The Toss: Back to Basics

The players in the NBA are flashy and are always trying to be the ‘big play guy,’ but they seem to forget about the fundamentals of the game. For starters, the emergence of “the big three.” The most notable team is the Miami Heat, who now have a collection of some of the biggest names in basketball, and gathered their big three at the beginning of last season. There are a bunch of players just trying to make the most flashy dunk. LeBron’s four-step rule basically instituted that traveling doesn’t count if the dunk looks cool, which just takes away from the game even more.

The teams are trying to get the best and brightest of the upcoming players. What’s wrong with this is it is taking away the ‘team’ aspect of basketball. The trend started with Kobe, Shaq and the Lakers. Those two were the team, no question. There were some other players who were consistent, but not good. A basketball team is made up of 12 players. It should not be about only three of them, who are the only reason that the team is winning at all. The mentality of one player being the whole team is awful. Basketball is a team sport; basketball needs to focus on the team. The efforts of the entire team should be needed. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh demand a significant amount of possession, leaving the other two players on the court, and seven on the bench, without much of anything to their game, not to mention their salaries.

The biggest thing in the NBA is money. Derrick Rose’s new contract is a very lucrative deal worth $94.8 million over the next five years. The players only really play for the glory of themselves and the money. It makes the games less enjoyable to watch. I would rather see a team playing well together rather than a few individuals hogging the ball and trying to be a big star.

A recent hot streak from Ivy League alum Jeremy Lin has sparked a media storm. ESPN tries to cover him as much as they can in any way possible. The “Lin-sanity” surrounding him will hopefully die down soon. This isn’t supposed to discredit him, though. In his six starts, he has set the record for most points, in that stretch, to start a career. The guy is good but to already be saying he deserves to be an all-star is slightly ridiculous. He has started six games, and done well, but the other all-stars have made a career of good games. That being said, if he keeps the up the work, breakout player of the year honors could be bestowed upon him.

Also, the players cause a lot of trouble off the court. Names like Kobe Bryant have been mentioned in legal troubles in the past, and although he seems to be out of legal trouble at the moment, there are probably players in some sort of illegal activity that they are or will be in trouble for.

The NCAA is better basketball to watch. They play as a team for the most part, and they share the ball well. Teams like Indiana University that have toppled top teams this year are a great example of teams that play well together.

The NBA just needs to change their ways. Players need to be paid way less, and perform as a team more. It should not be about the biggest stars on the court; it should be about all 12 players winning. It should be like back in the day when the players were not all about themselves and they won as a team, not as an individual.