The David Stern era interwoven with memories of the NBA as I remember it while growing up makes for appropriately complex feelings, but the video was well done. Very cool.
OT: TNT - NBA Forever Intro
back in Magic-Bird days. The game stopped being a team game when Michael took over. Now it's a cash grab and best players would rather conspire to play together in one place to try and win a championship instead of playing against each other.
The game is not the same and Stern has turned into some kind of dictator. Voidng the trade of Paul to the Lakers just guaranteed that LeBron gets a title. He can't win one building a team on his own, he has to get help from the front office and get the best players in the east all on his team. Magic, Bird, Erving, Jordan, Russell, West...none of them would join their toughest competition to try and guarantee a championship.
The game has changed...and it's not for the better.
It seems the younger generation of basketball stars is trying to emulate the commercial success of Jordan. Yet they forget that he was a complete player. I can't watch the NBA. Not because of the commercialism and flashy plays, but because the game is horrible. Lack of defense and basic fundamentals ruin it for me.
"I can't watch the NBA"
"Lack of defense..."
There is a causal link between these quotes, but it's not the one you think.
Magic, Bird, Erving, Jordan, Russel, and West all won their championships by playing alongside top-50 alltime players. Yes, free agency exists now. I don't think it should be abolished.
Pro-/anti-NBA arguments here are always tedious and stupid, so I won't go further, other than to say that I would be extremely surprised if your claim about greater team basketball in the '80s held up to any serious analysis, especially if one considers defense to be part of basketball.
Bad teams were really bad when the Showtime Lakers had all the stars.
The fact that there are now 5-6 more teams in the league than in the early 80s is the real problem. Having a lot of superstars on the Lakers or Celtics back then was a result of fewer teams not Lebron/wade/bosh type consolidation of talent. Less NbA teams = a good thing.
Man, I don't know. I'm looking at the NBA rosters in the 83-84 season, and I'm seeing a lot of teams without any stars at all. When the NBA did their 50th anniversary list of the top 50 players, Boston and LA had three each. Boston: Bird, McHale, Parish. LA: Kareem, Magic, Worthy. Here are the other players on that list with their teams.
Portland: 1 (Drexler, as a rookie)
Philly: 2 (Dr. J, Moses, both at least near peak)
San Antonio: 1 (Gervin, near peak)
Detroit: 1 (Isiah, nearing peak years)
Clippers: 1 (Walton, but a shell of himself due to injury)
Now you can argue with the selections (no Dominique, no Alex English, no Bernard King the most glaring, and maybe Parish's rep was boosted due to titles, Walton only had a few dominant years). But out of the 12 players picked as all-time greats playing then, six of them were on two teams. And look at a few of these rosters...
CHICAGO BULLS 0 Orlando Woolridge, 3 Ennis Whatley, 12 Ronnie Lester, 15 Mitchell Wiggins, 21 Sidney Green, 22 Rod Higgins, 24 Reggie Theus, 32 Steve Johnson, 33 Jawann Oldham, 34 David Greenwood, 40 Dave Corzine, 44 Quinten Dailey, 54 Wallace Bryant
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 5 John Bagley, 8 Lonnie Shelton, 10 Stewart Granger, 11 Cliff Robinson, 20 Geoff Huston, 21 World Free, 32 Roy Hinson, 33 Paul Thompson, 35 Phil Hubbard, 41 Geoff Crompton, 45 Jeff Cook, 50 Ben Poquette, 55 John Garris
INDIANA PACERS 7 Tracy Jackson, 7 Bruce Kuczenski, 11 Brook Steppe, 12 Butch Carter, 14 Jerry Sichting, 16 Jim Thomas, 21 Kevin McKenna, 24 George Johnson, 31 Granville Waiters, 32 Herb Williams, 33 Clark Kellogg, 34 Leroy Combs, 35 Sidney Lowe, 40 Steve Stipanovich
KANSAS CITY KINGS 2 Dana Suttle, 8 Eddie Johnson, 10 Don Buse, 20 Ed Nealy, 22 Larry Drew, 24 Reggie Theus, 25 Billy Knight, 30 Kevin Loder, 33 Steve Johnson, 35 Dave Robisch, 40 Larry Micheaux, 41 LaSalle Thompson, 42 Mike Woodson, 50 Joe Meriweather
NEW JERSEY NETS 1 Foots Walker, 10 Otis Birdsong, 11 Mark Jones, 12 Darwin Cook, 14 Kelvin Ransey, 20 Michael Ray Richardson, 23 Bruce Kuczenski, 31 Mike O'Koren, 33 Reggie Johnson, 34 Bill Willoughby, 42 Mike Gminski, 52 Buck Williams, 53 Darryl Dawkins, 55 Albert King
