Basketball at it's Finest. Also, other stuff. Sometimes.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
OK, I want my NBA back. I want to see real ballers going all in, screw how much their making. Remember McHale/Rambis WrestleMania VII? Remember MJ dunking on Ewing, then screaming in his face? Mutombo's finger-wave? Shawn Kemp eviscerating Alton Lister in '92, then pointing to show the world who just tasted his junk? I wanna see the best athletes in the world goin' hard in the paint, without worrying about the ticky-tack fouls or BS calls robbing them of their aggressiveness or breaking their concentration. It's so bad that the NBPA might take 'em to court to stop this nonsense. Yeah, the NBA is a billion dollar corporation, but the essence of those billions boils down to athletes trying to dominate each other, mentally and on the scoreboard. I remember watching the Rocky when he fought Ivan Drago; they showed the huge, ice-cold Russian ripping through his training partners with his face as impassive as stone; his emotionless destruction of Apollo Creed (Throw in the %^#*$ TOWEL!!!!) was chilling, sociopathic. Now, why would we want our NBA to be like that? I've read the sheeplike "this is a good rule!" responses like this clown, to which I respond: Shut up. I mean, are there SOME athletes *cough-KobeGarnettDuncan-cough* who DO whine at every call or non-call. Did the refs, over time, let this be the situation? Of course, this is a league of stars, and some dudes are given excessive leeway. But get outta here with that "ruining the game" crap.
Except Sheed. He took it pretty far sometimes. Still liked it, though.
Are you telling me that, as a man, if Gerald Wallace is playing hard-nosed, all-out D on Duran tin the last 5 minutes of a 3point game, he doesn't fall for any jukes and fakes, and as Durant goes up he challenges the shot heroically, the shot misses but *TWEEET* the whistle bails KD out, are you telling me that Gerald Wallace can't turn, in the heat of the moment, turn in disbelief and be like "WHAAAT?!?!?"? Are you telling me if Kyle Korver comes hard off the screen, pulls up and drains a slick 18 footer while obviously getting smacked on the arm, it's a TECHNICAL FOUL because he surreptiously smacked his arm to show the ref where he was hit as he ran back down the floor (this actually happened.)? I get it; the Rasheed-Full-Court-Run-N-Screams after foul calls and the KG F-bombs gotta go.
But is Tim Duncan's bug-eyed "Who ME??" reaction to commiting fouls or Kobe's glare at a ref is worth a tech? Basketball is a sport, it's entertainment, and seeing the best players in the world show raw emotion is a big part of it; we as fans like to see that these millionaires care just like we do when we play pick up, that they take pride in doing what they do and have no problem showing the world. I know Doc Rivers and other coaches (and even some players) are regurgitating the brown-nosing company line (which is hilarious, Rivers is notorious for working the refs), but this is just another tug on the noose that's strangling the personalities of the NBA. From the crackdown on taunting to the dress code, to the "Leave The Bench" rule that derailed the Suns playoff run in 2007, to this crap, Stern is going all Animal Farm on the players, constricting them, brick by brick, into a confining image of what conservative (read: "White") America needs to see. You can't deny the controlled violence and necessary animosity needed to perform at a high level in the NBA. If the worst spillover is players being irked by calls they don't agree with, then we're ahead of the game. This is about players playing, the refs are no more than details and accessories. THey do NOT deserve even close to equal billing, nor should they whine about "respect"; theit job is to judge, so why can't the players voice the displeasure with shoddy reffing??