Everyone has their problems with the NBA. There’s always people that, when they hear the words, “the NBA sucks. Overpaid players, they act like celebrities, rules suck, too much Hollywood involved,” yaddee-yaddee-yah, they instantly begin to hate the league and everything that follows. Come on. I think someone needs to dig Edgar Cayce out of his grave and coerce his corpse to make up a decision on that here.

How come no one trash talks college basketball? Because no one wants to bash a bunch of college kids. That’s why. It’s like running over squirrels. They’re freakin’ idiots, but just too harmless to run over. That’s the sportswriting world for all the guys and gals writing for A-1 schools. Take a tip from Jenni Carlson — she might make you tougher, just as long as you don’t run into any Mike Gundy’s. But that’s besides the case.

I read over a guy’s blog this morning that mentioned, “Making the NBA better,” in a post. Now, I’m going to post some excerpts here, and I will link to his blog post. However, if he storms over here and wants me to remove the link, I will. (More than likely it would cause the blog owner to rampage over here to TSTOS, call me an idiot a few times, call me a combo of random expletives for mildly insulting his ‘opinion’ and then trashing TSTOS, calling me a homer. That’s what most of the people do on the internet. I hope this guy is different.)

The guy isn’t a fan of the NBA. He thinks that fouls slow too much of the game and that’s why he doesn’t watch. He said he cared about the outcome of the Boston/Detroit matchup from the other night, but he didn’t care about watching it. Here’s his ‘makeover’ for the NBA. (In bold.)

A big problem with the games is how slow they are because of the foul calls.  The NBA tried to fix this problem by calling the game tighter and putting in the hand-check fouls…but I don’t think it has worked.  The NHL did a similar thing a few years ago and their scoring shot up.  The NBA hasn’t seen this type of result.  Why?  Simple, a penalty in the NHL is very costly and often leads to a goal whereas a foul in the NBA isn’t really a big deal.

Oh, really? I’m not an NHL maniac at all, but in the NBA a foul can either help you or be a detriment to you [team and individually], and most of the time it’s a detriment to you. If you have two personal fouls in the first quarter, that’s not good. It will stick with you the rest of the game. If you have four by the late second, plan on sitting a lot. Five? Oh, boy, watch out. Six is right around the corner.

Listen, I don’t like fouls being called either. I’m a 1980s basketball homer, myself. I love watching teams play defense the way it was meant to be — too bad today’s rules don’t allow that. But never, ever say fouls don’t affect NBA games as much as they do in hockey. That’s ridiculous, man.
So why not reward fouls with 3 shots from now on and 4 shots if you are fouled while shooting a 3 pointer.

This might cut down on guys fouling players who have open layups and dunks which is what fans want to see.  But, in today’s game most of these never happen because guys will just take the foul instead to “save two points”.  But, if it were 3 shots…then it might cut down on this.  I think several things could happen.
Yeah, just let 50 players make the Sports Center highlight reel because some other guy on the opposite team’s coach told him to not foul and give up the “easy 3 or the possible “and-1″ 4.” Don’t be silly, my man. If this happened, a lot of die-hard, loyal NBA fans like myself would end up boycotting the league because of ludicrous ignorance made by the league offices. It doesn’t make the game more exciting, it makes it boring because everyone would be trying to drive and drawing the foul.

Players who get sick of being fouled when they drive will start driving again.  I’m talking to you T-MAC, you won’t have to worry about getting fouled everytime you drive and get a clean look…and if you do you can get 3 points out of it

What’d I tell ya in the last graph of mine? Players WILL drive again to draw the foul and more and more wussy players will seem like the KINGS OF KINGS OF ALL PANSIES PROUD when they allow guys like Ira Newble of the Cleveland Cavaliers to get through the line and throw one down on them. “Yeah, Tracy, don’t worry about getting fouled. . . just drive to the basket every time and I’m sure those pansies patrolling the paint won’t be silly to give up 3- [4 depending on the made basket and shot from the line] free points from the line. So they’ll move out of the way. And you’ll be on Sports Center, homie.”

Yeah. Not gonna work unless you want the sport to attract kids for the wrong reasons.

It would make guys who can’t shoot foul shots almost unplayable.  This would force guys to spend the extra hours to get their % up to at least 70-75.

