Ric Bucher: “It was a ridiculous call [Kawhi Leonard's offensive foul vs. Nets]. THAT and the minutes restriction with Paul George is what is wrong with the NBA right now, and one of the reasons it’s just become three-point shooting/drive to the hoop/ kick it/or a throw a lob. The game has become so predictable and vanilla in that everybody is playing the same way… I was coming up with a revolutionary idea where we actually get rid of the three-point line and teams actually running plays and running sets, and doing something other than just coming down and jacking it from the three-point line, or driving to the hoop and kicking it and THEN jacking it from the three-point line. If you allowed the physicality back into the game that would solve a lot of problems and teams would have to run sets in order to create open shots. Right now you just put the ball into your best ball handler or shooter’s hands and he’s either going to draw a foul, he’s gonna get a clean look at a three, or he’s going to drive inside and then kick it for a clean look for three… Allow physicality where in no circumstance James Harden defending Kawhi Leonard on that drive can be viewed as a foul… I don’t even blame the referees; it’s how they’re instructing the game to be officiated. It's just not as entertaining as it once was… There have always been ‘terrible games’, and now that we see them we are more conscious of the games that are run-of-the-mill, but I think in general the quality of the games and the style that is being played is glorified AAU basketball -- run up and down and shoot it. It’s just not attractive basketball. I believe that the league has if not endorsed it, certainly encouraged it by the way in which the game is being officiated, and the way teams have been allowed to develop this ‘we’re going to wrap players in bubble wrap’, and be very cautious with them physically, not allow any physicality in the game, and we’re going to be careful with emotions… As someone who has followed the NBA for a long, long time, and loves it and loves the game, I look at it and go ‘you’re messing with the integrity of the game’, and I’ve never seen it as bad as it is now… The product itself is not anywhere close to what it once was.” (Full Segment Above)
Listen to Ric Bucher explain to Doug Gottlieb why he thinks the NBA's brand of basketball has turned into a ‘glorified AAU game' with the lack of physicality and obsession with three-point shooting, as Bucher says it seems literally every team now is playing the same form of predictably ‘vanilla’ basketball.
Check out the segment above as the long-time NBA reporter details why the league’s product is as bad as Bucher has ever seen it.