ESPN.com: Sources: NBA to approve plan for 22-team return with eight regular-season games

From Woj (although, apparently Shams had the scoop first):

The NBA’s board of governors intends to approve a league proposal on a 22-team format to restart the season in Orlando, Florida, sources told ESPN.

The conference call and vote is set for 12:30 p.m. ET Thursday, sources said.

Commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s advisory/finance committee have shared the broad details of a plan with teams to play at the Walt Disney World Resort, sources said. The plan includes 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams, eight regular-season games, a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed, and playoffs, sources said.

The top 16 teams in the Eastern and Western conferences will be joined by teams currently within six games of eighth place in the two conferences — New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento, Phoenix and Washington, sources said.

The play-in tournament will include the No. 8 and No. 9 teams — if the ninth seed finishes the regular season within four games of the eighth, sources said. In that case, the No. 8 seed enters a double-elimination tournament and the No. 9 seed a single-elimination tournament, sources said.

Teams will begin training at team sites in July and advance to full training camps in Orlando later that month, sources said.

Among the eight teams left out of the Orlando format, several are disappointed and concerned about how a nine-month window between NBA games affects their teams competitively and financially, sources said.

What a freaking weird ass way of handling this, no? So, they’re going to have regular season games, but the bottom eight teams in the league won’t be participating? So how are they regular season games if you’ve eliminated eight teams? I mean, I get the idea, which is that the league can sell more marquee match-ups in those final eight regular season games to help hype up the playoffs (while getting the playoff performers into shape), but it is still weird to see eight teams not participating while a “regular season” goes on for well over a week!

Obviously, we all know the real reason behind this, which is to do whatever they can do to possibly get Zion Williamson into the playoffs. And honestly, I can’t begrudge them about that. This set-up is not a terrible idea in general (the idea of a play-in game to give the teams like Portland and San Antonio a chance so that Dame Lillard will actually show up), but I just wish the other eight teams got to participate.

This, of course, also means that, hilariously enough, the Knicks did, in fact, lock in the #6 spot in the lottery by virtue of winning the final game of the season. Knicks gotta Knicks. One more #8 pick for the road!

Anyhow, this should be fun to watch. Heck, ANY sports would be fun to watch right now.

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76 thoughts to “ESPN.com: Sources: NBA to approve plan for 22-team return with eight regular-season games”

  1. So as an outsider watching the events unfold, I keep thinking about Grant Napear, a 60 years old guy who got fired because he does not understand the language that is considered acceptable under the context.

    This is making English too hard for me to understand. On the other hand, Trump’s speech is just shameful for any English learner looking to improve. Twitter culture in general does not help either. I almost stopped reading books too because I am still young and video games and friends take a lot of time. Being in China does not help at all as most of the local publications are censored garbage while English books are very late to come and few to buy. In the last 2 years, I bought a copy of Toms River, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Just Kids, that’s it.

    So I guess, any book recommendations? Non-fiction preferable and not too new. I still love paper based reading, and refuse to accept Kindle. Pity that Mr. Sepinwall’s books are not easy to get here.

    The political divide in the US is too big even this site is fractured. I took the whole US history during my college over there and no mention of Tulsa in anywhere and I was the only one in the class who read MacArthur crushed Bonus Army march somewhere. I was also a guy, when asked about China – Tibet thing, I was just back from a Native American heritage learning session, so I said just like Native Americans they gets to preserve their culture and study both culture in their schools and do businesses. China should learn from American experiences. Then I read Sherman Alexie in my next semester. Oh well. If Twitter exists then I probably would be like any Chinese bot on it now and gets deleted.

  2. Hi Joinone, Welcome. Books are so diverse, it’s hard to recommend any particular one, but maybe you should try something be Hemingway. I think his English is not so too complicated and the books are good. “The Sun Also Rises” is one of his classics.

  3. However, I just realized you prefer non fiction, so that rules Hemingway out. “Why Nations Fail” by Acemoglu and Robinson, is good and topical. “The Captain Class” is a good book about success in sports, and Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” by Weatherford is good.

  4. Joinone
    If you want to read sports books:
    When the Garden Was Eden by Harvey Araton. When the Knicks were actually good..
    The Boys of Summer, by Roger Kahn. The Summer Game by Roger Angell. Sports writing as art.
    Pretty much anything by Michael Lewis. If you enjoy the data-centric discussions here try Moneyball. His latest The Fifth Risk is what I call dystopian non-fiction. Quite relevant in these times.

