NBA Draft Conspiracies?

  • After reading up on Mudiay on Grantland I’ll be rooting for him.

    A couple baseless conspiracy theories that people can poo-poo…

    1. Did he sign with Under Armour when he went overseas because leaving the college-nba complex made him tarnished goods?
    2. Will he drop in the draft because he represents a threat to the 1-and-done process and the NBA will back-channel with it’s execs?

  • @approxinfinity

    Terrific angle on Mudiay. Thanks for raising it.

    My hunch is that Nike, after apparently flexing its muscles big time the last two seasons, and adidas, after apparently being flanked and having to retreat a bit, and Under Armour, making just a little advance in the midst of the big bulls locking horns, are settling into a bit of an equilibrium strategy finally.

    Equilibrium strategies enable some inertia in systems and inertia and equilibrium mean expectations can come closer to outcomes and so thinking ossifies a bit and routine replaces the unexpected. And everyone, even the losers, like adidas, apparently, like the reduced stress of some equilibrium and inertia, after a few years of stressful destabilization. It at least buys them some time to figure out what to try next. Peace, as the saying goes, is just the sound of reloading for more war. But reloading is better than no peace at all.

    Into this emerging, tenuous equilibrium, Mudiay becomes not so much a part of the the general destabilization, but an outlier in the emerging stability. So: Mudiay goes overseas, grabs a chunk of green and re-enters with just a bit of FU money as “his people” begin negotiations.

    Nike and adidas are trying to let the dust settle between them and may not wish to rock the boat again with each other over making plays for Mudiay.

    Under Armour, on the other hand, may be feeling a little bucks up and may be a face saving alternative in the producer oligopoly regime for Mudiay to attach to. Mudiay going with Under Armour, who can afford him because of the little hay that they have made recently, while Nike and adidas have been duking it out and bleeding each other, makes some sense. Think of Under Armour as Chrysler to GM and Ford in the little subset of the auto producer oligopoly (note: the car producer regime is now more complicated with Toyota-Subaru, MB, Renault-Nissan, and so on). The function of Chrysler has long been to take up market oxygen on the flank of the majors, so they don’t have to worry about an Indian, or a Chinese, or a Russian, firm coming in; i.e., someone genuinely outside the oligopoly and uninterested in perpetuating it. The job of Chrysler, then Chrysler-Daimler, then Chrysler Fiat, has been to be a good glue player in the producer oligopoly. Take up share at the margin. And cooperate with Ford and GM to soak up production capacity of certain suppliers that all three share. There are dominants and submissives in the car producer oligopoly. Its the 50 Shades of Oligopoly. Same with the petroshoeco producer oligopoly. Under Armour gets Mudiay as a chit for helping stabilize the market flanks of Nike and adidas, at least here in North America. 50 Shades of Petro Apparel.

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