I was born and raised in Portland. When I was growing up, my dad would take me to one Blazer game every year in December for my birthday at the old Memorial Coliseum. I am a diehard fan. I still try to go to one game at the Rose Garden at least once a year. I watch almost every game on TV.
I would like to discuss the NBA on the SDMB, my main Internet hangout. The NBA is on ESPN/ABC, while the NHL is on Versus, a much smaller network, yet there is a monthly NHL thread and no similar NBA one. There isn’t enough interest. I don’t get the indifference/antipathy. Enlighten me, please.
My disinterest is not for the NBA specifically, but basketball generally.
Any game I watch tends to fall into one of two categories:
-Obvious blowouts where a superior team absolutely lights up a weaker opponent. This seems to happen most in non-conference NCAA games. (Disclosure, I went to an ACC school, so the overpowered teams were the ones I knew best.) These games are somewhat fun, especially if you’re on the winning end; it’s interesting to see the contrast of a dominating and a weak team trying to play the same game. But it’s watching a foregone conclusion, which is not very compelling.
-Back-and-forth games in which neither team ever leads by more than 8 points at any time, and it’s mostly kept within 5. I’ve never seen any point in watching more than the final 2 minutes of such a game. These are the ones I hated going to live during college. In the student section, I was obligated to stand all game, jumping and cheering for nothing in particular until the very end.
The NBA went through a terrible period towards the end of Jordan’s career where the game suffered badly thanks to bad rules and endless showboating. When I was a lad there were people like Stockton and Magic who were famous for their passing ability. The game was played well and more like a team sport. Then it went through a period where everyone was an allstar and the game revolved around dishing the ball to a superstar and that gets boring, no matter how many shoes it might sell. It’s trending in both directions now, but it’s still too focused on single players to be that interesting as a competition.
I’m another one that plain just doesn’t like basketball. I can actually watch most sports and enjoy them to some degree, my main love is football/soccer, but I happily watch anything from cricket to American football. I can even enjoy golf. But basketball does absolutely nothing for me. Nothing whatsoever. I’ve thought about it reasonably often in the past and I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t the amount of scoring involved, meaning scoring itself becomes almost meaningless, as clearly if I like cricket then regular scoring isn’t an issue. So these days I tend to lean towards scoring seemingly (to my uneducated eyes) being the default position. It seems like more of an event if someone misses a basket rather than them making one. It is that which - again to my uneducated eyes - seems to devalue the concept of scoring and hence the concept of watching it as a spectator sport.
I really don’t have much time for a sport that doesn’t enforce its own rules. Or more specifically, enforces them unevenly. Sure, my favorite sport (NFL) does this too, but not to the blatant extent that exists in the NBA.
I agree that it’s too focused on the superstars. If I want to watch two teams compete in basketball, I’ll watch college ball. I just find college ball much more compelling and interesting.
I can’t stand the last two minutes of the game. If I’m into it, I guess it’s exciting, but when the last two minutes take 30 to play out, you lose me. There’s no strategic use of timeouts when the teams get a seemingly endless number of them. Seriously, don’t they get like 100 timeouts each half? That’s weird to me.
You could also try starting your own NBA thread; there are a fair number of people here who will talk about it, but so far the only thread anyone has tried to start was a “ha ha look how poorly the Heat are doing” thread which is unaccountably quiet for some reason.
Like the others above, that last 1-2 minutes is agonizing. Drive, foul, free-throws, time-out, over and over in 9 second chunks is nauseating. It also makes the whole other 46 minutes rather pointless (unless you want to make a case that it’s an endurance race).
I also dislike the disparity in the leauge. The handful of championship hopefuls is known well in advance. Even on day 1 of the season everyone knew Lakers/Heat/Celtics/etc. were the favorites and Timberwolves/Wizards/Kings had not a chance in hell.
My biggest problems with the NBA (as someone who likes basketball quite a bit) are:
Combination of long regular season with large playoff field makes most (if not all) of the regular season meaningless. The NHL has a similar problem, obviously.
Seemingly random officiating. The players are too large and too fast for the officials to accurately call the game, IMO. When so much of the outcome can depend on foul calls, particularly at the end of games, this is a large problem.
My broader question, which I used the NHL vs. NBA in my OP to illustrate, is why isn’t the NBA as popular on the SDMB as it seems to be in real life? The NBA is one the big 3 of American sports leagues and this is an American based message board. MLB and the NFL get plenty of love here. Why not the NBA?
