1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

The merger, Kareem, Walton, Dr. J, Magic and Bird

Moderator: Brett

1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

Postby MCT » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:58 pm

I’ve recently been doing some work with the NBA box score images from the 1980-81 season posted at b-r.com. b-r.com obtained these from Dick Pfander’s collection, and I believe that Pfander sourced this particular season from The Sporting News. I have been going through the box scores team-by-team, tracking which games each player appeared in, which games I believe each player started, and trying to figure out what role each player filled. Since I’m working on this anyway, I thought I’d post my results here, in the event anyone else is interested, or has done anything related. If nothing else, maybe it will generate some discussion about these teams and players.

Some further info and commentary on what I’m doing:

Games Played

There are a couple of reasons I am interested in analyzing which games each player appeared in. First, I’m interested in knowing this simply for the sake of knowing. If a player appeared in 61 games, which is about three quarters of the team’s season total, did he consistently appear in three-quarters of his team’s games? Did he play in the first 61 games of the season, then miss the last 21? The first 41 games, then the last 20, with a gap in the middle?

Many of you know that I have an interest in tracking player transactions. I’m also looking at games played research as a way of finding unknown transactions, particularly involving movement of players on and off the injured list, which is often not well documented.

I’ve found that it is not uncommon for a player to appear in slightly fewer TSN box scores in a season than his games played total would indicate. (Hypothetical example: a player is credited with appearing in 51 games, but only appears in 49 box scores.) It appears that the TSN boxes sometimes – but not always – deliberately omit players who did not accumulate any of the stats reported in the box scores (FG, FT, FTA, and PTS). I’ve also encountered a few cases in which a player seems to have been accidentally left out of a particular box score.

Games Started

The NBA did not officially keep track of games started until the 1981-82 season. I’ve found that many box scores that predate that – though not all – appear to list players “starters first”, in F-F-C-G-G order, followed by reserves in the order they entered the game. Because the box scores don’t explicitly identify starters, and because there are some box scores that don’t appear to list the players in “starters first” order at all, I can’t necessarily label the numbers I’m coming up with as definitive. But I think they are at least good estimates that reveal who commonly started and who didn’t.

Even though the NBA didn’t begin tracking games started until 1981-82, some teams’ media guides have stats for earlier seasons. I’ve been trying to square up the numbers I’m coming up with from the box scores with the numbers in media guides, where available. A while back, ‘petroslav’ indicated that complete games started data exists in the hands of Elias back to 1970-71. If that’s correct, the figures in the media guides may be from Elias. In cases where the media guides and the boxes are consistent, we may be able to regard these numbers as more-or-less definitive. Not every team has pre-1982 games started data in their media guide, however, and I’ve come across some minor discrepancies where the TSN box scores and the numbers that appear in teams’ media guides can’t be reconciled with each other.

For the teams I’ve done so far, I am finding that the overwhelming majority of the 1980-81 TSN box scores appear to list the players in “starters first” order. No team has more than a handful of games that don’t. Of those boxes that don’t appear to list the players in “starters first” order some list the players in alphabetical order, or in descending order of points scored. Some are in no discernable order at all. Sometimes it looks like two players may just be listed out of order. I’ve also noticed several odd cases where, when a regular starter missed a game, the four remaining starters are the first four players listed, in their usual order. It’s as if the person who made up the box scores was working off a template that listed the usual starters, and they simply left the missing player’s line blank rather than moving the player who started in their place into the starter’s position in the box score. In these cases, the player listed next often appears to be the remaining starter, so the first five players may be the starters, but not in correct F-F-C-G-G order.

Transactions

In piecing together transaction info, I am using the following sources:

--Frank Marousek’s web site, prosportstransactions.com (abbreviated in my posts as “pst.com”).

--NBA Guides/Registers, team media guides, basketball-reference.com (abbreviated in my posts as “b-r.com”), etc.

--My own research from the transaction columns that appeared on the “Scoreboard” page of the Boston Globe.

I have also been using the Google News Archive to try to track down contemporary newspaper articles that can provide background or fill in some gaps. I have not otherwise done any further research via news stories. The information I have harvested from the Globe is generally limited to the transaction columns on the “Scoreboard” page, not articles that appeared elsewhere in the paper.

Of the sources listed above, the only ones that typically have any information on player movement on and off the injured list are pst.com, the transaction columns in the Globe, and occasionally sources I find via the Google News Archive. NBA Guides/Registers, team media guides, and b-r.com do not generally cover these transactions.

Format

For each team, I am compiling the following:

Part I: Overview of the team’s season, Roster and Transaction Information, Games Started Information.

Part II: Detailed information on each player, based on a snapshot of the roster as of a point in the second half of the season (typically February).

Part III: Some analysis of positions/roles handled by each player.

More to follow…
MCT
 
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: 1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

Postby MCT » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:42 pm

Some preliminary background on the 1980-81 season:

In 1980-81, the NBA had 23 teams. The league was divided into four divisions, with the Atlantic and Central making up the Eastern Conference, and the Midwest and Pacific making up the Western Conference. This divisional format was in effect between the 1970-71 and 2003-04 seasons. In 1980-81 each division had six teams except for the Atlantic, which had only five. With the addition of the Dallas Mavericks as an expansion team, a major realignment took place in 1980-81. Most teams would remain in their 1980-81 divisions until the four-division format was scrapped in 2004.

As we’ve discussed in the past, the start and end dates of the NBA season have varied considerably over time. In 1980-81, the season started (and ended) three or four weeks earlier than it has in recent years. Opening night was October 10, and the regular season concluded on March 29. The All-Star game was played on February 1, with no regular season games scheduled on any day between January 30 and February 2. Heading into the All-Star break, most teams had played 53 or 54 games.

The playoff format was the one in effect for the 1976-77 through 1983-84 seasons. Six teams in each conference made the playoffs, instead of the current eight. The division champions were seeded #1 and #2, and were given a bye for the first round. The remaining teams were seeded in order of record, and played best-of-three miniseries in the first round. The other three rounds were best-of-seven as they are today. Because the regular season fell earlier on the calendar than it does today, the playoffs started earlier on the calendar than they do today. For that reason, as well as that the first round was shorter than it is today, the playoffs ended much earlier than they do today. In 1980-81, the first playoff games were played on March 31, and the last game of the Finals (which was Game Six) was played on May 14.
MCT
 
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: 1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

Postby MCT » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:29 pm

Roster/Transaction rules for 1980-81:

ROSTER SIZE

In 1980-81, NBA active rosters were 11 players. The active roster size had been reduced from the traditional 12 early in the 1977-78 season, and was not restored to 12 until the start of the 1981-82 season.

