In my estimation, March is the greatest sports month of the year. The NCAA brings you excitement in the form of March Madness and MLB brings hope in the form of spring training. Both are so close, and yet so very far. In the meantime, however, we have to endure the void of February. With the Super Bowl now over, sports fans are forced to endure the National Basketball Association.
I have been fairly vocal of my dislike of the NBA. I think it's directly proportional to how much I enjoy NCAA basketball. The two styles of play are remarkably opposite for it being the same game. In college basketball, the game is all about the team. Guys like Greg Tonagel and Jake Diebler of below average skill are tremendous players because of their team first and leadership attitudes. In the NBA, the game is all about the individuals. Guys like Ali Berdiel are somehow making a living. Isolation sets where everyone stands around letting one guy make a play are the norm, and defense went out the door decades ago. Be that as it may, the NBA is the lead story every day for the next week.
Even worse, the news story of the day is not about great games or key trades. No, the news story making the rounds is that John Amaechi is coming out of the closet. I have absolutely no idea who this guy is or why he's especially relevant. I did minimal research and found that he was a below average NBA player who hasn't dribbled a basketball in years. I'm not entirely sure anyone can vouch that he actually played in the NBA.
Be that as it may, he has decided to make his announcement whose motives I am fairly skeptical of. It's rather nice that ESPN has something to do with his book, as I'm guessing none of you would have purchased if it had been "John Amaechi: NBA Journeyman." A nice TV special and convenient media leaks to build up to a TV special on "Outside the Lines" make the situation questionable at best. We are not talking Jackie Robinson noble here, folks.
Most of all, I hate the NBA for making this a story. It's bad enough that the NBA is stuffed down my throat as a sports fan for the next month. For them to force a retired, mediocre pro's personal life down my throat as breaking sports news is nauseating. Just a wee bit longer until pitchers and catchers report and schools we've never heard of are making the 65 team tournament. I, for one, can hardly wait.