There are people less than enthused about the NBA Playoffs because of a political stance. And there are others that are as invested as ever. I am less than enthused but it has nothing to do with politics or respect or equality. What has me slightly removed is the “alliance” The Bucks had yet to shower after their embarrassing 4-1 loss to Miami in the second round of the NBA Playoffs and the “Where is Giannis going?” talk was off the chain. And that has become the number one enemy of the NBA. You gotta kinda buy the story. It isn’t about the rings for the sake of the rings, it isn’t about at least somewhat organically grown franchises and it is most certainly not about “us against them”. It’s about the brand.
Let me tell you what NEVER happened. A month after Jordan lost to The Bad Boys, he didn’t invite Ewing and Nique and Dumars to the house to decide who was going to play with who the next year. Larry Legend and Magic were happy to do a television commercial together after they retired, but join forces as players? Not happening. Today’s NBA is so fixated on creating the day-to-day dialogue to appease social media, that they have robbed the sport of its soul. They need to fuel a million clicks a day on “A Landing Spot for Giannis”.
And sooner or later, everybody becomes the old man, screaming for the kids to get off his lawn. And perhaps that time has come for “The Jordan Generation”. Ewing’s Knicks, The Bad Boys, Showtime, MJ and the Bulls dominance, Boston, MJ v Dominique, Stockton and Malone, and the Sixers from Dr. J to AI. That business model is history. That was the soul of the NBA. That made it worth taking the time. Today the game has become an afterthought and almost a necessary evil. A vehicle ran by the debate engine. And after it has been decided, two people, watching the same game, will still completely differ on its outcome.
Cheers to the old NBA. I used to want to choke any SportsCenter talking head that referred to it as “The Association”. It would be nice if “The Association” still existed. It is now “The Alliance”. And when you toss in the current social issues, the day-to-day NBA has no choice but to side up. It’s the current business model. And that makes it hard to find old-school basketball anywhere in the mix. Hoops meets Wall Street, which makes a guy like LeBron a lock to walk on water to someone 30 years old and makes him unwatchable and most definitely unlistenable to a 60-year-old. Sad thing is, it’s a 30-year-old’s world.