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There’s Something Wrong With The NBA Right Now

We aren’t playing. The greatest game deserves more than fickle fans and Twitter trolls.

Philadelphia 76ers Dwight Howard and Ben Simmons - There is something wrong with the NBA right now
Philadelphia 76ers Dwight Howard and Ben Simmons - There is something wrong with the NBA right now

There’s something very wrong with the NBA right now.

It’s not the injuries though.

It’s almost as bad as the fans tossing things from the stands.

It’s fans throwing hate on social media.

If the former is a form of assault, then the latter is for sure one of abuse.

“We supposed to be the city of brotherly love”, Philadelphia’s Dwight Howard said taking to IG live this week. Responding to all the blow back star player Ben Simmons has been getting since the Sixers got bounced from the playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks.

“It says 76ers. It don’t just say Ben”, the gregarious big-man added after Simmons passed out of an open lay-up with a chance to ice the game in the last minute. All before Trae Young’s team took the contest and the series.

The true teammate who we miss in LA said it best, “he might have messed up, didn’t take no shots, didn’t do whatever – he’s going to come back better next year. So for real, I think we just got to send that man some love.”

“I don’t think it’s right that everybody just sending this man bad messages and all this negativity. I think it sucks.”

Amen.

“This man is 24 years old”, Dwight emphasized about the defensive specialist. In a time were everyone seems to be throwing Simmons under the bus, including his coach.

We thought it was a process.

The champion Howard is no stranger to this type of hate. He received it across the league and in Lakerland (I must put my hand up and say I also made the odd comment) until his redemption last season. His sharp shooting Sixer teammate Danny Green also did as he was also a part of the Lakers team that won it all last season in the Bubble. Nobody talks about the marksman’s close out shots in the last game, but he received death threats and hate for the clutch one he missed the previous game. Even from Laker lifer Snoop Dogg.

Ignorance was the case.

It seems everyone these days focuses on hate when we should be leading with love. People love the negativity when really it’s positivity that will take us higher. It’s not corny. It’s actually negativity and hate that’s clichéd. Trying to stay positive in this world today is what takes real courage and heart.

They used to say if you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Think about it. When people have a bad word to say about someone that negative word of mouth and the momentum of that manifested reputation spreads like wildfire. Imagine how far we could reach with the opposite.

If you don’t like how negative this world is getting then don’t contribute to it. Lead by example. I thought we all wanted to be individual.

There’s toxic Twitter trolls who believe they have hot takes and don’t get a thing about this sport. Thinking because they are Twitching on 2K they actually know a thing or two about real players and real life and the ups and downs all stars must go through in their own nuanced NBA narratives. Having a viral power in numbers that infects, when they just don’t see beyond statistics.

These kind of cruel comments play into the hands of a racism that refuses to see black people as anything but entertainers, putting on a performance and not the fallible, vulnerable humans that we all are and have a right to be.

Where is the foresight? Are the remarks they add really worth the four likes?

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That’s chump change.

Sure there are people who do their thing in the name of comedy like the King certified Josiah Johnson who are original and hilarious. But the rest are just copycats like celebrities who don’t need the extra popularity going viral, taking credit and traction for someone else’s tweets. Sure inside the NBA, Shaq wearing a hard hat for all those bricks was hilarious. Saying he would have knocked Simmons out if he was his teammate was not.

Of course Philly have a problem and they need to address it going forward. Whether it’s with Simmons or via a trade. Ben needs to bounce back too. Either with a jump shot or a new role for his team. Real analysis is required here like the depth of this game, not shame.

Are you listening Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless?

There are young writers out there amongst all the scrolling throw away comments who want to make a real impact and difference on a game that allows that. Their hustle being the only chance they have of earning a living off their hard work in the industry. Meanwhile we have established reporters putting away for their pension taking out personal vendettas on players.

No wonder Kevin Durant once said he trusts none of y’all.

Thankfully the snake comments that came after he made his own ‘Bron like business decision back in the day have seemed to recoil. Perfect playoff performances for the record books will do that for you. But it shouldn’t have taken that. And why all the hate for Giannis all of a sudden? He won. Sure he takes longer at the free-throw line than trolls do looking for ways to deride him on social media, but where’s the charity for this game changer?

It also seems that round after round each player and team that gets knocked out like the injuries that took them out, suddenly turns into something to hate and write without debate. All at the stroke of a keypad from a keyboard warrior.

From the King to whoever doesn’t end up on the throne. Like everyone on the socials doesn’t  realize that only one team wins alone.

But second place doesn’t mean you’re fodder for losers. Especially after all the games greats have overcome these last few years.

Now do we really have to add insult to injury?

It’s killing the purity of this sport. It’s the petty product of a social network obsessed time on the timeline. One were you are more likely to learn about your favorite player leaving your franchise by them taking their teams name out their IG bio. The equivalent of a teenager letting their partner know it’s over by changing their profile picture.

Sure banter is fun, but when it turns into something more personal it’s just not professional. Something these armchair analysts are claiming the best of the best aren’t.

Yeah right. The only thing they’re dunking is donuts.

This game used to be about proving people wrong (we see you PG), now it seems to be all about proving that people ARE wrong.

Such is the nature of social media which like the hammer of Thor can be a tool to build, or a weapon to destroy. It’s power has no equal.

Which way are you putting the hammer down?

Basketball broke down barriers, but now fans are creating divides.

When did this game, we are supposed to love become about hate?

Prove me wrong.

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