Ten Reasons Why The NBA Sucks
Oh, I know.
Everyone is really excited about the NBA Finals.
Lebron vs. Dirk.
Heat vs. Mavericks.
Why don’t I like the NBA? Well, because I actually care about the game of basketball and what I see in the NBA is a pale imitation of the sport I know and love.
Let me explain why I am such a curmudgeon. Here are 10 reasons why I think the NBA sucks:
10. Tattoos — So this has nothing to do with the quality of the basketball, but it has everything to do with the culture involved, which I believe creates a mentality that erodes the game in the long run. It seems like the players in the league care more about their image than they do in improving their games. Birdman? Gimme a break. He’s a complete embarrassment (he almost got his own entry on this list, too). Michael Jordan didn’t have tattoos on his face and neither should these guys.
9. Europeans – I’m not talking about those old-school Euros like Detlef Schrempf or Uwe Blab who matriculated at U.S. colleges before heading to the league. I’m talking about those guys who suddenly pop up every year during the draft who we all know nothing about and have to get to know, like Andrea Bargnani. How can someone named Andrea be the first pick in the draft?
8. High Schoolers — Again, going back a ways, there were one or two high schoolers here or there who skipped college and went to the pros. Moses Malone and Daryl Dawkins come to mind. But now the league is peppered with players who spent no time learning the game and just know how to run and jump. The NBA creating the one-year-in-college rule was a tacit acknowledgement of the damage it was doing to the quality of play, but you still get players entering the league who lack basic skills such as….
7. Shooting (or lack thereof) – Gone are the mid-range specialists of the 1970s and 1980s who could kill you at any spot on the court. Now we have gunners and dunkers. There is little in between.
6. The 24-second clock — This rule has turned the half-court game into a sham. There is no time for designed plays, so every half-court set amounts to: High pick and roll, drive to the basket and score or, if the shot isn’t there, kick it out to another guy who will either drive or shoot. Booooring.
5. Dribbling – The basic ability to dribble the proper way has been sacrificed for flashy carrying and palming of the ball. This is to create crossover-dribble opportunities for those kick-out drives mentioned in point No. 6. This distorted version of a fundamental skill thrives due to…
4. No Defense – There is very little defensive effort given during the regular season. Teams never press or trap. It’s almost like there is a gentleman’s agreement that defensive intensity won’t be turned up until the playoffs. If defenses were too good, players who currently can’t shoot would have a harder time scoring and that would result in fewer points, which the fans don’t want to see.
3. No More Post Games – Quick, prior to the arrival of Blake Griffin and not counting Tim Duncan, which player in the league thrived the most with his back to the basket? Basically no one. The days of the crafty post-move before a graceful turnaround jumper is basically non-existent. If Dwight Howard tried to do the kind of moves utilized by Kevin McHale, he’d probably break his ankles.
2. The Season Itself — NBA players play 82 regular season games. Then, if you want to win the championship, you have to navigate through four best-of-seven rounds. That means you could, conceivably, play as much as 110 games if you are player. It’s no wonder that if you go to almost any league arena circa, say, January, you will see players walking up the court, giving 30 percent effort and barely breaking a sweat. Furthermore, 16 our of 30 teams make the playoffs. Sixteen! If more than half the teams are going to make it in, why play 82 games in the first place? The regular season, as a result, is practically meaningless.
1. The Dunk — Not that I have anything against dunking per se. It’s just that it has been elevated beyond all other shots and is often offered as evidence of some kind of high-level basketball ability. Last I checked, it is still worth 2 points. Unfortunately, we have a lot of guys who can dunk with their elbows and very few who can execute a hook shot or a fade away from 15 feet. Its popularity in hip-hop culture means that kids in sixth grade are dunking before they know how to set a pick.
Maybe those nattering nabobs who banned the dunk in college back when Lew Alcindor was roaming the court had the right idea.
by Chris Huston