Archive for June, 2011

NBA Draft Running Diary

Editors Note: Found out just this morning that Simmons also did a run-through of the draft. So apologies in advance if there are any similarities in what you read (apart from writing an entire recap of the draft in the same exact format of course). Had I known in advance he’d be doing this, I probably wouldn’t have done it myself. But times are tough, and this was the last big sporting event I could think of since its just baseball for the rest of summer. And I have no idea what I will be doing with that.

Going into this draft, I tried to figure out what there was to be excited about. It didn’t take me long to realize that this draft was low on talent, low on driving storylines, and very low in the intrigue department. With all that in mind, I naturally assumed this would be a great time to do a running diary.

But there were a few things I wanted to watch out for as the draft commensed.

1. What would the Minnesota Timberwolves do? This is a team that has been truly awful in the draft ever since David Kahn took over most of the personnel decision making. If you think I’m wrong, just look at what they did with their 2009 draft. Going in, they were in desperate need of a point guard. And thankfully they had the 5th, 6th, and 19th overall picks to address it at some point. Great! What do they do? They take Ricky Rubio (averaging single digit points per game in Europe), Johnny Flynn (awful), and Ty Lawson (no longer with the team). Three 1st round picks, three point guards. What?! I’ve been hooked ever since. Before the draft, the consensus was that they would take Derrick Williams, an athletic combo forward (too small to play the 4, not skilled enough to play the 3). Keep that in mind when we get to their pick.

2. I will be on pins and needles hoping Utah sacks up and takes Jimmer with their second 1st round pick (12th overall). If it happens, I will seriously buy NBA league pass to watch all of their games. It’s great the for the fan base…college hero gets drafted by local team. And more importantly, it’s great for me. Gordon Hayward and Jimmer Fredette on the court at the same time? I think my head would explode.

3. The Over/Under on how many times Jay Bilas mentions a players “wingspan.” His hotword used to be upside, but now he concerns himself with how long a players arms are. Let’s see here, I think I’ll set the number at 10.5 and I’m taking the over.

4. Something happening I could actually write about. Not optimistic. With that in mind, lets get to it.

6.30: Commercial for the DVD release of Nic Cage’s movie “Season of the Witch.” No punchline necessary.

6.33: David Stern receiving some very hearty boo’s as he makes his entrance to announce the Cav’s are on the clock. Not a bad start.

6.36: Stu Scott wonders aloud if “There is any pressure being taken with the top overall pick in the draft.” Ummm yeah? This would begin a pattern of some very astute observations from Scott, who may have dropped more random, useless facts on me than anyone ever before. Almost making this draft worth watching. Almost.  

6.37: Fact: If the consensus top two players in this draft, Williams and Kyrie Irving, are “maybe all-stars down the road,” its not a good draft.

6.40: Cleveland takes Duke’s Irving. He’s the best player in the draft, he won’t have to start right away. Good things. He’ll be an adequate starter in the league in 2-3 years. Leave it to Cleveland to get the top pick (and the 4th overall too) in the worst draft in recent memory. The city of Cleveland may now douse its collective self in acid.

6.45: Timberwolves take Derrick Williams. Really just bad luck. He was the best player available, so not very much shame in picking him. The problem is, they already have Michael Beasley, Anthony Tolliver, Anthony Randolph, and Martell Webster.

6.46: Bilas: “He’s 6’8″ but with a wingspan of 7’1″, so bottoms up everybody.” Not sure what that last part means, but thats 1 for everyone scoring at home.

I would later find out that this was an blatant reference to an NBA draft drinking game, one in which everyone must take a drink every time the term “wingspan” is said. Devastated I didn’t know about it earlier. 40 bro points for Bilas.

6.49: Scott: “Our colleague, Jon Gruden said he could play tight end in the NFL.” That had to be a pretty big factor with how GM’s evaluated him.

6.50: Utah takes Enes Kanter. Like the pick, could use a center of the future to let Al Jefferson get back to his natural position at power forward. Trading stars is tough, but you have to give Kevin O’Connor credit for the Deron Williams trade. Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Kanter, a 2012 1st round pick, and cash? That’s as good as it gets in that situation.

6.52: Scott: “This guy wants to be a WWE wrestler after his basketball days are over.” Thanks for that.

