Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Dream Team: 1992 vs. 2012

So I have seen so much about this whole Dream Team issue and who is the better team between 1992 and 2012. First Kobe started talking shit about how they are more athletic and how the 1992 team was not in their prime. Then Barkley and Jordan fired back saying how they are smarter and most of the people on the 1992 were in their prime. Then the media got a whiff of this and ran wild like a Kenyan in a marathon. First of all, I don't understand how its news when Kobe Bryant says his team would win. No shit you morons! What did you expect? Did you think the Black Mamba would think or say anything different? More importantly, do you want your olympic leader to have any other attitude besides that? The same goes for Jordan and Barkley. All of these guys are the ultimate competitors so even if they had me and you as their  best teammates, they would think their team was the best. So let's dismiss all of the hype and talk about basketball. Smart basketball. Logical basketball. Let me break this bitch down by asking the right questions!

Question 1: Which team has the most superstars in their prime? 
Answer: The 1992 Team (Sorry Kobe but you wrong on this one)

Read the question again. Notice I didn't ask which team has the most PLAYERS in their prime? I asked about SUPERSTARS in their prime. There is a difference. For example, the 2012 has Andre Iguodala. He is in his prime. But what difference does that make? He's still not better than the 1992 Magic who was not in his prime. Same can be said of Christian Laettner and Tyson Chandler. So the real question is which team has the most superstars in their prime? Here is the breakdown:

1992 - Prime Superstars (9) 
1. David Robinson 
2. Karl Malone
3. Charles Barkley
4. Michael Jordan
5. Patrick Ewing
6. Scottie Pippen
7. Clyde Drexler
8. John Stockton
9. Chris Mullin
The others: Magic and Bird on the back end of their career. Laettner not a superstar.

2012 - Prime/Entering their prime Superstars (7.5)
1. Lebron James
2. Kevin Durant (Entering his prime)
3. Chris Paul
4. Kevin Love (Entering his prime)
5. Carmelo Anthony
6. Russel Westbrook (Entering his prime)
7. Deron Williams
7.5 Blake Griffin (He can go either way depending how he decides to approach his career. If he wants to be great and work on his flaws then he's not in his prime. If he doesn't, then we have pretty much seen his ceiling.)
The others: Let's not kid ourselves. Kobe is nowhere close to his prime despite the numbers. Tyson Chandler and Andre Iguodala are not superstars. James Harden not a superstar. Maybe he will be in the future.

Question 2: Which team has better athletes?
Answer: The 2012 Team. But it's closer than you think. 

Every time someone thinks about the 1992 team, they think about an aging Bird with a messed up back lying around in practicing and barely playing. Or a fat Barkely or aging Magic. But that wasn't the case. There were some crazy athletes on that team. Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler in their prime were as good of an athlete as anybody in the history of the league. David Robinson. Are you kidding me? He was easily a top 5 big man of all time in terms of athletic ability. Karl Malone's body was that of a Greek god. With all that said, the 2012 team is just loaded with athletic ability. Lebron James is the greatest athlete in NBA history. Some people who would argue with that may throw in names like Russell Westbrook and Blake Griffin, who are both on the team as well. Deron Williams is as quick and strong of a PG as there has ever been. Iguodala is a monster athlete as well. Even the players on this team that are not known for their athletic ability are pretty good athletes. (Kevin Durant/Carmelo Anthony)

Question 3: Which team has the smarter players?
Answer: The 1992 Team. And it's not even close. 

The players on the 1992 team are much smarter only because where they were at that point in their careers. All of the 1992 players (except Laettner) were in the middle of their career or on the back end. There was no one that was just starting off his career. So they had a bunch of years of experience. The 2012 team on the other hand, mostly has players that are in the middle of their career or on the earlier part of their career. They are still learning. Let's list all of the cerebral players. 1992 has Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Larry Bird who were popularly known as very smart players. Even the other players like Barkley, Malone, Pippen, Mullin, and Ewing were pretty smart and savvy veterans by the time 1992 rolled around. The 2012 team has Kobe, Chris Paul, and Kevin Love. Those are the only 3 players that are actually known for their basketball brains. But that doesn't mean this team is dumb. The other guys are pretty smart and young. They are just learning. By the time 2016 Olympics roll around, the answer to this question will probably be a tie. 

Question 4: WHO WINS IN A GAME??????
Answer: When is the game being played? Old school reffing style: 1992 team wins easily. Modern reffing style: 2012 team has a chance but 1992 still pulls it out.

Here is the deal. If we are just talking about pick up basketball without the sophisticated rules of the NBA game and no free throws/unlimited fouls like in street ball, then I think it's pretty much a toss up. Because the 1992 team would lose a lot of their advantages. Either team can win any given game. If you did a statistical simulation, and they played in this style an infinite amount of games, the 1992 team would win half and the 2012 team would win half. 

