Monday, May 07, 2012

Man, I Wish The NBA Didn't Suck

Likable?
Every now and then we write about the NBA around these parts, which is weird because we generally think the NBA product sucks. So maybe that's why we do it, because as you know, we love to complain about things that really grind our gears.

The thought I keep coming back to is this: The NBA is just terrible.

I grew up in NJ in the '80s and '90s so I remember the Knicks being terrible in the '80s but at least sort of likable, then ascending to be a 60-win team in the Pat Riley era, albeit one that could never get past Jordan. I remember being in high school when the Knicks found a way to lose to the Bulls in 1993 even with home court advantage when Charles Smith was "blocked" four times, without a foul ever being committed! Yay, Jordan Rules! (Yes, I'm rambling now, but it's not like you have anything better to do.)

I was also a real fan of the Knicks (yes, I can admit this) when in 1994 -- yes, with Michael on hiatus -- the Knicks made the Finals and actually had a 3-2 lead, but then went to Houston thanks to the NBA's idiotic 2-3-2 format and lost Games 6 and 7, helped by John Starks shooting like Boilerdowd at the Co-Rec in the same era.

I was still a fan in 1997, when the Miami Heat's PJ Brown started a near riot as the Knicks were taking a 3-1 series lead, resulting in suspensions galore (this was the beginning of the rule where leaving the bench resulted in a suspension and guys weren't used to it yet, thus peacemakers were suspended). So many Knicks were suspended that they had to stagger the suspensions or else the Knicks wouldn't have enough players. They wound up losing in 7.

I was a happy fan who felt like I was getting a bonus in 1999, when the Knicks as the 8-seed knocked out the 1-seed Heat and went all the way to the Finals, losing to San Antonio. So yeah, I was an NBA fan, I suppose, but I never lived and died with the Knicks the way I do with Purdue, for example.

What am I getting at? Well, I just think the league is completely unlikable anymore and there's also almost zero excitement in the playoffs, at least in these early rounds. Did anyone really think the Knicks had a shot against the Heat? I loved listening to NY sports radio and hearing people talk themselves into the idea that the Knicks had a chance. Come on. I mean, obviously, they should have a chance, given the likes of Stoudamire and Anthony, but this team is dysfunctional and not interested in actually acting like, you know, a team.

Sure, the Sixers are looking to pull a major upset over the Bulls, but once Rose went down, I think the Bulls folded the tent. I'm not even going to bag on them about that, either, because that was just crushing.

In the end, you know the teams that are going to be in the hunt. And sadly, those teams are made up of unlikable d-bags. LeBron James? Dwayne Wade? Kobe Bryant? Egotistical, arrogant, disingenuous d-bags.

Kobe Bryant screws anything that will move while he's married and then lies about it -- this is a guy you want to root for? Carmelo Anthony is a career underachiever (8 first round exits in 9 playoffs) who pouted his way out of Denver and then undermined his coach in New York, ultimately getting D'Antoni to resign. LeBron? Well, the list of reasons to hate him is endless.

The league is unlikable and predictable. Look at these series! There literally isn't a competitive one among them. Brutal. Compare this to my NHL, where nearly every series has been competitive and compelling and where literally every team in the playoffs can have legitimate hope to advance deep. Oh, and where the players give genuine interviews and seem earnest in their team-first attitudes.

I wish the NBA was more compelling. I wish the guys were easier to root for. I wish the series were exciting in the first couple of rounds and worth watching. But they aren't. The NBA is a terrible product right now, in my opinion. And that really grinds my gears.

14 comments:

Jason J. Ringer said...

Man, I remember when Boiled Sports didn't suck. Now it is just a shell of itself, griping about every blessed thing, while presenting generally ignorant arguments, on top of undermining its readers whenever there is a backlash to their posts. I don't understand why you are holding NBA players to a higher standard than other professional athletes, cause clearly hockey, football, and baseball players don't have egos at all and would never lie about their intentions in an in-game incident. Please, if you are gonna post opinions about the NBA, do some legitimate research and watch the games, and spare us how you believe hockey players are the salt of the earth compared to basketball players.

Boilergal said...

The NBA SUCKS!!!

Unwatchable for over a decade now.

Bring back Reggie, MJ, Barkley, Stockton, Magic, Ewing, etc. You couldn't pay me enough to watch the current band of thugs roam the court... and stands!

jay.westfall said...

Real pro basketball died when the ABA folded, in my opinion of course. Those teams had hunger in their souls! Who could ever forget the wild guy, Jerry Baker, doing play by play for the Pacers! :):)

Purdue Matt said...

Much agreed. It sucks. Stars like Carmelo and Lebron are uneducated and have no class.

Patrick said...

I agree. Miller, Smits, Jordan, Pippen, Olajuwon, Robinson, Malone, Drexler, Ewing, Mourning... and on. Aside from Miller & Smits, I didn't "like" any of those guys, but I respected them and their work effort. These guys were fun to watch. Now, the NBA is not so much fun to watch. And the Pacers died when Miller retired, although one can argue they died when they sign Artest and Jackson.

