. JamesHRH

          Golf is great for life, because it requires you to initiate the action and there is no reflexive competitive aspect to it.It is at the top of the heap when it comes to building life skills. Not that other sports don’t, they just don’t do it with the same depth or breadth.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        > it’s perfectly fine not to like sports, but to say “It has nothing to do with business” is a pretty myopic statement.Yup.I didn’t mean the statement literally!I was assuming that the statement is very well known from the movies ‘The Godfather’: There the characters kept making that statement even under extreme circumstances. So, with the statement they were discarding about 99 44/100% (from Ivory soap) of what is important in life, family, and business just to have an extreme focus on a very narrow view of business and an even more extreme willingness to set aside some horrible aspects of their lives.So, partly my statement was to indicate a self-parodying extreme focus on business. I’m actually not quite that focused!But it is true that watching TV sports won’t help me be sure about both security and performance in my Web site programming in handling user names with session variables (some old work I am reviewing today!).Still, I don’t like sports! I tried: In college I was 6′ 4″ and with my best jump I could just barely touch the bottom of the basketball net! I never got started throwing or catching a ball and, thus, was never any good at it. Once I tried to toss a baseball into the air, swing a bat, and hit the ball as it came down, wore myself out trying, maybe 50 tosses, and never hit the ball! Playing basketball, I got totally, helplessly winded far too soon. I got a book by a Dr. Cooper in Texas who outlined how to increase aerobic capacity by running. He explained how to get down to 8 minutes a mile quickly. I tried, with more running per week than he claimed was necessary, for many more weeks than he said would be necessary, improved only very slowly, and in the end my best mile time was 8:05. I had a friend in college who thought that a 5 minute mile was easy!Still trying to increase aerobic capacity, I got up to running 20 miles a week at about 10 minutes a mile, enjoyed the running, but wiped out both Achilles tendons, had surgery to effect repairs, and went for years before the soreness went away.I’ve been told that my heart is quite strong and its pumping volume good; I didn’t explain that my fastest mile was 8:05!I tried swimming, was able to do the breast stroke but never could get the breathing right with a crawl stroke (neck may not have been flexible enough — I’m a naturally low flexibility guy!).Watching the pros jump, apparently some of the technique is to run fast, plant one foot in front, and ‘pivot’ on that foot to convert the horizontal momentum to vertical momentum. I hadn’t known that and have never heard this explanation from anyone else!My father taught me a lot of things but nothing about sports!From age 12 to 16, I had a good bicycle and rode it all over, miles away from home, often in heavy traffic, day, night, sun, rain, and maybe that should have given me a lot of aerobic capacity but apparently didn’t.I’m no athlete!I can identify with some people and groups but not with professional sports teams and their players.I could be interested in pro sports IF I could get into the strategy and tactics, but the TV broadcasts say next to nothing about these topics and want to push up the celebrity status of the players (“definitely the best athlete who ever wore shoes!”) and the drama of close games.Mostly for pro football the TV just follows the ball (they do better for the Super Bowl) so that on longer passes all I see are some players going for the ball with nothing on the pass patterns or the pass defense that I would regard as crucial.

    4. Suraj Jain

      I wouldn’t say that sports has nothing to do with business. Sports teams and their fans create a ton of revenue opportunities for companies. Bars, restaurants, merchandise, television contracts, advertising, etc. are all directly tied to the success of sports. While I can see how your other reasons may make sense for the lack of interest in sports, I disagree with the argument that it isn’t interesting because it has nothing to do with business. (or math – check out the Sloan Sports Conference http://www.sloansportsconfe… for some cool projects about the statistical side of sports, which is being held this weekend)

      1. testtest

        got a friend that does statistical analysis of tennis betting. http://www.tennisbetting365…he’s been sidetracked by have a baby and has a full time job in finance, so hasn’t worked on it as much as he should. and he’s yet to launch the modelling application he’s written: it predicts results etc.he loves all that, and in his time has written an application that uses something similar to pagerank for one of the big 4 accountancy firms.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          With all the data and computing available, we should be entering a golden age, with plenty of gold, for applied math. My project is supposed to be an example.  Actually I’ve got the math and associated software done. Today is getting better organized on the use of site-wide Web page session variables with the ASP.NET I’m using.

          1. testtest

            consumer facing?

