by user HoopsAddict.com
With the college hoops scene closed up for a few months hoops fans attention can finally be directed in a more meaningful direction, namely, the National Basketball Association. Let the commercials every two minutes cease and let the two weeks between televised games begin!
I always listened to people telling me how much college ball was so much better than the pros because; A) they hustled and tried so much harder B) the athletes didn’t care about the money, and C) the games were more exciting
So I watched the perennial teams play every year and it was okay but I never really got into it. Then TNT and TBS picked up the NBA and I was hooked. This was the year nineteen-hundred and ninety-eight of our Lord, the year the Kings drafted White Chocolate and picked up Chris Webber. So, following the sports fans code, since there was no team in Artesia, NM, I was allowed to pick any team to root for. After watching the Kings highlights for a few weeks I found a team worth rooting for.
Now, to back track a bit, anyone NBA fan can easily refute the above claims about college ball being superior quite easily.
A) They try so hard in the same way you try hard to beat your dad in 1 on 1. It’s cute, but you suck. He’s always going to let you stay in the game but ultimately stuff your last shot in your face. That is until you turn 17, and all of a sudden, his “back hurts”. Whatever. I digress. B) Honestly, despite the NBDL’s raging popularity and success, the college level is still the best way to become noticed. Unless you’re 7′5″ and Russian then the Mavericks will draft you without even knowing if you have both legs. C) I will concede that the annual buzzer beaters in the NCAA are much more exciting than most NBA regular season games. However, being a Kings fan, I would still rather see Robert Horry beat us in a pivotal game five on a lucky roll than seeing… okay, that’s a bad example.
The playoff atmosphere during NBA games is absolutely electric. Although I have never been to one, watching playoff games on TV is a top priority for me during April and June, which means it should be a top priority for other people who care about things.
Not that the NBA is doing everything right, but their product is constantly improving. This year traveling is finally being called regularly and hopefully the first week of the playoffs will end sometime before the 2008 Olympics start up.
Now, onto what I really wanted to discuss, the state of my beloved Kings.
A few months ago, the Kings were floundering all over the place as they had no motivation, no chemistry, no desire. Peja was regressing with each passing game, Mike Bibby was taking horrible shots and Brad Miller is still a slow, overpaid loafer who looks like he contracted Erick Dampier syndrome (i.e. never smiling, moping all the time).
So, what could the Kings do to turn around their situation? They decided to trade for someone who has sat out the last two seasons for reasons ranging from wanting to promote his garbage record label to discussing retirement to that one incident which I like to label “FIGHTER!!” And, somewhat surprisingly, the Kings are playing much, much better.
Although I have driven to Dallas from Waco every year for the last four years I have yet to see the Kings win at American Airlines Arena. Naturally, I thought this was the year to see my streak broken.
I drove up last Tuesday, and saw one of the worst displays in teamwork I have ever seen. Here are some raw assessments.
Ron Artest: Wound up dribbling the ball up the floor for over half of the game and he seemed genuinely upset that the Kings were down 25 in the first half. His shot was WAYYYY off and he couldn’t stop Dirk (who had a phenomenal game by the way), but that’s nothing surprising because he’s much too short to guard Dirk.
Brad Miller: Had a shot knocked back to midcourt by someone named Josh Powell. Like I said earlier, it looks like he contracted Erick Dampier syndrome by the way he was moping around. Overall terrible game.
Mike Bibby: For some unknown reason seemed afraid to take up the ball against Jason Terry - not a good sign. His shot wasn’t really in rhythm and he played awful pick and roll D. Plus this guy kept calling him ugly, and it really threw his game off. Come on Mike, was that the first time you had heard someone call you ugly?
Bonzi Wells: I will admit, I have not been a huge fan of ‘Onzi, (which seems more of a FIGHTER!! name than Bonzi). I was relieved when he was hurt earlier in the season, which was rash I’ll admit. I will say this, ‘Onzi cared more about winning than anyone else on the team that night. He was going after loose balls and hitting his shots and I came away a fan.
Kenny Thomas: Couldn’t even come close to guarding whichever small forward he was matched up against. He was the epitome of inconsistent, or unconsistent, or illconsistent. Who cares, he sucked that night.
Bench: Who? Shareef? Kevin Martin? I’ll pass on this since I’m nearing a thousand words.
The Kings were crushed that night. I started looking at their schedule and wondering if they could hold the playoff spot over Oklahoma (or are they called Oklahoma City? We need some kind of definition here.).
And the next night? They absolutely DEMOLISH the world-champion Spurs.
What conclusions should you draw from this? Just don’t drive 100 miles to watch your favorite team get slaughtered on a school night. Instead, what you should do is drive 200 miles to watch your favorite team slaughter the defending champs on a school night or better yet, at least put some money on the team you don’t want to win. That way if your team wins, you’ll have some gas money home.
By MrMblog @ HoopsAddict.com
Fri 04/07/06, 3:33 am EST