NBA Action: It Needs a Hand

Bryan MortonContributor IMay 23, 2009

CLEVELAND - MAY 22: Courtney Lee #11 of the Orlando Magic reacts after an offensive foul is called on him against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 22, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

What has happened the NBA of old? What happened to the glory days of round ball? Why is today's game so ugly?

The NBA has lost all but it's most die-hard and wealthy fans. Why? The reasons are many, starting with the lack of drive during the regular season. Teams seem to just cruise and accept wins and losses like it's just a job.

Too many players seem to approach the game like it's just a job...a job lacking passion. Only the teams who seem to have a shot at a title seem to play with any drive during the regular season.

Then you have the playoffs. Granted teams start to play more aggressively and action seems to pick up, but this also when the game turns ugly. The playoffs is when you see fouls go up and players "mugging" the opposing players.

This takes away from the fluidity of the game which was what made pro basketball so graceful. Fouling, or hacking, was something done as an amateur because you lacked the skills to adequately defend the opposing player. Fouls used to be viewed as disgraceful, not as another tool in your defensive arsenal as it so often is today.

I think the NBA should take steps to change the game and make it beautiful again. If you are granted five fouls in college, surely as a professional, your skills should be increased and you shouldn't need fouls to defend the opponent. Therefore, the NBA powers that be, should reduce the number of fouls from six to four.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Even if this rule were altered, the rest of the changes would take a mentality change amongst the coaches and the players themselves. Players would have to take more pride in keeping their foul totals low. Coaches would have to play the players who play the game clean.

Another ugly factor of today's game is the atrocious shooting percentages. There are so many athletic NBA players who have the strength to hoist 23 foot shots, but lack the skills to be consistent.

Maybe they're too busy playing PS3 or being a celeb at the hottest clubs to care about their game. After all, they've already gotten paid beyond their dreams, what else is there? Pride?

So maybe this is where athletes need to earn their pay the way the rest of us do. How many of you have received signing bonuses? How often have you been able to sit out of work until you can negotiate for more pay? Probably not very often.

Most of us have to work had to earn a raise. We only receive pay after we've proven ourselves. Maybe it's time for more players to receive pay or bonuses upon meeting certain criteria or incentives, as they are sometimes referred to.

Maybe your star shooting guard should have a certain number of three-point shot per game while maintaining a certain percentage range. This would keep players from throwing shots from all over the floor with only a prayer's hope of making them.

Maybe it's just me, but it's difficult to watch and enjoy an NBA game when paid professionals can't shoot a better free throw percentage than some 5'2" kid in high school.

It's basketball, not football, not rugby, not some hybrid of sports. Stop tackling or hugging players on the court. Let the game move with grace and fluidity. Make NBA Action - A Beautiful Game.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.