A Hand Shake Can Go A Long Way
On Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat ended their series as the Heat defeated the Celtics 97-87 and win the series 4-1. As the final buzzer went off inside the American Airlines Arena, most of the Boston Celtics had walked off the court and no handshaking occurred to congratulate each other on a hard-fought series and good luck in the next round.
So why exactly can not shaking hands become a big deal? I'll tell you why!
So the NBA has been tagged with being a "thug league" for many years now. David Stern, the NBA's commissioner has taken steps to improve the image of the NBA. A few examples of this are the "NBA Cares" program, having players dress in business attire while sitting behind the bench at a game, and fining people for negative remarks/criticism towards the league via fines.
But the one thing that is missing from all of this is sportsmanship. The issues with technical fouls as I've described previous contributes to this, and now shaking hands with your opponent after the conclusion of a playoff series are contributors to the image of the NBA. If the NBA wants their league to be perceived as a cleaner, more professional league, they ought to keep enforcing the conduct of their players and encourage more acts of sportsmanship. Just take the Andrew Bynum incident against the Dallas Mavericks as the PERFECT example of the image of the NBA being tarnished right in front of the nation's eyes!
Take a look at the NHL, they may check each other into the boards and slap a puck into an opposing player, but at least they have a great tradition of shaking hands after the conclusion of a playoff series. Yes the NHL does have Sean Avery and his comments and acts, but he has been heavily policed and enforced by the NHL.
Look I wasn't so much bothered that the Celtics didn't shake the hands of the Heat players since some of them were crying and emotional and crazy on their own side of the court. But if the NBA wants to clean up their image further, they better crack down on the hard fouls, hand shakes, and the comments made by players and coaches within their league! I've always been taught in life that a small good gesture can go a long way!