Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.
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Steamboat Springs I watched my first full NBA game of the year a couple weeks ago.
It was Game 1 of the New York-Boston series. I was surprised what I saw. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The two teams played hard, went back and forth and the game went down to the final shot — a 3-pointer by Jesus Shuttlesworth/Ray Allen.
I enjoyed it so much that I watched the ensuing Denver-Oklahoma City game. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed that, as well.
I have never been a huge NBA guy. I never really had a team to root for growing up, probably one of the biggest reasons I can’t get into it. The Nuggets were horrible, my second grade nemesis wore a LaPhonso Ellis jersey, and I couldn’t like the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls because everyone else did.
Certainly, I followed the game. But I just never could get into it.
I thought that changed a couple weeks ago. Sure it’s the playoffs and the games are better, but I found myself actually thinking I could get into the NBA.
But then that darn schedule happened, and I was left loathing the NBA — and to a much greater extent, the playoff schedule — so much.
The playoffs aren’t a viewer’s delight. You have to have a marathoner’s interest to keep up with the games. There are too many days between games.
The Nuggets and Thunder played Game 1 on a Sunday night. They didn’t tangle again until a Wednesday. Why? What did the Nuggets do for two-plus days in Oklahoma City? Is there anything to do in Oklahoma City?
Obviously, TV has a lot to do with it. But my interest — thanks sports ADD — in the series immediately waned.
I didn’t watch another game.
Same with the Boston-New York series.
I have had my issues with the NBA: Too much 1-on-1, not enough defense, a slow pace and whining to the officials makes it hard for me to watch. But I figured this season was different.
But the days off between the series — and days off in sports in general — kill me. Why don’t teams play a game, take a day off and then resume.
At least in the NFL, you can clear out Saturdays and Sundays during the playoffs. In the NHL — where the playoffs have simply been outstanding — they play a game, take a day off and play again. I like that. It gives a man time to regroup and then get right back into it.
The NBA playoffs, though, started in early April and will end in the middle of June. That’s ridiculous.
That’s almost three full months of something that could be done in half the time. Undoubtedly, I will watch the NBA Finals. It will be the best basketball on the planet, between some of the best athletes in the world who will actually play hard.
Of course, I’ll have to be able to pay attention for a full 2 1/2 weeks.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com