I'm a big fan of the NBA - I love the players, and I enjoy watching the good teams play on TV. But on Thursday I went to a Clippers-Nets game - a great game that the Clippers won on a last second three-pointer and that the Nets almost won on a last fraction of a second near-missed tip-in - and it was horrendous. Forget that rookie Marcus Williams played a very solid game alongside Jason Kidd. Forget that Vince Carter shot the lights out and dazzled with some of his moves. Forget the slick spin moves by Corey Maggette, Sam Cassell and even Tim Thomas that resulted in buckets or the long range bombing of Bostjan Nachbar who could emerge as the third option for New Jersey now that Richard Jefferson is out for the season.
The game was unwatchable because of all the side shows, the cheesy music, played at top volume, the cheerleaders who have to run on and do their amateur act every time there's a TV time out, the idiots dancing to win a Subway Sub, the male cheerleaders shooting t-shirts into the crowd, the guy shooting from three in between quarters to win a trip to Vegas, the two fat guys tethered to each other by a bungee cord trying to make layups to win a flat screen TV. The blaring lights, the emcee exhorting us to cheer and playing "Here we go Clippers, Here We Go" music or Dunt-dunt-dunt Dunt-dunt-dunt Dunt-dunt-dunt Dunt-dunt-dunt - TURN THAT GODDAMN CRAP OFF. I'm trying to watch a friggin basketball game.
How f'ing stupid do they think we are - we can't just watch a basketball ball game with some dignity? We have to be told when to cheer? We have to be entertained at every single second with fourth rate amateur acts. Think about the cheerleaders and the fat guys making layups sharing the same court as the NBA players. These guys are the world's elite basketball players - so few have the talent and skill to play in the NBA - and they're sharing the stage with some bimbos and clowns? If you went to hear classical music at the London Philharmonic, would it not be demeaning to have me and the other RotoWire Editors playing pickup basketball on their stage to entertain you during intermissions? Or maybe we'd jam out on the piano and violin for you. Can the teams not have some respect for the players and the game?
And it's not like adverstising which though often horrendous is a necessary evil to pay the bills. The side shows are of marginal monetary value, and the blaring music is completely unnecessary.
If I owned an NBA team, I'd dim the lights in the entire arena except on the court, there'd be NO MUSIC AT ALL, just the sound of the crowd, and people who went to the arena would be there to watch a basketball game, and if that weren't enough for them, then they might want to go somewhere else where there every sense is overstimulated. Maybe a video arcade or an amusement park or the local pornography shop. But my arena would be for basketball games just like a movie theater is for movies, a concert hall is for concerts and an art museum is for art.
The other thing that's stupid is the way the people seated behind the basket wave those sticks to distract opposing free-throw shooters. They just yell and scream and wave them haphazzardly. And it does very little good because it's like white noise after a while - the shooter can easily tune out all that random motion. If they want it to work, they need to shake and make noise as the shooter is getting set. Then stop abruptly and be quiet, then start as he's about the release the ball. All herky jerky. So he can't get used to the stillness or the movement. You'd think those submorons who get the sticks would have figured that out by now.
Posted by Chris Liss at 1/26/2007 1:56:00 AM