Child of the 80s

19 06 2008

I am a child of the 80s.  This week has made me feel like a kid again.

Watching the Lakers and the Celtics battle it out in the NBA finals reminds me of those fantastic battles those teams had in the 80s.

And, then last night, my wife and I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie.

If I didn’t know better, I would assume that I have jumped through some kind of time warp and ended up back in the 80s.

It’s fun feeling like a kid again.  I don’t feel this way very often anymore!

Larry and Magic  Indiana Jones





2008 NBA finals

6 06 2008

NBA Finals

I feel like a kid again watching the NBA finals this year.  I remember watching the Lakers and the Celtics back in the 80s.  Man, I loved the Lakers.  I was a HUGE Kareem Abdul Jabbar fan.  And, I loved watching Magic Johnson work his magic.  Loved everything about the Showtime Lakers.  James Worthy, Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis, AC Greene, Michael Cooper.  I loved all those guys.

 

And, I absolutely hated the Celtics.  Larry Bird drove me crazy.  Even then, I respected him as a basketball player which was why I couldn’t stand him.  I didn’t like Kevin McHale or Robert Parrish or Dennis Johnson.  The one I hated the most was Danny Ainge.  Really, there was no reason not to like those guys, but I didn’t.  I guess that’s sports.

My, how times have changed.  I do feel like a kid again watching these two teams square off.  But, it’s funny how my loyalties have completely changed.  Don’t get me wrong…I am still not a big fan of the Celtics (although I have always been a KG fan).  But, I hate the Lakers now way more than I ever hated the Celtics as a kid.  I do not like Kobe Cryant at all.  I don’t like any of the present day Lakers.

Leading up to this series, I have been reminiscing about the old 80s Lakers v. Celtics series.  But, I didn’t really think this series would feel like those did.  I didn’t really think there would be that much of a rivalry feeling between these teams.  But, I do have to say after watching Game 1, that there was a unique quality to this series that does kind of remind me of the rivalry that I knew as a kid.  It will be interesting to see if it lasts for the entire series.  I hope it does!

Watching Kevin Garnett pound that rebound through the hoop over Pau Gasol was awesome!  And, Paul Pierce was the man tonight.  Wow!

It’s fun feeling like a kid again.

My wife and I went to see the Mavericks play in Boston in ’06.  The Mavericks have great arena fan fare and atmosphere, but they can’t touch the Celtics.  The Celtics don’t have to do anything but point to the rafters.  It’s easy for them to create a video montage that can generate energy, excitement, and enthusiasm from their crowd.  Afterall, they have footage from 16 previous championship journeys to choose from.  When I saw that in person, I was blown away.  What a team legacy.  I just sat there and wished for one…just one…championship from my team.  They can’t even think about building a legacy at this point.  But, they are still my team and I will keep pulling for them.  Go Mavs!

Anyway, back to the point of this post…this series is going to be fun to watch.  Short of Dallas winning the title, the next best thing, for me, is to see Kobe cry before these playoffs are over.  Go Boston…you are my last hope!





The problem with the NBA

28 05 2008

NBAIn my opinion, the biggest problem with the NBA is the subjectivity of the referees.  This was on full display last night in game 4 of the Lakers vs. Spurs Western Conference finals series.  Brent Barry got the ball with just a couple seconds left, pump faked and got Derek Fisher to bite and jump into the air.  As Fisher came down, there was obvious contact between him and Barry.  Barry’s mistake was in seemingly trying to avoid contact instead of leaning into Fisher which would have almost certainly forced the ref to blow the whistle.  But, since he appeared to try to elude contact, the ref opted for the non-call.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not a Spurs apologist.  In fact the best thing about this series is that either the Lakers or the Spurs are going to lose!

But, this play just illustrates what is in my opinion the biggest problem that the NBA has.  There is just too much subjectivity on the part of the officials.  They call the game based on the context of the game.  There is something inehently wrong with that.  In other words, early in the game, the contact between Fisher and Barry would have almost certainly been a foul, but at this point, in this context, it was not.  It’s either a foul or it’s not a foul….right?  Apparently not.

And, this modus operandi is just commonly accepted among everyone associated with the game including players, coaches, analysts, beat writers, broadcasters, etc etc…

On every single possession, there is one or more calls that could be made and it is left entirely up to the three officials on the court to make a subjective decision on whether or not to blow the whistle.

One classic situation that happens all the time in the NBA is the late whistle foul.  In this situation, a player drives to the basket and takes some contact in the act of shooting a lay-up.  The ball bounces around the rim and eventually falls out.  It isn’t until that point that the referee blows the whistle.  Clearly, the referee is waiting to see if the ball went before making the decision to blow the whistle.  So, if the ball had gone in, this would not have been a foul, but since it bouced out, the whistle blows.  This situation drives me insane everytime I see it.  Do they think we are idiots?  Either it’s a foul or it’s not a foul.  Whether or not the ball goes through the basket should not make any difference.  But, everyone knows that it does.  And, we all just accept this as part of the game.

So, what can be done to address this problem?  Well, that’s why it is the NBA’s biggest problem in my opinion…because there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it.  It will constantly lead to consipiracy theories, to outcomes such as last night’s game where the ref basically dictated the result, to star players getting the benefit of the doubt calls, to rookies getting the rookie calls, to floppers, to whiney players, to dirty players (ie – Ginoble, Duncan, Bowen, and oh yeah….Derek Fisher), etc etc.

So, what am I trying to say?  Well, mostly that I love the NBA, but I hate this aspect of it and it frustrates me to no end season after season.