Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 4, 2012

NBA's showboating doesn't play well


CNHI

— I was watching the Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat basketball game recently when I saw one of the players for the Heat do something that I thought was sort of dumb, in a hot dog sort of way.

The player made a nice shot, and as he ran down the court, he looked directly into one of the TV cameras and stared with look that said, “Hey, look at me. I made that shot.”

I hate that sort of stuff.

As I watched the player primp his way down the court, I decided that if I did something like that when I was in high school, I would still be running the steps in the St. Xavier’s Catholic High School gymnasium. Jim Westerhaus, my coach at St. X, didn’t even like the behind-the-back pass. He thought it was showboating. So if one of his players had popped a “Hey, look at me” attitude, the look would have quickly changed to “Hey, look at me run the stairs.”

I realize that times have changed and that players today are allowed, and in some cases encouraged, to showboat a bit, but since when did showboating come to mean “act like a jerk”?

An NBA player makes a basket or blocks a shot, and he acts as if he just won a league championship. He waves his arms, he points to himself, he pulls on his jersey to show everyone his name, and then he goes on defense and lets someone drive right by him and score a quick bucket.

When that happens, does the guy slap himself in the head and point to himself as if to say “Look at me; I just screwed up and got beat for an easy layup”?

Please.

I don’t mean to pick on the Miami Heat here because a lot of players on a lot of NBA teams behave that way. It’s considered part of the game. I guess that’s why I make it a habit not to watch a lot of NBA games. The only reason I was watching the Boston vs. Miami game in the first place was because the St. Louis Cardinals had already lost to the Atlanta Braves.

Although, to be honest, I have to say that other than the near constant showboating, the Boston vs. Miami game was entertaining. I like Boston and, unlike a lot of NBA fans, I don’t have anything against the Miami Heat. The game wound up going into overtime, and of course I decided to stay up and watch the whole thing, and Boston wound up losing.

I hate it when a game goes into overtime or extra innings, and I invest my time watching the added action only to see the team I want to win get beat. When that happens, I always say the same thing:

“Well, that was worth it.”

I don’t get paid millions and millions of dollars to write a newspaper column, but I do get paid for it. When I finish a column, I don’t jump up from my desk and run around the newsroom pulling on my Hawaiian shirt.

I do that while I’m supposed to be writing my column. Ha!

But maybe if I did, people would notice me more. Maybe I need to come up with a column dance. Maybe, when I finish a column, I should jump out of my chair and yell, “HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?”

Then I could dance in a circle while pretending to type in the air, and then spin around and yell, “SHOW ME THE PULITZER!”

But, if I did that, my boss, Carol Stark, would probably make me run the steps at the Globe.

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Mike Pound is a columnist for The Joplin (Mo.) Globe. Contact him at mpound@joplinglobe.com.