Bleach: NBA predictable vs. college hoops

first_imgWould you rather wake up to a donut or a scone? Cheer for the New York Yankees or one of the other 29 teams that hasn’t made a deal with Scott Boras/the devil? Would you rather read “Harry Potter” or “Twilight?”Although the choice may seem obvious to most of us, somehow, there are still scone-nibbling, Jeter-worshipping, teenage vampire fans out there. In all facets of life, I am constantly reminded that no matter how clear-cut a decision may appear to be, there are always people who will make the wrong choice.Nowhere is this clearer than in the NBA vs. college basketball debate.Every year I sit down and try (emphasis on try) to watch the NBA playoffs. Every year I yell at the TV as cardinal basketball rules are broken by professional basketball players (see ball and man!). And every year I will shake my head in disgust as refs make calls even Stevie Wonder could see are bad.Every single year.There are a litany of reasons the NBA pales in comparison to the NCAA — too many for one column in fact — so let me give you just a few before I move on to my main point.1. The regular season is way too longEighty-two games played at 48 minutes apiece, or 40 games played at 40 minutes? One is a shameless money grab, while the other provides the ideal avenue for teams to compete all out each night. Seriously though, how can NBA players even be expected to exert the same effort as college players when they go through that grueling of a schedule? In the end, the NBA regular season is something to be managed, not enjoyed, to win just enough games to gain a strong position in the playoffs (see Gregg Popovich’s strategy).2. RefereesFans complain about the officials in every sport, but the NBA’s refs are so bad, multiple conspiracy theories have been formed about them (Dallas-Miami 2006 Finals anyone?). When it is admitted and accepted that superstars are given the benefit of the doubt, and rookies are treated harsher then the average veteran, little else needs to be said about the quality of the officiating.3. It’s really boringSome of this can be blamed on the watered-down regular season. Part of it can be blamed on referees controlling the game too much. Most of it though, comes down to the fact that watching players go one-on-one is very dull. Fade away 20-footers with 15 seconds left on the shot clock are boring. The lack of a 5-second closely guarded rule means post players can just sit on the block with the ball. Basically, anything worth seeing from an NBA game can be viewed on SportsCenter later that night.Clearly I don’t care for the NBA, so have I learned from my mistakes and just given up on the pro game all together?Umm… kind of.This season, I am not going to start my annual NBA adventure until the finals. Because this year, the only games that matter for the entire year will be played somewhere between June 4 and June 18 by the Cleveland Lebron James’ and the Los Angeles Kobe Bryant’s.You see, David Stern has already determined this (and you can bet the referees will insure this outcome). Every credible basketball analyst has already penciled in a James vs. Bryant showdown. The 2,430 regular season games this year served the purpose of showing us how useless the first three rounds of the playoffs are going to be, because no team has a shot outside of Cleveland and L.A.Even this year in college with favored North Carolina winning the NCAA Tournament, the amateur game provided plenty of surprise and excitement. Somehow Michigan State made it to the final game overcoming a Connecticut team filled with NBA talent. Pittsburgh and Villanova combined for an Elite Eight clash that was one of the most enjoyable basketball games I have seen in my life.And all these NCAA squads mattered because each one of them had at least a semi-feasible chance of winning the whole thing.In the NBA, it’s Kobe or Lebron, and that’s it. No matter how spectacular Chris Paul is or how hard Paul Pierce fights to defend his crown, the final two teams have already been chosen.So prepare for 4 to 7 games of exciting NBA fun: That is all they can afford to give you.Michael is a junior majoring in journalism. Think the NBA is better than college ball? Do you enjoy the comfort of a predictable finals? He can be reached at [email protected]last_img

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