The NBA strangeness all started last year in 2019 when the president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, Daryl Morey, tweeted out support for the protesters in Hong Kong. The tweet was not well received by the powers that be in Beijing, and NBA basketball games were not shown on the state channel CCTV for one full year after the since-deleted tweet was issued. Since then, the league has continued to see new levels of strange that have continued until today.
NBA Goes Haywire
Now that same Daryl Morey has been at his tweeter once again, this time making references to James Harden in what seemed harmless enough to the public, but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, like the guys in Beijing, did not appreciate the tweet at all, claiming that it violated the leagues’ anti-tampering prohibitions.
Morey’s tweet was posted on December 20 in commemoration of the anniversary of another tweet he had sent commemorating Harden’s breaking Calvin Murphy’s record for the most assists as a member of the Houston Rockets. Morey was with the Rockets at the time.
The tweet was deleted but, normally, teams are not supposed to be discussing players under contract to other teams and the NBA has repeatedly warned the teams that doing so can be considered tampering as James Harden has been mentioned in trade talks for several weeks now.
The entire NBA will now sit up and take notice of this as Commissioner Silver has fined Morey the sum of $50,000 for his tweet this time. Perhaps now Morey will put away his tweeter and just focus on basketball.
Blowouts Come To The NBA
It has been a while now since we have seen an actual 40-point blowout in the NBA. Blowouts happen in college and high school all the time, but, in the NBA, that’s not supposed to happen. The league goes to great extents to maintain something close to parody in the NBA.
Perhaps that is why it was so strange to see a game get so out of hand that the commentators changed channels to see if there were any good games on and the TV station, TNT, finally had enough and turned the game off. That does not happen very often.
The game was between the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks. Both good teams with good professional players. But the Bucks obviously had their date with Miami circled on their calendar and were just waiting for the day when they would meet the Heat once again.
The last time the two teams met it was in the second round of the NBA playoffs last year and the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks had their aim set for the finals and a possible NBA Championship. But that night, the Heat were a little more focused than the Bucks and, in a stunning upset, the Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs. Maybe some trash-talking took place, maybe not. But it was a defeat that the Bucks were not about to forget.
TNT Tells Viewers To Change The Channel
When the two clubs did finally meet again yesterday night for a rematch, the Bucks started off with a 12-0 run and then led by a score of 46-26 at the end of the first quarter. It never got any better for the Heat.
Milwaukee dominated the game right up until the end and finished with a final score of 144-97, setting a new NBA record in the process by sinking 29 3-point shots. The game was so one-sided as to be somewhat embarassing, so, when the score got to be 93-62 in the third quarter, TNT decided that it could do better and switched the game off.
It was a nationally televised NBA game, with Ernie Johnson, Shaq O’Neil, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith all there for commentary. But, what can you say about such a game. The guys were making jokes and turning the channels to look for a better game. Ernie Johnson said, “Call us if it gets within 15-20 points and we will come back on.”
Play–by-play announcer Brian Anderson added, “There’s a lot of games going on in the NBA tonight. This doesn’t appear to be one of them.”
That was after the Dallas Mavericks racked up a 50-point lead against the LA Clippers a few days earlier. This is just the beginning of the new season – it will be interesting to see what lies ahead.