A quick rebuttal:
- Stars have been getting bailed out by the refs since at least the 80s. Part of the evolving meta of the game will always be figuring out how to get/avoid getting calls. And the league continually makes changes. Flopping has decreased the past couple of seasons because the league told refs to ignore it. James Harden's signature move (which Steph and others often used) of initiating contact behind the 3 pt. line by leaning into defenders got effectively banned in the offseason last year. You can always complain about the refs but it rings kind of hollow in a sport that isn't hesitant to consistently tweak its rules.
- I would much rather watch a league where they score 240 pts. a night that's largely based on effective passing and distribution of the ball than the BORING meta of the late 90s to late-2000s where it was just endless isos or passing the ball to a big man and forcing the refs to make a 50/50 call on every play. If you don't like watching Jokic distributing the ball from the 5 or teams firing cross-court passes to hit outside shots, you just might not like basketball.
They eliminated the Harden rule...on Harden. Not Booker, not Derozan, not Shai, not Tatum... Watch 48 minutes of Trae Young flopping (pro tip, you only need to watch 2 minutes to see the first full body spasm and delayed whistle). Or Karl Anthony-Towns stop running the floor to argue every time he misses a jumper, or Zach Lavine on every missed layup. It's a poor product. I've watched basketball religiously for 35 years. It has steadily declined to the point I canceled my league pass for the first time this year since it's been a thing. Some nights I watch recap highlights on YT. I can't watch a full game any more.
The original game (the Naismith 13) was based on offense and defense and rule changes through the early 2000's an equilibrium remained. The 3-point line and shot clock were each added and were added to increase offense. Largely good changes as it didn't drastically disrupt the balance.
When you remove the defense as has been done now by not calling traveling, carrying, illegal screens, you're just watching open gym. Anyone with a handle can create their own shot at any time. You can't body up, you can't fight through screens, you can't knock ball loose cleanly and you ARE allowed to take 3-4 steps and repeatedly carry the ball. Again, maybe that's more exciting or evolution. To that I would say adjust the rules to the reality. Palming, carrying, 3 steps are allowed, etc.
To your point some people must like it. I don't. I'd much rather watch a team where it was team, where you had to fill roles to be successful, where the team had an identity, where Rick Mahorn getting injured, a marginal bench player, meant the team was going to struggle for a few days until they had him back.