NHL vs. NBA: Five Reasons Why the Ice Is Much Cooler
It's hockey season, friends. And it's almost basketball season, too.
Soon, the debates will be starting about which sport is better: hockey or basketball?
By a pure revenue standard, the NHL doesn't come close to the NBA.
By pure fanhood, the NBA can't touch the NHL.
With the NHL, it seems to be the devout fans or nothing. In the NBA, you have literally tons of those fairweather fans ("Shaquille O'Neal is still on Miami, right?").
I'm a huge Boston Celtics fan. But I love the Boston Bruins more.
Here is why I think the NHL is better than the NBA.
NBA Salaries to NHL Salaries
Adam Morrison gets paid $5,257,288 to sit on the Los Angeles Lakers' bench.
Mikko Koivu gets paid $2,700,000 to be out there on the Minnesota Wild top line.
Want another comparison? Darko Milicic gets paid $7,000,000 to sit on the New York Knicks' bench.
Joe Thornton got paid $6,700,000 in 2008, when he was out there being an alternate captain for the San Jose Sharks, one of the best teams in the NHL. A few years earlier, he won the NHL MVP.
I rest my case.
NHL Fandom is 10 times better than NBA Fandom
Sorry, NBA fans. You guys are pretty passionate, but you're nothing compared to the NHL fanatics.
NHL fans are involved with every play, and their noise clearly affects the action on the ice.
It's easy to get distracted at a basketball game. There's usually not a lot of violence down on the court to get the crowd into the game. In hockey, there's a seemingly endless string of hard hits and fights on the ice, all of which get the crowd riled up.
Plus, the NBA is filled with fairweather fans. Most of the NHL's fans are pretty devout.
The Spread of Talent
The NBA seems to have the same teams in the playoffs every year.
In the NHL, every team has a shot. You could go from being among the worst teams in the Eastern Conference one year, barely sneaking into the playoffs, to being among the NHL's elite next season.
Exhibit A: The Boston Bruins.
Now, through the first few games of this new NHL season, the Bruins have limped to a 3-4 record, with their most recent loss to the perennial laughingstocks of the NHL, the Phoenix Coyotes.
It just goes to show you that in the NHL, a team can go from being the worst team in the league one year to barely sneaking into the playoffs the next to being among the NHL's elite the next season. Not to mention, there's always the possibility they'll go right back to where they started.
Teams also have a virtually equal spread of player talent. For every Dany Heatley on the Sharks, there's a Sidney Crosby on the Penguins.
For every Dion Phaneuf on the Flames, there's a Zdeno Chara on the Bruins.
For every Alex Ovechkin on the Capitals, there's a Patrick Kane on the Blackhawks.
For every Zach Parise on the Devils, there's a Ryan Getzlaf on the Ducks.
NHL is Way More VIolent
Violence isn't necessarily a good thing. But it does get the fans fired up.
The NHL (and other professional hockey leagues) allows rough hits and fighting. In the NBA (and other basketball leagues), it seems that if a player barely touches another one, a ref seems to be whistling the play dead.
The scrums are part of the NHL. Players who fight get five minutes in the penalty box, then go back into the game. Players who threaten to fight in the NBA get ejected from the game and will likely get a suspension.
Watch the two videos, and you'll know what I mean.
(Humor) Sean Avery Can Make Ron Artest Cry
See this man? He will beat the crap out of you. Just by looking at you. Chuck Norris is afraid of this man.
He fights dirty. He hits goalies in the back of helmets.
And Avery knows what's coming to him. He plays hockey. Someone is going to end up trying to beat him up.
What do basketball players do...get into Twitter battles? At worst, they throw an extra elbow in the paint.
Sean Avery can easily beat up the NBA's resident "tough guy," Ron Artest...
Just by looking at him.
So Artest beat up a few fans, and an entire team? Avery has to be crazy to mess with a goalie.
For those of you who don't know, goalies are frickin' insane. You just don't mess with them.
So let's review: the NHL is epically awesome, the NBA is sort of awesome. Probably third on my sports totem pole behind hockey and baseball. Yes, above football.
And if you don't believe me, then you obviously haven't seen this:
Let's see LeBron do that!