It’s Not The End Of the World, But…

HANG TIME, Texas — Go ahead, take another look at that Miami logo.

Maybe the Mayans weren’t predicting the end of the world for Dec. 21, 2012, but the beginning of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh raining down on the planet in the fiery start to the Heat dynasty. Just missed it by six months.

Of course, if the Mayans were so good at predicting the future, there might still be Mayans.

Or as the famous Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz once reassured: “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”

That said, there are a few things we wouldn’t mind seeing wiped off Planet NBA permanently:

P.A. screamers — We don’t need a courtside announcer to bellow that there are “Dos Minutos!” left in the game or to screech that it’s proper fan etiquette for the home crowd to make sure the visiting player is shooting “Two nooissssy free throws!” Doing the basics of the job would suffice, such as pronouncing names correctly. Though it’s too late for the former 7-foot-6 All-Star center of the Rockets, we would like you to become just the slightest bit worldly and understand that last basket was scored by Yao, not Ming. And we can only hope that more than a few of you to learn that it’s not RAY-jon Rondo.

Back-to-backs — In the days of private charter jet travel, computer programs and individual game tickets that cost in the hundreds — and even thousands — of dollars, there is no reason to keep selling an inferior product. When one team is rested and the other is flying in from having played the night before, it is the fan who is negatively affected most. Yes, some teams are different than others, but there is no reason that gap should be widened or closed by an uneven playing field. Since neither players or owners will accept the financial cutbacks necessary to play a 66-game schedule, there is another way. Eliminate virtually all of the preseason, start the regular season two weeks earlier, run the schedule two weeks longer and eliminate the exclusivity window that restricts the number of teams that can play on Thursdays. In addition to competitive balance, it’s time the paying customer doesn’t sit through a night where one team looks like the zombies from “The Walking Dead.”

Whining about Hack-a-Shaq — There are few things more deplorable than watching a supposed All-Star center stand at the foul line and struggle to make 50 percent of his free throws. The one thing that is worse is listening to the apologists who want to outlaw the intentional foul. If a batter in baseball can’t hit the curve, should he be allowed to request only fastballs? Try hypnosis, green tea, reciting poetry and going to your happy place while standing at the stripe. Or just shut up and stay in the gym until you learn to perform a fundamental part of the game.

Mascot skits — We understand that it’s not just a game anymore, but a full “entertainment experience.” Yet there are too many of the furry/silly mascots who don’t grasp the fact that their primary job is supposed to be generating enthusiasm for the team. When the home team is on a 10-0 tear, the visitors are disorganized and forced to call timeout, that is the occasion to keep the crowd cheering and whipped into a frenzy, not trot out a corny routine that you hope will one day get you an invite to “Inside the Actors Studio.”

Pointless fastbreaks — How many times will we be forced to watch a team come down the floor with a 2-on-1 or even 3-on-1 advantage and see a pass back outside for a 3-pointer rather than taking the ball all the way to the hoop? The analytics crowd can have their effective field goal percentage. A lot of folks would prefer to see a guard handle the ball in the middle of the floor and dish to a wingman for a simple layup or dunk. Wasn’t it good enough for Magic Johnson and Larry Bird?

Offensive basket interference — In effort to have the game played by the same rules all around the world, it’s time the NBA went with the international community and made any ball live and in play once it hits the rim. It means the ball could be swatted off the rim by a defender or tapped or pushed down into the basket by an offensive player. The play requires not just leaping ability, but timing and skill and does not happen as often as you might think in international play or in the NBA D-League, which is experimenting with the rule. For the anti-Hack-a-Shaq crowd, it could even help Dwight Howard with his free throws if a teammate was there to clean up his misses.

All-Star voting outrage — It’s time that the purists stopped the annual carping that accompanies the release of each round of vote totals. We know that Anderson Varejao, Greg Monroe, O.J. Mayo and Stephen Curry are having the kind of starts to this season that merit attention and admiration. But the All-Star Game is purely a popularity contest and, let’s face, it, everybody wants to watch LeBron, Carmelo, Kobe and CP3.


  1. Radu says:

    great article

  2. Shatarra thank you for your comments 🙂

  3. OHHH Yes & again us aboriginal people “Indians” are still here & growing reinvigorating our beautiful culture-we havn’t been & will never be totally wiped out as was attempted. By the way Fran, ur comment about Mayans not being so good predicting the future is because they weren’t trying to do so. Can’t they just have a simple calender before euro’s came here. ur media twisted it. Now, also i’m not sure what you mean by “Mayans would still be here”!! I’m not sure how to take that! Is it an insult or what!?!? How should I as a Native Indian take that!!?? Oh well it is ur blog. 🙂

  4. unfortunately once again or american science misinterpreted native Indian aboriginal culture & our media hyped it & blew it way out of proportion-Mayans came out & said all the end of their calender meant was the beginning of a new cycle. Also @ TostiHamKaas-thank you for reminding people that yes there are native Indian tribes north & south america, in fact plenty. i’m part both Cherokee & Choctaw. the way that misinterpretation being done has been happening for like couple hundred years here & people get the idea that Indian culture is all bad when it’s really all about unconditional love of the next human being & all of Mother Earth from which we came. Now look @ what’s been done to our earth. let’s appreciate what we have while we have what we have!!!! De ga di ya hi yv = means “till we meet again” in Cherokee!! Peace 🙂

  5. Alaska says:

    Why are you whining about the fast breaks, so guys shouldn’t be allowed to shoot a transition 3 because… That’s not how they did it in the good old days? It’s a higher risk higher reward shot take it if you want…

  6. Eli Odell J. says:

    mighty fine rant there fran, i gotta say i agree witcha 99%, cept i dont honestly think 100+ thousand allstar votes for rubio before he even played a game oughta be banned

  7. Tim says:

    “Of course, if the Mayans were so good at predicting the future, there might still be Mayans.”
    Remember to check your “facts” before stating them. There are still millions of Mayans living in Guatemala and Mexico, speaking at least 30 different Mayan languages. The Mayan empires are no more, but that is not the same as saying there are no more Mayans. The British empire is no longer either, but there are still Britains.

    • Bruno says:

      The mayan culture who did the predictions was long gone once they discovered their ancient cities. Mayans living today couldn’t read their writing, just like egyptians today couldn’t decipher the hieroglyphics.

  8. adam says:

    Wow whoever wrote this is a hater!! Let the announcers and mascots keep doing their thing.. Its the NBA! You know how boring it would be to go to a game and have the fans sit there listening to some old announcer mono toned the entire game?! His job is to pump up the crowed! If you dont like all these things youve listed, stop going to games!

  9. cheesle says:

    FIRE FRAN BLINEBURY. Seriously he gets paid to be a hippocrate. “Down with whining about hack-a-shaq”… (Down with fast-break dishes to the wing.” Maybe HE needs to understand some basic basketball fundamentals before writing his unprofessional, biased ideas.

  10. cmoney says:

    P.A. announcers? The heat announcer is 5 million times more annoying than any fan with a bull horn could ever be, This turd has a mic. Every time I hear “Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis BSH, Duuuwaaaaayyyyyyyneee Wayde, and Lebrooooooooooooon Jms, I want to punch a baby.

    • cmoney says:

      Haha, wow. I now know that the whole time you were talking smack on the Heat announcer. Yes, he is the worst thing to ever happen to basketball.

  11. Sza says:

    How come s.curry got called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim, even tho most superstars of the league hang on it all day, it looks dangerous when lebron hangs right on the front of the rim. And before anyone says I’m a lebron hater..ima say it first, ima lebron hater. Ima Knicks fan..I’m supposed to hate the heat, wutang!

  12. Paulo says:

    This has to be the whiniest article I’ve ever read here.

    1. “Dos Minutos” is funny and a fun way to get crowd participation
    2. My team likes to win on those back to backs even though they’re “tired.” It’s more exciting then.
    3. Who’s whining about hack-a-shaq?
    4. Okay I agree with you on this one
    5. Come on… Nothing’s more deflating for a team than running back to challenge the fastbreak layup and then get it kicked out for a 3 pointer
    6. agree
    7. Maybe you do but believe it or not there’s fans that aren’t as familiar with the rest of the league and Anderson Varejao, Greg Monroe, O.J. Mayo and Stephen Curry are relatively unknown to them. This brings some attention to these players.

    • aaaaaa says:

      Everybody’s been complaining about Hack-A-Shaq(Howard). I don’t know where you’ve been. Also, a nice dunk, or even layup for that matter, is more exciting than a 3 on the fastbreak, at least for me.

  13. steppx says:

    THANK YOU so much for that comment on 3 point shots. And for the aside on the number crunchers. Ive grown incredibly tired of stat geeks. It works in baseball, but not nearly as well in hoop. Teams that take it to the rack, end up over the long haul WINNING. Defense and less worry about three pointers…………equals wins.

  14. […] It's Not The End Of the World, But… (blog)Maybe the Mayans weren't predicting the end of the world for Dec. 21, 2012, but the beginning of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh raining down on the planet in the fiery start to the Heat dynasty. Just missed it by six months. Of course, if the … […]

  15. NYknicka says:

    There are still Mayans, actually.

  16. TostiHamKaas says:

    Actually, there are still Mayans just as there are North American Indians.

  17. newyorksteelo says:

    The Mayans were predicting the Knicks will win it all this year 🙂

  18. Only God knows when the world will end and then again he may not even know. We need to live for today, love one another, help one another, cherish our blessings, our family and what God has provided for us while here on earth, I love everyone even my enemies, even the ones that feel there is no God, the KKK, and so on. We need to live our lives, help each other and love no matter what the next one is, do etc. Please stop saying the world will end only God knows, I will keep all of us in prayer, God bless and I love all of you, Shatarra from Phoenix Arizona.

    • rare4 says:

      So. You view atheists and the KKK as kinda similar. Well, speaking as an atheist, I encourage you to take your made-up, non-existent God, along with his pals Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and get the hell out of here. Simpleton.