NBA by Ethan Ticehurst ’18
The only time I have ever fallen asleep in the middle of watching sports involved the New York Islanders and the Montreal Canadiens. I had originally sat down in front of the TV figuring that my love of Providence College hockey would translate to the NHL. This was the worst assumption I have ever made. I didn’t know any of the players, no one had scored by the third period, and the puck was incredibly difficult to follow.
While I was sitting there, fighting a losing battle against my drooping eyelids, I started to think about the NBA instead and the comparison started. Even those who don’t follow basketball can hear the names LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant and know that these people are important basketball players. After Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby, I was tapped out on hockey stars.
Thinking of Jordan and Bryant led me to think about the dynasties that those two have led and all the other ones that have happened in NBA history. The ’90 Bulls. The 2000s Lakers. The ’60s Celtics. The present Warriors and Cavaliers. Switching my focus to the NHL, I remembered that maybe the Islanders had been good once at some indeterminate point in the past?
The NBA will always have more of a cultural impact on the United States than the NHL. If you are a big hockey fan and you would rather live in a place that values hockey as much as you do, let me tell you about Canada.
NHL by Lauren Altmeyer ’17
The National Hockey League is, without a doubt, more fun to watch than the NBA. With 60 minutes of nonstop action, thrilling goals, and exhilarating fights, there is never a dull moment in a hockey game. Players like Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Jonathan Toews, and Connor McDavid are among some of the greatest athletes in the world and will someday be grouped with hockey legends.
Not to mention that NHL players are some of the toughest athletes out there. During the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell finished his shift on a broken leg and then skated off the ice on his own, while Patrice Bergeron played with a broken rib, a separated shoulder, and a punctured lung. In the 2011 playoffs, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning broke his nose and missed no more than six minutes of the game. Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley’s heart stopped on the bench in 2014, and as soon as he was revived, he asked if he could finish the game. Meanwhile, during the 2014 NBA Finals, Lebron James had to be carried off the court due to a leg cramp. The NHL players push through these injuries for the glory of winning the Stanley Cup, sports’ hardest trophy to win. The outcome is always unpredictable and always fun to watch.
So if you’re looking to watch overpaid athletes with a low pain tolerance, the NBA is for you. But if you’re looking to watch the world’s toughest athletes play the fastest team sport, the NHL awaits.