In addition to their active roster, teams were allowed to carry additional players on the injured list. I believe that the limit in 1980-81 was two, although I have found at least one team in 1980-81 that appears to have been briefly carrying three players on its injured list. The team in question may have received a special exemption from the NBA to temporarily carry an extra player due to a rash of injuries (a process to request such an exemption exists today, and has existed at least as far back as the late 1980s). It’s also possible that the limit was actually three but teams just rarely used the third spot.

The injured list was supposed to be a place for players who were legitimately injured, not a place to stash extra players. The NBA did not really enforce this, however, and the latter is what it eventually became, leading to its replacement with the inactive list in 2005. Given the fiscal realities of the NBA in the early 1980s, however, the types of practices that would emerge in the ‘90s and ‘00s – teams having a full injured list at all times, rotating players on and off it all season, many with phantom injuries – were not widely seen in 1980-81.

Immediately prior to the abolition of the injured list in 2005, players placed on it were required to miss a minimum of five games before being activated again (if there were less than five games remaining in the regular season at the time the player was placed on the injured list, the player had to miss the remainder of the regular season, but could be activated for the playoffs with no restrictions). I believe that this rule was in effect back in 1980-81 as well.

In addition to the injured list, the NBA has also long had a Suspended List. While this list is sometimes used for players who have been suspended for disciplinary reasons, it was historically more commonly used for players under contract who refused to report or who left the team.

CONTRACT-GUARANTEE DEADLINE/10-DAY CONTRACTS

For many years, there has been a date each season when all contracts become guaranteed for the remainder of the season. There is usually a flurry of players being waived leading up to that date. Around the same time, teams are allowed to begin signing players to 10-day contracts. In more recent times, the date when 10-day contracts begin has been fixed at January 5, and the contract-guarantee deadline has been fixed at January 10 (although players who are released have to clear waivers by that date, which effectively makes the deadline a couple of days earlier).

I am fairly certain that the same basic process that exists today was in place in 1980-81, but I have not found any documentation of what dates were used at that time. My impression is that these deadlines were not on fixed calendar dates in that era, but took place a specified number of weeks into the season on a specified day of the week, similar to the way the trade deadline works today. It is also my impression that the contract-guarantee deadline in that era was set slightly earlier than the date teams could begin using 10-day contracts (or perhaps they were on the same date, but a need for players to clear waivers made the contract-guarantee deadline effectively a few days earlier). Looking at patterns in 1980-81 transactions, the date of the contract guarantee deadline appears to have been December 2. The earliest date I can find any players reported to have signed 10-day contracts is December 5.

Rules around 10-day contracts in 1980-81 appear to have been similar to those in place today. A team could only sign players to 10-day contracts to the extent that the team had players on the injured list. A team that found itself with fewer than the minimum 11 players on its roster could not get up to 11 by signing players to 10-day contracts. A team could only sign the same player to two 10-day contracts during a season. After that, if the team wanted to sign the player, they had to sign him to a contract for at least the remainder of the season. Given the fiscal situation of the NBA in this era, teams were not always as quick to sign replacements for injured players as they are now, and the overall volume of 10-day contracts was much lower.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOWING FOR LARGER/SMALLER ROSTERS

In a common practice for expansion teams prior to the 1980s, the Dallas Mavericks were apparently allowed to carry a couple of additional players into the early part of the season. The Mavericks started the season carrying 13 players on their active roster. They would subsequently place a player on the injured list and sign a replacement, bringing their overall roster to 14 (13 active and one injured). I don’t know what the Mavericks’ deadline was to get down to the limit, but they had reduced their overall roster to the standard 11 (11 active, no one on the injured list) by the time of the December 2 contract-guarantee deadline.

As discussed earlier, there is a rule today allowing teams to get a special exemption from the league to temporarily carry an extra player if they lose an excessive number of players to injuries or illness. The exemption authorizes the team to carry one more player on its injured (pre-2005)/inactive (post-2005) list than would normally be allowed, while still carrying a full active roster. On a few rare occasions, I believe the NBA has even temporarily allowed a team to carry two additional players. This rule has existed at least as far back as the late 1980s, and may have been in place even in 1980-81.

Today, NBA teams can temporarily drop one player below the minimum roster size, for up to two weeks. This allows a team that finds itself “between transactions” a little bit of time to consider their options, while still placing an outer limit on how long a team can take before it has to get back up to the minimum. For example, a team that is involved in a trade where it trades away two players and only receives one back doesn’t have to immediately acquire an additional player to fill the open roster spot, but has a little bit of breathing room before they have to make a move. I don’t know if the specifics have always been the same (e.g., has the timeframe always been two weeks?), but I believe that this rule has existed in some form for a long time, and was in place back in 1980-81.

TRADES

The trade deadline in 1980-81 was February 15. From 1979 to 1987, the trade deadline was fixed on that date, rather than a specified number of weeks into the season on a specified day of the week, as it is now. In this era, there was typically less trade activity around the deadline than there is today. Many modern-day deals are driven by the salary cap, which didn’t yet exist in 1980-81. Even by the standards of the time, though, 1980-81 appears to have been a very light year for mid-season trades. In 1980-81, according to pst.com, there were no trades made right at the deadline, only one trade in the portion of February that fell prior to the deadline, and only one trade in January. By contrast, 1979-80 featured three trades right at the deadline, five trades earlier in February, and two trades in January. 1981-82 featured three trades right at the deadline, another trade a few days earlier, and another in January.

Prior to the elimination of the injured list in 2005, it is my understanding that a team acquiring a player in a trade with the season in progress had to receive the player on their active roster. Even if the player had been on his former team’s injured list, the new team could not place him on its injured list without at least momentarily placing him on their active roster first. This rule does not appear to have been in effect in 1980-81, as I have encountered some cases where a player acquired in a trade seems to have moved directly to his new team’s injured list.

