has the dunk ruined the NBA game?
Old 01-06-2009, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post has the dunk ruined the NBA game?

i posted this on my cbs boards and thought it might get some discussion here as well. it is a bit of a read, but i think it is a worthy discussion and would love to get a sense of the mood here as well. enjoy

The dunk has ruined the game of basketball as well, it has become a blight on the game itself. In the NBA as well as in leagues around the country and the world, players used to be assessed on their overall skill at things like passing, shooting, dribbling, play under pressure as well as in transition and the half-court offense. In the 70's there became a new type of star player headed by guys like Dr. J. and others who used their athleticism to take the ball to the hole and dunk the ball. Seldom did the crowd offer more than clapping or a few cheers at this shot which is at best, a high percentage shot. In the 80's, the game was dominated by talent like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas and a host of players who had total games and seldom used the dunk as a show piece of their game. The speed of the game increased as did the transition game find a home with teams like the Lakers and the Nuggets. The Celtics of the 80's were tough with an attitude like the Pistons and the Bad Boys lead by Isaiah who would just as soon take you out and beat you then smile and say sorry. The game was played at a very high skill level as players had to have all-around games to get there and work hard to stay there. There were very few one-dimensional players even at the Center position as teams had to develop overall skill to succeed. The end of the 80's brought us the Slam Dunk competition at the all-star break, which at the time, was a vehicle for guys like Dominique Wilkins and Dave “SkyWalker” Thompson to showcase their athleticism and their ability to dunk the ball as it was not a shot that was common to the game at that point, but was used by a few guys as it was just not an integral part of the game at the time. The 3 point line had just been introduced and the players were working hard to take advantage of the new found scoring range and since the dunk was still 2 points, it was not much more than a sideshow at the all-star game.

Michael Jordan changed all that with his dunks in the competition that rocked the basketball world. Soon, every kid wanted to be like Mike, not a solid all-around player who won defensive awards and player of the year honors, but the Mike who could dunk. I am 5' 10” on a good day and I still remember the game I was able to dunk on this guy. It was fun, but the thing I remember the most is the 6 3 pointers I drained to win the league championship the next game. We were up by 25 in the game I dunked so if I missed it was not a problem, had it been close, I would have been benched! Spud Webb at about 5' 6” was able to win a dunk fest. As I read in an article in 2000:

“Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that the dunk*has ruined basketball–at least for*him.
“Because I can’t see what great skill it takes for a large*athletic person to stand under a basket, leap and slam the ball through the*rim. It drives me nuts when people applaud dunks. They are not worthy of*a golf*clap.
“Are you thrilled when Tiger [Woods] makes a two-inch putt?*Nothing pleases me more when some big lummox misses a dunk and the ball*caroms off to half-court. Now that’s*entertainment.””

Team's these days fork out millions for their franchise player and in some sense, they do spoil these players in hopes that one day they will evolved in team players and help bring a championship home to their respective franchise. However, not always is this the case. Steve Francis never wanted to defer to Yao Ming for the sake of improving the Rockets. Kobe Bryant is too busy chasing MJ's 10 scoring titles to give up the ball so his teammates can contribute. That is also why they lost out on the All-Star potentials of a Caron Butler and traded away their franchise center in Shaquille O'Neal. Toronto paid Vince Carter all that money only to have him pout about irrelevant things, lose interest in producing, and force his way out by causing problems for the Raptors and returned to full productivity with the Nets who let him do what he wants on the floor. Loyalty to a franchise in the NBA these days is measured in millions more often than team's success. Many franchise dish out so much money for an individual player (Kevin Garnett , Kobe, Shaq) that they don't have enough in the bank to add more talent to the team. During the 1980's - 1990's, you would see at least 3 superstars (sometimes more) on one team but nowadays that is rare (only Boston has that luxury) and a team would be very lucky if they had 2 superstars on the same roster.

Capitalism has taken over the NBA and a smart player these days will try to maximize their earnings in order to get the most money they can, whenever they can, wherever they can. The NBA's next crop of superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony illustrated my point when they decided to resign with their teams for a 3 year period (when players used to resigned for double that amount of time period) just so they can double up again down the road. The concept of team success has been replaced by how much earnings a player could make in the shortest period possible. Latrell Sprewell was offered a 5 - 7 million dollar contract per season and he turned it down claiming that "It is not enough to feed my family". Does he have like a whole country to feed or something? That is the sad state of where the NBA is headed these days and it is also the reasons why many European players who come over here and play, are more often disgusted than intrigued by our "money is larger than life" culture.