PHOENIX SUNS 4 Kyle Macy, 6 Walter Davis, 7 Rory White, 7 Mike Sanders, 8 Rick Robey, 10 Rod Foster, 11 Johnny High, 14 Alvin Scott, 20 Maurice Lucas, 22 Larry Nance, 32 Charles Pittman, 33 Alvan Adams, 44 Paul Westphal, 53 James Edwards
WASHINGTON BULLETS 2 Michael Wilson, 13 Bryan Warrick, 14 Ricky Sobers, 15 Frank Johnson, 23 Charlie Davis, 24 Jeff Malone, 25 Darren Daye, 30 Mike Gibson, 31 Joe Kopicki, 32 DeWayne Scales, 42 Greg Ballard, 43 Jeff Ruland, 44 Rick Mahorn, 54 Tom McMillen
I mean, there are 7 teams in a 23 team league and the best player among them is a debate between Mahorn, Maurice Lucas, or maybe World B. Free if you're a fan of names and gunners. Those Celtics and Lakers teams were made through a series of great trades (Celtics ripping off Golden State for Parish, Lakers getting Kareem when he forced his way out of Milwaukee) and fortuitous drafts within a league that had a bare fraction of the talent that exists in today's NBA>
And like 3 of the teams you list are among the best in the League. The League wasn't peaking in '84, but the late 80's-early 90's. Celts-Lakers-Pistons-Bulls with good 76ers, Hawks, Cavs, Knicks, Trailblazers, Jazz, Mavs teams.
Sure, but his point was about expansion in the late 80s diluting the NBA talent pool. I just chose a year at the height of the Lakers-Celtics "glory years" to demonstrate how mal-distributed talent was during those years.
In the mid-late 90's that would show a bunch of teams that are lucky to have one good player, no more two. It wasn't that every team was good. There are always bad teams. It's that the great teams had 3 stars, then good teams 2, and a few with at least one good player. After expansion you could roll with two stars, and there weren't a lot of teams with depth after that. The League is refilling to the best level it's been since before then, but if you took 4 teams away, the bad teams would be better, and the great teams would truly be great. You'd have Ainge's, Cooper's, Green's, DJ's, Scott's and such around the big 3 Miami instead of the crap you now have. That's where expansion hurts. It doesn't create more stars. It means the bottom 50 players get pushed out of the League and better players fill in role-player and reserve rolls.
I couldn't agree more. Re: the Bird/Magic and previous eras; the championship teams were stacked. Look at all those Celtics and Lakers teams that won titles. Those starting rosters are littered with guys who are now in the Hall of Fame. But, everyone else is right, b/c the Heat and Knicks did this last year, the entire league does it now.
And, no defense? This is such a stupid argument. Critics like to say that guys like Lebron or CP3 or D-Rose don't play defense and only care about offense. That couldn't be further from the truth. Personally, this is the most exciting the NBA has been since the end of the Jordan era. There is so much young talent in every single game, that play both sides of the court. This is the best basketball being played in years.
To me, it's easy to criticize the NBA, and there are some legitimate reasons to (bad ownership, need for a new commissioner, etc). But, to say that NBA players are such a different breed than guys in other leagues like the NFL is crazy. The NBA is more personable than the NFL, you can see their faces, fans are only sitting within feet of the game, etc. So, just b/c the NBA is an easier target than a league like the NFL, that doesn't mean the product on display is worse.
The criticism is often absolutely retarded.
If i told you there was a star player in a sport who left tens of millions of dollars on the table, and accepted a potentially lesser role on a new team for the express purpose of winning multiple championships, you'd probably be like, "Wow, now that's a guy I'd like to play with. Someone to admire. He knows what it's all about."
That's before I told you that guy is LeBron James.
I agree. If it wasn't for the 'Decision', which was dumb, Lebron wouldn't have gotten the same amount of criticism. Most people would applaud the move of a superstar, regardless of sport, taking a litte less money and sacrificing his role as the team's go-to guy in order to win a championship.
