As you can see from watching the NBA so far this year, it is NOT the same. No training camp, barely any pre-season, probably some of the reasons for a slow start. Overall the league’s three point field goal shooting and points per game is down over 6%. Some teams aren’t meshing as well as everybody thought they would; Knicks (7-13, lost 9 of last 10), Lakers (12-9 and 2-7 on the road) and the Celtics (9-10). We knew the Thunder (16-4), Heat (16-5), Bulls (18-5) would be the top teams. Not many would have thought the 76ers (15-6 and lead the NBA in point differential), Pacers (13-6), and Nuggets (14-6 and 8-2 in their last 10 games) would be such solid teams. So what’s the real reason the league has started slow, I think I know that answer.
From my sources, there is RAMPID DRUG USE IN THE NBA THIS YEAR, most notably marijuana and prescription pills. When the CBA was ratified, there was a whole new bargaining agreement set in place as we know. Previously, the NBA did not drug test players during its July-September off-season. Most players did not get tested no more than four times throughout an entire year, and no tests could be given at the arena on the night of the game. Beginning in the 2012-2013 season, players can be tested up to two times during the off-season for steroids and performance-enhancing drugs only. They would NOT be screened for drugs such as marijuana. So what were players doing from last season up until now? From my sources there have been no testing since. February 9th is the day we hear when mandatory testing for all NBA players will begin.
Let’s be fair, some players are obviously out of shape early on, this is understandable. A quarter of this shortened season has already passed. Are some players taking advantage of this lack of testing? Since the players know the February 9 date is coming, many believe the game will start to pick up now. It all makes sense, I am not saying this is the SOLE reason the league looks a little sluggish and a lot of bad basketball is being played. Through the years we have heard countless stories of NBA players caught with weed. Let’s be real, it’s part of this generation, white-black, rich-poor. There is no way to go around that. Bottom line: the league should get better, players conditioning will improve, and teams should start meshing. Knowing what we know now just opens the mind up to another theory, another side to the lackluster play and out of shape players.
The NBA is the product of the times, like the hip-hop group 3rd Bass said back in the day, “We’re a product of the environment.” Stuck in a mindset that allows players to do whatever they want at any time.
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