Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NBA Finals

I'm trying really hard here to get excited and involved with these NBA finals. But instead of watching game three right now, I am writing this (well, admittedly, it's on in the background).

While I think it's safe to say that David Stern did a few cartwheels when Detroit and San Antonio got eliminated (don't get me started on how Tim Duncan is the most boring athlete in professional sports -- that's another blog entry for later), I just can't see how many people are excited about this series. Are you?

Let's discuss.

First, there's Kobe Bryant. League MVP. Okay, he's really good. Maybe even deserved the award this year. But no one likes him (yet another aside -- is Kobe our generation's Ty Cobb???). I lived in LA when the Lakers won their recent three championships and while I rooted for them, I never really could get too enamored of Kobe. Shaq, now there's a guy you can root for, laugh with and even at, and generally want to watch. Side note: Kobe gets acquitted for rape and last year made around $17MM in endorsements. What does that say?

Next, the Celtics. You can root for KG (guy who's never won one, maybe should have won the MVP); you can root for Paul Pierce (guy who's been on this team for so long and contributed much); or you can even root for Ray Allen (understated but great, kind of like a Joe Dumars type). My problem is that these guys don't really seem like a team. They feel more like a bunch of hired guns brought in to get the job done. Not much emotion or camraderie.

So the NBA tries as it might. Pairing Magic with Larry Bird in that strange half-screen morphing ad campaign is an awkward and almost desperate move. Yeah, this series is really like the Magic/Bird, showtime vs. Celtics dynasty series of legend. Right.

Lot's of other mini-stories too. Perkins from Beaumont, Texas. That town has to be one of the worst in the country. And this guy came straight out of high school. Or Powe. Kid was homeless and went on to excel at Cal and now in Boston. In a way, David Stern is getting just what he asked for -- the promotion of the individual and not the team.

It's not that these finals are awful. They just aren't what they used to be. I think I'll stick with College sports. Or maybe Tiger will put on a show this weekend.

Ho hum.


Assman said...

Meh - once the Pistons were bounced, my interest dropped significantly. I did watch a portion of the game last night, but I was mostly watching The Office on TBS last night. I suppose you can't really blame the NBA for trying to connect this finals series with the ones from the 80s - after all, they're only trying to make a buck. But it's an apples/oranges comparison.

scrodnals said...

I watched Office reruns too. Sometimes the NBA is just painful to watch. And now, the NBA has a scandal on its hands as ousted gambling fiend referee Donaghy claims high level leaugue officials enlisted 2 referees to fix the 2002 Lakers v. Kings series.

Taxman said...

i couldn't agree more about the hired gun perception of the Celts. In a way it's a nice story that a 26 win team could win a title the next year but to pilfer KG & Ray Allen to do it just doesn't feel right. Not that the Lakers highway robbery of Pau Gasol makes them any more legit in my eyes...NBA titles are generally earned by going thru the hard knocks of losing for a couple of years before you reach the pinnacle. These teams feel like phony title contenders to me.

The Sports Guy had some hilariously choice words for the Lakers fans - making fun of Paul Pierce and accusing him of faking his knee injury in Game 1 while constantly defending Kobe's selfish antics and chanting MVP whenever he does anything good:

"...for the Lakers' fans to have the gall to question any other NBA star's character is three times as insane. In retrospect, Pierce's only mistake was not diffusing the Lakers fans before Game 3 by settling with his right knee out of court and buying it a $4 million diamond ring."

I hate Kobe.