Tag Archives: David Stern

The NBA All Star Game is a Joke

What if you went to a basketball game and nobody played, but you still had to pay for your ticket? That is what you get with the NBA all star game, the NBA is in trouble, Stern just does not see the slump coming. Given how the game is played today, if I had paid as much as I did, I would ask for a refund.

The All Star game has become a joke, it is like walking into Subway, order a foot long roast beef, and only get one inch, but still pay the 12 inch price. The game is just a bunch of players goofing around for 3 1/2 quarters and then turns into a six or seven minute real game. What is the point of the game? Who would want to watch or pay to a game that nobody takes seriously or professionally? If there is no incentive, the players will not take the chance the size of the contracts today.

The All Star game is a hint of another possible issue in the NBA today, the seriousness of how the game is played in the regular season. The regular season games are starting to become only 8-10 minute games. Players are starting to not take the first three quarters seriously because they know if the score reasonably close, either team can win in the end.

This is starting to be recognized by the fans, nobody gets into the game for the first third quarters. For ticket holders, it is more about the other entertainment around the stadium than the game itself. For people watching on TV, you can turn the game on about two and a half hours after the tipoff just in time for the players to kick it up a notch and watch the ending of a close game. To sum it up, the first three quarters do not counter for anything. If you are only getting 1/4 the product you are expecting, then why go? The regular season game is too long today, four 12 minute quarters is too longer along with the TV and normal timeouts.

The college game excels for three reasons. 1) Two 20 minute half’s, less is more. There is less time to not have your head in the game. 2) Plays that occur in the beginning of the game can affect the end of the game. You can not skip most of the game in college and expect to understand how the game ended up the way it did. 3) Players care about playing from start to finish. Players know if you do not try in the start of the game, you will not be close in the final 5 minutes of the game.

The NBA game has become too different and confusing from the college game. Too many rules that seem to be changing everyday and they seem to favor the “Chosen” teams. Some the rules that are tainting the watch ability of the NBA game are:

  • Mid-Level cap exception, just set a salary cap and the teams can not go over that number
  • Defensive Three Seconds
  • Backcourt Foul Exceptions
  • Clear Path Fouls
  • Lack of Traveling enforcement
  • Too many timeouts
  • No five second guarding rule – This has stopped all kind of passing

In summary, the All Star game is pushing the issues of the league to the front, nobody is taking the NBA game seriously, people rather watch a whole college game rather than a quarter of a NBA game and it will be a matter of time before fans notice and spend their money elsewhere.

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Big Fine for Spurs; What a Joke

Friday, the master and commander of the NBA David Stern has decided if you don’t play the lineup he wants when she says so, you pay the consequences. A $250,000 fine for not playing the right players in a game the Spurs almost won against the Heat.

In general, I have agreed with the way Stern has run the NBA making it one of the largest commercialized sports leagues. I have agreed with how he has expanded the number of teams, cleaning up the image with the Dress Code and the policies in cleaning up flopping. The fine set by Mr. Stern sets a different tone for the league, sit the wrong player the wrong night and pay the price.

His logic is it was not in the best interest of the league, the people paid to see the top players and this was the only time the Spurs were visiting Miami. It makes you wonder what will be next for fines? Don’t play Lebron or Kobe at least 40 minutes and get fined? Don’t play Kobe at the Shooting Guard but at Power Forward and incur another fine since the people were paying to see him play Shooting Guard?

Additional reasoning for fining the Spurs, whether Stern wants to say it or not, was due to the game being on “National Television”. In today’s televise everything climate in sports today, there is no such thing as National Television. People now only follow their local team because they can with most to all games on some local TV station. Going back 30 to 40 years ago, in order to get your fix of basketball, you had to rely on the National TV game, but those rules do not apply today. While I don’t have numbers to back this up, I bet the only people that were watching that game were mostly fans of the Spurs or Heat.

Teams in other sports sit players all the time without the fear of their commissioner. Bud Selig should be fining the heck out of MLB teams when they traditionally play their backup players on Sunday day game or do not call on a bench player/bullpen pitcher on any given night. Same concept, would not the fan have purchased the tickets with the understanding that their favorite player(s) might not be playing that day. In the NFL, teams that have cinched playoff positions have rested players in front of the playoff with no penalty.

I’m sure on the tickets the Heat fans brought it did not say “Tim Duncan vs. LeBron James”, it stated “San Antonio Spurs vs, Miami Heat”. When you purchase a ticket to any sport you are purchasing to see a sporting contest, not a player. If you want to ensure you see a player in person you buy a ticket to any personal appearance he might make in public outside the sporting world. Because you are purchasing a ticket to the appearance with the understanding he will be there.

I have traditionally agreed with the choices Stern has made, but this one leaves me a little shaky on the NBA and what the future holds. Lets hope this is only a blip on the radar and not a trend to a possible downfall in NBA.

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