Bucking Broncho: The Current State of The NBA Is Weak
In this week's Bucking Broncho, our columnist explores the current state of the NBA.
Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, right, defends Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Talent-wise, the NBA is thriving right now. There are point guards that can do it all, like Russell Westbrook and James Harden, and post-players, like Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis and DeMarcus Cousins, that have the skill set of a vintage post, but can also handle and shoot the ball better than many above-average guards. However, the game has reached a great decline in two important aspects – toughness and grit. If you’re keeping it 100 percent honest, this generation of basketball players wouldn’t stand a chance, even in the early 2000s, because they are weak.
Of course there are exceptions, but as a whole, this is a weak league. From the calls, to the players and even the coaches, there is a vast difference and that is something I absolutely despise. Fans love to see the emotion, the hatred, hard fouls with the occasional scuffle. Nowadays, the closest thing the NBA has to a fight is a hard foul followed by a “hold-me-back” session between a couple of players, capped off with a barrage of fouls called, including a flagrant one or two for the initial play and then technical fouls for whatever retaliation. God forbid someone actually gets aggressive and elbows someone. They’ll be ejected with swiftness and an ensuing hefty fine.
Here’s your typical NBA fight in 2017.
The players are to blame also, with “flopping” blowing up around the sport at an alarming rate. Lebron James and former OSU star Marcus Smart may be the two poster boys for this trend. It all falls back on our current society and how we coddle our children, but that topic is for another column.
The King… of flopping. pic.twitter.com/hEvj6kZXuN
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) January 17, 2017
— Made in Memphis (@MadeinMemphis1) January 14, 2017
Coaches aren’t exempt from this topic either. With the exception of San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich, coaches around the league simply don’t go out on a limb for their players like they used to do. It’s always a quick discussion, never an all out argument, like they do in almost every other sport. They act like receiving a technical foul is a sin or like they don’t make enough money to receive a small fine for speaking out on their player’s behalf.
Everything in today’s NBA is centered around being politically correct at all times, keeping a clean image and never getting too emotional during games. No, everyone in the NBA doesn’t need to fly off the handle if that’s not who they are, but there have always been a few hotheads in the league that may occasionally jump out of character. This is something the fans of basketball miss and so do I. The NBA needs to make a change and let the players play.