Sunday, February 27, 2011

The NBA Is Dead

The NBA is over, as a serious sport. Oh, it can continue to decline, slowly but surely, but two events cement its end as anything other than a rap-fashion showcase. The first is Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom's reality show on MTV, and the second is La La Vazquez and Carmelo Anthony's reality show on VH1. [Note: until reading about this in the Wall Street Journal I was unaware of the existence of La La Vazquez.]


The two reality shows, appealing to tween girls (MTV's audience) and teen-young adult women (VH1's audience) pretty much cement the end of the NBA as a sport. As a platform for junk reality, fashion, and NBA-related rap thuggery, well that is a different matter. But the male-oriented aspects of basketball have either long died out (team work, coaching, selflessness) or are actively dying (athleticism, performance) in a cult of rap celebrity and posturing.

Yes, the NFL has had its reality shows: Hard Knocks (relating the tales of guys struggling to make the team during training camp, each season with a different team featured) comes to mind. But the focus is not on female-centered glamor, glitz, spending, and conspicuous consumption and fame. Football itself remains a game (though thuggery and a dominance of Black rap-influenced players threatens this) of teamwork, discipline, and coaching. For all the Superbowl hype, the influx of the Jessica Simpsons, and Giselle Bundchens and the like has been resented and mocked by fans. It remains a male preserve (though one threatened by over-thuggery and slipping into rap thug celebration).

With the NBA likely to slowly, but steadily decline in ratings, middle class White enthusiasm, and therefore, money, there are opportunities for other sports to gain a foothold. Hockey, never really capturing the imagination of White Middle class America, has an opportunity should the NFL go into a lockout and the NBA continue its rap-celebrity descent into irrelevance. The game of Hockey after all relies on strength, skill, teamwork, and endurance. It is played by mostly Middle class White guys (though the prevalence of foreigners is a problem) and has a fairly large league. Hockey season mostly overlaps that of the NBA, and partially that of the NFL. Rugby, and its appeal to teamwork and toughness, has possibilities as well.

But no sport can maintain a male audience while catering to female desires for "reality"-inspired tales of princesses and princes, able to whisk them away to a fantasy of Cinderella and the ball. The NBA has already trod down this road, and is unlikely to retrace it. The NBA is dead. Long live any other sport.

33 comments:

tacticalchrstn said...

The NBA has been taking on the qualities of a ghetto pickup game for a while. You rarely see a charging foul called anymore. Showboating is the rule rather than teamwork and passing. What else is dying besides the NBA? Hip hop and rap are not as prevalent as in the early 90's. The so called war on Christmas seems to be in a state of truce. I think some of these things may be partially the result of the hispanic influx. Some hispanics like rap and hip-hop, but many more prefer other types of music. Hispanics also love the Navidad. I went to the traveling circus in a very white town last year and found that most of the performers and a large portion of the audience were hispanic. So... The NBA is dying because white men no longer like the product seems to be the primary thesis, but is Hispanic influx a factor?

Anonymous said...

I found this explanation:

"Also note that the NBA seems to have decided to stop enforcing the rules against travelling for anything less than 5 steps (allows greater elevation), palming the ball, pushing-off, offensive charging, and general rough-housing under the basket. All of these things help blacks relative to whites as they advantage power and explosiveness (where blacks excel). Under the old way they called the rules there were more oppurtunities for a tall and coordinated player without overwheming athleticism to do well."

The NBA seems to have changed to accomodate for the way basket is played in the ghettos.

Lavazza

Nullpointer said...

Bullshit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xGhloP0odo&feature=player_embedded

Q.E.D.

OhioStater said...

First of all, the NBA knows you are right. The recent moves sending Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams to New York makes sense if the league gets more value from the "stars" in the urban areas. As long as the white fans in Denver and Utah appreciate "teamwork" they'll have a team, playoff caliber usually, staffed with players like Danilo Galinari, Jimmer Fredette, and Gordon Heyward. If they don't like the state of affairs, the NBA will contract to 20 teams, focusing on the big cities where it makes the most money anyway.

