Did you guys see the latest Real Housewives episode? No, not that stupid show on VH1 or whatever network it’s on. I mean the episode in which Anthony Davis got booed by his home crowd? Or how about the one in which Kyrie Irving essentially told the media to shove it?
The National Basketball Association is no longer a basketball league. It’s a reality television program, which I absolutely can’t stand, as you may have been able to figure out on your own. We’re just a few days away from the All-Star Game and only a few months away from the postseason, but all the NBA media care about is what happens in July, after the season is over. It’s like the rest of this season doesn’t matter.
I love the Boston Celtics and have since I was a kid, but this has been the most infuriating season I’ve ever been through as a fan. And I spent a lot of my teenage years in the TD Garden watching from the cheap seats as bad Celtics teams lost games. This season began with expectations of winning an NBA championship, but I feel that almost all of it has been spent talking about Kyrie’s future or the potential trade package Boston could send to New Orleans for Davis. And we wonder why there’s so much drama in the locker room.
When did sports journalism become the National Inquirer? Apparently a speculated opinion now constitutes breaking news, and that’s all NBA media have become.
After any and every game, reporters ask questions about things that mean absolutely nothing to the game that night or the team this season. Kevin Durant, who I understand was probably the wrong guy to send this message, last week called out the media for just that. I’m paraphrasing, but he said all he wanted to do was play basketball and that’s it. He’s not worried about July 1 (when a new contract season begins) because there’s a whole season of basketball games to be played before we get there. Kyrie did the same thing. He said in the preseason that he would like to re-sign with Boston. Durant is trying to win a championship with Golden State, as is Kyrie with Boston, but the only thing you seem to read about either of them is whether they will wind up playing together in New York.
I wake up in the morning, and I see breaking-news alerts that say something along the lines of “doubts surrounding Kyrie’s future with Celtics.” Where did that come from? Did Kyrie say something? No? Oh, some anonymous NBA source thinks so? So how is that news? I just don’t get it.
The players are definitely to blame in some respect. These players are all divas and only care about themselves, so that’s absolutely part of it. But I’m blaming my colleagues in the media. They are the ones who control the stories. Once one story, completely based in unconfirmed rumors and speculation, gets released, it’s like a shark smelling blood. The Knicks made a trade that freed up a bunch of salary-cap space. I get that means they will be positioning themselves to make big moves in the offseason. But how about we wait until there’s actual news to talk about before we just make up stories for the fun of it or to generate mouse clicks?
I get it, clicks lead to revenue and all that stuff, but what happened to journalism and telling stories about what actually has happened? Not everyone in the NBA media is like this, but the number of people who actually do real reporting are severely outnumbered by the ones who only care to spread rumors that have no basis.
An NBA season is 82 games. It then takes 16 victories in the playoffs to win a championship. For the first time in five years, there’s actually a competition to see who might hoist that trophy. LeBron James is out of the Eastern Conference, which means there are at least four teams with a legitimate shot to represent that conference in the NBA Finals. The Warriors are still the Warriors, but teams in the Western Conference have improved. There’s a chance Golden State could get knocked off.
Does the NBA media care? It sure doesn’t seem like it. To them, we might as well cancel the season and move on to July 1, when free agency begins. Where is the fun in that?
So thank you, NBA media, for taking all of the fun out of watching a sport I grew up loving to death.