What does a fan root for in Today’s NBA?

Posted by By at 30 April, at 00 : 06 AM Print

Do we as fans, only watch the NBA games and follow the sport because we remember the good ‘ol days? In today’s era where players are newsworthy for secondary issues–DUIs, domestic violence, rap albums, “practice” there is really no standards being set or memories being made. All the NBA players have benefited and been “riding the wave” of the efforts of the Magic, Michael and Larry Bird era (commercials, shoe deals, TV appearances, fashion lines, etc). The current players haven’t done much to distinguish themselves as professionals. There talents alone, most of us thought, were supposed to distinguish them and take the game to another level. But it has not done so and to a greater point players’ have become decadent because of these expectations.
But in reality this is a different era. So we, as fans, must “sharpen” our eyes to know what to root for so that we can enjoy ourselves and escape from daily life for three plus hours during an NBA game. I think the fundamentals of the game are great to focus on to see which players are solid and which are not. There are many pretenders who are around that play no defense, don’t like to pass and only want to shoot, shoot and keep shooting. Teams that play good fastbreak offense or half court sets and execute plays to almost perfection is much better watching than boring isolation plays reserved for one scorer.

Assistant coaches have to work with players’ that have “upside” which usually come out early into the NBA spending tons of time and money on an investment–not a professional player. Corey Maggette, for instance, came out of Duke after his freshman year and I remember on draft night, analysts were saying how he should’ve stayed in school. He has been in the league for 10 years and has bounced around to several teams never becoming an elite player (although he is a career 16ppg scorer/45%FG). 

Many players like him are in the NBA now and they are awful to watch, even root for.  In the end, don’t get bitter or dispassionate for these players’ off-the-court problems. See if he plays good defense or ‘ole defense, shows his basketball I.Q or checks out at crunch time. Get your own grading sheet and finally choose which player fits your liking.

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