T-Mill said...

I hate the 1999 Knicks. talk about your Jordan Rules. That Larry Johnson Four-point play against the Pacers is one of the worst calls in NBA history and proof the league is fixed.

Cpt. Longshanks said...

Jason J Ringer is a twat. That is all.

Benjamin said...

It's fine if you don't like the NBA, but don't use arguments about the talent level or 'kind' of player being terrible now. There were just as many thugs and unlikable players in the 80s and early 90s as there are now. And the NBA has arguably more talent now than at any time ever due to the Garnett's Kobe's Paul's and Lebron's from the US plus all the influx of great foreign players.

Sure the NBA could be better with a few tweeks, but in general it's what basketball looks like when everyone is very very good at what they do. And if you notice, the teams that play the one-on-one ball you all say the NBA is in general lose early. If the Heat win they will be the first team in a long time that win without playing team basketball (I don't think they'll win, either - OKC will wipe the floor with them due to great passing and a balanced attack on both ends of the court). Hell, San Antonio is the best team in the West, and they're a bunch of 40 yr olds and role players. But they play team basketball.

Don't bitch about something you clearly have watched very little of. Just write an article about how the Knicks suck and Mello is a coach killer. That's a fact, but it doesn't mean the NBA is unwatchable.

brown11b said...

I am concerned with some of the comments here.

First the NBA has it's flaws, but it is still the highest level of basketball in the world with the world's greatest athletes.

Second calling players in the NBA, a majority African American league, thugs and uneducated carries very large racial implications. It is also down right uninformed.

If I remember correctly the breakdown is the NFL is the most educated league while the NBA comes in second. Baseball was a distant 4th behind Hockey. Of course MLB is a high percentage of white players so no one talks about the lack of education in that sport.

9c81d2de-992c-11e1-aa1b-000bcdcb2996 said...

I didn't see a foul on Charles Smith. Sounds like somebody has sour grapes! Plus, Starks CLEARLY travels with about 19 seconds left, and that was uncalled. It's clear they didn't plan on calling anything in that last stretch.

But sure, fall back on "Jordan Rules," like the rest of the New York fans.

Ryan said...

Much like soccer fans, NBA fans seem to think that if you don't currently watch and don't like the product, it's because you don't understand the nuance and intricacy of the game...and haven't watched enough. J has watched a lot of NBA basketball...doesn't watch it now because it's not worthy of being watched.

The league took a bad turn as it grasped for new stars in the twilight of Jordan and Malone's careers...Allen Iverson's emergence as a Super-star did more to hurt the league than any other I could think of, to that point.

Brown- your insinuation that J is a racist because he doesn't like the NBA is absurd...you don't know him and you're actually uninformed.

While no one will question that NBA and NFL athletes are some of the best in the world, I think it's not fair to call what the NBA plays as the "best basketball in the world".

Dribbling isn't required in the game, in fact, I saw a promo commercial yesterday in which two players traveled...and this was NBA-chosen footage. Plus, isolation for one guy as four stand around and watch him isn't great or even good basketball, in my opinion...and it doesn't matter if it's a German white guy named Dirk playing one-on-one or, or a black American named Kobe doing it. Next, the amount of contact that's allowed in the NBA game has transformed it to a full-contact game in which many, if not most players wear rib and thigh padding for protection.

Lastly, because the NBA all but requires players to go and pretend to go to school for a year (semester really), doesn't make them educated...but it does mean they've spent more time in an educational institution...kinda.

J Money said...

Wait, where did I say they were "thugs" or "uneducated"?

Oh, right, I didn't. Many are both of those things, though, and it's got nothing to do with race. People who imply racism when they don't like an opinion are pathetic.

J Money said...

Hey, Jason J Ringer, what would you like us to write about other than our opinions? YOUR opinions? Do tell!

Also, why is it that people who go by their full name and use an initial are almost always arrogant 'bags? It's uncanny!

E said...

RE: Charles Smith.....

If you are relying on charles smith to win a playoff game in the closing seconds.....you don't deserve to win!! Ha ha, go Bulls!!

Oh, and brown11b was referring to another commenter using the Thug word, not you J.

(be honest, you all know a thug when you see one at a gas station or walmart, purple, green, white or black!)

Fact - NFL has a higher arrest rate then the NBA, believe it or not

In my opinion, J is being a bit harsh..but not entirely off base. I like watching the talent level, especially players like Durant and Rose and even kobe and LeBRon and carmelo when they take over games. But unfortunately their spine-tingling moments are few and far between. Combine that with the league (and refs) coddling their stars(see Dwayne Wade vs the Mavs a few years ago) and you get a crappy product. The whole ref scandal from a while back pretty much confirmed what we though about fixed games in the past and it still has a cloud over things. Oh, and lookup some youtube videos about hideous traveling violations....good times!