The sight of Dirk Nowitski making a fadeaway jumper is a compelling battle with gravity every time you see it. The D-Rose crossover/reverse-underhand-layup-thingy is a feat of athletic brilliance. Pau Gasol’s twirling layups are balletic in their artistry, while LeBron’s brutish charges into the paint are awesome to behold. Likewise Dwight Howard’s shoulders and Blake Griffin’s ridunkulous slams.
There, I’m done – my ‘Awesome things about the NBA’ list. Well OK there’d be a few more but I’ve got a word limit here so I’ll have to inaggerate (that’s the oppose of exaggerate…right?) to make my point.
And now may I present 10 reasons why baseball is better than basketball:
1. Baseball is played outside, on grass, thus making it a sport. Basketball is played indoors on parquet flooring, making it a sweaty parlour game.
2. Athletic ability. “Baseball players are all fat”, a friend of mine has claimed. David Wells was fat but he’s been retired a few years now. Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder has moons that orbit him, and Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain could afford to lay off the cakes for a while, but their tubbiness is the exception rather than the rule.
Basketball players, on the other hand, have freakish tallness as a qualifying standard. It’s not awesome to see that someone 7 feet tall can dunk a basketball. I could dunk a basketball if I was 7 feet tall. To see some of these guys labour up and down the court is painful to behold.
3. One person spilling their drink at a baseball game won’t hold up play for 5 minutes. This was the ludicrous scenario in game 3 of Mavs v Heat, and it took about 5 members of staff to clear it up.
4. In baseball, your team has to be pretty good to get to the playoffs. 8 of 30 teams make it, whereas in the NBA half the teams get in – sometimes teams with a losing record reach the postseason. Why bother with the regular season at all? After all, the Lakers don’t.
5. You can’t stop a baseball game because the other team is doing well and you don’t like it. In basketball when one team gets three baskets in a row the opposing Head Coach strides out onto the court to call a timeout. Timeouts are a made-for-TV nonsense that put the onus on coaches rather than players. Sure, it’s exciting to have to wait an extra two minutes for the last two seconds of the game while sitting through another series of TV ads, but that’s the manipulation of TV entertainment, not sport.
6. Move your head too far forward at the wrong time in baseball, and you’ll be spontaneously lobotomised by the fastball coming in at 95mph. That’s dangerous and therefore manly. Move your head too far forward at the wrong time in basketball and you’ll find yourself in someone’s armpit – that’s merely unpleasant.
7. No-one takes a “flop” in baseball. If you’ve just had your leg broken, then feel free to fall over. Otherwise get on with the game. In basketball they’re taking too many lessons from football (soccer), where feigning injury and pretending to have been fouled has become the integrity-sucking norm.
8. Firm discipline. If you disrespect someone in baseball you get a fastball to the chest. If you disrespect someone in basketball they’ll say nasty things to you.
9. Many baseball stadia are part of the community – architectural masterpieces where you can take in the game from multiple angles and look out on views of the city or surrounding area. Basketball stadia on other hand are uniform blobs of concrete dropped in the middle of a car park.
10. Babe Ruth. His transcendent brilliance changed everything so whichever sport had him must be the best one. And it wasn’t basketball.
But really, baseball’s superiority can’t be reduced to logic or reason, never mind reasonableness.
Ultimately, baseball is better than basketball because it just is.