NBA Decline

Submitted by Black Socks on May 24th, 2014 at 11:13 PM


So tonight I watched my first NBA game on TV in about 5 years.  It's incredible how far this league has fallen.  There is very little effort given, the teams rarely move the ball well, and the skill level is down significantly from years ago.  Where are the skilled big men?  Why all the complaining to the refs?  Unreal.

It's telling that there is no thread on the NBA while there's a thread on Atlectico soccer, whatever that is.

What does the NBA need to do to become relevant again?  Can it be reveresed or will it continue on the post-Jordan silde?



May 27th, 2014 at 12:15 PM ^

"That is simply untrue. All of those guys I've mentioned have good to great post up games."


We just have significantly different definitions of a "good to great post up game".


"Hakeem had maybe the greatest post up game in history. Holding him up as being indicative of the level of post play in the late 80s to early 90s is totally ridiculous."


Good thing I'm not doing that.

He isn't indicative of the level of play in those days - he actually had a great post game.

You seem to think I'm claiming there were tons of great post up players back in the day. There weren't.

Good to great post up players were RARE when Hakeem, Robinson, and Ewing were playing - they're almost non-existent now.


"If you have an Olajuwon or a David Robinson, then sure, but how many of those guys have their been in the entire history of the NBA? A handful?"

That is my point.

There aren't  a lot of good post up players now. There NEVER have been a large number of players in the NBA at any one time with "good to great" post up games. It was rare in the '80's-'90's... it's almost unheard of now.


"I'll take the bigs of the last decade, Shaq, Duncan, Garnett, Gasol over the bigs from the 90s,"


If I'm trying to win basketball games under the current NBA rules - I agree.

If I'm picking guys to demonstrate actual back to the basket post-up skills? I'll take the older guys.






May 25th, 2014 at 7:42 PM ^

Many of the teams playing in the playoffs have future HOFers, they are simply playing right now so we don't have the same perspective.  Allen, Wade, Lebron, Duncan, Parker, Durant, maybe George, Westbrook, and Ginobili. 

And those Pistons teams had, what, 3 HOfers on them, and Rodman and Dumars definitely had some question marks.  And the Bulls had Jordan and Pippen and who else?  I don't see a plaque for B.J. Armstrong coming down the pipe anytime soon.

The NBA had a couple of teams with a lot of really good players in the 1970's and 80's, but the vast majority were not fantastic and, I'd argue, played during an era where defense was de-emphasised.  This resulted in a more aesthetically pleasing, but not better, game.


May 25th, 2014 at 9:07 AM ^

Each year I try to watch the NBA playoffs as it would give me something else in sports to watch after the NCAA tournament.  I just can't get into the NBA's style of play.  With rare exception, tt lacks the raw emotion that is present in good quality college basketball, even with better athletes.


May 25th, 2014 at 9:43 AM ^







May 25th, 2014 at 10:12 AM ^

You ever go back and watch some of the shows from your youth and think "man, this is REALLY awful!?"

Maybe it's not so much the product that has changed but maybe it's your own personal tastes have evolved? It happens.

Clarence Beeks

May 25th, 2014 at 5:44 PM ^

I've actually done this, and I get your point that tastes change, but honestly those shows were terrible. Seriously, if you have Netflix, go back and watch the original episodes of any of the "classic" TV shows of the 70s-90s. Seriously not good at all. Although, to be fair, we could be talking about completely different eras of "classic", because pre-70s "classics" have held up pretty well.


May 25th, 2014 at 10:13 AM ^

Watermelon or coconut. The taste of each is unappealing to me. I also tried white water kayaking and did not enjoy it at all. It essentially involved flipping over in cold water, escaping the Kayak, and slamming into rocks. You would then get back into the Kayak and repeat this process several times until you mercifully reached a point where you could exit the river, I also don't really care for the walking dead at this point. The slow moving plot focused on unending misery has led me to abandon the show.


May 25th, 2014 at 10:49 AM ^

The NBA regular season is too long & it STINKS.... The playoffs are pretty much the right size & time-frame, & so if you have a local team in it (the Pistons), it's pretty fun to watch.... The NBA players are more offensively skilled then EVER (as a group). I'll watch a random game once per week, & I each time I see several amazing offensive plays.... BUT the players attitudes & body language is the worst it's ever been.... It's called "I've been worshipped on the court since I was 13, so I've learned that I can live my life without showing respect to anyone ever. Unless it directly benefits me in a specific situation". I hate it. I aint old.

