Haven't posted for a while, but there is something, not necessarily card related, that needs to be posted. *Disclaimer* - I am from Boston, but I do not mean this as being a sore loser for the Celtics losing.
Is there anything wrong with the NBA? Really, did I just say that? There can't be anything wrong with the league, it has everything going for it. Stacked teams a la the 80s Celtics and Lakers, endless amounts of superstars, their athleticism is off the charts, the Memphis Grizzlies of all teams knocking off the Spurs, showing that there are signs of parody in the league. Yup, they have everything going their way.
Yup, Arnold said it, the NBA is not all it's cracked up to be. The NBA is not about fundamental basketball anymore, it's all about flashy dunks, highlight-reel layups, and rainbow 3s. In other words, it's become a SportsCenter Top 10 Plays show.
Basketball is completely unwatchable. The game is boring. I even tried watching March Madness and got bored, and I usually love March Madness. The NBA has more talent than college, and it's even more boring than the college game.
Why is it? Basketball does not have a good rhythm to it like it used to. In the early 2000s, the game had a flow to it that today just seems to be lacking. In all honesty, though, I really can't explain it. I was much younger then, only 9 or 10, but I still enjoyed the game. It's turned into a street game on the court. Everyone is so talented and athletically gifted, but there is also a lack of fundamental basketball it seems. So while there are some great games, there are also plenty of games that are just plain sloppy. I personally don't want to watch sloppy basketball most of the time, I want to watch good games.
The NBA needs to be watched in person. The only basketball game I attended last year (2010) was a Celtics - Trail Blazers game in Boston. I thoroughly enjoyed that game. It was exciting, I got into the game quite a bit, and it was an extremely sloppy game! If you told me that I had won Celtics Season Tickets for life, I'd be very happy and probably become a fan again. But, when I go home and watch it on TV, the game is painful to watch because of the sloppiness. And, since Celtics tickets are now so expensive, and there are no teams in Central Ohio, I have to watch games on TV.
Super teams are a part of the NBA's culture, always have been, always will. But there is one team that has put an extremely bad taste in my mouth and has aided in my lack of enthusiasm for the NBA: the Miami Heat. Sure, I got a little excited when Boston put together their Big 3, but they at least did it the right way, no TV specials or bullshit. LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh put themselves above the game and basically said we're better than everyone else and we're gonna beat everyone else. They're proving that they can beat everyone else now, but when the biggest superstar in the league goes on National TV to announce where he will play and then a giant party ensues on South Beach where they say they will win 10 championships and what-not, you gain a lot more haters than supporters (me being one of them).
Which leads me to LeBron, possibly half of what is wrong with the NBA. Memo to LeBron: grow up. Everyone one knows you are one of the greatest basketball players on the planet, but could you please stop acting you have been wronged by America and need to prove something to us. You put this upon yourself. You took an hour-long special on ESPN to announce to everyone, including the teams you interested in signing with, where you would play basketball this season. You helped create the unnecessary introduction of the 3 Amigos on stage in South Beach. You keep blowing up your Twitter feed with immature and unnecessary comments about redemption and karma (Twitter should be outlawed in 50 countries by now, but anyway). You sort of apologized to Cleveland fans by saying your sorry how "this" all happened. And, you also go down to one knee and look very emotional after beating the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semis.
Sure you are a great player, but leave the bullshit at the door. If you want to be better than Jordan, you have to act like a man. I know you're smart, just act like it. Man up, and say the way you went about the Decision was a stupid decision and that you are very sorry to the people you have pissed off. That so difficult? And, I pose this question, if the league's premier superstar is immature and arrogant as they come, what kind of image does this pose with the rest of the league?
There is one last thing wrong with the NBA: the national coverage. ESPN does a pretty job with covering baseball, and I love Matthew Barnaby and Barry Melrose covering hockey, but they are awful in their coverage of football and basketball. Plus, their image of turning into CNN for sports isn't helping them either. They get too swept up in talking about legacies and how great this one play was and what-not. I really don't care. Give me the basic stuff, no twitter feeds, no touch boards, no opinions from both sides, just the basics and maybe a little extra coverage from special events. Then cut to baseball highlights. And their national game coverage is just as horrendous, they seem to have no grasp about what they are explaining to their audience. Give me Gorman and Heinsohn any day over what they have.
So, what's wrong with the NBA? Well, I just gave it to you.
I'd be interested to hear reactions to this, feel free to leave a comment. But, please, do not say that I'm pissed off about the Celtics losing (because I'm not really a Celtics fan), or that I'm ranting against LeBron James (sure as hell looks like it, but I'm only pointing out that he's immature and doesn't know how to handle the spotlight).
Back to regularly scheduled cardbloggery.