Obviously your description is vague for a reason, but the fact that he wants to win multiple championships isn't what makes people angry. It's that he essentially gave up on winning a title on his own, rather than working to keep the Cavs on the upward trajectory they were heading.
Similar scenario.. Assume the Packers didn't win the title last year, and this year, after a great regular season, they were to fail in the playoffs yet again. Aaron Rodgers decides to leave in free agency to play in a bigger market with some other great player (Adrian Peterson?), even if they collectively accept less money. Do you really think they would be applauded for these decisions?
Sure, a lot of the hate for Lebron was as a result of "The Decision", but to say he should be lauded for accepting less money to win multiple championships is flawed logic, in my opinion. This has happened with various players in the past (McDyess and Odom being the most recent examples I can think of), but superstars are, and should be, treated differently.
What if i told you that a player who won an MVP completely choked in not one, not two but three successive playoff runs and then in a televised tribute to the greatness that is he, this same player shoved it up the ass of the are he grew up in to feed his narcissic ego? And what if i told you this same player did this after all viable free agents had been signed thereby assuring the team and town that loved him was doomed the year he left? And what if I told you this same player choked on his NEW team of self-assembled all-stars and almost single-handidly gave the championship to the other team?
You'd probably say "wow, that guy is a piece of shit". Someone I'm glad I dont have to associate with. Someone who inspired a book title "The Whore of Akron". Somebody I'd like to root against as long as he's in the league.
That the same somebody you reference I believe.
Great points, but I always have a hard time feeling sorry for sports fans in Ohio.
Jerry West might not join the toughest competition but the toughest competition joined him and Elgin Baylor, when the Lakers acquired Wilt Chamberlin. Incidentaly the Lakers did not win the title with Chamberlin and West until the year after Baylor retired.
Red Auerbach used a loop hole in the draft and ripped off Dick Vitale and the Pistons to eventually end up with Bird, McHale, and Parrish
The Philidelphia 76er's somehow ended up with the two best forwards from the ABA on their team in the mid 70's when they acquired Julius Erving and George McGinnis. Later in a successful effort to get Dr. J. a title the 76ers went out and acquired Moses Malone, who happened to be the best Center in basketball at the time.
Magic and the Lakers had Kareem, Magic, and James Worthy so they probably didn't feel a need to add another superstar.
I'm not saying players used to "conspire" to play with other great players, but those Magic-Bird teams were stacked. Pretty similar to what the NBA is today.
That gave me chills - thank you for posting it.
My personal fave? The shot of Rick Barry shooting his free throw "granny style".
Okay, I hate today's NBA. But even I'll admit that was GREAT.
The NBA blows. Just a bunch of showboats who refuse to play defense or get favorable calls from the refs fixing the games.
worth the watch ...Sometimes ..
The NBA is in the shitter. Zero teamwork and it is a shame to mix those team players in with the new crybabies. Please move the NBA to Afghanistan.
or are you just repeating commonly heard refrains? Because the good teams in the league don't fit your description at all. I guess OKC isn't a great defensive team but that's a stylistic thing.
I really laugh when I hear people bitch about today's NBA players refusing to play defense. Anyone who makes this claim is clearly either under 30 or simply not a fan of the NBA at all. The hallmark of games played in the 60's, 70's and even the up to the late 80's was an absolute lack of defense. Look at the average scores of games and you'll quickly see that most games were won with point totals in the 110-120 range or above and it was very rare to see a game played with even one team below 100 points.
Our very own "bad boys" were the first team in my memory (I'm 52) that committed to playing defense and even then it wasnt until AD (all scoring no real D) was moved that they were finally able to get the ring. Riley watched his Lakers get killed not playing D and that's why his Knick teams of the 90's took the Pistons game even one step fuirther.
Serious though,the game has changed for the worse..The officials just have too much control of the outcome on the game..If you want to make the NBA better? Call fouls when it's obvious,don't call little pussy fouls so one team can cover the spread ....
If you're 33 how much do you really remember before the nineties. That was the worst period of me, me, me basketball. Everyone was drugged out and overpaid. That was a wasted generation of NBA talent. The NBA is so much better now.
