Wednesday, October 14, 2015

In ESPN's Ultimate Standings, Nets plummet; Knicks still near bottom

Of the teams playing at the Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, the two hockey teams, it turns out, are way ahead of the basketball teams, at least according to ESPN's Ultimate Standings, which ranks teams based on fan opinions and an analysis of:
  • Affordability (11.3%): Price of tickets, parking and concessions 


  • Coaching (3.2%): Strength of on-field leadership

  • Fan relations (25%): Courtesy by players, coaches and front office toward fans, plus how well a team uses technology to reach fans
  • Ownership (13.1%): Honesty; loyalty to core players and the local community
  • Players (14.6%): Effort on the field, likability off it
  • Stadium experience (9.8%): Quality of arena; fan-friendliness of environment; frequency of game-day promotions
  • Title track (4.6%): Championships won or expected within the lifetime of current fans
  • Bang for the buck (18.3%): Wins in the past two years per fan dollar, adjusted for league schedules
Note that the standings are based on last year, so the New York Islanders, which ranked the highest--73 of 122 major league teams--will see a bump next year based on the move to the Barclays Center, but will also see a setback in affordability.

The Nets

ESPN notes that Brooklyn Nets slide to No. 111 in franchise rankings:
  • Overall: 111
  • Title track: 109
  • Ownership: 104
  • Coaching: 88
  • Players: 120
  • Fan relations: 106
  • Affordability: 105
  • Stadium experience: 78
  • Bang for the buck: 81
  • Change from last year: -35
The arena experience is the single best feature, but the team is lousy. Notes ESPN:
Meanwhile, the team's motto for the 2015-16 campaign -- "We Are: Continuity/Core/Youth/Commitment" -- is decidedly more modest than the franchise's former ambitions.
ESPN concludes:
Belief in [majority owner Mikhail] Prokhorov's regime has hit a low, as high hopes have crumbled. Meanwhile, there are mixed signals about his future investment in the team. Prokhorov is in talks with minority partner Bruce Ratner about acquiring 100 percent stakes in both the team and Barclays Center. Whether such an acquisition would then lead to a sale of the Nets while NBA franchise valuations skyrocket has been a matter of much speculation. Earlier this year, Prokhorov reportedly put the team on the market and sought offers, but more recently he has said he expects to sell only a minority portion of the franchise.
Also note SBNation's The Nets are the most boring team in the NBA, but also see the comments pushing back.

The Knicks

ESPN reports New York Knicks remain at No. 121 in franchise rankings
  • Overall: 121
  • Title track: 116
  • Ownership: 117
  • Coaching: 116
  • Players: 121
  • Fan relations: 120
  • Affordability: 121
  • Stadium experience: 101
  • Bang for the buck: 118
  • Change from last year: 0
The Knicks had a terrible season last year, though some people like Madison Square Garden. They should be better this year. The only team ranked worse in the major leagues is the Toronto Maple Leafs, which also combined high prices with lousy play.

The Islanders

ESPN states Islanders climb high, rising 43 spots:
  • Overall: 73
  • Title track: 61
  • Ownership: 101
  • Coaching: T107
  • Players: 40
  • Fan relations: 61
  • Affordability: 86
  • Stadium experience: 112
  • Bang for the buck: 32
  • Change from last year: +43
The Islanders have a good team. Now they have a new home, which, as noted, will nudge the ranking up and down.

The Devils

The previously reigning local arena team is doing worse, as ESPN reports, in Ultimate Standings: Changes left New Jersey fans feeling bedeviled:
Overall: 74
Title track: 25
Ownership: 81
Coaching: 104
Players: 79
Fan relations: 73
Affordability: 83
Stadium experience: 75
Bang for the buck: 77
Change from last year: -27
The Rangers
And the Rangers cost a lot, like the Knicks, but at least they win, as ESPN reports, in Rangers offset high costs with strong play:
  • Overall: 75
  • Title track: 41
  • Ownership: 71
  • Coaching: 28
  • Players: 33
  • Fan relations: 38
  • Affordability: 119
  • Stadium experience: 67
  • Bang for the buck: 82
  • Change from last year: -5

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