Oklahoma City Thunder: What’s the equivalent to Hot Stove League?
Lynn Green is a loyal reader and an English instructor at Centennial High School. I’m a little partial to English teachers, considering I was an English major back in the day. English and history double major. I liked history more than English, but I found myself drawn more to my English instructors. The best teacher I ever had, Dennis Miller, came not in college, but at Norman High School. I even signed up for a poetry class he taught, and I’m not so crazy about poetry.
Anyway, Lynn Green asked a great question this morning. “Baseball’s off-season is called the ‘Hot Stove League.’ What is the NBA equivalent? Lawn Chair League? Pool Side League? A/C League?”
What a swell question. The Hot Stove League has lived for a century in baseball lore. Baseball fans would get their baseball fix during a long, cold winter by talking about their teams and what trades could be made to improve. The image was that men would sit around and be kept warm by a hot stove and baseball talk.
The truth is, Hot Stove League moves weren’t all that numerous. You’d get a good Rogers Hornsby trade ever now and then, because apparently the guy was a jack-ass that franchises didn’t care if he was the greatest second baseman of all time and would just trade him. You’d get the Yankees adding a piece like Johnny Mize or Enos Slaughter. You’d get a manager fired or hired.
But the Hot Stove League was mostly about what could happen.
Fast forward 60, 70, 80 years to the NBA, and there’s plenty of talk about what could or should happen. But there’s also tons of talk about what has happened. Baseball’s Reserve Clause is dead. No player has to stick with a team for a big chunk of his career, if he doesn’t want to. Player movement is rampant. Rosters shuffle incessantly.
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