I don’t care much about the NBA. I like KG and I generally wish the Timberwolves well and the Lakers ill, but that’s about as far as it goes for me. I don’t blame the Pacers’ players who went into the stands after fans who were hurling bottles, beer and other trash at them; it’s pretty easy to be a jerk if you don’t think you’ll have to answer for it.
There will surely be plenty of lamentations about the incident, but they will be beside the point. The truth is that the NBA is simply a lousy team sport. Basketball players are excellent athletes but the Jordan Rules have destroyed a game that is more fun to play than watch. As a lifelong NFL and soccer fan – two sports that are careful not to tinker too much with the basic rules – I can only marvel at the way in which the NBA regularly makes huge changes that still fail to address the real problem. Until the basket is raised to the point that players are forced to shoot the ball instead of just jamming it in there, the game will remain one of little finesse or teamwork.