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
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?
"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.
LeBron James is among the few elite players that can make things happen at any time on the court.
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
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.