Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Season Over!!

Ok, I've tried to lay off the professional sports-related posts, for the most part. This is because I am a certified sports superfreak and I want to keep this blog about funny stuff that either happens to me or that I observe. However, due to my deep-rooted, passionate hatred for the Lakers, I feel compelled to post this. My little men (no not those, they don't talk, at least out loud) will tell you that, in my house, if you like the Yankees or the Lakers, you will "have to move out." Sorry, I ain't buying clothes, food, sporting equipment or even a postage stamp for Yankee or Laker fans, even if they are my flesh and blood. Harsh? Maybe. Do I care? A little, but not enough to change my opinion.

Watching the Pistons absolutely destroy the Lakers will be one of my fondest NBA memories, but not because I'm a Piston fan. One of the most irksome things in sports, IMO, is when athletes that have a legacy with a team, but cannot get it done on their own, jump ship and go to a team for the sole purpose of winning a championship, even if that means they have to sell a little bit of their soul to get one. Needless to say, it gave me great ear-to-ear grinning pleasure to watch Karl Malone sitting on the sidelines in street clothes (shoulda been in handcuffs, IMHO) knowing that he may have played his last NBA game, and played it very poorly. Malone has always been a borderline thug (I know, it's sooooooo rare in today's basketball!), but the finger to the face of a fan has tarnished his image once and for all. If only he could have stuck a jumper like he did that fan's face, but I digress.

I also got great pleasure watching Gary Payton, the supposed Glove, bark and yip at the officials, his teammates, newspaper reporters and the opposing players all the while being unable to guard anyone. Hell, he couldn't have guarded my 7 year old in this series. Phil finally figured out that if the Glove don't fit, he must sit. Only he figured that out a little too late.

Now, on to Shaq and Kobe. Shaq doesn't bother me all that much. I mean dude goes 7'1" 330 and he's quicker than I ever was or ever will be. The problem I have with him is that if the NBA ever decides to call every foul he commits, he'd be gone inside of a quarter, most nights. That little backdown, lower-your-shoulder-to-create-space "power" move he does, has to go. The officials give him way too much leeway. But Shaq's a proven winner. He took the Magic to the Finals and he's gotten his rings in LA.

Kobe is one of those guys I tried to like, I really did. I mean, he's the closest thing the league had to MJ when MJ retired (thank you for going straight to the NBA, LeBron). However, his unbelievable arrogance has totally turned me into an official Kobehater. Just the fact that the dude can fly to Eagle, Colorado for a pre-trial conference and then go back to LA all in the same day and drop 40 on any team is a little creepy. I mean how can one person, let alone an African American, be so unaffected by their own pending rape trial in the middle of White Bread, Colorado (can you say, aquittal for sale?)? I mean, he can't buy 50 carat diamonds for the jury members like he did his wife, can he? Well, justice was done this series. Kobe, bend over and meet Tayshaun. Kobe could not get a clean look when Prince was on him. Even though Tayshaun plays hard only every other game, he played hard enough to frustrate Kobe into a horridly insipid series. With the exception of the Game 2 shot, Kobe never got it going and I’m glad he didn’t. He deserved to struggle, the arrogant bastard.

Then there's Phil Jackson, the Zen Master. He is a great coach. He is a master of managing egos and psyches. However, he's become a little too Hollywood for his own good. When he was with the Bulls, you never heard about his dating life. He had the professor-like beard, not the Hollywood pseudo-goatee. He always knew how to motivate his team to get them to the next level. He clearly didn't have a handle on this team. The Lakers were more unprepared than I was for this series. However, he'll be back with another team.

The Pistons exposed the Lakers for what they are - a team with two dominant players and 10 less than average NBA ballers. I'd say that they'll implode this team and start over. As long as Kobe doesn't end up here, I'm with that. To think that he'd actually end up in jail, assuming he's guilty of course, is actually not realistic, isn't that just the sickest thing you've ever heard?

That said, the Pistons certainly picked the right time to get hot. Ben Wallace is an absolute monster. He was the MVP of the Finals, IMO. Time and again he beat the Lakers to the ball on both the offensive and defensive end. He stuck open jumpers and made a respectable amount of his free throws. He was more valuable to his team than Chauncey was, although Chauncey had a great series. Give me Big Ben over Shaq or Kobe any day of the week and twice on Sundays. I mean, a defensive minded, unselfish under-sized center? He plays taller than 6'10".

We then come to Sheed. I had mixed emotions about seeing him get a ring. Sheed was an absolute idiot when he was here in Portland. He said all the wrong things. He battled officials, teammates, coaches, hometown fans and reporters. You name it, he fought it. He was a horrible fit for this conservative city. A fish out of water. A porn star in the White House (ok, maybe that's a bad analogy). However, he is an absolute perfect fit for the Bad Boys of Detroit. In the end, I'm happy for him and his family. It was cool to see him holding his baby girl after the game.

Larry Brown deserved this championship. He outcoached Phil for a change and prepared his team tremendously. Seeing him with his young kids after the game was a little creepy, since he's old enough to be their great-grandfather, but he deserved this one nonetheless.

Congrats, Titletown, USA. Enjoy this one because you truly did shock the world.

First to post. Whoo - hooo
Nice photo, cute little monsters.

My Lakers fan told me about a Piston fan's shirt that said
"Kobe sucks, Shaq swallows"
That same fan is a fan of your blog. I cant wait for him to read your post. Sorry BillyDee
Well, when he shows up, I'll have to ask him where I can get such a shirt. :o)

Thanks for the kiddy complements.
cool shirt!!
I am surrounded by frickin sports mongers at my house... they even play fall ball...Baseball all year round WOOOHOOO
Thats why I visited you...A quiet reprieve from all the sports at my house all the sports at your house??? LOL
"Phil finally figured out that if the Glove don't fit, he must sit."
Great line!
jp, I work with a guy that is so much of a die-hard lakers fan he has lakers underwear and bed sheets! We had a good time arguing back and forth about how they would do against the pistons. I told him Malone would never get a ring. He has been a great player over the years but he just doesn't have it anymore. Close doesn't cut it.
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