Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story

This is a discussion on Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story within the Basketball Dynasties forums.

Go Back   Operation Sports Forums > Dynasty Headquarters > Basketball Dynasties
The Best Sports Game of 2019: MLB The Show 19
The Best Franchise Mode of 2019: NBA 2K20's MyLeague
Worst Trend in Sports Games in 2019: Single-Player Modes Getting Shafted
Vote For NBA 2K Game of the Decade -- Click here to cast your vote now!
Thread Tools
Old 09-18-2016, 09:49 AM   #1
Designated Red Shirt
trekfan's Arena
OVR: 0
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,005
Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story

Welcome, one and all, to my newest dynasty. My last one was with the Sonics. and that was insanely fun. This year I jumped on 2K17 based on the insane depth they've added to the MyLeague mode ... things are much easier to get through now.

Plus, the new expansion feature (combined with team design uploads/downloads) makes building a squad, updating their unis, and switching them on the fly a piece of cake. Here are the vitals:

System/Game: PC/NBA 2K17
Mode: MyLeague
Rosters: 2K Official (as of 9/18/16)
Sliders: Base set located here, adjusted as I observed things:


Quarter Length: 11 Minutes
Sim Quarter Length: 12 Minutes
Draft Class: Undecided for 2017, Using the "Start in Offseason" option for MyLeague
Season Length: 82 Games
Regular Season Rules: 20-24 played, rest simmed.
Playoff Rules: 2 playoff games (Game 1, first elimination Game) per series.
3 games allowed in NBA Finals (Game 1, first elimination, and an extra if necessary)
Playoff Format: 7-7-7-7
Injuries: On (Default for now)
Progressive Fatigue: On
Team Chemistry: On
CPU Trades: Off
CPU Trade Approval: Off
Trade Override: Off
Control: 32 Teams, CPU automation for lineup/coaching tasks on every team but my primary; total control otherwise (roster moves, drafting, free agency, etc). Will step in periodically and fix things should they need to be.

Let me begin by stating my intentions to go the full distance with this MyLeague -- I want to go 80 seasons. I didn't make it with the Sonics, but I again want to try here. Will I succeed? Maybe. I'm using a total expansion team this time around based in St. Louis. There's no history there, at least as far as the NBA is concerned; there was the ABA Spirits of St. Louis but I'm not going there ... though, certainly, there are some nods to them with my new team.

This time I'm trying something new with my writing: rather than going the usual route of 3rd person limited POV (jumping between POVs of different characters in different posts, like a chapter in a story), I've decided to do a 1st person, past-tense story.

Two reasons for this: A) The 1st-person perspective is a much more intimate POV, allowing for the story to be told much like you'd tell a friend about a crazy thing that happened to you at work. It's super-personable and allows for a more room to play as far as the speech/observations go.

B) I've been reading a lot of these types of stories put out by Grantland (RIP) over the last few years, admittedly with more players at work than I have here. One in particular is very good, about the Orlando Magic's founding, and I highly recommend it: give it a read and you'll get an idea of some of the things I'm aiming for.

I'm looking forward to trying this out, stretching a set of writing muscles I haven't used in a long-time. I hope you guys enjoy and, as always, any and all comments are welcome.

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

2016-17 Playoffs+Offseason:


2017-18 Playoffs+Offseason:


2018-19 Playoffs+Offseason:


Last edited by trekfan; 04-14-2017 at 03:21 PM.
trekfan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisements - Register to remove
Old 09-18-2016, 10:00 AM   #2
Designated Red Shirt
trekfan's Arena
OVR: 0
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,005
Re: Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story

What I’m about to tell you is the truth. Most of the truth, not the whole truth — names have been changed here and there, I’ve left some details out that would have compromised some other things, but this, this is the truest account you’ll ever get of what happened.

Let’s start with this: in my business, there are certain things you don’t ask. Normally, things like “Who, what, when, where, and why.” If the question starts like that, you’re likely gonna get a bunch of steaming BS. But “how” is an okay question to ask — not a popular one, but an okay one. And that’s how this all started because back in the 1970s, the NBA wasn’t what it was today.

