Anyone who knows me in real life also knows that I am not really a fan of the “ball” sports (football, basketball, baseball or soccer). Sure, I can sit and watch a game, and I know enough of the rules to follow the game, but I am not a rabid fan. I don’t have a favorite team, and I don’t dedicate my Sundays to the alter of Football like many people I know do. It is all “meh” to me. Of course, during racing season, I watch every MotoGP race…
This post is inspired by the 2016 NBA finals. Having really not watched pro basketball, well ever, since my wife is suddenly a fan because the Warriors are in the finals, I have been forced to watch a few games. These are my observations:
- What happened to driving the lane, laying up, taking the two points and moving on to the next series? It seems like a lot of “managing” the shot clock, and then standing well back, taking the 3 point shot.
- Traveling is rampant. I stopped counting steps, but it seems that every other trip to the key has flagrant traveling. It’s like the refs have stopped looking for it. You know it is bad when Lebron James gets called for traveling, and the commentators are shocked that it got called. Seriously, he took at least 6 steps…
- I remember playing on my school team, oh so long ago, and 3 point shots were pretty much “oops, the shot clock is almost at 0, so I will lob one up…”. Now it seems like more than half the shots are from outside the paint.
- Acting to exaggerate the foul. I will admit, I do watch a few of the world cup soccer matches every time it rolls around, merely to watch the writhing in agony from the most minor contact, to then watch the player get up and play like nothing happened. Yep, the acting is required to make sure the ref sees the infraction. In basketball, that seems to be the new normal too. The Warriors have someone even the commentators call a “Flopper” (Varejão) who whenever an opposing player even lightly brushes up against, falls to the floor writhing in agony, in an attempt to draw the foul. And he is about the shittiest freethrow shooter I can remember seeing.
What I think the game needs is a rule change, to allow goaltending when teams just line up to take three pointers, and for the refs to begin calling traveling violations with zealotry.
Of course, even then, I wouldn’t watch, so don’t bother.