Second, the NBA will always be relevant since its the game that everyone plays as a kid. This is true to some degree for soccer, but you don't play lacrosse unless you're rich, hockey unless its cold, or football unless you're a man. Even if you are completely disgusted with basketball, you'll have at least a passing interest in Heat-Lakers, or Lakers Celtics since your son and daughter are outside playing on the basketball hoop in the driveway.

Third, the NBA is truly international, and basketball is our sporting export, such as soccer was England's main sporting export. Apparently during the Olympics, Kobe was as big a star in China as Yao Ming. Of course some fans may get turned off, but there are millions in emerging markets slowly getting turned on to the game.

Anonymous said...

The NBA is dying because white men no longer like the product seems to be the primary thesis, but is Hispanic influx a factor?

I think that's possible. Since the NBA is losing white men, it either has to replace those fans or die. There aren't enough blacks and if Hispanics aren't interested then it gets squeezed out. It's that simple.

kurt9 said...

The other problem the NBA faces is that nearly half of the franchises are loosing money. The Trailblazzers were loosing money until they managed to turn the team around and get themselves into the playoffs the last two seasons. Paul Allen, the current owner, considered selling the team in '08 at a loss, just to get rid of his losses.

DR said...

If hockey ever became popular it wouldn't remain popular for long. HBD isn't just about cognitive ability. Blacks really dominate athletically and this is due to fundamental biological reasons. If the NBA dies and the NHL becomes the new NBA, a hundred thousand ghetto kids will be practicing their puck skills.

The only reason the NHL remains white is because the ratings are abysmally low and the investment is rather high for the equipment. If the former ceased to be true black kids would pick up hockey equipment en masse as initially the competition to get into the NHL would be so much lower than the NBA or NFL.

Unless you explicitly segregate a sport or make it so technical and athletic that blacks have no advantage (like golf), you will always see blacks dominate if it gets really popular.

The secret recipe to a lasting sports franchise it to utilize black athleticism and minimize black culture. The NFL does an exceptional job of this because
1) The nature of the sport is highly team-oriented and limits the appeal of narcissistic super-breakout stars like Allen Iverson that don't need the rest of their team, and
2) The most prestigious position in football is the quarterback, a highly cerebral position where whites mostly dominate. So even if a team is mostly loaded up with black guys and de facto leader is usually white or a relatively high-IQ black.

Hockey doesn't have either of these things going for it. It's format is much closer to basketball. Nor does soccer or lacrosse. Maybe rugby, but less so than football. The closest team sport I can think of that might give football a run for its money in this department is Ultimate Frisbee...

Anyway I wouldn't be betting against the NFL for a loonnnggg time.

guest007 said...

Nullpointer,

Lebron barely bothers to dribble and is infamous for getting away with a crab walk. Lebron gets to take three to four steps during every drive for the basket and the foul will always be called on the defender.

Lebron is a great example of what is wrong with the NBA.

Anonymous said...

The only reason the NHL remains white is because the ratings are abysmally low and the investment is rather high for the equipment. If the former ceased to be true black kids would pick up hockey equipment en masse as initially the competition to get into the NHL would be so much lower than the NBA or NFL.

Wouldn't the investment in equipment still be high? It may not be as hard to get into the NHL as the NFL or NBA, but you have to buy all of the equipment as soon as you start playing hockey. On top of that you need an ice rink. You also need to develop skills such as how to move (skate) on the ice. That's not an insurmountable barrier but it is something of a barrier. For basketball all you need is a hoop and a basketball. Football has a lot of equipment but that really doesn't come until later. You can play football with just a football. Hockey does seem to be unique in the amount of up front costs is has.

kurt9 said...

