It was a bad idea from the start. When Gary Bettman promulgated his Grand Southern Strategy for the NHLthe first Winnipeg Jets, and the Phoenix area never really fit in there. Phoenix was not a captive market like Tampa or Nashville were, with hockey teams being the only games in town during the winter. Dallas had a building that could house hockey to begin with and a partner interested in building a new spot in the Mavs. Anaheim had a building from the start.
Phoenix had none of that. The original America West Arena, regardless of its current focus, was never built with hockey in mind. Which meant that a third of the arena had a good portion of the ice cut off from view. He capped what the coyotes could make up attendance, because who wants to go to a game where they can’t see a third of the ice? The islanders ignored this lesson years later. But the Yotes and what their fanbase might be were immediately crippled.
They also didn’t have a partner to find and build a new arena. The Suns already had their own, which the Coyotes had basically been squatting in for a few years. Which meant they were on their own and had to take basically whatever they could get. Which meant Glendale, certainly a fair piece of town but also negotiable for a commodity worth visiting. The Yotes rarely provided that through a series of charlatans and crap owners that Bettman kept landing on. And that’s the real culprit here. When the Thrashers wanted out of Atlanta, Bettman’s efforts to keep them in the Dirty South basically pointed northwest and waved his other arm like an out-of-town third base coach. And yet, he could not admit defeat in the desert.
Which would have been nice if he and the league hadn’t kept jumping on any clown or cheat that showed up with no more qualification than carrying a suitcase with “$$$” painted on it. It was never required that a new owner could build a new arena themselves where people wanted to go.
It was just assumed that when the time came, the Phoenix/Scottsdale area would just lean in and take him for a team that had long since become an afterthought when no joke. Why was anyone so sure that the residents would one day ALL RIGHT spend taxpayers’ money on this kind of project? The NHL and the Coyotes had spent decades bringing nothing to the region. And they wanted to keep getting? What logical person would vote to spend a penny on a new arena for a team that had already burned two in less than 30 years and had no tangible hold on the city? Why did the place need a third arena?
There are certainly thousands of Coyotes fans who are disappointed and know that they are fucked now and will soon lose their team to Houston, Kansas City, Salt Lake City or Sacramento, all places that have a building to move into tomorrow. It’s terrible for them, but Bettman is the one who smeared them by constantly imposing a pretty impressive list of strikes on them to lead the team who just didn’t know how or couldn’t, all so he could claim victory. What has Bettman gained after all these years?
There was one way Phoenix could have worked, because all the other “southern” markets did. But it was always rushed and stupid and only got more calamitous with each passing season. That last bunch of motherfuckers didn’t even try that hard to get this arena built, being hugely spent in their promotion and awareness efforts, about 8 to 1 by those who wanted the nyouote they finally got it. It was after they couldn’t pay their employees or suppliers or had a list of complaints from a hellish workplace. Was that the star Bettman hitched his wagon to?
It’s boring for those who will lose the team. But it was a franchise the league and Bettman never took seriously, no matter what they said. If they had, there wouldn’t have been this list of bullshit that was in charge at one time or another. It’s over now, and Bettman would be well advised to get these last assholes out of the owners box and hand them over to someone in the next town who actually knows what they’re doing.
Steve Kerr blames Warriors misfortunes on Draymond green hallmark
While most of NBA history is either about the start of the Conference Finals or Ja Morant’s fuzzy definition of “responsibility“, there was another major figure in the league doing his best Doc Rivers, and evade his role in a big bullshit.
Steve Kerr pointed Draymond Green in cold with Jordan Poole in training camp as something the Warriors could never get around and how it shattered the foundation of the team. But nowhere does Kerr say, “It was my fault.” Because it was. It was Kerr who didn’t cause Green to miss a regular season game, a decision that created quite a schism between the old guard and the new. It’s one of the main reasons Golden State has spent much of the year looking like a bunch of employees doing another office training.
In fact, Kerr goes on to say that if Green returns, it’s up to him to build trust and chemistry with the younger players on the roster. Green would certainly have some catching up to do, but Kerr seemingly siding with his hard-hitting charge against those who bore the brunt of it also needs editing. Kerr will have to admit it as a first step on this road.
Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate as he calls for the 2012 first round to be wiped from the records as well.