Mark Cuban made a dig at White Castle when criticizing the NCAA’s basketball referees last night.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is always willing to express his mind, and that especially includes ways that the NBA can be hurt by the college game. Last night, Cuban talked to ESPN about how poor officiating and a slower-paced style hurt the NBA
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"“The referees couldn’t manage a White Castle. Seriously, the college game is more physical than the NBA game, and the variation in how it’s called from game to game [is a problem]. Hell, they don’t even have standards on balls. They use different balls. One team’s got one ball, the other team’s got another ball. There are so many things that are ridiculous.”"
But Cuban didn’t consider the collateral damage of his words. What’s so bad about managing a White Castle, Mark? You think that just because you get to sit down in a chair when you appear on Shark Tank that you are suddenly too good for White Castle? It’s a castle. Y’know, for lords and nobles?
You just did show him how its done.
Ruthless comments on the fine mini-burger establishment aside, Cuban is correct when it comes to the college game. The appeal of NCAA basketball is the dominance of fundamentals and team play over the individual. But those fundamentals go out the window when offenses are forced to dribble out back and forth around the three point line for precious seconds of the shot clock before finding a contested long jumper or maybe a difficult layup.
Combine that with the inconsistency in officiating, and the chasm in talent and fluidity between the NBA and NCAA becomes even wider.
Cuban emphasized this point when talking to ESPN.
"“If they want to keep kids in school and keep them from being pro players, they’re doing it the exact right way by having the 35-second shot clock and having the game look and officiated the way it is,” Cuban said Wednesday night. “Just because kids don’t know how to play a full game of basketball.”"
The difficult transition from college to the pros is becoming more pronounced than ever for rookies. With the exceptions of Andrew Wiggins and Nikola Mirotic, the latter of whom played in Spain rather than in the NCAA, this year’s crop of rookies has struggled to succeed on the floor either due to injury or to the faster style of play.
This is because players don’t have the experience of the NBA gauntlet. The game is slowed down in college, and new rookies are finding their bodies over-challenged. Solving officiating may not solve the larger problem, but it will be a move in the right direction.
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