Note to NBA General Managers: Stop Copying you idiots!
Keep this up. You can be the next one fired. This message applies to most GMs around the league. Stop copying other dudes’ models for success. It’s awful that they blatantly do this. If this is truly the formula to become a GM then count me in. Many of us can become one then. We don’t necessarily need the “lackey, work your way up” experience on the resume. There wouldn’t be a point to work my way up the ladder anyway if “copying” is the prevailing thought for the suits in the front office. Anyone playing fantasy basketball can do this job.
The only things standing in the way are rules, matching contracts, and whether the players’ styles would complement each other. That’s it. It’s not rocket science.
Kevin Pritchard, GM of the Portland Trail Blazers, once said, “We’re a league of mimics. We see what’s working and we try to mimic it. You see Boston with their great defense and then everybody wants to be a great defensive team. I come from a background where defense is very important. Right now every team is trying to figure out how they can put the best defensive players out there. I think that’s important.”
This is sheer idiocy. I’m not saying that Kevin Pritchard is an idiot. He’s just pointing out the truth. What I’m really saying is if a GM has to resort to mimicking then the GM was utterly stupid to begin with and should have never been hired regardless of his years as a player, coach, or whatever background he has in the NBA. Of course we know that you need the best defensive players you can get. OF COURSE! It’s not rocket science. Pritchard failed to mention that a team should also have a good amount of offensive players, too. The team ultimately needs balance to win because defense alone can’t win titles.
This leads me to bring up a good example between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons.
Joe Dumars built a team without any superstars praising hard work, defense, team work, and hustle. He won a title with these guys working with an extremely good coach at the helm in Larry Brown. Sheed was an All Star, RIP was borderline All Star, Billups is smart and clutch, Tayshaun Prince is a defensive dynamo, and Ben Wallace is the 4 time Defensive Player of the Year.
John Paxson took notice and tried to copy this formula. Hinrich was the best perimeter defender, Ben Gordon is the clutch scorer, Luol Deng was the all around guy, PJ Brown was the cagey vet, and they even got the same Ben Wallace from the Pistons. All of that did not work because no one was a true All Star. Yes, even Big Ben because he was already aging fast when he got to Chicago. Paxson copied and it didn’t work. With all of his years playing alongside MJ and Pippen, you’d think he learned something. Even with his years as a radio analyst, he still didn’t learn shit. He copied Dumars anyway. This didn’t get him anywhere as evidenced with the team now. He didn’t succeed because he did not realize that he didn’t quite have the same types of talents that Joe Dumars had.
This can be applied to Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. At times they thought they had the next John Stockton and Karl Malone.
Mike D’Antoni recreated Nellie ball with a few more tweaks here and there.
Michael Jordan and Larry Brown are trying to recreate The Pistons 2004 team with Emeka Okafor as the anchor.
Kevin Pritchard himself is copying John Paxson by stockpiling assets. The only difference here is Pritchard has been drafting players who actually have the reputation of being good.
Orlando Magic is copying The Boston Celtics.
Steady point guard (Rajon Rondo)? Jameer Nelson. Check.
Shooter(Ray Allen)? Rashard Lewis. Check.
All around clutch guy(Paul Pierce)? Hedo Turkoglu. Check.
Defensive big man anchor (Kevin Garnett)? Dwight Howard. Check.
They’re only missing their versions of Kendrick Perkins and James Posey off the bench to win it all. I’m not sure if they can get these 2 missing pieces though and they only have one superstar on the team.
Rule of thumb: Don’t ever copy anyone else’s formula. It works only for them and there’s a reason why. Don’t ever think it can work the same for your team. If a GM has to resort to biting somebody else, this says that he lacks any sort of vision and direction.
Mimic and prepare to be exposed as a fraud, a hack GM, an idiot tool. This further implies that you only got the job through hookups.
Jerry Krause did not know how to build around the GOAT Michael Jordan. There was no blueprint prior for copying. He merely lucked in to it by getting another top 50 player, Scottie Pippen. He experimented by getting a good small forward. He got lucky because no one knew he was the prototype for the new small forward.
If Kobe never had Shaq, how would Jerry West do it? He would have to mimic Krause’s formula. If he had to do this, he wouldn’t have won a damn title because Kobe is not MJ; he’s just a mimic of his Airness.
How does one build around Tim Duncan? There was no formula to mimic. Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, and Shawn Kemp all arrived before him and didn’t reach much success. The only thing you can say is "with any good big man, you need a good point guard." But what about the rest of the pieces?
Note to owners: Since it’s that easy to be a GM, everyone should email their resumes to their respective teams. It’s not that difficult to copy someone.
The product will only be inferior. Why copy anyone knowing this?