Ayton’s Game-Winning Alley-Oop Proves NBA Has Good Product, If It Could Just Get Out of Its Own Way

The NBA still has a lot going for it.

Sure, the product on the court isn’t what it was during the Michael Jordan era, but there’s still some good, fun basketball being played. That was evident when Deandre Ayton threw down a game-winning alley-oop to take Game 2 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

With the Suns down 102-103 with 0.9 seconds left in the game, Jae Crowder lobbed an out-of-bounds pass up over the goal. Ayton, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, took the lob and knocked in a quick dunk as the buzzer went off.

Game. Set. Match. Phoenix won 104-103.

That outstanding sequence gave the Suns a 2-0 lead heading into Thursday night’s Game 3. Fun play, right? I’ve been coming in and out of the NBA playoffs, but I just so happened to catch this game-winner live. I enjoyed it, but it also made me realize something.

The NBA still has a good product. They just need to get out of their own way.

Alienating a huge portion of their potential fanbase by pushing politics isn’t the way to go. Neither is attempting to ban the National Anthem from being played pregame while they’re throwing up celebrations of the Chinese New Year on jumbotrons.

Watching superstars such as LeBron James whine and flop on a night-in, night-out basis? Once again, not it. First off, not everything is a foul. Secondly, you’re not always going to get the call you want. Leave that over-the-top complaining to the fans and just play basketball.

I know I’m only scratching the surface of the issues a lot of people have with the sport. There are plenty of things I’m forgetting to include, but the point is this: the NBA is sabotaging its own popularity.

The speed of the game, the pure athleticism, the playoff structure … all of it can make for fun T.V. As someone who grew up watching Jordan, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and a young Kobe Bryant, I hate to see where the game has gone today.

That especially holds true when I see plays like that final alley-oop to Ayton. It reminds me how much fun the sport can be.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.


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    • I hope this is true….maybe it will send a message to the league. There’s much to overcome; politics, load management /tanking, flopping, officiating, incessant replays, subserviance to China

      My hometowns Suns have enticed me back into B-ball after 10 dreadful years….their character, style of play, lack of politics and the drama they’ve been providing. I encourage you to give a boost to good guys in this league. Give ’em a try, you’ll be entertained.

  1. Totally understandable how some of us are ‘done’ with Pro Sports, especially the BLM bulls*t on the courts, and fake causes on the jerseys, dis’ing the flag and anthem; but basketball is basketball. And it’s one of the greatest games ever invented. These players, past and present, truly are remarkable; and it’s fun to watch competition at this insane level.
    Has anyone noticed how awesome this post season is without LeFraud?!
    Sports gives us bonds and memories with Dads, Grandpas, Sons – Moms, Grandmas, Daughters, too! – and other family/friends that are priceless and plentiful.
    I HOPE, Hope, hope this woke BS fades into the sunset – not just in sports, but even more importantly – in the media and ‘government.’ Also gotta remember that most of these young athletes are barely in their 20’s, and aren’t equipped to handle FAKE NEWS PROPAGANDA like those of us who’ve painfully watched our country get acceleratingly destroyed by CNN & Co.
    It’s way to fake to be sustainable! And as Clay often points out, only 1 in 50 of us are on TWTR…

  2. Yeah, some of these guys are just amazing to watch – I’d never seen Booker play until this playoffs and he is incredible, same for Donovan Mitchell. This is the most I’ve watched in 2 years due to all the SJW crap, but the one thing that really stands out is how horrible the officials are, and the smart players know it. Harden and a few others just play the officials and they fall for it nearly every time. It’s sad that the level of officiating doesn’t even approach the level of play.

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