At all times since I began following the NBA closely back in the mid-1980s, it has been my understanding that a team acquiring a player with the season in progress needs to have, or immediately create, an open roster spot to receive the player. It is my impression that this was not always true in the past, however. In earlier times, teams may have been allowed some time to clear a roster spot after the fact, although they could not formally add the newly acquired player to their active roster or use him in a game until they did so. I have encountered a few 1980-81 transactions in which a team acquiring a player doesn’t appear to have made a move to clear a roster spot until the date of their next game following the acquisition; in one case, there was a gap of three calendar days between the dates of the two transactions.

WAIVERS

Today, players placed on waivers during the regular season stay there for two days before clearing (if no other team claims them) or being awarded to a team that has claimed them. It is my understanding that this has been the case for many years. As far as I can tell, this was the rule in effect in 1980-81.

PLAYOFF ROSTERS

Playoff rosters in 1980-81 were set at 11, the same as the active roster for the regular season. If a team finished the regular season carrying more than 11 men due to players on the injured list, they had to designate which 11 players would make up the playoff roster. Once they did that, the roster was frozen and could not be changed. A player not placed on the playoff roster could not be activated with the playoffs in progress, even if the team had lost a player due to injury or some other reason. There was no injured list for the playoffs, and no implication that a player who was left off the active roster was supposed to be injured. Players left off the 11-man playoff roster were simply inactive.

Today, there is a rule in place stating that a player is not eligible to appear in the playoffs for his current team if he was on another team’ s roster on or after March 1. This restriction was not yet in effect in 1980-81.

FREE AGENCY

Free agency in the NBA at this time operated under a compensation-based system, which was used from the 1976 offseason to the end of the 1980-81 season. If a free agent signed with a new team, the new team immediately acquired the player – the player’s old team had no right of first refusal, or any other way to stop the player from leaving – but the old team could demand compensation from the new team. This placed somewhat of a damper on free-agent signings, and several players began the 1980-81 season as unsigned “Veteran Free Agents”.

Sometimes the player’s new and old teams would agree to compensation at the time the player was signed, and the compensation would be announced at the same time as the signing. Other times, compensation negotiations would drag on for a bit and the compensation would not be announced until a later date. If the two teams could not reach an agreement, the Commissioner’s office could be asked to determine compensation. Cases that went to the Commissioner’s office were sometimes very contentious and could drag on for a few years through appeals (e.g., Marvin Webster, Bill Walton).

It is my understanding that if a player’s old team made no real attempt to re-sign him (e.g., not tendering the player a new contract at all), the old team was not entitled to compensation. This would sometimes happen with minor fringe players, or with players who were perceived as nearing the end of the line due to age or injury.
MCT
 
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: 1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

Postby Robert Bradley » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:24 pm

Regarding free agency, I have a total of nine significant free agents who changed teams in 1980 (included Paul Silas, who retired as a player and became the Clippers coach and Jerome Whitehead, who was re-signed by Dallas and traded a couple of months later) -

Leon Douglas, DET to KCK on 12Jun80 - DET received a 1981 first-round draft choice (#12 - Kelly Tripuka) as compensation

Garfield Heard, PHO to SDC on 14Oct80 - PHO received a 1981 third-round draft choice (#62 - Sam Clancy) and a 1983 third-round draft choice (#51 - Derek Whittenberg) as compensation on 3Feb81

George Johnson, NJN to SAS on 15Aug80 - NJN received a 1981 first-round draft choice (#18 - Ray Tolbert) as compensation

Ollie Johnson, CHI to PHI on 21Nov80 - CHI received cash as compensation

Larry Kenon, SAS to CHI on 12Sep80 - SAS received a 1981 second-round draft choice (#28 - Gene Banks) and a 1981 second-round draft choice (#30 - Ed Raines) as compensation

Paul Silas, SEA to SDC on 21May80 - SEA received a 1985 second-round draft choice (#30 - Calvin Duncan) as compensation

Jerome Whitehead, DAL to DAL on 6Aug80 - re-signed by DAL and traded to Cleveland for Bill Robinzone, a 1983 first-round draft choice (#11 - Derek Harper) and a 1986 first-round draft choice (#7 - Roy Tarpley) on 30Oct80

Bill Willoughby, CLE to HOU - CLE received a 1981 third-round draft choice (#59 - Russell Blowers) as compensation

Larry Wright, WSB to DET - WSB received a 1981 third-round draft choice (#48 - Mike Ferrara) and a 1983 second-round draft choice (#32 - Michael Britt) as compensation

The biggest names to change teams via free agency up to that point were Cazzie Russell (1974), Gail Goodrich (1976), Bob Dandridge, Truck Robinson, Jamaal Wilkes and Gus Williams (1977), Rick Barry, Alex English, Dan Roundfield, Brian Taylor and Marvin Webster (1978) and M.L. Carr, Tom Henderson, Mickey Johnson, Kevin Porter and Bill Walton (1979).
Author of THE BASKETBALL DRAFT FACT BOOK: A HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL'S COLLEGE DRAFTS
Available at https://Rowman.com

Robert Bradley's Pro Basketball History Revisited Blog
http://apbrbasketball.blogspot.com/
Robert Bradley
Emeritus
 
Posts: 1077
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:39 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: 1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

Postby MCT » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:45 pm

I've been concentrating mostly on transactions that took place with the regular season in progress, but the Google News Archive has an AP article that ran in the 4/10/80 Palm Beach (FL) Post with a list of NBA players scheduled to become free agents at the conclusion of the 1979-80 season. The article is on page D7 of the paper, which is page 105 of the Google News file. This list may not be totally accurate. In my experience, there was a lot less information about player contracts made publicly available in those days, and these types of lists often contain errors as a result. And to the extent that it was accurate, subsequent developments may have affected the final list (e.g., players may have subsequently been waived, may have been subject to options that were subsequently exercised, or signed new contracts or extensions with their current teams before they actually became free agents). There are also a few players on the list who I believe retired without making any attempt to obtain a contract for the upcoming season.

In addition to the list that Robert posted, I am aware of at least two additional free agents who changed teams and were considered significant enough that their former teams received compensation for them: Dennis Awtrey and Tom Burleson. Note that Burleson's name does not appear in the AP article discussed in the previous paragaraph.

Of the players mentioned so far, at least four (Heard, Ollie Johnson, Willoughby and Wright) did not sign with their new teams until after the 1980-81 regular season had started. One additional player who re-signed with his old team also did not do so until after the regular season had started (Ricky Sobers, CHI). There was also one prominent free agent who never signed with anyone at all and just sat out the season (Gus Williams, SEA).

