Sixers 4 guidos

The first italian Sixers blog

Bad NBA habits

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on August 29, 2007

harold-miner.jpgA discussion I had with poster “Ayatollah” on the Sixers board pushed me to write this. Yes, it’s a typical offseason topic, but I think it might be very interesting, and lead to some good discussion. 

The point is: there are some things in the NBA that get on my nerves, that I don’t like, that I would change. They have to do with the NBA rules, the “system”, and mainly they have to do with the american culture. Sometimes, more in general, they have to do with the american attitude towards everything that is not american.

(In case you haven’t already noticed, I AM NOT american, even if I like, and even admire, the american SPORTS culture).

So let’s start listing some real bad (in my opinion) habits in the world of the NBA.

1) false measures. This is almost incredible. In a business where everything is planned, where every detail is revealed, where you know how much everybody is paid, to the last cent, you can’t know one of the basic figures about a player: his real height. Why? Because in the NBA they measure players with shoes (???!!).

After many years I’ve learned that, for instance, all the guys listed at 6’7 (2.04 metres for european measurements) are actually not taller than 6’5 (2 mt). All european players that go play in the US inexplicably grow 3-4 centimetres (1.2-1.6 inches) as soon as they cross the Ocean…

When you ask why in the NBA they measure players with shoes on, you always get the same answer, that of course is “Because they play with shoes !!!”.  You usually hear it with a tone between the “Hey, did you ever watch basketball, son ??” and the “In Europe you don’t have sneakers ??”. 

No, we don’t play barefoot, but we measure players barefoot to know their REAL height. 

Do you measure football players with their helmets on, geniuses ? Because they play with helmets, right? Do you measure models on heels? Jockeys on horseback ? Now you tell me who are the smart ones…

2) comparisons. This is like psyhcotic. I’ve already wrote something about it in this post about fellow guido Marco Belinelli.

Why in the hell every single player entering the League or the draft has to be “the next Alonzo Mourning”, “the new Scottie Pippen”, “the italian Dirk Nowitzki”, “a more athletic Magic Johnson”, etc etc ? 

This is so common that in all sites with mock drafts each description of a rookie ends with the fatal “NBA comparison”.

Why can’t they just be Greg Oden, Andre Iguodala, Andrea Bargnani, LeBron James? Too boring? Not creative enough? Difficult to sell? 

Think about it: 90% of these comparisons bring a bad luck. Remind Harold Miner (in the picture) of his old “baby Jordan” nickname and you’ll get punched, probably.

A european looking for info about a player would ask: “Describe me his game”. An american fan would probably ask “Which player could you compare him to?”. I just can’t stand it.

Also because this mania for comparisons always misleads you in judging a player. You don’t look at him for what he is, but in relation to the other player. 

I can already hear them: “Yes, he’s good but Mourning is a better shotblocker (or rebounder, defender, lap dancer…) !”. WHO CARES !!! HE’S NOT ALONZO MOURNING !! HE’S FREAKING GREG ODEN !!!

3) double standards. Before joining the Sixers Allen Iverson played for Georgetown right? Yes, that’s the college he came from. Here you have the confirmation. “College: Georgetown”. Nice.

Well, since Bargnani comes from Benetton Treviso (his former team), why in the hell here it’s written “College: Italy” ????? Italy is a country, not a college !!! Do you think we have only one college where some MILLIONS students graduate?

According to nba.com Germany, SpainArgentina, France are all “colleges”, which is very interesting becase it shows us that the European Union, the United Nations etc are actually associations of universities.

Maybe I am making a big deal out of a bullshit.

In fact it’s not such a big thing, but simply a(nother) sign that often americans are a little bit self centered, and have troubles understanding others. This also because they seldom make a minimum effort to do it. 

When you’ll do it, you’ll see that we have different COUNTRIES (wow), we wear sneakers just like you (who could have said it ?), and we have even MANY colleges (!!!).

Ok, since this entry could be labeled as “anti-american”- and I am not one – next time I will write about the things that I do like in the american system.

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6 Responses to “Bad NBA habits”

  1. Jon said

    Hey, try this one – O.J. Mayo is the next Harold Miner!

    Thought you’d appreciate this photo of horse jockey, Manute Bol (via wizznutzz): http://www.wizznutzz.com/images/bol_horse1.jpg

    I wrote a poem today you should enjoy on P&P.

    Thanks for checking in. I’ll have to think of more comparisons to stir you up!

  2. ahahaha, that is funny but I had those pics of my man Manute.

    I have also some when he’s playing hockey (I guess he was measured with skates then, reaching a remarkable 7’9….)

    thanks Jon, you are “the american Ricky”, and Passion & Pride is “a poor man’s Sixers4guidos” (LOL)

    I’ll go read the poem !!

  3. raffaele said

    One point Ricky: it seems a bit unfair to attribute the comparison-mania to Us sports culture as if it were an American specialty. That, of course, unless you tell me you’ve never read Italian newspapers’ sports pages. Which I know you did and still do. Now, answer this question for me: how long it takes before pundits come up with the usual he-reminds-me-of line when they speak about a new rising soccer talent? 3 good games played by the player? 2?

  4. thanks Raffaele*

    you do have a point, this crazy love for comparisons is not only american, it’s used worldwide and also in Italy, yes. Americans simply take it to a new level !!

    (* = he’s the guru of this blog, the guy who opened it toghether with me one year ago. He doesn’t post much, but he reads and assists me.

    Click on his name to read his blog about new media, high tech, journalism etc. So he can easily be “a smarter Ricky”, “the italian Larry King”, “an overseas Jon Burkett” etc… you pick one)

  5. netsophobia said

    I can’t help but agree dude, every draft sites have each players’ comparison next to them, like say…Glen Davis: Oliver Miller.

  6. Mitral Valve Disease…

    [...]Bad NBA habits « Sixers 4 guidos[...]…

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