How Drama Off The Floor Is Bad For The On-Court Product In The NBA


#NBATwitter took over Twitter years ago. One of the peak standout moments was when Blake Griffin blocked free agent DeAndre Jordan in his house by moving a chair in front of his front door, trying to sway the free agent to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers. This was peak #NBATwitter.

The NBA has embraced drama off the court. While some people don’t like it, there are plenty that do. I am in the field that doesn’t love it, but I understand it. I would much rather talk about what’s going on, ON the court. Not off of it. I want to discuss if the Oklahoma City Thunder who, going into the season, was the second youngest roster in the NBA, can win a championship. They would be the second youngest average aged team to win a championship — after the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977.

But instead we are talking about Draymond Green calling Jusuf Nurkic a coward and Nurkic saying Green doesn’t deserve a second chance.

On the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano (Afternoons 3-6 p.m.), Canzano talked about the drama in the NBA and questioned if it is even good for the league.

“Is what’s going on between Draymond Green and Jusuf Nurkic good for the game?,” Canzano asked on 750 The Game. “In the same way that Roger Goodell’s league (the NFL) celebrates the idea that great players, great performances elevate the NFL in to becoming the world’s most powerful, most viewed, most valuable sporting league. Is the NBA losing its way one diss at a time? With athletes like Draymond Green tearing down other athletes. Guys like Jusuf Nurkic barking back. The league seemingly has, not just with Draymond Green but with other players, the thinnest skin superstars anywhere in sports.”

The players in the league like to come across as very confident and that they don’t do anything wrong (when they complain to the refs after every foul called). Canzano thinks that all of the talking off the court shows that these NBA superstars lack confidence. And if they were actually as good as they say, all of this would be solved on the court.

“I think it’s terrible when you are tearing down the fabric of the league internally,” Canzano said. “And I’m tired of, not just Draymond Green, but the clapping back and the thin skin and rabbit ears. It just sort of smacks as a lack of confidence. It goes both ways in this spat. Like Jusuf Nurkic does outweigh Draymond Green by about 60-80 pounds. He’s six inches taller. Bigger guy. Exert your will on the court.”

My fear is that the NBA becomes too gimmicky. Full of larger then life characters like the WWE, or UFC. Canzano says in the UFC it works and they need to cause the drama to make money. The NBA is on a completely different level that doesn’t have to have fake drama.

“As the UFC and Dana White will tell you. The reason they do the weigh-ins and they have the fighters glare at each other is to create this false drama that helps sell pay per views to subscriptions to the fight events. The NBA doesn’t need that. The NBA has a TV contract. I think what we have here is just a league that is filled with insecure players who have been told how great they are for most of their lives.”

I think there is a place for beef off of the court. My problem is when the NBA embraces the off court drama more than the on court storylines. It turns into a situation where fans can’t wait to see the Warriors play the Suns because of what was said by Green and Nurkic. I want to see the game between the two teams because they are two teams who have a legitimate chance to win a NBA championship.

Listen to the full segment at the start of the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.