My editor thinks I should write something about professional basketball. The timing is certainly right—the National Basketball Association’s All-Star extravaganza starts today in Los Angeles, culminating in the All-Star game on Sunday night.
The problem is, I don’t really know what to say about the NBA other than I almost never watch it anymore.
I am not a basketball junkie and I have no desire to be one. There are maybe three players I would pay to watch. The first is LeBron James of the Miami Heat, because whatever you think, and I think a lot less after his free-agency melodrama despite writing a book with him, he is the best athlete in the world today. The second is Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the third is Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The game is in trouble and I don’t think there is much dispute about that. Attendance was down last year and is slightly down so far this season. Although basketball is supposed to be a team game, it has become more one-on-one in the NBA than a boxing match. The style has changed and it is a definite turnoff.
But a major problem with the NBA, one that is virtually never spoken about honestly, is the issue of race.