The league was coming off a merger from the ABA and it was about as pretty as when your in-laws get together for Christmas and someone has the brilliant idea to buy lots of alcohol: someone’s gonna get *ucked up and make a mess of things. That’s exactly what happened when the ABA players entered the NBA … the league found themselves dealing with players who didn’t get in line with the way the NBA had done things in the past. They used a lot of drugs, hard stuff, and it was bad.

So bad, in fact, that the NBA had a major image problem. The commissioner at the time, Larry O’Brien (yeah, the same guy who they named the trophy after it), pushed for an anti-drug agreement with the players to clean up the league. It worked; not because the agreement was magical. You think the players willingly stopped doing drugs? You think they volunteered to cut back on their extracurricular activities?

Get outta here with that junk, it ain
’t gonna fly. No, history records that there were some bumps but everything worked out in the end. History records that O’Brien got the deal done, cleaned up the league, and the NBA went onto becoming the super-power it is today.

History is written by people who don’t do anything except tell you what you want to hear. History didn’t record O’Brien asking the question that started us off: how. How to stop the players from doing drugs? How to clean up the sport? How to keep the league from collapsing from the bad PR, the worse TV deals, and the lack of interest?

’Brien had his hands full in the '70s and the man knew how to get things done. He was a political man before he was named NBA commissioner. He knew guys who knew guys … he worked for JFK. He was part of that man’s “Irish Mafia,” Kennedy’s inner-circle. He worked for LBJ after JFK got his brains blown out … the guy had connections. He knew how to use them.

And in 1978, he called up my father, who was
— as popular culture has named him — a “mobster.” He worked for the mob, was an important person within certain circles, and the mob controlled the streets in the most important places. East Coast. West Coast. Midwest. Just about anywhere there was an NBA team, there was a "family man" nearby, ready to do the bidding of the bosses.

’Brien called up my father, my father called up the bosses, and a deal was struck: the mob would enforce O’Brien’s no drugs policy. Every arena would have a set of guys there, every city would have some family men who’d watch the streets and make sure no drugs made their way to an NBA player, either directly or indirectly.

You might think it’s all bull*hit, but remember — O’Brien worked for Kennedy. You think Kennedy was clean? You know he wasn’t and history does too, now. The American public wasn’t ready to hear their idolized president was just a regular *uck-up, like you and me. In the 70s, the public wasn’t ready to hear a major sports league was employing the mob to enforce a deal made with a union. It was life then — don’t ask me why, I didn’t come around till the 80s, but my father and my older brothers, they were around.

They helped keep the NBA
’s nose clean. O’Brien got his league back. But what did the mob get?

Well, that
’s where we come to the second how of this story. How the hell did the NBA give two teams to Kansas City and St. Louis?

The NBA owed the mob, that
’s how. The bosses — in a rare moment of clarity for them — agreed to act as the enforcers for O’Brien if they could cash a blank check, essentially, someday in the future. They didn’t take any money from the NBA, they didn’t take any credit, but they wanted something for a rainy day.

And, boy, did it rain in the '80s and the '90s for the mob. The West Coast and East Coast bosses broke off relations, the East Coast eventually moved out to the Midwest, to places like St. Louis, after the feds started cracking down. The mob lost its status, its power, and became fodder for Martin Scorsese. They became a piece of Hollywood *ss that got passed around from director to director to tell another
“true to life” tale that came from someone with “inside” knowledge.

What a load of BS. Hollywood got some things right, but a dead clock is right twice a day and that was about the going rate for Hollywood
’s correctness.

Putting that aside, the bottom line is that the mob suffered some serious setbacks in the '80s, '90s, 2000s
… the families weren’t just being locked away, they were being killed off — some by the feds, some by our own guys who sold us out for immunity. It was a dirty, nasty business by the time we get to 2015.

I was just 30 then, working under my father in one of the last of the mob families left, the Jones (not their real name
— got to change certain things, you know). We were operating out of St. Louis, trying to squeeze out a profitable life as (mostly) legal citizens. We were doing a pretty good job for the family, but we weren’t making the kind of cash that the mob made back before all the crackdowns.

