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The NBA is mad as hell … and fans just want to consume it more

The league this season sometimes appears to be fighting and arguments with a few games thrown in. And that makes the players all the more relatable

The NBA is in the midst of a season in which TV ratings are up double digit percentage points, young and exciting teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves are arriving as contenders and, night after night – from LeBron James to Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook to Giannis Antetokuonmpo – fans can enjoy a depth of skill and athleticism that has never before been seen in the sport. While the talk around the NFL is how that league is past its peak in popularity, the narrative on the NBA’s future is nothing but positivity and light. It’s easy to make the argument that there has never been a better time for the NBA. Now someone just needs to let the NBA’s players in on the news.

While NBA fans swoon over pretty much everything about the league in 2018 – dip a toe into NBA Twitter on a random Tuesday and you’ll see it hype a game between the Grizzlies and Suns like its Game 7 of the Finals – the players themselves apparently don’t feel the same way. Just in the past seven days, we saw a player angrily score 46 points on an opponent after mistakenly thinking he was picked last for the All-Star teams and then, three days later, a player dismissively stared down the opposing bench while dribbling out the final seconds of the clock in a victory. OK, so both of those were produced by Russell Westbrook, already the NBA’s all-time career leader in completely invented indignation. But it’s not just Westbrook who is made out of mad anymore. The whole league seems pissed off.

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