I’ve gotten a number of invites to play fantasy basketball and I appreciate each one. However, I’ve turned each one down. I just don’t like to play the game. I tried it once, years ago, and it just didn’t stick. I do play fantasy football, but that’s all I can handle. ESPN the Mag had an article on several reasons why fantasy basketball is so great. Here’s my reasons why I don’t agree.
1. I can’t commit. The ESPN writer mentioned that baseball is too much (every day) and football too little (once a week) but basketball (every couple days) is just right. Sorry, that doesn’t fly with me. I need the structure of knowing I have to set up my lineup by Thursday at the earliest once a week. I’m not really a man of routine, so the every day checking of baseball lineups is too much. Updating the basketball lineups maybe every couple of days is just too nebulous for me.
2. Basketball is not a stats game. With apologies to John Hollinger, Henry Abbott, and other stat-apologists, I just don’t see it. Two years ago Mike James scored 20 points a game for Toronto. Does that make him a good player? Udonis Haslem will never crack the top 50 in points scored. Does that make him less of a player? Hollinger has Manu Ginobili ranked just behind Kevin Garnett and ahead of Gilbert Arenas, Steve Nash, and Tracy McGrady. I can see how stats help round out the experience. They are meant to enhance the appreciation of the sport. But fantasy is all about the numbers and the numbers just don’t tell the whole story.
3. I’m not a stats guy. Like I said, I can see how you might enjoy the stats. I have nothing against them per-se. I just can’t get into them myself. I can’t care how many rebounds Marcus Camby got on any given night. I don’t want to pick up Smush Parker so I can get my steals stats up. Maybe Kendrick Perkins won’t fill up the stat sheet, but he fills up the lane and when he sets a pick that rattles Gilbert Arenas, that helps the team win games.
4. Too invested in Celtics. If I were playing fantasy basketball, I’d want to have a team of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins. Come to think of it, that wouldn’t be half bad on most years, but this year there’s only so many stats to go around and that team would likely be very middle of the road. And of course, I’d be "that guy" that drafts his home team in spite of better players being on the board. I don’t want to be "that guy."
5. Doesn’t help me follow the league. In fantasy football, I can really get a feel for the rest of the league by following my players. Once a week, I catch the recaps and watch all the highlights of the games to pick up on trends and track my players and potential pickups. It also tells me how well the teams are doing because if the running back and quarter back are rolling, generally speaking so is the team. Basketball doesn’t really do that for me. Just because Vince Carter has a couple nice jams on the highlights doesn’t tell me if the Nets are a good team. Honestly, if I wanted an easy way to get a feel for other teams, I’d rather play video games (but I don’t really play those much either).
When it all comes down to it, maybe I’m missing out on a really good thing. I know fantasy basketball is great for a lot of you. More power to you. But I guess the biggest reason I don’t play fantasy basketball is because I blog. The more time I spend on fantasy, the less time I spend blogging. That’s the bottom line. So thanks for the invites. But I’ll take a pass.