With that said, we are probably not talking about streetball here. We are talking about professional basketball players so we should have them playing a professional basketball game. And those have refs. And rules. And each era has a very separate and distinct way the game was officiated. So if we play in the 1992 team's era, were refs were much more lenient in terms of hard fouls, then the stronger more physical team is going to win easily. That is the 1992 team. They have 2 legitimate and dominant centers who are all-time greats in David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. Tyson Chandler is a good team defensive player, but there is no way in hell he can guard either one of those guys. The 2012 has no other center. Kevin Love and Blake Griffin would get eaten alive by both of those guys. The 1992 team also has very physical perimeter players like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippen. Every time guys like Lebron, CP3, Durant, Westbrook, and Deron enter the lane, those guys would try to dish out as much physical punishment as possible. Lebron and Kobe are the only ones that can withstand that kind of punishment. I haven't even mentioned Barkley and Malone yet, who were some of the most physical players in the history of the game. 

If we play by today's officiating style, the refs would not let the game get physical. Lebron would have a much easier day driving to the basket. And without fouling, I don't care how good those defenders on the 1992 team were. There is no stopping Lebron! No way. But the 1992 team can just as easily counter with Jordan or Barkley. The 2012 team would start out strong and hang in there but eventually, there is just way too much talent on the 1992 team to overcome. Most importantly, if the game was anywhere close to being undecided, the 1992 team has by far the best player and greatest closer in Michael Jordan. The game would come down to Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant. (That is a whole another article in itself.) Kobe Bryant even in his prime is not better than Michael Jordan in his prime. So there is no way this 2012 Kobe Bryant would be able to handle the 1992 Michael Jordan. Kobe might still be able to put a few points up on young Jordan but 1992 Jordan would go ape shit on offense! There would be no stopping him. Close or not, the 1992 team pulls this one out no matter which way you look at it!

Thanks for reading!
Yours truly, 
The King of Nothing.

PS. I would just like to honor the 2008 Redeem Team. Personally, I think that is a much better team than the 2012 team and has a much better chance to compete with the 1992 team than the current 2012 team does. That team had a dominant big man in Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant in his prime, a great shooter in Michael Redd, and a game changer in Dwayne Wade in his prime. It didn't however, have Kevin Durant or athletes like Westbrook and Griffin. But I think Dwight's dominance, Kobe being younger, and Wade off the bench makes up for all of that.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Healthcare: Consider It Solved!

When I wrote about how to fix the education system a couple months back, it was a pretty simple solution. Make teachers smarter. Make people take school more seriously. Make education a private industry. Boom! Done! Fixed! Send me the check in the mail America. The healthcare issue however, is a bit more complicated. Don't get me wrong. I am smart as hell...So it's not complicated to me. By complicated I meant that my explanation might be hard for the rest of you to understand. But I am not going to let your stupidity stop me from writing an article about a brilliant way to solve this issue. So let's get started.

Let's first tackle this dumbass question of whether healthcare is a right or a privilege. Who the fuck cares? It's neither. Healthcare is healthcare! It's like any other fucking product or service out there. You get what you can fucking afford! Let's take food for example. Is food a right? Well...that depends on what your definition of "right" is. In terms of the United States constitution, there is some shit in there about everyone being entitled to equality and voting and not being enslaved and civil liberties and all that...but nothing as far I know about being entitled to food or not starving. So in those terms, food is not a right. Some would define "right" on a more primitive basis. They would argue that all humans being born are entitled to basic necessities such as food just on a pure humanity level. These people would say food is a right. But if you are going to argue in primitive terms, why stop there? Take it a step further. Humans are animals. Animals are part of nature. And nature doesn't guarantee shit! Whether it is a tiger in Bengal that can't find prey, a polar bear that can't find fish, or a giraffe that can't find trees in a drought, animals die all the time due to lack of food. Why should nature be any different for humans? In those terms, food is not a right. Do you see what I mean here? These are retarded questions with no real answers that lead to no practical solutions. The whole right vs. privilege bullshit is just some cool play on words being used as political rhetoric in order to influence people. Here is the bottom line: Healthcare is just like anything else in the world. Poor people eat cans of beans that cost 89 cents. Rich people eat 70 dollar lobsters. Healthcare should be the same. You have a right to as much of it as you want, as long as you have the ability to pay for it. Now I know what you are thinking. You might be saying to yourself that what I am describing is healthcare being a privilege. And I am saying that go fuck yourself! If you want to call it a privilege, be my guest. All I am saying is that healthcare is like anything else. Whether you call it a right or a privilege or whatever...makes no difference to me and arguing over it does absolutely nothing to solve the problem. 

Now if you are really smart, your next thought should be this: Healthcare is not like anything else because there are cheap alternatives to almost everything else. If that was your next thought please pat yourself on the back. Because after reading the last paragraph anyone with any kind of significant neural activity in their brain would have that thought. Now let me address that thought. Let's go back to the food example. I mentioned the whole poor people eat beans vs. rich people eat lobsters thing. Smart people would say that at least there are 89 cent cans of beans available for poor people. But what is the 89 cent can of bean equivalent in healthcare? On the whole, all of healthcare is pretty damn expensive regardless of quality of care. Healthcare doesn't provide nearly as much of a range of extremely cheap to expensive luxurious options that food does. Well you know what? I think it does. As matter of fact, I think the cheap version of healthcare is so cheap...that it's actually free! Hell, it might even save people money! It's called........drum rollllllllllllllllllllllll.........PREVENTATIVE CARE!!!!!!

