I enjoyed the JA Adande article on ESPN today. The NBA does seem to be getting over the summer doom and gloom.
"The trades seem to have piqued interest," commissioner David Stern said.
There's anticipation and unpredictability, the two things that make sports such compelling TV content. Anticipation and unpredictability sound a lot better than cynicism and skepticism, which was the general attitude toward the NBA last summer.
Those dark days seem so long ago they might as well be in black-and-white. A referee was found to have bet on NBA games and shared inside info with gamblers. A troubled young player had a fatal car crash. The No. 1 overall pick had season-ending surgery before he even played a game. The SuperSonics gassed up the moving vans. The Knicks went through a sordid sexual harassment lawsuit. It was all gloom and doom.
So what happened? Sports happened. We should know by now that all it takes to restore faith and interest in a league is to play games. We should know by now that all it takes to restore faith and interest in a league is to play games. Make that, play games on relevant networks (two points lost on the NHL). Bring out the balls, blow the whistle and the problems go away.