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NINJAK2's Blog
The NBA Fraternity Mentality is Killing the Game 
Posted on July 27, 2010 at 07:06 PM.
Every one is so "good old boy" connected these days the competetive nature of the sport is suffering. Rivalries are pretty much dead and the only teams that seem to play with any indifference to their opponents on the court are the Lakers and the Celtics. Unfortunately for us the Celtics won't be competetive for much longer imo as age is the opponent no player/team in the NBA can beat and render irrelevant for long no matter how much heart you got.

The NBA has become one exclusive fraternity where all players are brothers and they all look out for one another. While that is a great foundation for an ABC Family movie of the week, it is making the NBA a less compelling sport to plan my day around watching.

It has gotten so frat boy cool these days that we have Kobe reaching out to a guy that clotheslined him on national tv (Raja Bell) and another who threw unwarranted elbows at him and faked throwing a ball in his face (Matt Barnes) to join his team. My props to Raja for turning him down and trying to keep a rivalry alive. I understand Barnes decision to join but dang man where is your pride? This shows that Kobe and Barnes put winning above all else in the grand scheme of things. It shows that maybe Bell put competetion above all else. I guess there is nothing bad about thinking either way I just wish more of the latter was being practiced.

Do you really have to link up with your nemesis to win? Bell seems to think not by joining a team that has routinely had major headaches with the Lakers(Jazz). While Raja stated that he and Kobe's past history is water on the bridge, I still think that part of him would rather beat Kobe rather than join him and help Kobe solidify his legacy.

I'm 37 and I've seen a lot of hoop in my lifetime. IMO nothing beat those Early 80's through early 2000's teams in the terms of great competition and nastiness on a nightly basis. Bulls vs. Knicks (Scottie's dunk over Patrick said eveything that needed to said about those two teams--they did not care for one another in the least)Heat vs. Knicks, Bulls v. Pistons, Knicks v. Pacers, Lakers v. Celts, Pistons v. Lakers, Rockets v. Suns(who can forget Mario Elle's Kiss of Death?), Kings v. LAL, Bird v. Nique/The Rifleman Chuck Person..I could go on and on.

While the teams of today can certainly compete amongst each other on a talent scale, they ultimately lack one thing that made all those earlier match ups interesting...CONTEMPT. Teams taking pride and enjoyment in an opponents ultimate failure and rubbing it in their faces. Trash talking, dirty fouls, pure disdain for another..I wish that was around now. These things make games more engaging imo (Steelers v. Ravens? Colts v. Pats? Is there anyone who doesn't make a point to watch those games?). That really is a thing of the past these days. Stars are so image conscience these days they would not dare say or do something that may have them appear in a negative light. It's all about the Brand(I like to say "the Bland" instead).

I guess since most of these quys grew up playing together in AAU tourneys it is hard to really gain the kind of contempt those earlier players had for each other. They grow up playing together and on the road together at such a young age you have to assume friendly relationships will be a by-product. Whatever the case, I don't think the game is being helped due to this persistant mentality throughout the league. Thank god for Kevin Durant's take and I hope more younger players follow his lead.

What do you guys think?
# 1 TUSS11 @ Jul 27
Couldn't agree more. Players only either care about playing for super teams, or putting up nice stat lines these days. They don't like being challenged or confronted. They'd rather win games by 20 than by 1 or 2 points, and they act like they've been assaulted if their headband gets knocked out of position.

Players have always considered either winning or putting up nice stats to be top priorities. The only difference now is that they want it the easiest way possible. It goes hand in hand with our society’s current philosophy. We've got Facebook, Twitter, DVRs, etc. Everything is fast fast, always at your finger tips, and most importantly: hassle free. We try to avoid pain at all costs. The same can be said about NBA Players. I just hope it changes back to the way it used to be sooner than later.
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