Starting Lineups: The NBA Season’s Only Too Long If Your Team Sucks

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers - Game One

With the start of NBA season tonight, you’ll see some people say some combination of the following:

  • "Oh geez, the Heat are going to win it all again, so what’s the point of even playing out the season?"
  • "It’s the same three or four teams that have a chance winning it all."
  • "The NBA is 'me' over 'we.'"
  • "Players make too much money."
  • "They don’t play hard."

And of course, here are my personal favorites:

  • "The game doesn’t matter until the fourth quarter."
  • "I don’t start watching the NBA until after football season."
  • "The regular season is meaningless."
  • "The season’s too long."

Maybe it’s because, apparently, there are people who have a strange inability to follow more than one sport at a time or there are quite a few folks who find they have to defend their fandom in non-NBA locales, but these statements always irked me. While I submit some truth about the lack of parity among actual title contenders, this doesn’t mean that there’s a lack of talent, skill or passion. Those critiques and claims always felt a bit lazy considering that the same can be said for just about every major pro league going right now.

Let’s stop lying to ourselves; this has been a horrendous NFL season, and although it’s still the most popular entertainment vehicle in the States, slightly diminished ratings over the last season-plus have shown that people aren’t enamored with some teams and games. College football is in somewhat of the same boat, especially with SEC fatigue having firmed like quick-dry concrete. The Bizarro World Series hasn’t sparked interest and imaginations as much as perceived by media prognosticators.

(And much of the bullet points said for the NBA can be said for the NHL based on the season’s duration.)

Just because a team plays more than once a week doesn’t mean that it can’t capture your attention each night.

Just because some teams lack “tradition” and “mystique” doesn’t mean they can’t write their own chapters in the history books.

And just because it’s not football doesn’t mean that sports fans can’t be as excited for squeaking sneakers, pick-and-roll sets and crossovers as others do for 50-yard touchdown passes, pistol formations and corner blitzes.

No matter the sport or its stature, there is only one true way that a season can be too long.

Quite frankly, the season’s only too long if your team sucks.

Look at the standings and then ask a Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings or a Jacksonville Jaguars fan.

Time to feed on some links. And not just pork or turkey sausage ones.

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