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Yup.On business, see my response in this thread at…On connections with math, yup. See my response in this thread at…

        1. Suraj Jain

          Sorry, I had started these thoughts earlier in the day and got sidetracked. I missed the rest of your conversation where you made these points. Apologies.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            “Apologies.”None needed!  Disqus has yet to implement true comment content transactional integrity!

      3. testtest

        come to think of it i’d do a fin-tech startup with that guy. he’s smart and dedicated.getting in to finance a bit more. been doing a bit of trading. it’s fascinating.i’ve learnt more from trading than any jim collins book 

  56. Francesco Niutta

    I liked the Knicks with Gallo and I think that trade has not proven successful yet (indeed I think Gallo is a team player and a winner, while Melo is not). Lin is for real and will become a great PG as soon as he will improve his ball handling. OKC is a great team playing good ball, but in a hypothetical final against Miami I would see KD matching Lebron, Wade being a nightmare for Westbrooke (who still turns the ball over too much to play at final level…) and Bosh being basically unstoppable!

  57. cutemonster

    For the longest time as a NY Knicks fan I have been disenchanted by the team due to the self-destructive nature of its management.  After what seems like a lost decade for the first 10 years of the 21st century, this second decade finally has reignited the sense of team again.  Not since the 90s with Patrick Ewing and the gang has a Knicks team really caused a buzz in the world of sports.  I’m glad to see it.  Great for fans, great for kids just tuning into the sport of Basketball in NYC.  It’s a good time to be a Dad in NY for sports in general.  Vincent |

  58. Chris Gallagher

    Long time listener, first time caller… loving Fred Wilson sports talk radio.Fred and I may not agree on who to root for, but once he inevitably buys a team I will jump on board immediately.Biggest thing I miss about living in NYC is how the city rallies around something like the Jeremy Lin story. If Golden State would have kept him and he started to do what he is doing for the Knicks a lot of people in the Bay Area would still be completely oblivious to it. I understand the argument about “more outdoor activities” in SF but its not a good enough excuse for me.CUSE!

    1. fredwilson

      HOYAS!i don’t think i am a sports team owner at heartmy son may be thoughand that is what has gotten the Knicks into this mess 🙂

      1. Chris Gallagher

        I hope this post is the tipping point. If your startup wants to get a meeting with Fred you need to know who Serge Ibaka is.

        1. fredwilson

          you mean Serge iBlocka 🙂

          1. Jason Tan

            * slow clap *

      2. JamesHRH

        LET”S GO ORANGE!Also a Thunderhead.I played and yet do not have a chosen team in the Association – curse of being CDN, no home town squad to back.I cannot be a Raptor supporter – they are an abomination on every level (they gave Isaiah his first NBA level gig, which is enough said!).I did sit courtside for Game 6 of Lakers/Hornet in NO last spring. It is a great way to get great seats – go to a small market when they have a top team in the playoffs.What took me aback was not the athleticism of CP3, Kobe, MettaWP, Pau or Bynum.What took me aback was the athleticism of this guy –… . He can’t play a lick at the NBA level (which is why the Raps picked him up) but he BOUNCED around the court – springy, agile, quick (and fast). And he is 7’0″, 270. And he is destined to be a 12th man most of his career.He does not remind me, at all, of this guy –… – who I remember for his style of play ‘bulky stiffness’, to quote the ‘pedia – even though he was 6’11”, 235 (I did not know he was an 3x All Star or an ABA blocked shot leader – who knew?).SERIOUSLY, the level of play has gone up 100,000% in the last 30 years. It is amazing.Aaron Grey would have been physically dominant in the 1980’s, when Paultz was still an effective 4 for Malone (sort of a homeless man’s Kevin McHale).Rose, Westbrook, KD35, D12 and any of about 12 current starting 4s would wipe any All Star team from the 1980’s. by 20.With the LB @ the 4, its 40.It is a golden age in the NBA.

  59. kirklove

    Sixers for me. Dr. J all the way!Though my favorite player of all time is Pistol Pete Maravich. Man oh man could he play.

    1. fredwilson


  60. Steve Hallock

    Did you ever see this video of Durant playing flag football?  Apparently he posted on twitter that he was bored and wanted to play flag football.  A college kid tweeted at him that they had a game a couple hours away and KD showed up. Hard not to root for him after something like this.…Being in LA I tend to root for Lakers and Clippers.  I’m not die hard so I don’t mind supporting both.  I’m just hoping that at least one of them is good 5-6 years from now so my son can grow up with a good team down the street.  The Washington Bullets/Wizards were my home team growing up – not exactly a joy to root for.