  5. If you are interested in the actual history of the American founding read David McCullough’s biography “John Adams.” It is the best history since Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gaelic Wars 2,000 years ago.

    Adams and his wife were prolific letter writers and the author included hundreds of them in the text so you can see what he was actually saying to his closest confidant contemporaneously , not some dumb assed PC spin on what he said.

    Be your own filter and your own judge. Learn the truth. Free you mind…. your ass will follow …. the Kingdom of heaven is within.

  6. If you’re looking for fiction, one short and simple book I’ve read cover to cover dozens of times since I was 13 is Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. I’ve recommended it to lots of family members who don’t speak English very well and they loved it.
    For nonfiction, I liked Bite of the Mango- about the terrible experiences of a young African girl in the middle of a tribal war- and someone I know loved Three Days at the Brink, young adults reader- about the leaders in WW2- but not sure if you can get that.

  7. Does anyone know when the draft lottery is? It is BS that the teams included in the play-in play-offs would still be able to participate in the lottery…

  8. So as an outsider watching the events unfold, I keep thinking about Grant Napear, a 60 years old guy who got fired because he does not understand the language that is considered acceptable under the context.

    Grant Napear, the play by play guy for an NBA team and a sports radio host, didn’t know the implications of “All Lives Matter”?

    It’s funny when the best defense you have for not being a racist is that you are impossibly oblivious.

    “No, no, I’m not a racist, I just haven’t read a newspaper or watched the news for six years!”

    “I’m not a racist! I just don’t know the slightest thing about black issues while covering a league where black players make up 75% of the league!”

  9. I was going to post that Napear thing. It’s really incredibly dumb. They guy has been around the NBA for how long? It’s not like it was the first time though.

    The stuff from the retired players who were like, “everyone knows he is a racist” was quite damaging.

    He also was a terrible announcer.

  10. I was going to post that Napear thing. It’s really incredibly dumb. They guy has been around the NBA for how long? It’s not like it was the first time though.

    Yeah, while it’s BS for him to play dumb about not knowing the implications of “All Lives Matter,” he wouldn’t have been fired if this wasn’t just his latest in a long line of tone deaf reactions to racial discourse.

  11. @joinone This isn’t the first time Napear has pulled bullshit like this, he even defended Donald Sterling when he finally got pushed out. So to sit there and say poor Napear he was just confused and doesn’t understand current language and politics is BS.

    @Brian Don’t understand why you’re unhappy or don’t understand about the 8 game regular season. It’s a combination of determining the final playoff teams and seeding, gets the players ready for the playoffs, lets the NBA work out any kinks with the broadcasts, and most importantly keeps a bunch of players at home during an ongoing pandemic instead of having them travel and play 8 more meaningless games in a lost season.

  12. Joinone,

    I had the pleasure of reading Alexie’s work a long time ago, before he became embroiled in scandal. It will be a fascinating test of your ability to separate art from artist.

    If you are interested in nonfiction that will inform you on the issues we’ve been discussing lately, I think you would appreciate the essays of James Baldwin. And in the fiction realm, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man was always one of my favorites.

  13. bobneptune: If you are interested in the actual history of the American founding read David McCullough’s biography “John Adams.” It is the best history since Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gaelic Wars 2,000 years ago.

    Adams and his wife were prolific letter writers and the author included hundreds of them in the text so you can see what he was actually saying to his closest confidant contemporaneously , not some dumb assed PC spin on what he said.

    It is one of my very favorite biographies. McCullough is a top-notch historian, and after reading his biography (and watching the miniseries based on it) I concur with him that Adams is grossly underrated as a founding father. He may have been the best of all of them. That there isn’t a monument to him in the Mall, nor currency with his face, is a shameful omission.

  14. Welcome Joinone, and good luck in your journey

    Be your own filter and your own judge. Learn the truth. Free you mind…. your ass will follow …. the Kingdom of heaven is within.

    Bob’s program is very effective at improving flexibility. With 60-odd years of stretching, you too can become an accomplished contortionist if you so choose

  15. Boogie definitely baited Napear into making that comment, which was brilliant to be honest. The fact that Barnes and Webber instantly came to put pressure on him also made it seem like a concerted effort, like everybody knew this for a while but let’s take advantage of the climate right now to take him out.

