10 Things to Hate About the NBA
There are many things to love about the NBA, but there are many things to hate about it as well.
No sports league is perfect, and the NBA is no exception.
On any given night, the very game that we all love to follow can let us down and be a huge source of frustration.
Whether it is our team losing the big game, missing a last second shot or a key player getting injured, there is an ugly side as well.
The following slides will outline 10 of the things to hate about the NBA that do not happen a few times a season, but are things that need to be fixed or eliminated overall.
The slides are not ranked and are in no particular order—not that this is all that there is to dislike about the league.
It is amazing how when a team starts winning, diehard fans start popping up everywhere even though they have never liked them before.
Maybe this can be called the ESPN effect, as the better teams are the ones that are most often featured in the media, or maybe it is just because fans change allegiance to whomever is doing well.
Worse than changing teams when they do well, is changing teams when a certain player is traded or plays for a new franchise and fans follow that player from team to team.
The rule should be simple. Pick a team and stick with it. No matter what. Period.
Respect all teams, but jumping around from team to team is not a sign of a true fan.
The balance of power in the NBA is not fair, often heavily favoring a few teams while others suffer.
This could be for a variety of reasons including some teams having several All-Star players and some not having any at all.
Unfortunately, the super teams in this category often correlate with a large market city that can afford to overpay the team salary and afford to keep these star players on the roster.
As good as the NBA is now, there is still room for improvement in terms of spreading the talented players around to other teams instead of having an elite few.
With the new luxury tax penalties that will start at the end of next season, there will be teams that will have to make difficult choices regarding which of their quality players will have to go.
Hopefully, as owners will not be able or willing to pay higher penalties, there will be a more equal distribution of talent and the league will become more competitive as a whole.
We love them when they play for our favorite team, and hate them when they do not.
Superstar players in the NBA will never win the approval of everyone and will always deal with criticism.
As fun as they are to watch, the superstar game of being entitled to the world and dictating what happens on their team is getting old.
One reason superstars are hated is due to them continually beating the other teams in the league.
It is almost as if there is an unwritten rule in the NBA that the better and more popular the player, the more hatred from opposing fans that guy will have to endure.
Just ask Kobe and LeBron about that one.
Resting the Starters
There is nothing worse than buying tickets to see some of the top players in the NBA and getting to the arena to find out that they will not be starting that night even though they are not injured.
It is understandable why it happens at the end of the season, when teams are set to make the playoffs, but in the end it is not fair to the fans who pay to see their favorite player in action.
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan fell into this category recently when he recorded a DNP with the listed reason being that he is "old."
It makes sense that Duncan needed some rest during this fast-paced season, and the team won without him anyway, but resting him surely disappointed some fans who spent their hard earned money to see him play.
How One Player Can Control the League
Whether it was his intention or not, Dwight Howard held the NBA hostage for much of this season.
It seemed like most of the league was focused on his decision, and the trades that were made or not made were dependent on what Howard decided to do.
Even in the aftermath of the trade deadline there are several franchises and players that now have big decisions to make which are a result of Howard staying in Orlando.
This is not the first time this has happened.
Often times when a superstar player approaches free agency, that player has far too much power in guiding the decisions of his team and several others in the league.
Last season Carmelo Anthony forced a blockbuster trade to join the New York Knicks, and the Utah Jazz traded away Deron Williams in fear that he would not re-sign with the team long term.
I am not sure what the fix to this one would be, but it is time that the NBA owners and front offices take back the control.
If they do not, it is only going to get worse.
Contracts and Salaries
It is no secret that the salaries of NBA players are out of control.
No matter if one is a rookie who makes the minimum of about $473,000 or Kobe Bryant, who will earn over $25 million, all players in the NBA are paid far too much to entertain by playing a game.
Additionally, most contracts in the NBA are guaranteed, meaning that players do not have to perform well to earn the money that they agree to in a contract.
Players like Andre Kirilenko, Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas are prime examples of guys who never played at the same level they did before they agreed to big money.
Although the Amnesty Clause can now help, teams are often stuck paying a player who does not play well, and the bad contract decisions can have long-lasting effects on a franchise.
Draft Age Limit
There is really no reason why a young man who thinks he is good enough to play in the NBA should be denied the opportunity to play based on his age.
The current rule of players needing to wait for at least a year after high school until they can enter the NBA draft needs to be changed.
If a player thinks he can make the jump from high school into the NBA and chooses to bypass college, so be it. He is the one that will have to deal with the consequences if it does not work out.
For some players, like Kyrie Irving, that year in between becomes a waste of time. It is hard to believe that he improved his game during the handful of games he played at Duke while he was waiting to become eligible for the draft.
Instead of having a set age limit, the league should do a better job of counseling young players on their options and potential careers and help them to decide if they are ready to join the league or if they should take some time to develop in college for a year or two.
Whether it is Paul Pierce, Anderson Varejao or any other player taking a page out of the "Vlade Divac Book of Flopping," it is something that has to be eliminated from the NBA.
While it is technically not cheating, it is also not very ethical.
Nothing kills a game faster than seeing the opposing team dupe the official into calling fouls that never really occurred so that they can get the ball back.
For players who regularly use the flop as part of their game, man up, play defense and knock it off.
It does not take long watching an NBA game to recognize that superstars in this league get a certain level of respect from the referees that others do not.
Players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant regularly draw foul calls from their opponents whether or not they are actually touched.
These players are extremely difficult to guard and do draw legitimate fouls during the games, but there are times that it seems the whistle blows and a foul is given before contact is even made.
Star treatment in the NBA has been a problem for many years and is something that needs to be fixed.
Referees will never admit that star treatment happens, but one only needs to watch a game to recognize that it is not equal among all players.
According to a January 2012 publication of Team Marketing Report, ticket prices in the NBA range from the cheapest average of $22.95 all the way up to $117.47, depending on the team.
It now costs a family of four a small fortune to attend an NBA game. Throw in hot dogs, drinks and a box of popcorn and one may need to take out a loan to get to a game.
After the lockout, the league did try to help out by asking all teams to offer a $10 ticket, but to get those seats you have to be in good shape to climb all of the stairs.
If you are a fan of the Charlotte Bobcats or the Memphis Grizzlies, the prices are manageable.
If you want to see the New York Knicks, forget about it.
The average price of a ticket at Madison Square Garden is the highest end of the range at $117.47.
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