July 28, 2007

End of the NBA?

Channel surfing on a late Saturday afternoon, there's your usual fair, Jumanji, always a favorite of the kids. There's the Godfather series being played for the 17th straight day by AMC and Bravo. Of course, there's back-to-back episodes of "To Catch a Predator" on MSNBC. And on CNN and FOX? The NBA. That's the National Basketball Association. Yes, both CNN and FOX are simultaneously having panel discussions about the NBA.

In case you missed it, the NBA has been rocked by a scandal involving former referee Tim Donaghy. Donaghy is the target of an FBI investigation for allegedly betting on games, including some he officiated, over the last two seasons.

The impact of the allegations is yet to be determined, but many believe that this situation could exceed the infamous "Black Sox" scandal. League Commissioner David Stern stated, “This is not something that is anything other than an act of betrayal of what we know in sports as a sacred trust.”

Is this the final nail in the coffin of the NBA? Even Stern, who has held the top spot for 23 years, said, "This is the most serious situation and worst situation that I have ever experienced either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer for the NBA or a commissioner of the NBA.”

For me, the appeal of the NBA ended long ago. As a product of Magic vs. Bird and Jordan vs. Barkley, I could care less about today's NBA. As an avid sports fan, that's a difficult statement to make. But it's getting harder and harder to stay a pro sports fan. In this day and age of Michael Vick, Barry Bonds, Mark Cuban, disgustingly bloated salaries and ego maniacal owners, I'll take a horse head under the covers anytime.


Clemenza said...

I always stop to watch the Godfather when I come across. It should have it's own channel and run constantly, mixing in Goodfellas and Casino.

As for the NBA, I think this is short-term damage...there long-term issue is the fading lack of interest in mainstream America. They'd better hope Lebron can become the next Magic/Jordan/Bird.

Of course, considering the referee scandal revolves around mobsters strong-arming a ref with a gambling problem, they can put this on the Godfather Channel too.

Pirate's Code said...

End of the NBA? Who cares?

The NBA was the beneficiary of having three "once-in-a-lifetime" players all play at roughly the same time. They've been struggling to replace that interest ever since Jordan retired to the golf course.

Besides, college hoops is the better alternative. Kids play with more passion because, at that point, there is only the promise of money.

Scott Leffler said...

I've never been a big fan of basketball ... and particularly despise the NBA. Maybe if they go under, ESPN will remember a sport called hockey.