  16. Most likely a diversity candidate, no? Honestly, I’d be neutral on hiring him, as I think the #1 attribute of next year’s coach is to be eminently fireable.

  17. Son of Wood. Ahead of his time but didn’t know it. He brought us #BlameBeno, and of course he told us about the East being big (man) and showed us all how not to kick things to the curb. I will never forget his circular goatee.

    He seems like a good dude even if he wasn’t really an A+ coach.

  18. as I think the #1 attribute of next year’s coach is to be eminently fireable.

    Yeah. I think that’s my problem with Thibs in large part.

  19. “It is one of my very favorite biographies. McCullough is a top-notch historian, and after reading his biography (and watching the miniseries based on it) I concur with him that Adams is grossly underrated as a founding father. He may have been the best of all of them. That there isn’t a monument to him in the Mall, nor currency with his face, is a shameful omission.”

    Mc Cullough’s histories are noted for their relative objectivity. As an interesting sidebar to the book, the author’s original idea was to write about the election of 1800 between Adams and Jefferson but as he did his research he soon came to the conclusion that Adams was the far more compelling figure and shifted to a biography of Adams

    Adams will never get his just kudos because of the Alien & Sedition Acts. However viewing his life in its totality makes him the most compelling of the Founders… among his accomplishments:

    Never owned slaves and opposed the practice.

    At great personal and professional jeopardy was lead counsel for the British soldiers defense in the Boston Massacre of 1770.

    Member of the First and Second Continental Congresses.

    Edited the Declaration of Independence.

    Wrote the first Constitution in the world, the MA State Constitution

    Served as Ambassador to France and the Netherlands during the revolution.

    Served as the first ambassador to England after the Revolution.

    Finished second to George Washington in the First Presidential election in 1788. Was Washington’s VP for two terms.

    Was elected the 2nd US President in 1796

    Father of John Quincy Adams elected President in 1824

    Died on July 4th 1826 on the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson died on the same day a few hours earlier!

    That’s a pretty full life fellas……

    .

  20. “Bob’s program is very effective at improving flexibility. With 60-odd years of stretching, you too can become an accomplished contortionist if you so choose”

    I’m 68 years old and I bet I look better in a bathing suit than you :-)

  21. Per Woj, draft lottery will be on August 25.

    Board of Governors approved the 22-team plan. It’s a go, though I have no idea what they’re going to do when — because it is very much a when, not an if — people get sick.

  22. BobNeptune in a bathing suit? Some things you can’t unsee my friend!

    Also, while the MA State Constitution might be the oldest functioning written constitution I believe it was predated by Corsica. Which is why Alexander Hamilton was in a militia originally known as the Corsicans.

  23. Don’t understand why you’re unhappy…about the 8 game regular season

    Knicks can’t lose any more games.

  24. It will be so strange to watch games without fans.
    Will mascots/cheerleaders be allowed? Will this put more pressure on end-of-bench guys to prepare funny celebration antics for the camera? Will they use canned crowd noise for telecasts?

  25. I agree with Brian that the format seems dumb. Feels like they split the baby between a bunch of different ideas and ended up with kind of none of them. It makes gestures towards a lot of things people wanted – go right to the playoffs , reduce the # of teams for safety, finish out the regular season for TV money, be innovative with the format without really being any of them. And what they ended up – 22 teams and this totally strange “play-in” idea looks like it was cooked up with the help of a random number generator.

    As far as fake crowd noise, the Bundesliga (German soccer) came back at first without it and it was totally eerie. Given how much more echo-y a basketball arena is than a soccer stadium and that there tends to be a lot of profanity during NBA game I think it’s safe to say there’s going to be background noise of some kind. There’s already lots of music/organ noises in most arenas and maybe they can just dial that up sufficiently to make fake crowd noises unnecessary but it’s kind of the same thing.

  26. I’ve watched plenty of Knick games over the past 20 years which seemed like they were played in empty arenas. When you give the crowd nothing to cheer about, you hear a lot of squeaky sneakers, the refs whistles are ear piercing, and the horn sounds like it’s been turned up to 11. Other than that, it’s just another day at the Gardern.

