Thursday, October 17, 2013

Friday Roundtable: NBA Owner 1-on-1 Game

BDD's Friday Roundtable is a weekly discussion among a group of our writers on a trending NBA or college basketball topic.

L-toR: NBA owner, some guy, NBA owner. (

This week's question: Memphis Grizzlies' owner Robert Pera wants to play Michael Jordan in a 1-on-1 owner game for $1 million to go to charity. What 1-on-1 matchup between NBA owners do you most want to watch?

Part of me wants to pit Justin Timberlake (Memphis Grizzlies) and Usher (Cleveland Cavaliers) against one another, but there would only be one winner when it came down to crunch time. In a face-off between New York Knicks owner James Dolan and Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert, however, everyone is a winner (aside from, you know, whichever one loses). Both have been viewed as bumbling owners of NBA franchises, with Dolan taking flack for hiring Isiah Thomas as Knicks general manager and never anything else, while Gilbert became a famed Comic Sans calligrapher when his organization failed to put serviceable role players around LeBron James for seven seasons before seeing the homegrown talent take flight to Miami. James eventually disproved Gilbert's claim that Cleveland would win a championship before LBJ, who vanquished New York's hopes in the Eastern Conference while in the process of capturing two titles.

The only safe assumption in a Dolan-Gilbert square off is that there would be lots of awkward fumbling, probably some illegal hand-checking and a whole bunch of sweat, but Dolan gets the edge here as he would probably employ a "tickle-the-other-guy's-neck-with-your-beard" defense and either A) steal the ball for a contest-clinching basket as Gilbert pleads, "Come on, man, cut it out! That's going to irritate my skin!" or B) generally just creep out Gilbert and anyone bystanders until Dolan is left alone the court, taking several shots en route to a game-winner.

Maybe I'm wrong, but Michael Jordan doesn't make one of the two spots I most want to see. Yes, he's the best ever but a charity 1-on-1 game between NBA owners is for entertainment, and I want the two most entertaining owners on the court. That's why my match-up is Mark Cuban against Shaq. Remember, Shaq recently became an owner in the Sacramento Kings. Obviously, both would need to be wearing mics because the trash talk and banter would be the best part. Shaq would repeatedly back Cuban into the paint and lay a shoulder into him while going up for a dunk while Cuban screams for a foul and goes nuts like a ref just cost the Mavs a win. The thing that could make this interesting is Cuban looks like he could be sneaky athletic and I'm guessing Shaq hasn't been doing a lot of wind sprints since hanging up the jersey. The game ends with Shaq picking Cuban up so he can dunk it. Who wouldn't want to watch that?

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