Also, if you think the refs are calling fouls to cover spreads, you're delusional. Even Donaghy didn't say that and he was trying to pump up controversy to hurt the NBA and sell books.
The worst period for the NBA in its modern history (Bird-Magic forward) were the two years that Jordan sat out.
An ugly, "defensive" style dominated the game, with defense mainly a bunch of hand-checking and bumping of cutters that went uncalled due to the rules in place. Scores were regularly in the 80s. And apart from Hakeem, who was awesome the only top 50 stars in their prime were the Stockton-Malone combo, in a tiny market, and Ewing, playing on the team that pioneered the evolution of "defense" from the emphasis on team awareness and athletic switching that the Bad Boys and Bulls used to just bumping everyone they could.
Even Hakeem, who became one of the most talented offensive centers in NBA history (arguably the most) relied on a post game and fade away jumper that didn't exactly scream "Fan-tastick."
I am going on 34, but I still remember low-scoring games being a rare exception in the 1980s. The Pistons in the late 1980s won what were for the time some low-scoring games and opposing teams were left scratching their heads trying to figure out why they just couldn't make baskets all day. It was that then-innovative move to a defensive game.
I think that what some are remembering as defense is just the style of play that was prevalent at the time, not defense, and perhaps some better fundamentals. Further, what looks like a "lack of defense" now can be just as easily attributed to players being "better athletes" and the level of athleticism in the game being generally higher. I also don't remember it being more of a team sport about 25 years ago - many teams had standout players who knew exactly how standout they were. It simply didn't get nearly the coverage that it does now.
The switch to zone defenses has actually helped to make today's NBA a BETTER defensive game. I don't know where people are getting the "lack of defense" except from the popular press. Now, you can win a game scoring just 90 or so if you play sound defense. In 1990, that would have been incredibly difficult to do with just man-to-man, especially if you were outmatched athletically.
That's good defense and I don't think anyone would be complaining about that. The hallmark of the top teams of the past decade has been great defense i.e. the Pistons, Celtics, Spurs. A lot of teams today elicit laughter when put in the same sentence as defense i.e. the Suns, Nuggets, Knicks, Warriors.
I'd still be bitching about the lack of defense. Anyone can score, watching a great defense play is a better pleasure.
Trading Adrian Dantley and acquiring Mark Aguirre (neither played much D) had little to do with the Piston's winning titles. Piston's traded Dantley because he was a pain in the ass and they wanted to play Dennis Rodman more. That being said, Aguirre wasn't too happy to see his minutes going to Rodman but he took it better than Dantley.
I'm going to disagree - trading Dantley was an important step for the offense. Dantley was a black hole - whenever he got the ball, he would dribble and dribble and dribble before finally making his move (he did have some good post moves, I'll give him that).
With him gone the ball moved more, and this meant Joe D got more touches and the opportunity to shoot his sweet J. His offensive game doesn't develop if Dantley is still around to hog the ball.
Also, Rodman getting more time wasn't a bad thing, either.
We will have to agree to disagree. Everybody, including Dantley, knew the Pistons were winning the title that year, and it pissed Dantley off to no end when he was traded for Aguirre, he's probably still bitter. If you recall Dumars and Dantley were quite good friends at the time as were Isiah and Aguirre. Dantley and Aguirre were very similar players and both pretty much one dimensional players, Pistons would have won with either.
Those Piston teams could have easily won 4 in a row. One year, you got the Dantley/Vinnie head collision debacle coupled with "Bird steals it", then Isiah's sprained ankle the next year. Both years Piston's were very close to winning it all. By that point Pistons, Lakers and Celtics were all very evenly matched, with the Pistons on the ascension and the other two on the decline.
Yes, the Pistons could have won more if the breaks had gone their way. But they didn't go their way. Small things can put a team over the top.
Maybe the Pistons would have won with Dantley, maybe not. More offensive stagnation with him, more Joe D offense without. I'm going with the latter.
The main impetus for trading Adrian Dantley was his proclivity to be a pain in the ass to deal with,not because he stagnated the offense and retarded Joe Dumars development. If you think Joe Dumars was held back from developing because Adrian Dantley stagnated the offense to a much greater degree than Mark Aguirre, I think you are mistaken. Both Aguirre and Dantley were shoot first players with big egos, who weren't likely to pass the ball out to anybody, although both were capable passers. Joe D was maturing as a player and took on more of the load with each season he played. Dumars maturation was a natural progression and would have occured at roughly the same rate with Aguirre or Dantley. If anyone was to be stagnated by Dantley it would have been Dennis Rodman, but Rodman wasn't either.
