I’m not an NBA fan. I would classify myself as a sportsaholic, so I pay attention to what goes on in the NBA to some degree. I am a huge basketball fan, just not into the NBA. (Also, and this really doesn’t matter to this blog, I would consider myself a Celtics “well wisher,” fan would imply that there’s some small thing missing in my life when they lose, or suck, or don’t play because of a lockout. That’s not really the case.
But I love basketball. It was actually the first game I really learned, and learned to love. I still watch college basketball with wide eyes, and can’t wait for the conference championships to start each year.
I really would like to see this lockout work. I love that the NBA is locked out for selfish reasons, like hockey ratings doubling or tripling because sports junkies will always watch sports. But I also love it because it really could fix this league. I’ve prescribed five steps that I think could fix the game at the NBA level.
First is the three year delay. The NFL has benefitted from causing all draft prospects to wait until three years after their high school graduation to register for the draft. The result is long college careers, which gives you more mature people in the league in a lot of cases (I realize there are still a bunch of morons in the NFL, but there are probably just as many morons playing in the NBA, where the total number of players is less than 1/3 of the NFL).
But it also results in a more balanced style of play and players that are ready to play team basketball. Look at the guys that play 3-4 years of college versus the guys who came out of high school. Prior to a few years ago, you got a better player if he had played a few years in college, until teams started cherry picking raw talent from the freshmen class.