    1. fredwilson

      i never saw that.just tweeted it out!/fred…

      1. Jason Tan

        I see your Durant flag football and raise you one Jeremy Lin playing flag football (Harvard Championship game no less)…

        1. fredwilson

          who knew this was Fun Friday: Flag Football?

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Great share, Steve!I have to show this to my 11 year old who is a pretty fearsome football player.  He is bemoaning the fact that the middle school he is attending next year only has a flag football team for sixth graders (as opposed to tackle).   This may change his tune.

      1. laurie kalmanson

         i have just the one girl so it’s not my problem, but tackle football for middleschoolers sounds like a really dangerous thing

        1. Donna Brewington White

          The school we’re looking starts tackle in 7th grade.  If you think that’s crazy, my son was on a 5th grade team in a tackle football league.  The coaches explained that with all the gear and padding, they were as safe as kids playing other contact sports such as soccer.  BTW, one of the teams had a girl player.

          1. laurie kalmanson

            Scary to me

  61. Richard

    Why do they play music “during the game” ? Can you imagine playing music during a 4-6-3 double play? When did this start? Was there controversy about it?

    1. fredwilson

      if you really want to hear music during a bball game, go to the streetball rucker tournament up in harlem every summerthey play hip hop loudly all game long

      1. Richard

        Would love outdoor nba games. Could do it at Arthur Ashe stadium?

        1. JamesHRH

          Rich, wicked cool idea. Lakers @ the Tennis Garden in Indian Wells would also rock!or on the beach in LA, OC or SD?

      2. JamesHRH

        have you done that? it is a bit of a mecca.

        1. fredwilson

          Yeah. I try to go every summer

  62. Suraj Jain

    I’m a lifelong Bulls fan so I’m definitely hoping they get to visit the White House this year. But it is fantastic to see the Knicks playing well these past few weeks. I was lucky enough to be in the Garden for the Lakers Linsanity game and it was an amazing experience. I can’t imagine a better place to watch a fun, tight NBA game. I also agree that this is an amazing time for the NBA. Despite the lockout, there are several teams that are entertaining as hell (Bulls, Knicks, Heat, Clippers, T-Wolves, OKC) and a ton of young, marketable stars. Go Bulls

  63. Jorge


  64. SteveWH

    Big NBA fan here. I listened to that whole Bill Simmons interview yesterday and thought it was great. In addition to the sports talk, Obama mentioning that he thought Omar was the best Wire character of all time was priceless. Obama might be the coolest guy to ever be President. As far as ball goes, being Canadian I’m a loyal Raps fan. It’s been tough for a long time but I think we are starting to get some good pieces. I’ve been a DeRozan fan since SC and think that if he can get more consistent he can be a real star. He’s too athletic. Also like James Johnson a lot and Ed Davis too. Hopefully we can get a high draft pick this year and really turn the corner. In the West I’m on the Clips bandwagon. They are too fun this year. I also like OKC a lot. Love Durant’s game as well.I also watch too much NCAA. I’m out west so I root for Gonzaga (got a lot of American TV from Spokane growing up). The WCC has turned into a real conference and in my opinion is one of the most fun to watch. BYU, St. Mary’s, LMU and USF are all good teams. The combination of super passionate fans and a smaller stage makes for a really pure version of the game. Great when the NBA starts to wear you down a bit.  

  65. jason wright

    What’s the early history of basketball?

    1. JamesHRH

      Canadian 😉

      1. jason wright


  66. Rohan

    I used to watch the Lakers in the early 2000s when Kobe and Shaq and were going strong. They made it habit to beat Jason Kidd and the Nets every season.That does seem a long time ago..Just caught the video. Obama has many fair reasons to be criticized .. but man, he’s a cool guy.