It wasn't a question of Dantley stagnating the offense it was a question of getting Rodman more playing time. When push came to shove Mark Aguirre was more accomadating to ceding minutes to Rodman than was Adrian Dantley
Well, we're talking parts of the same equation, aren't we? Dantley was a pain in the ass, so team chemistry was better with him gone (Joe D may have been close with AD, but Aguirre was close with Isiah, who with Laimbeer told him how things were going to be, and Aguirre complied).
Dantley averaged a little over 2 minutes more than Aguirre did in 88-89, so more minutes for Rodman. Dantley not hogging the ball and more minutes for Rodman mean more touches for Joe D.
Maybe Joe D's game would still have come on with AD, but that would mean Chuck Daly has to sit him more, so he's pouting on the bench while Rodman gets more time. Better he was traded.
It is funny how nostalgia clouds some people's perspectives. I love the NBA and there were some pretty great games yesterday.
I love that Spike Lee has embedded himself as part of Basketball lore.
I think just the opposite.
Watched this when it aired during the pregame. Loved it. Also, Shaq and Barkley chirping at each other during the pregame show is the best television ever made. I plan on watching all the TNT pregames this year.
I'm glad to see the NBA has redone their commercials, I don't watch that often but all I remember is a stupid talking basketball or something. Glad they're going the NHL route of embracing the past
At one point I absolutely loved the NBA. Shaq,Hakeem,David Robinson,Mj,Barkley,Drexler and the list goes on and on of the great players I used to love to watch. The best players today are Kobe and Lebron then debate the rest. These two are both not liked for one reason or another. The NBA needs a drastic make over and it needs to happen ASAP. I really think that the NBA would benefit greatly by making college athletes play a minimum of 2 years. The one and dones turn off a lot of fans as they feel their team was exploited.
All guys in their mid-twenties or younger that are or will be the next NbA superstars and are close to universally respected and liked by fans, media, and players alike. Broaden your gaze or actually watch the sport.
I barely do any more along with the vast majority of others. I would love to see a poll of people who actually watch the NBA regularly. If you really think that list compares to the list I just named, you may need to pay closer attention to what you are watching. Griffin and Howard would have a difficult time in an NBA that had big men like Shaq, Robinson,Olajuwon,Ewing,Malone,and Kemp to name a few. You remember the dream team? Jordan,Thomas,Magic, Bird..... Not even close.
But the previous poster is listing only players in their mid 20s and younger. You've included guys who entered the league anywhere from 1981 (Bird/Magic) to 1992 (Shaq). A comparable list reaching 11 years back from Derrick Rose (2008) would include all the guys he listed, plus Kobe, Dirk, Duncan, Pierce, Nash, LeBron, DWade, Carmelo, Amare, Gasol, and Manu, plus a bunch of guys who are on Shawn Kemp's level, like LaMarcus Aldridge.
That you don't watch means you don't appreciate the level of talent in the league right now, which is, I think, greater than the late 80s heydey, due to the influx of foreign talent that just didn't exist back then.
Magic, Worthy, Jabbar
Bird, McHale, Parrish
Dr. J, Moses, to Barkley
Zeke, Dumars, Rodman et al.
Dominique, Ewing, Drexler, Hakeem and I'm sure I'm forgetting people.
And all this before Robinson, Mourning and Shaq came in the interim.
The League has loaded back up with talent after the Bulls onward expansion years were an experienced talent dearth, but let's not get crazy.
You're dealing with 20 hall of famers there. Everyone but Price and Daugherty, who I don't disagree were excellent (Daugherty is the Yao Ming of the 80s/90s, great players whose careers were cut short because legs are fragile things)
And I think you can make a legit argument for the years 86-90 as the height of NBA talent being clustered onto a number of very good teams. That gets you Dr. J's last years and Jordan's emergence plus the Lakers, Pistons and Celtics. You can even throw in the very talented Bucks teams of Moncrief, Terry Cummings, and Paul Pressey and those Rocket teams with Sampson and Hakeem.