I was so upset when TSN awarded the “Play of the Year” to a LeBron James dunk from the wing. The Cavaliers have put all their marbles in one player and now have a team that can offer him support. Is he a talented player? Absolutely, but the fans only jump out of their seats when he throws the ball down in transition, not so much when he drives and kicks it to Wally Szczerbiak for a 3. Marketing has taken the key elements of the game and dumbed them down to the point where the Spurs who keep winning with half-court offense and team defense with Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and guys who can just play the game are seldom recognized for their skill the way Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler and David West are who are more flashy, but have yet to win a title. The Suns for years have had Steve Nash and the run and gun fliers but traded away Shawn Marion for Shaq to shore up the defense as that is what will win the game in June, not a dunk. After all is said and done, the dunk is only 2 points and if you think it is anything more than that to the guys you see on the tube, just watch as the Suns get dunked on and see Nash take the ball to the rack the other way as if nothing happened. The public has come to accept that the dunk is some huge momentum changing event and the guys make their stupid faces after they make a dunk. Hopefully more taunting technical fouls will clean that up so we don't become the NFL with their stupid touchdown dances.

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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no. this shit is just too fun:




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Old 01-06-2009, 11:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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those +1's make me sick!!!!
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Business, excess of.

That's for me what can ruin NBA.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Back in the 70's, the 'dunk' and Dr.J saved the NBA.

The 'dunk' and Air Jordan catapuled the NBA to international acclaim.

What has killed the league is this: NCAA FRESHMEN.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Nope. The dunk is an exciting part of the game.But it's a small part overall to why we love this game.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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1-on-1 play has killed the NBA game IMO.

Isolation play after isolation play and guys jacking 25 shots to get 35 points.

I put a large part of the blame on Michael Jordan, with small blame at the feet of A.I. and Kobe as well. All of them are brilliant players but each of them have gone through major stretches in their careers where they pretty much said "fuck this" to team ball and just resolved to try to beat teams by themselves.

REAL bball is what the SAC Kings of 2000 played.... ditto for the Princeton Tigers... ditto for most of the european teams out there now.

MOST NBA ball (there are some exceptions) is crap.

The thing that I love most about our team now is that we're playing more like a real bball team where everyone shares the ball rather than a bunch of guys who just stand around waiting for the superstar to bail them out of a jam.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by James Ballswin (Realizar) View Post
Back in the 70's, the 'dunk' and Dr.J saved the NBA.

The 'dunk' and Air Jordan catapuled the NBA to international acclaim.

What has killed the league is this: NCAA FRESHMEN.
Agreed 100%
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ppl blaming things for ruining the game, is ruining the game, there is nothing wrong with the game, you just gotta watch the right teams and players, its as great as it always has been, and will continue to be great.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The only argument I can make is that the youth today focus TOO MUCH on dunking and not enough on the actual game itself. I've seen a lot of kids simply work on their vertical thinking it's the most integral part of basketball, but the same kid can't shoot an open 15ft jump shot or make a simple bounce pass. The lack of fundamental teachings and skills at the high school level has slowed this game down.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TORaptor4Ever View Post
1-on-1 play has killed the NBA game IMO.

Isolation play after isolation play and guys jacking 25 shots to get 35 points.

I put a large part of the blame on Michael Jordan, with small blame at the feet of A.I. and Kobe as well. All of them are brilliant players but each of them have gone through major stretches in their careers where they pretty much said "fuck this" to team ball and just resolved to try to beat teams by themselves.

REAL bball is what the SAC Kings of 2000 played.... ditto for the Princeton Tigers... ditto for most of the european teams out there now.

MOST NBA ball (there are some exceptions) is crap.

The thing that I love most about our team now is that we're playing more like a real bball team where everyone shares the ball rather than a bunch of guys who just stand around waiting for the superstar to bail them out of a jam.
You know, market needs new products to sell out.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Super-stars are killing basketball game. The "me first attitude", the run for best statistical records kills what is more important "team spirit". When two players gets more than half of team total salary and still claims their management is not doing enough. Superstars creates false idols ... the superstars attracts new fans, but once you get to know the bball game better you realize how fake is the superstar role. One shall rule all doesn't apply to team oriented games.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It seems that in every sport (other than football), people are complaining about the state of the game. I don't get it. Basketball is going global and is more popular than it ever has been. The game is now seeing its best athletes compete on a nightly basis and fans have more access than ever to the game. I don't think there's anything wrong with basketball at all right now. Nothing.

