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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hockey vs Basketball...

The Commish invites you to take a seat on couch of the BBB and hear him out as to why the NHL is better than the NBA to watch...enjoy...

Hockey vs. Basketball - How Can You Even Compare?

When you live in the Northeast, as a sports fan, you have choices. Folks in the South and friends in the Great White North don't. They try -- but they don't really have choices. So in the Northeast, it's baseball in the summer, football in the fall, and then in Winter people usually choose one or the other.

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How many kids did you grow up with who were really good at basketball, but couldn't stick-handle to save their life? How about the hockey player who could shoot a puck 90 MPH, but couldn't dribble a basketball. Yes, usually it's one or the other. And the interests in those sports follows. But not everyone made the hockey or basketball teams in high school -- and there are plenty of casual fans out there who like to follow both.

Because of the timing of everything -- hockey and basketball are very often compared to each other -- which is the better sport, which is more exciting to watch, etc.

These questions are always answered this time of year -- because it is this time of year when one sport steps it up a notch while another sport exposes its flaws more and more.

Hockey rules the argument.

Basketball may a better run organization, and has the revenues coming to prove it -- but is it just good marketing?

Which game is more global? Basketball with individual guys like Ginobli, Ming, Nowitzki. Or hockey with countries like Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, et al passionately following the game on the frozen pond. It's funny because the NFL and NBA are eyeballing putting franchises in Europe, when don't you get the impression that the NHL could do it TODAY and they would thrive?

The NBA bothers me -- it is an agenda-laced organization pre-occupied with scoring the best ratings than letting the games play out.

Someone explain why the Celtics have a Monday game, and then don't play until Friday -- why because Northeastern graduates at the TD Garden? I don't buy it.

The Bruins -- every other night -- no questions asked. In fact all hockey playoff series are every other night.

In the playoffs -- the intensity picks up in both sports -- but in basketball - when Kevin Garnett throws an elbow in the middle of a scrum, he's getting a game suspension. Watch the playoff hockey game -- how many times are punches thrown after a goalie covers the puck. There's multiple scrums like this in the playoffs -- in every single game -- and nary a penalty is called.

It's no secret -- the stars get the calls in the NBA -- Lebron can take 7 steps and they won't call traveling. Phantom fouls are called with ZERO explanation -- there is a notable one out there right now with Marcus Camby being called for a foul nowhere near Steve Nash. I'm sure stars get calls in the NHL -- but they aren't nearly as blatant -- nor do they occur as often.

At the end of a close game in the NHL -- the game heats up -- the play intensifies -- and the speed is electric. At the end of a close game in the NBA -- there are timeouts after every.... single.... possession. UGH There are fouls upon fouls, upon fouls to force clock stoppage and to get the ball back. It's a painful boring process.

In basketball -- it's considered a badge of honor to take a charge and let someone run into you.

In hockey -- someone is always running into you so forget that -- instead it's considered a badge of honor to throw your body in front of a 100 MPH slap shot. Watch a close game in hockey when there is a 1 goal lead -- 2 maybe 3 guys will dive in front of a slap shot to prevent it from getting to the net.

Today -- both sports have elite stars -- Kobe and Lebron are two of the great ones -- however so are Ovechkin and Crosby -- and a novice eye can appreciate all 4 of them. But it takes 20 guys to win a hockey game -- in basketball it only takes 2-3. Which is odd because basketball has 5 guys on the court, where as hockey only has 6.

I am not a biased fan -- really -- i probably watched as much hockey as I did basketball this year and the past 5 years. In fact, after the Bruins disappointing game against the Penguins several weeks back, I was so disgusted with that game, that I put the B's on my suspension list -- watching no games -- wearing no hats or shirts for the rest of the regular season. So if anything I watched more basketball than hockey this year -- but the same stories always play out -- so it's no surprise I find myself watching the Canucks and Blackhawks game vs. even having a clue what the other basketball game was last night.

If you've chosen to watch basketball over hockey -- then I applaud David Stern -- he's fooled you good -- from phony fouls -- to drawn out playoff series -- to rigged series-plot showdowns --

If you've chosen to watch hockey over basketball -- then there's nothing else to say -- you already understand.

The Commish is a contributor to the Bingo Bar Blog and aspiring journalist. He's made his bones covering the MVFFL as a beat writer and now enjoys a freelance career.


  1. Great article BWB and dead-on.

  2. The NBA playoffs have been great so far. If you don't think so it's because you aren't paying much attention.

    Clearly, everyone has different tastes but you are coming out like a plain hater who's clueless about basketball, even if you are saying you're not biased. You are enjoying hockey more? That's great. Just say that without going all emo on another sport. Or just says you like hockey more so thats more understandable.

    But degrading the NBA playoffs just because close games last too long because of timeouts/players intentionally fouling their opponents or because there are too many days off between games or because the refs do this or that (stop it already, refs haven't decide any game so far in this year's playoffs) is, well, sad.

    Besides, I checked the NHL/NBA playoffs schedules and, guess what, the NHL playoffs started 3 days before the NBA playoffs and a potential game 7 of the hockey finals is scheduled on June 18. A potential game 7 of the NBA Finals would be on June 17. So, which playoffs last longer, again? You have the perception the NBA playoffs drag longer than their hockey counterpart, but that's not the reality.

    As far as the whole international thing, the NBA destroys the NHL under this point of view. You clearly don't know your facts. I live in Europe (Italy) and I guarantee you nobody cares about the NHL around these parts and, for that matter, most of Europe. Europe is much more bigger than Russia, Sweden, Finland, countries where hockey is king. Outside of those northern countries where hockey, admittedly, is very popular, there's not much of a hockey following. The NBA, and basketball in general, has a huge following in most European countries, such as Spain, France, Germany (not as big of a following compared to other countries but it's still growing), Italy, Eastern Europe, Baltic countries, Greece and it's increasingly growing in Russia. Not to mention the huge following in China (and a few other asian countries to a much lesser extent), Africa and Southern America (especially Argentina). What does hockey have, besides Canada, U.S., and a few european countries in Northern Europe? When was the last time you saw the NHL playing games in South America, Asia, Southern Europe, Africa? They always play in northern Europe. There must be a reason, or not=

    The NBA, on the other hand, is pretty big in those countries. Nothing compared to soccer, of course, but it's still huge. As a matter of fact, the NBA plays games all over Europe (and not just Europe, for that matter) nearly every year and all of the games quickly sellout, regardless of the nation or the players or teams involved. A game involving the freakin' Minnesota Timberwolves played in Istanbul, Turkey, back in '07 quickly sold-out, despite the fact none of the players on the team were Turkish. And tickets for a game involving the Knicks, which will be played in Milan next fall, are expected to sell out quickly. And I'm planning to attend the game.

    And, uh, we are interested to the game of basketball, too, not just to the individuals who play the game as haters like you claim. We've always been passionate about the game, well before international players joined the league. So, please, don't talk if you don't know your facts, especially considering you don't even live here in Europe.

  3. Touche! Spritefan, I like your passion. What's your email address. The writer who wrote this piece(the commish) would like to email you.


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  5. Spritefan knows his stuff. Must be because he is from Italy!

  6. As far as the whole TV thing, it's done to ensure each and every NBA playoffs game is televised in one way or another and I don't see what's wrong with that. The NHL, on the other hand, is confined on Versus and doesn't even televise all of the playoffs games, right? From what I understand Versus is a channel lots of people don't even have access to. So maybe you should get mad at the NHL for not having a better TV deal in place instead of getting mad at the NBA for wanting its fans to have access to each possible game. Just sayin'.

    At the end of the day basketball and hockey are two completely different sports. The nature of those two games is completely different (in bball 1 player can have a much bigger impact than in hockey because of the nature of the game, despite the fact the # of players on the court/ice is not that far off) so it's pretty obvious we are comparing apples and oranges.