Preferring college basketball to NBA basketball is not a crime. I understand the reasons. I accept it. I can also accept that some people do not like the NBA. I like the NFL, I have zero interest in college football. It’s possible to like basketball without liking the world’s premier professional basketball league. I cannot, however, tolerate the common reasons that so many people give for disliking the NBA.
Here’s the highlights from the end of last night’s Warriors-Trailblazers game. You don’t have to watch, but I definitely recommend you do.
This sequence, although a small sample size, dispels a number of the common fallacies concerning the NBA.
- These players care. Does every player try their best every game? No. No, they do not. But to say NBA players do not care is a display of real ignorance. Look at the guys in this video! This game had some implications regarding seeding, but at the end of the day its a regular season game. The players in that game wanted to win, and badly. Everyone wants to win in the NBA. Ever watched the end of a Milwaukee Bucks game? Even though losing became the preferable option as the season progressed, those players wanted to win games. They looked excited when they closed in on victories and dejected after letting yet another one get away. NBA players are professional basketballers, and this matters to them.
- They play defense. Every play of every game? No. But doing anything on the court in the NBA is really, really difficult. Even just posting up to receive a pass is difficult. If you watch more than SportsCenter, you’ll see and appreciate individual efforts on defense, and as you watch more (this is the part I’m still learning) you’ll begin to see and really appreciate the aspects of team defense.
- They also play team offense. It’s not just a bunch of hero ball, and when teams do that they lose. If you watch the video, you’ll see all sorts of screens, both on and off the ball, set and used effectively to create shots.
- It’s exciting and dramatic. So much good basketball stuff happens in that end of regulation/overtime. We have clutch shots, unlikely heroes (Draymond Green doesn’t usually shoot step-back 3’s to send games into overtime), stars doing their thing (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are such killas), plenty of emotion, a terrific home-court atmosphere, and an outcome that was in doubt to the very end.
As the NBA Playoffs approach, consider these things. The NBA gets such a bad reputation from so many people, and I feel most of the time that’s a product of people not watching or understanding what’s going on. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it, and that’s fine.
I just think you’re missing out.
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Soli Deo Gloria