Opinion: NBA Needs To Change

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Photo Credit: Rick Sobey

The National Basketball Association is just not fun to watch anymore.

Turn on the TV and put on some games in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, soccer, golf, tennis, bowling, curling, bocce.

Just don’t turn on that basketball game.

Wednesday night was a perfect example of that frustration with basketball if you’re not a fan of the Miami Heat, which is pretty much the entire nation except for South Beach.

When refs decide a game in any sport, you just turn off the TV at midnight with an empty, disgusted, sick feeling. “How can they let that happen? That’s not right! Let’s have a re-do!”

But that can’t happen. You have to live with that nausea and can’t do a thing about it.

So on Wednesday night when the Boston Celtics were playing the best that they can possibly play and Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo had the best game he will ever have, New England and most of the nation went to bed yelling at the TV and had that disgusted feeling because of refs.

Refs should not decide any game, especially a playoff one in the Eastern Conference Finals.

These are professional refs, and they couldn’t make that foul call on Rondo when getting smacked in the head, going up for a layup in a tied game in overtime.

A high school kid refereeing middle school would have been able to make that call.

Then, Heat guard Dwayne Wade kicked out his legs on his layup and wasn’t called for an offensive foul. Instead, they called a defensive foul on the Celtics - are you kidding me?

Right there is a five point swing in the game, not to mention the slam dunk that the Heat got after Rondo was on the floor and the Heat had a 5 on 4 player advantage.

So that’s seven points that made an enormous impact in the game, all because of the refs. The Celtics lost by four points, plenty of reason for Celtics fans to be cursing the refs after the game.

So here’s a proposition for the NBA - follow the NFL. Look at the NFL, and go see what commissioner Roger Goodell is doing correctly.

In the NFL, coaches get a certain amount of challenges each game, and they use the challenges when they believe the refs got the play wrong. The refs go under the booth and watch the replay, having the ability to overturn the call.

So David Stern of the NBA, what have you been doing? I know you have replays of last second shots before the buzzer and replays of close three-pointers, but where are the coaches challenges?

Celtics coach Doc Rivers and the entire Celtics bench were screaming for a foul on Rondo, and Rivers would have easily used a challenge if there was a rule for that. Such a challenge would have showed a foul and flipped the game entirely.

But no, the NBA has to be behind the times and make it hard to watch for all of America, except for Miami fans, of course.

Stern, if you care so much about your ratings, make the game better and more people will want to watch. Learn something from Goodell and the NFL.

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