By Bill Smith
Having barely survived the era of Hack-A-Shak I am now up to my earlobes in the NBA's newest attack on our sensibilities—tackle basketball. Anyone that has watched the playoffs this season has to be struck by the number of physical assaults by those with very little talent against those with immense talent.
In game 3 of the attempted strangulation by James Posey
against LeBron James wasn't a flagrant fowl, it was a mugging. Had
LeBron broken Posey in half, any court in the country would have called
that justifiable retribution. I would have paid to see that. Had the
attack happened in the NFL, it would have been a 15 yard penalty for a
horse collar tackle that would make Roy Williams proud.
The NHL had to do something about the trapping defense. The
defense took the great skaters out of the game and allowed the average
player to get an unfair advantage. Thug Defense presents exactly the
problem to the NBA. There is a group of unbelievably athletic players
in the league now. People pay to see that, not some muscle bound thick
legged Cro magnon man club the basketball thoroughbreds of the league
It has to stop before someone gets hurt to the point that it costs them their career.
Worse yet, it is just plain unwatchable. If the NBA does not get
control of it, Thug Defense will hurt their TV ratings. Does the league
really want to be compared unfavorably to the WWF or whatever it is
calling itself this week?
I can hear a lot of you ballers saying “yea but there are as
many flops as there are muggings.” As Newton's third law says, “for
every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That is true for
basketball as well. I have seen enough bad acting to start another soap
opera series with the barely offended player flopping around on the
floor like a flounder on the deck of a boat. And while that does have
some comedy value, it has to be stopped as well.
Is there a solution? YES!
The penalty for a mugging must be made so sever that it will
not happen often. How about the first violation in the game, the
offending player is benched for the the rest of the quarter and
following quarter. After the player's third mugging, a three game
suspension is appropriate. A similar but slightly less sever penalty
for flopping would be appropriate.
If the NBA can muster up the intestinal fortitude to fix the
situation, players like LeBron, Chris Paul etc. will take the league to
new heights. If not, it will continue to be mired in fifth place behind
the NFL, college football, baseball, and college basketball in the
minds of the fans only because the NHL marketing effort can't get out
of its own way.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for
http://BrutusReport.com, He also has published several novels on
http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and edits