WHEN THEY MAKE FATHEADS PICTURING YOU FLOPPING….

Don’t get it twisted, this is not some delusional argument about how the everyday street baller could hold his own against the stars of the National Basketball League. I don’t believe that for one second. I will be the first to go on record to say that if you took five bench players from any team, and they would destroy the best team that most of our neighborhoods have to offer. Sure, those bench players may be mediocre by our viewing standards, but that’s because they are playing against other NBA All Stars.

I remember when “And 1” was popular, and watching those guys go out there and entertain. It was always hilarious to me to listen to those guys talk nonsense about how they could run with the NBA’s best. The few times I have actually witnessed an NBA star play in an “And 1” game, he went out there and looked like the second coming of Michael Jeffrey Jordan. It really showed us that while the “And 1″ style of street ball is very entertaining, it is still a brand of basketball minus defense, foul calls, traveling or double dribble penalties.

Now that we’re clear that the skill level between professional and amateur is miles apart, I can make my real point. There are other ways that I completely think the NBA falls short.

More and more, we see professional athletes venturing into Hollywood, and attempting to make a living with their acting skills. Apparently the league has merged with Dreamworks, because most of today’s stars rely on their ACTING SKILLS more than they rely on their BASKETBALL SKILLS.

You can see it all over the East and Western Conference Finals. 6′-8”, 200 plus pound PROFESSIONALS, flopping all over the court, all in order to sway the referees’ calls. In one game, a few nights ago, I saw three players all hit the deck in the course of one play, and I was genuinely afraid. I thought vintage Mike Tyson had entered the arena and was unleashing havoc on the court. How else could fully grown men be flatlined on the court? When I looked a little closer, I realized that these guys hadn’t been touched at all. It was almost like they had been trained to collapse any time they were near an opposing player who was in foul trouble. It was one of the weirdest things I had ever seen. But then I saw it again last night, and I realized, this is an epidemic.

I grew up playing ball at Epes Elementary in Newport News, VA. Any and every day, you would find a game of 5-on-5 being played, with about 60 people waiting for their turn. We even had our own entertainment, as David, Rob, Steve, and their crew would sit around “freestyling”, until it was their turn. While we didn’t have the court skills of today’s stars, we also didn’t have the acting skills.

I never remember anyone falling down after every missed shot. I have never driven to the basket, have someone slide in front of me, and then watch him fall flat on his back. I have never played with guys strong enough to break through a screen and send two fully grown men tumbling to the ground. I have never faked a shot, and when the defender jumps in the air, thrown my body into his. I’ll go even further and say that 95% of fouls go uncalled in a pick-up game, while the greatest NBA stars pleas for a call every time they miss a shot. No one falls. No one flops. Nobody dives. There are no referees out there to make the call. Just a bunch of guys who will call you out for playing like a baby.

In my Couch Sports Expert opinion, the NBA can make one change that will remodel the way many of their players play the game: Change all courts to CEMENT. I wish the league would walk into every arena, snatch up those nice, shiny floors, and put in an old school BLACKTOP. The reason why I’ve never experienced the before mentioned scenarios is the simple fact that cement hurts. It’s not worth taking a dramatic flop when the end result is a bruised hip and all the skin scraped off your arm. Players wouldn’t go flying to the deck when they are bumped on a rebound, when broken kneecaps and fingers would ensue. It would take all the drama out of the NBA. Of course, an even less expensive change would be for the refs to just stop buying the over-played antics. But we know that’s not going to happen.

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