You don’t watch much basketball, do ya? Or else you’d know a little bit more about free throw percentages and how they work on completely inept players who are inadequate on hitting them. Shaquille O’Neal of the Miami Heat is unable to shoot free throws. Oh, it’s not that he doesn’t try — over the span of his NBA career he’s put unimaginable time in at shooting the ball in practice. It’s his hands. He has huge hands, they span over the whole basketball, and to ask him to hit his at a 70-75 percent rate, that’s like asking for some random lady on the sidewalk to take her top off — it’s dirty and un-called for; it ain’t happening.

It would pretty much eliminate the “end of game fouls”.  You know what I’m talking about.  The I’m down by 10 points with 1:20 left so I’m going to just keep fouling and fouling and hope the other team misses their shots.  Well, now those are worth 3 shots so the other team can put this out of reach…fast.

How are the teams that are down by that much/left supposed to make a comeback that way? I’m wondering if you even understand the reason for it? It’s not about forcing them to the line and hoping to God they miss — well, that’s part of it, but let me explain the raw reason. They foul them to the line so the clock doesn’t factor in as much and so that if they [the losing team] get a rebound off of a missed free throw shot they will be able to attempt a fast break opportunity as the other team is hustling back to set up (which devoids this silly 3-point foul theory). That’s the longest sentence I’ve gone in a week without using a comma. Be proud Mr. Jack Bauer of the Search Engine Optimization that I’m dedicating this to your honor.

It would result in less fouls, less stops in play, more scoring, and more highlights.

Wow oh wow, that’s the freakin’ problem, again, bro. You see, I like my eggs scrambled, I like my toast dry and I like my basketball defensively! I’m a huge, huge fan of the way the San Antonio Spurs play basketball. Arguably, at the moment, they may be the most hated team in basketball. They don’t pull of this hot-dogging, flashy basketball bullshit that the Suns do. They play a winning type of formula. A type of winning people hate to watch (yeah, it’s kind of an oxymoron because watching winning basketball is more fun than watching losing basketball. People just try to make an excuse about why they hate the Spurs and can’t think of anything unique — that’s the same way with people who bash pro sports, they can’t think of anything more unique that “I hate babied athletes.”) Going back to what I was saying, they [the Spurs] play fundamentally-sound basket. Great defense, smooth offense. It all syncs in to why they have won four titles in the last nine seasons.

Kids these days want to watch crap on Sports Center because they think it’s just sooooooooo daaaaaaaaamn awesome. I disagree. It’s not awesome. I couldn’t care less about the silly hyperbole that surrounds dunks. I’m a white guy, and according to silly stereotypes, I’m not able to dunk, and if I’m not able to dunk then that must be why I’m bashing it. Actually, I’m not bashing dunking — it’s alright. I’m just bashing the highlights that are on Sports Center. They never show mid range baskets. They show flashy drives and 3-point land bombs.

The reasons for the excessive fouls are the backbending rules. You have to play smart defensively to get around this. The league is watered down by pansy playcalling so that the offensive player(s) can be given an opportunity to score. Sure didn’t hurt the guys in the 1980s that dominate offensiely. But, you can’t tell a guy that’s carrying an $80 million dollar contract to go out there and play real basketball these days, because the response would be, “coach, the rules are on my mind and I don’t want anyone to slap at my wrist — it’s kind of sensitive right now when Dikembe Mutombo gave me a little lovetap on it.” You hit two foul shots if it’s considered a 2-point shot that you attempted as you were fouled. You hit three if you’re shooting beyond the arch, and you will get that chance for 4 if you hit the 3-pointer while concurrently being fouled to add one more. 2-for-2; 3-3. If it was 2-3, it would be wholesomely inane and the basketball world would blow up into chunks, figuratively.

Anyway, to the guy I wrote this about and the site I linked to: please, don’t take what I wrote personally. I shouldn’t even have to write this last paragraph to this article, but unfortunately since any type of practical joke or light saying can always be taken the wrong way on the internet and turned into a cold hard insult. And that’s not the way for it to go down. I respect your opinion and I hope you respect mine. I just wanted to voice out my opinion on my blog because I thought it would project a good post. If you feel otherwise, contact me and I’ll remove the link from the post. If you don’t mind, then that’s great. You did ask for opinions (even though I’m sure you wanted them under your comments), and I posted mine. And hell, I even linked to you. That coerces visitors.