  27. who wouldn’t love to happen by some random gym and watch a bunch of nba level players competing…i like not having crowds, can’t stand the loud music always playing…hoping we will be able to hear more of what the players are saying…and, yeah, they’ll probably need some type of delay to filter profanity…

    i can’t remember exactly who it was – but, years ago i remember there was one player in particular (i think it may have been tim hardaway sr. and his higher pitched nasal sounding voice) whom every time he went to the rim would yell out – “oh god damn”, cuz he always thought he was being fouled…it was funny…

  28. Melo grabbing a rebound and cursing the shit out of the ball, other players, and teammates was the best. “Getdatshitouttaheremothafucka” ..Well, no… but it was … something…

    Also, I think those of you who post … like this… there’s so many… where do you guys pick it up… like were you together or had a similar experience?… anyways .. you guys are definitely the coolest…

  29. Aren’t the other teams going to hear what the coach is yelling at their players during 4th quarter timeouts?

  30. Just as a sidebar…. anyone interested in taking a flyer on Harry Giles as a back up 5 for cheap money? Still very young after missing a year with an ACL tear and played pretty well last season in limited minutes especially later in the season when he started getting 20 MPG

  31. I was thinking about the issue of fans at baseball games. With as hard hit as Queens and the Bronx have been I bet you could get a decent atmosphere in New York just from people who have been confirmed positive. Maybe the NBA could do something similar.

    Don’t know if that would pass muster but it makes a big difference to the game experience. Although, the piped in noise is fine for Bundesliga games, kind of like a laugh track on a sitcom. You say you don’t like it but would secretly admit it adds something.

  32. Thanks all for the great suggestions, I will look into them. Is the HBO John Adams a faithful representation? Maybe TV format is better for me to watch with my wife together.

    I just looked up the Sherman Alexie scandals, well, I have no problem separating art with the person. I still love Louis CK.

    Is the Kings giving up on Harry Giles? That seems dumb. He looked fine when I watched them.

  33. I don’t know if the john adams series is a faithful representation of the story or their letters, but – the show had me pretty dusty eyed by the end…

  34. The HBO series John Adams is faithful to the text as McCullough was an executive producer if I remember but it doesn’t give you 10% of what is in the book.

    Sacto turned down his rookie option this past fall. Giles is a pretty terrific passer from the high post a good defensive rebounder but a bad defender.

  35. I just came across a YouTube bit that purported to the best plays of the decade (2010-2019) and they ended up pretty much where I would have ended up, with Ray Allen’s three against the Spurs edging out Lebron’s block against the Warriors. They had Kawhi’s series-winner against the Sixers at three, Kyrie’s Finals-winning three at four and Lillard’s epic series-winning three at five. I think I probably swap Kawhi and Kyrie, but otherwise, that all makes sense to me.

    What do you guys think?

  36. “I just came across a YouTube bit that purported to the best plays of the decade (2010-2019) and they ended up pretty much where I would have ended up, with Ray Allen’s three against the Spurs edging out Lebron’s block against the Warriors. They had Kawhi’s series-winner against the Sixers at three, Kawhi’s Finals-winning three at four and Lillard’s epic series-winning three at five. I think I probably swap Kawhi and Kyrie, but otherwise, that all makes sense to me.

    What do you guys think?”

    I thought Bosh’s 2 blocks the last 30 seconds in game 6 were bigger…….. not many 6′ 11″ guys block 2 – 23 footers in the last 30 seconds of an elimination game…….. an he really flew across the court on the second one without fouling…. great anticipation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JaC9r4mQ5o

  37. “Maurice N’Dour didn’t make the top 10?”

    Number one in your hearts…. number eleventy billion on the charts

  38. Bosh’s block on Green in Game 6 made the list and it’s an amazing block, but that would have been an incredible shot for Green had he made that shot there and it would have only sent the game to a second overtime, so I don’t think it has quite the same impact as some of the other plays that undoubtedly moved a game from a loss to a win (or a loss to a tie). If Green had, like, a clean path to the basket and Bosh blocked him, then yeah, that’d be an easy #1 or #2, but that would have been a crazy tough shot for Green. A heck of a play by San Antonio to even get Green the ball in that spot, though, right?

  39. This would be my dream offseason:
    1. Decline options on Portis, Payton, and Ellington, keep Bullock & Taj
    2. Trade Randle. Anywhere. Preferably in a deal for CP3.
    3. Give up Knox and one of the Dallas picks to sign Ingram- he is restricted, right?
    4. Sign Christian Wood
    5. Keep Trier, Dotson, and Wooten- also move Iggy to the Knicks roster
    6. Draft Haliburton and Jalen Smith
    7. Stick with Miller or throw a few bags at JVG and keep Miller as lead assistant.

