I hope the topic of this post will not offend anyone. I just wanted to attract as many people as possible. Especially i would like to discuss with North American people.
My name is Mindaugas and is am from Lithuania. Basketball i a second religion for our country and we are crazy about this sport. It is almost like football in Brasil. Everyone knows basketball and almost everyone plays it. We are only 3 million but we have 3 players in NBA while much much bigger countries have only 4-5 players there. Every player's dream is to play for national team and they could 'die' in a field for a win.
I remember there was a time when NBA was something like a different planet. I and my friends were getting up at night to see a live NBA game because there played best players in the world. These times were when Jordan, Malone, Stockton, Rodman and others played. It was a really interesting entertainment. However as time passed more and more we became disgusted about this league as all the games became boring. A players can run half a field without a bouncing a ball to the ground and not getting a traveling call. The defender cannot touch an atacking player with hands only with his body. No creativity in atacking, no tactics. Coaches just tells players they should score more points and give ball to their leader. No advices how to do that. No surprise that national team is coached by person who works with college team, because coaches in NBA are only a good orator but not a good tactician.
Such players as Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and other are leaders and it is almost a rule that they have to score 20 or 30 points every game no matter how many shots they will make.
When we watch basketball at Olympics or at the World championship we are digusted how referees let American national team do so many steps without bouncing a ball, because than they get an advantage against all teams as they are not used to such play.
I don't even want to start talkig about fans. Every team have huge arenas and every game they are full. But why the people come there? To eat? Or what? Because i do not understand why a commentator has to tell people when to shout defence or anything else. People should be crazy when they go to such an event. They should be screaming and singing so that their team feel the home atmosphere. But know almost everyone just sits, eats and sometimes applauds when Lebron James makes a huge dunk.
So i would like to hear other poeple opinions. Is it just to our country that NBA became totally unintresting, or others feel the same as i do?
What thinks american people about that? Do they like such a game? Because i do not see any fighting spirit at the game anymore, well maybe at the finals and playoffs.
Is it interesting to watch how ten people running and just shooting without any thinking, without any tactics. Just shooting and that's it.
Do you like that NBA is doing everything that most physically strong people became stars and all players that are not such strong phisically, but are smart and good shooters, became unnecessary to the league?
I hope to start a really interesting discussion, so please write your opinion.
As a huge basketball fan from the United States who has been watching basketball since the start of the 90's, I do think your post is very good and I do understand your perspectives and why you have developed such views on the present day NBA game.
The present day NBA is a different game in many ways than it was in the 90's and even from what I understand it to have been in the 1980's. I would say that you did a great job in pointing out nearly all of those differences. However, I do not think that is a bad thing. I think that whether one likes the game in the present day or in the days of Jordan is a matter of personal preference.
I believe the players in the present day NBA are far more talented and athletically gifted. I think there is a certain appeal to that for NBA fans. I also think the media is a lot different as well to the extent that they control in large part how players are viewed.
As you have seen in International competitions over the last 10+ years, the rest of the world has caught up to the United States in terms of basketball. International players are very smart players who understand basketball and they play basketball very well within a team concept. The NBA now has a high percentage of international players who are good players, but they are not as effective in the NBA as they are for their native teams because of the fact that the game is different.
With all of that said, I love the present day NBA and prefer it to the game back when the Jordan, Olajuwon, Barkley, Malone, Stockton Etc... were the faces of the league. Some or many may have the opposing opinion. I think there are more great players now and the competition is better in terms of the best teams in the league. I do think the issue of contraction is a valid one for the NBA, as the level of competition would be even better if it had 28 teams rather than 30.
I will probably get blasted for this opinion, but as great as Michael Jordan was (the greatest to ever play) he did not have to face any teams that could compete with his Bulls. The Eastern Conference was weak. The Pacers had Reggie Miller and not much else; The Magic had a young Shaq, a young Anfernee Hardaway, and not much else; the Knicks had Ewing and John Starks?; The Heat had Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning. There was really a lack of competition there. The Western Conference was better than the East but did not have any dominant teams. The Jazz were the closest thing to that with Stockton and Malone (two Hall of Famers) but even that team had the two Finals appearances and were out early in the playoffs every other year. There was just no competition for the Bulls.
Today there is so much young talent in the league it is insane. In terms of power teams, sure the Lakers have won 5 titles in the last 11 seasons but they have had a lot of competition, especially in the last few seasons.
I don't like the fact however that the NBA seems to be trying to take the passion out of the game. Players are now getting called for technical fouls after having any kind of reaction after a call against them. Tonight, Kevin Martin got called for a technical foul for pretty much nothing. That was an embarrassment to the NBA.
Nice to hear from you. Really nice post. I know that there are lots of people that like today's basketball. But don't you miss the old tactical basketball, when you need to work a lot for your point? For example if the size of the field were a bit smaller and players were able to do more on defence, wouldn't it be more interesting to watch. I have no doubt that all stars still were leaders even if the defenders had more freedom, as international competition shows. But it would give much more emotions to the fans if a player had to make lots of efforts to make a fantastic dunk. Because now sometimes it looks like they dunk whenever they want and most of the dunks do not look so spectacular as it was some time ago because it seems that huge dunks are ordinary part of the game. But it should be something special that gets you out of the seats.
Also it would be nice to see more contact in this sport, so that men could fight for the space under the basket.
As for NBA stars probably the best player today Kobe Bryant for me and he should be the biggest star in the media. Why?
-First of all he is one of those players who does not miss a lot of shots. If he shoot than you expect him to score. While for example James and other stars make 40-50 shots per game and hits only 30-40%
-He is very good in defence
-He never switched a teams and won some titles with a team
-He knows that he is a leader and has a lot of attention from opponents. That's why other teammates has lot of space and he knows when to make an assist.
Also i would like to hear your opinion about spectators. Why there's so little emotions from the audience?
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