Why The NCAA is Superior to NBA

Even though this doesn’t need much of an explanation, I figured it was time for a good rant about why the NBA is a terrible organization, probably the worst of the four major leagues. There are so many reasons, more than I will be able to fit into this article, but I’m going to discuss the ones that grind my gears me the most.

I have to fight the urge to say “one of the biggest reasons…” because everything I’m going to talk about infuriates me, so I’ll do it alphabetically.

“Flopping” is a topic that sometimes gets discussed, but now that the league’s biggest stars are doing it regularly, it becomes more accepted as just “part of the game”. It’s like performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball; when it’s a case of EVERYONE doing it it’s not a big deal. False. Flopping, like PEDs, takes away from the real skill in the game. Flopping is done when you lose the edge on a skilled player and have to try and get that edge back by cheating.

College basketball is a completely different story. They don’t flop nearly as much in college hoops. If players flop, the coach sits them on the bench.  Of course it’s a much easier coaching decision because they aren’t wasting a billionaire’s money by sitting the best player. In college, they are sitting players who they feel deserve the benefit of learning the hard way, making them earn their strokes.  Point for NCAA.

The topic of flopping leads perfectly to the next point: LeBron James. Enough said. Point for NCAA.

And yet another segue to my next topic: salaries.

The NBA has one of the most ridiculous salary cap systems in professional sports, still FAR behind the MLB but still ludicrous. The NBA has what’s called a “soft” salary cap. In simple language, this means teams can exceed the salary cap and pay a luxury tax. In even simpler terms that means there is no salary cap and teams can do whatever they want.

The perfect example of the anarchy known as the NBA salary cap is the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets total salary for this season is $102,608,995. The salary cap for the 2013/2014 season is $58,679,000. That means the Brooklyn Nets are $44,426,302 OVER the salary cap! This is absolutely insane and one of the major reasons why the NBA is broken. The only positive thing that comes from this specific example is that the Nets are a terrible team and a clear-cut example that buying a team doesn’t always work. Actually, unless you’re the Miami Heat, it doesn’t work at all.

24 of the league’s 30 teams are over the salary cap; even the Charlotte Bobcats are over. The NCAA doesn’t pay its players. Teams have to succeed to have players commit to the programs and play at the school. The NCAA is the gateway for these players who want to go to the NBA. They play because they love it. They play because it’s fun. Of course they are all hoping to cash-in at some point, but they don’t pick where they’ll play because they’ll make the most money. Point for NCAA.

With that said, the next topic is the newly founded theme of “super teams.”

Back in the hay day of the NBA, star players would never have imagined teaming up to try and win a championship. Michael Jordan was far too good to join other all-stars from different teams. In fact, Jordan stated this back in 2010: “There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry (Bird), called up Magic (Johnson) and said ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team’…In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”

If these players were so good, and the teams they played on were so elite, why can’t they win championships? LeBron, arguably the best player in the NBA, always makes those around him better. He had a couple stellar teams in Cleveland. He carried the Cavaliers to the NBA championship in 2007 but couldn’t win it all. Is that on him or the team? It took a super team for him to win it all.

Once the Miami Heat did this in 2010, many teams followed in quick succession. The Los Angeles Lakers traded for Dwight Howard and signed Steve Nash. The Brooklyn Nets traded for Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. The New York Knicks traded for Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and signed Amar’e Stoudemire. Luckily this isn’t the blueprint for success (again, unless you’re Miami). It’s just annoying.

The most annoying part of the NCAA is when “star players” in high school all commit to one team, play for one year and go to the NBA. Yes, this is also frustrating but still doesn’t compare. I’ll give the NCAA half of a point and the fans the other half point for putting up with it.

So there you have it, all of the reasons the NCAA is far superior to the NBA. These points can also all be put towards why the NBA is the least entertaining of the major sports, even below baseball. For those of you keeping score, the NCAA has 3.5 points, fans have half of a point and the NBA has a big, fat goose egg – the same amount of championships LeBron won on his own.

 

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