Screw LeBron, The NBA Needs This…

The NBA youth movement has been in effect for several years now. Between James, Wade, Anthony, Paul, and several others, there’s no shortage of headlines for the “next” league poster boy. Now we’re approaching the playoffs, and networks begin to increase the hype surrounding these young players, with no real hype about their teams. It’s a marketing program that again will fail, because young stars in championship games have done nothing to increase their ratings.

The NBA doesn’t need a single face to spring a boost in ratings. It needs teams and history. What they need now, more than ever, is the Celtics and the Lakers. I’m not a fan of the either of those teams, and actually spent a lifetime hating both, but this isn’t about me. It’s about an association that has declined over the years and can’t seem to pick themselves up. Screw the Cavs, Hornets, Pistons, and Suns. To hell, with the Spurs, Mavs, Wizards, and Raptors. Give me Hollywood and Beantown. Give me something worth watching for an entire series. Give me what the NBA used to be.

Feeling disrespected yet? Are you ready to tell me to get the F*ck out of here? Where is the love for your team? It’s not about any lack of love for anyone’s favorites, and is more about a love for the game. It’s about memories of Celtic/Lakers clashes in the 80s, with each showing up battle tested from their conference playoffs. It’s about the old Chi-Town fighting bad boys, before meeting Ewing’s Knicks. It’s about Barkley’s Suns engaged with Olajuwon’s Rockets or Payton’s Sonics. It’s about the past, and what the NBA has moved so far away from.

The NBA waited for LeBron to reach the finals, and last year they got their wish. It turned out to be a “thanks for nothing”, as the Cavs were swept in 4 games. The Cavs became victims to one of the NBA’s most winningest teams of the past decade, but unfortunately, they are also one of the most boring. San Antonio wins championships in June, and by October, people are scratching their heads, trying to remember who the last champion was. Many of those same people can quickly rattle off numerous championship years for the Lakers and Celts.

In Tim Duncan, the Spurs also possess one of the most dominant players in the history of the NBA, and a sure first ballot hall of famer. But again, Tim Duncan is boring. Do you think that’s just my opinion? This is a list of the top selling NBA jerseys as of January 2008:

Top 15 Jerseys:

1. Kevin Garnett
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Allen Iverson
4. LeBron James
5. Steve Nash
6. Dwyane Wade
7. Gilbert Arenas
8. Dirk Nowitzki
9. Stephon Marbury
10. Carmelo Anthony
11. Kevin Durant
12. Paul Pierce
13. Tracy McGrady
14. Dwight Howard
15. Chris Paul

Duncan, the perennial all star, doesn’t appear on the list. Twelve of the 15 players have never won a championship. 10 have never appeared in a championship game. I’m not the only one viewing Duncan and the Spurs as not being “eye popping”. Through the sale of merchandise, America has spoken.

The Western conference playoffs will be exciting and intense. But unless the Lakers advance to the finals to meet Boston, the championship series will bring a severe drop off. Any matchup in the NBA finals, other than L.A and Boston, will not be as intriguing as playoff matchups in the wild, wild, west. The objective is to continue to peak as the playoffs move forward, before reaching that climactic ending, which is the Championship round. If the bulk of the excitement is reached before the conclusion, we have the NBA version of premature ejaculation. They still have a job to complete, but viewers were already done, before climbing into bed with any champion.

It also doesn’t help to have the Eastern Conference Finals aired on TNT. Hell, we didn’t even have cable in the ‘hood. Something just isn’t right, when the scheduling starts with “Saved by the bell”, and continues to “Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals”, and followed by “Walker, Texas Ranger”.

But regardless, I’ll be watching, and rooting for Boston and L.A. Let’s go retro in 2008. It’s an NBA throwback series, and you’ve gotta love it!

~ by Anthony on April 14, 2008.

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