With only two months to go before the start of the 2017-18 NBA season, the biggest off-season story remains Kyrie Irving’s desire to be traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and one Championship Ring, Irving presumably wants to escape the long shadow cast by teammate LeBron James. Assuming they can no longer coexist, who would you take? The answer may not be as easy as it seems.
Established in 1967, the ABA helped change professional basketball for the better before “merging” with the NBA in 1976. To name only a few positive developments resulting from the ABA:
– Players got paid more due to the competition for their services;
– Fans were treated to a faster paced game and the introduction of the 3-point shot; and
– The sport got stronger as superstars became ambassadors for the game.
At the same time, fans had to put up with questionable styles (such as the red, white and blue basketball), and players had to endure schemes to convince them to join the newer league. As described in the following post, Jim Chones was such a player who joined the ABA under unsavory circumstances.
During the 24-year period between the retirement of Vince Lombardi in 1968 and arrival of Brett Favre in 1992, the Green Bay Packers were pathetic with only five winning seasons and two playoff appearances. Much of the team’s futility can be attributed to monumentally bad draft decisions, such as the selections of QB Jerry Tagge in 1972 and OT Tony Mandarich in 1989. In between, the trading of multiple high round draft picks for washed-up QB John Hadl in 1974 and the selection of QB Rich Campbell in 1981 kept the downward cycle going. This post focuses on the first bad decision and whether or not Tagge deserves to be considered an all-time bust.