December 01, 2010
The Raptors Rehab blog on Sportsnet made the case Wednesday that the NBA is "hot" while the NHL is "not." Which in the U.S. is a bit like proving a thesis that the Black-Eyed Peas are more popular than LCD Soundsystem. But in Canada, we suppose it's like defecating on a photo of the pope.
So the rabble is roused by the NBA blog, as it lists eight reasons Why the NBA's Hot and the NHL's Not (inspired by that famous SI article from back in 1994), adding that "if you still disagree with us, then we'll assume you're a Phoenix Coyotes season ticket holder." Says the league openly discussing contraction ...
Here's the list, and our all-too-easy rebuttals:
1. In the NBA, your team is guaranteed to score
While true, it's also the reason why hockey games have 60 minutes of unpredictable action and spontaneous goals while basketball games are a collection of prolonged momentum shifts. It's the difference between a jolt of euphoria and a steady trickle of exhilaration; the NHL's punk to the NBA's jazz. We'll take the punk.
2. The NBA has better characters
We'll concede the point, as self-aggrandizing egomaniacs are essential to the NBA's personality-driven product. And because Shaq is funny.
3. The NBA has a better recent history
They mean championship series here. Pens/Wings, Pens/Wings II and then a Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago and Philadelphia markets that hadn't won in decades ... which actually matches up well with the NBA's double-dose of Kobe and the end of the Celtics' drought. Still, at best it's a push.
4. There's better player movement in the NBA
5. It's quicker to turn around a franchise in the NBA
The comparison here is between the Leafs and Raptors. Yes, the Leafs.
It is quite faster to turn around a team with a 12-man roster (10 of whom actually contribute, at most) than with a 20-man roster that's constantly on and off the playing surface. So we'll concede the point, as immaterial as it is.
6. The NBA is more fun to talk about
We've watched ESPN, and respectfully disagree.
(And no fair bringing up Charles Barkley on TNT; he could make corporate tax-code reform entertaining.)
But as fans? Say, did we miss the 24-hour coverage of the NBA trade deadline last season? Because hockey fans are already brewing coffee for next February.
7. NBA video games are now better than hockey video games
8. NBA celebrity fans have bigger star power
From the blog:
While, Snoop Dog give the NHL some badly needed street cred, the fact that we have a hard time imaging Rihanna wearing an outfit like the one pictured above at a Kings game. And every time we see Hillary Duff and Elisha Cuthbert at an NHL game they're wearing a parka.
Nothing really to add (besides the sad acknowledgement of Snoop D-Oh-Double-Gee's name getting jobbed by the authors), save for the fact that if celebrity "star power" was a true arbiter of quality then "Valentine's Day" wouldn't have royally sucked.
Ah, well, all in good fun. You guys enjoy watching LeBron's return to Cleveland, and we'll enjoy watching LeBron's return to Cleveland during commercial breaks in Dany Heatley's(notes) return to Ottawa. Because, yeah, we probably will.