Assistant Sports Editor
Sunday is poised to be one heck of a day if you love basketball. Selection Sunday and the NBA trading deadline are going to fall on the same day this season, which would be awesome, except nobody really cares about the NBA right now.
Every sports league relishes the media firestorm that comes along with their trading deadline, but this year the NBA will take a backseat to every major conference tournament and the Selection Show. For a league that already went into a lockout at the peak of its popularity, this little oversight proves that David Stern has lost touch more than we thought.
The NBA season has several roadblocks to overcome every year that you would think they would attempt to avoid a few more during a season they essentially had complete control over, but instead they took a day they typically own and put it on a day where everyone essentially forgets that there is basketball after early April.
The lockout allowed them to miss most of the NFL and college football competition and own Christmas day like they haven’t done since Julius Erving and the Sixers played the Celtics every year during the mid-80s. So after avoiding those roadblocks, naturally the best move is to create one that you literally could have put wherever you wanted.
This is not to say there still won’t be way too much coverage about where useless players are going with their expiring contracts, but it will be confined to the bottom line as scores roll in from the Big East, Big 12, SEC, Big 10 and every other major basketball conference. What is better than the hopes and dreams of college kids dangling by a thread?
Certainly not anything that has to do with Chris Kaman or Mehmet Okur.
Now, I have long since turned my back on the NBA regular season because it has become such a one-on-one league dominated by freak athletes who can’t make free throws and coaches who are lauded for doing half the job high school coaches do that it makes me almost physically ill. You can’t tell me these guys bring it every night for 82 nights a season. You just can’t.
I’m not sure how anyone is going to fix the NBA and their delusion that anyone cares about them in March, but it is certainly not a job for David Stern. He has made that quite clear in the last year.
Call me a sucker, call me a fanboy, but for me nothing beats the one-and-done nature of the NCAA Tournament and the emotional highs and lows that come with Selection Sunday. You couldn’t pay me to watch the Bucks and Raptors when I could be watching Seton Hall get left out because they blew a winnable game against Louisville on Wednesday.
So please, David Stern, keep giving me reasons not to watch your product. Your overpaid stars, lockouts, poor coaching, hand check rules and elongated season have already driven me into the arms of a much younger woman.
Jimmy Kelley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org