The Mavericks selected several players in the expansion draft who are identifed as free agents in the AP article or elsewhere. Similar to the current rules around expansion teams who select players eligible for restricted free agency, it is my understanding that the Mavericks did not get the right to demand compensation for free agents who they selected. Those players were free to sign with any team, except the one that left them exposed to the expansion draft, with no compensation due to anyone. Today, existing teams are required to make at least one player available in the expansion pool who is not scheduled to become a free agent, but that rule was not in effect back in 1980, and at least one team (Boston) reportedly left nothing but potential free agents available for Dallas' selection. In some cases where a team made players under contract available, Dallas may have selected free agents because they didn't want any of the available players who were under contract (selecting a free agent at least minimized future financial obligations). In others, it may be that they were really interested in a particular player who was a free agent, and were hoping they could convince him to sign with them. It appears that the Mavericks did manage to sign at least a couple of expansion draft selections who were free agents.

One of the Mavericks' selections was Jim Cleamons of the Bullets. Although Cleamons' name does not appear in the AP article discussed above, it is my understanding that he was a free agent. While the right to demand compensation for free agents did not pass through the expansion draft, Cleamons' prior contract apparently contained a clause giving his team a right of first refusal when it expired, and this right did pass to the Mavericks. If Cleamons had signed with another NBA team -- to my knowledge, he didn't -- the Mavericks could have exercised this right.

Another of the Mavericks' selections was Arvid Kramer of the Nuggets. Kramer never played in the NBA again, but was apparently placed on the suspended list by the Mavericks after he failed to report to training camp (figuring he was less than a sure bet to make the Mavericks' roster, Kramer had signed to play for a team in Italy). Kramer remained on the Mavericks' suspended list until 1988, when he was selected by the Heat as the #1 overall pick in the '88 expansion draft, as part of a deal where the Heat got a 1st round draft pick in exchange for agreeing to take Kramer rather than other players the Mavericks didn't want to lose. The AP article discussed above shows Kramer as a free agent, but he must have somehow ended up under contract to Dallas for the 1980-81 season, or it wouldn't have made sense for Dallas to put him on the suspended list.
MCT
 
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: 1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

Postby MCT » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:22 pm

Just posted material on the first team, the Celtics: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4972

One clarification: Part II makes reference to players' positions as shown in the header of their player page at b-r.com. b-r.com has recently changed its format for this, and my posts reference the former format, not the current one.

The positions shown in the header used to be "Center", "Forward" and "Guard" (not "Power Forward", "Shooting Guard", etc.), with up to two positions listed. These appeared to have been drawn from a database completely independent of the positions listed by b-r.com as a player's primary position for each season (which are shown as C, PF, SF, PG and SG). A player whose primary position is "SG" for all seasons of his career may have been shown as "Guard and Forward" in the header. I thought that this format was useful in providing a clue that the player may have played some SF at some point in his career, at least as a secondary position.

Under the new format, the positions shown in the header are broken down to the level of "Small Forward", "Point Guard", etc., again with up to two listed, but appear to be nothing more than a compilation of the positions shown as primary for each season of a player's career. If a player's primary position is "SG" for all seasons of his career, his position in the header will invariably be listed solely as "Shooting Guard". The only way a player would be listed as "Shooting Guard and Small Forward" is if he had seasons where each of those positions was listed as his primary position, with SG being the more numerous of the two, and SF the less numerous.

I find the old header format to be useful for what I'm doing, and when I speak of positions as shown in the header, I am referring to the positions listed under the old format. I am also taking the information in the new header format into account, in the sense that this information simply echoes the positions listed as primary for each season, which I had already also been using.
MCT
 
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm


Re: 1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

Postby MCT » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:04 pm

A while back, Mike G. posted some material in the Spurs thread, with position information for 1980-81 sourced from Neft & Cohen’s NBA Encyclopedia. Here’s the data for the Bucks, for example:

Mike Goodman wrote:
Code: Select all
tm     player         pos   Min     PO   Min
Mil   Marques Johnson  F   2542      F   266
Mil   Sidney Moncrief  G   2417     Gf   277
Mil   Quinn Buckner    G   2384      G   183
Mil  Junior Bridgeman fg   2215     fg   183
Mil   Mickey Johnson   F   2118      F   170
Mil   Brian Winters    g   1771      g   181
Mil   Bob Lanier       C   1753      C   236
Mil  Harvey Catchings cf   1635     cf   109
Mil   Pat Cummings     f   1084      f    25
Mil   Len Elmore      cf    925      c    12
Mil   Mike Evans       g    911      g    38         

The “pos” column lists each player’s position played for the season, at a C-F-G level of detail (not PF/SF or PG/SG). A capital letter indicates that the player was a starter at that position. Multiple letters mean that the player saw significant time at multiple positions; in these cases, the protocol seems to be primary position first. The “PO” column contains the same information for the playoffs. Position designations are usually the same for the playoffs as they were for the regular season, but not always. “Min” is minutes played, for both the regular season and the playoffs. Players with an insignificant number of minutes played for either the regular season or the playoffs are omitted. I’m not sure if this is Neft & Cohen’s convention, or Mike G.’s in harvesting the data from Neft & Cohen, and there seems to be some inconsistency in exactly how many minutes a player had to play to meet the cutoff. For players who played such few minutes, it’s often impossible to work out exactly what positions they played at anyway.

I have spent some time going through this data. The short story is this: I think the information we already have on games started (from team media guides and from analyzing TSN box scores) is better and more accurate than Neft & Cohen’s information. But their information on each player’s position is very interesting, and definitely adds something new to the discussion. Neft & Cohen approach the question from a different angle than the two sources I had been using. Their conclusions are also sometimes different from those sources.

STARTER IDENTIFACTION

I compared Neft & Cohen’s identification of each team’s starters to the games started data I had found by going through team media guides and the TSN box scores. Much of the time, Neft & Cohen’s conclusions agree with my own. In many cases, if you’re trying to guess who the starters were for a particular team, who you might want to guess is fairly obvious, and those guesses are often correct. In other cases, Neft & Cohen reached different conclusions from me. In some of these cases, while Neft & Cohen arrived at a different answer than I did, I don’t think their conclusions are necessarily unreasonable. If a team cycled through multiple starters at a particular position due to injury, for example, who you label as the starter for the season as a whole may be a judgment call. But I found a number of cases where Neft & Cohen’s conclusions that certain players were starters are simply not supported by media guide and TSN box score games started data. In light of that, I think the information we already have from team media guides and the TSN box scores is more reliable than Neft & Cohen’s designations, and Neft & Cohen’s starter designations don’t add much of use to our discussion.

