The NBA Games Have Changed and I'm Sick Of It

Ray KongContributor IJune 16, 2009

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 27:   Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers complains about a no call in the game with the Golden State Warriors on January 27, 2006 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 106-105 in overtime. 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 Stephen Dunn /Getty Images)

I’ve been watching NBA basketball for over 20 years.  

My earliest memories were of watching the Lakers on television with my father.  There wasn't anything better than to hear Chick Hearn’s enthusiastic voice flow through the speakers as he called the games.

Until recently, I haven’t put much thought into those games I’ve watched as a young boy.  To think of it, there wasn’t any need for me to do so.

As I was watching this year’s playoffs, something felt off.  There was an emptiness inside of me that just didn’t feel quite right.

After some contemplating, I began to realize that the game is awfully different.

There were times when I just had to switch the channel because of the gut wrenching display of poor sportsmanship and lack of respect for the game.

If anything, the NBA has become more commercial.  There’s not just Kobe, but there’s also LeBron, Wade, and Dwight, to name a few.

And with the commercialization of these players, comes a price.

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They’ve all brought with them an air of arrogance and a sense of false entitlement.  From tip-off to the end of regulation, there’s an ongoing show of unnecessary antics.

LeBron has his chalk toss, Dwight has his Superman show, and Kobe has his alter-ego, the Black Mamba.

During the good old days, the league had a different vibe.  There was a sense of history, and an understanding of greatness.

Unfortunately that has all gone down the drain, and we are now forced to watch a bunch of overpaid athletes play tricks and throw jabs at one another.

If David Stern, the Commissioner, has any intentions to preserve the integrity of the game, he'll need to seriously consider the following changes.

Flops Must Stay Within Hollywood

Flops have destroyed the game as we all know it.  Anyone who says otherwise is crazy. 

It pains me inside to see players such as Derek Fisher, Luis Scola, and even Shaquille O’Neal tumble to the ground in a feeble attempt to have an offensive foul called on their opponent.

Imagine if flops were frequently called during the Jordan years.  Would Jordan have made that incredible shot after his push-off against Bryon Russell?

The Crying Game Is Not For Grown Men

I haven’t seen so much whining from grown men in my entire life.  I’ve been watching some old games from the 1980's and 1990's, and I realized that there were far less complaining.

In today's NBA, there’s always something to complain about. 

Players would complain about silliest things during the game.  They would scream in discontent about non-calls, about calls against them, or even about not receiving an “and-1” call.

Keep It Flagrant, But Not Two Flagrant (Pun Intended)

Okay, some of the readers here may disagree, but there’s no reason to distinguish one flagrant foul from another. 

You've either committed a personal foul, whether it be a touch foul or a more physical personal foul, or you've committed a flagrant foul.  That’s it!

In an attempt to create a more consistent collection of objective rules and regulations, the NBA has found it difficult to move away from this area of subjectivity that lies within the eyes of the referees.

Simply put, I want to watch a game played by outstanding athletes.  

If I wanted to spend my nights and weekends watching a group of overpaid actors, I would just get into my car and drive ten miles south into Hollywood!


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