But the teams you list above weren't together all at once, obviously. Malone and J's last year together in Philly was 85-86. Pippen entered the leage in '87. Celtics pretty much fell apart by 90. Etc...
Just as a thought experiement, a comparable list of very good teams with dominant players from the last five years.
Garnett, Allen, Pierce, Rondo (@ least 3 hall of famers)
Kobe, Gasol (HoF, Gasol borderline... best Spanish player ever, does that get you in the HoF?)
Durant, Westbrook (HoF tragectory/ too early but likely not)
Duncan/Parker/Manu (HoF/see Gasol/HoF)
LeBron/DWade/Bosh (HoF/HoF/not likely)
Billups/Wallace x2/Hamilton (on last gasps, similar to the sixers above) (Likely no HoF but dominant team)
Dirk/Kidd (or Dirk and a cast of aging players on one last push) (HoF/HoF)
Deron Williams/Carlos Boozer (hey, Boozer made 3rd team all-NBA, ok this may be a stretch) (?/no)
Paul/Griffin (TBD) (?/too early)
And this excludes teams that were consistent playoff teams but relied basically on single players like Howard (HoF tr), Rose (HoF tr.), Carmelo (?), Yao (see Gasol).
So we've got 11 guys playing during the last 5 years that could retire today and be pretty assured to be elected to the hall and at least another 8-9 that you'd at least have to talk about or seem to be well on their way (of course, all of that can go wrong with a knee or ankle, or just getting stuck on mediocre teams like happened to Alex English). But I;d say we're at least in the same ballpark.
Not any one time. I think now, for the first time in almost 20 years, the superstars are every bit as good as the stars of yesteryear. It's the second string stars that are lacking.
AllenGasol/Westbrook:Parker/Manu/Bosh/Billups//Wallace x2/Amare/Boozer, and maybe even guys like Rondo, Pierce and such...just seem much more in the Ainge, Scott, Rodman, Dantley etc. Category. Great starters, but not all time greats. The HoF isn't much of a mark, because the B-Ball HoF is ridiculously liberal in who they let in. All those guys will probably get in. I compare more the players. And LeBron vs. Magic or Jordan vs. Kobe and all would be great battles. But when you get to the supporting cast and bench around those teams, it would be a bloodbath. The Bad Boys vs. The Wallace Pistons is lucky to not be a sweep. Likewise, Kobe would kill the Showtime Lakers, but who guards Magic? And if Kobe, who the hell guards Worthy? And Kareem vs. Gasol?? And it gets uglier the deeper you go. You could do that with any of the teams.
See argument above re expansion. This is an impossible exercise with the dilution of talent caused by 5-6 more teams.
This is epic.
Today's NBA is so tough to love. And I struggle to understand why. Is it a generational thing? Its it a media thing? Is it a greed thing? I just can't put my finger on it. Back in the day, guys played the game because they loved it and they were good at it. There was true passion, true hatred, true love of team. The things that exist in todays NBA surely existed back then too, greed, jealousy, selfishness, I'm taking my talents to.. etc., but they were more hidden and behind the scenes, not in our faces everyday. I tend to lean towards the belief that these qualities have overshadowed The Game and drive the media machine, which in turn drives the fans impressions of the current NBA.
He turned players from rich guys who played a game to corporations who could make more than teams. And while always star driven, Stern ate it up and pushed it to ridiculous heights.
Damn NBA, with their tattoos and their rap-hop music. Also, there are too many states these days, please eliminate three.
People who simply dismiss the critics of the current NBA as baseless haters or even racist, are missing the point. Basketball is a great game, but there are things about this current pro game that many people don't like watching. The pro game itself has problems.
It's a game with deep issues in keeping viewer loyalty. Ignore the mass dislike or apathy of the fans all you want, but that doesn't change the reality or help solve the issues.
Maybe the people who run it don't care? A Piston's game with almost no one in the upper bowl of the Palace has to be a sign of sickness that needs to be treated?
But the critics don't say what the problems are, they just say "I don't watch the NBA anymore" or "the NBA sucks." (You are the exception, pointing to problems with viewer loyalty in the form of attendance and viewership).
