There’s no real flash or pizzaz to the NBA Finals this year. No Lakers, no Knicks, no Michael, no nothing. San Antonio and New Jersey aren’t major metropolitan areas (technically speaking if you actually count New Jersey as New Jersey.) They aren’t teams with a rich history; in fact, both are ABA transfers who actually met in the ABA playoffs in 1976. Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin have some stories behind them, but San Antonio is the favorite and rightly so. The Spurs have a championship behind them, but there’s an asterisk next to it because it happened at the end of the strike season. The Nets are in the NBA Finals for the second straight year.
So there you have it, just about everything you need to know about the NBA playoffs.
One of the shining championships in all of sports, distilled into about five sentences.
I could say something about Tim Duncan, or something about David Robinson’s final year, but that’s just a couple more sentences of stuff. If the Spurs and Nets were playing during the week, would you watch this game? Admit it, not really. Maybe it’s an indictment of the entire league that this is the finals. Who did we want to see in the Finals? The Lakers? Again? There’s a story line there, but more Kobe and Shaq would be just more Kobe and Shaq and a bunch of spoiled Laker fans who turn out only when they win. I’m convinced the league would have been better served if they’d somehow gotten Dallas and Sacramento into the finals. The series between the two was the best basketball of the playoffs. Up and down, lots of shooting, lots of three’s., fun basketball. And that’s what the league is missing. There’s no joy in the game, no fun. Both the Spurs and Nets play team basketball, but they don’t do it with any flair, no fun. They’re plodders. I’m not an advocate of the current game, the system of having “the Man” on each team, and a bunch of ancillary players. But the Mavs and the Kings seem to actually be enjoying the game. Right now, none of us seem to be enjoying it much.