Monday, June 15, 2009

That's A Wrap

So the underdogs couldn't overcome a motivated Kobe Bryant with a Springsteen underbite. Pau Gasol redeemed himself after last final's disappearing act and Derek Fisher decided to be clutch after being considered borderline worthless the previous three rounds. And thus, the Magicians fell in 5 games. Them's the breaks.

No problem, I can take plenty of solace that the scrappy, live-by-the-three-die-by-the-three Magic were able to overcome the '91 Chicago Bulls Reincarnated aka the Cleveland Cavaliers. All those ESPN analysts and their years of experience in following the NBA sure proved useful there. Let's take a look again just to make sure:

Oops. Made a mistake. This is the correct one:

There we are.

Over-The-Hill NBA Loudmouth and Tweetér Aficionado Shaquille O'Neal was perhaps the biggest loser in all of this. Stan Van Gundy panicked his way into the NBA Finals while Kobe secured a ring without the overweight gasbag's assistance. Word from the grapevine is that the ole Diesel wants out of Phoenix and may be headed to Cleveland to team up with Bron Bron. Reeks of a desperation move by both sides, Snaq is reeling for that 5th ring and the Cavalier front office is in "must find someone to matchup to Dwight Howard" mode. Of course the obvious answer to that problem is to employ a lazy, overpaid 37-year-old block of concrete who's also a potential locker room cancer. Right.

Moving forward, crazed swingman Hedo Turkoglu is up for free agency. The good news is that Magic management is willing to open the pocketbook a little wider and allow the team to go into luxury tax to sign him. Guess Rich DeVos' pyramid schemes are going swimmingly. In addition to Hedo being resigned, getting rid of the dead weight that is Tony Battie for a better power forward (Antonio McDyess please) is another likely objective.

Another pressing issue is what to do with Rafer Alston. It became clear during the Finals that he was uncomfortable being benched for long periods of time as starting point-guard Jameer Nelson was finally healthy enough to get some burn. I question whether bringing Nelson back was a good idea, however I couldn't tell who between Alston or Nelson was coming back from a 4-month injury. I believe at one point in the series, Alston was shooting at a scorching 17% from the field. Dragging a team through the mud with shitty shot selection, bad passes, and general ball-hogging doesn't really bring your stock up. Rafer's pretty much roadkill for the team's future.

So that's that. This year's draft pretty much blows ass. It's essentially Blake Griffin and a throng of primadonna point guards who'll eventually become role players. McLame. Free agency will be more interesting, the Detroit Pistons are having a firesale and the New Orleans Hornets are hemorrhaging money with pretty much everyone aside from Chris Paul being a financial liability. The landscape could be very different come November.

Two more things:

-The celebrity gossip circuit has been hinting that Rihanna apparently has the hots for Rashard (Money) Lewis. I guess she wants in on that 120 million dollar contract of his.

-Batshit insane Houston Rockets small forward Ron Artest's twitter validates the entire service. With choice quotes such as:

"Yo maybe I should ball in Europe. Got offered 20 mil, a boat, and I can start 1 brawl a year, no questions asked. They got a Detroit there?"

"People be takin' my tweets as too sincere. This bidness is just a joke, like American Bandstand, not serious shit like Soul Train."

Rich. Look forward to posts (finally) about music again.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

NBA Finals: Magic vs. Lakers (Game 1)

You got no fear of the underdog. That's why you will not survive.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Magic vs Cavaliers - Part 1

"Well look I already told you! I deal with the goddamn players so Lebron doesn't have to! I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people! Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?!"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Playoffs Round 2: MAGIC v CELTICS Game 6 (Post-Game)

If Otis really wanted to impress me, he'd pull this one: Tyronn Lue to the Lakers for Halle Berry and cash considerations.


In more pertinent news, Rafer Alston may be suspended from Game 7 for kissing this official at the end of the Magic's Game 6 victory. As shown, he is clearly making contact above the head which is in violation of the NBA rules.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We're giving it away...

Sigh. It's been very difficult for me to sit down and write an honest post in the wake of the Magic's last two atrocity exhibitions. Well, okay, atrocity is too strong a word, and yet I still feel sick to my stomach, if only for having to come to terms with the fact that Shaq's "master of panic" barb now seems to hit extremely close to home.

Window shades ought to unravel, not so pro basketball teams. To watch the Magic fold the game up in a scented envelope the way they did last night was to realize just how mentally taxing being a serious fan of Orlando hoops really is. Is this an NBA title-winning team? The answer at this point is a clear "not yet."

With that said, having now wrestled with consecutive defeats over the course of 72 hours, I feel my personal fandom only gaining resilience. Maybe this makes no sense at all, but the losses somehow seem like money in the bank. It's probably my Catholic upbringing that does it, but it's always been my belief that a healthy amount of suffering naturally precedes the blinding heights of any achievement. Sickening, no? I maintain that all the calluses simply serve to let you walk longer over the hot coals. Or something.

I won't analyze these past two games because to do so would be excessively traumatic. Besides, no one's paying me to write this stuff (or even paying attention?). Instead, go read those slasher flicks known as "recaps" over at ESPN or Yahoo!

What I will do, briefly, is reflect on the apparent crumbling of the Magic's coach-player relationship (something my Dad, perhaps a little less prone to avoiding the truth right in front of him, has been on about for some time now). Now, obviously, I haven't the authority to attack Orlando's coaching staff for anything other than (perhaps) some of their personal grooming habits. On the other hand, the most obvious symptoms of a communication breakdown can be read on the faces of players in late-game huddles. Van Gundy has quite clearly lost his players' respect and this is a fatal, fatal occurrence if it is indeed true.

Jeez, I still don't want to believe it, and yet Dwight Howard's post-game press conference all but confirms that Stan has driven the team too hard. Normally I wouldn't approve of such open criticism directed from player to coach, but given SVG's record for criticizing his team before the media, this is simply a case of what goes around comes around. Some time ago he was quoted (in response to Shaq's comments) as saying that he was an insensitive person. I remember exactly how much of an effort it required to smother the overwhelming stench of his defensiveness.

The B.L.? Something needs to happen this post-season if things are going to be right with the Magic. I respect that the series isn't over yet, but as far as I'm concerned, Orlando's championship hopes for this season died last night circa 10:20pm. The guys need to have a Hoosiers-esque coming together. There are still square pegs jostling for circular spaces, and no, –sadly – I'm not talking about when John Goodman goes to town on a bucket of cheese cubes.

The Bull Shit.

Also, what the hell was going on with the refs rescinding that clear 24-second violation call? It's hard enough to win in the playoffs, you don't need the officials actively working against you as well...