Special to the Tribune-Star
I’m writing this on the first day of summer. The temperature could get as high as 90 degrees. And the sportscasts are full of the NBA championship. King James and his court beat the good guys from San Antonio. (Am I showing my preference?)
To say the basketball season is long is to say Antarctica is a cold continent. It seems obvious to everybody except the owners of these basketball franchises. I would like to tell you they are smart and they know what they’re doing, but in America we tend to identify champions, in just about any endeavor, by how much money they make. And more of them lose money than make money. There are many reasons for this. We’ll try to name a few.
First of all, the aforementioned season being too long is part of it. Games won in October or November do not mean very much and you don’t have to have a Ph.D. behind your name to figure that out. Secondly, since these games are played indoors with seating surrounding the basketball court, it is by physical limitations too small to make money. The payroll of an NBA team is too much and even though the teams are small in number, they are over-priced. (Don’t email me, send a smoke signal. Then I may pay attention.)
Why would anyone pay all this money to own a basketball team if you’re just going to lose money? It may be as simple as ego. So that this very rich man who has limited physical skills can look down from his seat in the arena and say, “Look at my boys!” I know that sounds ridiculous, but what makes it more ridiculous is, it is often the hard-line truth.
The fast-moving game of skilled finesse has given way to some player dominating an opponent one-on-one while the others stand around and hopefully get a pass.
Even though I was never a really good basketball player, I have always loved the game. Maybe it goes with being a Hoosier and those rare times when an underdog upends the favorite. (Milan against Muncie Central in 1954) And it may be some short guy, quick of hand and accurate with his eyes, plunking one in from 32 feet to win a ball game.
So now that I have expressed my undying love for the game, the NBA season is still too long. Wouldn’t it be better if it was only six months? But for me, it doesn’t matter. I gave up watching the NBA a long time ago. It’s a case of just too many “toos” … too much money, too long a season, and too many gigantic egos. But they may just fool me and run the season up to July 4, give their over-paid charges a couple of weeks off before training camp and go at it again.
But they’ll go at it without me.
Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.