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THERE'S AN ILL WIND BLOWING FOR THE NBA
John Papanek
February 26, 1979
Attendance is slipping and the league's TV ratings have plummeted, leading to a lot of cries and whispers about the real problems
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February 26, 1979

There's An Ill Wind Blowing For The Nba

Attendance is slipping and the league's TV ratings have plummeted, leading to a lot of cries and whispers about the real problems

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The trouble is that many young NBA players, and more who will enter the league, see it that way. Says West, "Players today are bigger, faster, quicker, better...and dumber." Says Attles, "Players today have more talent than when I came into the league in 1960. But not as many study and learn the game. They rely on raw talent, and expect to make a lot of money and have their own way. And you can't blame them. It's the system they came through. Remember, these are the kids who in junior high were recruited by a dozen high schools'. Today's players all want to play as a team, but too many want to be the head of that team."

The Players Association, if not Commissioner O'Brien, feels the NBA is facing a crisis. "Our immediate goal," says Silas, "is to make the fan understand that we are not sloughing off in our games. When he realizes this, we can try to change his perception of us—not just the black players, but the white ones, too. This is something we just have not talked about enough. Most of us are intelligent and hard-working. We care about our sport and our communities. The NBA has a problem and it is something that has to be brought out in the open and dealt with."

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