I know I might be a little biased on this topic being the nature of this blog is about hockey. But, over the past few weeks a topic has risen up in the NBA that has gotten a lot of attention. The epidemic of NBA players skipping games for "rest."
Yes I realize I called it an epidemic, I call it this because that's what it is. Healthy player missing a game because they're tired is embarrassing. How as a professional athlete, and a competitor of the highest degree, decide to not play a game purely on the fact that you don't feel like it.
I won't even get into the argument about money and the fairness to fans that don't get to see big time players. Or the billions of dollars networks are paying the league to air games that don't even have the players they are promoting.
No disrespect to the NBA or its players, everything they do is far more than any average person could do. But they aren't average, which is how they got to where they are, so why not do they not rise up to the challenge.
This is where the NHL comes into play.
Although hockey doesn't bring in the same revenue as other major sports, and has been overshadowed by basketball. It's a great league of competitors.
You would NEVER see someone like Alex Ovechkin just say, "Ya know what? I need rest I don't think I'm going to play today." That just wouldn't happen.
Anyone who argues that the NBA is tougher and longer than the NHL regular season is wrong. The two seasons and playoff structures are completely identical. Only in the NHL, there isn't as much parity in the league.
It's sad to see the NBA going through this after the new CBA agreements and is on TV more than ever. I hope it gets better, but at the same time if the game of basketball and the NBA continue to not give the fans what it wants then maybe we should look elsewhere.
Look, every sport in America is ultimately competing for second place behind the NFL. So maybe we should stop looking at this watered down product that the NBA has become, and turn our attention to a league of stars that actually love to play the game they're in.