  67. CliffElam

    I’m kind of hoping it’s someone from Allied Van Lines.Oh, wait, you meant what basketball team?  Duke.-XC

  68. DanielHorowitz

    I’ve been struggling as a Bullets/Wizards fan for more than 20 years, but I remain faithful. I know it’s a popular pick, but I think the Heat over OKC in the finals. I prefer college to the NBA because I think the players give a more consistent effort and there is more team play. (Knicks 2nd team vs their starters.)  I think part of the reason why the NBA playoffs are so good is that players are giving a strong effort all the time. I do not particularly like Lebron nor did I even think he would be good in the NBA. In high school it seemed like he was just more athletic than everyone else. Whoops. He still is. Living in the DC Metro area I grew up a big Georgetown fan (Joey Brown, Dikembe, Alonzo I could go on…) until I went to UMD College park from 2000-2004 which turned out to be an exceptional time to be a Terps fan. 

  69. hypermark

    Die hard Lakers fan back to the days of Jerry West as Coach, and Kareem as the marquee on a very average mid-70s team. The first article I wrote in my junior high paper was on the Lakers drafting of Magic Johnson (with a hokey title like ‘Lakers believe in Magic’), and yes, I cried when the Lakers came back and beat the Celtics in Game 7 two years ago. As to this year, I have found it disappointing (beyond the sore fact that the Lakers are merely above average).  The shortened season meant virtually no training camp, players reporting out of shape, and way too many games for the time window, which translates into back-to-backs and back-to-back-to-backs (not to mention, untimely injuries). As a result, a team can look brilliant one night and then like crap the next for the simple reason that they’re gassed and have no time to practice. That, to me, is poor decision-making by the NBA, as even 10 less games would have spaced out the schedule a bit to avoid such uneven play.Very happy about Lin. NBA basketball is a better when the Knicks are relevant. Along those lines, there’s the quip that Mike D’Antoni must now believe in god, as he was probably two losses from getting canned, and Lin not only saved his job, but is exactly the kind of pick-and-roll, penetrating guard that his style of offense thrives on. Great story, although like you, I suspect the Heat win it all in the yawn story of the season. Superman joins Batman and conquers Gotham City. Big surprise. 😉

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Funny, reading this post and thinking about basketball brought Kareem to mind.  I loved the Lakers of the 80s with Pat Riley as coach. What a team!  Kareem, always the gentleman on the court.  Liked Rambis a lot too.  Spent a lot of nights in front of the television in those days. Yeah, yeah, I know.  #oldskool (as Fred said below)But since I tend to get sucked in, I have to keep a healthy distance from sports.  So I have to settle for memories…well, not really settle, since I can still watch my kids’ sports and that’s pretty cool.

      1. hypermark

        I can still see Rambis getting clotheslined by Kevin McHale every time I think about Lakers vs. Celts.…

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Tackle basketball?

  70. David Petersen

    I have the wonderful experience of rooting for the bottom feeding Wizards every year.  In the NBA, when a team is bad, you want them to be awful.  Every time they lose, I’m happy.  There is no path to improvement for a team that finishes just outside the playoffs every year.  You need multiple top 5 picks to achieve greatness in basketball.Sadly, the Wizards consistently waste their top picks.  It’s hard to root for a team with awful management.  But it’s still fun.  Optimism about the future never runs out in sports.

  71. hypermark

    Btw, if you haven’t had a chance, read the Grantland piece on the Malice at the Palace. It’s an oral history from the players, coaches, league officials, fans, etc. I thought I knew the story, but this takes it too a whole different level qualitatively. Awesome read:…

  72. daryn

    Oklahoma Thunder fan? Not cool, Fred… Not cool…

    1. fredwilson

      i would be a Sonics fan if they were still the Sonics

      1. JamesHRH

        I would be a regular attendee if they were still the Sonics, even from CGY.

  73. Stephen Cho

    Huge Lakers fan here. I’m still bitter about David Stern vetoing the Chris Paul trade. Makes the league look pretty bad in a lockout-shortened season. If not for Linsanity, this season was looking pretty grim.

  74. Mike Baker

    Wow – 173 comments on a tech industry blog and no one else is ready to admit to being a Golden State Warriors fan?Okay, I guess that’s not actually too surprising.It’s pretty much the Monta Ellis show out here every night, since Steph Curry turned his ankle again. Didn’t think it was physically possible to do that 116 times in the first half of a lockout year.David Lee has turned into the rock of the team – double double every night. Thanks, Knicks fans! Now if we can just trade Andris Biedrins for a more effective center, say, someone with a pulse, we might have the honor of being swept by OKC in the first round. 