NASCAR has become tremendously popular in recent years. Steve Sailor blogged about this several years ago. Although boring to watch on the telly, attendance at NASCAR events is at an all-time high.

ray said...

yeah the NBA is dying of its own greed and worship of hiphop scummery

anything or anyone in the kulture even tangentially related to the kardashians = terminal decay

good point re the NFL, but they're on the downspiral too . . . modern guys make a play, they rush off to an isolated part of the field, the better for their Ego Dance to be recorded for posterity

barf

professional sports are about to be phased out -- they have strayed so far away from the beneficial purposes of their amateur beginnings that they're no longer recognizable, and in many cases now operate in exact refutation of those orignial amatuer values (teamwork, shared struggle, honesty, maximum effort, personal improvement, joy)

ray

Zeta said...

Hey, DR, answer me a feq questions. How many black players are there in the NHL? How many medal-winning Olympic swimmers are black? For that matter, who wins more Olympic medals, whites or blacks? That's a rhetorical question. What team of brothers has dominated heavyweight boxing in recent years? Who does better at UFC: whites or blacks? To which race do most successful bodybuilders belong: white or black? How many African teams have won the FIFA World Cup?

DR has imbibed too much of the black sports star worship that is prevalent in American culture. Yes, blacks run faster and are generally better at activities that require burst activity. Just because they are the majority of the NFL and NBA, where those qualities tend to be paramount, it does not follow that they will dominate in all activities. As noted above, reality shows that they certainly do not.

Whiskey said...

DR, the problem with the NFL as detailed by the WSJ is that they are over-leveraged and require constantly expanding revenues, while they have failed to expand internationally. It is true that the NBA and its stars are popular in China (though the NBA has yet to see revenue from that popularity) but the NFL and football (American style) is barely even noteworthy in Europe and not even that in China/Asia.

Meanwhile folks like Jerry Jones have notes on expensive stadiums coming due. Even with mostly public financing, the owners are in hock. And many of them are looking for an exit which requires expanding revenues to create ever greater team valuations.

Meanwhile the NFL pushes Black star players at the expense of White ones. It is clear that the NFL has bet the farm on Michael Vick as the next superstar, and outside of QB and some offensive Linemen, the White audience watches mostly Black athletes. Who emphasize individualism over teamwork. Think TO instead of Dwight Clark.

The NHL is more of a strength/endurance plus skill sport. Sid Crosby is remarkable because of his lower body strength enabling excellent balance even towards the end of the game, knowing where the puck is and defenders/offense is critical besides just athleticism. It does not seem to be a sport that lends itself to pure speed/power dominance.

Cowboy said...

In 2004, Ron Artest laid down on the scorekeeper's table during a game when a scuffle broke out. By the time the dust settled, he had led a group of several other players up into the stands where they physically attacked a number of spectators. Six would require medical treatment. Then, Artest led the group back to the court where they began beating on the opposing team.

Artest was named Defensive Player of the Year that year.

I, like many others, swore to myself, "I'll never watch another NBA game again, ever."

A vow I've kept. Who needs those thugs.

Anonymous said...

Hockey, never really capturing the imagination of White Middle class America, has an opportunity should the NFL go into a lockout and the NBA continue its rap-celebrity descent into irrelevance. The game of Hockey after all relies on strength, skill, teamwork, and endurance. It is played by mostly Middle class White guys (though the prevalence of foreigners is a problem) and has a fairly large league. Hockey season mostly overlaps that of the NBA, and partially that of the NFL.

The NHL has a lot of potential to displace the NBA. The NHL is in direct competition to the NBA almost. Cities that have an NBA team don't have an NHL team and vice versa outside of cities with a very high population and the hockey and basketball seasons overlap. The NHL just needs to get back on ESPN rather than being on the Versus network and they will get more fans.

The NHL has had some success moving outside its traditional region. The Carolina team has really taken hold there. However, other places haven't been so successful like Phoenix and Miami. As those are cities that are becoming more and more Hispanic, that should be no surprise.

One thing that will help keep hockey "white" is its Canadian core. While Canada is becoming less and less white, they don't have a lot of blacks there either.

Anonymous said...

