Negativity in sport and especially in basketball exists and while many people hate negativity, it will always occur. It is also one of the ways that helps the game grow as well.
I believe that the negative moments in a game can be turned into positive solutions through debate and conversation. Players are bound to lose their temper, let frustration boil over and release their own intensity. Sure they’re professionals, but they are people too.
And when a negative moment ensues, the way that it can be dealt with in the most accurate of forms is through other people who witnessed what happened talking about it, making the situation generate interest. The people responsible for handing out the fines and punishment can listen to the outsiders, whether they are journalists, pundits or even fans, and it can assist them in making their final decision.
Take the NBA for example, and let’s recall the infamous fight that took place towards the end of the Detroit Pistons-Indiana Pacers game in 2004. ESPN broadcasted the game live and after the raucous died down, the debates carried on throughout the week.
The debate not just on ESPN – but on news stations all over – resulted in the necessary actions being called on the involved players and the supporters.
Just this past Friday in the closing stages of the Euroleague Top 16 clash between CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce, Milos Teodosic was ejected for shoving the referee because a call went against him.
Now unfortunately, that particular incident happened during the game’s most thrilling of sequences and because of that, the Euroleague’s highlights package refused to show the negative side so to protect its clean image to possible newcomers to the sport.
So the fantastic conclusion ruined the highlights.
NBA TV on occasions have shown minor scuffles but most of the time, refuse to air the incident for the exact same reasons above.
Why do they have to though? The audience watching, regardless if they are die-hard fans or newbies are surely aware of the temperament of professional sports stars, right? Surely incidents like these would provoke more debate and more conversation.
I’m not saying that every basketball game should have fights, far from that. Fights in basketball are thankfully quite rare in reality, but more insight from the broadcaster, journalist or even fan regarding the game’s negative moments can lead to positive solutions from the governing bodies instead of merely “sweeping it under the rug” and letting the powers-that-be to sort it.
It isn’t just acts of mindless violence but also injury concerns as well. Something NBA.com does excellently in their video packages. An example comes from Pistons’ forward Andre Drummond’s nasty head injury last year against the Indiana Pacers (no pattern forming with these two).
Now this is something that the Euroleague refuse to do on their video packages. The only mention they give regarding an injury is a couple of words in their long and complex match report. Then they will officially tell you about it when everyone else has already heard. Something that I find to be peculiar.
Both the NBA and mainly the Euroleague plus the domestic leagues across Europe should encourage conversation for the game’s negative points. We as sideline viewers, no matter what our role is know that positive attitudes in heated situation are difficult to maintain.
And when a disagreement breaks out, the negative can turn into a positive.