Same with baseball. People say it takes too long? If you are going to watch a game, sit down at watch it. If you have something else to do, go and do it. Baseball isn't meant to be a quick game.

Hockey? Man, this could take a long time defending hockey...and this is a basketball place anyway...
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
The only argument I can make is that the youth today focus TOO MUCH on dunking and not enough on the actual game itself. I've seen a lot of kids simply work on their vertical thinking it's the most integral part of basketball, but the same kid can't shoot an open 15ft jump shot or make a simple bounce pass. The lack of fundamental teachings and skills at the high school level has slowed this game down.
I don't think so at all! What alot of kids want to be now is big time shooters, especially from 3.Did the 3 ruin the game? lol Nope!

Last edited by jeffb; 01-06-2009 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It seems that in every sport (other than football), people are complaining about the state of the game. I don't get it. Basketball is going global and is more popular than it ever has been. The game is now seeing its best athletes compete on a nightly basis and fans have more access than ever to the game. I don't think there's anything wrong with basketball at all right now. Nothing.

Same with baseball. People say it takes too long? If you are going to watch a game, sit down at watch it. If you have something else to do, go and do it. Baseball isn't meant to be a quick game.

Hockey? Man, this could take a long time defending hockey...and this is a basketball place anyway...
I agree, people that complain about the game today not being what it used to be remind me of my stepfathers old arguments about certain sports being better, 30-40 years ago. Yeah right! Athletes are stronger, faster, more skilled then ever before. I love game as it is right now. It's not perfect, but nothing ever is.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree, people that complain about the game today not being what it used to be remind me of my stepfathers old arguments about certain sports being better, 30-40 years ago. Yeah right! Athletes are stronger, faster, more skilled then ever before. I love game as it is right now. It's not perfect, but nothing ever is.
More skilled? No chance.

Guys from the 60's, 70's and 80's would KILL today's NBA players in terms of raw skill. How many guys in today's game can't even hit a damn jumper or a FT???

Today's players have a definite edge physicallly though. Proper weight training, nutrition and adavnced medicine have allowed them to achieve things that their predecessors couldn't hope to touch.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I don't think so at all! What alot of kids want to be now is big time shooters, especially from 3.Did the 3 ruin the game? lol Nope!
I suggest spending time with college players and high school players in Canada. Fundamentals have virtually disappeared and I'm speaking from experience here. The kids who can't dunk, yes are enamoured with the three point shot, but for the most part, the first thing kids do in the gym is work out their quads so they can increase their vertical and do that stupid air alert program.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The only argument I can make is that the youth today focus TOO MUCH on dunking and not enough on the actual game itself. I've seen a lot of kids simply work on their vertical thinking it's the most integral part of basketball, but the same kid can't shoot an open 15ft jump shot or make a simple bounce pass. The lack of fundamental teachings and skills at the high school level has slowed this game down.
Agree 100% C.

My ex is a HS teacher who has coached bball for 3 years now and her number one complaint has always been that the boys...

a) don't want to listen

b) aren't interested in playing D

c) are more into getting their shot off than looking for open teammates


I LOL'd when she told me that boys on her team can make a contested, fadeaway turnaround jumper, but can't make a damn layup.

And why is that? Because THAT's what they practice that fadeaway 100 times a day. Not the basics.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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More skilled? No chance.

Guys from the 60's, 70's and 80's would KILL today's NBA players in terms of raw skill. How many guys in today's game can't even hit a damn jumper or a FT???

Today's players have a definite edge physicallly though. Proper weight training, nutrition and adavnced medicine have allowed them to achieve things that their predecessors couldn't hope to touch.
For the most part most of what they did back then was take mid range shots and lay ups.They had skill sure, but realisticly it was limited.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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lol oh yea back in the day they were way more skilled, the no left, one hand dribbling super skills!!! To say players today arent more skilled is a downright lie, perpatrated by older ppl that keep telling younger ppl that, like we will tell our kids that and they will tell their kids that, fact is, athletes always get better. Coaches have gotten way better in their schemes which has made players adjust and specialize in certain areas.
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