Since I'm in no mood to rehash the entering and twisting of the dagger that was placed in my heart at approx 10pm last night, I thought I would make a list of 5 things the NBA needs to do to make me love it just that much more.
1. Axe "The Reggie Miller Foul".
- You all know this call. Its my least favorite rule in the book. Pump fake, defender jumps, shooter jumps into defender in air and flails. No ACTUAL attempt to shoot happens. I hate this rule. I despise this rule. If this rule were a person it would be Adolph Hitler in a Laker jersey having Starbucks coffee with Clay Bennett using money stolen from a homeless veteran selling handmade trinkets which he would then donate to a dying kids charity. According to the real rule book, this is an offensive foul. The offensive player is entering the defenders space (which goes up from his feet straight up into the ceiling), causing contact and somehow is rewarded. This is commonly called in the key as well. Get in close, dive INTO your defender and flail. 2 shots. And a loss of self respect.
2. Ease up on the Superstar calls.
- Look, I get it. You want to see the stars succeed. They are your bread and butter and make the bucks for the teams and the leagues. What drives me insane though is that they play by different rules. Its one thing to let a star get away with a questionable offensive goaltend for a slam or give him the benefit of the doubt on a dunk in the lane when the defender was millimeters from the circle in the key. But seriously, its gotten out of hand. Oh Mr. Stern, its about the game not the players. I can't fault his success, but the slope this road goes on is getting awfully icy.
3. Update the Arena Music.
- There are some classics out there, songs that when I hear them remind me of the Blazers, but c'mon guys. At least throw in ONE song that has been a top 40 since 1985. Just ONE. Please. I love Billy Idol. At least I did. But I was 6 years old. Update your music. Sometimes after a great run, I get stoked, I'm ready to dance (not Comet Guy dance but you know, get down) and then I get the same song they played earlier after we made one dunk. Mony Mony aint cuttin it. Update time. Timbaland makes lots of great beats where no one needs to know the words. Look into it fellas.
4. Show Some Loyalty.
- I understand the need to make money. I understand that the career of an NBA player is undoubtedly short. I understand that sometimes you are traded, sometimes you just dont fit, and sometimes the city you are in isn't good for your off the court life (NYC/LA/MIA don't work for party animals) but I miss the days when a player retired with the team he was drafted by. Now there are a ton of guys who change teams who are role players, but I am talking about stars (yes you LeBron) who for whatever reason leave their teams to go elsewhere for greener pastures. Your team loves you, you are loved in the community and can make just as much money where you are than anywhere else, yet you leave. I pray this doesnt happen to Roy, LMA or Oden. There just isn't any loyalty anymore. (Side note: I do not begrudge a player leaving at the tail of his career to try and win a title. Winning is SUPPOSED to be the reason to play, not money. Just move on with class and show respect to the place you played your whole career.)
5. Stop the Portuguese National Soccer Team-esque Flopping.
- If Oden or Shaq or Howard or Eddy Curry with a cheesesteak in hand, was charging at me, I get the idea of maybe going down a little bit before the body contact occured. I want children someday. Yet flopping occurs about as often as a european player gets on the floor. Some Americans are even worse (Derek Fisher should hang his head in shame) yet the NBA looks the other way. This isn't soccer, stop falling down. Remember? "Contact" sport? Well, in a perfect world (my world) not only would flopping not generate a call, it would be a foul FOR flopping. And a technical for guys who toboggon themselves across the floor like its ice on Greenland in mid January (again DFish, I am strongly nodding in your direction). Real charges should be taken when a player is out of control or run you over. If you start to fall while there is air between your sweat soaked jersey and their elbow, shoulder and/or face, the foul is on you my friend. And hopefully so is their stench.
Honorable Mention of things that drive me insane: Being 6"11 and laying it up in traffic. Getting 14 seconds on the clock after someone intentionally throws the ball off another players foot. Getting a timeout on the ground when it should be a jumpball. Guys that kick out their leg when they shoot and fall down and demand a call. Players who slap instead of punch (if your gonna throw it, mean it. Your getting suspended anyways and I enjoy a good punch). The inordinate amount of attention NY gets as a basketball Mecca when it is roughly the 100th best place to play in HS or College and the Knicks haven't won a title in 20 years. Peter Vecsey, Sam Smith and Stephen A Smith (his initials are in the wrong order). Kobe and Vanessa Bryant.
What are yours? (they can probably be shorter than my rants, unless you LOVE to type)