    That’s not really “flashy”, and I’m not sure how likely it is- but it builds a deep, young roster to develop.

  40. Ray Allen’s three was incredible, but since it was in a game 6 and LeBron’s block was in a game 7 I’d probably reverse the two. The counterargument is there was no way the Spurs were winning game 7 after such a deflating game 6 (to their credit, they made game 7 very competitive).

  41. I just went back and watched the last 3.5 mins of Cavs-Dubs Game 7. I can come up with 4 top ten plays just from that!

    LeBron’s block was the most impressive play but Kyrie’s 3 was one of the biggest makes I’ve ever seen. Given that it interrupted a dynasty and toppled a 73 win team, I’d make it my #1. Love’s defense on Curry was as impressive as LeBron’s block, and also seemed to come out of nowhere. One of the most underrated plays in the game, too, is LeBron’s incredibly powerful almost dunk that would have been one of the greatest plays in NBA history had he completed it. Instead it merely led to the series-sealing free throw.

    Also watched last minute of Game 6 Heat-Spurs. I would just call that the Bosh minute and make it my #2. Two blocks, the offensive rebound, and the assist on Allen. Great moment for him.

    I wonder if any of these things would feel the same in an empty arena. We shall see.

  42. I have to agree. That block was insane. To come out off nowhere and then pick it so clean was just amazing. And Mark Jackson didn’t ruin the moment.

  43. This would be my dream offseason:

    I would settle for these guys doing as little as possible. Next season is going to be a short, easy to forget season. This is the easiest punt decision of all time. It’s, like, 4th and 30 from your own 10 yard line, and it’s the 1st quarter of the game.

    Forget CP3 now. Let Randle run a year off his contract. He’ll be so easy to deal with next offseason when he’s essentially a one year, $6mm contract. Just forget next season, acquire as many assets as possible, and position the summer of 2021 as the year you begin making moves. Don’t give out any multiyear contracts unless you’re getting the steal of the century, and don’t take any on unless you’re getting multiple picks.

    The universe made it much easier for Leon Rose to be patient. Of course, had we not felt it was imperative to hire him so quickly (when there was absolutely no need to rush), it would have made it much easier for us to acquire Masai, too…. sigh.

  44. Owen: And Mark Jackson didn’t ruin the moment.

    Rewatching the end of that game, I noticed that right before the last play Mark Jackson made a gratuitous reference to “the time [he] lost a series on a phantom 4 point play to Van Gundy’s Knicks” that completely ruined the moment. Breen and JVG just went silent and waited for GS to inbound the ball.

  45. “Bosh’s block on Green in Game 6 made the list and it’s an amazing block, but that would have been an incredible shot for Green had he made that shot there and it would have only sent the game to a second overtime, so I don’t think it has quite the same impact as some of the other plays that undoubtedly moved a game from a loss to a win (or a loss to a tie). ”

    It was the entire sequence that impressed me. Bosh gets switched on the lightning quick Tony Parker who fakes a drive and takes a step back J and Bosh is athletic and long enough to recover from the drive to block Parker and THEN he makes a great intelligent play to come off Splitter with Van Gundy screaming for him to come off Splitter to trap the shooter…and make the great block on Green.

    That was a close out game against Miami when Bosh denied SA TWO possessions in the last 30 seconds.

    It was a pretty amazing sequence of intelligent and athletic defense.

  46. Lee Jenkins wrote a great article in SI where he analyzed the last 29 seconds of the Spurs-Heat game and Ray Allen’s momentous shot.

    https://www.si.com/nba/2013/12/18/ray-allen-miami-heat-29-seconds-nba-finals-game-6

    So many things had to happen for Allen to end up with that shot: LeBron’s bricked 3 pointer leading to an offensive rebound, Duncan inexplicably not being on the court to grab a crucial rebound.

    But give Allen all the credit in the world, he actually spent a lot of time in practice running to the corner to shoot 3’s and it obviously paid off.

  47. speaking of sense and sensibility – hope our very own trafficker in delectable sandwiches and such, mister grocer is doing well…

    Hey geo, I’m fine, thanks for asking. Just otherwise occupied. This season restart is a cludgy mess.

