I have always been a basketball fan, even though I was never really good enough to play past CYO ball in high school.
I enjoy the setting and the fast-paced game as well as thunderous dunks, mammoth blocks, and sweet three-point swishes. I enjoy it all.
College basketball has always been my favorite, because it always seemed that everyone would work harder and that the overall â€œloveâ€ for the game was higher in college than in the pros. I always thought that there was a real balance of offense and defense, and every player on the team would fight to win.
My viewpoint was totally different for the NBA. I instead looked at the NBA as entertaining, but that was about it.
Defense was not a thought that I even connected with the NBA, neither was love of the team or even the fight to win every game. I understand many different things go into the NBA as opposed to the college game.
The season is longer, and in the end there is a playoff. Every regular-season game matters in college, because there are fewer games and not a lot of teams get to play in the post-season.
In the NBA there always seemed to be the high school players who no one knew too much about, other than they probably played in a certain all-star game where even Ronald McDonald himself could probably get 20 points if he tried. Well, something has happened recently that I believe has changed the face of the NBA.
In 2006 there was an age limit set on entrance into the NBA. Now in order for high school players to go to the NBA, they had to be at least one year removed from high school.
Whether it is spent attending one year at college or playing overseas for a year, no matter what you have to be one year removed from high school before you can enter your name into the draft.
At first I was skeptical about whether or not this was a good idea. I enjoy the draft and I always set my schedule around the draft every summer.
It was interesting when there were high school players that were drafted, because you would get to see who they were and learn more about them. Once these players got to the NBA though, if they didnâ€™t play well then they kind of got lost in the mix.
Now high school players have to go to college. This is awesome.
It is good for both the NBA, and the college game, believe me. Look at a few of the names that had to go to college before entering the NBA the first year after the new rule was set in: Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Ty Lawson, the Lopez twins, and Thaddeus Young.
All of these players should ring a bell for people, but in different ways.
What if the better-polished Brook Lopez left after high school while his brother went to Stanford alone?
What if Oden would have gone straight to the pros without showing people that he actually had talent at Ohio State?
What if Durant would have never gone to college and wowed us with his lanky, smooth game?
Even looking a little further down the way you see names like Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley, Tyreke Evans, Kemba Walker, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.
Just think if these players never graced their college campuses with their presence. Would all of these players still hold the popularity that they do now?
So much in the world today has to do with familiarity. With the rise of Twitter and blogs, there is a growing connection between players and fans.
I believe that the one or more years that the young NBA stars have had in college has truly made the game way more interesting to watch. I also believe that the players are even more polished after their experience in college.
The entire state of Indiana could have claimed Eric Gordon as theirs, but now its IU and Bloomington that can claim the rights to Gordon, and Purdue fans have seemingly no connection to him at all. I believe that the NBA is slowly staring to look more and more like the college game.
Just look at the University of Oklahoma City Thunder and their exciting college feel.
Many times I can see myself looking at the players on the court and being able to name where pretty much all of the players attended college. Even when they pan to the sidelines you can see some of the college stars who have not quite made their mark yet in the pros.
It is all about familiarity.
It has also seemed that every team is actually good in the league. In any game either team could win or I see this happening for many years to come.
The NBA playoffs this year have been thrilling to watch, and there has been a March Madness NCAA tournament feel to some of the games. I am excited to see how the season will end and what is store for the future of the league.
But for now, all I can say is I Love the NBA.