February 22, 2007
Everywhere I go, people ask me about the best athletes in sports. They ask me which game do I love?
Well, I love all different sports at all kinds of levels. I can go to a high school football game in Florida on a Friday night. I can watch high school basketball, obviously I love my college hoops. I enjoy attending Bucs games in Tampa. I enjoy seeing the NBA, and I go to Notre Dame football games.
No matter what sport you want to talk about, their is something positive.
College basketball is about the pagentry, the enthusiasm, the cheerleaders, the alumni ... everybody gets involved, baby!
When you talk about the NBA, you are seeing the greatest athletes of them all. I know that some feel that baseball players are so special for their ability to hit a ball thrown at amazing speeds. I know football players are physical and tough.
When you watch pro basketball, think about the athletic ability and agility of players who are 6-5, 6-7, 6-8, 6-10, 6-11. Look at LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and watch how well they move up and down the court in a game played at an incredible speed.
Give David Stern all the credit in the world. He has pro basketball at a great level. I also feel the decision to have high school players go to college for at least one season to hone their skills is a good one for all basketball fans. The college game gets guys like Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Chase Budinger, Ty Lawson and on and on, and these kids gain experience and the discipline of the collegiate lifestyle. The NBA will get a more refined player in due time
Stern does a masterful job. He's like an artist at work in the world of marketing. The explosion of the sport globally has been incredible.
So sit down, catch an NBA game and enjoy the athleticism and talent of its players. My friends, they are very special.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.