Lost in the annals of history and emerging at a virtual reality pub trivia night in 2037 somewhere on the ice fields of Nuuk, Greenland, the golden sports question will be asked.
Where did Kevin Durant start his NBA career? Through the olfactory VR interface swimming with the tantalizing scents of nachos, pizza and a hearty lager, digital silence will pervade with the blast of a frozen Arctic wind. The correct answer of “the Seattle Sonics” will be further obscured by the fact that the city of Seattle became the hippy commune of Pacifica in 2029, as various fringe groups and former city mayors banded together to create the Jamestown of the future, free from individual liberties, free speech and gender identification. It should be noted that Pacifica is known globally as a glorified sweat shop for ideology and designer wool socks.
Backtrack to the present and the before mentioned Durant is headlining a controversy where many are blaming the NBA for the dilution of talent in the league and the existence of two or three superpowers against a backdrop of mediocrity. Fox Sports reports that one of the quad infused face of brilliance of the Golden State Warriors insists that the blockbuster trade which stole him with his approval from the heartland of Oklahoma City, is not the reason that parity is a lacking concept in a top heavy league. And he is absolutely correct.
The NBA’s dearth of competitive balance can be traced to many underlying factors, which include greed, a lack of foresight and the inability for a brand of basketball to evolve in maintaining a healthy US audience. Sure, like a certain social networking site, the league is transfixing a global audience concentrated behind the shrouded walls of the New People’s Republic of China, with an exhibition style of play featuring a lull of defense, a poor choice of shots and enough dunks and three-pointers to make a grown man blush. The absence of institutional control of the officiating crews in giving special treatment to stars and enforcing a very loose policy of handing out traveling violations only adds to the diminished intrigue of an 82 regular season of games and a seemingly endless marathon of postseason action, which delays the inevitable well into June. The controlling brass allowed a team to vacate the 15 largest media market in the nation and leaving in its wake a decrepit dust storm of corrupt politics and failed accountability has permanently alienated a regional fan base. The contrived nature of the game on all levels is sad considering the exploding abundance of individual talent.
With the fatal flaws instituted by the management in orchestrating a bland style of play and tepid arena atmosphere (tee-shirt guns are not the answer), it is only a matter of time before the league becomes an afterthought against the wealth of customizable individual entertainment content available on devices. In the professional sports league hierarchy, the NBA snaps in vain at the heels of the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NHL. Durant, like Lebron, Wade and Bosh, cannot be blamed for the apparent dissociation of parity- as winning a championship and building a dynasty carves a last name into the eternal history books. While parity is a foundational concept in relevant sports, the NBA has numerous priorities to be addressed before the blame game from the driveled from the front office can be taken with any shred of credibility. Until then, we all have to live with the hijinks and weekly zingers originated by TNT’s broadcast crew bracketed by Barkley and Shaq, and the reality that much of the West Coast in the next two decades will submit to the crazy intentions of the anarchists.
Check out the rest of the Fox Sports story here.