Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Man, I Wish The NBA PROMOTED Guys Who Didn't Suck

I'm going to counterpoint myself because like Harvey Dent, I am of multiple minds.

A lot of people simply pointed out that there are likable players and perhaps even entire teams in the NBA. Obviously, this is a matter of opinion and with the way we pretty much hate the NBA around here, you can imagine how skeptical we might be.

However, if I'm being fair, it's true. Last year's Mavs team, to me, is a good example. A bunch of guys who seem to genuinely like each other (rather than just for the cameras). I even wrote about how much they made me sort of actually like NBA basketball if only for a few nights. Guys who are thrilled and humbled to have won a championship, rather than immediately think of a way to scream out a tagline of one of their sponsors (and yet do it incorrectly).

This year, teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder fit the bill. Some might argue the Pacers also are likable. So why don't teams like this get promoted? Oh, right. Because they're not the Celtics or Lakers or the Heat. And just to remind you of what kind of guy LeBron James is, in case you find yourself rooting for him, from a Wojo column last June:

There’s nothing real about James’ world, and never has been. He’s a prisoner of a life that his sycophants and enablers and our sporting culture has created for him. He’s rich and talented and something of a tortured soul. He’s the flawed superstar for these flawed times. He’s a creation of a basketball breeding ground full of such twisted priorities and warped principles. Almost every person who’s ever had to work closely with him, who has spent significant time, who’s watched him belittle and bully people, told me they were rooting hard against him. That’s sad, and that’s something he doesn’t understand and probably never will.

So yes, there are actually likable guys and teams out in the NBA. There are charitable guys and considerate guys and guys who play because they love playing and care about their fans. But the faces that the league chooses to promote heavily are not the kinds of guys I can possibly think about rooting anything but against.


Benjamin said...

Wrong again. Not about Lebron, mind you, but about it being a problem with the NBA. If you watched much NBA this season, you'd know that the top guys the NBA specifically spent money promoting were Durant, Dirk, D-Rose, and maybe Kobe.

The Celtics, Lakers and Heat get most of the ESPN promotion because they bring in the eye-balls - both for being good and for being hated.

Lebron gets the most pub because Nike and ESPN push him, the latter also because he's unlikable and that brings in the eye-balls.

The league doesn't choose to put Lebron everywhere, the media and Nike do that. In fact, this whole lockout was about the league finding a way to prevent another Lebron or Carmello from holding their team hostage and making the game worse by colluding to play with their buddies.

Based on your logic we shouldn't watch college basketball in general because Kentucky gets the most pub and they are everything that is wrong with the game.

The game is what it is. I suspect much of the antipathy toward the NBA is not so much the players or what they represent, but the fact that with such a massive collection of super-duper athletes the game itself looks much different than it does in college. It almost seems too easy for some of these guys, like they are just going through the motions. Dig a little deeper and you realize that for the most part that isn't true; that in fact they're just playing to their strengths and trying to save their bodies for when the team needs them the most down the stretch.

Ryan said...

I'm pretty sure your last sentence makes the point that the players aren't trying...which makes the NBA pretty horrible to watch for much of the season.

Headphones_on said...

The NBA is pretty horrible to watch during the regular season; there's never any surprise teams like the NFL or MLB. It's pretty easy to name 14 or 15 of the 16 playoff teams at the beginning of the year based simply on the rosters

Benjamin said...

I agree that the NBA is not as good as it could be. Moving to a 60-70 game schedule would make it a much better product. My point was that you can't say the NBA is intrinsically bad due to the players / who the NBA promotes.

Your points about the reg season are right on. But this BS post was made during the playoffs, when all that goes away. Nearly every game, even in the first round, is competitive and displays some great b-ball. All the talk of the NBA being terrible is, IMO, letting the play and attitudes of a few players overshadow what is still the best basketball - at times - in the world. That's far from terrible.

I guess my point is that even Chris Kramer would save his body due to the NBA schedule, but once the playoffs start you get the best of the best.