Max Auditions A New Team

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When I moved to New York City in the summer of 2008 with the intention to stay for
some or all of my adult life, I adopted the Knicks as my new favorite NBA Team.

There have, admittedly, been few bright spots during that time, but it would be
wrong to say there have been none. I got to watch Carmelo score a bunch of points
in one really good season. I got to watch the early years of Kristaps Porzingis.
Linsanity happened while I lived here.

There have also been countless awful moments. Missed draft picks, missed front
office hires, missed free agent signings, and missed post-season play have been the
norm since I became a Knicks fan.

Even with all that, I still called myself a Knicks fan. I bought a Bobby Portis jersey
this season. I always start with them in MyGM mode on 2k.

But today I really started asking why I owed that franchise any loyalty. These aren’t
the Razorbacks. I wasn’t born to follow this team.

I can barely even watch them play. I have YouTube TV, which doesn’t carry MSG
Network, and their games are blacked out on league pass. I’m trying to be a fan of
the terrible product that is being presented to me, but James Dolan is making it
incredibly difficult.

They are still the most valuable franchise in the NBA, so I think they’ll be fine
without me.

So…I’m now auditioning a new team, and I’m going to write my way through the
process.

I do have a few rules, though.

Requirements
My least favorite kind of fan is a bandwagon fan, so you will not see me “auditioning”
teams like the Bucks, Lakers, or Clippers as much as I love some of the individual
players on those teams. My new team must be below .500 as of February 21, 2020.
Further, the team must be legitimately below .500 meaning they are currently at
close to full strength, not just struggling because they are missing their stars, i.e. the
Nets, Warriors, and Wizards. (The Nets are especially tough given that they play in
NYC, and I really do love KD.)

It also won’t be a team that I hate. In this case that rules out the Cavs and the
Pelicans. The Pels have a lot of talent and are pretty fun to watch. I just hate their
mascot and them winning the lottery is why the Knicks don’t have Zion, which was
the first piece that didn’t fall correctly in this most recent “Summer of Hope.”

The last stipulation is that it cannot be a team that has won a title since 2000, which
rules out the Spurs and the Pistons.
That leaves eight teams—4 in the Eastern Conference and 4 in the Western
Conference: Trail Blazers, Kings, Timberwolves, Suns, Magic, Hornets, Bulls, and
Hawks.

I’ll audition teams in the following order:
1. Suns
2. Bulls
3. Trail Blazers
4. Hornets
5. Timberwolves
6. Magic
7. Kings
8. Hawks

Before I do this, it’s important that there is some kind of process.

Judging Categories

As a prelminary round, or regular season, I will watch two consecutive games for
each team. See below for the schedule:

1. Suns: February 21 @Raptors; February 22 @Bulls
2. Bulls: February 22 vs Suns; February 23 vs Wizards
3. Trail Blazers: February 25 vs Boston; February 27 @ Pacers
4. Hornets: February 28 vs Raptors; March 1 vs Bucks
5. Timberwolves: March 4 vs Bulls; March 6 vs Magic
6. Magic: March 6 @Timberwolves; March 8 @Rockets
7. Kings: March 8 vs Raptors; March 11 vs Pelicans
8. Hawks: March 14 vs Cavaliers; March 16@ Pelicans

Each team will be given a 1-10 score on the following categories: Jerseys, Players,
Two-Game Performance, Style of Play, and “It” Factor.

For each game of the two-game performance a team can earn up to five points. A
win will get them 5 points. A one possession loss will earn them 4 points, a two
possession loss will earn them 3 points, a 9-15 point loss will earn them 2 points, a
16-20 point loss will earn them 1 point, and any loss more than 20 points will earn
them zero points.

The top four teams from this preliminary round will move onto the playoffs or
callbacks. I’m still formulating what exactly that will look like.

For the finals, I will take the top two teams and evaluate each franchise (financial
situation, average age, length of stars contracts, history, etc.) with the overall
winner—my new favorite NBA team–being selected based on that evaluation.

I’m sure you have gotten to this point and thought, “Max, I kind of thought you’d
attempt to write some jokes in here.” Well, you thought wrong. This is deathly
serious.

I’ll buy a ’47 cap of the winning team! The stakes just got real for some of these
franchises.

-Max

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