Some People's Kids: I want to like the NBA

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I want to like the NBA

For the amount of NBA basketball that I watch, which is minimal, I really don't understand why I'm so interested in the off the court/off-season stuff. I follow the NBA news religiously. I rarely will sit down and watch a game. I read many NBA blogs, follow stats, and highlights. I get really into the politics of the league. I really don't know why I am like this or if I'm alone in these actions. Maybe it's due to fantasy, maybe the inter-working of the league is more interesting then the poor product they put on the floor. I believe that it has much more to do with the later.

I have played basketball since I can remember. I quit hockey after one year when I was a kid, because I had to make the decision to play one or the other, to be honest I don't try and have regrets, but I wish I would have kept with hockey, but I digress. I am going to try and write down my feelings about the NBA and how these thoughts have progressed into how I watch this league.

I am going to call this first viewing period the Bulls Dynasty, and I believe it is what initially drew me into the NBA; I was two years old when Jordan was drafted. This period started with my first memories of watching basketball (1989??-1998). When I was 8 the Bulls won their 1st Championship, 5 more would follow over the next eight years. I remember watching many of the Bulls playoff games over the next eight years. As a kid it was easy to get into the Bulls, they were always winning, especially when the Wolves sucked as bad as they do now; imagine that, McHale wasn't even running them into the ground at this point. I also am a Hawkeye fan, so having B.J. Armstrong on the team didn't hurt.

I remember being at basketball camp in June right after school had got out and we would be on some college campus in the TV lounge watching the NBA Finals on the big screen. Those were the days, for me at least.
Back then I watched a quite few games, more then I do now and really got into the playoffs, but rarely followed any news besides the Jordan stuff. I'm not sure how you would categorize that type of fan, it's much more than casual but, not fanatic. I didn't get into the off the court things like trades or drafts, even though they had very large impacts in the league, at that age, I guess I was being a kid.

This next viewing period (1999-2003) has to be called I hate the Spurs and Lakers Dynasty. At the beginning of this time period I really lost interest completely in the NBA. There are some telling reasons to this, one I lived in Australia for some of this, also I was a dumb high school kid and my world was only as big as the 15 people around me.
Also, in this period, I went to college and started to get involved in fantasy basketball. This started to get my interest back into the NBA. This interest was based on purely selfish reason, fantasy sports. The timing of this period is a little weird, because as you will notice the time frame is only 3 years, and the Lakers/Spurs have won Championships since the end of it. There is only one reason this is so short: the Wolves went to the Conference Finals in 2004. This had a very large impact in bringing me back to watching the NBA.

The next period is also short 2004-2005. This period is called the Wolves trip to the conference finals and following season. I had some transition in my life during this period. I started to gain some more interest in the league due to the fact that a roommate that I was living with was a huge NBA fan. Actually he's a huge fan of any sport no matter what it is (he may write here sometimes). So he helped fuel the passion for it, I watched a lot of regular season games and many of the playoff games the year the Wolves were in the finals and games into the next season.

The period I'm in now 2006-present, I will call the blog period. There is so much information out there on what is going on in the NBA, much of it may be speculation, but there is so much of it, it is hard not to be interested in it. Like I said earlier, I read a lot of blogs and pay attention to stats, but watch very little. I will watch the occasional game, I went to a couple, and actually I went to two Wolves wins, one over the Jazz and the other over the Suns, stopping them on an 18 game winning streak.

In my lifetime I have gone from a fan interested in purely entertainment in my first period of NBA fanfare to complete indifference due to the hate of the Spurs/Lakers and lack of interest in the league into a fan that pays a little attention for fantasy.
To someone who cares little about what goes-on on the court and more about what happens around the court.

I can have a conversation with almost any NBA fan and keep up with stats, standings, news and anything really but I seldom will sit down and watch an NBA game. I have watched about 2 total playoff games and one of them I watch the whole game (the suns-spurs game after the suspensions). I guess what I'm trying to say is, I really don't get what my infatuation is with the NBA. I don't really enjoy watching the game, besides a few teams (Suns, Wizards) that can play with some energy, not many of them can. I want to like the NBA, that's it, I really want to like the NBA, but I need some more entertainment value out of the league. Can anyone help me????

If I were to advise a GM into how to get me back into actually watching the game these are a few things I would suggest be done or at least tried.

First quit hiring coaches from the damn coaching cesspool. People don’t want to see re-treads, go out to Europe, ala Mike D'antoni and hire some guy who plays a different style from the NBA. Fans are sick of the NBA style; we want to see 4 energetic quarters.

Next, encourage more personalities in the game, ala Gilbert Arenas, by drafting guys who truly love playing basketball. It must be their passion to play basketball for them to be personable. If they’re in it just for the money get rid of them.

I could keep going but this is damn long so I will stop for now, although I will keep hoping the NBA can get me to care to actually watch the games.


Nick said...

Another thing the NBA could do better and it wouldn't take much...stop playing music while in the middle of the fricken game. Seriously, it's just dumb.


The Inevitable Muck-up said...

I'd like them to try penalty boxes and fighting in an exhibition game... see how that works out.