by JH

The Best NBA Team Ever

December 19, 2013 in 82, Elective by JH

For our third action project in 82, we focused on the best basketball teams in history and had to find out which one was truly the best through debate. I chose the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls, which is in my mind, the best team in the history of the NBA. It was a blast being able to look back in time at sports players and compare statistics.  Although, it ended up being extremely difficult to find high quality photos, and some newer-age statistics that weren’t tracked by the NBA fifteen years ago. I think my final product turned out excellent, and if you’d like to see it please check it out below!

by JH

The Value of a Franchise

December 6, 2013 in 82, Elective by JH

For my second Action Project in 82, an integrated basketball, history, and statistics class we created our own Infographic. The task was to answer the question Should this Franchise stay, or move. To do this, we needed to dive deep and spend a lot of time researching.  Our goal was to find interesting information that can’t be found with just a simple Google search. The team I chose to research was the Milwaukee Bucks, I’ve found out a lot about how the economy of a city ties into the well-being of a sports team from this project.  The most difficult part for me was, after I did all my research, deciding what was important enough to go on my infographic.  If you are interested in seeing my infographic, check it out below, and my report below that!

Through this project I have taken a deep dive into Milwaukee, and specifically the Milwaukee Bucks. Through this process I’ve noticed a downward trend in the value and popularity of The Bucks. Their attendance has continually lowered over time, as well as the value of their franchise.  They are currently the least valuable franchise, and that isn’t going to change if they continue down their current path. The Bucks have tried to lower ticket prices and sign stars, but nothing has worked. The current fan base in Milwaukee is not interested in The Bucks because they have constantly had losing seasons and underperform every year. In order for a team to gain popularity in the NBA they need to gain a new good player so that they can have hope. The current problem with the Milwaukee Bucks is the lack of money they have as a franchise. The Owner, Senator Herb Kohl was once one of the richest Senators, and now is among the poorest. This is directly related to his involvement and investment in The Bucks. Additionally, in the upcoming years The Bucks will need a new updated and remodeled stadium because their current stadium will not be able to get updated with the newest technology needed to have an NBA team. NBA stadiums cost hundreds of millions of dollars, something The Bucks definitely cannot afford. As a franchise it would make no sense to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into The Bucks staying in Milwaukee if they are barely profiting year to year. The only viable option for The Bucks seems to be the moving to a new city, with a new stadium. When the New Jersey Nets moved to Brooklyn the value of them went up more than $150M. This outcome has been true for many failing franchises who have moved to a new location to try and gain a new fan base. Other recent franchises such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Charlotte Hornets rose in value after moving to a new city. If The Bucks move to a new city they will rise in value and bring an immense amount of money to a new city.

by JH

Public Appeal of Basketball Over Time

November 11, 2013 in 82 by JH

In 82, a class about learning history, sociology, and statistics through basketball we’ve just completed our first action project.  We were tasked with looking at something that has changed over eras of basketball and how it has affected the world.  Many chose topics such as salaries, and clothing, I chose to focus on the public appeal of the NBA.  I found that there was a lot of information on the topic, although most information came to be unreliable, or too opinionated to be used.  I interviewed my grandfather, a High School basketball player and lifetime fan of the Chicago Bulls, as well as the sport as a whole. I had a great time learning about how basketball used to be and how it has changed over generations.  One of the most interesting things to learn about is what has made basketball most popular, and what brought back the popularity of the sport.   The NBA is now this booming business with no competitors, but they have done a lot to get where they are now.  If you would like to check out my presentation or my report, keep on scrolling down!

In 1968 the American Basketball Association (ABA) was founded and proved to be a big competitor with the National Basketball Association (NBA).  The ABA allowed players to be drafted directly after completing high school which lead to more up and coming players choosing to join the ABA because they could join before they would have be able to join the NBA.  This lead to a price war for NBA rookies and the multi-million dollar contracts we see today. The ABA, although having a much more high intensity play style and an (arguably) more entertaining game ended up merging with the NBA in 1976.  This lead to a boost in popularity because ABA players brought this high intensity slam-dunk game of basketball to the NBA.  Players such as Wilt Chamberlain, and Oscar Robinson helped to gain public interest into the game of basketball.

In the mid-to-late 1970’s the NBA had hit a new low (since before the ABA merger) due to multiple negative factors.  Firstly, many players were using cocaine before games and becoming overly aggressive and fighting during games.  This lead to one of the most famous incidents in NBA history: the Kermit Washington punch. During a fight mid-way through a game Kermit Washington, a black man player for the L.A. Lakers punched Rudy Tomjanovich, a white player for the Houston Rockets knocking him unconscious and having him end up in the hospitals with serious injuries.  This incident lead to another decline in popularity the NBA when ABC refused to renew their T.V. contract. Many white fans refused to watch their home basketball team because of a lack of white players in the NBA at the time.

Following some of the most unpopular times for the NBA in the past twenty years two players quickly became famous in hopes of revitalizing the NBA.  Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, players who had faced each other in a previous college championship quickly became rivals before ever playing each other in the NBA. This was a huge opportunity for the NBA (and the media) to market them as arch nemeses and ended up working. Ratings constantly rose during the Magic and Bird rivalry and ended up dropping in 1990 when they both retired. This quickly rose during the Jordan era, but shows the huge importance these two players had in the longevity of the NBA.  This goes to show that the need for a rivalry (or a good guy and a bad guy) is absolutely needed in society in order to gain the attention of viewers. Additionally, without a racial connection (example: a lack of white players in the NBA) fans no longer feel the need to root for a team.