For free agents, home is where the wins, and the good weather are
You don't have to be a weatherman to know which way
There are several reasons why Rubio and his parents might consider the Wolves one of the "bad" NBA teams they talked about with SI.com's
So Minnesota is cold, in the shorthand of NBA players. Sacramento is boring. Utah is straight-laced. New York is huge. Philadelphia is tough. Indianapolis is sleepy. Toronto is, y'know, up there somewhere, eh? Cleveland is enjoying a reprieve for as long as
My task here: Rank the 30 NBA markets in terms of attractiveness to players, weighing tangibles as well as intangibles, to better understand the team's inherent competitive advantages and disadvantages.
My methodology: I identified a dozen separate categories allowing for both objective and subjective evaluation, among them Climate, Night Life, Tradition, Marketing Potential, Facilities, Local Economy, Lifestyle (schools for kids, diversions for spouses), even Tax Implications. A few were hardcore hoops stuff: Readiness to Win, Teammates, Salary-Cap Space, Coaches. I consulted with statisticians at a local community college to concoct a point system, assigning scores ranging from plus-5 down to minus-5, and then calculated weights for each category, mathematically prioritizing them. You'll notice that I also counted Los Angeles twice, because as destinations go, the Lakers' and the Clippers' versions of L.A. might as well be the two moons of Mars. For these purposes, let's say the Lakers are Phobos and the Clippers Deimos.
So I wound up, in the end, with a formula as scientific as the NFL's quarterback-rating system and twice as indecipherable. Which is why I scrapped it entirely, painting-and-deleting the whole shebang as an acknowledgement that this stuff always is a matter of taste, subjective and highly personal for the players involved. Some want to win, some just want to get paid. Some would be happy as role guys on great teams, others want to be the main man on his own team. One player might frequent museums and plays, the other is happy with a satellite dish and Wii. There are more X-factors in decisions like this than there are, well, Xs and all the other letters in the alphabet.
Here then, is something less than learned. but arrived at through years of covering and traveling to the various NBA markets. It is one man's assessment and snapshot, not intended to offend and no more valid than the next fellow's, but no less than, either. Because that is how these decisions get made, from Rubio to James, one, by one, by one: