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Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore

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Old 05-20-2017, 08:01 AM   #1
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Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore

System/Game: PC/NBA 2K17
Mode: MyLeague
Rosters: Based on 1995-96 rosters pelicans40ovr by Giedrius; heavily edited.
Sliders: Base set located here, adjusted as I observed things:

http://forums.nba-live.com/viewtopic...b7987384aac9be

Quarter Length: 12 Minutes
Sim Quarter Length: 12 Minutes
Draft Class: 1996 by Viper; classes after modeled as close to real-life as possible. All classes edited in some way by me for tendencies/badges, but minor edits overall.
Season Length: 82 Games
Regular Season Rules: 20-24 played, rest simmed.
Playoff Rules: 2 playoff games (randomly determined by number generator, one must be in first four games) per series.
2 games allowed in NBA Finals (randomly determined by number generator, one must be in first four games)
Playoff Format: 7-7-7-7
Injuries: On (Frequency for both CPU and User at 21, effects at 20)
Progressive Fatigue: On
Team Chemistry: On
CPU Trades: Off
CPU Trade Approval: Off
Trade Override: Off
Control: 30 Teams, CPU automation for lineup/coaching tasks on every team but my primary; total control otherwise (roster moves, drafting, free agency, etc).

Welcome to my newest dynasty thread! My last one, Through the Storm (linked in my signature below), was concluded a few days back and I've been itching to get this one out there. Rather than doing a new team and a new league with the same players we know and love, I decided I wanted to do something different: historical.

For years, off and on, I've toyed (and sometimes even tried) to do a historical franchise. But the right set of circumstances (and rosters and draft classes) have never presented themselves till now.

This will be a historical, alternate universe franchise -- which is to say that it will take place in a reality that has many familiar faces to all of us old basketball heads, but will go much differently. I'm starting this out in May of 1996, and I'm doing that for two reasons:

A) The 1996 draft class was, by and large, really good. There's some debate as to whether it's the best class of all time (I think not, but damn it's close), but it was STACKED with talent. It's a great jumping in point for a historical franchise.

B) I grew up in the 90s and first became aware of basketball because of Jordan and the Bulls -- the second three-peat team. There were, of course, other stars in the era that I gravitated to -- the Shaq/Kobe duo was a favorite of mine (and the one I followed closest), as just about any kid I'd think. I grew up with that basketball and, of late, I have become supremely nostalgic about it.

As such, I decided to take a trip back in time with those players with this dynasty.

A few things to note:

1) As much as I would like to, I simply don't want to rebrand everyone back to their 90s threads and arenas. Some of them were really great, some were not, but, overall, I feel the league's uniforms are pretty good now. Throwbacks exist for those nights I want to relive that glory.

I will, however, account for why teams have those "new" (AKA modern) threads within the story.

2) The rules of the 90s were different than today on multiple levels, but especially on the basketball court. I'm not going to change that either -- the rules today open up the game and prove that, yes, you can do pace and space (Warriors) or you can roll isolation heavy (Thunder) and still be effective in either way. Seeing how historical players deal with modern day rules is going to be part of the fun of this, and the NBA wasn't shy about changing rules (and three-point line lengths) from season to season in the 90s.

3) New contracts will be scaled to the modern cap -- I realize I could also set this to be 90s-esque within the MyLeague file, but I prefer the big money to spend and I'm used to having that cap, so I'm sticking with it.

4) Draft picks have been reset back to their original teams -- every team will have their usual 1st and 2nd round pick as I've turned off the "Previously Traded Draft Picks" option in MyLeague. As much as I wanted to replicate where those picks were in the 90s, holy hell is it confusing and a massive headache; it's simply not worth the time. So, I'm skipping that and you should assume, moving forward, that everyone has the standard 1st and 2nd round pick unless a trade happens (surprise: trades happen!).


Now, with all that out of the way ... let's begin.



The Many-Worlds Theory of quantum mechanics states that any action that has more than one possible result produces a split in the universe, producing a whole new reality that coexists with all the others
.

In the summer of 1995 the NBA engaged in a brief lockout that lasted from July to September of that year. It ended just as it began; quietly and with much of the status quo retained.

But, what if the players had decided to fight the owners harder in that lockout? What if, the NBA, coming off two back to back-years of Jordan-less Finals, wasn't about to let the players push back?

What if the lockout had lasted longer ... ?


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Old 05-20-2017, 08:08 AM   #2
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Re: Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore




Ch. 1

May 19th, 1996



“And it’s official — after 323 days, the owners and players of the NBA have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement, meaning that pro basketball is back in the lives of all those around the world. For nearly a year the world at large has gone without professional basketball, robbing fans and players alike of the sport …”

ESPN drowned on and on about it, but he wasn’t bothering to listen. It was over. It was official. The NBA was back and, for the first time in months, he felt he had a damned purpose. No more scouting, no more watching college games, no more traveling on the road … his duties as a bystander were done.

Beside him, the form of a beautiful woman stirred. “Ron?” she muttered in the barely lit room, only the light of the TV flashing across them. “What is it?”

He rested a hand on her thigh and gave it a loving squeeze. Cynthia? Jasmine? Veronica? He struggled for her name — they had met at a bar, they both knew what they were there for. Not the drinks, certainly.

“Shhhh,” he whispered soothingly. “Just sports junk. Go back to sleep.”

She nodded and turned her head away, her arms wrapping around the pillow tighter as she took his advice to heart.

One of the benefits of being on the road so much was having little reason to settle down. He never saw the point in it; everyone would get older. Everyone would get weaker. It was a fact of life, one that was cruelly applied to even the most gifted of individuals.

He certainly wasn’t that gifted, but he did have a gift; one that was useful only on a basketball court, with a group of gladiators around him, hearts pounding, blood flowing, and minds at work. He would, after months, have a team at his command again.

And this time, he’d be in charge of that team, from top to bottom. The NBA lockout had robbed him and the world of the last season; 1995 was gone and it was 1996 now, the summer and draft approaching. For the first time in his life, he had control of who was signed, who was traded, who was on the floor, and who was off it … everything was in his hands.

For some people, that realization would cause them fear. For him, it only emboldened his need to be there again. On the court. In the arena. On those buses and those flights, readying himself and the men around him for the coming contest.

Basketball wasn’t just a sport, it was his way of life. It was the only life he had ever known and it had given him life when he was at his lowest.

Reflexively, he reached out and traced the long scar on his leg. For every inch it existed there was a memory.

“You won’t define me,” he whispered, his eyes on the scar. “I will be more than what you made me.”

As he focused back on the TV, he couldn’t help but smile. It was showing Jordan highlights and, after another year off for his career, Ron doubted Jordan had spent the long offseason waiting around.

He was probably starved and ready to take the league by the throat.

Bring it on.

***

“You’re *hitting me.” The words were barely out her mouth before her boss held up his hand.

“Helena, don’t give me that.”

“Give you what? Attitude? Grief? Guilt?” She shot out of his chair and pressed both her hands into Grant’s desk. The old thing creaked at the weight, and it wobbled slightly thanks to the short leg on the left side. “God damn you! I put in for that beat, that story is mine and you assigned it to Floyd?”

Grant took out a stick of gum, looked at it for a moment, then took out two sticks of gum and popped them into his mouth. “Yeah,” he said as he chewed on the giant wad, “I did. And you know why? Because Floyd sucks sweaty Cuban *ss at covering the sports beat.”

“Don’t *ucking take that line —”

“And,” Grant continued, the veins in his forehead flushing a little, “he doesn’t regularly piss off our sources on the governor’s beat!”

She bit his lip. Grant had a point. “*uck you,” she mumbled as she slouched back into the chair, searching for any counterargument she could make. She didn’t have one.

Grant just nodded. “I’ll tell Gloria you want a turn, I’m sure she’d be thrilled to have you deal with my snoring for a night.”

“So, that’s it then?”

Grant scratched at his scruffy wanna-be beard, gray specks dotting the normally black hair, and nodded. “Yeah.” He took his pen and tapped it against the cork board behind his desk. “So, tell me: what do you about Ronald Bazemore?”

She pulled down on her blouse and made a face. “Nothing.”

“Well, that’s a problem, because the Heat have just named this no-name as head coach and GM of the team.” Grant looked at the board mildly perturbed. “I know this much: he used to be a pro-prospect. Left the USA in the early 80s, headed overseas.”

“To play?”

“To coach.” Grant tapped his left thigh. “Guy was in a terrible biking accident, wrecked his leg. Was projected to be a solid rotation player in the league, maybe a starter for some team desperate enough to give him the chance.” He shook his head. “Pretty passer, heady player … had a temper, though. Called him ‘Raging Ron’ when he was having one of his foul-heavy nights.”

Helena stood up and leaned over his desk, eyes reading through what little was on there about Bazemore. “Lots of old game-recaps, a few write-ups … this is old news.”

He blew a bubble and popped it. “So it is. Go get me some new news, huh? We need an article on this guy in the next two days, I want to get at this while it’s hot.”

“They snuck in his announcement with the other press release about the end of the lockout … not a resounding vote of confidence.” What did he do to get this job?

“Strategy, they just wanted to get it out of the way with minimal fuss.” He tapped at Bazemore’s picture, put out with the press release. “Get me some depth to this. I don’t want this face to be just a picture, got me?”

She shot him a sidelong look, a smirk on her lips. “You just want me to dig.”

“You like to dig.”

She thought for a moment, then gave him a nod and headed towards the door. “I’ll have it to you by tomorrow afternoon.” She paused at the doorframe and tossed a glance over her shoulder. “But I’m telling you, I want to get on the political stuff, Grant. I’m better than sports.”

He blew another bubble and popped it. “Give me something good on Bazemore, and I’ll see if I can find you something that doesn’t involve you interrogating our sources, huh?”

“Fair enough.” She took one last look at the picture, then headed for her desk.

All right Bazemore, let’s see what you’re hiding.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:14 AM   #3
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Re: Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore




May 19th, 1996
By Helena Ramirez


It’s been a long year for the fans and players of the NBA, but finally, after 323 days, the lockout has come to an end. League officials and the player union announced Saturday night that a new collective bargaining agreement has been finalized, ending the lockout that has cost the league so much good will over the last year. Diehard and casual fans alike have both grown weary of the constant haggling between both sides, and the final result of all that negotiating is a completely new CBA.

The biggest features as follows:

1. Incoming rookies will be put on four year deals, scaled to the draft position of the rookie in question. Rookies will no longer be able to negotiate their salaries and the lengths of their contracts; they will be league mandated. Rookies, after the fourth year, will be a restricted free agent — they can accept other offers, but their current team will have the right to match that offer and retain the services of the player. Rookies will be able to refuse to accept that offer and, in turn, can agree to a one year deal with their current team and become an unrestricted free agent the following summer.

2. The salary cap will see a massive influx of money due to the new NBA TV deal, which was negotiated simultaneously with the new CBA. The new TV deal will dramatically increase the cap and free agents this summer, and in the future, will be signing for money that only Michael Jordan had access to before. The TV deal stipulates that there can be no lockouts or labor stops for at least ten years — if there are, the NBA will forfeit a percentage of money back to the TV companies, making labor peace a top priority for both owners and players.

3. Sign and Trade rules have been relaxed, allowing for teams to more easily move players.

4. Maximum contract length has been limited to five years for players.

5. The league minimum salary has been nearly tripled due to the expanding salary cap.


To the laymen, these changes may not seem like much, and the NBA will have to try to convey to their fans that these things were worth the year-long wait.

“To hell with them,” said one fan, Tommy Gill of Boston, Massachusetts. “They wanna get into a pissing match about money and take away the game? My family’s had season tickets to the Celtics since 1965. Last year, my grandfather passed away and didn’t get a chance to see his team play again because they were busy arguing about this crap.”

Early poll data indicates that NBA fans, by and large, are happier that the long negotiations are over, but are not pleased with the league. Only 32 percent of those who responded in the poll are excited to have professional basketball back.

Noted researcher Brandon Ray, of Harvard University, has cautioned against taking the early polls as gospel. “The initial backlash will always be disproportionate to the actual feelings of the public at the conclusion of negotiations such as these,” said Ray. “The NBA must take steps to stimulate fan interest and focus that interest on the best aspects of the players and the teams.”

The NBA seems to be aware of this. In addition to announcing the new CBA, the league has announced the creation of a new team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as new uniforms for all teams effective for the 96-97 season, and a shift in divisions to better balance the league. Further announcements on those will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead, according to the NBA’s public relations office.

Though the fan response to the end of the lockout is, at best, lukewarm at the moment, the players response has been mostly positive.

“Ready to get off my fat *ss and get back to work,” said Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley. “I’ve been kicking back and waiting for those suits to finish up.”

