David Stern is retiring soon, because apparently Satan’s powers are more limited than once thought, but before the man leaves us with the yawn-fest that is on-court NBA basketball, we get one more parting gift of his organization’s focus on profits at the expense of integrity.
The NBA has produced a lousy product for decades, held together by superior marketing and an intrinsically pleasing game. I’m from Indiana. I can still shoot free throws at better than a 70% clip despite being old, out of shape and only playing once or twice a year, and if there is a television screen nearby with images of a basketball floating through the air majestically, I will always and forever be drawn to it. I love basketball, which is exactly why I hate the NBA.
The reason for this is simple. The NBA has long been a failure at the one thing that matters most to a professional sports league – integrity. My friends have had to listen to my annoying rants about how NBA playoff games are fixed (they are) and why the games, in the regular season in particular, are terrible (they often are) but just yesterday the league (aka David Stern) came out publicly with the exact same assessment. Well, maybe not the one about playoff games being fixed, they’re probably hoping people don’t notice that.