I love the NBA. I'm one of the few true NBA fans out there, it's my favorite sports league, college or pro. The players are the most athletic and graceful of all the sports. I think it's the best blend of induvidual and team skills out there.
Everyonce in awhile I'll hear a friend who isn't a real big basketball fan talk about how they just can't watch the NBA anymore. The most common reasons are A) the players are all thugs, B) they just don't call traveling, C) no one tries and D) the players are all thugs.
First of all, the whole 'thug' issue is border line racist. Oh Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, see? Iverson and his problems. His tirade versus practice. Latrel Spreewell.
How about Ray Lewis? One of the most undercovered sports trials I've ever seen. How about Leonard Little? Heard of him? He's a DE for the St Louis Rams, he killed a woman while driving drunk. Then he got a DUI a couple years later. Um? Ray Caruth? The starting running back for the Baltimore Ravens spent time in JAIL this offseason! There's the whole TO stink right now (I'm not linking to any TO news, I'm sick of it) I know it's not anywhere near as serious as the aformentioned, but he's a selfish showboat, which I thought everyone hated about the NBA?
How about Ugueth Urbina? Or Doc Gooden?
My point roughly the same as MacCallum's:
Barry Bonds acts like an idiot and that's on Barry Bonds. Terrell Owens acts
like an idiot, and that's on Terrell Owens. Iverson rants about how he dislikes
practice, and that's on the entire NBA. I can't even imagine what people would
be saying if the NBA had a steroid problem like the one plaguing baseball right
now. Or if Iverson had torn apart the 76ers in the same fashion that Owens
tore apart the Philadelphia Eagles this season, I honestly feel he would've had
to fear for his life.
Is it race? The NBA is the blackest of all the sports leagues, by far. It's also the one most linked to hip-hop culture. The baggy pants, the corn rows, all that. Black players in baseball had cornrows (I know Lofton had them for awhile, all I remebered is that I missed the flat top), and NFL players do to. But Joe Public never really sees them. NFL players have helmets on, baseball have caps. The NBA players are right out there, tank top and shorts. You see the tatoos, the emotions, the cornrows- everything. It's definitely more raw/in your face. All I know is when some one says "I hate the NBA, its full of thugs" I get a little irked.
Maybe it's not, I dunno. I do know that it's not just me who thinks this. Jason Whitlock had a great column(Insider$) about the Olympic basketball team when they sucked it up in the olympics. All those tatooed and the cornrowed millionaires misrepresenting our country. Bah.
As for the traveling nonsense... My buddy pulled this gem out the other day, "I just can't watch the NBA, they never call traveling anymore." I'm sorry, but this is the lamest excuse to not watch a sport. Just say you don't like basketball, its okay. Like man, I never watch football anymore, they just never call offensive pass interference. I used to like baseball, but the guys never really touch second base on the double plays anymore.
Do NBA players travel? It happens *cough* LeBron* cough. But it's not like there's an epidemic of walking going on. It maybe happens once a game. If this is what is keeping you away from the NBA, then stay away.
As for the whole 'not trying' complaint... Are the most tense minutes in a football game the beginning? How about baseball? Are early innings more intense than late? Basketball is the same way. They try the entire time, no one is loafing around. It's just, as the fourth quarter is closing down, the intensity picks up.
I dunno, I love the NBA, despite and because of its faults. I love the 45 month playoff system. And how the last 2 minutes of the fourth quarter take 20. (Cue lame ending) I love this game.