6.56: Cleveland takes Tristan Thompson from Texas. A bit of a surprise here, thought they would take the Lithuanian guy with a big last name. But not really a problem with it, maybe he develops into an all-star down the road. Having watched Texas all year, it wasn’t difficult to tell that this guy has a lot of talent.

7.02: Toronto takes…the Lithuanian guy with a big last name! Don’t know anything about him. Someone says a poor man’s Pau Gasol. Hmmmm. Fran Fraschilla: “If you like Arvydas Sabonas, you have to like this guy.” I’m sold.

7.05: Vladimir Putin is REALLY struggling with his English in this interview. When asked how his game is like Chris Bosh’s (he previously had said he was similar to him), he responded, “I have not so strong body.” Right on the money.

7.05: Stu Scott wonders what type of player Washington should be looking for to “get good, quickly.” There is no such player in this draft.

7.06: Washington takes Jan Vesely. Don’t know anything about this guy either, but he makes out with his girlfriend when his name is called, great stuff. The highlight clip ESPN is showing of him is actually astounding. I’m not kidding. Sideline reporter says many call him the European Blake Griffin, to which he responds, “He is the American Jan Vesely.” The balls on this one!

7.09: Sideline reporter: “We’ll try to get you into a slam dunk contest one of these days.” Vesely: “OK, thank you.”

7.11: Sacramento, picking for Charlotte, selects Bismack Biyombo. Based on name alone, this guy is all sorts of awesome.

7.12: With all these foreign players being taken, Bilas isn’t getting any opportunities to tell me the wingspans of any players. More Americans!

7.14: Bismack is interviewed. Sounds a lot like this…

7.19: Detroit selects Brandon Knight. I don’t know what this means for the franchise. I don’t care.

7.22: Almost fell asleep. BISMACK BIYOMBOOOOOOO! Am now awake.

7.25: Charlotte selects Kemba Walker. I won’t question this guys heart. But not sure if he will ever be a starter in the NBA. Charlotte has made a habit of drafting really good college players with little upside.* For anyone who isn’t sure, thats not how you build a winner in the NBA.

*A few hours later I revised this sentiment and now believe he will be the next Jason Terry. Is it mainly because they are both black, look generally alike, played on college teams that experienced somewhat unlikely success, and are the same body type? Maybe. But who’s to say that 5 years down the road, Kemba doesn’t develop into a knockdown 3 point shooter and irrational confidence guy? Don’t let me down Kemba.

7.28: Milwaukee, picking for Sacramento, selects Jimmer. I may now light myself on fire. Angry with Utah for not trying to trade up.

7.35: Golden State selects Klay Thompson. Apart from spelling his own name incorrectly, I do like the pick. A good body for an NBA 2 guard. On a side note, his father also spells his name incorrectly: Mychal.

7.40: My Mom comes down and tells me to check on Bear’s (yup, we named our dog Bear) scrotum. Not unreasonable since he was neutered a few days ago. A little perturbing nonetheless.

7.41: Utah takes Grandview’s own Alec Burks. Got to love representing the Kansas City area, glad to see him get drafted in the lottery. Utah has to be one of the drafts biggest winners. 12 picks in and Bilas has given me just one wingspan reference. My Over/Under number not looking so great.

7.47-7.55: Phoenix and Houston select Markieff and Marcus Morris back-to-back. An interesting storyline for a night lacking very many. The Morii’s crew make fools of themselves celebrating when they are both drafted.

7.50: Always a source of high comedy, Marcus, when asked how he will deal with having to be away from his brother for the first time ever, notes he will send Markieff, “some flowers or some fruit.” Interesting strategy.

7.57: Marcus notes that the Rockets don’t have a scoring 4. Must have forgotten about the scoring 4 they had last year (Luis Scola).

8.01: Indiana selects Kawhi Leonard. This draft is about as compelling as making sure sure my dog’s scrotum is OK. For those of you who are curious, it looks like a normal dog scrotum right now.

8.02: Bilas notes that his wingspan is 7’3″ despite a height of 6’7″. We’re back on track with our 2nd wingspan call!

8.03: Based on his interview, I’m not sure Leonard didn’t smoke some weed before the draft.

8.07: Philly selects Nikola Vucevic. Just gonna flat out say this guy doesn’t have an overly bright future in the NBA. Scott: “He’s got a foreign name but a USC Trojan game.” Droppin rhymes on our collective ass.

