It wasn’t that long ago that I abandoned my Friday Links posts. I promised to share interesting links individually, hoping that I wouldn’t get so backed up with things to share and also post a little more often.
I’ve kind of screwed that up. I need to rethink my workflow, obviously, because I keep forgetting about cool things I’ve read.
Anyway, here’s one I meant to share a couple weeks back when the NBA and college basketball seasons began.
Like a lot of former Grantlanders, Mark Titus has landed at Bill Simmons’ new web vehicle, The Ringer. That means the most important college hoops rankings are back for another year! It also means some generally fine basketball writing from the former Ohio State walk-on. He’s had a couple good pieces already. I really enjoyed this one, which addressed the holy war in basketball: NBA fans vs. college fans.
Although I greatly prefer the college game, and I have some problems with the NBA game, I agree with most of what he says. Many of the criticisms of the NBA game are based on ignorance and latent racism. It’s the “Blacker” game to many, and thus harder to connect with. Hey, it’s fine if you don’t like the NBA. But being dishonest about what the actually goes on in the NBA isn’t a valid argument against the game. In pure basketball terms, the NBA is clearly a better game. They shoot better, they run better offense, they play better defense, the coaching is better. The skill level is off the charts.
I would much rather watch a college game between two conference rivals on a cold, February Saturday afternoon than just about any NBA game. The emotion on the court and investment by the crowd will almost always be better in a college game. But that’s what I grew up with. I may not love the NBA, but I also don’t hate it.