    1. fredwilson

      David Lee is missed in NYC

      1. fendien

        @radionowhere:disqus  i’m a Heat fan however loved the early 90s warriors when you had Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond and all of those other great shooters.Timmy was my favorite player growing up with his killer crossover.  Knicks fans don’t like him as much though 😉

        1. Mike Baker

          Yeah, that was a fun team, and the first one I really got into (though I lived next door to Rick Barry when I was 5, and actually went to a couple of games then). 

      2. Mike Baker

         I bet. Seems like a solid guy in addition to his on-court value.

  75. Medium

    Knicks will have another run this year similar to ’99For the hardcore fans, remember LJ’s 4 point play?…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Watched the clip about 25 times.  Kept stopping the video to see where things were. After watching the clip about 20 times, FINALLY found the ball!  It was being thrown in bounds, with about 11 seconds to go in the game, from the far side of the court a little short of half court by the white shirts. Took me a while even to figure out that much!At the start of the play, the guy Johnson, who eventually got the ball, was in the foul circle and rushing to the far side of the court.  The ball was tipped before Johnson got it; he almost didn’t get it.He got the ball in heavy traffic, near the far side of the court and just within 3 point range. He waited until some of his team got into position, e.g., under the basket, faked some number of times, and eventually did a jump shot nearly over a yellow shirt defender. He made the shot but got fouled. Then he made one foul shot and won the game by 1 point.To me, the in bound pass looked like a lot of players running around with the white shirts trying to get open and the yellow shirts trying to guard. The only ‘sense’ I saw to it was that, to tie the score, the white shirts about had to receive the ball in 3 point range; even then I didn’t see a lot of white shirts in 3 point range.I never was sure just where all the 11 seconds went. The game seemed to stop with still some time on the clock.It seemed to me that there was a lot of time between the video frames and, thus, a jumpy video with a lot left out. E.g., I never saw the ball thrown and didn’t really see the tip. Also, the resolution was so poor, on the far side of the court I couldn’t see the details of the foul.And to get just this much understanding of what the heck actually happened, I had to watch the video maybe 25 times with a lot of stopping.Seeing the game on TV, I would have had almost no idea what the heck had happened.To be interested in such stuff, I’d want a lot more resolution, some good opportunities for a lot of slow motion, and some commentary that explained the details of the play, as they were.On TV all I would have gotten would have been the yelling, screaming, jumping, ‘artistic’ “communication, intrepretation of human experience, emotion” instead of anything very serious about the actual game itself. But, I wasn’t an English major!Net, I don’t much like NBA TV.

    2. fredwilson

      never will forget that 4 point play

      1. Yalim K. Gerger

        As much as I enjoyed the play, I have to admit that the call was ridiculous. 

  76. Donna Brewington White

    Most of my sports viewing these days is as a mom in the stands.  In my 20s I gave into a few years of fanaticism — Lakers, Dodgers.  And I thought THAT was intense.  Little did I know what it would be like when your own kid is out there.  I sometimes have to contain myself.  But it is so much fun!

    1. fredwilson

      the best sports to watch are youth sportsmy two girls are done but gave me and the gotham gal a great eight year run i’ve got a few years left with my sonnone of my kids will be collegiate athletes. sadly they have too many of my genes.

      1. FlavioGomes

        Cause it’s pure…. That’s why youth sport is the best. They ain’t motivated by anything but the game.

  77. Kyle Pearson

    James Harden from Arizona State!!!!

    1. fredwilson

      yeah baby

  78. fendien

    @fredwilson:disqus Given the amount of responses on this thread from people living in NYC, it seems like we need to do an AVC community meetup and all go to a bar and watch a Knicks game together. I’d be happy to assist in putting that together and figuring out a date/time/place.let me know

    1. fredwilson

      i’m in. i wish i could bring my son. he’s five years away from drinking age though. i love to watch the knicks with him

  79. Austin Clements

    Growing up my Dad would always take me to Lakers games in the Great Western Forum. Watching Magic do his thing was awesome. Since the mid 90’s I’ve been a fan of both Lakers and Clippers. I’ve made it a point to attend a Lakers vs Clippers game every season since they moved to Staples.If all goes well maybe they’ll meet in the playoffs. THAT would be awesome.

