The 5 Worst-Run Franchises in the NBA
In professional basketball, nothing is more painful to watch than a team that has so much potential, but is constantly hampered by an incompetent front office.
Be it refusing to invest in the team, making bad decisions on draft night or not managing the budget intelligently, the men behind a poorly run franchise often find themselves going down in history, and not in a positive way.
Their actions often run the franchise they oversee into the ground and before long, they're the laughingstock of the NBA. There's no way around it.
Take New York Knicks owner James Dolan (pictured), for example.
Though his team has seen some pretty decent seasons under his watch, including two trips to the NBA Finals, but has often gotten way too involved in the day-to-day operations of the Knicks, including sticking his nose into trade negotiations and thus giving up too much.
On top of that, his taste in GMs is highly questionable.
The sad part is that while a horrible owner, it's tough to say that Dolan is the worst. Other teams have front office management that could very well make the Knicks' head honcho look like Bill Gates.
No. 5: Miami Heat
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Now, I know that the Miami Heat just won a championship, but the way that GM Pat Riley built the team and is continuing to do so is not the definition of intelligent management. Allow me to explain.
Think of the Heat as the snooty hot girl you knew in high school. She thinks she's going to be beautiful and popular forever, so she keeps behaving in a mean manner. Fast forward 10 years later, and her looks are gone along with her popular friends.
Under the new one enacted after the lockout, chances are he'll have to move at least one of those players among others, so that the Heat don't have to pay millions in luxury tax.
Yet, the man doesn't appear ready to do so as he has continued to bring in big names like Ray Allen. More importantly, what's he going to do when sharpshooting pest Mario Chalmers becomes a free agent?
Sorry, Heat fans, but I'm anticipating that Riley's spendthrift ways will cause the honeymoon to run a little short.
No. 4: Orlando Magic
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Before he was fired this offseason, Otis Smith made some horrible moves as Magic GM. First, he never fully dealt with the drama caused by center Dwight Howard, whose demands to be traded out of Orlando we all know well.
On top of that, instead of bringing in top young talent to help Howard and thus convince him to stay with the Magic, he signed old and overrated veterans like Rashard Lewis and Jason Richardson to long-term contracts. Oh, and let's not forget the reacquisition of Hedo Turkoglu.
The sad part is that new GM Rob Hennigan already seems to be down a bad path in Orlando.
Yes, he finally unloaded the disgruntled Howard, but look at who and what the Magic received in return: shooters Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington, the underwhelming Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga, the clumsy Nikola Vucevic and the untested Moe Harkless, plus lots of draft picks.
Sure, the overall package isn't awful, but couldn't Hennigan have brought in at least one player who can be the face of a franchise? With this group, it just looks too obvious that the Magic could very well be planning to tank next season.
No. 3: New York Knicks
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I could go on and on about how Knicks owner James Dolan gave up way too much to acquire Carmelo Anthony, his relationship with former team GM and coach Isiah Thomas or his just seeming like a moronic doof in general, but that would just turn into a rant.
Rather, I am going to call the Knicks one of the worst-run franchises simply because Dolan cannot seem to separate what is business from what is personal.
For example, the Knicks were hoping to bring breakout point guard and restricted free agent Jeremy Lin back to the team next season. Lin wanted to stay and even head coach Mike Woodson publicly confirmed that the Harvard grad would be the team's starting point guard.
Yet, the Knicks' front office chose to let the open market dictate Lin's value and as a result, the Houston Rockets offered him a heavily back-loaded contract that New York could have matched.
Rather, because Dolan apparently felt "betrayed" and "deceived" that Lin negotiated such a contract with another team, the Knicks declined to match Houston's offer sheet.
As a result, Lin is now a Rocket and the Knicks have a point guard tandem of Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, both of whom are extreme rolls of the dice.
If you ask me, the man needs a lesson on how free agency works, as what Lin did was something all players do.
No. 2: Charlotte Bobcats
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While Michael Jordan could easily be the greatest player in NBA history, he is anything but the greatest owner. He has owned the Charlotte Bobcats for two years now and based on how he handled this year's draft, I'm not optimistic about the team's future.
Going into draft night, I thought that Charlotte was going to select a player who could make an immediate impact and form a good on-court relationship with point guard Kemba Walker. I figured they would take power forward Thomas Robinson and move Tyrus Thomas to a bench role, or shooting guard Bradley Beal and put him in the starting lineup immediately.
Rather, Jordan and his executives selected small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a swingman who is definitely talented but also a project player.
For a team that is coming off a season in which they won just seven times and lost 23 games in a row at one point, a player who could have started contributing immediately would have been a better choice.
Yes, Kidd-Gilchrist could help Charlotte at some point, but Jordan selecting him prolonged the franchise's stay in the woods rather than help them out of them.
No. 1: Sacramento Kings
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The Maloof Brothers once owned a great NBA franchise in a small market, but now the Kings are just plain sad.
Over the past few years, the team has vastly overpaid players like Francisco Garcia and Chuck Hayes and as a result, the finances are so bad that Sacramento may not be their home city for much longer.
For the past couple of years, rumors have swirled about the team potentially moving to Anaheim to start anew.
Those rumors died down once Mayor of Sacramento and former Phoenix Suns point guard Kevin Johnson lobbied to get the team a new arena, so it appeared as though there was hope for the Kings after all and a deal appeared to be on the horizon.
However, just a couple of months later, the Maloofs backed out of the plan because according to them, it wouldn't make sense financially.
Oh, and keeping John Salmons, Francisco Garcia and Chuck Hayes on the payroll for a combined $19.5 million next year does?
If you ask me, the Maloofs need to take a refresher course on what types of players build a winning team and use some money to help finance a new arena so that they don't alienate the fans even more.