Lowering the rims: the real question is, what is basketball?

The “lowering the rims discussion, featuring Jemele Hill and Michael Smith.

This was a topic on social media last week, and I chose not to link the subsequent stories on the argument because I’m tired of it. What Hill and Smith say in the video linked above is what I did earlier today on the Sports Social radio show: lowering the rims would mean the women’s game would change to become like what the men’s game has morphed into, which is more stunts than basketball. Do we want that? This is the central question.

The NBA of the 1970’s and 1980’s was team and fundamentals-oriented. That’s the NBA I grew up watching. Today’s NBA is about showmanship: dunks and fancy moves, and lazy defense. NBA players get paid insane amounts of money – some just to sit on the bench. The good ones are more like Hollywood stars than athletes.

The women’s game, which is still fundamentals-based, gets compared to the flashy NBA and is called “boring.” That’s the issue. So should we conform to the newer “show” ideal, or stay the way we are?

Not that the rims are in danger of being lowered anytime soon, but if a change were ever to be made, we’d all need to have this discussion first.