Those of you who know me and read my main site The Rat Trick, a blog about the Florida Panthers know that I pull no punches and call it like it is. When the Panthers suck, I tell you. When they seemingly play better, I find reasons that they still have another gear to shift into. You also know that since I’m originally from Chicago, my heart is still with the Chicago Blackhawks, and thank god they won the Stanley Cup this year to take off some of my edge. I even got to meet former Hawk and Hall of Famer Bobby Hull recently. Here’s that story if you missed it.
So, where am I going with this and why the title? Well if the title said, any other word other than “hate” would you be inclined to read it? I mean what if I said, decides to dislike the NBA. Or decides to poo-poo the NBA. See, not as much pizzaz. I know we are taught when we’re young the the word hate is a strong word and we should really never use it when talking about something or someone. Fuck it! Oh, sorry. I should have mentioned thispost might need parental guidance. Ah, c’mon. who am I kiddin’. If you’re under age, you can’t tell me you never heard your Dad say the word. Hell you’re best friend probably said it yesterday. Crap, you probably said it a few minutes ago. Ok, back to the story at hand.
Living in the Fort Lauderdale area the media attention the past few days was all about LeBron and his “Decision”. Where was he going, why was he going, and when he was telling us where he was going. Oh, and ESPN the glorious sports network was going to give him a one hour show so that he could tell America what his “Decision” was! Would have liked to see the ratings on that show, and I wonder what the ratings were for whatever show followed Big Brother on CBS got that night. In case you missed it, he’s coming to “South Beach” as he put it. Uh, that’s down here in South Florida by the way.
Lost in this giddyness was all the talk about Ilya Kovalchuk, this years prize free agent in the NHL. Ilya has gone back and forth about where, when, and why himself, only the media attention has been one-one hundreth, if that, of the LeBron decision. Good or bad, for me, I’m glad it’s not a circus to the proportions that the NBA takes it. It’s all for T.V. and all for public relations. Two things that the NHL still is lacking in, but honestly is building, especially after the kick ass ratings of this years Stanley Cup Final. Although when someone put out a rumor that Ilya was about to announce his signing earlier this week, Twitter went nuts! My cell phone was buzzing constantly for at least an hour! Whew! Would he have a news conference to announce it? Would TSN have a half hour show pontificating where he was going? Would Pierre McGuire and his shinny globe call it the monster deal of the summer?
Well, as of today, no announcement by Kovalchuk. He’s still a freebie. Maybe he has decided where he wants to go, but wants this NBA hoopla (wow, I made a funny) to be over with for awhile. Although, wouldn’t it have been cool if right after Jim Gray asked Lebron where he’s going, Kovy walked out on stage and said, “Excuse me, I have an important announcement to make”.
But the NHL isn’t like that. May be they should be. They are more low key. They don’t need to have a media frenzy wrapped around the signing of one player, no matter how big he is. Maybe that’s also why we don’t have a huge T.V. deal. I mean Versus in the U.S.? C’mon!
My dislike, or hatred for the NBA came a few years ago, and I can’t exactly put my finger on when, but the game itself just doesn’t interest me. The whole season is a charade of slam dunks, technical fouls, sweat flying, Shaq missing free throws of a circus. Then the playoffs come and honestly, except for the last 3 minutes of a game, which seem to take 30 minutes to get over with, I won’t watch. Key word won’t.
There is one thing that came out of the LeBron “decision” that we can all take a lesson from. He said, and not exactly, but close enough, “Individuals win trophies, teams win championships”. Well put LeBron. Maybe Kovy can find the message in that. Honestly, if you sign with the Islanders, you’re going for the money. If you sign in New Jersey for less money, or even in Los Angeles, then we know you want to win.
My feelings for the NBA won’t change,even though Lebron coming down here will spur tourism, and more money will be spent on NBA stuff and the economy potentially will improve. Which actually means two things to me. Less money for people to spend on hockey, and less money for people to spend on things that I provide in my “real job”. I can see it now. Sorry Frank, I just bought two Heat tickets and a LeBron t-shirt, we can’t afford that insurance that we know we really need.
Yes, I will still hate the NBA!
Thanks for reading.
Have a great weekend.