One thing I noticed: NBA players spend an inordinate amount of time gawking at the Jumbotron. I started wondering if it affects their concentration. Consider this quote:
It wasn't Wilkins' day on May 22, 1988, even though he outscored Bird in Boston's 118-116 win over Atlanta at the old Boston Garden. Wilkins finished with 47 points, 16 in the fourth quarter, and Bird had 34, with 20 in the final period.Players are always checking the instant replay, the close-ups of the cheerleaders, the booing schlub in the nosebleeds, the opposing coach's pit stains... if I were an NBA coach, it'd drive me batty.
"I'm very aware of the game," Pierce said. "They don't ever let you forget it when you look up to the jumbotron."
"Keep your head in the game," I'd tell 'em before the contest started. "Anyone who cranes his neck toward the television to check his style points on a dunk gets five minutes on the bench. Anyone who bets on that stupid boat/car/airplane race graphic sits for the night."
Could the JumboTron be solely responsible for the NBA's explosion of preening narcissism?