8.09: Scott notes that Vucevic has a considerable wingspan, Bilas seething in the corner that a wingspan call was stolen from him.

8.09: The Knicks are up. Is Spike Lee really at the draft? THIS draft? Really?!?!

8.12: The awkwardness with which Stu Scott is directing this show has to be seen to be believed.

8.13: Knicks take Iman Shumpert. Forgot he was even eligible to be drafted. Spike looks incredulous. The New York Knicks everybody!

8.14: Feeling like an idiot for placing the wingspan number all the way at 10.5, I’m gonna need a miracle. Should I hedge?

8.18: Wizards take Chris Singleton. If a guy plays great defense, he’ll always have something to fall back on. Bilas: “He stands about 6’9″ but with his arms plays 7’1″.” Thats our third one of the night, hoping things pick up. Love the new Wizards logo/jerseys. If it is possible to get better in this draft, I think Washington did it.

8.20: Stu mentions that he has promised his mother he will go back to Florida State to earn his degree. He’s really settled into a nice rhythm now.

8.22: ESPN recaps a 3-way trade between Charlotte, Sacramento, and Milwaukee. Again, I decide that checking my dogs scrotum would be a better use of my time. It looks great. Charlotte takes Tobias Harris. Bilas says he has a 6’11” wingspan. Making a comeback here!

8.30: Minnesota at 20, selects Lapinski Gregorovitch (something like that). The book on this guy is that he needs to get tougher and care more. Sounds like a winner to me.

8.35: Portland selects Duke’s Nolan Smith. A bit of a headscratcher. Not sure I care though. Stuart mentions that he has a tattoo of his father’s face on his arm.

8.42: Denver selects Kenny Faried. Like it a lot. Don’t really see how a pick like this fails. When you’re in the bottom of the first round, you’re usually only looking for a rotation type of player. No one will criticize a team for blowing a late round pick anyways. And I think we learned a few years ago when San Antonio stole DeJuan Blair in the second round, there is always a place in the league for a high-energy, high-motor, bulk rebounding big guy. Good pickup.

8.45: ESPN shows a clip of the lottery-hopefuls banging drum sticks on a make shift drum set (made of pots and pans) to Rolling in the Deep. Are they trying to make these players look like 3 year olds? Does this accomplish anything? What is going on right now?

8.49: Good comedy from listening to David Stern try to pronounce Nikola Mirotic (Houston’s pick at 23) in an Eastern European accent.

8.53: OKC gets Reggie Jackson of Boston College…who has a wingspan of 7 feet according to Jay! Bilas is now on fire and we are almost in range to hitting our number. Celts on the clock.

8.55: Scott: “From Boston College to the Boston Celtics!” Stuart didn’t put any preparation into this draft. I wouldn’t have either.

8.56: Budwieser commercial almost made me cry. Awesome. Celtics pick MarShon Brooks from Providence. Maybe he pans out, but who is going to play center for them next season?

8.57: Bilas observes that Brooks has a 7’1″ wingspan. He is really hitting his stride. For those scoring at home, we have reached 6 wingspan calls. For those playing the game, you’re probably feeling pretty decent by now (depending on the drink of choice and amount of ingestion per “sip” of course).

9.03: Defending champs select Jordan Hamilton. Very talented. They need a future 3, and he could maybe develop into that type of guy.

To finish: New Jersey takes JaJuan Johnson for Boston. Minnesota continues to trade for late 1st round picks and a bunch of 2nd rounders. Not sure how this helps the team. Spurs take an undervalued Cory Joseph. Fans give an especially loud round of boos to Stern, and the Bulls cap off the first round with the selection of Jimmy Butler. As soon as Adam Silver walks out to call the 2nd round, fans erupt and start AD-AM SIL-VER chants, clearly making fun of him right to his face. Which makes sense when you realize he looks like one of the cone heads.

Final thoughts: Very boring draft. Which made it a very bad decision to try and do a running diary on it. Which is my excuse for when you feel like you just wasted 20 minutes of your time reading this.

Also interesting to note that Kansas guard Josh Selby did not get selected in the 1st round (didn’t go until the end of the 2nd). It just illustrates how the NBA’s 1-year rule really needs to go away. College basketball didn’t need him, he didn’t need college basketball, and it ended up costing him millions of dollars in the end. And now, he may not even make an NBA roster next season. If a player can play right out of high school, let him. But if you go to college, it has to be a 2 year commitment. It’s that simple.

