Well, we're into the New Year and I have yet to blog on the NBA. This isn't for a lack of interest. I covered the NBA in the glory days of the 1980s and still follow it as closely as I can. For pure hoop entertainment, I'll take it over a regular-season college game any time -- though I still call the NCAA Tournament the greatest event in sports. The pro game isn't as compelling as it used to be (what sport is nowadays?), but there are still a lot of very good teams and exciting players to watch.
To some extent, I've fallen victim to the News' decision to downplay coverage of the NBA. It's the only one of the four major sports where our paper doesn't publish game accounts. We only run box scores. We'll run stories on drab, meaningless college bowl games, but nothing that will tell an NBA fan whether the Blazers continued their winning streak, or how a team managed to get a game into overtime, or why Dwyane Wade didn't show up in the box score.
So I'll ask you this: Do you care? Is there anyone out there who objects to the fact that the News doesn't run game roundups? The NBA fans on the staff (McKissic, Wilson and I are on top of the list) have complained to management, to no avail. The sport gets treated as a second-class citizen in our paper. I know we have space issues, but I think it's ill-advised to trivialize a sport that appeals to the young audience we say we're trying to attract. And how is this playing in the black community, where the NBA is extremely popular? Do African-Americans perceive this as a slight?
There must be some NBA fans out there. The games are televised here on cable. I don't believe there's a significantly larger audience for an NHL game (non-Sabres) than a good NBA game. Let me know what you think, and try to be as civil as possible.