The resignation this week of JBA president Yasuhiko Fukatsu only hammers home the point that coming together for the common good to position the sport for future success in Japan and overseas competition is not something that is a key concern for those running the show ... and running it into the ground.
Since FIBA's demands for one -- and only one -- top league in Japan were made in February 2009 during an official visit to Tokyo, there's only been five years of stalling, meetings that resulted in zero accomplishments, wasted time, finger pointing, empty statements, impossible blueprints for a new league (one insane plan called for 36 teams, for instance in a nation where it's not uncommon for a team to use six, seven, or eight "home" gyms during a given season), new committees being formed without any vision or passion to make a difference.
None of this is a surprise, though.
The great sport, played and loved by millions around the world, is held back in Japan by never-ending backstabbing, clinging to the past (the corporate league relics of a time gone by; the wishes of many who stall the merger) and far too many instances of cronyism, nepotism and incompetence. (It's a wonder these two leagues can even administer themselves during the long season. Of course, the NBL's Wakayama Trians' ongoing economic woes, and the Tsukuba Robots management being booted aside and the team being taken over by NBL management are only the tip of the iceberg. ... and bj-league teams have had many similar crises.)
A Japan Today commenter summed it all up quite well by writing:
"Japanese basketball looks like such a mess. I'm hesitant to give them my money by attending a game since they've failed to get their act together for many years. This is a really sad situation for basketball fans and for young people in Japan. The incompetence of the people being paid to manage it is astounding."
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