    Adams is grossly underrated as a founding father. He may have been the best of all of them. That there isn’t a monument to him in the Mall, nor currency with his face, is a shameful omission.

    He signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, a horrible decision which could easily have ended the republic.. But he did leave office voluntarily which helped a hell of a lot in facilitating the peaceful transfers of power we’ve had to date. Even if that actual reason for it was he skipped town before the inauguration due to bitterness at his loss. Quite poor at being President, and he had pissed off most of the other powers that be at the time which may explain his lack of monuments.

  48. “He signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, a horrible decision which could easily have ended the republic.. But he did leave office voluntarily which helped a hell of a lot in facilitating the peaceful transfers of power we’ve had to date. Even if that actual reason for it was he skipped town before the inauguration due to bitterness at his loss. Quite poor at being President, and he had pissed off most of the other powers that be at the time which may explain his lack of monuments.”

    Nice hot take.

    As usual things need to be viewed in the perspective of their time. Seditious libel was a time honored concept in British common law. Sedition is STILL a punishable offense in Canada.

    Viewed through the prism of the Quazi War, the XYZ affair and the Callander Affair, they weren’t as outrageous as they sound today.

    ” Historians have difficulty assessing Adams’s presidency. Samuel Eliot Morison has written that “he was by temperament unsuited for the presidency. He did know more than any other American, even James Madison, about political science; but as an administrator he was uneasy.”[1] Nonetheless, Adams was able to avoid war with France, arguing that war should be a last resort to diplomacy. In this argument, he won the nation the respect of its most powerful adversaries. Although Adams was fiercely criticized for signing the Alien and Sedition Acts, he never advocated their passage nor personally implemented them, and he pardoned the instigators of Fries’s Rebellion. “Seen in this light,” observed historian C. James Taylor, “Adams’s legacy is one of reason, moral leadership, the rule of law, compassion, and a cautious but active foreign policy that aimed both at securing the national interest and achieving an honorable peace.”[2]”

  49. As usual things need to be viewed in the perspective of their time. Seditious libel was a time honored concept in British common law. Sedition is STILL a punishable offense in Canada.

    The perspective of their time was a world almost entirely absent of democracies. Tossing opposition newspaper editors into jail is a big step on the road to dictatorship. Talleyrand demanding bribes to meet with American diplomats, Hamilton’s egotism and indiscretions, and Adams’ other avoidable blunders only add up to “he wasn’t up to the task and the Federalist Party wanted to jail people who were pointing that out.”

    Yes, the Alien and Sedition Acts were not out of character for governance at the time, and a typical reaction to the domestic situation the Federalist Party found themselves in (Adams didn’t actually like the idea, but he signed anyway). They were also extremely contrary to democratic governance, and we are very lucky this early blunder didn’t come at the cost of democracy.

    Anyway, Adams was a shitty president, that’s all. If it’s any consolation we’ve had a lot more shitty ones than good ones, so he was just ushering in a tradition. The system has some stability. But that’s definitely part of why he doesn’t have his face on money.

    Just to be clear, I don’t mean that Adams was a bad guy. Had his demons and I definitely like his son better (Quincy, not the two drunks), but he was a remarkable person even in such a remarkable crowd.

  50. Samuel Eliot Morison has written that “he was by temperament unsuited for the presidency. He did know more than any other American, even James Madison, about political science; but as an administrator he was uneasy.”

    Ha! As an administrator he let Hamilton be in charge of his cabinet, even though they were already falling out. And he thought it was unconstitutional for the President to fire any cabinet members. So his entire term he barely had control over the executive branch. He did well ending the Quasi War, but it was over the objections of his own administration which to reiterate, he, from the beginning, by design, had let Hamilton, no longer his ally, populated with people loyal to Hamilton and hostile to his own views, and which he believed he could not constitutionally fire.

    Here’s an unrelated thing I’ve been reading: a series of posts on current understanding of Sparta. Spoiler alert, Sparta was horrible (relative to contemporaries). Apologies to any MSU fans.

  51. Bobby P showing crazy respect to Mitch with this list…

    He also included Zach Lavine, though, so…

    But seriously, yeah, that was very much a big nod of respect by Portis to Mitch.

