In the spirit of the NBA Playoffs, I’m using today’s post to respond to a request from loyal reader Andrew Kuklinski. Andrew writes:
“Not that it matters, but I would like to see an Andrew Miller perspective on any one of the following topics: Lebron James legacy, Lebron James free agency 2010, Lakers and Kobe, Kobe vs. Lebron, or even plain jane NBA playoffs. That is all.”
Not that it matters? Mr. Kuklinski, I wrote about my problem with stinky towels yesterday. That makes the NBA Playoffs look like a Supreme Court nomination.
For those who don’t know, I’m a diehard Orlando Magic fan. The Magic are among the four remaining teams in the playoffs, joined by the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics. I feel the need to verify this because I sense no one really watches the NBA anymore. I get that. The 82-game season is simply too long and the playoffs can go a maximum of 28 games (if a team plays four seven-game series).
Here’s some quick hits on the NBA Playoffs. And most of these observations don’t matter, Mr. Kuklinski:
- On a list of 10 players who severely damage the NBA’s image, you’ll find Rasheed Wallace (Celtics) and Ron Artest (Lakers) somewhere near the top. Glad to see they’re both still in the playoffs. What are they so mad about? They’re millionaires getting paid to play a kid’s game. Not to mention they’re grown-ass men who behave like children. The NBA improves the moment they retire.
- When news broke of Tiger Woods’ affairs and Ben Roethlisberger’s goonery, I thought, “If Kobe Bryant can survive what he went through, they’ll be fine.” Think about it: Kobe stood trial for sexual assault where he was accused of raping a 19-year-old hotel employee. Kobe even went public alongside his wife to admit infidelity, but denied anything forceful took place. Still, there was enough evidence to the contrary to land him in court. That’s saying something. This week, he’s got a cameo on Modern Family. In other words. Kobe has been forgiven. He’s the poster child for the American sports fan’s utter lack of a long-term memory.
Speaking of image problems, how long can the City of Los Angeles allow Pau Gasol to rock that horrible perm?
- Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has proven himself one of the best young point guards in the NBA. I can’t watch him though. Watch him talk. He’s always acting like he’s wearing someone else’s lips.
- The best fake story of the playoffs: Gloria James — mother of LeBron — was having a sexual affair with teammate Delonte West. The rumor is LeBron found out midway through the second round against Boston and gave up on his team. For all the good fortune LeBron has had, this would be one of the most scintillating stories in sports history. Unfortunately, it’s not true.
- Has LeBron played his last game as a Cavalier? Yes. And here’s why: Worldwide Wes. LeBron’s colleague William Wesley will show him the earning potential of playing alongside Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh (or both) in New York or Miami, even if he takes a mid-level contract. Cleveland is a second-rate market. LeBron could take half the contract in a bigger market and still make more money. So much for loyalty.
- Jason Williams (Magic) has a meth-dealer’s haircut. I bet he paid for it in meth.
- Fans throw around the word “deserves” a lot when it comes to winning rings. Kobe deserved one. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen deserved one. Dwight Howard will eventually deserve one, but no one truly deserves one more than Suns point guard Steve Nash. Nash plays the game the right way. He’s been one of the best international ambassadors the NBA has ever seen. He’s a two-time MVP who deserves a title to cap off a Hall of Fame career.
- “Hoop and the harm!” is so much better than “And one!”
- I’m not a big fan of ESPN having Jeff Van Gundy as color commentator for the Orlando-Boston series when his brother Stan Van Gundy is coaching the Magic. Reminds me of when Bill Walton covered the Lakers and his son Luke. Fans hate that nepotism thing where commentators have to make dumb little side comments about growing up or so on. This used to be called a “conflict of interest” when sports journalism had “ethics.”
- I would like to call traveling on the apostrophe in Amar’e Stoudemire’s first name. I feel like I’ve seen it in a dozen locations: A’mare, Am’are, Amare’, Amare St’oudemire. I would lose the apostrophe, as a service to writers. It comes off insecure, as if it would be mispronounced at this point.
I suppose this post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t predict the NBA Finals. I think we’re going to see a rematch of last year’s matchup of the Magic and Lakers. This time, I like the Magic in 6. Call it magical thinking.