Welcome to Mid-Level Exceptional

Photo by 401(K) 2012 via flickr

First, a message from Matt Moore, Editor Emeritus of Hardwood Paroxysm and the HPBasketball Network. 

The business of the NBA has become as important as the basketball. Cap room, luxury tax, trade exceptions, CBA negotiations, brand management, technology… it’s all become a bigger and bigger part of following the league. For every person that just wants to focus on basketball (AND THAT’S TOTALLY COOL, Y’ALL), there are people who want to talk about the big picture. The future of the league is far more interesting to a lot of folks than the present.

The Spurs play beautiful basketball. Transcendent, glorious swings of ball movement and inferno-shooting. BUT DUDE, IN TWO YEARS WE COULD HAVE MAX CAP SPACE.

Mid-Level Exceptional will be more than that. It’s going to tell you about free agency and how cap room works, about the CBA and its quirks. It will debunk myths about how teams can form superteams and look at why flexibility matters. But it will also show you how the television deals and revenue sources for the league impact how the league operates. We’ll talk about franchise evaluation and the impact of market dynamics.

NBA fans are getting smarter every day because of the web, because of blogs, and we want to be part of that conversation in the most informed way possible.

Jared Dubin, longtime Hardwood Paroxysm contributor and editor, as well as Bloomberg Sports writer, is your guide on this journey. Jared is as smart and analytical about basketball as anyone I’ve ever met, and he has the right kind of vision to make this site great. The cold hard numbers, dollars, and cents of the league aren’t of interest to everyone. But it’s a big part of the league, and there’s an audience hungry to talk about.

We’re here to feed it.

Welcome to Mid-Level Exceptional.

And now, the editor of MLE, Jared Dubin.


I definitely want Mid-Level Exceptional to be a place where you can come to find answers about the collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap, the luxury tax, television rights, stadium financing, franchise valuations and every other aspect of the business of NBA basketball. But I don’t want it to just be that. I also want it to be a place where you can come to ask questions.

Nobody this side of Larry Coon — and maybe not even Larry himself — knows every single in and out of the CBA by heart. I can’t possibly expect that of you.

This will be a site where you can read a discussion of the merits of the individual maximum salary; or the amount of salary cap space your favorite has entering free agency; or about how much the cap might go up if the television rights deal doubles; or whether Sacramento’s publicly-financed arena will or will not be good for the city; or how Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase price of the Clippers affects the rest of the league. You’ll see discussions of all those issues in this space at some point today, and more in the days to come. We hope to cover everything you can think of, eventually.

The knowledge our staff does have, we’ll pass on. The knowledge our staff doesn’t have, we’ll strive to find.

So if there’s an issue — any issue — related to the business of basketball that you don’t see an explanation of or a theory related to on this site, ask us, and we’ll do our level best to find you the answer you seek. You can contact us at midlevelexceptional@gmail.com, and we’ll get back to you.