Top 11 NBA Regular Season Observations Part 2
I hope you readers are ready for the second round of playoff games tonight. If you’re kind of not really feeling the playoffs and maybe can’t get over the regular season, I’ve got good news of you. Actually, I’ve got 6 pieces of good news for you.
Top 11 Regular-season NBA things that you may not have noticed (Part 2):
6. Blake Griffin won the dunk contest with a garbage dunk— Javale McGee should have won this thing. He had some unbelievably creative slams that I genuinely think no other player alive could match. Blake Griffin came into the dunk contest as the favorite, got out-dunked by Javale McGee and the rest of the field, and somehow still made the finals. I’m not one to actually subscribe to conspiracy theories, but I have a hard time believing that Kia, the dunk contest sponsor, and the NBA didn’t put some pressure on the judges to make sure Blake got through to the finals.
Here’s how Blake Griffin won the dunk contest: A brand new Kia Something drove onto the basketball court and opened the sunroof to show then-Clipper Baron Davis with a basketball. Davis lobbed the ball out of the sunroof, Blake jumped over/around the hood of the car, grabbed the ball and threw it down. It was an average dunk, performed with a car parked nearby. At the time of the actual incident, I compared this stunt to bringing an entire house onto the court and jumping over the mailbox. He got points for originality, which can’t really be denied, but come on. Was that really worthy of all the fanfare surrounding it? Do we really think that the other dunkers couldn’t have pulled that one off?
Here actually how Blake Griffin won the dunk contest: For the first time ever, the champion was crowned as a result of fans’ text messages. As a PR student, I think this is a moderately interesting decision, but one that ultimately doesn’t make sense. Overall, it may be a valid way to decide a winner in the future, but not in a contest that takes place on one of the contestants home floors. The home crowd was stacked with people who would have voted for Blake no matter what. At some point, the NBA decided that the people who decide the dunk contest winner should be people who watch the dunks form their home televisions rather than actual basketball players who are watching the event live. I am a firm believer that a different camera angle on that Kia dunk would have showed how immaculately mediocre it was.
Overall, this is just another example of the NBA pre-deciding which players are going to win things and changing the competitive landscape to allow those players to succeed. That’s the biggest turnoff about the NBA right now and I’ll be updating you on how its affecting the playoffs as I see fit.
7. Lakers fans are terrible — I’m probably biased about this one since I live in LA and am currently surrounded by a bunch of Laker “fans.” This year, the team went through a couple of rough stretches, just like every other team in the NBA, and each time they lost a few in a row, the fans/media started apocalyptic conversations about how this team sucks and how Kobe is washed up and all that trash. It’s truly unbelievable how what-have-you-done-for-me-lately these fans can be, and as far as I’m concerned it’s a black mark for the league.
Here’s something people forget about the Lakers- they’ve won two NBA titles in a row. What more could you want? It’s hard to win these things, and two in a row doesn’t mean you get upset when they don’t win a third one, it means you are pretty lucky your team won two in a row. There are 30 teams in the league and over a long enough time span, the odds are that a team theoretically should win once every 30 years. The Lakers have won twice in two years and somehow the fans are unsatisfied. It’s disgusting.
8. For some reason, people still compare players to Michael Jordan, even though it doesn’t make any sense — This season, I remember reading stories comparing Griffin, Lebron, Kobe, Wade and Rose to Jordan. There were probably more. It’s time we as a society moved past this. Jordan was the best player to ever lace up eponymous shoes and play the game and no one in today’s NBA or any future day’s NBA will overtake his claim to that. I don’t have anything else to say about this, but it’s an aspect of the NBA we can all hate yet will never get away from.
9. No matter how good the Spurs are, they will never get mid-season championship consideration — Until the very end of the season, the Spurs had the best record in the league, and it wasn’t even close. At the All-Star break, the 46-9 Spurs had five fewer losses than any other team in the league and were looking like the clear favorite to win the whole ‘ship. Yet I can’t remember anyone picking them over the Lakers, Celtics or Heat at any point throughout the season. It’s not like this Spurs team doesn’t have experience or hasn’t won a championship with this roster. They struggled at the end of the season — but so did the Lakers, Celtics and Mavs — and still ended up with the top seed in the West. Even now that the playoffs have started, I don’t know anyone picking them to win it all. Sure they lost the opener to the Grizzles, but that was without Ginobili and I don’t know anyone who would pick Memphis to win that series.
Why doesn’t anyone think the Spurs are legit? My opinion is that they’re just too boring to be taken seriously. We might all think they’re great or be afraid for our favorite teams to play them, but the Spurs aren’t that exciting and somewhere at the bottom of the NBA fan’s heart, they just don’t want to think a team with this little personality would possibly win the whole thing.
10. Ray Allen has made more three-pointers than any human being ever—
This is a big deal. It was pretty thoroughly covered for a night or two, but it should have been one of the biggest stories of the season. Sure, the three-point line has only been around for 30 years, but that’s still a considerable amount of time and Allen’s record is going to be awfully tough to match. This season, GSW’s Dorell Wright led the league in three-pointers made with 194. Even if a player made 200 threes per season, it would take 13 seasons of that production to get to Allen’s mark (2612 and counting). He’s been crazy good for a long time, and we should appreciate how ridiculous this record is.
I have no idea how an all-time record like this gets underreported, but it did. And it’s a travesty. Sure, it may have been the leading story on Sportscenter for that one night, but there is no reason this wasn’t one of the biggest storylines all season in the NBA. Allen’s spot in history is something not to take lightly and we should all step back and put this into perspective now and again when he retires.
11. The NBA and its best fans miss Todd Macculloch — Discuss.