No, really, I am sick. Just like almost everyone in America right now, I’m sick to my stomach and I have a dizzy vision, headache, incessant coughing and can’t breathe whatsoever. I blame All-Star Weekend. I was too delved into watching the events that I got sick from it. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Above all else, I am sick of one factor in sports that’s driving the NBA down into the ground. (Or trying to, anyway.) You know how children in Elementary Schools pick on children because of their appearance, etc.? That’s the kind of thing that’s happened to the NBA over the past 10 years. The thug image that’s tearing apart fans from players is deceiving a lot of people from the NBA.

But, I’m not the guy that’s advocating the statement “the NBA sucks,” or anything. I’m bringing this onto TSTOS because the buzz around the NBA lately in newspapers, magazines and websites all around is that the NBA — albeit a new change of heart AND look — is perceived poorly by fans.

I agree wholeheartedly with ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons on what he wrote in his latest column about All-Star Weekend and how the city of New Orleans is continuing to striving to be the captivating city it use to be. As well as that David Stern drives me nuts sometimes with his rash decisions and integrations (five teams in Europe? What?!), but his involvement with players like Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and the several other players, in the NBA Cares program is without a shadow of a doubt Stern’s greatest moment as NBA Commissioner.

The Worldwide Leader’s February 25. edition of the magazine had four articles pertaining to relevant NBA buzz as talked about in this post. Michael Jordan spoke to ESPN staff about his thoughts on the NBA and David Stern. David Stern also opened up to talk about where the league was headed. Chris Palmer (author of “The Sixth Man,” a book chronicling an Inside the NBA look behind the scenes with players, from the 2005 season) depicted why perception absolutely sucks as people have voted wrongful over the NBA in terms of the league’s image (and he writes why it’s untrue). And a story on Warriors Guard Stephen Jackson and why he’s one of the most hated players in the league, even though since the brawl he’s been one of the most caring guys off the court.

Some points made in Chris Palmer’s article was that people keep preaching about how they want to find at least one team in the league that’s “clean,” and plays a traditional game plan of team basketball. He then states that they need to look no further and look right at the San Antonio Spurs. Fans seem to care too much about problems by focusing on the bad instead of the good, which is why many continue to vie for excuses to trash the league and its teams instead of making comments denoting the positives.

Well, take a plate full of positives and have your silverware of choice be a fork. Dig in, chew it and eventually digest it, because the NBA has made a step forward in the improvement of the league’s image. And sports fans around, be sure to bet your ass that it’s not deceiving. Guys like Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, and Deron Williams — guys under 25-years-old — are certainly making an impact.

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5 thoughts on “I’m Sick (Thoughts on the NBA’s Image)

  1. I loved Bill Simmons’ article also….he brings up some great points.
    People who say the NBA is a bunch of thugs or that it is an “all me” league haven’t been watching the games recently.
    -Did you see how overjoyed Dwight Howard was to win the Slam Dunk the other night…he looked like a kid on Christmas.
    -Possibly the best player in the league, Lebron James (unless your name is Skip Bayless) is growing into a man right before our eyes. And he also ranks among the best passers in the league.
    -At the point guard position, you have Deron Williams and Chris Paul growing into the new age versions of Jason Kidd or Steve Nash.
    -Add all of the movement in the league with teams trying to jockey for playoff position and the remainder of this season should be very exciting.
    It is a good time for the NBA and everyone should take notice…

  2. I agree with you and with Simmons as well. Another thing that may exacerbate this situation is the fact that NBA players are a lot younger and make a lot more than other professional athletes. There might be some envy towards a perceived silver spoon here.

    There is also a perception that all you need is talent to get into the NBA. Casual fans don’t see all the hard work and time that these players put into crafting their games. Talent and size will help you dominate in high school, sure. But it takes work to succeed in college. It takes work and results to become a professional.

  3. I’m one of those basketball fans who has left the NBA for the most part, rarely watching any regular-season games and only tuning into the playoffs if I want to see a certain match-up. I think my downturn in interest came about when players like Peyton and Malone were pimping themselves out dollars-wise for a chance to form a “super-team” and steal a ring. Not that it wasn’t happening in other sports as well, but because one or two players really can push a team to another level in basketball, it just turned me off. As well, guys like Rasheed Wallace acting out every night and Shaq being deliberately fouled because he’s so bad shooting free throws made it tough to watch. No doubt though, guys like Paul and Howard are keys to it gaining back people like myself.

  4. I know what you mean, SA. When Payton and Malone hopped to the 2003 Lakers to attempt to win a title, I couldn’t have been more angrier. Not that all of it came from my Laker hating/Celtic bias self, more-so for the reason you said, that the Lakers were still a dominant team. So, fastforward 11 months from July to June ’04 and they’re matched up with the Pistons. After the first two games when it was 1-1, I was scared that the Lakers would begin to take over. Before I knew it, the Pistons had won the next three and were celebrating their third title. It couldn’t have been more enjoyable to watch LA fall flat on their faces like that.

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