June 13, 2003

basketball rant

POST #    39

back in december while at work, i was bored and i was looking to entertain myself for a little while. earlier that month, i had a discussion about why the nba is so crappy and i said it was because of the lack of bball fundamentals and the drastic decline of the mid-range jumper and the players' love of the 3 pointer and the dunk. this past week, gregg easterbrook discussed how the nba is an ugly ugly league. here is an excerpt from the column:
"Adoration of the three-point shot also contributes to NBA decline. Every NBA gentleman now wants to drain a trey and then dance around pointing at himself; most seem willing to clang quite a few silly attempts in order to get that one moment of self-pointing. Announcers and sportswriters are complicit -- they wildly praise the three-pointer that falls, rarely criticize the silly long attempt. Players know they will be wildly praised if they hit a big three, while no one will say anything if they miss threes that should have been twos. So, responding to the incentive structure, players launch crazy shots that go clang, and offensive quality erodes.

Then there's slam-dunk psychology. Announcers and, especially, marketers extol the slam. Yet the most exciting play in basketball is the layup -- because layups don't happen unless at least two players are working together. The best and most exciting play in Sunday's Spurs-Nets game was a first-quarter fast-break layup by New Jersey, the layup coming after two very sharp, coordinated passes. Slam-dunks don't require coordinated play. Slam-dunks don't require practice. They just happen. What do we see in the current Nike commercials? Basketball players going one-on-one and slam-dunking. We don't see coordinated action being extolled; we see immature, pointing-at-myself strutting."

(for those that are interested, i can forward you my analysis with statistics included.)

Posted by tien mao in Sports at 2:04 PM



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