Get your blanky, fluff your pillow, say your prayers and go to sleep. Another yawner of an NBA season is upon us, and guess what, David Stern? Nobody cares. This is what happens when there are glaring holes in a product that you are trying to sell, and right now the NBA is dealing with one roughly the size of the Grand Canyon.
How can this be fixed? Well basically, the sport is beyond repair. Rivalries essentially don’t exist. Anyone remember the good ones? Celtics-Lakers, Knicks-Bulls or Clippers-Hornets (for those of you who don’t follow the NBA, that last one was a joke)? When there is no conflict, there is no interest, period. Ever go to see a movie or television show where pretty much everything is amicable? Welcome to the sporting version of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
With no bad blood to fuel motivation beyond a monetary value, today’s “stars” are playing for the check, not the ring. In which case, more power to you, but when the national team consisting of the “best players in the nation” gets stomped by the likes of Greece and Argentina in international play, pride is something that obviously gets in the way, but at the same time, the players don’t have very much of it.
The flashy young stars of today are being brought down to earth by “boring” teams that play both ends of the floor. What happens when these two meet is a catastrophic event. (See 2007 NBA Finals, otherwise known as the Lebron James brick-fest.) The NBA used to be interesting, and when I say used to be, I mean the last time I honestly gave a crap about the sport was when the Knicks made their improbable run to the NBA Finals in 1999. Three Lakers championships and waaaaaay too much Shaquille O’Neal media hype later, turn on golf, basketball is done.
This year’s version of the Boston Celtics might prove to be a revival of the sport that became so selfish and obsolete, it made Americans forget about why they hated professional baseball after the 1994 strike. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have come together to either return the glory days to Boston, or to prolong the city’s (basketball) misery.
Even Kobe Bryant to the Chicago Bulls isn’t sparking any interest. And the fact of the matter is, when no one cares about your sport, you got some holes to fix. And right now, there is none bigger than the NBA.
Top five things that annoy me in sports this week:
5. Redskins Radio Announcers. I had to listen to five minutes of this dribble before I pulled up at a friend’s place to watch and actual football game in the Colts and Patriots. Fun fact: when Clinton Portis is stopped for a three-yard loss, he did not “almost get” the first down that was five yards from the line of scrimmage.
4. Gilbert Arenas. Don’t get me wrong, love him as a true professional basketball player who is in it for the right reasons. But if you’re going to talk smack, back it up.
3. Tiger Woods. Really don’t have a problem with the guy, but he is just way to rich for his own good. Seriously Tiger, throw some of that this way.
2. Washington Redskins. That was the UGLIEST victory I have ever witnessed. I know they say a win is a win, but when your win looks like the melting faces of the Nazis in “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark,” fix something.
1. Tom Brady. You screwed me over in fantasy football with your two picks this week. Go to your corner.