In the game of basketball, there are few things more celebrated than the dunk. Watching a player soar over other son the court to slam a ball through the hoop with authority is amazing. When it is cone well, it brings the crowd to its feet, and it can turn the tide of the game. While the dunk is electrifying, there are plenty of them in a game, and they are glorified by the media, the players and the NBA itself with its infamous dunk contest during the All Star Game.
There is nothing wrong with glorifying this part of the game; at least, not anything more wrong than glorifying any other aspect of any sport. However, when the glorification comes at the expense of a defending player, the NBA and its fans should rethink what they really covet. Dunks are a dime a dozen; defense is hard to come by.
When a player is described as posterized, it is usually a defending player who has attempted to do his job – stop the other team from scoring. Just because the player did not successfully defend the play is no reason to denigrate his play. In fact, every player should be doing his best to be posterized by playing defense in the right way every time.
By glorifying posterization, the NBA and the culture that it represents is essentially telling its players that defense is the last thing that anyone should be worried about. While no one wants to watch a 46 to 45 defensive battle at the professional level. Increasing the risk to a player’s reputation on defense comes at the detriment of the game and of those who would play the game for the love of it. It also sends the wrong message to society. Instead of being concerned about being posterized, maybe the defensive player needs to start thinking about the number of posters he can get on because he was in the face of the offensive player when he was supposed to be. Failure shouldn’t be denigrated; not trying should be.