In 2004, Ron Artest laid down on the scorekeeper's table during a game when a scuffle broke out. By the time the dust settled, he had led a group of several other players up into the stands where they physically attacked a number of spectators. Six would require medical treatment. Then, Artest led the group back to the court where they began beating on the opposing team.

Artest was named Defensive Player of the Year that year.

I, like many others, swore to myself, "I'll never watch another NBA game again, ever."

A vow I've kept. Who needs those thugs.


Same here. That was when I "discovered" the NHL.

Anonymous said...

Foriegn sports like 20/20 cricket and rugby could be hugely popular. If your looking for domething diffrent you could try AFL.

Rock Granite said...

I expect the NBA to continue to grow into the dominant live video sport globally.

It involves relatively few players per team, minimal equipment , it's easy to understand and fairly telegenic, even though the players are ugly.

I see a global NBA becoming increasingly profitable due to expanded global markets and a potential increase in global talent that should lower average labor costs.

Also, the reality TV-ization is good also if it increases female viewership.

I don't watch it but obviously the NBA is here to stay.

raliv said...

"I expect the NBA to continue to grow into the dominant live video sport globally.

It involves relatively few players per team, minimal equipment , it's easy to understand and fairly telegenic, even though the players are ugly."

One could say the same thing about Soccer and Rugby. No pads or equipment are really needed. Just a patch of field, some goals posts, and a ball.

Anonymous said...

The "NBA Cares" campaign is made for women, so sappy and sentimental.

Rollory said...

Anything to do with winter sports will tend to be a primarily white thing.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how the NBA is going to become the dominant sport globally when expanding into Canada has been problematic for the NBA. The NBA couldn't keep a team in Vancouver. How can the NBA be expected to expand globally?

kurt9 said...

I expect the NBA to continue to grow into the dominant live video sport globally.

The NBA has the same problem as NFL with regards to international expansion. Most ethnic groups around the world lack the stature and athleticism to play basketball. People enjoy watching sports more if they feel that "their" people can play the game.

One of the reason why soccer is the world sport is because people of different racial groups can actually play the game respectively well.

If anything, the NBA will probably contract down to 15-20 teams in the key "urban" markets of the U.S. and well become more of an "entertainment" sport.

I do watch NBA occasionally.

The other problem that all three major sports have is their dominance by a few teams. For the NBA, it tends to be the Lakers, Celtics, and sometimes the Bulls or the Knicks. In NFL, its definitely the Steelers and its the Yankees in MLB. The major sports are becoming too predictable.

kurt9 said...

The popularity of NBA and its stars in China, Japan, and Korea mirrors the popularity of hip hop culture. The popularity of hip hop in East Asia tends to follow a 15 year cycle. Hip hop culture and its stars were big-time popular in Japan for about 3 years in the early 90's. However, it disappeared almost over night in 1995 for inexplicable reasons. Its now becoming popular again in Japan and China. Like the previous wave, its popularity will not last.

Pop-culture trends are even more fickle in Asia than they are here in the U.S. Its very difficult for an organization to make sustainable profits off of popularity that is this fickle.

Whiskey said...

Stern has tried hard to expand globally. And failed every time. While NBA players like Kobe Bryant are popular as sort-of-freaks among Chinese, any attempt to create NBA-child leagues in China has failed.

First, Chinese authorities will not authorize them, preferring to keep their social control. Second, Chinese people have a strong preference for their own sports and athletes. This same two-pronged restrictions (authorities, population preferences for localism) has hampered the NBA in India, in Malaysia, in Indonesia, and the Middle East.

Yes, Lakers jerseys (nearly all of them counterfeit knockoffs) are popular in China. For the NBA to make money off the popularity is another thing, it requires official open-ness (unlikely) and a change in population preferences to pay one way or another (ads, pay-per-view, attendance) of NBA games.

