NBA could learn a lot from NCAA

by Staff

I’ve never been more sure than I was last week that college basketball is far superior to the National Bankers, I mean, National Basketball Association.

I was making my way to school, fighting the traffic and debating whether or not to go to my first class. I flipped on the radio and immediately heard that Orlando Magic center Rony Seikaly had refused to be traded to the Utah Jazz.

He just said, No, I don’t want to go. Never mind that I’m under contract, and I don’t have any right to refuse, I’m still not going. I don’t care if I could win a championship and play with two of the greatest players of all time, it just doesn’t matter to me.

I want to make more money and get my contract extended. I don’t want to make $3 million a year, I want to make $5 million a year. Who cares that I’ve never even made an All-Star team or won a championship? It doesn’t matter. I’m Rony Seikaly.”

While those may not have been his exact words, you get the point.

This so-called professional basketball player is spearheading the demise of the NBA. And you know what, I don’t really care. In fact, I think this it what the NBA deserves. If these players want to make as much money as they can and treat it like a business and not a sport, then they should.

Why should players be given a second chance when they strangle, not their coach, but their boss, Latrell Sprewell? If I went into my boss’s office and strapped my hands around her throat, I don’t think I’d be given a second chance anytime soon. I’d probably be looking for a new line of work.

And while this is the logical and rational way of looking at it, that’s not the way professional basketball players see it. There are actually players backing Sprewell on his claim that he should be reinstated.

Why?

Are they afraid they’re going to get banned when they slap the sleeper hold on their coach?

The truth is, they probably are.

These multimillion-dollar 20-somethings, most of whom will never finish college, think they’re bigger than the game. And the thing is, agents, members of the media, owners and the general public are the reason why.

Would shoe companies, such as Adidas, Nike and Reebok be giving $20 million checks to these athletes fresh out of college if the public weren’t buying them? Would owners give out $15 million-a-year contracts to players if no one was showing up to watch them?

Would the world come to an end if there were no NBA? What if college basketball was as far as it went? What if we weren’t able to watch the sloppiest game on earth? What if we weren’t able to watch the Golden State Warriors or Denver Nuggets play? Would there be mass suicide?

No. You know why? Because it’s only a game, period. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. And this game is getting worse. The quality of play is on a steady decline. Players no longer care if they win or lose.

Why should they? They’re still going to get paid, if not by the team they’re on, then by another team. Despite choking his coach, Sprewell will get signed by someone else. He’ll still get paid in the millions, and I hope he does. Maybe more people will start to realize what a joke the NBA is.

And this is why college basketball is the greatest sport around.

They’re not playing for money; well, not all of them. They’re playing for a championship, they’re playing to win, and most importantly, they’re playing hard. College players execute their offense, they run plays, and get this ? they actually play defense. What a concept!

The great coaches in college basketball today, such as Utah’s Rick Majerus, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Kansas’ Roy Williams, couldn’t coach in the NBA. I don’t think they’d even want to.

These three guys are teachers. They want to help their kids learn the game, become better players and win games ? three things players in the NBA don’t care about.

In fact I’d be surprised if “professional” basketball players cared about anything.

David Hanna is a journalism junior and a staff writer for The Daily Aztec.