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I remember when a player shooting less than 45% from the field landed them on the bench. Now, 2 of the "best" players in the NBA (Kidd, Walker) routinely shoot below 40% and are voted to the All-Star game. The NBA is a playground league, made up of a few spectacular plays...and not much else.
Ben Wallace, Ron Artest, Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tayshaun Prince, Jermaine O'Neal, Karl Malone, Reggie Miller, Richard Hamilton, Kobe Bryant...
I don't know. Seems like people are hellbent on focusing on only the negatives of pro basketball. Every pro sport has its drawbacks. When the NBA is good, there's nothing like it. There are ugly games every now and then, but that doesn't discount the whole fucking league. Game 2 of the Pistons/Pacers series was electrifying. Anyone who doesn't think so needs to dial down the morphine drip.
Oh, and my heart says Pistons in 7, but my head says Lakers in 5 or 6.
I'm with VRB. It's fashionable now to say that the NBA is all one-on-one w/no fundamentals, etc. I think the league has been down, but is actually coming back. The NBA's biggest problem is that it is watered down both in terms of number of games and number of teams. Get rid of a third of the teams (starting with Atlanta) and the game would be on par with anything from the late-80's.
I grew up on the NBA, so I guess I just remember what it used to be. I know, not every game is bad now, and not every player is bad now, but my point is if you put your list against another era, like Chamberlain, West, Havlicek, Unseld, Reed, Monroe, Frazier, Robertson, Jabbar, Russell, or Bird, Magic, Erving, Barkley, Jordan, Malone, Stockton, Olajuwon, Drexler, etc. I don't think personally that it's much of a comparison. Back then, players played more team basketball, hit 50% from the floor, and hit a free throw once in a while. I think personally the game is in a down period like it was in the late 70s, when not many claimed to like it or watch it either. But, along came Bird and Magic, then Jordan (and others), and the league had an unprecedented upsurge (they were then where the NFL is now). So, you now have Kobe, and now maybe with LeBron and Mello we will see the same thing. But I'd personally watch an entire season from the 80's before I watched one playoff series now.