“You aint tryna whoop nobody!”
“All he does is talk. He doesn’t have hands for real.”
You name it, and just about any time you see a confrontation in an NBA game, someone is quick to follow with one of those sayings, or something similar.
It’s understandable; it’s human nature to say that, especially watching so much basketball over the years. The thing is you can probably count on one hand how many actual fights you’ve seen in an NBA game in the past 5-10 years.
If one has the ability to remove themselves from snap sayings, the conclusion that will follow is that this is exactly what you see darn near anywhere there are ten people, two baskets, and a basketball in the equation.
This is not limited to the NBA. Rarely does a fight jump off, and once we realize that, then the desire to jump to the obvious won’t be so desirable anymore.
Chris Childs isn’t walking through that door.
Jerry Stackhouse isn’t walking through that door.
If a player today does what Chris Childs or Jerry Stackhouse did back then, they'll get suspended for the rest of their life. Okay, not really, but you get the point. This kind of stuff just doesn't happen anymore. With that said, let’s put to rest the myth that when you get in someone’s head, you have to fight, because, more often than not, it’s not going to happen.
Here’s something that people who have played basketball know about basketball. Out of ten people on the court, more often than not, not a single one of them is trying to fight, and that goes for the NBA, college, intramurals, church league, 24 Hour Fitness, whatever.
In the NBA, no one is trying to lose money. In college, no one is trying to mess up their scholarship, and in the other avenues, no one is trying to get kicked out of the gym. You’ll have, at the most, one or two dudes who are hot-heads that you can’t tell anything to, and those guys have no problem fighting.
However, that’s one or two out of ten. Regardless of how many elbows are thrown, regardless of how many wack fouls are called, and regardless of how much trash is talked, when it’s all said and done, the beginning, middle and end is this:
Basketball is a mind game. It’s that simple.
The masters of mind games know this. They have zero intention to fight, and opposing players, fans, and even coaches get all uptight when said player’s tactics work against them. For example, Kevin Garnett will never fight on the court; ever, and this is me saying it as a KG Stan.
The man will do everything under the sun to get a mental edge on the court, and when people say “He won’t fight,” they’re right. It’s not his intention to fight. His intention is to do whatever it takes to win, and when it means taking someone’s mind away from the game, he does that as well as anybody.
Wah-keem Noah is coming a long way in this department. Once again, he will never fight, and once again, there should be absolutely no problem with that. His job is to do what he has to do to help the Bulls win.
Opposing players get frustrated by him, as evidenced by the recent Pacers-Bulls playoff series. When Tyler Hansborough or Josh McRoberts would get annoyed by him, he’d clap his hands, smirk, and walk around the court.
He’s not trying to whoop anybody, and while some people may think what he does is wack, ask it to his opponents when they’re the ones getting kicked out the game while he’s still on the court playing.
With the exception of players who feel like they have to prove they’re tough, but you know they’re not, there really shouldn’t be any problem with this, because, as said earlier, when it comes to basketball, nobody is really trying to fight. It doesn’t take an NBA game to know this; just head over to where you play ball, and it’s the exact same thing.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!