Bring it on! Another basketball season - college and pro - has begun. Make no mistake about it, college players - or teams - are nowhere as talented as their counterparts in the NBA. Sure, an individual here or there in college is better than a few pros (or even a lot in certain cases or how else why are some many rookies play ahead of so many veterans?) but the actual events are completely different spectacles. For anyone who thinks that the best college team could beat the worst NBA team, set the game up and let’s put a few (actually, I’d be in favor of much more than a few) shekels on it.
Nearly everything - other than the most basic rules - is different on the two levels. For NBA teams, there may be some rabid fans, e.g. guys who dress or act up, or Jack Nicholson or Penny Marshall, but nothing like the hard core students, from whom you don’t know what to expect - in the way of signs, painted faces, hexes on visiting FT shooters or chants after an opponent fouls out, throws up an air ball or a ref makes a bad call. Or the right call but one they disagree with. Plus, at college games, the students sitting in the stands might be the same ones sitting in class, next to the player who just hit (or missed) the game winner (there are no Johnny Manziels in college hoops - see 5/21/13 blog - although some one-and-doners might be difficult to spot in a lecture hall).
In college a great percentage of the fans have something in common with the players, i.e. they share an alma mater. In the pros the fans simply live in the same city. During the season. Until they get traded. Transferring colleges might have hit epic proportions but it’s still nowhere near the sum total of pros getting traded, waived or retiring. About the only thing that is the same is the number of coaches getting fired - which is one thing fans from both sides usually agree upon.
College games, at least the ones that were televised last night, are exciting. NBA games are exciting, too, the difference being that in the pros, more players are capable of doing more things, i.e. the talent level is so much higher. NBA games are usually won by the team that can, throughout the contest, make more great plays, while in the college game, games are determined by teams committing negative plays.
In college, the name on the front of the jersey and the one on the back usually remain together, while in the pros, the one on the front and back can be different from year to year (or more often) - and they don’t have to sit out when they move.
While I admit to personal prejudice when it comes to basketball, it’s still true that, independent of level, basketball players are the greatest all-around athletes of any sport (discounting decathletes). Everybody has to be able to run (forward and backward), jump, pass, catch, shoot, dribble, rebound, play offense and defense. When watching a game, however, it might not seem that’s often the case. When that occurs, it’s due to the following statement:
“All men are created equal, but some are more equal than others.”