Across the state, way on the other side, was the main West Coast family: the Young clan (also, not their real name). Bunch of pricks with sticks up their *ss
. Anyway, those guys worked the West side of that NBA deal back in the 70s and they were struggling. Kansas City isn’t exactly a cultured town — St. Louis is a great town, great people, they know how to do things, but Kansas City was the country town that ended up with a Walmart Supercenter and somehow stumbled into two pro sports teams.

As you can imagine, the Youngs weren
’t exactly sure how to survive. But sports was big in KC, as it is in any town, and so they hatched the idea to cash the blank check, given to them by Larry O’Brien. They wanted a team.

Now, you got to ask, how did Adam Silver — a man who wasn’t even involved in this back in the '70s — maneuver the NBA owners to grant two more teams to the league?

He didn’t. Silver was many things, but the man didn’t like to be the bad guy. He could tow a hard line, but if he didn’t have a good deal of support behind him, he’d fold. No, the Youngs went to David Stern, who was a part of the deal as an underling for O’Brien, to push it through. When the Jones family caught word of what was happening, they cashed their blank check for the same thing.

Stern had no choice but to honor it. The man was a fighter, he could have dragged us through all kinds of legal BS, but he didn
’t because he knew that without us it would have taken a hell of a lot longer for the NBA to clean up the league, if it ever got clean at all. No, he owed us and he paid up. We would have made life messy for him if he didn't. Behind the scenes, top-secret negotiations were carried out by Stern, all the while the last of the mob families gathered either in Kansas City or St. Louis, depending on their allegiances.

The deal was kept top-secret until the playoffs hit. With most of the NBA season over, the league announced the two teams. Kansas City went with the predictable “Knights” name, a boring *ss choice if there ever was one.

And St. Louis? Well, we decided to do something a little more abstract … something that captured just how we wanted the team to play, something that captured our imaginations, and something that was definitely marketable.

That’s how the St. Louis Flight came into existence.

Last edited by trekfan; 01-15-2017 at 07:32 PM.
trekfan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2016, 11:57 AM   #3
Designated Red Shirt
trekfan's Arena
OVR: 0
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,005
Re: Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story

Ch. 2

So, now we had a team. And those pricks in Kansas City did, too, but ours was better already. Better name, better city, and way better fans. You got to remember that when we were announced in the Spring of 2016, St. Louis had gotten its collective hearts ripped out by the NFL and those ****suckers.

The Rams were a part of the city, won their only Super Bowl there — it was St. Louis that got them there, not those pathetic West Coast pricks. But Kroenke got his way. *uck him and *uck his team, I’m still sore about to this day …

And at that time the whole city was sore about it. There was dull, numbing ache when it came to the former Edwards Jones Dome. Anytime you looked at it you remembered the good times and then you remembered that they were all gone … poof, just like that. If I could have blown the dome up and left it for rubble, I would have: would have been more humane than letting it stand there as an empty husk, a reminder of all St. Louis had lost.

Luckily, I didn’t have explosives then and when we were awarded the team, we made it a point to tell the NBA that the Dome was going to be its home. We couldn’t bring back the Rams or the Greatest Show on Turf, but we could use the Dome for basketball and use it well. It hosted college games, it could be made into a great NBA arena with a few improvements.

The league had no choice but to agree — it’s not like we were going to build a whole new *ucking arena right then and there. No way, the city had put a ton of money into the Dome and the family was good friends with the city government — they made our life easy and we made theirs better, it was a win-win for everyone.

The arena situation sorted itself out pretty quickly. The logo and the team name came together fast, too. We eliminated the idea of going back to the Spirits of St. Louis right off the bat — that team was trash anyway, one, and two the naming rights for it would have been expensive to get. The family had money but didn’t want to waste it on an old name; I couldn’t help but agree.

I was the one who suggested we disregard the junk the NBA had given us for consideration, some old ideas from years back. What the hell is a “St. Louis Sound” anyway? What sounds does a city make? Creaking? Cursing? Who the *uck knows? It was a craptastic name and I hated it.

