Holding a double-degree in Business Marketing/Sport & Recreation Management gives an insight into the passion and knowledge that Mark holds for sport and recreation. To compliment his studies, Mark currently works in numerous roles within profession sport both during the week and on weekends. Mark was also heard from time to time on Western Australian radio, providing an expert insight into various sporting issues currently being discussed in the media.
On a personal note, Mark is heavily involved within his local sporting community, in particular with his basketball and indoor netball commitments.
As well as being the co-owner/manager with Daniel (DJC), Mark’s main areas of interest when it comes to writing are AFL, Cricket and Basketball, however as can be seen he will write on any sport and every sport! He is also responsible for keeping everyone as up to date as possible using the Pen and Paper Sports Facebook page.
As previously mentioned in my last article, the NBA is away – off and running! Kobe has taken his game to another stratosphere with 88 points in the past 2 games and the Clippers held on to beat the Heat, in spite of some horrendous non-calls (LeBron’s MASSIVE travel, Blake Griffin’s jersey being held by Shane Battier on a rebounding contest among others). The 76ers have had their best start to a season since AI carried them in 2000-2001. The Rookie Class has all the “experts” eating humble pie with some terrific performances and there have been a massive number of injuries.
I believe that the lockout has hurt the NBA in more ways than we realise. There has been a resounding number of injuries through the first couple of weeks of this shortened season, and I feel it may be due to the rush to get the games started. Shorter pre-season and training camps haven’t allowed the athletes their proper preparation for the rigors of competition. Sure, some players kept fairly active but there is a great deal of difference between a half-assed showcase game and 3 games in 3 nights against some of the league’s best (OKC won all 3 games in their recent back-to-back-to-back, but lost Eric Maynor for the season in the process).
Let’s have a look at the injury list:
Manu Ginobili, Zach Randolph, Steph Curry, Brook Lopez and Eric Gordon are some of the bigger names to be sidelined and now we can add to that list Al Horford who has a torn pectoral and will miss months. This is not to mention those players who may not be elite but are missing valuable playing time for their club – Mike Dunleavy, Ty Lawson, Chuck Hayes, Baron Davis, Rodney Stuckey, Corey Maggette, Marvin Williams, Reggie Williams, Rip Hamilton, Michael Beasley and the list goes on. Even superstars and physical “beasts” are missing games – LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose have all missed some time already this season.
So the questions I ask are “Has the lockout hurt the NBA more than we realise?” “Did the rush to get games started and revenue coming in, negatively affect the leagues players?” It seems to me that this is certainly the case. “Should there have been an even shorter season and allow the players a proper pre-season?” “Should the season have been cancelled in its entirety?” “Have we been too greedy and tried to ‘have our cake and eat it too’ when it comes to the NBA?”
I would like to hear the readers opinion on this topic. I love the fact that the NBA is back – trust me, as much as I was loving watching the NBL, Durant isn’t hitting game winners in the local league! The NFL had been a great substitute, but nothing beats having the NBA back. I just feel that perhaps we were a little too impatient and have cost some great players some terrific opportunities. Horford, Randolph were probably going to be All Stars this year – not now. And if these seasoned veterans are breaking down, what can we expect from the Rookies in a month or two?
When people say the lockout hurt the NBA, I think they meant revenue, reputation and fan numbers – I propose that the lockout has hurt the players physically. Thoughts?