Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Basketball: What the hell is it good for?

This article pretty much sums up why I don't like watching basketball games. Please read it before continuing. The article specifically targets Shaq, but could easily be applied to various players with perhaps a slightly less degree of success.

I would like to put forward that I only feel this way about watching basketball. Playing is a different story altogether. I find playing basketball quite challenging and physically demanding. But then I'm not 7'1".

In no other sport does height yield such an advantage as in basketball. Being fast really doesn't mean much because the court is so damn small. If the court were even the size of a hockey rink, it would change the game completely. Instead of taking two steps and throwing the ball to the 7 foot tall guy standing next to the hoop (who summarily drops it in), there could possibly be an element of challenge or difficulty for players to get it out of their own end.

I believe the real problem is that the hoop cannot defend itself from somebody 7 feet tall. In any other sport, once a shot has been taken, the skill of the opposing team (most importantly, that of the goaltender) can still prevent points from being scored. Not in basketball where "goaltending" is actually a breach of the rules. The size of the players in the NBA has changed the game such that it becomes not much more than "Keep Away." Putting the ball in the basket becomes a moot point because judging from most NBA scores, the teasm pretty much do this every time they get in their opponents end.

There is no element of excitement in watching a game where there is no tension in wondering if a team will score. It is a virtual certainty. Sure there are some great at-the-buzzer shots but that is not the norm. And it's nothing like a good sudden-death overtime :)

I'm sure that I'm inviting the flames with this one, but I'd love to hear them. Why the hell is this game so interesting to watch?

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