I hate the NBA so much because it is a terrible product. In fairness the NBA only gets 70% of the blame for that, and being stuck with the Sixers for 40 years is the other 30%. I hate the NBA product so much that I am one of those sports fans who is glad they aren't playing. I have spent a lot of time thinking how I would do things different if I ran the NBA but never cared enough to write any of it down because frankly all the moron players and moron owners deserve what they get. However, it appears now that the two opposing groups of morons have slipped into an abyss of absolute and utter dumbdom with no way out. So in a moment of generousity I thought I would share my thoughts to help them find their happy place. Since I have no respect for either groups' intelligence I decided the solution needed to be as simple as possible and as dumbed down as possible so that the two groups of morons could understand without their brains catching fire and smoke pouring out their ears. So here are the problems as I see them and their solutions:
#1 The NBA needs to divorce itself from the Hip-Hop/Rap/Pop music culture. At least half of all Americans (approximately 175million people) hate one, two or all three of those genres of music and it is driving fans away. The number one reason there is more energy and excitement at college games is because there is a live band there and not obnoxious 10 second sound bites being blasted into people's ears. So an easy solution is for each NBA team to hire the Symphony from their home city to be their band at the games. The symphonies need the money and the NBA needs the bands, its a win win situation and would attract more fans.
#2 The officiating in the NBA gargles donkey nuts. The officiating is so bad the NBA is no longer basketball, instead having been replaced by some bastardized form of hoops that is so degraded the USA has a hard time competing on an international level. The rules of the game are arbitrarily applied and enforced to different degrees depending on a player's standing in the league. And every year it gets worse and less like basketball and more like professional wrestling. Half of all the NBA fans believe the games are fixed, whether to serve the leagues purposes or gambling purposes, and every time a player is allowed to travel just so he can dunk the NBA loses another fan. To repeat, "Gargles... Donkey... Nuts."
What I would love to see is the NBA take some time away from breaking the players union, to break the refs union and do away with independent officials altogether. Replace them all with a system where every team is responsible to employ four of their own officials. For a game, each team would send two refs onto the floor to call the game, each team would send one ref to a replay center at the scoring table and leave one ref as an alternate/emergencey replacement. And make everything reviewable but the only people who can ask for a review is one of the six active officials. Have zero tolerance for arguing with officials, and zero tolerance for flopping. If the officials could review a flop and T someone up after further review it would take about 2 weeks to restore credibility to your game. Because right now the games themselves have zero credibility with the fans, I repeat, "Gargles... Donkey... Nuts."
#3 The NBA must realize it has a two part gambling problem, the first being gambing amongst players, and the second is fans betting on games. As for the players, I think every fan can appreciate the tremendous boredom that can occur with all the travelling and down time. Nobody begrudges the players for that, it is understandable. The problem is when you have the same ten or fifteen people playing high stakes games all the time eventually people are going to end up hating each other. The simple easy solution is to limit the buy-ins. If you tell the players they can play all the texas Hold-em tournaments they want just limit the buy-in to $20 it will be impossible for problems to occur. You know problems like where one player brings a gun into a locker room to threaten another player over collecting a debt. By having a league mandate limiting the buy-ins, then the games can return to being about fun and friendship and passing the time and not about a second source of income.
The second gambling issue is betting on the NBA games. Only the most degenerate gambling junkie would ever place a bet on an NBA game, which hurts the popularity. The reason only a moron would bet an NBA game is because of the nature of the lines. When a game features a favorite that is minus 12 and the underdog is plus 6, only the dumbest human beings fail to realize that a third of the time neither half of the bet wins. It is that kind of betting line that keeps action away from the NBA. I don't know how you can mandate a change but it needs to change to the system that they use for baseball lines, where betting $100 on a heavy favorite may only return $110 and $100 on a big dog might return $250. It is an instant improvement. I repeat, "Only the most degenerate gambling junkie would ever place a bet on an NBA game." The odds are stacked against you, and combined with the gargling donkey nuts officiating why would you ever expect either side of the bet to win?
#4 Players are coming into the league at too young an age, primarily because they and their family are too poor to wait for the money. Instead of setting a minimum age or college requirement, allow each NBA team to award one hardship cash scholarship of $50,000 on top of a players acedemic scholarship each year. The team gives the player that money every year they stay in school. So a kid coming out of poverty with a full college ride, won't have the pressure of leaving after one year just so his brothers and sisters can survive. Because kids would eventually graduate and enter the draft -even if it takes 5 years- the most a team would spend yearly would be $250,000. It would be well worth it. It would keep kids in school for all the right reasons without forcing them to watch their family starve in the process.
#5 The Lottery system and Playoff System are as pleasent to the senses as a stink bomb in a manure factory. 75% of all NBA fans believe the Lottery system is rigged, and 100% of fans believe teams tank whole seasons for the chance to get more ping pong balls. Get rid of it and replace it with the bottom 8 teams in the league having to compete in an 8 team tournament for draft order. If they want the number 1 pick tell them to go out and win it, and have the order of finish determine the draft order. It would give the teams with no hope of playoff success a chance to compete in a post-season, make money off a post-season, and compete for a tangible award for a team in the form of the best player available. This is such a winning idea I can't believe I am giving it away for free.
Now if the bottom 8 get to play in a post-season it would be unfair for the middle 6 teams to not make the traditional 16 team post-season. So let's expand the post-season to the other 22 teams and do away with re-seeding so people can actually play a bracket pool. Have the number one seed in the East and West get a first round bye into the second round of 8. Have seeds 2 thru 5 in the East and West get a bye from the pigtail brackets into the first round of 14, and have seeds 6 thru 11 in the East and West have to play a pigtail series to get into the first round. The pigtails would be three-game, round 1 would be five-game, second round and on 7 game series. Not to mention they need to speed up the series as well, because when a seven game series takes longer then 2 weeks the Playoffs cannot possibly maintain any momentum. Just like that the NBA playoffs becomes an event that reflects the fun that is March Madness. I repeat, "It's such a winning idea I can't believe I am giving it away for free."
These are the five major fundamental flaws with the NBA as I see it, and if the moron players and moron owners don't recognize it and do something about them, then the BRI split won't matter because the popularity of the league will continue to slip and Soccer is storming up on them whether they want to admit it or not. That concludes Part One, Part Two will deal strictly with the money related issues.