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DTro

What has happened to Basketball?

17 posts in this topic

I used to have a true love for this game. In high school it was all I lived for. Back when the socks were twice as long and the shorts were half as short.

I think back and wonder at what point it was that I lost interest, and I can't come up with one major thing.

I have to say that I have a disinterest in most major professional sports, but right now you couldn't pay me to go watch an NBA game.

I think a big part of my distaste is the thuggery image of the NBA, the whole "street cred" thing is just too much for me.

Anyone else have the same disconnection from this sport they once loved?

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Not sure when "it" happened. I'm thinking when Jordan retired. Basketball was great when Magic and Bird were playing, great team basketball. Then Jordan arrived, and basketball changed. Basketball was still entertaining when Jordan was playing, he was sweet to watch. But when Jordan ruled the league, the team basketball game disappeared. The game turned into a bunch of one on one's with the refs blowing a whistle three out of touches.

All those guys skipping college and heading straight to the NBA hasn't had a good impact on the game either.

A while back I was down to watching some playoff games, and some of the big sunday games. No more. The last straw for me was watching the refs totally direct the outcome of too many games. Now there is proof of refs betting on the game, so I hope things get better. Maybe if Bron-bron gets a championship team together I'll turn on some games again...

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As a man I for one am glad those guys arent wearing the short shorts anymore.blahhhhh!

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You know, every year there is usually someone that starts a thread about how basketball has fallen off for them, particularly the NBA. But this is not the year for that thread.

I'll give you this quote from Bill Simmons' ESPN article to summarize:

 Quote:
If you love the league, if you care about it at all, then you're more excited about these next four months than you've been about anything since Michael, Larry and Magic were playing. Forget about the fact the West is so impossibly wide-open, or the juicy possibility of a Lakers-Celtics Finals (imagine seeing those uniforms on the same court in June again???), or the risky trades that lifted the "No Balls Association" tag and had everyone buzzing. Have you noticed what the new generation of All-Stars has in common?

These are all likable guys.

What's not to like about LeBron James? Dwyane Wade? Chris Bosh? Chris Paul? Deron Williams? Brandon Roy? Dwight Howard? Throw in Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, Gilbert Arenas, Monta Ellis and Al Horford, and you're talking about an entire team of likable and gifted stars under the age of 25. There isn't a bad apple in the bunch. From a historical standpoint, LeBron has a chance to be one of the best 10 players ever. Howard has a chance to be one of the best big men ever. And Paul has a chance to surpass Isiah Thomas as the greatest 6-footer ever.

Think about what a boost this has been for the NBA. Following MJ's first retirement in 1993, the ensuing 12 years were a gnarly stretch of wasted talent and wasted time. There were too many unlikable stars, too much crotch grabbing and chest thumping, too much sneering and posturing, too many rookies who weren't ready, too much expansion, too many "superstars" mailing it in for $15-20 million a year, too many injuries, too little scoring and too much defense. Many of the league's greatest players just didn't resonate with casual fans, personified by the fact so many fans were turned off by Allen Iverson, only one of the fiercest competitors in sports. You need luck with this stuff, and the NBA definitely had some luck lately, peaking with LeBron's progress as a competitor and person -- unquestionably the most important thing that happened to the league since Jordan's ascent. He's a killer now. He gets it. He plays hard on both ends. He doesn't take nights off. He takes over at the right times. He has a flair for the moment, as we saw with that game-changing dunk Sunday night.

As one NBA higher-up whispered to me last weekend, "People still think we have an image problem, I just don't get it. Do they even watch us? Do they see the caliber of the guys we have now?"

That's the issue gnawing at everyone working for the league right now. The NFL has considerably more thugs, Major League Baseball has a steroids scandal that basically has tainted the past 15 years of games, yet somehow the NBA is still perceived as the league with an image problem?

Look at what has happened in the other leagues and to the other leagues' commissioners. Bettman has expanded his league into a part of the country that has no hockey and has no cares for hockey. He's seen two work stoppages, four teams declare for bankruptcy, the neutral-zone trap that killed the flow of the game, and salaries that don't make any sense. Selig oversaw a strike and then turned a blind eye to the steroid era to recover from said strike. Taglibue/Goodell used L.A. as a threat to all cities to build new stadiums, has not fixed huge disparities in revenues (not covered in media and NFL logo profit-sharing) amongst franchises, and made the NFL the No Fun League.

