What’s wrong with the NBA?
I’ll tell you what’s wrong. The Philadelphia 76ers are 0-10, and since I’m from Philly, that’s a BIG problem! The Los Angeles Lakers are 1-9, and therefore all of LA Land is in meltdown. The Oklahoma City Thunder are 3-8 (sans Kevin Durant, 2013 NBA MVP), and The Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers are 5-4. On the other hand, the Memphis Grizzlies are 10-1; the Toronto Raptors are 8-2; and the Washington Wizards are 7-2. Go figure. Age-old and perennial powerhouses are at the bottom of the heap, and wishful-thinking, wanna-be teams like the Wizards and Raptors (they were a good team a LONG time ago) are first place in their Division? So what’s up with that?
LeBron James and Kevin Durant are what’s right with the NBA as they are the faces of the NBA franchise. One has won championships recently and the other is the reigning League MVP, but they can’t hold down the fort all by themselves. Durant is hurt and LeBron is back in Cleveland with a new team and new teammates who are trying to find themselves and figure it out.
What’s wrong with the NBA? Who can watch these games? It’s too early in the season to really pay attention, as most games end too late in the evening to stay up and watch. There’s too much competition from the NFL and college football, and there’s too little interest from middle-aged men like me to warrant any viable discussion about a bunch of overpaid, over privileged, over-hyped “kids” playing what amounts to a slowdown, one-on-one style of game with no “teamwork” in sight.
What’s wrong with the NBA? The great NBA legends of the game are long gone, such as Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Willis Reed, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, John Havlicek, and of course, the greats from my generation such as Dr. J, Moses Malone, David Robinson, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Hakeem Olajuwon, Bill Walton, George Gervin, and of course, Michael Jordan. Without them, the game is just not the same.
So what’s right with the NBA? We still love the game and we will still watch, but not until after Christmas. I mean, the regular season for the NBA is about as exciting and enthralling as watching paint dry. The new kids, such as Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose and of course LeBron James have charisma and chutzpah, but it’s just not the same as it was before. Many of the newbies in the League lack character and don’t have a reputation for being solid and stable people.
And many have a problem with Christianity as well, for just the same reasons. Many Christians lack muster and metal, moral fiber and spiritual muscle. The lack of integrity and veracity, legitimacy and authenticity turns people off. So, the challenge for Christians is to be true to the fundamentals and foundations, the nitty-gritty and nuts and bolts of our faith.
I may be old-fashioned an old fuddy dud, but I believe that character still counts. I really don’t care how good you can play ball if you stink at playing the game of life.
PS: I thought this article (see below) spoke to why we as Christians are sometimes given the cold shoulder by unbelievers, because we should be willing and able to share our faith (the verb) with those who question and query our Faith (the noun). Anybody?
Seven Common Comments Non-Christians Make About Christians
By Thom S. Rainer, Christian Post contributor
September 15, 2012|4:35 pm
One of my greatest joys in research is talking to and listening to those who clearly identify themselves as non-Christians. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not celebrating their absence of faith in Christ. My joy comes from listening to those who don’t believe as I do, so that I might be better equipped to witness to them.
Over the past several years, my research teams and I have interviewed thousands of unchurched non-Christians. Among the more interesting insights I gleaned were those where the interviewees shared with me their perspectives of Christians.
In this article, I group the seven most common types of comments in order of frequency. I then follow that representative statement with a direct quote from a non-Christian. Read these comments and see if you learn some of the lessons I learned.
- Christians are against more things than they are for. “It just seems to me that Christians are mad at the world and mad at each other. They are so negative that they seem unhappy. I have no desire to be like them and stay upset all the time.”
- I would like to develop a friendship with a Christian. “I’m really interested in what they believe and how they carry out their beliefs. I wish I could find a Christian that would be willing to spend some time with me.”
- I would like to learn about the Bible from a Christian. “The Bible really fascinates me, but I don’t want to go to a stuffy and legalistic church to learn about it. I would be nice if a Christian invited me to study the Bible in his home or at a place like Starbucks.”
- I don’t see much difference in the way Christians live compared to others. “I really can’t tell what a Christian believes because he doesn’t seem much different than other people I know. The only exception would be Mormons. They really seem to take their beliefs seriously.”
- I wish I could learn to be a better husband, wife, dad, mom, etc., from a Christian. “My wife is threatening to divorce me, and I think she means it this time. My neighbor is a Christian, and he seems to have it together. I am swallowing my pride and asking him to help me.”
- Some Christians try to act like they have no problems. “Harriett works in my department. She is one of those Christians who seem to have a mask on. I would respect her more if she didn’t put on such an act. I know better.”
- I wish a Christian would take me to his or her church. “I really would like to visit a church, but I’m not particularly comfortable going by myself. What is weird is that I am 32-years old, and I’ve never had a Christian invite me to church in my entire life.”
Do you see the pattern? Non-Christians want to interact with Christians. They want to see Christians’ actions match their beliefs. They want Christians to be real.
In one study we conducted, we found that only five percent of non-Christians are antagonistic toward Christians. It’s time to stop believing the lies we have been told. Jesus said it clearly: “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Luke10:2, HCSB).
Satan is the author of excuses. There is no reason to wait to reach those who don’t know Jesus Christ. We must go now. The harvest is waiting. And the Lord of the harvest has prepared the way.