Every year the NCAA Tournament brings out the NBA snobbery of some people — they pick apart the flaws and execution errors of the college teams, laugh at the mockery that is the “amateur” system the NCAA enforces, and generally act above it all.
Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins is one of those guys.
He’s not watching the tournament — and his son plays on the Minnesota team that faces UCLA in the first round Friday. (Call me a snob, but to me the round of 64 is still the first round, the play-in games I have no use for.)
“I’m not,” he said. “I don’t watch him play.”
Because? “I don’t like college basketball,” he said.
He’s not kidding — he said he went to his son’s high school games and hated it (not his son, the level of play). When pressed a little he elaborated.
“It’s hard to watch college basketball … There’s not a lot of playing,” he said. “The pro game, with the 24-second clock, moving up and down the court, you get at least 100 possessions every game.
“In college, especially in the Big Ten … I watched Wisconsin and Minnesota play down the stretch and I couldn’t take it. They just hold the ball and hold the ball, and try to get a shot with 10 seconds on the clock.
To be fair, the NBA only averaged 94.7 possessions in 48 minutes. College games that drops closer to 70 (depends on the team).
I’m not snob guy — I like college basketball. I have Long Beach State season tickets (three straight years Big West regular season champs, thank you very much). I love the energy and passion the players go with most nights. Please, please don’t try to argue college is better basketball — if you think college teams play better as a team, you don’t know the game or don’t watch enough NBA. The picks that are set in college are weak, the mental mistakes far more numerous (and not as quickly exploited) and teams do take their time trying to pick a hole in the defense. But that doesn’t make it hard for me to watch.
I’m a basketball junkie — college, NBA, I watch it all. I love them both for what they are, not pick them apart for what they are not. Why can’t we just all get along?