8 thoughts on “Make the NBA Better?! More Like Making it Worse!

  1. I posted on the site in question the fact I started to get less interested in the NBA when 101-100 results became 81-80 results. Now, whether that’s due to a general decline in shooting accuracy, tendencies to take lower-percentage shots, rules that favor defensive play…whatever. I certainly will take a shot at college basketball right along with the pros in terms of end-of-game flow. All the timeouts afforded in college basketball can make me go nuts even during March Madness games. Yes, there is a general strategy to hack away at people to get the ball back and maybe – maybe – someone should take a look at how that has become a regular course of action in the game and find a tweak or two to somehow discourage that. I have no issue with teams (like the Spurs) actually playing defense and locking down shooters but I do wish more pro and college games were played up-and-down and teams more often tried to score the ball well before the expiration of the clock. To go back to the point the fellow made in his post and applying it to the college level…here’s a question I’ll throw out there…why did they install a clock in the college game in the first place…so lesser teams could not hold the ball for an extended time and stand around in the hopes keeping the score down would give them a better chance to win. Was that not as frustrating to watch as teams down 10-15 points sending in players to take fouls so they can get the ball back to launch 3-pointers to try to catch up? Just wondering aloud on that since all of this “came up” on TSTOS!

  2. Thanks for voicing your opinion, SA. Though, I respectfully disagree. Before I begin, college basketball drives me radically nuts because of those timeouts. I remember Oklahoma/Texas a few years ago (when Kelvin Sampson was at OU) — Texas would just not stop calling timeouts. With that said, let me add in a little more:

    I can’t stand fouls (unless they’re justified calls, which isn’t ‘really’ anymore). I don’t know if I established that thought of mine or not in my post, but I’ll include a few things here. I’m a huge sucker for 1980s basketball. I loved the physical defensive play that was aroused in that day in age because — disagreeing with your claims of “rules that favor defensive play”; the rules favor guys that “flop” on offense to get to the charity strip nowadays — guys in today’s era (Kobe, Wade, LeBron, Vince Carter, T-mac, etc.) wouldn’t have been able to completely take over and run through the lane like a calvary charge as they do in today’s era, because someone like Isiah Thomas or Joe Dumars (to name two) would give them one heavy hit. Physicality in the NBA is a lost art. That’s REAL basketball to me.

    Call me old line, old school or whatever, but when I was growing up there was no such thing as learning how to play “flashy basketball.” I was taught the fundamentals and how to excel at doing so. I took those principles and applied them to my basketball personality, and that’s how I ended up being so strictly permanently that way, as an old school ‘basketball guy.’ I remember when my father and I use to shoot hoops in the drive way, when we played 1-on-1 we didn’t stand around and let one of us score measly points (when I got older, anyway). We played rough defense and made the most of it. That was “real,” “true, “pure” basketball. I took the knowledge of that, [again] applied it all and made the most of it.

    Defense — I love it. That’s what I love about football (though, I can’t say I didn’t absolutely fall in love with the 99-01 Rams offenses that were unstoppable), and it’s what nearly non-existent in today’s basketball (NBA, more-so). Sure, you’ve got your Bruce Bowen’s, Ron Artest’s, Ben Wallace’s, etc. But when ever I hear someone complain about the NBA, I readily agree, even though I still watch near-religiously, that defense isn’t much nowadays. A lot of the players will allow teams to just score all over them.

    But hey, I mean, what does defense matter anyway, when you can outscore the other team? I know 90% of the country loves to watch the Suns play. I like to watch them, too, even though it doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with their style of play. It’s entertaining. Great, good stuff. Great offensive flow. Alley-oops, whoop-de-doo. Fun stuff, y’know? Entertaining.

    But, they lack the key ingredient, and it’s the reason why they won’t win a championship and the reason why they’re nowhere close to beating the San Antonio Spurs in a 7-game playoff series — Defense. As soon as they score, teams come right back and score right on ’em. Thing is, the Suns can score more than they can and that’s usually why they have a free-falling type of game that’s loose, definitely different than the Spurs’ fundamental-oriented, tight, strict, team-based style of play that focuses around using the shot clock to its fullest capabilities and end up executing.

    However, yes, I think fouls are a huge problem. They slow up the game and make it excruciatingly painful to withstand. They’re needed, but they don’t need to be called as much as they are today. And with players complaining more than ever over calls, the rules continue to be stretched to be more strict. Flopping is becoming more common and prevalent, and the only way, in my opinion, to stop it is by letting up on the rules and letting some damn teams get the chance to play defense the right away again instead of this pansy-bullshit that’s widespread over basketball. But, I guess it’s nearly impossible when players are getting tagged with injuries left and right. Damn, those 80s guys were tough.

  3. Troy, nice points/counterpoints made. Obviously, the best-case scenario would be a team that plays lock-down “D” but still looks for a break at every opportunity, can shoot free throws, etc. I understand when the Suns are going full-bore it can be equally frustrating as it seems they are plotting their next offensive move without trying to play defense. I guess I want to be entertained by that kind of team more than the Spurs, because a lot of times that team-based style still results in zero points on their possessions…scores in the 70’s-80’s just make me nuts.

  4. All understandable. I just go crazy when fans start ‘hating’ a team because they think they’re boring, etc. I know you don’t think that way at all — I’m just saying. During the Cavs/Spurs NBA Finals I received an e-mail or two from a Cleveland fan who just wouldn’t stop a long, full-throttled hate-rant towards me — filled with a myriad of expletives — that was endless.

    But yeah, I understand how you can dislike the Spurs’ style of play to watch on TV. I guess they just aren’t geared for the shoot-em-up type. I guess when I watch them I think of just my childhood from when my father taught me the fundamentals of basketball, and when I watch the Spurs, it’s just that it brings some fond memories to me and I enjoy seeing them play that type of game.

  5. Troy, I thought of you today listening to local sports talk WIP in Philly. Guest was Toronto Raptors color analyst Jack Armstrong. He said a couple of pretty interesting things…first off, said it’s “not the x’s and o’s, it’s the Jimmy’s and Joe’s”…meaning you gotta have the players or the greatest coach in the world doesn’t mean spit. But, what I really thought tied into this tread we have here was his comment he disagrees with the way the NBA promotes the game…it’s a star and his team against the other star and his team…like a boxing match with the other guys on the undercard. I love seeing a team game as well as you do. Do you think it’s in the NBA’s best interest to keep promoting Kobe and the Lakers against LeBron and the Cavs, for example? If team basketball is winning championships, should the NBA not market teams versus individuals?

  6. Money-wise, yes, I think it’s the NBA’s best bet to keep sustaining a formidable monetary system. Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson was a key matchup of the 80s that perennially sparked this type of “this guy vs. this guy” type of game we have today — which has broken down into its own brackets (the really good small guy, the slick big man, the tall-speedy wonder, etc.)

    But, when the Celtics of the 80s were lacing up them shoes with the Lakers, I didn’t focus on Bird and Magic. Bird’s probably my all-time favorite player, but I didn’t focus on the two main players that were featured in those games. I looked at them as a whole and thought about what the whole team could do to out-wit the other. Yes, the two stars made the most of a difference, but the crucial discrepancies that were comprised with the game’s struggles — and the true backbone of the game — came into fruition when it all came down to it.

    I disagree with the whole player-vs.-player thing (like when ESPN loves to say, “Kobe lost to LeBron” – I hate it!) that people love to augment. But when the smoke clears and the dust settles, what is everyone going to do about it? Teenagers strive to score baskets like Kobe, to drive to the hole like LeBron, to finish like Dwyane Wade, etc. But how are they learning what basketball truly is?

    The NBA is clearly making money off of individual players, and [unfortunately] there’s no stopping them from continuing to market Lakers vs. Cavaliers games as Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James when it’s a team from Los Angeles against a team from Cleveland.

  7. lol, man…I was gonna comment then I saw you guys had written some seriously long comments, which I unfortunately don’t have time to read. I will say this though (hopefully it hasn’t already been pointed out…) If the NBA started giving 3 points per basket & 4 points for foul, it would be like two 7 year olds playing playstation; every play would be a dunk and no one would ever shoot a jump shot anymore (not when you can just drive to the basket instead). Richard Hamilton might as well retire right now.

  8. I hear ya, Emmett. I would end up going ballistic. Teenagers would glorify the game as being “top notch” when it’s nothing like real basketball.

    That And1 basketball crap would end up absorbing to this “NBA” thing and it would all be a big streetball gig.

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