I wouldn’t say I dislike the NBA, but it does have many flaws. There are too many teams. The season is too long. Too many teams make the playoffs. The playoffs are *way *too long. The way NBA offenses are run and the way the rules are set up (teams could only recently employ a zone defense) leads to way too much emphasis on individual stars.
That said, I’ll watch my team (Denver Nuggets) on TV every chance I can. I’ll watch a few other games that catch my interest. If I have no rooting interest in an NBA game, I will not watch it. The same is not true of a football game. NBA games have too many boring stretches to watch on TV. Players don’t always play hard, which I can actually understand based on the length of the season.
I should also note that being at a live NBA game can be an awesome experience. I was at a Nuggets/Cavs game last year that the Nuggs won in OT and it was one of the most exciting sporting events I’ve been to. Granted, the experience is dependent on arena atmoshphere, the quality of teams on the court and the dynamic of the actual game.
How can I put this delicately? The SDMB is white, educated, and middle aged. None of those things line up with basketball demographics. I’ve posted this elsewhere, but I’ll say it here again:
Basketball is the only sport where players occupy the same territory but aren’t allowed to touch.
Basketball’s rule structure allows cheating (fouling) to benefit a team (stopping the clock).
Basketball is an aerobic sport for poor people, just like soccer. It’s a game for high school gym class. It’s popularity is due to the fact that its fans can’t afford to play a better sport. Seriously, this is the ONLY REASON soccer is as popular in the world as it is, and basketball is popular here.
I don’t know the exact demographics of the SDMB, but I’d guess Chessic Senseis on to something. Based on this study, the NBA appeals way more to the black/African American community. A black person is almost 4 times more likely to be an avid NBA fan than a white person.
When the league casually accepts “Jordan Rules”, and admits that you have to earn calls, it sanctifies separate rules for some players. That is wrong.
For years I thought the refs were doing a terrible job, then I found out they were fixing games both for betting and getting the right teams in the playoffs. The original story implicated at least 5 refs. They managed to get only one tossed in jail. But it was obviously bigger than that. I believe the league was a part of the reffing fix.
I prefer to watch college ball.
One more who doesn’t care for basketball. If the scores are that high, then the game needs to be made more difficult, whether that means a higher basket, smaller basket or a bigger playing surface. I can listen to a hockey game, baseball game or football game on the radio and get everything that’s going on. A basketball game on the radio is about as interesting as watching the meters on two gas pumps go up at slightly different rates.
Another thing, and this is something I HATE - when you go to a hockey game, baseball game or football game, there is only the crowd noise. My experience of NBA games, there is non-stop, 130 decibel orgasm music even when the game is in play. I’m used to wearing earplugs for concerts and movies, but for basketball games? That just pisses me off.
chicken or the egg? is the NBA not targeting those people because it’s those very demographics that turned their back on the NBA once Larry Bird retired? Or did the NBA decide to make it policy to actively alienate that demographic? note: it’s not Joe Black in harlem that’s renting out luxury boxes, or courtside seats.
NFL wide receivers pre-catch. Soccer players all the time.
spiking the ball (intentional grounding?), taking a penalty if you’re inside the 10 and on the hash’s so you can back up and get a better angle at the goal posts, intentionally walking somebody…
so you (and other SDMBers) don’t like it because poor people play it? sorry, not poor people. American poor people (read BLACK people)?
i’m not calling you out specifically. in fact, i’ve always suspected that most white americans don’t like basketball because of race. it’s fine in the NFL because you’ve got SOME white stars - brady, manning, brees. in the NBA? Dirk’s not american. Nash is tinted with canadian blood. there are no down home white american stars. Not since chris mullin and he wasn’t even that great. you’ve got to go back all the way to Bird and that was 30 years ago. no white heroes = no kids emulating those heroes = no adult fans.
it’s a shame though. the NBA is not as bad as the cliches make it out to be. not all games are winners, but then again, the same is said with any sport. Chinese/Taipei-Philipines is not as interesting a soccer match as brazil-argentina. a week 15 matchup of the panthers and cardinals is about as interesting as a Grizzlies-Nets matchup.
anyway, i’d be up to have a monthly NBA discussion thread. that’s 2 confirmed posters right there. WHO’S COMIN WITH US?