I’m not sure exactly how Neft & Cohen determined who to designate as the starters. Before I reviewed their data, I wondered if they might have actually used the TSN box scores as a source. The TSN box scores obviously existed back then, and are a consistent source that covers a number of NBA seasons (in developing his archive of NBA box scores, Dick Pfander used TSN as his source for every season TSN ran NBA box scores, probably for this reason). It’s apparent that Neft & Cohen didn’t use the TSN box scores as a source, though, since a number of their conclusions are contradicted by the box scores.

Another approach they might have taken is to assume that the players who played the most minutes at each position were the starters. If you are trying to understand a team’s lineup and don’t have access to actual games started data, that might be a sensible approach. Neft & Cohen didn’t do that either, though. For some teams, the players who played the most minutes are designated as the starters, but for other teams, they aren’t. The best explanation I can come up with is that Neft & Cohen selected the players who seemed like the starters to them, not basing this entirely on any one specific factor.

Here are some of the more significant examples where Neft & Cohen’s conclusions seem to be way off:

Ricky Sobers is listed as a starting guard for the Bulls. According to the Bulls Media Guide, Sobers did not start a single game. Bobby Wilkerson was the player who started the most games in the slot Neft & Cohen have Sobers in. Note that Sobers was not among the top two guards on the Bulls in minutes played, so Neft & Cohen seem to have made a judgment that Sobers “seemed like the starter”, even though Wilkerson played more minutes.

Dave Corzine is listed as the starting center, and Paul Griffin as a starting forward, for the Spurs. Based on my analysis of the TSN box scores, Corzine started only one game (at power forward, not center), and Griffin started approximately seven games; George Johnson and Reggie Johnson were the players who started the most games in those slots. Corzine did play more minutes than George Johnson, and Griffin more minutes than Reggie Johnson, so in these cases you can see what Neft & Cohen may have been looking at. For the playoffs, Neft & Cohen do have the two Johnsons as the starters, probably because they played more minutes in the playoffs than Corzine and Griffin.

Calvin Murphy is listed as a starting guard for the Rockets. According to the Rockets Media Guide, Murphy started only 11 games. He appears to have been moved to the bench early in the season so that he could take on a sixth man type of role. Murphy played more minutes than any other guard on the team, so again, you can see what Neft & Cohen may have been looking at.

Greg Kelser is listed as a starting guard for the Pistons. According to the Pistons Media Guide, Kelser started only 16 games. It looks like the Pistons may have intended Kelser to be a starter, but he got injured. In some cases, it makes sense to label a player in that situation as the starter, even if they ultimately made relatively few starts. But Kelser started so few games, and other players so many, that it makes little sense to do so in this case. Unlike some of the other cases in this list, I am really struggling to see Neft & Cohen’s logic in labeling Kelser as a starter. Kelser only played in 25 games total, including games he came off the bench in. There is also an issue with Kelser’s position. The TSN box scores show him making all 16 of those starts at forward, not guard. Neft & Cohen’s designation of “G” is actually the first suggestion we’ve seen that Kelser played guard at all. Our other sources show him as exclusively a forward. Mike G. notes the possibility of transcription errors in his Neft & Cohen data; is this an example of that? Or did Kelser really play guard at times, and did Neft & Cohen really think that was his position this year?

Kiki Vandeweghe is listed as a starting forward for the Nuggets. According to the Nuggets Media Guide, Vandeweghe started only 18 games. Cedric Hordges was the player who started the most games in the slot Neft & Cohen have Vandeweghe in. Vandeweghe did average more minutes per game than Hordges, so this is another case where you can see what Neft & Cohen may have been looking at.

Geoff Huston and Brad Davis are listed as the starting guards for the Mavericks. According to the Mavericks Media Guide, Davis started only 26 games. Oliver Mack was the player who started the most games in the slot Neft & Cohen have Davis in. In addition, Davis did not start any games until Huston was traded in February, when he took Huston’s place in the starting lineup. As such, it’s not really logical to list the two of them together as the starters. Davis did play more minutes than Mack, so here again you can see what Neft & Cohen may have been looking at.

Bobby Jones is listed as a starting forward for the 76ers, with Caldwell Jones listed as the starting center. According to the 76ers Media Guide, Bobby Jones did not start a single game. Based on the media guide data and the TSN box scores, Caldwell Jones was actually the starter in the forward slot where Neft & Cohen have Bobby Jones, and the 76ers’ regular starting center was Darryl Dawkins. This one is complicated by the fact that Caldwell Jones apparently swung between PF at C, and probably played more minutes at C than he did at PF. So it would be fair to say that C was his primary position, but he wasn't the regular starter there. Dawkins played more minutes than Bobby Jones, but if you had already concluded that Caldwell Jones started at center (not forward), you might not be looking at Dawkins as a possible option to start alongside him.

Tom LaGarde is listed as the starting center for the Mavericks. Similar to Caldwell Jones, the TSN box scores suggest that LaGarde actually started at power forward for the vast majority of the season, but he apparently swung between PF at C, and probably played more minutes at C than he did at PF. So, as with Jones, it would be fair to say that C was his primary position, but he wasn't the regular starter there. Scott Lloyd was. LaGarde played more minutes than Lloyd, so you can see what Neft & Cohen may have been looking at. I notice that the chart Mike posted is missing a starter at the forward slot where LaGarde belongs. I'm not sure if that's a transcription error, or if trying to figure out where to slot LaGarde disrupted things so much that Neft & Cohen ended up leaving a position out of their starting lineup.

Neft & Cohen have Marvin Webster starting at center for the Knicks in their two-game playoff run. While Webster played more minutes in the playoffs than the team’s usual regular-season starter, Bill Cartwright, both the Knicks Media Guide and the TSN box scores indicate that Cartwright started both playoff games.

Neft & Cohen have Louis Orr starting at forward for the Pacers in their two-game playoff run. While Orr played more minutes in the playoffs than any forward on the team, both the Pacers Media Guide and the TSN box scores indicate that Orr didn't start either playoff game.

