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Why Do Basketball Players Slap Fight Like Schoolchildren?

Let the slapping and pushing commence!

Whenever I read Deadspin or Yahoo! Sports (the latter is much more rare than the former) there is almost always a new post on fighting in, at, or around a professional sports game.  It’s clear that our culture has a serious infatuation with fisticuffs even if I don’t love it, but the real question has to be why is the action in the stands, on the ice, and inside the box always SO MUCH better than a basketball fight?

The guys in the NBA are some of the best athletes in the world, right?  And many have more than enough tattoos for me to believe that they are tough.  So what’s with all the slap boxing?  I’d rather not see the fighting at all, but honestly, if you’re going to fight, then fight.  But this slap happy crappiness has simply got to go.

Now it makes sense that lacrosse and hockey fights would be much better than basketball fights, because you can actually fight in those leagues and the rules are crafted in a way that it’s not going to an immediate suspension.  So maybe the basketball guys just aren’t training correctly and are unprepared to throw down?  Or, maybe they just aren’t quite as in to it?  I mean, lacrosse and hockey fights usually start after quite a few cheap shots and missed calls, or something like that.  But basketball fights can start because someone stepped on your foot, or played defense too hard.

Basically, the hockey and lacrosse guys are actually fighting.  The Bballers, on the other hand, just feel disrespected, so they begin slapping people.  It actually makes a lot more sense now.  I still can’t explain why fan fights look more like real fights than basketball fights, but maybe it’s because the fans care more than the players in the NBA do… totally possible.

Don’t believe me?  Here are some PRIME examples of the overall sissy-tastic nature of basketball fights.  Watch ’em and then tell me you don’t have less respect for every basketball player you know.  In the late 90s I believe the term was “fronting”…

THIS is a legitimate swing? Come on NBA. Soft.

Oh, and it’s not just here in the States!  Check out this brawl from China between the Chinese National Team and Georgetown.  It starts with some slapping, then moves on to a group of guys kicking a guy on the floor (classy), lots more slapping and pushing, and then a Chinese player picks up a chair and doesn’t throw it.  WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?  Is every basketball player in the world a little cry baby capable of throwing a temper tantrum because they got fouled a little harder than usual?  Either throw down like a man, or play baseball.  This is getting ridiculous.

It’s now official, and I never thought I’d say it, but SOCCER players are tougher than basketball players.  I’ll take ninja kicks with cleats on as legitimate over some light slapping and pushing any day.

And then of course there’s lacrosse… where the men are still men.  I still think fighting in lacrosse is pretty stupid, but at least its real fighting and we call it like we see it.  Two men step up, agree to fight, and settle their differences.  Plus I’m pretty confident the Junior A guys in this video could take 99% of NBA players in a fight.