December 26th, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

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


December 26th, 2011 at 12:00 PM ^

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. 


December 26th, 2011 at 1:26 PM ^

<br>D Williams
<br>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.


December 26th, 2011 at 1:59 PM ^

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.


December 26th, 2011 at 2:36 PM ^

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.


December 26th, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

Magic, Worthy, Jabbar
<br>Bird, McHale, Parrish
<br>Dr. J, Moses, to Barkley
<br>Zeke, Dumars, Rodman et al.
<br>Jordan, Pippen
<br>Price, Daugherty
<br>Stockton, Malone
<br>Dominique, Ewing, Drexler, Hakeem and I'm sure I'm forgetting people.
<br>And all this before Robinson, Mourning and Shaq came in the interim.
<br>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.


December 26th, 2011 at 7:22 PM ^

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)

Nash/Amare (HoF/?)

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.



December 26th, 2011 at 8:19 PM ^

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.
<br>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.


December 26th, 2011 at 12:28 PM ^

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.



December 26th, 2011 at 2:57 PM ^

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?



December 26th, 2011 at 3:25 PM ^

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.


December 26th, 2011 at 5:08 PM ^

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.


December 26th, 2011 at 6:26 PM ^

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.
<br>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.


December 26th, 2011 at 8:03 PM ^

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.
<br>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.

The Shredder

December 26th, 2011 at 10:41 PM ^

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" 

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