Then you come to David Stern. I'll admit he oversaw one work stoppage (player's association's fault IMO) and can be a bit arrogant, biting, and overbearing. He also may be partially at fault with the T-wolves' McHale and Taylor because he pretty much made an example of the Wolves when they signed Joe Smith under the table and took away our draft picks for three years and then blackmailed McHale into trading away 3 more years of first round picks (okay I made that last part up but it would make sense...conspiracy theorists unite!).

But he has done some good things, (again quoting Simmons)

 Quote:
like expanding the NBA's reach in Europe, China and Japan. Tapping into all the digital and technological advances. Building the D-League and the WNBA. Turning NBA Cares into one of the biggest charity programs in the country. He's leaving his imprint on the league before he leaves.

************

It's hard to be an NBA fan in Minnesota right now, but if you love the high school scrappiness, the desire of the NCAA cagers, or have tuned into the NBA lately you get a pretty good product night in and night out. I'm excited to see what happens in the playoffs for all three levels of competition. Tubby Smith is coaching the Gophers, a coach with a national title and a lock for the naismith museum is the head coach of the Gophers. Al Jefferson and the young upstart Wolves will be contending, with salary cap space, in the next 2-3 years. There are plenty of high school and MN AAU programs that churn out top notch talent each year. I still have that passion for hoops and probably always will. Wherever I ultimately settle down I'll probably try to do some youth coaching, keep watching the local clubs, and get in on those pickup games. I think it helps to play. I've played basketball in winter leagues for 16 straight years and probably will keep going. The future is bright, don't give up now! Come back to the sport you loved! (By the way, I still break out the knee highs every once in a while. But the little shorts can stay in the past)

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NBA is still a joke if you like basketball...you can't watch NBA if you know anything about the sport or about defense...

It's an absolute joke...

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Why's that? They allow zones and help defense now. I know they get 3 steps on offense and certain guys are protected as far as foul calls, so I'd give you that. It's horrible watching the best athletes on the planet shoot better than we can, pass better than we can, jump higher, run faster, etc.? I'm not sure some of the best minds in basketball (Auerbach, Dr. Jack, Pete Newell, Jordan, etc., etc.) would agree with you or your assertion that anyone that knows anything about the sport can't watch NBA basketball. You can choose not to watch it for certain personal reasons (lack of effort in an 82 game season, ridiculous salaries, continuation, etc.) but I don't think you can knock the quality of play or defense on teams that are contending for a title.

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I still love the game.

I think that the sport has matured too much. Maybe it's finally time to raise the hoops to 11 or 12 ft?

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Maybe \:\) Dwight Howard and Garnett can have a high dunks contest. They could probably finish at 12/13 feet.

But if they did that in the NBA, it would be like the WNBA, no dunks. grin.gif Just kidding gals, simmer down.

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I don't catch as many games as I used to, mainly because I've been a lot busier lately. Still love the game, and I still and enjoy watching.

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well i wasnt around for the old days, have always loved basketball..but now that you do point it out, the nba is cleaning up..haha idk but for some reason when i read it i had bill waltons voice reading it too me, haha it was weird

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Really, the NBA is trying to improve its image, and I honestly think its becoming successful. Most of the best players in the league are genuine class acts: Lebron, Dwight Howard, Ray Allen, Duncan, Wade, Garnett, Nash. The rookie and sophomore stars are generally staying out of trouble.

Compare this to other sports: Baseball (need I say more?), football (dog fighting, Tank Johnson, the Tennesse Titans player that is always in trouble, the Cincinatti Bengals as a team, Spygate . . just to name a few.)

I used to be a big NBA fan when I was younger. I was turned off to it after the likes of Hakeem and Jordan left, but I am really impressed with the trend I'm seeing. Now, if they could figure out a way to put some more talent in the East, and also to schedule their games (especially playoff ones) that don't go until midnight, then they would see a rebound of fans.

