I’ve lost my love for the NBA. Something about last year’s abysmal playoffs pretty much downgraded me from diehard NBA fan to just “only the end of the season + playoffs”. The Boston Celtics host the Miami Heat (I hear they have three really good players) while the Houston Rockets visit the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. And yet I find myself totally uninterested. LeBron, D-Wade, and Chris Bosh are about to venture on their quest for a 98-0 record and I’m still feeling “meh”.
It has nothing to do with the Seattle SuperSonics leaving for Oklahoma City as I’ve never firmly latched onto any NBA team in my life. I….I know why I’ve lost interest in the NBA:
1.) The Eastern Conference. Unless the New York Knicks trade for Carmelo Anthony the Eastern Conference will be top-heavy (Magic, Heat, Celtics) and some lousy under .500 team will end up sneaking into the post-season. Have you TRIED watching Eastern Conference basketball? It is painfully boring to watch. Remember when in 2008 the Golden State Warriors finished 48-34 and missed the playoffs by multiple games? That year the Atlanta Hawks were the #8 seed and were 37-45. Which leads me to…
2.) Too many playoff teams. This has been in place for a long time but I do not care much for more than 50% of the league getting to play for a championship, as it increases the probability of a team like the ‘Hawks playing at least 4 more meaningful games. I don’t like it in hockey, MLS, NHL, or the NBA. The NFL has it set up perfectly right now were only 12/32 games get to go to the playoffs, because if they allowed 16 teams in I think a 5-11 team could get #8 spot in the NFC.
3.) Best-of-7 first round. This is purely a money-making decision to have the opening round a best-of-7. It’s stupid and the most irritating thing about it is unlike the NHL’s first round I’ve seen playoff series take a break between games 2 & 3 for four days. The playoffs are too long and I saw nothing wrong with the old best-of-5.
4.) ESPN/ABC’s Coverage. I grew up watching the NBA on NBC with the fantastic theme music, really loud crowd noise, Marv Albert, and the whole experience of watching an NBA Finals game on NBC was riveting. ESPN/ABC does a piss-poor job of handling the NBA and their standard def quality is god awful. Jeff Van Gundy is the ultimate sideshow yet he’s still employed as lead broadcaster. They can’t hold NBC’s jockstrap when it comes to covering basketball and they never will provide superior coverage.
5.) 2003, 2005 and 2010 NBA Finals. These two wretched finals cemented the NBA’s status as a “grind-it-out, defensive struggle, minimal offense” league that it has become. So many isolation plays, slow offenses, and I just read that last season was the first time teams averaged over 100 points in the last 15 years. Quite alarming isn’t it?
Sorry NBA, I’m with college basketball. The atmosphere is better, the tournament is much more exciting, the games are exciting, and it does not take one team so many games to win a championship. I’ll see you when the playoffs begin but we’ll talk again when the league is a lot less boring.