The NBA, where mayhem happens

"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network

The use of the word "amazing" is only appropriate on occasion, when NBA players are able to perform despite the carnage that surrounds them. "Amazing" works when officials do not simply stand and watch someone like Kobe Bryant being assaulted like a robbery victim in a New York alley on a dark summer's evening. "Amazing" is when Dwight Howard is allowed to believe that his elbows are weapons for hire, and the objective of the game is to see how far he can push them through an opponent's chest cavity. "Amazing" is when Hedo Turkoglu is permitted to dribble with one hand while continuously pushing away his defender with the other.

"Amazing" would be the elimination of moving picks that resemble train wrecks. Even more amazing would be Winkin, Blinkin and Nod, better known as the three blind mice or Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen, actually commenting on the mass violence that is now referred to as professional basketball, instead of insulting the public's intelligence by calling if defensive mastery.

The only reason some of the action depicted and identified as defense does not merit a whistle or a foul is that the zebras did not see any evidence of a gun, knife or other weapon. That is amazing. If 911 is not called, no foul. It is also amazing that what was once a true game of skill, comprised of acrobatic acts of pure physical wonder performed below and beneath the rims, has become a literal crime scene. NCIS personnel would have a field day at any game. The hierarchy of the NBA seems to be oblivious to the reality of how the game has evolved. That is also amazing.

Has anyone at all sat down with the arbiters and their whistles to watch replays of the games and ask how they let it get out of hand for 48 minutes? What is amazing is that the team which survives comes out of it with more bruises, scars, scratches, in need of whirlpool immersion for about a week, rehab and an intense physical exam than Rambo on a good night.

Are you watching the same game I am? Not only is there a foul on every play, but carrying the ball, or walking, is as commonplace as the sun coming up every day. Not that this is a secret, but traveling remains a non-call, and the three-second violation went the way of the Model-T and high button shoes. Three referees were supposed to be able to do more. More of what?

LeBron James is among the few elite players that can make things happen at any time on the court.
"Where amazing happens" works on Madison Avenue and plays well for advertising campaigns, but what is truly amazing is that the talented likes of Kobe, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony are able to do what they do under conditions that make the Iraq War look like a church outing. C'mon, give me a break! If you are a fan of basketball, you have to be seeing what I see. The NBA has to be cringing when some innovative and bright cameraman focuses in on what is actually taking place, up close and personal.

A team like Orlando should have a bat rack instead of a ball rack. Pau Gasol is gaining enough experience to become a part-time punching bag at a gym in the off-season....and Howard is relentless, bullying his way around both ends of the court while seemingly daring the short guys with the whistles to blow them.


Nice word. Astounding, stupendous, fabulous, and unbelievable. Toss any of them around like snowflakes at Christmas and you anticipate the incredible at an appreciable level that draws nothing but "oooohs" and "ahhhhhs," not to mention significant applause. But, the NBA's version of amazing is one step removed from the world of martial arts, the ultimate fighting championship. No holds barred. That is amazing.

It is more than a critique of a sport that I sincerely, and dearly, love. One that I played, and for which it is difficult to pass a schoolyard today, Venice Beach aside, without thinking that I wished I had brought my sneakers and shorts. But, even in that atmosphere, the "no blood, no foul" rule is nothing compared to the "amazing" taking place with particular emphasis in this year's NBA Finals. Can they really be doing it under instructions so that Orlando wins one or two and the games continue for as long as possible?

Nah, not even they are that devious. Now, that would be amazing!

The NBA. Where amazing happens! The problem with that is that no one associated with the game, save for the players, wants to acknowledge, recognize, admit, or take the blame for what has unfolded. A foul is, by definition, an inappropriate or unfair act by a player as deemed by a referee and may be intentional or accidental; it involves illegal personal contact with an opponent. How tough was that? Personal contact. Not an act of affection by anyone's definition.

Yes, amazing happens in the NBA but the amazing part is that it is allowed to continue. Will anyone at all see and admit what is taking place? Not even when they watch the remaining games of this series. Do I think that they care? You gotta be kidding.

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