Man, what a crappy draft. And Bilas only made 6 wingspan calls? I’m not sure if anybody wins.

Final Grades: Stuart Scott – A

Jay Bilas – C

ESPN – F+

Bear’s Scrotum – a solid B-

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What I Learned From The Finals

Editors Note: After finding this gem of a picture, it makes me sad that Dirk didn’t take full advantage of his ability to pull off the sick euro-headband/long hair combo. Would have vaulted him up a few spots in the “greatest of all time” discussion without a doubt.

Late last night, I was laying (probably wrong usage of the word there, I doubt I’ll ever figure that out) in my bed. Maybe lying in my bed? Ok, so last night I laid in my bed trying to figure out why I wasn’t completely satisfied with this year’s NBA finals. I had rationalized all of the pros and cons. I had read great articles from Bill Simmons (completely agree with his theories on LeBron) and Joe Posnanski (completely agree with his confusion about how to feel post-finals), but if they had quenched my thirst for being thoroughly irked no more, then I wouldn’t be typing this column right now.

I knew that I was overjoyed for Dirk finally getting off the shnide. This year’s playoffs had been so trying for him, and we haven’t seen one man carry his team (that is, a one-star team) to a championship in so long. It was the end of the marathon for him and he was absolutely spent. That moment when the game was almost over and he stumbled to the locker room was touching. He just couldn’t hold it back anymore. He was so happy and so tired and had kept everything in check for so long (I didn’t realize up until then just how long the playoffs and the microscopic scrutiny last), that it was time to get rid of all those emotions. Seeing his shot coach tear up during the trophy presentation ceremony almost made me cry. In that one camera shot, you could see all of the emotion, how far they had both come, how much work they had put in, how happy they were for some validation. But I digress.

I knew that I was happy for the rest of the Dallas players and for Mark Cuban, who may be the coolest owner in sports. I was happy that he used “shit” on live television to describe the performance of the Heat fans compared to Mavs fans (totally true). I knew that I was happy for Mario Chalmers, who demonstrated that he has the heart and desire to be a legitimate starting NBA point guard (whether he has the skill remains to be seen).

And despite all of that, it wasn’t this feeling of complete happiness. Yeah there were people and situations to be happy for, but something was missing, drawing my attention away from Dallas. It wasn’t that Miami’s fans were so embarrassing.* It wasn’t that Game 6 was such an anticlimactic ending to the greatest 5 game finals stretch that I can personally remember. It wasn’t that Miami fell so woefully short of the challenge that the second half of Game 6 presented. And it wasn’t that I don’t really have much to look forward to, sports-wise, for the rest of summer, and maybe after that too. It was something else that I couldn’t quite understand yet. And then I was asleep.

*You’d have to be a Sunday regular at Arrowhead Stadium to understand how someone like me can get so mad when fans don’t show up, or marvel at the atmosphere radiated from a great fan base.

So there I was, this morning, in my summer calculus II class. I was complaining that I had to take something that I so clearly will have NO USE for no matter what professional endeavors I pursue. I was upset that I had to take the class from some asian guy who could hardly speak a lick of English.*I was mad that I still couldn’t figured out what about the finals was bothering me, and that it was a distraction to me trying to figure out what the hell I’m supposed to do with hyperbolic functions and hanging cables. More than anything I was mad at myself for so blatantly, systematically wasting a reasonable amount of mathmatical talent to such a degree that what Professor Rhee was writing on the whiteboard looked like a foreign language to me.

*I guess that sentence could be construed as racist/sterotypist/whatever. But the fact of the matter is that the guy is Asian (not a bad thing) and seriously cant speak any English (also not necessarily a bad thing). But when the guy teaches calculus to people in the United States, a job that requires a considerable amount of talking, this is indeed, a bad thing. It shouldn’t take me 45 minutes to figure out what ahkrength is (for the record, he was saying “arc length”). But again, I digress.

And then I realized that LeBron James and I aren’t so different.* I thought about why I didn’t want to take the time to learn this crap. One, because I would have no use for it in the future, no matter the situation. But more than that, I just didn’t really want to. It wasn’t as important to me as wasting a few hours drinking beers, or getting food with friends was. I thought about why LeBron shied away from the moment on Sunday. Why he was with in Miami to begin with. It wasn’t as important.