LS And Play

May 25th, 2014 at 10:54 AM ^

I'm not a fan, per se, of the NBA (I'm not emotionally invested in any particular way), but I follow it closely in a passive manner. What would be interesting to me is if you had a John Beilein coaching the Thunder. Anyone who watches the Thunder will recognize their offensive sets are rudimentary, to put it  kindly. Where the NBA is lacking, in my opinion, is the level of elite coaches. I mean, Scott Brooks's play seems to be follows:

1) Iso Kevin

2) Iso Russ

Now, not all NBA coaches are like this (Pop, Doc Rivers, etc) but if all the teams with elite talent had elite coaches, I think you'd see a product even the NBA haters can enjoy.

Magnum P.I.

May 25th, 2014 at 11:23 AM ^

I enjoyed watching the Bad Boys, Jordan, Kings-Lakers, and the 2003-2008 Pistons. Something changed for me at the end of that run, though. The 2006 finals was the tipping point, and Dwyane Wade is the embodiment of what's gone wrong with the NBA to me. So desperate for "stars," the NBA decided Wade would score 25 points per game regardless of his inability to shoot and recklessness driving the ball. Stars always got preferred treatment from the zebras, but that series took it to a whole nother level of ridiculousness that ruined the game for me.


May 25th, 2014 at 12:38 PM ^

The 2006 finals was the tipping point for me as well. I understand driving to the basket as a star usually results in a foul. However, there were moments where it appeared his state of mind was simply, jump into someone's chest to get a foul.

If it works, why stop? It stinks for fans that prefer to see talent that's not 'blow pass your man and jump in the lane' offense. As much as i hate to admit it, the Heat's offense last night displayed high quality shooting, ugh, Ray Allen is a highlander.

Serious question, have calls like traveling and moving screens become synoumous as the football, there is holding on every play so why call it motto?


May 25th, 2014 at 8:10 PM ^

It wasn't the best series in the world, but the idea that Wade was shooting so many more foul shots during the playoffs than during the regular season in this career just doesn't match up to the stats.  Look at his career FTA and you see at most a slight uptick, but compare it to Jordan and Wade looks barely pampered at all.  The difference is that there weren't hundreds of bloggers and #HOTTAKES to bitch about it in 1988 or whatever.

I don't think this is the greatest string of success for the NBA, but it isn't nearly as bad as people are making it out to be. 


May 25th, 2014 at 8:10 PM ^

It wasn't the best series in the world, but the idea that Wade was shooting so many more foul shots during the playoffs than during the regular season in this career just doesn't match up to the stats.  Look at his career FTA and you see at most a slight uptick, but compare it to Jordan and Wade looks barely pampered at all.  The difference is that there weren't hundreds of bloggers and #HOTTAKES to bitch about it in 1988 or whatever.

I don't think this is the greatest string of success for the NBA, but it isn't nearly as bad as people are making it out to be. 


May 25th, 2014 at 12:11 PM ^

this is definitely OT. Now on to your terrible argument. Watching one game in five years hardly qualifies you to criticize the quality of the play. That being said, I'm not sure how much you even watched last night seeing as you complained about ball movement and the Heat offense thrives off of making the extra pass. You probably didn't enjoy the skill level of the Pacers last night because they pride themselves on defense.  As far as the skilled big men go, there are plenty. Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh, etc. All of those guys are very versatile, talented players. Also, the NBA is doing just fine; revenue is rising and the Clippers are about to sell for roughly $1 billion dollars. 


May 25th, 2014 at 12:59 PM ^

Actually said after the 1st Round that I was willing to bet everyone would forget about how great the Playoffs have been this year if Miami continues to advance. Well, happened sooner than I thought. Anybody who trashes these Playoffs hasn't been watching them.


May 27th, 2014 at 11:43 AM ^

Agreed. Except for the current series, this has been the best NBA playoffs in recent history. Not to mention, with Serge Ibaka back in the lineup for OKC, it's looking like the Spurs won't just waltz into the Finals. Some amazing series this post-season.


May 25th, 2014 at 3:05 PM ^

Don't mind the nba. The biggest problem is flow. It seems like every possession has a foul. Anytime a player dribbles into the lane and jumps it is a foul, regardless of who initiated contact. And then you get the pleasure of watching whoever the foul is called on start acting like they have been falsely accused of rape, even if they essentially punched the guy in the face.

Effort, skill, shooting, etc all seems fine to me.


May 25th, 2014 at 4:27 PM ^

Most people around here probably agree college basketball is much, much more fun to watch. There's nothing in sports as exciting as the NCAA tournament, IMO.

However, if you think back to the NBA playoffs last season, you certainly can't legitimately think the Heat-Spurs series lacked excitement in the least bit.


