Considering that a former NBA assistant coach’s wife co-founded this blog, I’m certainly not the most qualified blogger to comment on the 2009 NBA playoffs (or any of the NBA playoffs preceding 2009, with the possible exception of the 1993 playoffs, when the Phoenix Suns left John Friggin’ Paxson open for a series-clinching 3). No matter, some observations and other epiphanies from “Where Amazing Happens…to mean that no charging fouls will ever be called on Kobe or LeBron”):
1) When they pan the crowd for celebrities at Laker games, a severe depression overcomes me. Why? Because I’m old enough to remember when Penny Marshall was considered hot. Laverne had a nice set of schlamazels.
2) Maybe I’ve missed it, and I’m guessing that if anyone used the line, it would have been Neil Everett (because, sadly, I find our senses of humor all too similar), but when there’s a posterizing dunk shown on “SportsCenter”, I keep waiting for the ESPN anchor to exclaim, “Patrick Chewing!”
3) Here are common first names you won’t find on any of the starting fives still remaining: Michael, John, Tom, Chris, Mark, David, Joseph. Here are first names you will find: Hedo, Nene, Kobe, Pau and Mo. By the way, a quick check of the “Most Popular Baby Names of 2008″ (source: Babycenter.com) reveals that four of the top 13 boys names were Aiden (1), Jayden (2), Caden (5) and Brayden (13).
4) Stan Van Gundy looks like the kind of guy who should have been riddled with bullets in the first hour of “Scarface”. And, by the way, aren’t Stan and Jeff, brothers who seem not to have both or even either parent in common, the breakout stars of the ‘09 playoffs?
5) Bill Simmons wrote an impasssioned 60,000-word column yesterday on the espn.com that can be distilled down to this: Someone, I dunno, maybe a referee, needs to start enforcing the rules. Fans are peeved because there were 58 fouls called in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, which would be upsetting if there weren’t 358 fouls that took place. If referees begin calling the game consistently–and that includes calling a charge when Kobe or LeBron goes Jerome Bettis on a drive down the lane–teams would recalibrate the way they played.
About a month or so ago Bill Cosby was on “Mike & Mike” on the ESPN and one of the hosts (I’m guessing Mike) asked Cos what’s the difference between the superstars of today, i.e. Kobe-LeBron-D-Wade, and those of his era such as The Big O and Jerry West. Cos, quite succinctly and accurately, replied, “They cheat.”
In short, they palm the ball on every possession, which gives them an unfair advantage over any defender attempting to guard them one-on-one.
Hey, don’t roll your eyes at me. Just because everyone does it doesn’t make it right. Did the financial crisis learn you nothing? If the NBA could hire a few referees who a) didn’t all come from a 25-mile radius from Philly and b) were under under 40 years old and impress upon them to call the game as the rule book stipulates (the principle of verticality, for example), then we’d all be better off.
6) Is it just me or do you also notice that whenever Laker center Pau Gasol disagrees with a call, he looks like Rodan after Godzilla pegged him with a giant boulder?
7) Also waiting for someone to describe No. 3 on the Lakers as “The World’s Most Famous Ariza”.
And while we’re at it, what are the chances that they’ll pan the crowd in Denver and show us the room service gal Kobe allegedly, um, room-serviced? Or even Katie Hnida?
9) I would kill for Wally Sczcerbiak’s hair, Dwight Howard’s shoulders and Rashard Lewis’ salary. What am I saying? I’d kill for Sonny Weems’ salary (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=3467)
10) Magic Johnson circa 2009 and Mr. Potato Head…separated at birth? Discuss.