One man's honest opinion about sports in the Motor City, and beyond.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Chris McCosky (bit of a Pistons slappy, but good writer, and def. understands the game), of the Detroit News, wrote a very interesting article today. It is called Stern: Commish or tyrant? (click there to read the article, which is a must read). Chris, an NBA insider of sorts, writes much of what I've been thinking since the conclusion of the NBA Circus (a.k.a. NBA Finals).

McCosky writes;
There is a growing sentiment among players, coaches and officials that Stern's power has run amok. There is concern that, more than manipulating the business and image of the league, he is manipulating the game.

During the playoffs I noticed, and mentioned in my blog, that more than ever the NBA was becoming a giant marketing machine. The attention was coming away from the games themselves and towards the drama surrounding them. For instance on June 9th of this year I wrote that during a Finals pregame show they interviewed Celtic legend Bill Russel. What did they ask him about? The Kobe and Shaq feud. Why? Well, other than keeping people interested in stupid crap, I have no idea.

Also, watching the Finals games I noticed that after every somewhat close call (in favor of either team) the announcers on ABC almost always came up with a reason on how the refs were right. Often disregarding that some calls normally wouldn't be called the way they were. That didn't matter. Seemed like the ABC announcers had their order, and that was "Don't rock the boat!!!". This observation fits right in to a point McCosky makes about the NBA controlling its Media. ABC makes a lot of money off the NBA and so won't have a problem with listening to Stern - especially when his decisions have the motive of making even more money.

Another point McCosky makes;
Sports are real human drama. That's what makes them entertaining. It's not a reality show created for television. It's not "Survivor" or "American Idol". You cannot create heroes and manipulate storylines and expect to be taken seriously.

After reading that line I have a strong belief Chris has been recording conversations between my Girlfriend and I... After the Finals I ranted and raved for a good 3 days straight. My main point is exactly what McCosky writes... One of the reasons I love to watch sports is because they are real. The best of the best, in most cases, make it to the NBA... and no matter what the drama is going on outside of the court... a true fan of basketball can sit down and watch the game, and enjoy it. Now, like McCosky, I feel the NBA is heading in some type of Harlem Globetrotter direction. Good must defeat evil... Superstar must defeat non super star...

A Myth: There seems to be a myth forming that the Pistons won the title in 04 playing some type of defense that shouldn't have been allowed. That perhaps it wasn't just their talent. Well, that is bogus. The Pistons won because they were loaded with talent, and because the Lakers lacked any defense. Do not forget that coming off the bench that year was Okur and Mike James - who both had fantastic seasons, this past year, as starters for their respective teams. The Pistons had talent, they did not win that title on "hard work" or "tough defense" alone. I just hope it is remembered that way, and they don't become the poster board of Stern's new "We can't have that happen again" campaign. (Which sadly seems to be the case)



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