I’ll keep this short, since I’m kinda pissed.
Once again we get a case of the HAVES vs. the HAVE NOTS. In both games tonight we saw a small market team give a big market team a run for its money to no avail. The difference? Home court. Denver, the team that never seems to have enough to move into the realm just above average (kinda like the Jazz – and every other small market team out there) lost to LA 96-87 (to the delight of ESPN who can now kiss Kobe’s ARSE for at least one more round) in a tightly fought Game 7. The 76ers lost to Boston 92-91. I didn’t watch that one. I didn’t need to.
Who wants to watch Philadelphia win it all? Who wants to watch Denver stun the much richer Lakers? Who wants to watch THAT when we can enjoy yet another playoff match-up between Bryant and one of those other big market teams?
Oh wow! I can’t wait to watch LA and Boston play more post-season games! That NEVER happens! I really want to watch Kobe high-five Justin Timberlake and smile at the camera like a good sport once his team beats yet another small market team that stands absolutely zero chance due to a lack of star power. I want to keep listening to Steve Kerr debate with Marv Albert about whether or not Bryant ranks right up there with Jordan … So intriguing! (Kobe Bryant on a smaller market team like, say, Toronto? Surrounded by lesser talent folk? THAT would be intriguing. Especially if he could make the playoffs – he wouldn’t, not without Gasol and Byum, but I digress.)
They say defense wins championships … well, if San Antonio wins that may be true. But really, as I realize more and more every year – money wins championships.
I think that’s my problem with the NBA. It all comes down to – unfortunately – dollars and cents. Even last year the supposed “underdog” Dallas Mavs defeated Miami and everyone cheered (including me). And yet, the only reason Dallas stood a chance against Miami was because Mark Cuban can afford to pay the big bucks to pick up guys to surround Dirk.
In the end, it’s a bit like watching two millionaires attempt to outbid each other for a trophy, with the occasional set back coming from a pesky, poorer citizen from just around the block.
That’s why I’m really hoping OKC or San Antonio wins it all. As much as I detest the Spurs whenever they match-up with Utah, and whatever my qualms against Westbrook, they represent small market basketball and give hope to Utah, Minnesota, and Toronto fans around the world (whatever few there are).
We may not beat those big market bastards, but we certainly won’t join them either.