Friday, May 15

NBA Cares

There are any number of aspects of the typical NBA broadcast which get under the skin of the average viewer: timeouts in the final minutes that pour water over what should be the hottest part of the game, ads for shows that you have no interest in watching but are forced to endure ad nauseum, Reggie Miller … the list is endless.

But today I’ll nominate another candidate for the Stop It Already Museum: NBA Cares.

Is it me or does the league have a serious case of self-congratulationitis? I’ll grant you that the NFL and its similar United Way spots are a bit gratuitous, but those are 1) humorous and 2) paid ads, unlike the NBA Care spots which are 1) boring and 2) apparently gratis, as they show up as segues into live action.

Further, I can see the logic behind the NFL’s spots, in that they promote a charity – the United Way – which everyone can agree provides a service.

But what is the logic to promoting NBA Cares, other than to show how wonderful the league is? As far as I can tell from my limited viewing this spring, the majority of the spots show individual players painting graffitoed walls, reading books to second-graders, and making chit-chat with people in soup-kitchen lines. There is no specific action the ads – and, let’s face it, that’s what these are – command the viewer to take; no charity name, no organization, no website.

Hey, NBA, we get it. You care about “the community,” whatever that ambiguous phrase means. Good for you.

Granted, I’m a bitter Seattlite with a Paul Bunyon-sized axe to grind with the league, but this sort self-adoration stuff irks me to no end. What is the point, other than to flaunt the league’s bloated self-image? I suppose there is some merit to these bits of fluff, but I’ll be damned if I can see what it is.

I guess the seeds of disgust were planted for me when the NBA went to New Orleans for the All-Star Game, gave David Stern a paintbrush to show how much the league “cared” about helping the city … then watched the local team attempt to extort the same city to build a new practice facility to the tune of $20 million, or risk watching the team leave.

What does the NBA care about? Well, I can think of one thing.

8 comments:

JAS said...

“There are any number of aspects of the typical NBA broadcast which get under the skin of the average viewer: timeouts in the final minutes that pour water over what should be the hottest part of the game, ads for shows that you have no interest in watching but are forced to endure ad nauseum, Reggie Miller … the list is endless.”

What about all those non-sequitur playoff theme songs (i.e., “Let’s Get it Started,” “This is How a Heart Breaks”) and slogans (“It’s all Good,” “Love it Live”) they used to have?

AH said...

I don't have a problem with the NBA Cares spots. In a way, its better than the NFL-United Way spots because you see NBA players actively out in the community. They have a new one every broadcast, so that's kind of neat.

Granted I roll my eyes when they say "NBA: Where caring happens" but, whatever.

Different note, you see the update on the Pacers situation? The Canucks owner may be trying to bring them to BC.

http://www.team1040.ca/news/story/?id=2031

xslippery stevex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

The NFL/United Way spots aren't paid ads. Part of the TV contract with the NFL gives them a certain number of ad slots per game. The NFL uses some of them to show NFL/United Way ads. I assume the NBS Cares ads work the same way, without the focus on one specific charity.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to remind you that when the NBA went to New Orleans that was the largest community effort in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina hit. Why don't you ask to those people who actually benefited from this community effort, to those people who lost everything during Katrina and finally got a new home? I doubt they would talk about "seeds of disgust". It's unbelievable how bitter people turn something positive into negative. I have not one single problem with those spots.

Yes, you said it "I’m a bitter Seattlite with a Paul Bunyon-sized axe to grind with the league". If the NFL moved the Seahawks you would be complaining about the NFL United Way ads and you would be talking about the NBA Cares ads being much better. I know how people's minds work.

JAS said...

“If the NFL moved the Seahawks you would be complaining about the NFL United Way ads and you would be talking about the NBA Cares ads being much better.”

Well, when Ken Behring tried to move the Seahawks to Los Angeles (which at least made economic sense) the NFL stopped him. They had this weird idea that maybe contractual leases ought to be fulfilled. In general, the NFL was much fairer to Seattle when the Seahawks were in danger of moving than the NBA was during the time leading up to the Sonics’ departure. So was the MLB when it came to the Mariners. That’s part of where the bitterness comes from, this idea that Stern stacked the deck against us.

This bitterness we Seattle fans carry is probably misdirected sometimes. But I don’t know if it’s that much better being the teacher’s pet instead. The NBA certainly has its share of problems. David Stern is a very smart man, but he has made some mistakes in recent years and is not always the nicest or fairest fellow to deal with.

anonymous #12 said...

Behring had ten years remaining on the lease. The Mariners had a clause that required the team be offered sale to local ownership before relocating.

If both of those teams had the same type of remaining lease that Bennett had when he bought the team, all three teams would be gone by now.

JAS said...

You have a point about Behring’s lease, although I’m not sure that the length of time left on it was what decided the issue for the NFL. The larger point is that the NFL and MLB were not as dead-set on getting out of Seattle as Stern was. Nor did the NFL look the other way when Behring misbehaved. But those leagues have screwed other cities before, so I suppose they're not that much more honorable.