Tonight I decided to venture out into the cold tundra of downtown Dallas and get myself a non-hotel meal. Considering I have eaten at the Crowne Plaza for the last 3 nights and not once have I been happy with the food, I figured the fear of eating yet another average dinner was too much for me to bear. So off I went, looking for a good place to settle in for some grub. I managed to find a little bar called “Gators” on North Market St. “Gators” is your typical bar food place with lots of frozen daiquiris and loud music. So there I sat, watching the ESPN Friday Night NBA game and drinking my Dirty Banana drink and it occurs to me that…well…the NBA kinda sucks.
All my life I have loved the game of basketball. I used to watch the NBA faithfully when I was a teen. Loved the Magic/Bird matchups of the 80’s. And then in the 90’s I loved to watch Scottie dish to Air for a tongue-wagging slam dunk off the baseline. So much joy to watch those heroes of the past do their thing. But now?
I’m not getting it.
Granted, I was watching the 3rd quarter of the Dallas Mavs vs the Boston Celtics on a Friday night in February. And I don’t watch a lot of NBA anymore so maybe this wasn’t a typical game for either team. But here’s what I saw while watching…
- Superstar Kevin Garnett shoving a referee and NOT getting tossed out of the game.
- Multiple travel violations that were not called.
- Too numerous to count moving picks that were not called.
- Multiple over-the-back violations that were not called.
- Various degrees of lousy shot selection by professional basketball players.
- A bunch of one-on-one plays that usually ended up with a player traveling to the basket and getting hammered near the rim and no call being made.
If this is what professional basketball players have developed into, it’s a sorry state of the league. At no time did I ever feel like there was any flow to the game. It was always hurry down the court and shoot. Where was the teamwork? Where were the stars? Oh sure…Dirk Nowitzki has 18 (quiet) points. How he managed to score at all is amazing testament to the man’s ability to put the ball in the cylinder. Every play I saw he was getting hacked by at least 3 guys. Ray Allen can still ball. He was lighting it up with some short jumpers. But other than that? No one looked good at all. Even Jason Kidd, who can really catch on fire in NBA Jam!, looked out of rhythm the entire time he was in the game. It was laughable really, watching these grown men trying to play basketball and getting paid good money to do it. And there they were, jogging up the court, hacking each other, shuffling their feet and pushing & shoving each other. What a disgrace.
The only sign of sportsmanship I saw the entire time I was watching was when a Maverick player got shoved into the stands at the Boston Garden. He was on the floor and a fan extended a helping hand, pulling him up off the court. That was it. The rest of the time, both teams just looked pissed off and ready to body slam one another.
Uh…guys? It’s BASKETBALL. Not football! Play basketball. THIS is NOT basketball! I dunno what that was I was watching but it looked kind of like the Ultimate Fighting promos ESPN kept showing during timeouts! I was terrible! And I won’t be watching anymore.
Not that it matters. It looks like the NBA will also be going on strike next year. But unlike football, somehow I doubt it will be missed. College basketball is SO much better, it’s not even funny.
Oh look! “CSI” is on USA Network…
Aaaand so much for watching the NBA. I’ll check back in again in another 15 years.