To those. The Pistons had their lowest attendance last year since at least 2001-2 (farthest back I could find attendance records) but they also had their 2nd worst team in that stretch and are on a stretch of three consecutive losing years. Their team last year was noticeably unlikable too, revolting against a bad coach. And we're still in a recession that's hit Michigan harder than any other state in the nation. They had the third lowest attendance by % of available seats in the NBA. Let's see what happens if/when the Pistons get better, because their attendance drop seems mostly about results. Which I approve of. If there's a bad team on the floor, people should not go.
Arguably the rise of HD tv has also hurt attendance league wide. This is a Simmons argument that I'm not convinced of, but there does seem to be an attendance drop across the league, with half of teams under 90% of capacity as compared to about a third in previous years, even as tv ratings went way up.
In terms of those ratings, last year saw a 45% increase in ratings of regular season games on TNT, had the highest first round ratings in history, and the finals did very well.
I think there are three things going on here.
1. The Pistons are bad, which colors perception of the NBA on a Michigan oriented blog.
2. Simple loss of interest by individuals that isn't borne out by broader indicators.
3. The crying of owners during the lockout created impressions of a league falling in popularity, when evidence for that is very debateable.
Mainly because I'm stuck at work with little to do...
7 teams have shown meaningful declines of more than 2,000/fans per game (my post, I get to determine "meaningful") over the past 5 seasons in attendance: Pistons, Pacers, Nets, Hornets, Sixers, Kings, and Raptors. (Cavs kept their numbers up impressively last year, likely due to season ticket sales). Not surprisingly, those figures include some of the worst teams in the league the last few years (though the Sixers and Pacers had nice revivals last year that were not reflected in the stands).
Over that time, attendance league-wide has fallen an average of 500 people per game (that said, 2006-7 had the highest NBA attendance on record and the decline hasn't been huge, with attendance falling from 21.8 million to 21.3 million).
There are also a number of franchises that, for whatever reason, struggle to attract fans year to year and consistently average around or below 80% attendance (with season ticket sales likely exaggerating butts in seats). Nets, Sixers, T'wolves, Bobcats, Pacers, Bucks, Wizards, Kings, and Grizzlies. That's a list of some of the more talent poor franchises in the NBA over the last 5 years. Still, I'm surprised to see the Sixers and Pacers, in what I thought of as good NBA markets on that list.
Attendance at one of these will likely be taken care of next year as the Nets move to Brooklyn. It'll be interesting to see if the Grizzlies see a significant uptick this year. If they don't, the NBA's likely not going to make it in Memphis. Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Charlotte seem like long term problem markets.
oops double post. fail on me.
I think this topic is the most reasonable discussion of the NBA that I've ever seen on this board. Bravo.
Edit: I'm not being sarcastic.
people were going to comment on whether or not the video was realistic and maybe comment on their fave players of yesteryear. Goes to show you that every thread has a mind of its own.
The NBA stole my fucking team. fuck the NBA!
When teams acquired players, and got better, they banged heads for awhile, and rivalries were created. You could take sides, even if the teams weren't yours. Celtics vs. Lakers- you may have not liked either, but you were probably rooting for one when they played. Sixers vs. Celtics, Pistons vs. Celtics, Pistons-Lakers, Bulls-Pistons. You took side. Hate built up. Even the 2nd tier teams built up some animosity with the top teams.
Now, if players who aren't supposed to like each other just team up to form their own superhero teams, what are the big rival games? What's had time to percolate? It's like it's Kobe-LeBron, just because they're good. But they haven't played much, and it's not even the same teams. It's the feeling that if you can just join someone without even getting moved, that you didn't care they much about beating them in the first place. Now it's like the Batman and Joker decide to team up. It's just wrong.
Fans have largely moved from hating players on opposing teams because of the teams they play for to hating particular teams because of the players that play for them, which gives "rivalry" a weird new spin, since it's oriented around people/personality rather than place.
Which isn't the same. I still hate the Celtics and Bulls, even if I have nothing against Rose...or guys like Garnett, or Pierce, for the most part.
And it compounds the age old problem of if the guy goes to YOUR team if you're just hating the player, and not the uniform.
I love the NBA and have grown tired of fighing for its respect on this board. I just want to thank "needs" for having a clue and hitting everything on the head. The Bulls(my team) vs Lakers game had a crushing 6.5 rating and the all the games overall killed it ratings wise, just proving that NBA is alive and well despite the haters and hockey fans who say "NBA had a lockout? har har"