USA TODAY Sports
When you saw this piece about the Spurs' approach to finding players, did you react like I did? No. Of course not. You have a life. My reaction was to apply the concept as described by Pop to each of the NBA's 30 franchises -
"We do spend a lot of time together trying to figure out who we're bringing in before we do it," Popovich said. "It's not just basketball. We want to know what kind of sense of humor people might have, as silly as that may sound to some, but I think humor's really important in any job."
He added, "I don't do any kind of standup routine or anything like that."
So, what does the league look like from a humor perspective? Which franchises are the hit shows, the edgy stand-ups, the cutting edge sketch comedies?
Atlanta Hawks - MAD TV. A constantly changing cast for a show that isn't horrible but isn't very good, either.
Boston Celtics - Grumpy Old Men.
Brooklyn Nets - Best In Show. Good but not great talent, funny but not especially so. Worth a rental.
Charlotte Bobcats - It's hard to think of an unfunny, consistent ratings loser that would stay on the air very long. The Bobcats are probably comparable to an avant-garde performance artist who claims to be doing comedy but appears to be doing some sort of interpretive dance/mime amalgam. And his audience politely chuckles in response because, hey, that guy's nuts.
Chicago Bulls - Who's Line Is It Anyway? They keep making comedy gold out of a dubious premise, ie, "Try to win without your best player!"
Cleveland Cavaliers - Gotta be Entourage.
Dallas Mavericks - The last season or two of Happy Days. Most of the cast that made the show great are gone now.
Denver Nuggets - Mr. Show with Bob and David. This HBO sketch comedy show from the late 1990's was fresh and innovative, deep with talent but without any A-list headliners. When their sketches hit, they were gold; when they missed, they were awful. It was the sort of sketch comedy seldom seen before, and you don't see people out there trying it today.
Detroit Pistons - A Farewell To Arms.
Golden State Warriors - I hope I'm wrong, but considering Golden State's history, I feel like we're watching Arrested Development here.
Indiana Pacers - Bob's Burgers. A top-notch relatively new comedy that flies under the radar.
Los Angeles Clippers - Woody Allen circa 1977. Woody came up as a comedy writer and stand-up performer, and made his mark as a filmmaker with fun, relatively lighthearted comedies like Bananas, Take the Money and Run, and Sleeper. Starting in 1977, Woody took a more serious turn with Annie Hall and continued in a dramatic vein with Interiors, Manhattan, and Stardust Memories, all of which earned Allen great acclaim from critics. Annie Hall even took the Oscar for Best Picture. Does this not track the recent history of the Clippers? A joke franchise year after year, then they add Chris Paul and just like that we have to take them seriously.
Los Angeles Lakers - TMZ, I guess.
Memphis Grizzlies - If there was a show centered around the talents of gifted physical comedians (Dick van Dyke, Michael Richards, John Ritter, John Belushi), it would be the perfect metaphor for the tough, physical Grizzlies.
Miami Heat - Two and a Half Men, right?
Milwaukee Bucks - What Up With That? That's right, the Bucks are comparable not to Saturday Night Live, but to one of its recurring sketches. A bunch of off-the-wall stuff going on all at once, and it doesn't really work - but it's worth watching anyway.
Minnesota Timberwolves - What's a show with big comedic talent that's less than the sum of its parts? Probably the Kelsey Grammer-Patricia Heaton sitcom Back To You is the best example I can name.
New Orleans Hornets - You ever see a sitcom built around an up-and-coming standup comedian? There have been dozens over the years. Very often the stand-up doesn't have much acting experience and the supporting cast isn't too experienced. Well, Anthony Davis is the standup in this analogy, and it remains to be seen whether he's starring in the next Seinfeld or the next All-American Girl.
New York Knicks - The Carol Burnett Show was a classic sketch comedy show from back in the day. It had a lot of top-notch talent that had an unfortunate tendency to occasionally ham it up to each other. When they resisted the temptation to do show, the show worked very well.
Oklahoma City Thunder - Cheers post-Diane. One of the biggest stars leaves the show, but the replacement isn't so bad and the show keeps humming along.
Orlando Magic - Remember when John Schneider and Tom Wopat left The Dukes of Hazzard?
Phoenix Suns - Saturday Night Live circa 1980. All of the big-time, big-name performers have left, and none of the new cast is working especially well.
Portland Trail Blazers - My Two Dads. A shaky premise with two stars.
Sacramento Kings - One of those shows that's always near cancellation, but somehow gets renewed again and again. Apparently it's about to change networks.
San Antonio Spurs - I hate to agree with Bill Simmons for any reason whatsoever, but he once compared the Popovich-Duncan tandem to the Barones. Well, Everybody Loves Raymond is a perfect comedy analogue for our guys. It takes a great cast make a familiar premise fresh and funny, and Raymond had that cast.
Toronto Raptors - Due South or Northern Exposure. I don't really know, I didn't watch either one.
Utah Jazz - Kids In The Hall. A lot of promising talent in one ensemble.
Insert your own suggestions below.