POSITION INFORMATION

In contrast to their starter identifications, I find Neft & Cohen’s position information very interesting, for two reasons. First, it’s clear that they are looking at things from a different angle than any source we’ve been using up to this point. Second, their conclusions are sometimes inconsistent with our other sources. In some cases, Neft & Cohen’s conclusions make more sense to me than the sources we’ve been using. In a smaller number of cases, I think Neft & Cohen's conclusions make less sense.

The two sources I used in writing the original articles were b-r.com’s designation of each player’s primary position for each season, and the position information that used to appear in the header on each player’s b-r.com page. Though both were sourced from b-r.com, it’s clear that they represent two different data sets, which aren’t always consistent with one another. Neft & Cohen now represent still another data set. Here’s a look at how each of these sources differs:

b-r.com's designation of each player’s primary position for each season
What it is: each player’s primary position for the season, C-PF-SF-PG-SF level of detail
What’s good about it: the only source we have at a C-PF-SF-PG-SF level of detail
Limitations: only one position shown, so no way to tell if a player saw significant time at multiple positions

Position data in old b-r.com header
What it is: positions where a player saw significant time across his whole career, C-F-G level of detail, multiple positions allowed
What’s good about it: allows us to see that a player may have played a secondary position, in addition to his primary position for each season
Limitations: no way to know whether a player saw significant time at a secondary position in any one specific season; only at a C-F-G level of detail, not C-PF-SF-PG-SF

Neft & Cohen’s position information
What it is: positions where a player saw significant time this season, C-F-G level of detail, multiple positions allowed
What’s good about it: the only source we have that tells us if a player saw significant time at multiple positions in this specific season
Limitations: only at a C-F-G level of detail, not C-PF-SF-PG-SF

Not only are Neft & Cohen looking at things from a different angle, but the conclusions they reach are sometimes inconsistent with those reached by the other sources. (I had wondered if b-r.com’s designation of each player’s primary position for each season had been sourced from Neft & Cohen, but it’s apparent that it wasn’t. I still wonder if the data in the old b-r.com header, reflecting each player’s entire career, may have been taken from a different part of Neft & Cohen’s Encyclopedia, where each player’s career stats are presented.) This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because sometimes the conclusions reached by the other sources didn’t make much sense to me.

Let’s take an example, M.L. Carr of the Celtics. b-r.com lists Carr’s primary position for 1980-81 as SF. But the position information in the old b-r.com header suggests that Carr also played guard (presumably SG), and the TSN box scores indicate that the seven starts Carr made this year were at SG. Based on my analysis of the Celtics’ minutes played, I had a hard time seeing how Carr couldn’t have played much more heavily at SG than at SF. That would make SG his primary position, not SF, although Carr might have also played significant minutes at SF as a secondary position. As it turns out, Neft & Cohen’s conclusions are right in line with my thinking: they have Carr listed as “gf”, indicating that he saw significant playing time at both guard (presumably SG) and forward (presumably SF), but played more heavily at guard than forward.

On the other hand, there are a smaller number of cases where Neft & Cohen’s conclusions make less sense to me than what I already had. One example is Bob Elliott of the Nets. b-r.com lists Elliott’s primary position this year as C, although his old b-r.com header has him as “Center-Forward”, and b-r.com does show his primary position as PF for other seasons of his career. b-r.com’s designation of Elliott as a center this season makes perfect sense to me. Elliott started 29 games this year, and the TSN box scores show all of them at center. In addition, there was no other player on the Nets’ roster other than Mike Gminski who looks to me like a good candidate to have played significant minutes at center. But Neft & Cohen have Elliott listed exclusively as a forward. Not just primarily as a forward, but exclusively as a forward. This implies that Elliott did not see significant playing time at center, not even as a secondary position. I have a very hard time seeing how that could be true.

Neft & Cohen aren’t always in line with my thinking, but they at least provide another voice to add to the conversation. I am planning to post Neft & Cohen’s position information in each team’s thread, along with comments on how their conclusions line up (or don’t line up, as the case may be) with what we’ve seen and discussed before.
MCT
 
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: 1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

Postby MCT » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:36 pm

I will be posting updates to a few items in the original posts that kicked off this project.

MCT wrote:Transactions

In piecing together transaction info, I am using the following sources:

--Frank Marousek’s web site, prosportstransactions.com (abbreviated in my posts as “pst.com”).

--NBA Guides/Registers, team media guides, basketball-reference.com (abbreviated in my posts as “b-r.com”), etc.

--My own research from the transaction columns that appeared on the “Scoreboard” page of the Boston Globe.

I have also been using the Google News Archive to try to track down contemporary newspaper articles that can provide background or fill in some gaps. I have not otherwise done any further research via news stories. The information I have harvested from the Globe is generally limited to the transaction columns on the “Scoreboard” page, not articles that appeared elsewhere in the paper.

Of the sources listed above, the only ones that typically have any information on player movement on and off the injured list are pst.com, the transaction columns in the Globe, and occasionally sources I find via the Google News Archive. NBA Guides/Registers, team media guides, and b-r.com do not generally cover these transactions

As I worked on this project, the extent that I used the Google News Archive varied.

For the first few teams I worked on, I didn’t refer to the Google News Archive much. In the beginning, I wasn’t really planning to use the Archive extensively. And those first few teams didn’t have many gaps in their transaction histories in the other sources I was using.

Then in late 2013, after I had done just a couple of teams, Google disabled the search function for the Archive, making it difficult to do comprehensive searches. Of course, this happened just as I was getting into some teams that had a lot of gaps, and realized how useful a source like the Archive could be in working on this type of project. See the discussion in the thread below:

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=4950

For the rest of the Eastern Conference teams, I used the limited search capability described in that thread. This allowed me to dig up some information to fill in gaps, but not as much as I would have liked.

Right around the time I finished up the Eastern Conference and began to work on the Western Conference, I stumbled across a different way to do a comprehensive search of the Archive. (It’s a bit complicated to explain, but it involved opening up an Archive article and searching from that page, not using the normal Google News search function.) I had this method available to me as I worked on the Western Conference teams, and used it to extensively research their transactions, much more so than I had done for the Eastern Conference teams. In addition to trying to fill in gaps, I developed the habit of using the Archive to try to confirm all transactions involving 10-day contracts or movement of players on and off the injured list.