“It’s time to play basketball again, and I’m looking forward to it,” said Michael Jordan, the league’s most popular player and one of the leading players in the union who pushed hard for some of the concessions the owners gave. “This was a long and hard negotiation, and it’s done now.
Future generations of NBA players will look back at this and see we did what we had to. It’s time to get back to doing what we’re best at.”

Jordan will be the leading free agent of the 1996 class, who will be get the first crack at the new money flooding free agency. Some in the league believe the added money will only exacerbate the difficulty in building a contending team.

“More money doesn’t equal less problems,” said an anonymous Western Conference executive. “They shouldn’t have flooded the market with this — it could setback teams for years trying to figure out how to properly distribute this type of cash.”

Agents, however, are more than pleased with the result of the CBA negotiations.

“My clients now have access to more money and more opportunities than ever before,” said agent David Falk. “Not only will this be good for the players, it’ll be good for the league; this is a star-driven, market-driven business we’re in and when stars and markets have the ability to spend more on building the best team possible, everyone — from the top of the organization down to the fans — benefits.”

The NBA offseason will officially begin on May 23rd, as the league will hold the draft lottery to determine who will get the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Due to there being no basketball last season, the league is using the records from the previous year to determine where all non-lottery teams are picking. For the lottery itself, the NBA is equally weighting the odds of all teams except the newly created Thunder, who will be relegated to the fifth pick of this year’s draft as per their expansion agreement.

As NBA fans and players alike both wait for the regular season to begin, NBA executives are preparing to get back to the difficult pursuit of building a team that can not only contend for a title, but can also beat a well-rested Michael Jordan.

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Old 05-20-2017, 08:20 AM   #4
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Re: Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore

Hyped as always. One question though. What are you doing with the Pelicans?

And as I wrote this... The answer came in the second post

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Old 05-20-2017, 09:42 AM   #5
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Re: Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore

Quote:
Originally Posted by janmagn
Hyped as always. One question though. What are you doing with the Pelicans?

And as I wrote this... The answer came in the second post

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Much thanks.

Yes, the Pelicans are becoming the OKC Thunder.

The OKC Thunder are going back to Seattle as the SuperSonics (where they should still be now).

The Grizzlies will stay in Vancouver. The Hornets will not leave Charlotte.

Conference and division alignment will be up in the near future.
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:57 AM   #6
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Re: Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore

Few things...

1. I've been locked out of my account because OS was glitching and wouldn't send me the proper reset password link, but I'm so glad to see a new story from you - and to see the Flight one properly end.

2. There's something funny to me about you using the Heat when I'm currently with a Florida paper - and that this dynasty starts over a year before I was born...

3. What's your plan with the Brooklyn Nets? Just change the name back to New Jersey or come up with an in-story reason why they so suddenly moved to Brooklyn? My only issue with that would be they'd have to realistically play at Long Island University unless they were sharing the Garden...

4. With all of this said...hopefully Billy King doesn't join the Nets too early. I'm still broken after the lottery.

Good to have you back, Trek!
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:25 AM   #7
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Re: Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stout
Few things...

1. I've been locked out of my account because OS was glitching and wouldn't send me the proper reset password link, but I'm so glad to see a new story from you - and to see the Flight one properly end.

2. There's something funny to me about you using the Heat when I'm currently with a Florida paper - and that this dynasty starts over a year before I was born...

3. What's your plan with the Brooklyn Nets? Just change the name back to New Jersey or come up with an in-story reason why they so suddenly moved to Brooklyn? My only issue with that would be they'd have to realistically play at Long Island University unless they were sharing the Garden...

4. With all of this said...hopefully Billy King doesn't join the Nets too early. I'm still broken after the lottery.

Good to have you back, Trek!
Welcome back!

I totally forgot the Nets, but they are back in New Jersey. I have no plans to move them and I set their uniforms back to the early 2000s version (Kidd era).

Billy King will not be in the league at all. Dude's done enough damage for a couple of lifetimes.

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Old 05-20-2017, 11:00 AM   #8
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Re: Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore

Thank goodness. I'm sure he's a great guy in person and I also think 'Porky' really rushed the process - though I will say there's a legitimate defense for their thinking even after everything that's happened; it's not like some of Isiah's moves with the Knicks - but I don't need to see a Jason Kidd for Eddy Curry trade anytime soon.
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