NBA: Image Issue, crisis mode


The NBA All-Star weekend was buzzing on social media, but not for a good reason.

If you were following anything on Twitter over the weekend the most exciting part of the weekend events was the Celebrity Game, which is usually notorious for being boring.

The league knew there were previous flaws and tried to change the format this year.

Here is what some Twitters users had to say about the Dunk Contest on Feb. 15.

@NickBarnett Yo this new format stinks!! #DunkContest

@CptAnarchy Please go back to the old format … too much talent to not showcase it … that                was really weak @NBA @NBAAllStarWeekend #NBAdunkcontest

@KenSothman I don’t understand what just happened in the #NBAdunkcontest. I want the                 past forty minutes of my life back.

@Sportsgal1972 It’s broke. Fix it. #NBAdunkcontest

If you want to talk about image problem let’s talk about the NBA.

According to Time’s Business and Money section, NBA teams are selling tickets as low as $1 or giving them away free to put people in the seats.

How can tickets be given away for free when the top six players in the league are making over $20 million?

Last year’s Finals did produce a high amount of views, but the regular season is still struggling.


The NBA’s image problem started shortly after the Michael Jordan era, but its catalyst was in 2004.

On Nov. 19, 2004 a massive fight brought out during the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons game. Players ended up in fist fights with fans in the stand. It was an ugly moment for the NBA and the start of a barrage of attacks on the league.

Rush Limbaugh, former ESPN and NFL analyst said the brawl was a “hip-hop culture on parade” and also added the statement that “NBA uniforms are now in gang colors. They are in gang styles.”

After this it was reported that some Pacers fans started to refer to the team as “The Thugs.”

Since that time players have received stereotypes and overall there seems to be a huge disinterest in the NBA.

Commissioner Stern, who recently stepped down tried to put in place a dress code before each game. He desperately tried to change the image, but nothing was working.

Fuel was also added to the fire in 2006 when the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets ended up in an all out brawl on the court.

Reporters aren’t the only one unhappy with the NBA’s image and style of play.

Gary Payton, former NBA point guard and Hall of Famer said in an interview that he basically doesn’t like anything about the NBA.

He said that no defense is played and that every single touch foul is called. He said that in his day it was rough and tough.

Payton also said that it also has to do with the players being young and immature.

I personally have stopped watching the NBA. No one plays defense and it is just plain boring. You only need to watch the last four minutes to catch the action. That is when the players actually start to play.

I understand these are generalizations, but I must not be the only one thinking it if $1 tickets are being turned down to attend the games.

I am not here to present solutions; it really is a tough situation. How do you change an entire culture of 450 players? How do you make them change the way they play?

The problem here is that it is an image problem coupled with a culture problem.

Adam Silver was appointed to be the new NBA commissioner on Feb. 1. Maybe he will have some new ideas to get the NBA back on track.

What are some ways that they could change the culture and attitude? I would love to hear some ideas.


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