There is some good basketball being played . . . you just have to look out of state most of the time! Whether its the dress code, the school requirement, or simply the reduction in the gangsta repetoire, the sport is coming back.

Also, the NBA doesn't have the luxury of being able to be played outdoors, which is a huge draw for football and especially baseball (though it sounds like they are trying to get an October game scheduled outdoors in California).

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For me when the game went from the team first fundamental era to the ME ME ME its all about my crossover carry nonsense showboat ego give me my money mentality it really killed the sport.

You wonder why we became the laughing stock of international basketball basic fundamentals and team work....and please don't give me the rest of world just got better nonsense.

I can barely watch the NBA anymore I use to live for it which is kind ridiculous in itself anyway...

College isn't much better these days its all about the money!

Go Wolves! grin.gif

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 Originally Posted By: Burnham
well i wasnt around for the old days, have always loved basketball..but now that you do point it out, the nba is cleaning up..haha idk but for some reason when i read it i had bill waltons voice reading it too me, haha it was weird

LOL, I imagined Bill Waltons voice reading it too grin.gif

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College basketball is great and I still love to watch and follow it.

NBA IMO is garbage.

The thugs and gangsta's ruined the game plain and simple and it will never come back. Noone cares because none of the players try.

What they need to do is to limit the schedule to a 30-40 game season so that some defense is played and guys actually try. The pick and role, take your man one on one game is boring to watch.

There may be some good new stars coming up, but people don't respect half of them because most of them went straight from high school and skipped the NCAA's because they were too dumb to get into college.

Also, one thing I never see in the NBA is emotion. MLB, NFL and all college sports thrive on it, while most NBA guys seem as if they could care less whether they win or lose.

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kevin garnett is definately one player that cares if he wins or looses..but yea i know wat ya mean

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Interesting Topic with a lot of opinions..... My post is opinion too!

1.) As far as watching games goes, I would take a college game anyday over the NBA! A huge part of the game for me as a viewer is the atmosphere created (even on TV). College kids (I am one also) go absolutely CRAZY for their team and most will stand all game and cheer for every basket (NOT JUST CLAP or Stand at the end of a game or after a timeout, and for maybe one trip down the floor.) but in college the kids go absolutely crazy ALL GAME!

JUST WATCH A GOPHERS GAME, or any other NCAA team for that matter!

2.) The NBA allows to much that other levels don't (travelling, carrying the ball, etc.) Yes NBA players are fun to watch and the NBA is for entertainment but if these guys are the best in the world, why do they get away with stuff that High School players can't?

By this I mean travelling (NBA - 5 steps, maybe) (H.S. - 3 steps like it should be) The list goes on and it is one of the reasons I watch college and H.S. more!

A good argument was that Bill Walton piece. I would agree the NBA is getting better and their are great players who come to play. KG, Jason Kidd, Nash, Lebron, Carmello.

3) Perhaps it's just the fact that the WOLVES have been bad for a few years! - I loved watching when the Wolves first made the playoffs with Marbury, Garnett, Gugliotta, Mitchell, etc. Those were the days, and every year they have made the playoffs as well!)

4) The NBA can still be fun as ENTERTAINMENT but I think its become to much of just that: Entertainment, and not true fundamental basketball. It's too much 1 on 1 with high scores and little Defense! Sure, the Wolves seem to play in a lot of CLOSE games but I'd spend my money on a Gophers game when they're so-so over a good Wolves team!

Having said all this I still follow the Wolves and catch many games on TV. No, I wouldn't pay for tickets to go see them, but YES I do still follow the home team and cheer when they play a good game (TONIGHT Vs. the JAZZ!)

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Good post...

The problem I have with the NBA is effort. I don't care what you say...zero teams in todays NBA play every game all season with the same effort. A 20-30 point lead means nothing because come 4th quarter the teams will kick it up to finish the game out. There is no reason that these extremely high paid athletes should coast through so many games.

You watch nearly every college game and the effort will floor you. These kids are playing their hearts out. I have seen at least 3-4 college games (wiscy v indiana and vandy v tennessee to name a couple) in the past couple of weeks that not one NBA game can shake a stick at for effort and entertainment.

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