Kobe calls league sensitive following scuffle with Dwight Howard

Does anyone still remember what professional basketball was like in the 1990’s? For those who have forgotten, here’s what rebounding looked like in the NBA roughly 20 years ago:

Kobe Bryant says he remembers, which is precisely why he doesn’t understand people making a big deal out of his brief skirmish with former teammate Dwigh Howard in the 4th quarter of his team’s blowout loss to the Houston Rockets Tuesday night.

“Elbows are part of the game. Trash talk is part of the game. I don’t know why the NBA has become so sensitive.”

Really? You don’t know why it’s become so sensitive? For the answer, look no further than Paul Pierce’s recent comments about the state of the league and those playing in it.

Via Washington Post:
“You see more friendships in the league. It's not like in the '80s when you had enemies, or you couldn't stand this guy, and there were fights all the time.”

Once again Paul Pierce speaks the truth. But what Pierce and Bryant seem to be forgetting is that the league was dwindling in popularity after Michael retired until David Stern changed the rules to make it a more friendly league.

 With the addition of the no hand-checking rule came more blow-by's and highlight dunks, essentially limiting NBA offenses to a combination of rim-shaking slams and long-range 3's, now considered the best formula for success. It's also become the formula for the league's business success. Fans have made it clear they'd rather watch a posterizing dunk than a 15-foot jump shot, even if the dunk rims out. So the savvy veterans can reminisce about the "good ol' bloodbath" days all they want, but until we see empty arenas the way we did in the 2000's, this style of ball isn't going anywhere. The fans have spoken.