As a Knicks fan, I understand how poor leadership can wreck a franchise. From Isaiah Thomas to Phil Jackson, Lord knows I have come to appreciate a steady and solid General Manager, being that my Knicks have failed for over a decade now in the front office. And thanks to the miracle of fantasy sports, everyone believes they are the next Theo Epstein, yours truly included.

While standing at the Richmond 300 launch today at City Hall, I started to wonder. Why am I standing here thinking of the year 2037? Am I trying to win now or 20 years from now? I’m sure that’s what good GM’s (and Mayors) do right? They worry about the long-term of a franchise, in this case the franchise being the City of Richmond. Mayor Stoney is doing the right thing, right? Honestly, I think he is…but then I started thinking, If I want to win now, what do I have to do? If I am GM of the city, what deals could I make? The first thing I would do is trade Richmond 300. I’m sorry, you’re traded.

But Cheats, you have a son. What about his future?

I know, it may seem short-sighted but I’m not trading Richmond 300 for nothing, a role player to be named later and cash consideration. I’m not even trading Richmond 300 for draft picks, even though I wonder what draft picks would look like in this made-up, hypothetical game. No, I’m going trade Richmond 300 and whatever they’re planning in 2037 for a solid Superintendent, the Education Compact (what’s left of it), and let’s throw in a school remodel or two (to be named later).

Last week, I read the latest blog post from Richard Meagher on RPS and I must admit, it had me shook. ┬áIn the post, he lays out a few major issues that are affecting RPS right now, and he suggest a few ways to lead the city out of the abyss. The top of the list is a stable and strong School Superintendent. The other things, the Education Compact, and State Oversight, will have to be in play (or even lead) by a stable and strong Superintendent. So, my thought finishing that article and standing in a very hot City Hall Observation Deck this morning was, I don’t want to wait for 2037, let’s pull the trigger and win now.

I know, this is not apples to apples and somebody does have to be looking out for the future but if we get to 2037 and we have, better bus and bike lanes, smart growth, regional cooperation, a strong start-up culture, etc. if we have all of those things in 20 years, you best believe it’s because the city started to turn around our challenges with poverty and public schools in 2017.

So while I wish Richmond 300 the very best because they will be doing some great work in the coming months and I’m sure 2037 will look amazing. I’d pull the trigger on a trade because the City’s top priority should be winning now. #WESEEIT


  • John Sarvay says:

    Cheats, I love you. And I love this post, and this thinking. When the Spurs emerged from the ABA to join the NBA, I’m pretty sure they didn’t start by thinking, “How many championships do we want to win by 2017? What will our winning percentage be in 2017?”

    No, they just went out and started playing. Hard. Serious. Focused. And they were, well, okay for 15 years or so. But when the team was bought in 1993, the new owners also didn’t ask those questions. Instead, they began to create a TEAM with shared focus, strong relationships, alignment around values, and a commitment to play together to win.

    Maybe that’s a bad analogy. It’s important to think about the future, to invite the community to dream, to ask big questions about how we can maximize what we have for the next generation — and the Richmond 300 initiative should be doing those things. But it’s also important to play hard, HARD, at the game that is right in front of us today. The game that is in front of us today as a city is serious. Deadly serious. It has three complex, interrelated parts:

    1. Education
    2. Youth violence
    3. Access to jobs

    I’d put safe and affordable housing in the mix, and maybe a few other items, but if we don’t fix our schools, hard and fast, and don’t wrestle our kids from the brink, and don’t create a connection between residents and skills and meaningful jobs, we’re going to be feeling pretty blue while we wait for 2037 to arrive.

    We can do both — dream and do. But we can’t not do.

    Thanks for throwing your thoughts out so often. I’m a long-time listener, first-time caller.

  • enlightened discussion as always keep up the great work cheats!

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