HATE & BASKETBALL: NBA Fans Are Killing The Game

I’ve seen that look before.

I saw it on LeBron James’ face when he first meet Tim Duncan in the 2007 Finals. I saw it on Dwight Howard’s face when he ran headfirst into Kobe’s buzzsaw in 2009. I even remember seeing it on the perpetually happy Magic Johnson’s face when he was steamrolled by Dr. J in 1983. The scenario is always the same: young stud on young team gets embarrassed by a veteran machine that has muted emotions, particularly their youthful exuberance. To them, this is far more than just a game.

For these seasoned vets, they know that being well liked is nothing like being feared, and they’ll be damned if they let some young pup have any fun at their expense. A disconnect from their earlier zeal for the game is missing, and it’s due to constant criticism from their so-called fans. This harassment turns amazing athletes and relentless competitors into flopping whistle seekers and jumbotron beggars.  

Just look at LeBron. Long gone are the happy antics he used to lead during his first tenure of the Cavs, replaced by handshakes that more resemble a Maori Haka than a blacktop greeting. He’s barking at his teammates, his coach and his fans. Thanks to endless out of context debates of greatness that are always loaded in one direction, LeBron is doing everything super-humanly possible just to keep up with the legacy he hasn’t had a chance to have.

NBA fans have turned what used to be a love for their home team to a hatefest of individual players for perceived slights to their millionaire paychecks. Hated players are trolled for any reason, with fans never giving up an opportunity to dump on their “nemesis”. Run against the law? The charges will forever be thrown in the player’s face every time they are mentioned, regardless of validity. Some fans don’t even bother to root for their team during all of this hate spewing.

Where’s the love? Instead of wanting to be entertained, a vast majority of NBA fans demand to be appeased. To add insult to injury, these fans usually have no idea what they want, tossing out random parameters for players to live within on any given whim. The absolute devotion to hate has eclipsed one of the best years the NBA has ever seen. Even GOATs get their legacies scrutinized just to push agendas against current players, which is about as ridiculous as it gets. Fun has no place in the hater’s league, and absolutely no one is spared.

Keep you head up, Steph.  It truly is just a game.

Are you tired of all the ridiculous hate in the NBA?
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