Speaking of Sports

By John Fragodt, Sports Reporter

Bits and pieces from the world of sports

•  What does the NBA stand for? — When I was in high school, we used to have a drill we’d do called the NBA drill, which stood for “No babies allowed.”  It was basically a two against one drill where the two defensive guys had to make sure that the one offensive guy did not get the rebound; no matter what.  It tended to get physical, but it was a great drill for making sure to box out on defense.

Now, the NBA stands for “Nothing but Babies Allowed” as NBA players continue to play by their own rules, signing contracts, but then backing out and asking for trades when things don’t go their own way.

While I also blame general managers and coaches for allowing them to do it, the real blame goes to the elite NBA players who know they can do what they want, when they want, and also continue to ask for trades; sometimes more than once in an NBA season.  It doesn’t matter to them about the fans.

Just this year, 10 percent of the players were traded to another team.  The NBA is not about the team anymore, the elite players want it to be about them.  I just wish NBA fans could get together and have an NBA boycott for a week or two.

And, don’t think NBA players are going to play every game.  The new thing in the NBA is players playing when they want to.  They don’t play back-to-back games anymore and if they play particularly hard one game, they might just decide to sit out the next game.  That’s right, it’s the NBA, the players will decide when they want to play.

Yes, I used to be a big fan of the NBA, but about 10-20 players control the league and they’re allowed to jump from team to team whenever they want.  They also don’t want to be responsible for anything they do, but yet, they think they are social media leaders so they think they have to give their thoughts on things going on in life, whether we care to hear them or not.

Speaking of the NBA, does anyone watch the NBA All-Star game anymore?  I think it’s time to scrap All-Star weekend.

•  Great Super Bowl — The 2023 version of the NFL Super Bowl was as good as it gets.  This was one year where I really didn’t have a favorite so I just sat back and enjoyed the great action.  It was a back-and-forth game with Philadelphia taking control early, but Kansas City coming back to dominate the second half to earn the 38-35 victory.

Even the halftime performer, Rhianna, did a good job.  It wasn’t flashy and I didn’t know many of the songs, but overall, I gave her a B+ for entertaining the crowd and not making it all about her, like some performers in the past have done.  The only negative with the game were the commercials; I thought they were terrible and definitely not worth the $7 million a piece for a 30-second slot.

•  Can’t believe they got it back to .500 — I’m still amazed at how the Minnewaska Area girls basketball team was able to get its record back up to .500 after starting the season at 0-7.  The Lakers, who were 12-12 at the beginning of last week after a 59-56 win at West Central Area, Feb. 16, faced at least six state-ranked teams over its first seven games.  Four of the first seven losses were by 4, 5, 6 and 7 points.

The Lakers then won five of their next seven games to improve to 5-9 and, after three-straight losses, won seven-straight games before losing to WCA during the section playoff opener, Saturday.

Here’s one example of how much the team improved this season?  Minnewaska Area lost at Morris Area, Jan. 24, by a 49-39 score, but less than three weeks later, the Lakers routed the Tigers at home, 71-42.  That’s a 39-point swing.  “The key to us winning has been us believing and playing confident basketball,” head coach Sidney Schiffler said.  “In addition, our defense is what has led to our success; and that comes as no shock.  We work on defense day-in and day-out, and our players work hard at it.”

The Lakers’ offense was also much-improved.  Minnewaska scored over 50 points in only five of its first 18 games, but scored over 50 points in each of its final seven games. Yes, it’s going to fun watching this team over the next few years since most of the key players were ninth-graders and sophomores.