  52. You are entitled to you opinion but just for the record ….”The Federalists argued that the Sedition Act in reality expanded civil liberties. The act allowed “the truth of the matter contained in publication” as evidence in defense and gave the jury “a right to determine the law and the fact.” This contrasted with English common law, which did not admit truth as a defense and limited the role of the jury to establish.

    Also if you have any actual interest in the history of ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian Wars read Victor Davis Hanson’s A War Like No Other.

  53. Had the same thought about Lavine.

    People have some other nicknames for Mitch it appears. Still like Skynet.

  54. While Adams might not have been an all-time great president, “shitty” is probably too strong of a condemnation, considering the newness of the republic, the act he had to follow, the often petty backstabbing inherent in the politics of the time (e.g. VP being elected separately) and the deep schism between states (which essentially considered themselves separate countries at that time.)

    But even conceding the point does not capture that impact of John Adams’s life as a whole on the fabric of our country, on the American Revolution, on the writing of the constitution, and of the development of Federalism, without which it is questionable whether the Union would have survived the great crises of the 1800’s.

    Is he as worthy of being on currency than Ben Franklin? Or Andrew Jackson? or Ulysses Grant? Or Alexander Hamilton? Certainly debatable.

    That he has been slighted by history is not.

  55. Adams and his son were the only presidents between the founding and Lincoln who were not either direct slaveowners or men acting in the interest of slaveowners so they get credit from me for that

  56. I used to live in North Adams, Mass. I enjoyed the HBO Adams miniseries, as I always felt that he’d been slighted a bit in our history. I rather feel the same way about Grant as a military commander. I’m very well read in the Civil War and think that he may be our greatest military commander of all time. Not so sure about revisionism of him as a president, though.

    I’ve had some real life debates on the virtues of Grant vs. Lee and others as a military commander. Also, I’ve fought with some over some rather interesting takes on other forums. Of course, there’s the “the Civil War was not about slavery” one.

    If you’re a bit of an English history guy, there’s “Shakespeare was a Tudor propagandist” and another being that “Richard III was totally innocent of killing his two nephews.” I found those guys pretty entrenched in their positions…
    :-)

  57. I like Adams but I am looking forward to Tubman on the twenty. Just a small piece of symbolism at a time like this but not empty.

  58. Owen:
    I like Adams but I am looking forward to Tubman on the twenty. Just a small piece of symbolism at a time like this but not empty.

    Agreed, although Douglass or MLKjr would also be fine choices. Tubman checks two important boxes, so there’s that.

  59. Adams and his son were the only presidents between the founding and Lincoln who were not either direct slaveowners or men acting in the interest of slaveowners so they get credit from me for that

    This is a great point.

    ”The Federalists argued that the Sedition Act in reality expanded civil liberties. The act allowed “the truth of the matter contained in publication” as evidence in defense and gave the jury “

    And everybody else recognized that it was about suppressing the speech and the vote of their political enemies. It made criticizing the government illegal. Outlawing free speech is not an expansion of rights, no matter what defense is allowed.

    Is he as worthy of being on currency than Ben Franklin? Or Andrew Jackson? or Ulysses Grant? Or Alexander Hamilton? Certainly debatable.

    Certainly more than Jackson, who was an absolutely terrible person. Much less than Franklin, who among other feats deserves it simply for inventing the flexible catheter. Less than Hamilton, since the Federalist Papers played a major role in getting the Constitution ratified and he saved the young nation’s finances, despite being a jackass. Same as Grant? That one’s difficult.

  60. I like Adams but I am looking forward to Tubman on the twenty. Just a small piece of symbolism at a time like this but not empty.

    Same.

  61. Here at foundingfatherblogger, with the founding on hiatus due to the covid pandemic, maybe we can share recipes or discuss our favorite albums?

  62. I am also a Civil War buff. I disagree that Grant was a “great” general. I see him as a “very good” general with a “great” understanding of the math of the war, both strategically and tactically, and excellent feel for his commanders, his opponents and geography. He essentially boiled the Civil War down to a simple equation: we can afford to lose more men than they can, so keep on the offensive until you can dig in for a siege. He made some horrific tactical blunders that cost tens of thousands of lives (none worse than Lee’s blunder at Gettysburg, so there’s that) but he knew that it didn’t really matter in the long run.