Admittedly, a more accurate analogy would be comparing his god given basketball talents to the god given logic and reasoning talents of South Boston’s own Will Hunting, rather than my own.

There it was. It wasn’t purely the end result of the finals that had bothered me. It was, like it always seems to be no matter the basketball topic, LeBron James. If there is one thing I, or any sports fan, enjoy, it is all of the debates. Who is better, which team is better, who has the better legacy, who is the greatest. And for as long as LeBron James has been in the league, the central debate surrounding him has been can he match, or even eclipse Michael Jordan as the greatest ever. Even though we should have known the answer to that question a year ago, Sunday night was the final straw for me. Not today, not ever.

Joe Posnanski discussed a sequence towards the end of the game that stuck in my mind. Wade was having an off night. If Miami was going to save the game, it had to be James. He was shooting well (but hadn’t taken very many shots) and had played solid, if uninspired basketball the entire game. It had to be him. And with 4 minutes left in the game, James got the ball on the wing, and it was his time to take over. But he passed it back. He got the ball on the wing again…passed it back. He didn’t penetrate and then kick it out back to the guy. He didn’t even hold the ball up in the air to survey an opening or find a guy with a mismatch. He just passed it back…immediately. Never averted his gaze from the man who had given him the ball, and as soon as it touched his hands, it was sent flying back to the guy at the top of the key.

Well that sure was odd. I had never seen that from LeBron before. I hadn’t seen that from anyone before. That was the moment that cemented the argument for me. Michael would have never done that. He would have been too pissed off that his team had squandered a 2-1 series lead. He would have been too focused and zoned in on not letting his team be the FIRST EVER since the 2-3-2 format was instituted in the NBA Finals to not win a championship after leading 2-1. He would have wanted the win so badly that he would have taken the ball to the hole even if it meant getting clobbered by two 7-footers and falling 10 feet out of the air right on his ass. He would have wanted to stick it to all of his doubters too badly to let his team lose. But calculus isn’t important enough for me, and that game wasn’t important enough for James.

A few games before, Michael would have been too infuriated that a teammate embarrassed him in front of millions of people by calling him out for 10 straight seconds. He would have gone nuts. He would have unleashed his competitive fury and torched the Mavericks. Michael thrived off of the petty slights, he used them as motivation (and Wade’s confrontation of James was a little more than just a petty slight by my estimation). The reason his hall of fame speech sounded so snotty and bitter is the same reason that he was so motivated to be better than everyone. But this paragraph is totally beside the point because Michael would have been the one doing the yelling and the confronting in the first place, not the one being yelled at.

Michael wouldn’t have quit on his team in an elimination game in the Eastern Conference Playoffs like LeBron did last year. And Michael never would have joined up with Karl Malone or Magic Johnson or Charles Barkley or anyone else to win a championship. He wanted to kick their asses too badly.

Bill Simmons wrote that, from what he knows, LeBron James is a good guy who just wants to be liked by everybody. I believe him. But Michael didn’t care about being nice and liked by everybody. He didn’t even care about being liked by his teammates all the time. Hell, it seems he didn’t care about being liked by his own wife (see: divorced)! He was ruthless. He was more than ruthless. He wanted it more than everybody else. Being the best was the most important thing in the world to him.

Im sure being good at basketball is important to LeBron James. But its not THE MOST important. If it was, he wouldn’t be focused on trying to brand himself globally, or trying to please all of the people he pissed off by leaving Cleveland. He would realize that its impossible to please everybody, especially after the stunts he pulled last summer. He would lock himself in a gym and try to harness his incredible talents. He would learn a post-up game. He would learn how to make 3’s. He would learn the Michael/Kobe fadeaway shot so that he could bail himself out of any situation. He would become the most invincible (sounds immature but thats the best way I can describe it) basketball player of all time.

Maybe, as fans, we just care too much. We want someone to succeed so badly, to realize his potential, that we start scrutinizing and critisizing to an unfair degree. Maybe we realize that professional athletes can do things we have only done in our dreams or our backyards, so that when they do something or do not do something, we are all really doing it or not doing it too. Maybe its not our job to decide for LeBron that he needs to be the greatest of all time. Maybe thats just not what he wants (or at least not badly enough).

