Make the NBA Lit Again

The Return of Physicality

We’ve reached the point in the NBA season where players and coaches begin to exhibit signs of fatigue. With the majority of the regular season in the rear view mirror, top tier teams have their sights on the post season. Both physical and mental fatigue have caused patience to run thin in some of the most mild-mannered players. Being the rowdy, sports crazed country we are, Americans marvel at any and ALL confrontations that spill onto the hardwood. Hardcore basketball fans have been very disapproving of the anti-confrontational policy the league has adopted. Let’s MAKE THE NBA LIT AGAIN and embrace these displays of physicality!

Westbrook vs Curry

Last Monday, March 20th, we witnessed an unusual display of aggression from superstar, Steph Curry. During the Warriors/Thunder marquee matchup, a heated exchange occurred during the last 5 seconds of the first half. The Thunder’s Semaj Christon somehow managed to provoke Steph Curry enough for things to get physical. While it’s unclear what was said, shoving commenced as both Russell Westbrook and Draymond Green Joined the scuffle. No ACTUAL punches were thrown, therefore no one was ejected. Why would a top seeded Warriors team feel inclined to make things personal with the a sixth seeded Thunder team? The answer will always reflect Golden State’s acquisition of Kevin Durant. It’s likely tensions would have been that much greater had KD been able to take the floor.

Lopez vs Ibaka

The Raptor’s 122-120 overtime victory over the Bulls at Air Canada Centre last Tuesday was filled with excitement. Sheer emotion overwhelmed both teams during a very physical altercation towards the end of the 3rd quarter. Raptor’s forward Serge Ibaka, and Bulls center Robin Lopez, brought everyone to their feet as blows were exchanged! After getting tangled up while fighting for a rebound, the two NBA giants decided to make matters personal. Lopez appeared to be the aggressor but Ibaka was unwilling to shy away from confrontation. For the first time in years punches hit their targets, leading to the suspension of both players. The situation would have been far more severe had both benches declined to intervene. Moments after the boxing match, Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire shoved Bulls Forward Nikola Mirotic near center court! He was fined $15,000 for further perpetuating the violence that transpired during Tuesday’s game.

Let’s Make the NBA Lit Again!

These altercations are merely childsplay compared to the physical nature of 90’s NBA Basketball. I could even reference the outlandish 2004 Pistons/Pacers brawl but that would be a very lopsided comparison. On the upside, could we be returning to era when emotions and sports parallel one another? This week has made this year’s championship race that much more appealing.