|NBA vs. NCAA is men against boys
By Ralph Wiley
Page 2 columnist
Yo. Road Dog here, blowing up the spot for R-Dub. Today we are going there, back to How the NBA is More Watchable than college hoops. Judging from e-mails R-Dub got for his over-light satire on the subject -- not to mention so-called colleague Dan Shanoff's "rebuttal" -- I say, why be satisfied with a flesh wound?
I said, "Whatever. Stand back, Dub. I'll handle this business."
And so, without further ado, here are Road Dog's 29 Mostly Non-Satiric Reasons that NBA Hoop Is More Watchable for a True Hoop Fan than NCAA Hoop.
1. NBA has most awesome high level of play; NCAA has decent, occasionally
2. NBA has the Olympics; NCAA has March Madness
3. NCAA has Dan Dickau; NBA has Dan Dickau's girlfriend, a dancer with
the Portland Trail Blazers, which means, ultimately, that the NBA also has Dan Dickau
4. NBA regular season is tedious; NCAA regular season is, too
5. NCAA has Drew Gooden and Caron Butler being snide 22-year-olds,
thinking they're all that and a bag of chips for busting up 19-year-olds a
half foot shorter than they are; NBA has Kenyon Martin for hack-in reality
check as Gooden and Butler come waltzing by
6. NCAA has cute telegenic guys; NBA has cut tough guys
7. NBA has "I love this game"; NCAA has "When can I turn pro?"
8. NCAA has Gary Williams sweating quarts; NBA has Shaq sweating gallons,
while Phil Jackson stays cool, and dates the boss' daughter, a former pinup
girl, by the way
9. NCAA has flopping in the lane, trying to draw a charge, like that's a
true skill or something; NBA gives you one flop, max, then the next flop you
make will likely be your last
That's when I heard Mailman yell, "Look ooouuuttt!"
Big Mike Brown hammered me from behind, right into the folded-up wooden retractable seats and what felt like the turnbuckles of the WWF. But I was real strong in those days. I was just strong enough to look at Mailman, when he asked, "You all right?" and say, "Imalright" Then I was just strong enough to inbound the ball to Mailman, who took it to the hole and we won the pickup game right then and there, which was lucky, because all the run and the dribble-picking and charge-taking had been taken out of me. Done.
Went back to my hotel. Next day found I couldn't get out of bed.
So I wouldn't advise flopping in the NBA; you can draw the charge by holding your position, but I'd advise against the Flop.
You wanna play musical chairs, then go play that.
Dennis Rodman was a master of the Flop.
You see where he is now, don't you?
10. NCAA has Chris Webber taking the Fab Five to the Final Four; NBA has
Chris Webber taking a pay cut from his NCAA days
11. NCAA has the danger of games being bought by unscrupulous gamblers
for a few lousy grand; buy an NBA game? With what? A space shuttle?
12. NCAA has national letter-of-intent day; NBA has
how-in-Hades-could-those-idiots-take-another-Frederick-Weis draft day
13. NCAA has long con calling it "college" hoops; NBA has short con of acting like the overly long regular season -- and the "home-court advantage" it brings -- really matters
14. NCAA has annual Yale-Dartmouth oncourt brawl; NBA has Charles Oakley, a one-man brawl
15. NCAA has the fantasy of youth being served; NBA has the reality of
youth being put in its place by bitter grizzled veterans playing hardball
16. NCAA used to have Pete Carrill as Yoda @ Princeton; NBA now has Pete
Carrill as Yoda @ Sacramento Kings
After R-Dub's column on this subject earlier in the week, one reader wrote in and said the NBA stank because he heard a "low rumble in the background whenever Alley I. opened his mouth," and that rumble was the sound of "Charles Darwin rolling over in his grave." Charles Darwin? Who'd be play for? The Spurs, right? Didn't he play back with James Silas and George Gervin? Well, I don't know, man's got to be man enough to say when he don't know, but this guy also said the NBA was, like, an "example with what's wrong with this country." Yeah, what is wrong with this country? It's the most productive and powerful and strongest country in the history of the world; if Alley I. got something to do with that, so be it. Bet he could cross up this Charlie Darwin dude just like he crosses up everybody else, and I don't care what kind of D Charlie played on Iceman, or how much rolling over he's doing in his grave right now. Tell me, is he dead?
Well, so is the guy checking Alley I.
Compare this huckleberry to another e-mail that said R-Dub's piece on the NBA match-up with the NCAA "... had me rolling on the floor, hurling my breakfast, and laughing like a loon, all at the same time. And I love the NCAA tournament games.... Excellent work." Now that sounds like a guy who gets it.
Me, I ain't real big on no satire. I say, Speakie English.
17. NCAA has "Rock Chalk Jayhawk!"; NBA has rock-head Antoine launching 3s
when he should be down low grinding on the boards
18. NCAA has all out attention in March; NBA has all our celebrities'
attention in May and June, when they need the photo ops and the face time on
national TV to keep any bounce
R-Dub's compadre Shanoff got in some good zingers at R-Dub's NBA speculating, too. Myself, personally, I liked that stuff. Dan didn't take it personal, see. I know, I know, you didn't take it personal either. Right. However, getting back, Dan Shanoff said the NCAA has "college zone defenses (that) are a thing of beauty." So ...
19. NCAA has zone defenses that are a thing of beauty ... if you're into
statues; NBA has zone defenses, but you dare not play one of them, because
you'd be shot out of it like a T-shirt out of an air bazooka by halftime
Also for Dan:
20. NCAA has the Stanford Tree; NBA has Tree Rollins holding a clipboard
and draping himself over Jermaine O'Neal, because O'Neal's mad, because he
never went to college, and people often mistake him for the other O'Neal
21. NCAA has a vibrant coaching pipeline; NBA has the pros leading the
You may have never heard of Alvin Gentry, Rick Carlisle, Rudy T., Mike Fratello, Jim O'Brien, Flip Saunders. Your loss. They can coach. Whether or not they can recruit is another issue. Really, if you stop and think about it, Iceberg Slim was a great recruiter, too.
22. NCAA has Bobby Knight; NBA has ... well, NBA can't really match Bobby
Knight ... oh, wait, NBA has Latrell Sprewell
23. NCAA has fingerprints on Neil Reed's throat; NBA has fingerprints on
P. J. Carlesimo's throat
24. NBA has David Stern; NCAA has Big Brother
25. NBA has corporate sponsors buying tix for dry-wine-and-cheese-eating
nonfans, pricing the everyday fan out of some arenas: NCAA has alumni
greasing ballers up the wazoo, while kicking press off press row, selling
their seats for a couple hun a pop
26. NCAA has Digger Phelps explaining things; NBA has Hubie Brown
27. NCAA also appeals to the antebellum faction out there among people
who don't give a hoot about hoop otherwise; NBA appeals to people who love
artful skill applied to hoop and don't particularly care why the Civil War
was lost, and who don't bide their time watching the skies for black
... well, all I can say, Senator, is we're all a part of the same hypocrisy ...
... and in that vein ...
28. NBA has expensive game tickets; NCAA has an unpaid labor force
29. NCAA has Maryland vs. Kansas and Oklahoma vs. Indiana matchups in the
Final Four; NBA has George Karl vs. Doc Rivers and Lakers vs.
Mavs/Kings/Blazers in the NBA playoffs
Ralph Wiley spent nine years at Sports Illustrated and wrote 28 cover stories on celebrity athletes. He is the author of several books, including "Best Seat in the House," with Spike Lee, "Born to Play: The Eric Davis Story," and "Serenity, A Boxing Memoir."