Anything that requires sound fundamentals, discipline and regimented training won't draw the young audiences that the NBA believes is their audience. The real blood and guts viewers would return with a strong dose of following of the rules and excellence in execution. Duncan is not a good example there as he is dull in his own eyes. A de-thugging of the NBA would result in the cry of racism, but that's what would be needed. The NBA suffered when it became a slave to "Showtime" Lakers style of basketball. Back in the day (my youth), we would comment on the allowance of the extra step in a layup so the player could execute a dunk. We saw the allowance of carrying the basketball because of the smaller hands of players not being able to execute correct ball handling. We saw the game changing as the rules were selectively executed. Then came the Shaq rules. Shaq rules? Yeah, you couldn't call three seconds as that's where the big man had to live. In the paint! You also had to allow them to be a bit more physical as they were bigger and they couldn't be expected to be able to not bounce the smaller players around. Remember Daryl Dawkins, bustin' backboards? That was done starting from outside of the paint! That's what the white dominated audiences wanted to see. Massive players, battleships, dominating the game. Dr. J was too smooth. That game had to go. The game became more confrontational. Big men had to be seen (and allowed to be) dominating in the paint! I remember the birth of the "Big Guard." Reggie Theus, Magic, etc. The game started downhill from there, IMHO. Not these players, but the mindset of the league as to how to grow the game appeal from then forward. And now with the hands off new rules of the NBA, the "And 1" league must appear to be growing. This will be where the next phenomenon must appear to come from to justify the next slide in the game standards.