My brothers — Tony and Garret — were in agreement. My father was one of the bosses of the family and, basically, he captained the ship; he had worked long and hard to get the respect to get that position and he was put in charge of this venture. My father was a man of many talents, but basketball wasn’t one of them.

He actually liked the Sound name and we had to convince him out of it. We dodged a bullet, but we were left without a name. I came up with “Flight” and that worked for everyone. The logo was the thing that divided us … Tony wanted to use the arch somehow, but the artists couldn’t work it with the team name. Garrett didn’t really give a damn about the logo, he wanted us to go the Lakers route and make the name the most important thing. My father was just sitting back and watching us bicker.

In the end, the league sent out one of their logo guys and he came up with a basketball and a set of big wings. I know, it sounds stupid, but when that thing hit our desk with our colors on it, we all knew we had the logo. Once that happened, it was just a matter of getting the uniforms and scheme together.

Garrett was fixated on trying to model us on the Lakers — bunch of pricks they are — but they won a lot, so we listened. The best — and only idea we really took from the Lakers — was to make our home jerseys something other than white. Every *ucking team in the NBA had white home jerseys except the damn Lakers, who only wore white on Sunday.

I always thought that was a special thing the Lakers shouldn’t have just to themselves, so we decided to create our home uniforms without white. That unlocked the whole uniform scheme for us and helped us put together a set of uniforms that, for a first set for an expansion team, were pretty good in my view.

That uniform informed our court design and we were off. The colors weren’t chosen at random — no, the red and gold were St. Louis colors. Red was color associated with winning in St. Louis — the baseball Cardinals — and the gold was a color very popular when the Rams were here. The black was the odd one, but I felt that it was an intimidating color and one we needed. I didn’t want the team to seem too bright, too colorful … my father and brothers agreed.

It wasn’t all me, of course. I didn’t do everything, even though it sounds like I did. I just ended up with the right ideas and my father liked them, and the rest of the bosses liked them, so it all worked out. Tony really headed up the arena situation — the court, the seats, construction stuff — that was his deal. He was put in charge of getting that together. Tony was an architect and his construction connections were numerous.

Garrett was a man concerned with looking good. That’s why the Lakers had always appealed to him and, truth be told, my brother was gay. He never officially came out — our father would have disowned him, the old man was a traditionalist till the day he died — but Tony and I knew, Garrett had his guys just like we had our girls. As brothers, we were good. As members of the family, we were good. So Garrett headed up the uniforms, putting his good taste to good use.

Me? I wanted in on the team operations. I wanted to be the GM and make the moves, but that was shot down pretty quickly. The Jones family wasn’t about headlines, about names, about having ones reputation rise and fall with roster moves. They recognized I was smart and I knew about this, they recognized I could do the job, but I couldn’t be attached in an official capacity.

Officially, I was the St. Louis Flight’s Assistant Director of Arena Operations. It was a really long title for a job that boiled down to “make sure the arena isn’t killing our fans and serves half decent food with working bathrooms.”

In reality, I was the puppet master. I never had my name attached to any move. The GM of the team — and we went through quite a few of them — had his name attached to it. When *hit hit the fan, I never got any heat. We hired guys who were, basically, yes-men. Yes to whatever we asked and since I was the basketball guy, the expert in the family, I made the calls. The bosses were concerned with PR, money, and winning, in that order.

They wanted the city to like us and that meant the fans had to like us. If they fans liked us, they got more money from the fans. If we won, well, the fans would like us more and the family would get more money. Championships were big, big cash flows and we wanted to get there, but everyone knew it was going to be a tough journey up.

The bosses were fine with that. A lot of them had worked their way up through the ranks and they knew the team, as an organization, was going to have to do that. Making sure we got there was my father’s job and making sure we made the right decisions to get there was mine.

