NBA: Does it need to improve?Published 3:39pm Monday, February 28, 2011
After recently resurrecting my interest in the National Basketball Association last summer, I have missed out on several great accomplishments.
Kevin Garnett was able to win his first title, Ray Allen also won his and Paul Pierce was able to win one, too. Kobe Bryant finally was able to win a title with out “Twizzim” or “Kazaam” or “Shaq” roaming underneath the hoop. Instead, he was helped out by Pau Gasol and Ron Artest. I also felt bad for LeBron James as he “gave it his all” to get the Cleveland Cavaliers an NBA championship, only to fall short once again. Now James teams up with D-wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
Carmelo Anthony, a player I loved watching in his one year at Syracuse, now has moved on to New York, with Chauncey Billups, to join Amare Stoudemire in making Spike Lee credible again to root for the Knicks. But the question I have after all this excitement is can the NBA last at this rate?
We all love watching guys pair up in the all-star game and look for additions to our favorite teams that add the perfect balance, but has David Stern let his operation get too out of control? I would like to think so. With whispers of contraction circulating through the NBA, is it any wonder why our team and other small markets could be on the chopping block. With so few superstars in basketball, it is making it less appealing to watch a product that has five or six superstar teams and several has beens and never will bes.
Growing up, baseball seemed like the sport that championships were bought in the off season, but the NBA has turned into an uncontrollable monster that sees rookies leave to greener pastures after three years and never sees cellar dwellers crawl out of the darkness.
Last night, the “New Look” Knicks were able to defeat the “Preseason Crowned Champs” Miami Heat 91-86. Never being a person to favor any New York team, it is hard to admit that I do want to see the Heat crash and burn. Minnesota fans’, whatever team you root for, have an underdog complex. So seeing LeBron James and his minions fall to the Knicks was kind of rewarding.
Under the radar, a new collective bargaining agreement is being sorted out in the NBA. Mr. Stern needs to make the sport something of parity and watchable in order to not decline their slimming revenue. I believe that there are several things that need to be fixed in the NBA that would improve the sport.
First, eliminate dumb and senseless trades. It is hard to get excited to watch the T-wolves play, knowing that around trade time they are going to have “a ton of cap room next year” because they are paying J.R. Rider’s expiring contract that they picked up in a trade for Kevin Love. Next, bring about a hard salary cap. The Knicks will be able to pay whatever luxury tax that the acquisition of Anthony brings and add more players. The NBA needs to create a salary cap that allows teams like Atlanta and Memphis to be competitive. Lastly, get rid of the lottery system and create a reasonable rookie play scale. Three year rookie contracts make the idea of a draft pointless as most players know that they will not stick around past their third year. The lottery system was suppose to help prevent teams from throwing games, but now it has caused deserving teams from getting their rightful pick. Also, it hasn’t happened yet, but what if the recently crowned NBA champ’s ball gets pulled from machine?
I know I don’t have all the answers to the problems that face basketball and I don’t believe that the NBA does either. With the league becoming less and less appealing to more and more people it is hard to see how it can survive.