Stern has been unable to sell packages of NBA games to Chinese broadcasters. That echoes the problems the NFL has, and MLB as well. Meanwhile the Lakers have abandoned free-to-air TV in their next TV contract (2012) for a custom cable network. Suggesting they going towards carriage fees instead of ad-supported revenue, translation fewer viewers and fewer desirable viewers (higher income). The NBA is popular among Latinos/Hispanics (local Hispanics riot regularly in LA after Lakers NBA championship victories) but income among that group is not high.

kurt9 said...

Meanwhile the Lakers have abandoned free-to-air TV in their next TV contract (2012) for a custom cable network. Suggesting they going towards carriage fees instead of ad-supported revenue, translation fewer viewers and fewer desirable viewers (higher income).

The Trailblazzers have been with Comcast cable for the past few years. You can only see the home games if you have Comcast.

This is not good for the league if most franchises are doing this.

ranji said...

whiskey,

i emailed this article to roissy:

http://www.slate.com/id/2286240/pagenum/all/#p2

it appears to SCIENTIFICALLY back you guys's major assertions about the sexual marketplace & its effects on society.

it's remarkably titled 'sex is cheap.'

josh said...

I almost never watch the NBA. Its for blackie. A lot of latinos seem to like it,it has an air of thuggery and trashiness they like. Its boring. It wont "die",it'll remain as the 3rd sport of the USA--unless God forbid those stupid mexicans put soccer up there!But its boring crap,the black players are weird,ugly and freaky,esp with their tatoos,they look like some kind of pre-hiostoric tribe. I saw a picture of the starting All Stars and it looked like an anthropology textbook detailing what pre-humans mightve looked like!

josh said...

"ranji":I checked that link,the article seemed to be feminist bullshit,with no mention of female hypergamy. Whiskey (and Roissy I am sure )would happily tear it ot bits!There were 900 comments! The point they make is that sex is easy for young fellas,so they become slackers. But of women are NOT slackers,supposedly,then why ARENT they.since they can get sex easier than men??

Rurik said...

I have never associated with a b-ball except under coercion in high school gym class.
Half the problem of the NBA is ths thug culture of the players. the other half is that B-ball is just boring. Who wants to watch a bunch of glandular Black thugs scamper around in their baggy underwear? I'd rather watch my own hemorroidectomy in a mirror than watch b-ball.

Anonymous said...

What other sport has someone like this:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_BLXZxYY6_v0/SxVMsUft74I/AAAAAAAACm8/W86y6XEsymg/s400/birdman3.jpg

And that was before he got his whole neck tattooed. What a freak! He plays for the Denver Tattoos.

Brad S said...

"Meanwhile the Lakers have abandoned free-to-air TV in their next TV contract (2012) for a custom cable network. Suggesting they going towards carriage fees instead of ad-supported revenue, translation fewer viewers and fewer desirable viewers (higher income)."

And Jerry Buss and family, around 2016, are going to regret signing such a contract. Especially now that cable/satellite subscription rates are stagnating, and especially considering that premium sports packages are going to take a nasty hit if both NFL and NBA have prolonged lockouts.

And I haven't even gotten to some of the tests being done by ESPN, USA, TNT, FoxNews, and a few others regarding their services being available Free-To-Air. Frankly, Jerry Buss should've found a way to monetize the ability to view Lakers games on your iPhone or Droid.

Anonymous said...

"All of these things help blacks relative to whites as they advantage power and explosiveness (where blacks excel). Under the old way they called the rules there were more oppurtunities for a tall and coordinated player without overwheming athleticism to do well."
-anonymous (previously posted)

"Unless you explicitly segregate a sport or make it so technical and athletic that blacks have no advantage (like golf), you will always see blacks dominate if it gets really popular."
-DR


White athletes have the same opportunity as black athletes to hit the weights and train. If black athletes are more talented, score more points, play better defense, and are better at the game, than they should be the one on the court. If refs aren't calling physical plays under the basket than the white guys need to get more physical. The fact that any of these posts are blaming it on the african-american population is bologna. If the "ghetto" (or low income african american population) is ruining your TV time maybe you should try improving a bad neighborhood.
-a white guy

(America's present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration. -Warren G. Harding)