    I will give Grant this: if he was anywhere near as bad as his predecessors, it’s quite possible that Lincoln would not have won re-election and that the South would have either successfully seceded or maintained slavery as an institution. It is on that basis that I consider Grant worthy of his reverence. Just not as a genius military tactician.

  63. There were articles up yesterday about the passing of the last woman receiving a Civil War pension, which she was getting as the child of a veteran. Her father had remarried Late in life And had her at 84 or something.

    Her father deserted from the Confederate Army on the march to Gettysburg. In the battle 734 of the 800 men in his regiment died.

    (Edit: although that is what it said in the obituary it can’t possibly be true. It appears the number was much lower)

  64. Owen:
    There were articles up yesterday about the passing of the last woman receiving a Civil War pension, which she was getting as the child of a veteran. Her father had remarried Late in lifeAnd had her at 84 or something.

    Her father deserted from the Confederate Army on the march to Gettysburg. In the battle 734 of the 800 men in his regiment died.

    (Edit: although that is what it said in the obituary it can’t possibly be true. It appears the number was much lower)

    That’s quite a story! Fathering a kid at age 84 in the pre-PED era…that’s some longevity right there.

  65. Z-man:
    I am also a Civil War buff. I disagree that Grant was a “great” general. I see him as a “very good” general with a “great” understanding of the math of the war, both strategically and tactically, and excellent feel for his commanders, his opponents and geography. He essentially boiled the Civil War down to a simple equation: we can afford to lose more men than they can, so keep on the offensive until you can dig in for a siege. He made some horrific tactical blunders that cost tens of thousands of lives (none worse than Lee’s blunder at Gettysburg, so there’s that) but he knew that it didn’t really matter in the long run.

    We disagree on quite a bit here! First, I guess we’d need to try to decide what each thinks makes a general “great” rather than just “very good.” Grant was a brilliant strategist and operational commander.

    Grant rose from total obscurity (he was out of the army before that and pretty much rejected by the US Army at the start) to being total overall army commander, in 4 years! He won on just about every level of command, even when he initially made a mistake (Shiloh). At Shiloh the guy rode around all over the battlefield, rallying troops and helping position units. That was probably the most “hands on” tactical performance by him.

    His Vicksburg campaign is now rightly looked at as brilliant and is by no means an example of a guy just willing to sacrifice lots of men. It was daring, and he marched aggressively to defeat two separate CSA armies before they could combine (a classic Napoleonic strategy). He resorted to sieges when assaults did not work.

    Yup, he ordered a couple of very bad assaults in the 1864 campaign against Lee, but he also completely took the operational and strategic initiative away from Lee whilst Sherman and Sheridan, at Grant’s direction, ripped the guts out of the CSA army.

  66. they’ve changed things around now, but back in the day there was this reading room just to the right of the library entrance that had these big portraits of lee and grant up on the wall on opposite ends of the room…they were beautiful paintings…

    never forget being stuck In that room for hours and hours one sunday afternoon and evening trying to pull a paper out of my ass that was due on monday…

    it was during summer school, I got to enjoy a little extra time on the hudson after my freshman, sophomore and junior years – it’s humbling to meet your limitations so early in life…that morning a buddy of mine and myself dropped some acid a friend of mine sent in the mail…

    spent most of the morning trying to maintain at sunday brunch at the thayer…thankfully another buddy of ours went along just to drink – he eventually had to get us out of there when the two of us couldn’t stop laughing…I remember at one time benny actually rolling on the floor…

    after brunch we played frisbee for hours…then came paper time…one of the worst high come downs in history…it was so hard to focus and think…I just kept staring at lee and turning around to look at grant for hours without writing down shit…

  67. Clash, your points are fair. I just think that Grant was rather pedestrian in terms of tactics…he actually lost nearly every battle of the Wilderness campaign of 1864 but it didn’t matter because he had by far the upper hand. I think he pales in comparison to military geniuses like Lee and Bedford Forrest, and perhaps Jackson, and certainly wasn’t tactically superior to Sherman, Sheridan, Marion, Patton, etc.

    Put differently, if he had the disadvantages of Lee, or if they had his advantages, his tactical mediocrity would have been a far greater issue. He was not going to defeat a superior force with the strategy and tactics he employed. He did a nice job with his end run around Vicksburg, but generally speaking, had significant advantages.

    What makes him great more than anything else is how utterly incompetent his predecessors were in understanding their advantages.

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