It always kills me when people say that college basketball is better than the NBA. What gets me is that people can’t just admit they like it because it allows them to harken back to their collegiate days when they weren’t fat or it has more white players or March Madness is like crack for sports gamblers. Those are all dumb reasons, but they’re at least true. Instead, people always make up some dumb excuse that makes them sound like some psedo-basketball purist. They don’t play any defense in the NBA, they say. This statement doesn’t deserve to be dignified with a response. The organization where JJ Redick got 25 points a game in its most competitive conference can’t really claim to have a monopoly on defense. They don’t run a team offense, they say. Yes, God forbid a team has a balanced attack that includes driving and posting up instead of stacking the perimeter because the rules give 3 points for a 19 foot shot that 8th graders can make regularly. But the game is purer, they say. They’re competing for the glory, not for some NBA contract. People who say this deserve to be shot. I defy anyone to have watched a UConn team in the past five years, and tell me that Rudy Gay and Hasheem Thabeet were sacrificing blood, sweat and tears because they so badly wanted a bunch of business majors to have the life-altering experience of getting loaded on Crown Royal and flipping cars in celebration of a national championship.
College basketball games are more dramatic to ignorant fans, but that’s only because the talent level is that much worse. A team isn’t coming back from a 10 point deficit in two minutes because the other team’s point guard could run through a press without using his left hand. Even Shaq and Dwight Howard don’t miss pairs of free throws with the clock winding down, making comebacks rarer still. Players in college dive on the floor and fall over awkwardly taking charges. This is because they are less precise and graceful in their motions, but announcers always try to spin these spaz-like movements into examples of how hard they are working. They make it seem as if Tim Duncan doesn’t want to win because he never trips over his own feet while he executes a basic turnaround jumper and punch the air like he’s having a seizure after he makes the shot.
There’s no excuse to not watch the NBA if you’re a sports fan because it has the best atheletes in the world. Almost all of the NFL’s best athletes, including Randy Moss, T.O., Tony Gonzalez, and Julius Peppers are failed basketball players who admit that they prefer it to football. If you put LeBron at tight end for the Browns he would easily have 20 touchdowns next season. Try to obtain video of All-Star closer Bobby Jenks passing an elementry school’s fitness test. CC Sabathia will master a triple axel on skates before you find it. Don’t even think about mentioning soccer. If Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis had played soccer all their lives they would be breaking the ankles of some Portugese guys so badly it would be inhumane. In fact, France’s best athlete, Tony Parker would murder any of the national team’s midfielders in a foot race, agility drill, or strength competition. If you really want to get into it, Anderson Varejao is the best flopper in all of Brazil and Sasha Vujajic looks more like a metro douchebag than Christino Ronaldo. Once Shaq chokeslams Brock Lesnar, there will be no arguement left.
The NBA is the highest level of athletic competition in existance. If you want to see less athletic players with fewer skills make more mistakes and only stay with their team for more than one season if they’re not that good, then by all means college basketball is for you.