As the Miami Heat clinched the second NBA Title in franchise history last night, all I could think about was what happened to the NBA? I recall a time not long ago, when Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace worked hard to bring the NBA title back to Detroit for the first time since the early 90′s. Those players played hard, took and gave hard fouls, and fought with every inch of their being to secure that title. It wasn’t the prettiest basketball, but it was team basketball. A collection of players, one not better than the other working to achieve a goal. As I watched Chris Bosh, Lebron James, and Dwayne Wade celebrate last night, it made me nauseated. I couldn’t help but smiling, thinking about Lebron coming into the paint and Rasheed or Ben fouling him so hard he would think twice before coming into our house again.
The NBA used to be a mans game, where the big boys came to play. It wasn’t for the weak of heart. Their were players who played hard and made you pay if you made a mistake. They played no blood no foul basketball and the masses were entertained. That was then and this is now.
The NBA is incredibly hard for me to watch these days. Most nights, I can tell you exactly who is going to win before the tip. The offensive team has all the advantages and god forbid someone get near a star player when they drive the lane. The NBA is a soft league and David Stern seems happy with it.
The average fan can’t stand basketball anymore. Most people in Detroit can’t tell you what the Pistons record was this season or name their starting five. We checked out because we knew before the season even started that their was no chance to win a title. Its no longer a game that includes a whole team. It includes your 2 or 3 best players, versus another teams 2 or 3 best players. There are so many fouls the games have become long and boring, and the last 2 minutes of a game easily takes 30 minutes. The Star players are all cry babies. Complaining at any call that doesn’t go there way, and having a 10 minute conversation with a referee after a call they don’t like.
The officiating is easily the worst of any sport. Never has there been more inconsistent officiating in any pro sport. It looks as if every referee has an agenda and they are all just waiting to flex their muscle and decide the outcome of the game. This NBA finals, was a joke. It was clear from the outset of game 5 whom the referees had chosen to win the game. Every call went against OKC and they looked helpless to stop it.
In game 4 of the NBA finals Russell Westbrook took 30 shots and only got to the free throw line 3 times. You show me one game where Lebron James shot 15 or more times and only had 3 free throws. Keep looking, you won’t find it. Casual fans are walking away from the NBA and David Stern could care less. He is more wrapped up in taking the game to China and Europe and building the biggest basketball empire in the world. I for one am not interested any longer. Europe and China can have the NBA because I haven’t seen good NBA basketball in almost a decade.
I feel bad for kids growing up today because they will never again see the likes of the Bad Boys or players like Rick Mahorn, Bill Lambeer, and Isaiah Thomas. They are watching a watered down version of a bad product and there is no end in site. Congrats on that ring Pat Riley bought you Lebron. I hope you, Chris, and Dwayne are happy with destroying the game of basketball. I’m done watching til you retire.