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All Sports Commissioner: NBA declaration

Thank you for joining me once again. It has truly been remarkable to see the sporting world rally behind my initiatives to make the world, if not better, at least more entertaining. In my 24 hour tenure as All Sports Commissioner of the Known Universe I have focused primarily on Major League Baseball. Now that, due to many long minutes of work, the problems of America’s Pastime are genuinely in the past, I have taken my talents to the National Basketball Association.NBA Press conference

The following changes will be made to the NBA, effective immediately:

Length of Season

  • The regular season will be shortened from 82 to 50 games. Over half of the teams make the playoffs; I don’t think it takes 82 games to figure out the best half.
  • No team shall play more than 3 games per week. No one wants to buy tickets to see Tim Duncan sit on the bench because the Spurs have 9 games in 6 days.
  • Preseason games, not to exceed two per week for any team, will begin the day after Thanksgiving and the regular season will begin on Christmas Day.

All-Star Weekend

  • The following season’s salary cap will be increased by $2 million per team for the conference that wins the All-Star Game.
  • Participants in the dunk contest will be determined by fan votes. The eight players receiving the most fan votes must participate or pay a fine of $1 million.

Game Play

  • An off-court official (preferably in a reporters booth or luxury suite) will be assigned to watch the television feeds and will be independently responsible for correcting out of bounds, timing, and any other reviewable calls. The head referee will no longer take time to watch instant replay on a courtside 17 inch monitor. As everyone at home knows, it doesn’t take that long to correct a call when you are watching the game in HD on a 50 inch LCD. Game officials will call the game as normal and will be buzzed if there is a need to review.
  • The in-the-booth replay official will also be responsible for reporting players for flopping and correcting fouls called after such actions. Don’t just fine them the next day, get the call correct right now.

Television

  • All games played at Eastern Conference sites will begin by 8:30 pm EST. Games at Western Conference sites should begin no later than 8:30 MST. Children should be able to watch the best players on the planet and still get more than 45 minutes of sleep each night.
  • Along with their traditional roles in the studio, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith will be responsible for interviewing the head coaches on the court at halftime and following each game in hopes that Gregg Popovich loses it and puts one of them in a head lock.

Players

  • Both of Derrick Rose’s knees must be completely surrounded by bubble wrap when not participating in a competitive NBA game.
  • Carmello Anthony will be fined at the end of each game according to the following formula: (number of shots – number of passes) x $10,000 when Ns > Np.
  • Tim Duncan may only protest fouls in writing.
  • All players’ names will be pronounced phonetically. Names that are not pronouncable phonetically will be changed to “Bob.” Here’s a guide:
    • durk no-WITS-key (Dallas)
    • HEE-doh turk-oh-GLEW (Toronto)
    • BRY-an SKA-lah-bryn (Boston)
    • LEW-awl Deh-ng (Miami)
    • SEERG eye-BAK-ah (Oklahoma City)
    • Vlad-ih-mir rad-MAN-oh-vik (Chicago)

You may notice that both of my declarations have cleared other major professional sports out of football season. Please do not infer that I will leave football the way it is. My next declaration will, in fact, make changes to NFL and NCAA American football that will improve the game for both athlete and fan alike.

I want you to remember that I am doing this for you, the fan. As always, any opposing opinions regarding my rulings may be voiced at any of our open-forum discussions—the next of which is in December of 2035.

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the Forgiveness Ratio

$2.5 billion is a lot of money. Let’s put it this way…If I had $2.5 billion I could pay every NBA player’s salary this year and still have over $500 million to spare (NBA salaries this year total just south of $1.95 billion).

Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
–Matthew 18:23-24 (ESV)

I’m no expert on currency exchange rates, but using what I do know, I approximated the 10,000 talents that the servant owed the king in Matthew 18 to be the equivalent of $2.5 billion today. Here’s the math:

1 talent was worth 60 minas.
1 mina was what one expected to be paid for three months of labor
1 mina = $4,160 (using modern standards of 40 hours a week at $8 per hour)
1 talent (60 mina) = $249,600
10,000 talents = $2,496,000,000

Even if the dollar figures aren’t exact, the ratios are. Jesus constructed this parable in such a way that the listeners could easily understand the point—the average man, making about $16,000 per year, could never hope to pay back the salaries of the entire NBA. The debt was so huge that the debtor had no hope of doing anything about it himself. But that didn’t stop him from trying.

So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.”
-Matthew 18:26 (ESV)

Really?! You owe someone $2.5 billion and you are asking for a little more time? How ridiculous must I look to God when I try to fix my sin problem on my own? I can’t count the times I’ve told God “I’m sorry I messed up, but I’ll get it right next time.” Do I really think, like the man in the parable, that a little more time and effort will fix that kind of debt? Obviously, the King knows my condition, just like He knew that debtor’s, and does more than I ask.

And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
–Matthew 18:27 (ESV)

$6,400 is a lot of money to most of us, but is nothing compared to the $2.5 billion mentioned earlier. Let’s put it this way…$6,400 could pay the salary of one NBA team for about 18 seconds of game time.

But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, “Pay what you owe.”
–Matthew 18:29 (ESV)

Using the same basic math as above, this is how I estimated $6,400:

1 denarius = one day’s wage
1 day’s wage = $64 (8 hours at $8 per hour)
$64 per day x 100 days= $6,400

Once again, the exact dollar amounts may be off, but the ratio is correct. The man had just been forgiven a debt 390,000 times greater than the one he was demanding.

Jesus knew how to make a point. If someone owed me $6,400 I would be very worried about it. But if I had just been forgiven $2.5 billion, I hope I would be compassionate. Sure, someone may have mistreated me. I may have been wronged tremendously. It may be a big deal. I may have every right to be unforgiving, but…

When I compare it to the sum of every sin I’ve committed…
When I compare it to the punishment I deserve from God…
When I compare it to the sin debt that I no longer owe…

1:390,000