  80. Chris Murphy

    Fred, almost without fail when I read your blog, I am delightedly extracting knowledge and see little opportunity to contribute meaningfully.  This post was the first that really elicited a desire to respond, mostly because i was so disappointed to see you falling into LeBron hating (or at least sorta).  How can you appreciate basketball and not find his game beautiful?! Set aside the narrative of him not finishing, and the Heat being eminently unlikable, etc. I know, it’s easy to let that cloud an objective appreciation of his style of play. Sure he’s built like a linebacker, but he plays as gracefully as anyone, especially anyone ever at his size.  He’s the most astonishing exhibition of athleticism on the planet (and I desperately want the Heat to fail)!Im so glad that I noticed your Hoyas support to restore my faith in AVC 🙂

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > He’s the most astonishing exhibition of athleticism on the planet (and I desperately want the Heat to fail)!You have in mind, maybe,…Looks easy — the steal, the break, the pass, the dunk!The one I liked was in the Olympics some years ago when the US Dream Team played China.  The Chinese were in bounding the ball after a US score, and apparently two US players whispered to each other.  So, when the Chinese player had just crossed into his half court, one US player effortlessly stripped him of the ball and did a baseball pass to the other US player already under the US basket for the dunk.That was fast.  Try again, China!The Chinese coach was astounded and thrilled at this little lesson in Basketball 101!  Glad he learned something!Hoyas?  I started my career, in applied math and computing, in that area and, before my Ph.D., was a Lecturer in Computer Science at Georgetown and taught some courses.  Never saw a ball game, though! 

    2. fredwilson

      i don’t hate LeBron. i don’t live in Cleveland :)his game is not grace and beauty. and that’s what draws me to basketball.

  81. Otto

    Front runner Fred. Surprised you’re not on the Clipper bandwagon yet.Go Blazers (who are a mess right now).

    1. fredwilson

      you are a blazers fan?have you read Breaks Of The Game? i loved that book.

      1. Otto

        Yep, Blazers. They’re killing me. Also Portland Timbers, UO football, Angels of Anaheim, Anaheim Ducks. No NFL team.Haven’t read that book, but it’s now on my list.

        1. Cima

          You should also consider “Pacific Rims” by Rafe Bartholomew. I just read it and it’s a funny, endearing account of basketball here in the Philippines.  I think he also referenced ‘The Breaks of the Game” as one of his inspirations. There’s also a chapter on Billy Ray Bates, who became very big here. 

  82. ShanaC

    I’m meh about the topic.  I don’t watch sports.

    1. fredwilson

      sorry bout thatbut we got 230 comments on a slow friday.not too shabby

      1. FlavioGomes

        Not too shabby at all.. Not a basketball fan perse but a big fan of sport overall. Love the diversity of the blog..and love fun Fridays!!

      2. ShanaC

        Oh I know, which sort of made me giggle. It isn’t something I get, I never watch sports….

    2. Donna Brewington White

      I wasn’t too excited either.  Thought I’d just skim through the comments.  Of course, I got drawn in…as much as I could during a short break.My approach to this post reminded me of how I initially came to AVC not expecting to comment, but to just listen in.  Well, we know where that led. BTW, let’s check in sometime soon.  I’ve become antisocial lately…slammed.  

      1. ShanaC

        agreed. I’ve been antisocial too, if that helps…

  83. Mark Gannon

    The NBA is a hot topic here in Sacramento.  They’ve extorted at least $255 million from the city for a new arena by claiming they would move.  According to Forbes, the NBA grossed 3.9 billion last year.  They can afford to build their own arenas without taxpayer subsidies.  

  84. ALM

    I was shocked that the President gave Simmons a 30 minute interview on sports, in a world where serious news anchors are lucky to get 5 minutes.Thought it was funny that the President name drops athletes like Mitt Romney name drops NASCAR owners

  85. Michael Shafrir

    Fred — you would enjoy the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.  It’s going on today (Friday) and tomorrow.  2,200 sports freaks, geeks, and nerds, including Bill Simmons.  And it’s put on by your alma mater.Check it out here: or #ssac or @sloansportsconf — there is a ton of awesome data and research that comes out of the conference.