If we are going to solve this healthcare issue as a nation, everyone will need to understand one very important thing. We are not going to solve this only by making laws or policies. A genuine desire and motivation to change one's behavior for the better will be required by masses of people across the country. And the behavior improvement will for the most part need to be on the part of the poor. Listen to me poor people. You are poor. You need to understand that many of the illnesses (diabetes, heart disease, STDs, most infectious disease, AIDS, some cancers) that you are complaining about treating can be PREVENTED. So you have absolutely no right to complain about not being able to afford healthcare regarding those issues that could have been PREVENTED by living a healthier life. Now don't get me wrong. I breathe Taco Bell food instead of oxygen. Often times I eat my biggest meal of the day after midnight. I eat literally zero fruits or vegetables. I drive my benz like a maniac on meth. I drink public water when I visit India. I don't put the paper on the seat when I use a public toilet. In no way shape or form do I live a healthy life. So me telling people to live a healthy life may sound hypocritical. But you know what? It's not! Because I can afford treatment for my eventual diabetes and heart disease. I can afford treatment when I catch hepatitis from drinking sugarcane juice off a cart. I can afford treatment when I break my neck in a wreck. I can afford treatment when I catch gonorrhea from the airport toilet. Those are luxuries I can afford! Just like the 70 dollar lobster. Poor people can't! But guess what? They can very easily avoid all of those things by living a better a life than me and not doing all of those unhealthy things. That's their 89 cent can of beans! So if you know you can't afford healthcare, all you have to do is live healthier...and raise your kids to do the same...and that takes care of 90% of your health concerns.

So what about the other 10%? What about all of those things that cannot be helped or controlled or avoided? Well...first, let's take out the 90% I talked about. Maybe that 90% is actually closer to 60% in reality. Or maybe it's closer to 99%. Regardless, it's definitely the majority and a huge chunk. So if you throw out all of the healthcare costs behind accidents that could have been avoided by driving safer, heart disease that could have been avoided by diet and exercise, all of the diseases that could have been avoided by not smoking, drinking or doing drugs, all of the STDs that could have been avoided by practicing safe sex or abstinence, all of the unwanted pregnancies that could have been avoided by making better choices, all of the mental disorders that could have been avoided by living a better family life, all of the children's disorders that could have been avoided by raising your kids right, what are you really left with? Accidents that couldn't have been avoided, diseases that couldn't be prevented (mainly cancer, etc) and some other miscellaneous stuff? First of all, by eliminating even SOME of the avoidable stuff I mentioned, we are saving the healthcare system TRILLIONS. That's TRILLIONS of dollars being saved by patients, insurance companies, the healthcare industry, and the government. By using some of those trillions of dollars towards making sure EVERYONE is covered from the unavoidable stuff, we have essentially solved the healthcare crisis. Obviously this is easier said than done. But let's just say the first step actually happens. Let's say people who can't afford their own healthcare actually start living healthier...and everyone starts saving on healthcare costs like I mentioned. Then here are some things that would be possible.

1. The Medicare and Medicaid programs don't have to bleed money by paying for all of those avoidable diseases and their treatment. The money saved can be used to:
a. Provide treatment for the poor who have those unavoidable problems. I believe eventually Medicare and Medicaid should be used ONLY for this purpose.
b. Encourage and provide incentives to healthcare professionals to promote preventative care to the poor in turn saving even more money.

2. The insurance companies don't have to spend more money by paying for all the avoidable stuff which means less costs for them but more importantly, they don't have an excuse to raise premiums. Lower premiums means more people can afford to be insured means less burden on the government programs.

3. If most of the illnesses are being avoided, it means there are less people going to the doctor's offices. Doctor's offices might not like that but they can be incentivized by government and insurance companies to do more preventative care. Less people going to the doctors for stupid shit means doctors can spend more time behind someone who actually needs it and provide a better quality of care instead of relying on seeing a high volume of patients in a short amount of time. Same can be said for pharmacies. Pharmacist can then be compensated based on consultations, medication therapy management, and treatment follow-up rather than the volume of prescriptions.

This is just a short list. There are endless possibilities that can happen if we can just get those who cannot afford healthcare to stop needing it so much. But like I said, this cannot happen by some magic law that Obama passes or some policy that republicans and democrats keep arguing over. This kind of genuine change in thought and behavior can only happen if the masses of millions of people can be persuaded to do the right thing. So forget Obamacare or universal healthcare. You have no right to universal healthcare if you don't live a healthy lifestyle. And if you do live a healthy lifestyle, then chances are you probably won't need universal healthcare. And in the off chance that you do need help, it will be available because you saved the system money by living healthily. It's that simple. Or complicated. Now let me get off my high horse and end my lecture on living healthily by eating a tub of buttered popcorn at 2AM before going to sleep.

Thanks for reading!
Yours truly,
The King of Nothing