Postgame Spread
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Aftermath    

Sigh.

I spent the whole game excited. My behavior was about identical to my behavior during Pats-Colts in January... jumping around the house, screaming at every success, talking to the Suns through my television. Usually when I'm up late watching sports, I'm acutely aware of the time; last night, I look up and all of a sudden it's 1 AM. I was riding on the adrenaline highway, with no off-ramp in sight.

And then Manu woke up. That rotten bastard. He sure can play the backet ball. Ruined my night morning.

I gotta say, though, that my main reaction to the Spurs' comeback wasn't "that's bullshit!" Sure, given the suspensions, the result is even more bullshit than ever. But within the confines of the game, the only bullshit was the shameless favoritism towards Phoenix. For San Antonio to still come out on top was a mammoth achievement. I can concede a shred or two of respect.

But still not enough to remove the asterisk I've applied. And definitely not enough to give them credit for the win. That credit goes to one man, and one man alone: David Stern. Happy birthday, asshole.

If there's a silver lining to be found, it's that Der Fuhrer is going to get destroyed for this. Tonight's secret ingredient is... CROW!!! He has had it coming for a long, long time. It couldn't be any more deserved, couldn't happen to a more pigheaded, stubborn, condescending jerk.

Anyway, let's consider what we learned yesterday, starting with the bad news:

BAD NEWS

1) Phoenix is fucked. Good did not win out over evil. D'oh.

2) Marv Albert embarrassed himself by suggesting that not enforcing the bench rule would have been seen as bending to Amare's "marquee status." Oh please. I think it's been established pretty clearly that very few people would think that. Besides, if the NBA is so frightened of bailing out their starts, what was Duncan doing in the building last night? Oh, right, that other thing wasn't an altercation. I forgot.

3) We are at risk of suffering through the occassional "well, you can't blame the suspensions anymore, because the Suns had a chance to win" argument from the Retardosphere. The exact opposite is true. They lost by three points. They got killed on the boards. Two put-packs off of offensive rebounds wins that game. Anyone else think just ten minutes of Amare's time would have made the difference?

GOOD NEWS

1) It was an exciting game. At least America wasn't denied that.

2) To reiterate, the league got one thing right: Phoenix got ALL the calls. Every single one. As they deserve, and will continue to deserve through the balance of the series. Given last night's outcome, it's the least the NBA can do. And it's the only option left on the table if the league wants to save face.

3) In the last couple minutes, Raja Bell flopped, shamelessly, in Manu Ginobili's face. And got the call. That, my friends, was textbook poetic justice. Absolutely classic. It may not rank as highly as "Valeri Kamensky sucker-punches Ulf Samuelsson in the chops" on the Poetic Justice Scale, but I'll take it.

4) Thanks to the loss, I get to keep hating on that Nazi cocksucker! Hooray! Hit the gas, Commish!

5) If the Suns end up losing, the pressure on the NBA to "do something" about it will be off the charts. Given that what happened is basically a microcosm of everything that's wrong with the league culture right now, and that an attitude adjustment has been long overdue, maybe some good will come out of it after all. Fingers crossed...

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8 Comments:

  • And hey, if the Suns and Chicago both lose, I can completely stop caring about the rest of the playoffs and not waste any money out at bars that have TNT.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 5:21 PM  

  • I'm sure you won't be alone in that. One down, one to go...

    I just word-counted all of my Suns/Spurs posts. 3600 words, on one topic, in 48 hours. That's a whole chapter of a book I wasted on that Nazi dickbag. I need something to do with myself.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 12:18 AM  

  • To Jesse's point:

    Why do you think it is that people don't give a crap about Lebron? What exactly did he do that makes Cleveland irrelevant? My theory is that it is a few things:
    1. His ridiculous ego - wanting to make himself a world-wide brand.
    2. His insane whining after every call.
    3. His half-assing it through most games - I never saw Jordan be like, fuck it, I'm taking this 3rd Q off even though we are done a few.

    Do you guys have any thoughts?

    Btw, I now hate heinrich. Dunno why, he just annoys me. I never used to hate him, mostly because Juan Dixon made him his bitch in the final 4.

    By Blogger K1, at 12:55 PM  

  • *down instead of done

    By Blogger K1, at 12:56 PM  

  • I think it's mostly point 3. Americans hate a lot of things, but we hate nothing so much as a guy getting paid a lot of money and not giving his all. I also think a lot of the lack of attention/praise to/for Cleveland is that no one really thought they had any real chance of advancing far. Oh, and talkin' bout Cleveland ain't going to sell one single NY Times, Boston Globe, or LA Times.

    That said, the minute Cleveland makes the NBA finals, the LeBron fellatio bandwagon will be teeming.

    By Blogger Alex, at 1:30 PM  

  • I basically agree. I think it's an amalgamation of 1 and 3. But more in the sense of expecations.

    LeBron was supposed to do all this stuff. He hasn't quite met expectations, but it looks pretty inevitable. Now, given that his ascent is inevitable, why would anyone need to pull for him? SG's overused joke about rooting for the house in blackjack comes into play; what fun is it to root for a fait accompli? There's no magic. "Top pick meets expectations" is boring story.

    Personally, I'd rather root for the quirky second-round pick who spent his rookie season on the bench, then emerged as an All-Star. I think people like upsets, they like unknowns to become heroes, they like to be pleasantly surprised. They'll root for Arenas, because you can tell he wants it so bad, and because he can play the "nobody ever gave me a chance" card until the day he dies.

    On the flip side, folks may respect LeBron, but you can't really love him. There's a limit on how much you can care about a machine. Everything about him and his image is so exquisitely manicured and contrived... LeBron is basically the anti-Arenas. Arenas is the antidote to everything about LeBron that troubles people.

    On top of that, he's mailing it in, satisfied with merely meeting expectations. Sure, it's ridiculously hard to be better than was predicted for him, but it sure doesn't look good. It looks like he's satisfied being Kobe and not working towards MJ. (Except with the "global icon" business.) Boy, that's endearing.

    Interesting that his other-worldly basketball skills and his actual performance are basically irrelevant to the discussion... it's more about what he represents...

    By Blogger Jeff, at 3:07 PM  

  • One other thing... the Cavs are seen as LeBron and the other 14 guys. How can you get excited about the team when you think it's just one guy? That line of thinking demeans the team, which by transivitity makes people less excited about them.

    Which isn't fair. If he wakes his ass up, he could take down the Pistons. Who knows.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 5:36 PM  

  • I think Jeff's last post captures it most for me. Lebron is boring because the Cavs are boring, at least to me. There is no player you could trade Lebron straight-up for that would make me interested in that team.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:27 PM  

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