Outkick the Coverage

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Jason Whitlock: NBA All-Star Game Confirmed 'Basketball is Dead' in America

Jason Whitlock: “Adam Silver can’t save the NBA or men’s basketball. It’s DEAD. Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game was just the latest in a decade-long series of obituaries detailing the tragic passing of American hoops.  
Despite a promise to deliver a more competitive All-Star Game, Sunday’s contest may have been the worst in history. In a game that featured 168 three-point attempts, the East beat the West 211-186. No one tried, no one competed, the players sauntered up and down the court, jacked up threes, and moved out of the way as players dunked. The fans in the stands spent more time gossiping than cheering. One of the players [Anthony Davis] said the ‘highlight’ of the night was a group of entertainers dunking with the help of trampolines between the third and fourth quarters. 
 The truth is, NBA All-Star Weekend peaked on Thursday when football legend turned podcaster Shannon Sharpe and comedian Mike Epps settled their beef. Men's basketball is dead. Adam Silver cannot resuscitate what his predecessor commissioner David Stern killed.
Yes, David Stern killed American basketball. At the behest of Nike, Stern focused the game on international growth in general, and pleasing China in particular. The modern non-competitive ‘woke’ NBA is a byproduct of globalism. In pursuit of more and more money, the NBA scrapped its American identity and values, and turned itself into a platform for the expression of anti-American sentiment, entitlement, victimhood, and narrative over authenticity. 
 The NBA's marketing strategy the past two decades has been ‘TUNE IN TO WATCH LEBRON JAMES AND OTHER TALL BLACK MEN OVERCOME RACISM THEY NEVER EXPERIENCED!’... The marketing is not just a turnoff to conservative sports fans -- no -- it's much worse than that. It convinces the players that they’re ‘victims.’ It creates a sense of entitlement among the alleged competitors.  
How do you go from Michael Jordan playing all 82 regular season games in nine of his 15 seasons, to having to beg players to play 65? Well, you create an anti-American culture that seduces multi-millionaires into believing they're ‘victims’ of racist capitalists. The NBA's desire to be popular in China baited the league into embracing messaging that denigrates American culture, and the American work ethic. The Chinese Communist party, no different from Cold War communism, loves to promote that America is a bastion for anti-Black racism. Every time LeBron James claims American Black men are ‘hunted like animals', his popularity in China sores, and his attitude toward American sports fans diminishes. 
No American sports league has a more hostile relationship with its fan base than the NBA. The players routinely beef with fans. It's not just Russell Westbrook, the players instruct security to toss fans from the arena. Michael Jordan felt a duty to serve and entertain fans, modern players struggle to tolerate fans. The players -- they're elites. They look down on the very people who love them. The players believe the fans owe THEM.
Adam Silver can't fix this. His best efforts are failing. The In-Season Tournament to start the basketball calendar failed. It was a gimmick. The Lakers won it; they're the ninth-best team in the West. The expanded playoffs and play-in games have rendered the regular season pointless. Seven-game series make it nearly impossible for a lower seed to pull off an upset. The NBA is a gossip and narrative league. The greatest competition is among individual player groupies for Jordan, LeBron, and Kobe, and a never-ending argument about their standing in the all-time great debate.  
The only way to fix American basketball is to shut down the NBA for a year or two, and force a new system and pay structure on the players. Twenty years ago the NHL locked out its players for an entire season and radically changed its pay system. The NBA needs a similar fix. The league needs to work toward attaching a significant portion of pay to wins and losses. To avoid players stacking rosters, each roster spot would have a specific value, 1 to 15, and the highest value player would earn more per-win than the players ranked below him on the roster.  
For example, LeBron James might be ranked number one on the Lakers roster, and Anthony Davis number two. LeBron, hypothetically, would earn $200,000 per victory, and Anthony Davis would earn $175,000. 
The other major adjustment the league should make is raising the age-limit to 21. Because of ‘Name, Image, and Likeness’, college players can now earn significant money. It would be much better for American basketball if players stayed in college three or four years, learned how to compete, and brought established brands to the NBA. 
The NBA needs a revolutionary war and makeover. Adam Silver is not the right leader for this war. He's a peacetime consigliere. He's not built for the kind of upheaval necessary to fix the NBA.” 

Watch Jason Whitlock of Blaze TV’s Fearless explain why Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game was the final nail in the coffin for basketball in the United States, saying the league finally succumbed to a terminal disease that has destroyed its once-promising relationship with fans.

Check out the segment above as Whitlock details how the NBA ‘scrapped its American identity and values’, for a toxic dosage of globalism that promotes anti-American sentiment, entitlement, and victimhood. 

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