Thoughts on basketball from a C's fan in the Czech Republic

One of the Celtics biggest fans, as well as one of our most loyal readers, Jenda, wrote the following piece and emailed it to me to share on the site. Enjoy.

By Jenda Hrbek

What brings us basketball today? The joy to watch supreme athletes compete in a form that is rarely violent. Basketball is a game that combines the necessity of great athletic ability with intelligence. It rewards fans with extraordinarily physicaly gifted men at their peak who show off their skills and determination and intelligence in order to defeat the opponents much like famous Games in ancient Rome.

The biggest difference between the games that took place in Colliseums and the sports we watch today (apart from the fact there’s less dead and mortaly wounded, also it‘s rare to use wild animals nowadays (except for the Lakers and their famous Llama) is the fact that today’s sports have given rules.

Those rules, while some are often questioned, make up the game we love but also, those rules make the players work harder on themselves so they can get better.
It is often forgotten today that basketball and other games as well are sports first. You can change the rules, make the game faster, make it more watchable, that’s probably what David Joel Stern wants us to believe – that basketball is entertainment above all. But at the end of the day those changes make basketball easier to be sold, make it a better business, increase the profits.
Please note that I’m not saying players are overpaid, I’m not saying anyone should give up the salary and do the job for the rewarding feeling you get when doing something you love. No. I’m not socialist, if you work your way to a position that provides you certain salary, you deserve every last dollar (Euro, Pound, banana) because everybody else had the oportunity to get into that position as well.

What I’m trying to say is, that you always have to think about the changes you make and their impact on the game itself. You might end up ruining the game of basketball.
I love basketball, I have played the game for many years on the level where I needed to know and to understand every single part of the rules. I don’t play anymore but the passion never disappeared. The transition I had to make when I started to follow my favourite team and watching the games was not only that of sleeping time (I usually have to wait until night hours until the game begins and then stay awake to 5 AM (I’m from Europe)) but mostly the change of the rules and believe me, if you don’t see it right now, you’ll see it in just a few weeks, once the FIBA World Championship begins. But I learned to love the NBA basketball pretty fast, after all there is reason it is considered the best basketball in the world, still I don’t think there is a need to change the NBA rules anymore. Call me old fashioned, I’d even bring traveling back into the rulebook. It may decrease the level of entertainment, thus decreasing the income but remember, basketball is sport first, not a reality show.

p.s. Hey Jenda, I added the KG pic to give people an idea how you look in the early AM watching the Celtics over in Europe.