(Points + Rebounds + Steals + ½Assists + ½Blocked Shots – Field Goal Attempts – Turnovers - ½Free Throw Attempts - ½Personal Fouls) / Minutes = Win Score per Minute

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

This post has nothing to do with Win Score

I've got something I just need to talk about. I'm getting really tired of hearing people complain about the All-Star Game. You'd think our very existence was at risk, with the way they talk about it. Get a load of these comments:

Pat Forde (ESPN.com) - "College basketball does not trivialize its product with lounge acts or no-try, in-season All-Star games."

Jack McCallum (SI.com) - (Comparing the Vegas All-Star game to one played in Hell) "All in all, then, I give a slight advantage to HELL."

Henry Abbott (truehoop.com) - "This was a creampuff -- 99 percent air."

Jason Whitlock (aol.com) - "The game is a sloppy, boring, half-hearted mess."

Chris Sheridan (ESPN.com) - "It's just too bad that the Sin City setting didn't produce a game that was special."

Before I go on, let me point out that these are writers who I respect and read often, and I generally enjoy their thoughts and opinions. Also I must say that the Jason Whitlock article is powerful, and he has some good points about the dangerous road the NBA is heading down concerning the thug image.

I read all this, and kept my mouth shut, but couldn't do it anymore after listening to the local sports radio talking heads go on and on about the All-Star. Obviously I don't have their direct quotes.....has someone invented a TIVO for the radio?.....but the gist of it was in the vein of "When I was growing up, we watched basketball for the competition." and "I can't enjoy a game with no defense."

This went on for a full half-hour. And there are two words for this. Sports Snobbery. I can't stand to listen to another Sports Snob discuss how they can't enjoy a game without fierce competition. It's All-Star weekend, for the sake of St. Peter. The preliminary events included a race between a fat guy and an old guy, and Carrot Top driving the lane against Bow Wow.

These All-Stars are supposed to focus, run hard, and play good defense for 82 games a year, plus the playoffs. They are put on the all-star team as a reward for playing well. And yet we somehow believe they must play lock-down defense in the All-Star game?

Sports Snobs, climb down off of your pedestal and just enjoy All-Star weekend for what it is: a huge party. And enjoy watching the best players in the world have fun. Shaq's fancy dribbling? T-Mac telling Mehmet Okur to miss a free throw so he could put back a dunk? Good stuff. Enjoy it. And save your complaining for the playoffs.


Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see if the lack of defense and competition is supported by any statistical data. My intuition is that it is not. Basketball has always been one of the least competitive sports (in terms of team parity). Also, the Spurs v. Pistons finals of 2005, a pass first defensive grindout, was one of the lowest rated finals in recent basketball history.

Anonymous said...

I actually think that people complain a little bit too much about players not playing hard during the regular season, especially when they compare it to the "more pure" college game. I mean, it's not fair to fans who go to the game and want to see players play to their ability, but with an 82 game season plus two months of playoffs, plus constant travel, you have to expect it, especially if a player has been in the league for a while. This is to say nothing of the fact that coasting at times, saving yourself over the coarse of the season, can be an important part of succeeding later in the year, when games "matter."

JChan said...

This is definitely a topic where it is easy to see both sides of the argument.

To the first comment, the 1980's are often referred to as a "Golden Age" of basketball, and with good reason. yet the teams routinely scored 120 points. You look at the 1984 and 1985 NBA Finals between the Lakers and Celtics, and both teams scored over 100 points in every game!

To the second comment, I know if I was given a choice between the players on my team playing hard every game and winning a championship I would choose the championship without question. And yet I would still feel let down when watching a game where the team seemed to coast.

Either way, saying these same things about the All-Star game, which is supposed to be a break from the season, seems a bit silly to me.