As the NBA season begins....

it's that time again... the beginning of the NBA season. I like this time of year, because the NFL has sifted the winners from the losers, and you can tell which games are worth watching and which ones aren't - and there are compelling stories to follow, like how the (very bad) Miami Dolphins seem to like spoiling the hopes of teams looking to run the table... etc. There's only one unbeaten team left now, and we know who to watch.

The same is said of college football - it's interesting this year though, because between teams ranked 13th to about 27th, the teams aren't really an different, but you know who to watch and who to pass on.

Now we start the process of doing the same thing with the NBA. As with every year, the NBA has started a nice shiny new marketing campaign. This year's campaign, I find, is filled with paper statements that don't hold ANY water with people who know and watch basketball.

The campaign this time around shows several of the league's stars' highlight film bits, big dunks, lots of noise. We're talking about guys like Tracy McGrady, The Lebron, Kevin Garnett, etc... the big men. Then we cut to them sitting in the dressing room, saying things like, "I fooled you", or "you thought it was all about me.." the commercial ends up with them saying, "it takes five to win."

Sorry, I'm not buyin' what you're sellin', NBA front-office. You have changed the game so that, on almost every team, there are players who get away with crimes, both on AND off the court, you put up with their crybaby antics, forays into the stands, childish contract disputes, performance enhancing drug use, gang affiliations, violent selfish behavior. You allow your coaches and referees to put up with antics that wouldn't be allowed in any other professional sport (except football - another story for another day).

You have a group of 20-30 (or more) players whose sole purpose is to show-boat, make poster dunk shots, behave badly, and get paid as much money as humanly possible, so they can get their "crib" on MTV.

They are about the "give me the ball, and get out of the way, and take your man with you, so I can make a stunning dunk that will live on forever as a poster." And you even allow this idea to be fostered at the college level.

You (NBA) can't tell me it's about the team until you take the measures that prove to me it's true. Until then, don't bother telling me one thing, and then allowing the opposite to flourish.

No comments: