Professional Basketball is Dead

Who killed it? And who – or what – is slowly rising from out of its grave?

“My name is Dan. I love basketball, probably at an unhealthy level”

This is the introduction to my About Cleaning Up The Glass page. And, although I can convince myself that this statement holds true for the sport in general, I no longer can say with a straight face that this accurately represents my love for the way it’s played at the professional level. Which is where my love for the game had originally blossomed, and, therefore, where the majority of my knowledge lies.

What happened?

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3nough!

The three-pointer is shot more often and accurately than ever, but ratings are still down for the NBA. Coincidence? I think not.

I recently sat down to watch the Lakers-Heat game. The NBA was billing it as the final showdown between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. I wish it was more of a rivalry matchup than the bro-mance that it was (Even their post-game hug-and-talk afterwards seemed so scripted and phony that I almost threw up), but, so are the ways of today’s NBA.

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Think Big

The Los Angeles Lakers have a potential “Death Lineup” at their disposal, but will they use it?

This season, the Lakers signed superstar LeBron James to join their young core in Los Angeles. Although they are third in the league in points per game, and sit at fourth in pace, the team has so far been plagued by poor effort on defense and defensive rebounding. They sit at 27th in opponent points per game, 24th in opponent field goal percentage, and 22nd in overall defensive rating. A huge contributing factor in this is the team places 27th in opponent offensive rebounds per game, and 22nd in opponent second-chance points.

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The First Female Head Coach in NBA History is Becky Hammon. But When?

Taking a break from my weekly Kobe love to give my two cents on a topic gaining popularity.

Recently, I came across a great piece written by Drew Steele. In it, he describes how the timing is perfect for Becky Hammon, a woman who is currently holding an assistant coaching job with the San Antonio Spurs, to become a head coach. Particularly, the recent vacancy created by Jason Kidd’s firing. You can and should read it, here. And while I understand the excitement everyone has for the first female head coach in the NBA, I think one should address the elephant in the room standing beneath a glass ceiling.

Continue reading “The First Female Head Coach in NBA History is Becky Hammon. But When?”

Vitamin D

James Harden is in the MVP discussion, but it should come as no shock to anyone paying attention to the coaching history of one Mike D’Antoni.

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When the Rockets hired Mike D’Antoni, no one would have asked you to stifle yourself if you snickered.  He was only 2 years removed from the 2014 debacle in Los Angeles, when he coached the Lakers to a 27-55 record and out of the playoffs for the first time in 20 years (edit: Geez, that actually sounds pretty good now).  Yup, all his fault.  It didn’t matter that Kobe Bryant had only played 6 games or that Steve Nash had only played in 15, someone needed to be held responsible, and D’Antoni’s head was the one everyone wanted to roll.

That’s why when this season started, it was funny, to me anyways, hearing Laker fans and their supporters alike stating how “fun” the team was playing under first year coach Luke Walton.  They were 10-10, the rookies were developing, and Nick Young pulled his best Walking Dead impression, coming back to life, when he seemed doomed to follow in the footsteps of Lamar Odom.  He’s actually going to be in the 3-point contest this coming All Star Weekend.

But didn’t this team play a familiar style to anyone watching them?  Perhaps not, the team has been almost unwatchable for years now.  But to anyone that has hung around during these dark times to pay attention, they are actually mimicking the D’Antoni coached 2013-2014 Los Angeles Lakers.  Look at the stats: Continue reading “Vitamin D”