Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Why I hate the NBA

I shouldn't hate the NBA, really. I played a lot of basketball in my youth, played pick-up ball for years afterward, and learned the game from a dad who was a center way back in the day when a 6'2" white guy could play that position. I watched it a lot when I was younger, but here's the top 5 reasons why I think pro basketball now simply sucks:

5: The players are kids. Having teenagers play in the league is something I don't like. When you can't get acquainted with the stars of tomorrow during their college career it makes you relate less.

4: The average NBA player now comes from a world that I don't connect with. I'm not a hip-hop kind of guy - I'm a 40-year old with a wife, a kid, a minivan, and a mortgage. It's not really a white/black thing, more of an old/young thing. I know the lingo but I don't have the moves. Players in my day didn't have tattoos everywhere, they mainly had modest haircuts (except for a few afros and mullets), and they weren't wearing more jewelry than my wife out on the court.

3: NBA referees suck. They have the worst officiating of any major national sport, even worse than football's part-time refs. The officiating in the NBA finals was the main reason why there isn't a game 7, and why the Heat are already champs.

2: The games are more about the "experience" nowadays than the game. I loved the game. I don't need laser shows, cheerleaders, and arena rock.

1: Back as late as the early '90s, basketball had flow. Scores were high, defense was aggressive but reasonable, and 120-115 scores were normal. Then came the Pistons, and after them the Riley Knicks, and the game slowed down to a crawl. Now you have more 1-on-1 play and less movement - it's all about the hard foul on the rare trip to the basket, and I think the 3-point shot is terrible for the game. Boo hiss.

I grew up a Knicks fan - and I remember the early '70s teams they had, the great Celtics/Lakers battles, the Sixers with Erving, and all the play from that era fondly. If I had time, I'd only watch ESPN Classic to see that stuff. That's the basketball I grew up trying to play, the basketball that means something to me. Not the crap that I see nowadays.

You kids, get outta my yard!

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