  86. jkrums

    Love to watch good basketball at any level. As hard as it is for me to type this I think the Heat are the favorites.. with that said, I think Oklahoma City has a very good and unselfish team, they are led by a clutch shooter who would give fits to the Heat. They might be more complete and hopefully get hot in the playoffs. On a side note: I’m at the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference, where Scott O’Neil said that the last 4 weeks have had the highest ratings in MSG network history. That’s just incredible to hear. 

  87. Samuels Shih

    The Heattt

  88. pointsnfigures

    I don’t like Obama at all.  I live in Chicago.  But, I root for Da Bulls.  When I was growing up, it was Norm Van Lier and Jerry Sloan.  Broke my heart in 76 when they lost to the Golden State Warriors and Rick Berry in 7.  Shoulda won game 6.  Michael Jordan was the Babe Ruth of our time.  Amazing. 

  89. John Revay

    NBA Basketball HUMMM – I go in spells/fairweather stuff.  I am caught up in Linsanity now….and I using that as a reason to get my 7 yr old son to start watching more sports ( vs Nick & Disney programing).I grew up in just north of Hartford – so right in the middle of the divide between NYC and Bean town.  I had several HS friends that rooted for NY and several for Boston.  I some what leaned towards Boston re: Bruins, Celtics Red Socks – Some of those teams had great runs in the late 60’s & 70’s.I hope our President gets his wish and gets to see the Bulls visit while he is still in office, not sure if that will happen this year – I would guess the team w/ the Linebacker will be visiting this year – not my favorite.

  90. John Revay

    VCs and Sports teamsI know some successful VC had great sums of money at their disposal – that is a given – 20% carry on high fliers can add up quickly.I once worked for a VC firm (several years ago) – If I recall correctly, I remember one of the GPs saying he got into VC so that one day he could buy a certain major league baseball team, he was a die hard fan.After I left that firm, I recall reading that one of the other GPs at the firm became a minority owner of one of the west coast NBA teams.And there is Wyc Grousbeck who left Highland Capital to become CEO and part of the ownership group that purchased the CelticsFred – maybe in your spare time you can arrange to buy the Mets and add your magic touch to that franchise, probably won’t happen – I think you enjoy too much being A V C.Edited to fix formatting

  91. Wesley Verhoeve

    Only during the Bulls/Jordan years did basketball have enough excitement to make it a sport of interest on the other side of the pond. Growing up in the Netherlands it was 1. Soccer, 2. Speedskating, 3. Cycling, 4. Field Hockey, 5.Volleyball/Running/other Olympic events. Jordan (and Nike) changed that and basketball might have made it to #5 for a period.Living in NYC now I can feel the Lin-centric excitement, but that’s probably the first time in my 8 years here that people around me care about basketball again. This shorter season seems to have created a more football like excitement. Shorter period, more important games, pressure. They should consider keeping it this way perhaps! (sponsors might not be ok about that of course.)

  92. Andrew Wong

    Knicks fan. Can’t wait to watch tomorrow’s game – Knicks VS Celtics, and watch Lin play in the Harvard area again!

  93. Mason

    Fred, don’t you think the Knicks could surprise some teams in the playoffs? I know it’s early to give them the edge over Miami and Chicago but they are 2 deep at every position and have the horses to win a 7 game series against those squads. Should be interesting to see if they can put it all together. 

  94. Bjones

    I think Jeremy Lin is going to meet the Prez.

  95. Cima

    In the not too distant past, when a fan said he was rooting for LA, you’d immediately think of the Lakers. But the Clippers are putting on a good show this season so it’s possible they might have a Staples Center showdown in the playoffs. The LA Lakers have been hobbled a bit lately but they’re a tough team.  

  96. Anon

    Whatever team does win, I hope one or more of the players opts out in going to the White House like Tim Thomas of the Bruins did.

  97. sbmiller5

    It’s been a great year, as a T’Wolves fan, haven’t had much to be excited about in the NBA for a few years, but finally had hope going into this season and it’s been a lot of fun!  Rubio and Love are two extremely unique and talented player, it will be fun to watch them grow up and hopefully win together for a long time.

  98. Ryan Jones

    Fred, I love this post & the fact that you are a fellow Thunder fan.  🙂  Agree that the Westbrook, Durant, Harden combo is going to take down the nets this year.  

  99. Brandon Marker

    I watched him play against Houston several times (Bulls and Wizards). Even as at 40 he was schooling young guys. There is something poetic about his game. Same with watching Hakeem.