Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

It’s the question that never gets answered and never goes away — Why is flopping tolerated in the NBA when it’s almost universally reviled by fans? Obviously, we all hate it when a player does it against our team and he gets a call from it, but I’d like to think that most of us feel at least a touch of shame when one of our own players flops. Is that really how you want the game to be played?

The biggest obstacle to identifying and punishing flops is that they’re usually subjective. How do we really know what’s a flop and what isn’t? In the video at the top of this post, Jeff Van Gundy goes off on a rant on how he believes the NBA condones flopping and how he thinks it would easy to eliminate it from the league. He yells, “I have easy remedies. You fine ‘em, or you treat ‘em like technicals — when you flop ‘X’ amount of times, you’re suspended.”

When broadcast partner Mike Breen points out that it’s hard to tell what’s a flop and what isn’t, Van Gundy responds, “That’s not hard! Technicals are subjective, too!” And he makes a solid point here. Many calls that basketball officials have to make are subjective. Was that a charge or a blocking foul? Did he get all ball or did he hit the arm on that blocking attempt? Could it be the NBA officials don’t want to be burdened with yet another type of subjective decision to make on the court?

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Kris Humphries and LeBron James

Before this NBA season began, Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research conducted a survey on Forbes.com to ask people which NBA player they dislike the most. You might have expected LeBron James to win that survey, but he finished second. Must have been Kobe Bryant then, right? Nope, third. When the results were released on December 22, the most disliked player in the NBA was revealed to be… Kris Humphries?

Yep, the former Mr. Kim Kardashian was voted to be the most hated on out of all those who say they get hated on. What exactly did he do to draw this ire, aside from being a bit of a black hole when he gets the ball? He participated in a popular reality show and a brief but highly publicized marriage that I’m confident he didn’t know was a sham. Hell, I’m confident he doesn’t know what city he’s in sometimes — I don’t think Kris is particularly bright.

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Kobe Bryant and Kevin Love

Note: The guys from The Basketball Jones (including Trey Kerby) are traveling today and did not have an opportunity to review this before I posted it. The opinions I express in this post are mine alone do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Basketball Jones or anyone else at theScore.

Last Friday, a colleague of mine told me I should read a Daily Beast column by Buzz Bissinger about why the NBA was declining in popularity. Bissinger is a Pulitzer Prize winner and extremely entertaining on Twitter so I expected to be amused by the piece, at the very least.

As jaded as I am, almost nothing shocks me these days — but I can’t recall ever being as appalled by a piece of sportswriting as I was here. Bissinger’s premise is that the NBA is supposedly losing popularity because too many white American sports fans can’t bring themselves to root for this generation of African-American NBA players.

I encourage you to read the entire piece yourself so that you can form an opinion on whether I’m overreacting, but I’m going to single out particular excerpts that really stand out as revealing Bissinger’s ignorance of the league, his sweeping generalizations with very little to back them up, and his blatantly racist attitudes towards black athletes.

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