The DEFEND Cleveland Show

The NBA, still rich, and still broke


Well thank goodness that the NBA strike was settled.  With the regular season now cut to “only” 66 games, that sure is going to cut down the opportunities to see the all the things that makes regular season NBA so great.  I will have only 66 chances to see guys that make an average of $5.5 million dollars a year refuse to play with intensity or focus except for the last two minutes of each half.  I will only have 66 chances to see these same insanely paid basketball players inexplicably be unable to hit mid range jump shots.  To think that 16 regular season games will be missed, sixteen games where a guy goes crazy after a dunk despite the fact his team is losing by 17 in the fourth quarter.

What about the games missed by members of each arena’s “Scream Team” (or whatever the fuck they are called)?  Will those safely scrubbed Mall Kids be ready for their sanitized dance moves during all 28 stops in play during a standard NBA game?  Heck, if I didn’t know any better, I would think the Scream Team, Jumbotron, cheerleaders, and mascots were there exclusively to divert the attention of the fans from the fact that the actual GAMES are pretty much awful.  There is so much other bullshit going on in an NBA game, who even notices that it’s basically five guys playing one-on-one against five other guys every night?

As I see it the NBA has many problems the strike settlement completely ignored:

1) The league is composed of a few good teams (i.e. major markets that young rich guys want to live in like Chicago, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles) and a bunch of Washington Generals (i.e. small or crappy cities that young rich guys don’t want to live in like Cleveland, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Detroit, Milwaukee, Denver, and Salt Lake).  The only exceptions are when the Generals teams capture a great guy in the draft and keep him captive for a few years, until he flees to a city where there are lots of desirable nightclubs.  New Orleans and Orlando, I’m talking to you!

2)      The league has now marketed the individual players so effectively; no one cares about how teams do.  For example, when the Lakers play the Heat, it’s “Kobe takes on LeBron and Dwayne Wade!” not “The Lakers try to knock off the red hot Heat!”  I have a bunch of nephews that think Tracy McGrady was the best player ever, despite the fact that guy might have never even won a scratch off lottery ticket, much less a real live meaningful NBA game.   This has led to a league full of players that want to get their highlight dunk on SportsCenter, instead of playing good defense and helping their team win a game.

3)      Why is it NBA superstars, who have been sold to us as mythic heroes, all want to “get their ring” by going to a front running team?  Isn’t the point of being a monster star player that you are the one that wins the games for whatever team you happen to be playing on?  If you are supposed to be “The Man”, and you have the big endorsement deals, shouldn’t you actually be responsible for winning something?  Meanwhile all the ex-player commentators all go along with this faulty logic.  “Well, Karl Malone has had a great career in Utah.  Now it’s time for him to go get his ring in Los Angeles.”  Fuck that.  All these guys are a bunch of front running clowns that can’t take responsibility for their own team’s failure.  (See: Anthony, Carmelo)

4)      NBA and hip hop culture have been melded together.  This has not always been great for the NBA, as hip hop culture celebrates “getting over” without working too hard, not being “disrespected”, and generally being cooler than everyone else in the room by way of your showy excess in clothes and jewelry.  These are not exactly qualities that make players “coachable”.  When players can’t be coached, you have five guys playing one-on-one with five other guys, and the main goal is to get on SportsCenter’s Top Ten Plays.  That’s not a good product for anyone but the five douchebags trying to dunk the ball on the five other douchebags.  That they all make $5.5 million a year guaranteed doesn’t help either.  “Hey Beasley!  You have to get back on D!”  Fuck you Coach.  “Um, OK.  But try to get back on D, OK?

5)      NBA players appear to be the biggest assholes of all the giant sport star assholes on the planet.  Whenever you read a quote by a guy that appears to be completely out of touch, chances are it is from an NBA player.  These guys have been having their asses licked since they were 13 playing AAU games.  You think they know what the real world is like?  I’m not sure how you could have reached a settlement for these guys to stop being dicks, but someone should have thrown in something into the agreement.  The Anti-Darius Miles clause it could have been called…

6)      There are still too many games.  These guys plainly don’t kick it in until the Playoffs, and even then it’s insane.  Do you realize that the NBA Playoffs start in early April and don’t conclude until right before 4th of July weekend?  They should make a schedule where every game matters.  Play every team in your conference on a home/home basis.  Play everyone in the other conference home/away every other year.  Play two games a week.  The Playoffs are best two out of three every round.  Home/away/home for the team with the better record.  Four teams make the playoffs on each side.  Bam.  Suddenly I am interested.

Regardless, the NBA is back. So get ready everybody!  Here comes 66 bullshit games before two months of never ending playoffs.  There are plenty of corporate dudes ready to sit in the lower bowl and club seats, with some people that care sitting in seats so high/steep that they should be concerned about mountain goats and shortness of breath.  We’ll have lots of preening highlights on SportsCenter, and in the end some combination of  LA/Boston/Chicago/Miami/Dallas will play each other to win the championship.  Very exciting.  The NBA… It’s “Fan”tastic!


-Greg Miller

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Posted by on Nov 28 2011. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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