Thoughts about NBA Free Agency Written Poorly

1 Jul

The banks have gotten a horrible wrap recently for showing the worst side of capitalism, but I think they get a free pass when we really get down to it. Yeah, banks exploit people, but at least they’re exploiting a vice. They make money hand over fist from playing on people’s greed, but all sports exploit hope. I love the NBA, I don’t love basketball in way that would warrant even touching a basketball in the last five years, but I love the NBA. There are people who love the NBA for the basketball, but I am not one of them. I fully admit that watching the games is not nearly as interesting as following the NBA, and nothing is more interesting to me than the last week of June and the first week of July, which respectively hold the NBA Draft and the beginning of NBA free agency. To enjoy both of these events you can have zero knowledge of the terms “traveling,” “box and one” or “post-up-iso” mean. They are the moments where the fan bonds with their team, and the NBA gets a foothold to separate suckers like me from our money and mountains of personal time.

NBA_SOWP

These three weeks of summer are the equivalent of the money shot used in tent-pole trailers right before the credit screen flashes up.  Joseph Gordon Levitt defying gravity while fighting his way across the walls of hallway is the same thing as LeBron taking his talents to South Beach.  This year Dwight Howard’s endless odyssey is going to be the same thing as giant robot using an oil tanker as a baseball bat. Over the years I had a hundred and one stupid opinions about why I enjoy the NBA offseason so much, and why I think it is so entertaining. None of them hold water, but in my mind players moving teams or being drafted and becoming instant millionaires overnight is enthralling. I follow all the guys breaking the news on the twitter and play out each rumored trade to all possible ends. And if my time was worth anything the NBA would make a shit-ton of money when they aren’t even playing games. There is the least amount of resistance between  dreaming your team could win it all in the early part of summer and actually playing for the championship trophy, which conveniently just ended a few weeks ago. So, with the memories of celebration still fresh on in the mind, I tell myself that name that David Stern is going to call for my team is going to be the one that will finally help us (cause of course, I am part of the team’s family and we’re gaining a new brother) hoist the trophy and lead the victory parade next summer.

DeNiro_SOWP

Fans line up to openly pay to show their devotion, and I am surely one. This winter I laughed when I saw Silver Linings Playbook at the family’s devotion to the Eagles, but if there was a GoPro camera set up on my work computer over the last two weeks it would be a textbook example compulsion and obsession. At least that dysfunctional family cared about the games. The thing is sports are not entertaining. Let me say it again: Sports are not entertaining. It’s mild escapism at best, and a strong proof being caught in arrested development at worst. The interesting drama rarely takes place on the court since the athletes’ abilities are so far beyond what people interact with every day, and the defensive schemes and plays are so advanced that even breaking down one play would take the same amount of time it would take to play a pick-up game and run it back a few times. The children’s games all professional sports are based on have smarted themselves right out children’s realm of appreciation.  Now the only way to enjoy basketball is the same way women love reading tabloids. I follow the NBA, but only for the stories, and it is rare that the stories I’m interested in actually sync up with the what’s happening on the court.  I hope my team gets better and I hope teams I hate makes stupid moves. I know the fate of the team is determined on the court, but what is so fascinating about these three weeks is that every move could potentially cause the team to go 82-0.

-C. Charles

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  1. A Stupid Opinion About Tanking | Stupid Opinions Written Poorly - January 29, 2014

    […] monologues of economists born in New Delhi. Well, it’s not. There is a rich tradition of having stupid opinions about basketball too. One of the reasons for the drop off in stupid basketball coverage is all the talk of […]

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