May 25th, 2014 at 8:01 PM ^

March Madness is exciting in pieces; lots of those games were horrible to watch.  Lousiville vs. Saint Louise jumps to mind, and MANY B1G games were turrible affairs.  I'd argue college basketball is as bad as it has been in years, simply because instead of there being a bunch of HS stars bypassing it entirely, you instead have guys like Calpiari and Self rolling out the ball rack and letting a bunch of one-and-done kids figure it out for one year while eyeing the exit ramp.


May 25th, 2014 at 8:18 PM ^

First off let me say that anytime people bitch about the 'modern NBA' my racism sensors go off...

Second, if i I could change anything in the NBA I woudl only do two things:

1.) allow teams to fanchise players so that you don't get a Lebron 2.0

2.) allow teams to play any type of defense that they want.

extra credit: I would make any foul in the final 2 minutes a flagrant.





May 25th, 2014 at 11:48 PM ^

Why would bitching about the "modern" NBA be racist?  The NBA Superstars of the 1980's were almost exclusively black as well and most people consider that to be the NBA's Golden Era..  Who were the white stars?  Bird, Stockton and who else?  I mean there have been a handful of great white players, but the majority of the superstars in the NBA have been black for at least 45 years now.   The Bad Boy Piston teams only had one white guy who even saw the floor--Laimbeer.  Magic's Showtime Lakers were mostly black players as well.  I can't think of any white guys on their squad outside of Kurt Rambis.  I don't see how the "modern" NBA is any less biased towards black guys than it was 25 years go. You probably have to go back to the 60's to find a time when black guys didn't completely dominate the NBA. 


May 26th, 2014 at 12:03 AM ^

The thug culture is a lot more prevelant in the NBA now.  You didn't see guys with neck tattoos, or any tattoos, in the 80's.  Rodman didn't even have tattoos with the Pistons.  There are tatted up white guys in the league now too but most of the guys with full sleeves and neck tattoos are black.   


May 26th, 2014 at 9:39 AM ^

this is more indicative of the NBA and not just a shift in culture. Also, if the NBA is so full of thugs, please tell us the last time the league produced a serious offender like the NFL has several times in the last few years. Way more crime in the NFL, but they don't get accused of having a thug culture because the face of the league are Brady and Manning, not LeBron and Durant.

Roy G. Biv

May 25th, 2014 at 9:16 PM ^

I do think skill level is not what it once was-even something as fundamental as passing in/out of the post struggles. I have no quantitative evidence-just the eyeball test. I do think, however, that overall athleticism is way up. Teams seem to draft athleticism over skill.


May 26th, 2014 at 1:53 PM ^

The biggest problem with the NBA isn't the NBA; Its at the High School level and this AAU crap. They don't teach these kids fundamental's anymore. Its not all on the coaches at that level, but with the way the AAU works and kids constatnly on the move they just aren't picking things up.


May 26th, 2014 at 9:29 PM ^

Lol whenever people talk about the fall of the NBA I have no idea wtf they're talking about. My guess is you know very little about basketball. Probably saw a couple "easy" layups and immediately assumed players were being "lazy". Just the typical old white person narrative. 

The game evolves. Who cares if there's not as many good big men? There aren't many Walter Payton 'carry the ball 30 times a game' RBs in the NFL these days, but people don't talk about how bad the product is. Simple minded thinking is a *you* problem, not a league problem. When you watch a game 5 years from now, think about why you see an easy layup. Maybe it's because there are 4 (sometimes 5) legit threats to make a shot from 20 feet out? Maybe the defense has to respect that, opening up the lane. Maybe you don't see that in college because nobody can f*cking shoot? THINK.


May 27th, 2014 at 2:42 PM ^

Perception, entitlement, and special treatment are what I believe has driven people away from some sports.  When i watch sports, it's hard for me to look at these players in some sports (NBA and MLB) and feel enjoyment.  My opinion on why the NFL as a professional sport is still watched is the heart and soul you have to maintain just to play.  When we see Lebron James being caried off the court because of a cramp then see guys leaving the football field with blood on their uniforms, it makes me feel like there's heart there in the NFL and the NBA is a bunch of premadonnas.  


On top of that, entertainment as a whole has changed dramatically over time.  It's not the time when people had to get up and go to a game and enjoyed the time it took.  Now Baseball games are 3 hours plus long.  Kids are engrained with video games and their attention span won't absorb that kind of investment with that much of a break in the action.  I'm not saying these things are bad, but I am seeing that this is part of the reason that sports like Baseball are declining.  


The players play an impact on this as well.  When Lebron has his orgasmic announcement I think it turned a ton of people off.  The strikes in Baseball, basketball and to some extent hockey have greatly turned peoples opinions.