Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Free agency: The NBA vs. the NHL

Hey Chris, that coffee machine over there
isn't going to just work itself.
The first few weeks of July mark the start of free agency in both hockey and basketball. And while both leagues can usually be counted on for some entertaining signings, there's little doubt that 2010 was all about the NBA.

Between the NHL's lacklustre crop of free agents and the NBA's much-hyped "big three" and beyond, every sports fan in North America has been transfixed by the daily intrigue of NBA free agency. And that no doubt includes many hockey fans who have otherwise never followed basketball, and may be confused by some of the what they're seeing.

Have no fear, hockey fans. NBA free agency is really very similar to the NHL version, with only a few key differences. To help you make sense of it all, I've prepared this handy guide to help you compare and contrast the two leagues.

NBA free agency: America's largest sports networks allows a star player to spend an hour announcing his decision in a farcical display of tone deaf self-promotion.
NHL free agency: Canadian networks would never participate in such a vulgar display due to higher journalistic standards, a distaste for self-aggrandizing hype, and the lack of available airtime due to their previously scheduled round-the-clock "NHL Free Agent Super-Mega-Frenzy 2010" coverage.

NBA free agency: To the horror of fans, one team can assemble an instant dynasty by just going out and buying three of the best young players in the game.
NHL free agency: A team can only assemble a team of young superstars the honorable way: by purposely tanking several seasons for high draft picks.

NBA free agency: Teams are often unable to free up roster spots by trading players thanks to the intricacies of the salary cap.
NHL free agency: Teams are often unable to free up roster spots by trading players thanks to contracts given out by John Ferguson Jr.

NBA free agency: Players and teams may begin negotiating on July 1 but can not finalize a contract until July 8, in an effort to avoid tampering.
NHL free agency: No such restrictions are needed; unfailingly honest players and teams respect the league's strict tampering rules, then agree to complicated multi-year contracts 15 minutes after free agency begins.

NBA free agency: If you're really tall, some team will pay you millions of dollars even though you never learned how to skate.
NHL free agency: Derek Boogard.

NBA free agency: Teams can exceed the salary cap by resigning their own players thanks to a rule known as the Bird exception.
NHL free agency: Teams can exceed the roster limits by building a lineup consisting entirely of defencemen thanks to a rule known as the Burke exception.

NBA free agency: "The July Moratorium" is the first week of July each year, during which teams may not sign free agents or make trades.
NHL free agency: "The July Moratorium" is Ilya Kovalchuk's new nickname.

NBA free agency: Teams can achieve temporary cap relief by sending players to a minor league organization known as the D-League.
NHL free agency: Teams can achieve temporary cap relief by sending players to a minor league organization known as the Atlanta Thrashers.

NBA free agency: A player can undo years of positive image management with one foolish appearance on ESPN.
NHL free agency: Players wisely avoid this risk by never being mentioned on ESPN, ever, for any reason.

NBA free agency: The entire proceedings are overseen by a commissioner who is dedicated to making the NBA the most popular winter sports league in the world.
NHL free agency: Same.


  1. ehh this one was okay. you guys try too hard to be funny.

  2. ^^ this guy tries too hard to be bitter...

  3. Mr. Down Goes Brown,

    you beat DGS to the idea of the post by about 5 hours. For that, I am jealous.


    Down Goes Spezza

  4. The Boogaard one is funny in theory but was poorly done in execution. Why would basketball players need to learn to skate? I actually thought this was decent although hit and miss. The D-League/Thrashers one was nice, though.

  5. I enjoyed this post and laughed. The comedy critics in the comments are also amusing.

    "Well, your blog post is somewhat funny, but the execution of the third joke.. and some of the timing could be better... you should try less hard to be funny and then maybe I will be amused..."

  6. best joke was the caption under the picture!

  7. I missed the caption! Oh, that's fantastic!

  8. Ditto with Jer.. why would NBA player need to know how to skate. "Run, shoot, stand still, waive hands, look pretty, wear fancy suite, get tons of ink, show off bling" all would have worked better.

  9. The last one was awesome.

  10. @DGS...

    Pro tip: Just post yours, manually set the date to yesterday, and then loudly accuse me of plagiarism.

  11. True fact: In 50% of DGB posts, my favorite joke is hidden in the caption.

    (The other 50% of the time it's some obscure joke that only I'll find funny, like it mattering whether an NBA player can skate.)

  12. I've always enjoyed the captians in your posts - this is a great one!

  13. @DGB I love obscure Manute Bol jokes. Always have.

  14. Double post deleted. I'll stop now.

  15. @Down Goes Brown

    Nah, it's ok, I got a better idea, new DGS tomorrow will tell you what it is

    -Down GoesSpezza

  16. I just found this blog and I thought it was funny, except for the John Ferguson Jr. one. Its too true to be funny.

  17. Pure gold once again. Don't listen to bitter Columbus/Cleveland fans.

  18. Also, the July Moratorium joke was definitely the best one. I laughed hard at that one.

  19. The caption owns! This was hilarious, and is it wrong of me to say I'm glad Bosh left Toronto? I just wish that the Raps had actually been able to get something in return, oh well. I just think we're going to suck next year.

  20. Have people seen this? Someone is trying to get a tower in downtown Toronto named after Garry Valk...


    Why Valk though? I am not sure. But he seems to be doing well. I've voted a couple of times. Pretty hilarious.

  21. My condolences - Chris Durno signed with TB. Only a one year deal though, so he could still some day sign with the leafs.

  22. Oh, c'mon DGB, that Thrashers joke was funny 5 years ago when we didn't win. What's with you and making wisecracks at the southern teams' expenses?

  23. I would like to exchange links with your site www.blogger.com
    Is this possible?