With the NBA season upon us...
What I Love And Hate About The NBA
What I Hate...
The death of defense
Many NBA haters will point to selfish players that won't hustle as to why the NBA is an offense oriented league.
The blame doesn't lie with the players.
In the 1994-95 season NBA officials made a number of defensive moves collectivly called hand checking illegal. Hand checking occurs when a player uses a part of their body to impede the foreword and lateral movement of an offensive player. This contact includes...
- when a defender "leaves" his hand(s) on an opponent
- when a defender repeatedly touches an opponent
- when a defender places two hands on an opponent
- when a defender continually "jabs" an opponent
- when an illegal armbar is used on an opponent
According to NBA officials, this was done to increase scoring.
According to NBA referees, this was done to limit injuries as each generation of players got bigger, faster, and stronger.
What this did was make it near impossible to play defense in a game that already favored offensive players.
How many times is it really blocking? How many times a game to they call charges?
What this did was make defense a lost art, and that isn't even the worst result of killing hand checking.
It turned basketball players into pansies.
In the pre-hand check foul basketball world, players would get mugged if they came driving down the lane.
Remember how teams used to play Jordan? Remember how the Pistons used to play, well, everybody?
Todays stars would wilt under that kind of beat down. Remember Lebron against the Wizards? They hacked him a few times and you would have thought they punched his mother.
Have you seen this guy? He's jacked! He's 10 times more ripped then Jordan and seems to think he can only take a fraction of the punishment or his career will be cut short.
Steve Nash gets rammed into the announce table and people start acting like something dirty just happened. It's a good thing Rodman doesn't play anymore.
Good defense has been reduced to the art of the believable flop. I'm sorry, if I wanted to watch players run down the court and score over and over again with little to no resistance, I'd dust off the old Super Nintendo and pop in NBA Jam.
What I Love...
The Quick Turnaround
Everyone always drools over the parity of the NFL, and while the NBA doesn't necessarily posses that equality of teams, it does have one thing going for it that you just can't say about football or baseball...
Look at the Boston Celtics.
They went from being an insult to one of the greatest franchises in sports to NBA champions in a year. How? They added two players. This just doesn't work in football or baseball because of the number of starters and the specialization of each position. If tomorrow the Detroit Lions got Brian Urlacher and Adrian Peterson, they would probrably still suck. In basketball, it's a whole different story.
This makes off season moves all the more important. One trade here, a big free agent signing there and all of a sudden you jump from joke to championship contender. Every franchise has hope. Catch phrases like "Wait 'till next year" actually mean something.
It's the biggest positive to come out of the insane grab game that is sports free agency.
What I Don't Undestand...
Why does every next big stud have to be "the next Michael Jordan"? Why can't Kobe just be Kobe and Lebron just be Lebron?
For one, there will never be another Jordan. Why? Because aside from his talent and drive, there's never going to be anyone that insane.
People forget that he punched out Steve Kerr at practice for not hustling.
They also forget that he threw Horace Grant into a locker during half time because Grant wanted to sit out due to a migraine.
He used to take out other stars to dinner as a means of softening them up for when he played them.
It's a rumor that his friendship with Charles Barkley stemmed from Jordan's desire to learn Barkley's flaws and weaknesses so that he could destroy him.
I can stomach Kobe comparisons because they share a similar killer instinct, but Lebron? Really?
He seems... human.