Reading through these posts, it's amazing to me how people
can be so unappreciative of experts who have worked for
years to develop their skills. ...
Sorry breaux but this is the worst analogy ever. It's not the NBA player playing with a point handicap, it's him playing without an arm.
The point isn't the mechanics of the analogy, it's the contention that average people underestimate the ability of experts, which I agree with.
Most weekend players (in any sport/competition) simply don't realize how much they don't know and see professionals as better versions of themselves, e.g. weekend basketball player sees NBA pros as stronger/faster/more accurate versions of themselves when in reality, there's probably another complete level the pros are operating on that the amateur doesn't even see.