The rest of the NBA assumed things would progress as usual once we were announced … and they were very surprised when they didn’t.
trekfan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2016, 03:28 PM   #4
Smasher1311's Arena
OVR: 0
Join Date: Sep 2016
Re: Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story

I'm ready for a trekfan ride from the beginning, it will be my first one! Best of luck.
Smasher1311 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2016, 03:59 PM   #5
Designated Red Shirt
trekfan's Arena
OVR: 0
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,005
Re: Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story

Originally Posted by Smasher1311
I'm ready for a trekfan ride from the beginning, it will be my first one! Best of luck.
Appreciate the follow! This one should prove to be fun, it's really coming easy to me writing-wise.
__________________________________________________ _______________

Ch. 3

The NBA hadn’t had an expansion franchise since the Charlotte Bobcats got into the league, back in 2004. It’d been over a decade since any NBA team had thought about an expansion team and the NBA, for the most part, was pretty damn sure they were done with it. 30 teams worked perfectly for them — five per division, six divisions total. Nothing got messed up.

But that changed when the Flight and Knights entered the scene. Immediately, things got shifted around in the divisions.

The Thunder and us, we got shifted to the Southwest, while the Knights went to the Northwest division. The Grizzlies earned the lucky ticket out of the Western Conference and went to the Southeast. The West was given the expansion teams and, overall, that was just a thing the NBA had to do: the East was clearly the easier conference to operate in, but *hit if the owners were going to gift an expansion team one of the 16 playoff spots. Now only half the league would make the postseason and that meant that the odds weren’t quite as good as before.

(Laughs) Oh, the odds. Fortune smiled on us during the draft lottery, though. Expansion teams didn’t have a shot at any of the top-3 picks, but were guaranteed either the 4th or 5th pick. 2016 had a draft class that was deeper than people predicted and the draft lottery threw out an all-time result.

The 76ers — the league’s tanker team of the last four years — got utterly crushed. They ended up 6th, while the Celtics, thanks to the hapless Nets, grabbed the 1st overall. The Bulls and Lakers followed, but Philly fans were furious, screaming at the top of their lungs how the draft was rigged and how they had gotten screwed.

Maybe they did, I don’t know for sure. I just know that the Celtics landing 1st overall made our lives much better. It was basic math that the Celtics were taking either Simmons, Ingram, or were going to trade for someone who would. The Bulls were fixated on Kris Dunn and would unload Rose to the Knicks for Robin Lopez and junk. The Lakers would take whomever was left between Simmons or Ingram, which meant that we, the St. Louis Flight, would be able to grab anyone else.

And we free and clear to take anyone we wanted, it wasn't like the expansion draft had given us any stars. The expansion draft had yielded us a decent crop of players — our strategy was pretty simple: take the cheap, young players and hope we grab one that develops into a long-term starter for us. A lot of the roster was filler, frankly, and we dropped a good amount of players from the initial draft — we kept only Lauvergne, Dunleavy (veteran leader), Thompson (ace shooter from the wing), Mickey, Young, and Adams. Everyone else we waived goodbye to. We could grab better in free agency and I was confident our coaching staff could get more out of the team than experts would predict.

For the role of HC, our first coach was none other than Kevin McHale. McHale was a veteran coach, a long-time Boston Celtic, a guy who knew how we East Coast guys worked. He kept his head down, did his job, and kept the players focused … something every young team, especially an expansion one, needed. We were babies out there that first year and McHale, being a former player on multiple championship teams, knew what it took to win. Houston was *ucking stupid for letting him go, the players on that squad got full of themselves and shut their coach out — the record after he was let go proved that in spades.

It wasn’t long till we got to the real show, the NBA draft, and by God, it didn’t disappoint.
trekfan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisements - Register to remove
Old 09-18-2016, 06:21 PM   #6
Designated Red Shirt
trekfan's Arena
OVR: 0
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,005
Re: Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story

Ch. 4

The draft started off with the Celtics taking the 76ers to the cleaners. Philly desperately wanted that franchise player, that 1st overall pick, and the Celtics gamely obliged by trading it to them but not without getting a nice return.

