Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Randomness Explains Why The NBA Has Been Dead To Me

I guess it began around the time it became clear the Timberwolves weren't going to be able to put together sustained success with Kevin Garnett. But, now that I think about it, the NBA has been relatively dead to me for quite some time.

I think the tipping point came when Latrell Sprewell, in one of those never-forget moments made the absurd statement, after turning down a contract that wasn't to his liking, that he had to feed his family. That struck the sports world as one of the most arrogant comments ever uttered by a multi-million dollar professional ball player. For me, I looked at my own family. My father worked in construction and later at the Ford plant in St. Paul. My mother worked in a school kitchen. They had to worry about feeding their blue-collar family.

While Sprewell's arrogance likely pushed me over the edge, I had thought since childhood the college basketball game was the superior game. College basketball is predicated on teamwork. NBA is predicated on one-on-one isolation's. Having been a student of basketball, the former to me has been more appealing.

In watching the NBA draft last night, Dick Vitale went on a rant that made a lot of sense to me. The NBA's decision to force high school players into one year of college ball is hurting the college game, and giving me another reason to look at the pros with disdain. I don't begrudge LeBron James, Kevin Garnett or any other uber-talent from taking the money when they can. But, as Vitale said, forcing some of these talents into the college game is a detriment to the game many of us love. Many of these one-and-doners don't want to be in college. They don't care about academics. Pretty soon, won't some of these kids go to Europe for the early money, not to mention the appreciating Euro versus the depreciating dollar?

Vitale's suggestion was that players could come to the NBA out of high school should there talent merit that. But if they choose college, they ought to stay for at least three years. Baseball forces its amateurs to do the exact same thing.

So it was that I watched the NBA draft last night, hoping to see the Wolves make the right pick. They did, and later traded it (I'm not going to rant about this). But what stuck out to anybody watching was the shear number of college freshman that comprised the first 15 or so picks. This can't be good for anybody.

And it makes me, someone who is having trouble coming back to the NBA, less likely to return. But if I had three years to get to know OJ Mayo at USC or Kevin Love at UCLA, I might be more inclined to follow their careers at the pro level. Those extra years seemed to serve Tim Duncan well.

*** Tim Brewster's prized in state recruit Sam Maresh underwent heart surgery Thursday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. No one knows if Maresh will play ball again, but he certainly has his sights set on it. Our best wishes go out to Maresh, his family and our hopes is for a speedy recovery.

*** Tom at Gopher Nation has a poll ongoing asking for your honest opinion about Tim Brewster, Glen Mason and the coaching situation with the football program. Share your opinion here.

*** Victoria's Secret and Goldy aren't friends. Shame.

*** The Big Ten Bloggers teamed up for more fearless predictions. I didn't have time to put significant thought into them, so I passed. But our friends who live and die with Northwestern, Lake the Posts, has the results here.

*** I'm getting some criticism from UK quarters for the most recent guest post I authored at 10,000 Takes. The point I was trying to make was that in the NABC's decision to try and put an end to kiddy-recruitment, Tubby Smith (president of NABC) looks good, while Billy Gillispie (who for right or wrong is the current face of kiddy-recruitment) doesn't look as good. I suggested Tubby might be getting some enjoyment out of this. I shouldn't have applied motives to Tubby, but I do believe Tubby looks like a statesman here and Gillispie looks like he lost a recruiting tactic some see as questionable. Tru at A Sea of Blue is right here, I could have done better.

That's it for now. Have a great weekend. The in-laws are coming to town here. Yikes!

10 comments:

From The Barn said...

One of the grand ironies, at least in the Alanis Morisette sort of way, is that Latrell Sprewell did in fact need the money. He ended up declaring bankruptcy as recently as last year. Money can't buy love, or pay the rent if your money management skills are that of the Zimbabwean central bank, even if your income is equal to the GDP of a failed state, or you make your money doing commercials for a sweepstakes that turns people into millionaires.

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