Who cares about the NBA?

Kevin Wandra's picture

My mother always tells people that I was born with a baseball glove, hockey stick and basketball in my hands and a football helmet on my head. (It must have been a difficult birth.)

Growing up, I was passionate about all four major sports — baseball, basketball, hockey and football. As the years have gone by, my interest in basketball has waned significantly, which surprises many of my longtime friends.

From middle school to high school, I played all four major sports, but basketball seemed to consume the majority of my time on the playgrounds of Jersey. I strived to be like my favorite player of all time, San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson, who was an exceptional basketball player and an even better person.

In addition to emulating Robinson, I worked on perfecting a crossover dribble similar to that of former Golden State Warriors point guard Tim Hardaway and developing rebounding skills that would make Dennis Rodman jealous. I would consistently watch NBA games, observing the fluid movements of the players and their awe-inspiring plays on the basketball court, and I was a loyal “NBA Inside Stuff” viewer every Saturday afternoon.

I also spent numerous hours in my own driveway, perfecting my jump shot and throwing down emphatic dunks — yes, white men, er, kids, can jump — on a hoop that was nowhere near NBA-regulation size.

As is the case with most kids, other interests overtook my life, particularly music. I still remained a passionate football and baseball fan — OK, the only baseball team I cared about and still care about is my beloved New York Yankees — but I lost interest in basketball.

When I was growing up, there were great NBA teams to follow: the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls, among others. Nowadays, it’s all a one-on-one game, with each team’s superstar — think Denver guard Allen Iverson and Cleveland guard Lebron James — hogging the ball, putting up ridiculous, off-balance shots and having their teammates rush to the basket to snatch the rebound and, hopefully, score. Can you say “predictable” and “boring”?

Moreover, the size of basketball players' egos has grown immensely — actually, you can say that about any professional athlete, but perhaps more so in the NBA — due to expanded media coverage and bloated contracts.

Think about this — when was the last time you met a passionate NBA fan or had an interesting conversation regarding NBA basketball? I bet it’s been awhile. I’d rather discuss hot dog-eating contests or the impact “Mike Tyson’s Punchout” has had on the history of video games than the bore-fest known as the NBA.

I don’t completely despise basketball — high school basketball, especially locally, can be fun to watch — but I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m not the go-to guy for the latest NBA news.

Now, I’m all for discussing my favorite sport, football. Just be prepared to set aside an hour or three to analyze the intricacies of the 3-4 defense and the importance of franchise quarterbacks.

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Submitted by wheeljc on Fri, 11/16/2007 - 4:45pm.

Even many old folks feel the same way. Can't remember watching a NBA game in the last 14 years! Think that the game has become TOOooooo individual, with too much print and media attention given to personal exploits of 'the bad boys'.

What good are they doing for society???? Who around is trying to emulate Dennis Rodman?

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