When I finished up the Western Conference in August 2016, my plan was to go back and revisit the Eastern Conference teams, researching their transactions to the same standard as I had done for the Western Conference. Along the way, I had actually researched and posted about a few transactions for a few Eastern Conference teams, but I wanted to sit down and go through every team.

Then, at some point in the late summer or early fall of 2016, Google seems to have disabled the search method I had been using. Oddly, it wasn’t completely disabled; for some broader searches, using it will still yield a few results. But the results that come back are only a tiny fraction of what would pull up before. A search that would have previously yielded a few hundred results may now return a dozen. Narrowing it down to articles mentioning a particular player on a particular day typically come up completely empty. As far as I can tell, most of the newspapers are still there, but I know of no way to comprehensively search them. Postings on the Google Products Forum suggest that I was not the only one who noticed this change.

In typical Google fashion, no announcement of this change was made, so I can’t tell you exactly why it was done. But my sense is that the two factors below played a role:

--Google had essentially abandoned the Archive as on ongoing project several years ago. It was still out there on the internet, and you could search and read what was already up, but the original plans for it were scuttled, and they stopped adding any new content. In hindsight, given its orphan status, it was probably only a matter of time before Google started to materially dismantle it, and that time has apparently come. Rather than just taking it all down as soon as they stopped working on the project, they left it up for the time being, but gradually made it harder to access and use, through multiple steps over the course of several years. The latest blow has finally pushed things to a point where its usability is now greatly compromised.

--Some newspapers that were in the Archive have apparently asked Google to remove their content because 1) Google was no longer maintaining it, so they wanted to pursue alternative plans, and 2) those alternative plans often involved a pay site willing to provide the newspaper with at least a small income stream in exchange for the use of the content. Thus far, my sense is that this has only affected a fairly small percentage of the content that had been there. Google may have seen this trend as the writing on the wall that it’s time to start winding things down, however. Or, if you want to be more cynical, this may have given them a good excuse to do what they were probably planning to do at some point anyway.

So, the bottom line is, I can’t use the Google News Archive to research anymore. If I want to do any further clean-up on the transactions for the 1980-81 articles, or do this type of research for any other seasons in the future (I’ve already begun working on 1979-80), I’m going to have to find a new source of archival newspaper articles. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet.
MCT
 
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: 1980-81 Games Played, Games Started and Transactions

Postby MCT » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:34 pm

MCT wrote: Rules around 10-day contracts in 1980-81 appear to have been similar to those in place today….A team could only sign the same player to two 10-day contracts during a season. After that, if the team wanted to sign the player, they had to sign him to a contract for at least the remainder of the season.

While working on this project, I gained a better understanding of how the NBA Register handled 10-day contracts in this era, which was less than straightforward. In a nutshell, when a player who initially started out on a 10-day contract ended up sticking around for the remainder of the season, the NBA Register would just show him signing “as a free agent” on the date he first signed a 10-day contract, with no further detail. No mention was made that the player had initially been on a 10-day contract, or that he had actually signed multiple distinct contracts with the team (e.g., a second 10-day deal, a contract for the remainder of the season). From the Register’s write-up, you would think that the player was signed to a regular free agent contract as of the date he initially signed with the team. That wasn’t the case; the full details of what happened were glossed over.

Because other reference sources often use the NBA Register as their ultimate source, other sources also often show the same thing as the Register. As a result, it frequently isn’t well known that these players were ever on 10-day contracts. The only way to find this information is often through contemporary media sources.

Let’s take a look at how the 1981-82 NBA Register handles each player known to have been signed to a 10-day contract (and/or a contract for the remainder of the season) during the 1980-81 season.

1) Players who signed a single 10-day contract, then nothing beyond that.

The 1981-82 NBA register acknowledges that these players were on 10-day contracts, writing them up as “Signed by [team] to a 10-day contact, [date]”.

Norman Black, DET
Dave Britton, WAS
Lewis Brown, WAS
Monti Davis, DAL
Lee Johnson, DET
Ed Lawrence, DET
Keith McCord, WAS

In addition to the players listed above, Kurt Rambis was also with the Knicks during the 1980-81 season on a single 10-day contract, but he doesn’t appear in the 1981-82 edition of the Register because he didn’t appear in any games.

2) Players who signed two consecutive 10-day contracts, then nothing beyond that.

There was only one player in this category, at least in terms of how the NBA Register handled things (as we’ll get to in a minute, there is a second player who I believe should have also been in this category). The 1981-82 NBA Register acknowledged that this player had been on two 10-day contracts, writing him up as “Signed by [team] to a 10-day contact, [date], and signed to second 10-day contract, [date]”.

Dick Miller, UTA

3) Players who signed two consecutive 10-day contracts, then were signed for at least the remainder of the season.

The 1981-82 NBA Register does not acknowledge that these players initially signed 10-day contracts with these teams, or that they signed multiple distinct contracts with these teams during the season. The Register simply shows the players signing as free agents on the date of their initial 10-day deal. No further detail is provided.

Two different text variations were used, depending on whether the player had been previously waived by that team. (These same two variations were also used for free agents signed to regular, non-10-day deals.) If the player was new to the team, the transaction was written up as “Signed by [team] as a free agent, [date of initial 10-day contract]”. If the player had been previously waived by that team, in training camp or earlier in the regular season, the transaction was written up as “re-signed by [team], [date of initial 10-day contract]”.

Most of these players, if not all, signed two 10-day deals followed by a longer-term contract. It is conceivably possible that a few players went directly from their first 10-day deal to a longer-term contract, skipping over the second 10-day contract, although I haven’t positively identified any players who did so.

In most cases, the longer-term contract was likely a contract for the remainder of the season. A few players are documented to have signed regular free agent contracts, however, in at least some cases continuing beyond the 1980-81 season.

For some players, I have documentation of all three signings (first 10-day deal, second 10-day deal, longer-term contract). At the other end of the spectrum, there are some players for whom I only have a record of their initial signing to a 10-day deal, then nothing further, and can only surmise what happened after that based on the fact that they stayed with the team for the rest of the season.

Mel Bennett, UTA
Phil Chenier, GS
Art Collins, ATL
Geoff Crompton, POR
Jacky Dorsey, SEA
Terry Duerod, BOS
Gus Gerard, SA
Ken Higgs, DEN
Clarence Kea, DAL
William Mayfield, GS
Andre McCarter, WAS
Stan Pietkiewicz, DAL
Anthony Roberts, WAS
Frankie Sanders, KC
Rory Sparrow, NJ
Jerome Whitehead, SD

Based on information in other sources, I believe that Gerard was actually only with the Spurs on a pair of 10-day contracts, and was never signed to anything beyond that. If this is correct, his write-up in the Register is wrong, and he should really be in category #2 above, along with Dick Miller.

While Rory Sparrow fits the pattern of this category at a high level (first 10-day contract, second 10-day contract, longer-term contract running for at least the remainder of the season), he wasn’t signed to the longer-term contract immediately following the expiration of the second 10-day contract. There was a lengthy gap in between his second 10-day contract and his longer-term contract.

4) Players who signed a contract for the remainder of the season.

In my research, I came across one player who signed a contract for the remainder of the season without having been on a 10-day contract first. This player is written up the same as the players in category #3, “Signed by [team] as a free agent, [date player signed contract for the remainder of the season]”. There is no acknowledgement that he was on a contract for the remainder of the season, as opposed to a regular free agent contract.

Joe Hassett, GS

Future editions of the NBA Register

Starting with the next edition of the NBA Register, 1982-83, the Register provided more straightforward coverage of 10-day contracts and contracts for the remainder of the season, now providing full details on every individual occurrence of a player signing either type of contract. As a general rule, however, it only did so for seasons that were newly covered in those editions of the Register (i.e., starting with the 1981-82 season). For as long as most of the players listed above from 1980-81 remained active, the Register continued to write things up the way the 1981-82 Register had, making it appear that the player was signed as a free agent on the date he really signed an initial 10-day contract. The text was never updated to handle these players the way players from subsequent seasons were handled. This includes Mel Bennett, Ken Higgs and Clarence Kea (last played in NBA in 1981-82, last featured in 1982-83 edition of Register); Terry Duerod and Joe Hassett (last played in NBA in 1982-83, last featured in 1983-84 edition of Register); Geoff Crompton (last played in NBA in 1983-84, last featured in 1984-85 edition of Register); and Jerome Whitehead (last played in NBA in 1988-89, last featured in 1989-90 edition of Register).

The Register’s handling of Anthony Roberts is a bit anomalous. Roberts didn’t play in the NBA in 1981-82 or 1982-83, so he doesn’t appear in the 1982-83 or 1983-84 editions of the Register. Roberts then resurfaced in the NBA in 1983-84, so he is featured in the 1984-85 edition of the Register. The 1981-82 Register wrote up Roberts’ stay with the Bullets, “Signed by Washington as a free agent, December 27, 1980”. Consistent with how other players were handled, that is actually the date Roberts signed his initial 10-day contract with the Bullets. The 1984-85 edition follows the same format – again, consistent with how most other players from 1980-81 were handled – but the date Roberts is shown signing is inexplicably changed to the date he signed a contract for the remainder of the season: “Signed by Washington as a free agent, January 16, 1981”. I have no idea why. Roberts never played in the NBA again after 1983-84, so that was his final appearance in an NBA Register.

Kurt Rambis is another anomaly. Although Rambis had been on a 10-day contract in 1980-81, he didn’t appear in an NBA Register until the 1982-83 edition. The explanation is that he didn’t actually play in an NBA game until 1981-82, when he joined the Lakers. He didn’t appear in any games during his 10-game contract with the Knicks in 1980-81. So when the 1982-83 edition of the Register was being assembled, Rambis’ entry needed to be created from scratch, as he had no entry from the 1981-82 edition that could be carried over. Apparently for this reason, the Register’s editors wrote up Rambis’ 10-day contract from 1980-81 the same way they wrote up 10-day contracts from 1981-82: “Signed by New York to a 10-day contract that expired, January 30, 1981”. (Showing the expiration date, rather than the date of signing, was the standard way the Register wrote up 10-day contracts from the 1982-83 to 1991-92 editions.) That date isn’t accurate, however. Contemporary media sources indicate that Rambis signed on 1/15/81, and box scores support this, in that they show the player he replaced (Sly Williams) was absent from the lineup for the 10-day period starting on that date. So the date Rambis’ contract ended should have been approximately January 25, not January 30. The incorrect January 30 date continued to appear in the Register for several years.

Another anomalous player is Rory Sparrow. Sparrow’s write-up in the 1982-83 Register was identical to what had appeared in the 1981-82 edition, like most other players from 1980-81: “re-signed by New Jersey, December 19, 1980”. At that point, the lengthy gap between Sparrow’s 10-day contracts and his subsequent longer-term contract apparently came to the attention of the Register’s editors. They must have felt that the existing description was misleading, and decided to fix it. For the 1983-84 edition of the Register, Sparrow’s 10-day contract(s) and the longer-term contract he signed in February 1981 were broken out into two separate lines in the Register: “re-signed by New Jersey to a 10-day contract that expired December 29, 1980” and “Re-signed by New Jersey, February 18, 1981”. As with Kurt Rambis, however, there’s an inaccuracy here. Sparrow actually signed two 10-day contracts, the first on 12/19/80, the second on 12/29/80. The write-up in the Register is only taking the first 10-day contract into account. The second 10-day contract continued to be omitted for the remainder of Sparrow’s career.

For the 1992-93 edition, the Register was extensively re-formatted. In transaction histories, teams were now referred to by team name, and the date of the transaction was now shown in parentheses at the end. The manner of writing up 10-day contracts was changed to show the date the contract was signed, not the date it expired. The only players who had signed 10-day contracts in 1980-81 who were still active were Rambis and Sparrow. The relevant portion of Rambis’ entry was changed to “Re-signed by Knicks to a 10-day contract (January 1981)”. Sparrow’s now read, “Re-signed by Nets to 10-day contract (December 19, 1980)” and “Re-signed as free agent by Nets (February 18, 1981)”. In Rambis’ case, note that the exact date of the signing was now omitted. Perhaps the Register’s editors realized that the date which had previously appeared was wrong, so they eliminated the date, and switched to just showing the month. This wording was maintained through the end of Rambis’ NBA career in 1995. Sparrow’s write-up continued to acknowledge only the first 10-day contract he signed with the Nets, and omit the second. 1991-92 was Sparrow’s final season in the NBA, so 1992-93 was the last edition of the Register he would appear in.
MCT
 
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm


Return to NBA in the 1970s and 1980s

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests