Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Hockey vs Basketball...
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.