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Friday, April 22, 2005

Go Figure

The NBA set an all-time attendance record.

Yes, the NBA has great athletes, but the basketball players today aren't as fundamentally sound as they were thirty years ago (among others who believe that is Walt "Clyde" Frazier, former star guard of the Knicks, who said as much on WFAN's Mike and the Mad Dog show yesterday).

It strikes many that players today play for their shot to appear on ESPN Sportscenter's Top Ten Plays of the Day more than say giving themselves up for the team. I've lamented what I believe the league's ills are, such as too many teams, a corresponding dilution of talent, not enough fundamentals, poor shooting, overly expensive tickets, overexposure on television, too many teams making the playoffs and a sense of choreography and teamwork that seems baffling at times. Other than that, it's a great product.

I suppose, though, that I am wrong, and there are over 21 million reasons why. Just click the link and read on.

Every time doubts crop up about the NBA's product, the NBA has evidence to support that the doubters are wrong. It's hard to bet against Commissioner David Stern, that's for sure. His product seems to be in good shape, at least if you look at attendance (and probably international popularity and merchandise sales).

Given how expensive tickets are and how the economy is stuck in a middling gear, the attendance numbers are very impressive.

Go figure.


Blogger Corey said...

Funny isn't it. It seems that everyone complains about the quality of the league yet more and more people are going. Sometimes it makes you wonder if the people going know something that the people complaining don't.

That being said the NBA is the best sport to watch live because it's very visual. The players aren't wearing helmets, the action is exciting and it's fun. When I was covering a Magic game two months ago I got my best friend a ticket and he, sitting alone, had a blast watching the game. He was the one who told me that the NBA is back.

Those underdeveloped players are now in their prime, scoring is up. There are a lot of options, from the running style of the Suns to the transition defense of the Pistons. With Shaq jumping to the Eastern Conference it's given the NBA more appeal on both sides. LeBron is incredible. The Wizards' guards are so athletic. The league has gotten so much better.

Now they need to sign the labor agreement and don't make the mistake hockey did.

1:16 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Thanks for your post (and your many others), Corey. Shaq's coming to the East, along with the emergence of Detroit and the advent of LeBron, has helped balance the power in the NBA. It is visual and the athleticism is great, but the choreography within a team is lacking. Still, there's a rock star appeal to this sport, and the NBA has milked it.

10:18 PM  

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