I will admit that I have paid less attention to the NBA Playoffs this year than previous years, somewhat because the Suns flamed out (pun intended) and somewhat because I for one think it is a foregone conclusion that it will be a Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers finals, more importantly, a Kobe v Lebron finals. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I think it just makes too much sense for how important it is to the NBA for ratings, but also for the future of the game. I am no Kobe Bryant fan, but he has been one of the best players, if not the best, in the league for the last eight to nine years and LeBron James is already the present and future of the NBA. So the question, as an NBA fan is why don't I care about this playoff season, and what can make it better?
First let me start by saying that the Celtics v Bulls in the first round was very entertaining and made for great television. I honestly watched all of the overtime games, but really only watched about the last part of each game and the overtimes. Did I really miss anything? I mean I read all of the reviews and ramblings of the fans about the horrible officiating, and how Rajon Rondo is a thug and deserves to be executed for his in game tactics, I just wish this kind of venom would come out more regularly instead of just in the playoffs, because NBA basketball, due to the horrible officiating is becoming almost unwatchable. I understand it is the hardest game to officiate, but the problem I have is the fact that they anticipate calls, and make the call, even if it does not come to fruition. The only letdown of the whole series was game seven, and the absolutely horrendous job of coaching by Vinny Del Negro. If you are the coach of the Bulls, why do you not go small as long as possible, and make the anti-Larry Bird, Brian Scalabrine, try and keep up with John Salmons or Tyrus Thomas all game. Why do you play into the Celtics hands and try to run a slow down game for over a half? I think the only thing that will hold the Bulls back is Vinny. Good luck with that Chicago.
As for the Celtics, they have no chance of repeating without Kevin Garnett. They barely beat a young Bulls squad, with possibly the worst coach to ever make the playoffs. Garnett is the heart and soul of the Celtics, and I honestly do not think they will get past the Magic without him in the lineup, and as Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge have said, he is not walking through the door any time soon. If I am wrong, well it won't matter because neither of the teams will beat the Cavs.
That being said, this is how bad the NBA has gotten to me personally, I don't even fight with my wife about the TV anymore. I don't care, it is not a worthwhile fight anymore, to try and watch the NBA playoffs. The only games that I even cared enough to watch were those of that I have already discussed. I mean on Monday night, I was too involved in great television like 24, to even bother to turn over and watch the Lakers lose, and I am a Suns fan. It has gotten so bad, that I don't even fight with her about having to watch the most overhyped show on television American Idol, I would rather study and listen to people who will probably never become anything in the music world. Why, well because I don't care anymore. Does that mean I am not a real basketball fan, I don't think so, because I still love the game, I just don't love what the game has become. It has now more than ever become about stars and players, and less about teams. I mean, the greatest franchise of this decade, the San Antonio Spurs was ousted in the first round without so much as a whimper from any of the big sports networks. Why, I'll tell you why, because people were too busy fawning over the idea of Kobe v Lebron. The network was too busy talking about the greatest series ever played, or wait, is it the greatest first round series ever played, or is it the greatest series this decade. Can we please agree on a title for this, and move on, because guess what, as great as it is, the series is over and will not even be remembered if the NBA gets the finals it wants.
Looking at the remaining teams, the NBA is just hoping and praying that at the very least they can get either Kobe or Lebron is in the finals, because that is what the NBA needs. I mean can you imagine a Orlando v Denver finals. Sure, real NBA fans would not mind seeing some fresh blood and exciting teams in the mix, but what every NBA novice and bandwagon fan wants is LA V Cleveland. David Stern is getting Tim Donaghy on the line and seeing if he can get him reinstated and get some of his boys to make sure things get done the way they want them too. I digress on the conspiracy theories, but like I said in the beginning, unless Houston can pull this thing out, or Orlando or Boston can get by the most determined team I have seen since the Bulls squad that won 72 games, in Cleveland it is inevitable. Will I tune in, maybe, it won't be can't miss TV for me, and I may tune in on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon game if there is nothing else on, but I am not glued to the couch like I was during the Michael years, or even since 2001 when the Lakers were dominating and then the Pistons teams winning it all. I really stopped watching the year the Spurs beat the Cavs in the finals, because even during the Spurs dominating each game, all we heard about was Lebron. Is Lebron great, no doubt about it, he is an athletic freak of nature, who founded the Greg Oden club of looking at least 15 years older than you actually are, he graciously gave over the reins to Oden the year Greg went to Ohio State. That being said, he is not bigger than the NBA, but some places like to make him just that.
Will I ever get back to enjoying the NBA, I don't know, the Pistons TEAMS are gone, the Spurs TEAMS are old, my Suns TEAMS were dismantled, so we are left with individuals and not teams. That is what we as NBA fans are left with at this point, so, cheer on the Nuggets, Rockets, Hawks, Celtics, Mavericks and Magic because those teams are the only chance that we have that the NBA won't be downgraded to just and individual game.