With Okafor manning the middle, the Celtics could move Olynk to the four and let the sharp-shooting big man reign down from outside. Offensively, the Celtics would be absolutely devastating. Philly got Simmons and thanked their lucky stars that Boston was so generous … the Celtics didn’t need to worry about the future thanks to how *ucked the Nets were.

Pick #2 went according to plan as the Bulls drafted Rose’s replacement in Kris Dunn. Dunn was an immediate starter and a major difference maker for the franchise, bittersweet as it was to see Rose shipped off. Dunn would bring some serious smarts to the role of floor general and he was a guy who got along with other guys — Jimmy Butler wouldn’t be butting heads with him, which was a big (unspoken) reason why Rose got the boot.

The Lakers grabbed Ingram at #3 and it went exactly to script. LA was going to forfeit their pick to Philly next season, but it didn’t matter; with Ingram, Russell, and Randle, the Lakers were set for the next few years, barring a disastrous injury, which I absolutely didn’t want to happen to any of those players.

Plane wrecks that took out ownership? Sure, that was fine. The less West Coast types in the world, the better in my opinion, but the players were just guys doing a job.

At #4, it was us. The Flight was in prime position to grab someone big, someone whom we could build around for years to come. The scouts were all saying we should go with Brown or Chriss, and I wasn’t against that. Both players had an appeal, both would fly through the air on our homecourt; the name “Flight” wasn’t chosen randomly, it was representative of how we wanted the team to conduct themselves.

But athleticism fades with age. It happens to everyone, even Jordan. It happened to Kobe and it left him a wreck his last season in the league. No, we needed someone who had more than just hops, we needed someone with skills and potential.

I overruled the scouting department, I called it in to our front office and they argued with me for a good three minutes as they tried to convince me to take Brown.

“You’re out of your mind, Brown is the pick! Take Brown, take him and let’s run away with this draft!” Our GM, Micah Graves said. Graves was an old scout, a grizzled guy in his 60s. He had worked his fair share of drafts and draft rooms, he was GM of the team in name, but he was a stubborn old *ss. The man had to have been reincarnated from a mule.

“Micah,” I told him, my tone leaving no room for misinterpretation, “draft Thon Maker or I swear to God I’ll kick you in the teeth till you ain’t got none left.”

Graves was old-school. When he heard you threatening violence, not seriously but with an edge, he got with the gameplan.

I’m happy to say we grabbed our guy that day.

Yeah, I know, Maker wasn’t expected to be much of anything coming out. He was expected to be raw, experts predicted he’d need at least a year on the pine to learn the NBA game, but the kid impressed me on the court. Off the court, he kept his head level and his nose clean; two qualities that can’t be underrated in an athlete.

With Maker on board, I watched the rest of the draft play out. It was pretty ho-hum, but there was certainly enough talent in this draft for us to get a solid player in the 2nd round and that’s when we selected Gbinije. Kid was a player and someone I believed could be a big presence for us in the next year or two. He led the Orange to an incredible Final Four run — a Final Four run they absolutely shocked people with. Hell, I didn’t think they’d get past their first game.

With those two guys on the roster, I was confident we had done earned a B on our first draft.

The next part of that offseason was a crucial one: free agency. That’s where things got really heated … where I was faced with the cold truth that being an expansion team meant we were lower than low.
trekfan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2016, 07:04 PM   #7
vtcha's Arena
OVR: 4
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story

..am I the only one that's just as excited when 2K17 dropped?

This is going to be epic!
vtcha is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2016, 07:36 PM   #8
Designated Red Shirt
trekfan's Arena
OVR: 0
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,005
Re: Through The Storm: A St. Louis Story

Originally Posted by vtcha

..am I the only one that's just as excited when 2K17 dropped?

This is going to be epic!
Dude, I am just as excited. Literally, I have been up since 6AM this morning writing/plotting/playing (offseason playing) the game. I'm saddened that tomorrow is Monday ... the next weekend is too far away, lol.

Appreciate the enthusiasm, too. Totally stealing that GIF.
trekfan is offline  
Reply With Quote

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

« Operation Sports Forums > Dynasty Headquarters > Basketball Dynasties »

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:35 AM.

Top -