And I think, to a certain extent, all of that is true. All of the pressure on LeBron for the last 12 months (really, his whole career) has been unfair. And our desire for him to be the greatest has become so great in itself, that it has hindered him in his pursuit of that greatness.

But even then, the evidence can’t be hidden from the light. I probably won’t do well in calculus this summer because its too damn hard and I don’t feel like putting in the time. LeBron James will never be Michael Jordan because its too damn hard and he doesn’t feel like putting in the time. He just isn’t wired the same way Michael is.

No one can tell the future. Maybe this finals lights a fire under LeBron’s ass, and he decides to finally be what he has the capability of being. But I’m betting against it. And somewhere else, Michael Jordan is too, probably with a sneer.

Token LeBron Post

Editors Note: I was just as infuriated by The Decision and the rally that took place in Miami soon after as all of you were. You are more than welcome to ask my friends and they will tell you during that summer and for a good while after it, seeing Miami lose gave me a great deal of pleasure. But I found it in me to move on. I am now indifferent to Miami’s exploits, as I was before they signed LeBron and Chris Bosh. If I have any motivation at all to watch them, it is because I am a fan of the game of basketball, and enjoy watching good games, great defense, and exciting styles of play. What The Decision and its aftermath says about LeBron, Wade, Bosh, and us as fans, should be left for another post entirely.

Thinking about the most polarizing figures in sports and the usual names all come to mind: Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, the entire New York Yankees organization. They get an exceptional amount of coverage in the national press, people talk about them on a daily basis, people argue about them on a daily basis, and for the last year, they have all paled in comparison to the amount of attention, good and bad, LeBron James has received. If you want a fullproof plan to get an interesting conversation going, go up to a random group of people and just say “so how ’bout LeBron?” Thats all you need to do. Half the group will want to punch you in the face, the other half will thank you for giving them an opportunity to salivate over the most tantalizing talent to have ever graced the hardwood.

I was asked by my mom the other day who I was rooting for in the finals and I responded that I was completely indifferent, as I usually am with these things. She got mad at me because I wasn’t rooting against Miami. One year ago, she wouldn’t have been able to tell you if Miami even had an NBA franchise or not. The LeBron effect knows no bounds.

Another prime example: after a fantastic game 3 last night, one in which both sides fought extremely hard, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki exerted superhuman efforts, one which ended in a Miami victory (past statistics showing that the Heat should now be overwhelming favorites to win a championship), and the pervading storyline is what LeBron James didn’t do in the 4th quarter.

The sole focus of the aftermath of that game was how James only scored 2 4th quarter points and how he was seen being barked at by Wade for passing the ball to Mario Chalmers instead of driving to the bucket on a particular play. Let me repeat: Miami WON THE GAME led by a spectacular Wade, and this is what we are talking about? People need to stop worrying about who is going to be the alpha dog on this team or who will be taking the final shot of the game. As far as I’m concerned, Miami possesses 2.5 alpha dogs (including Chris Bosh’s alien body of course). They have the luxury of taking what the defense gives them, they get to use a great player as a decoy to get their other great player a good look. Or as we saw last night, they have the luxury of being able to go to a capable Chris Bosh when both James and Wade are being heavily guarded (LeBron isn’t getting the credit he deserves for the pass that got Bosh the game winning shot).

If Miami can win a championship, none of this stuff should matter. The 2007-2008 Kansas Jayhawks basketball team found itself in a similar predicament when many noticed they didn’t have a prototypical go-to guy like a Tyler Hansbrough, Kevin Love, or Derrick Rose. You know what the team itself thought? That they had 7 go-to guys (which would include Sasha Kaun…probably a mistake), and whoever had the open shot would take it and likely make it. Not a bad recipe based on how their season ended.

So we need to stop worrying over who is going to be the man on this team. Miami is above that. Assuming Miami wins (which is stupid to do this early, but the stats also don’t lie: since the 2-3-2 format has been in play in the NBA Finals, there have been 11 1-1 series ties after the first two games. The team that won game 3 went on to win the series 100% of the time), then they will have put to rest this whole argument.

Chicago and Dallas were both very good teams this season, and more than that, they have a bonafide guy they can go to when the moment matters. That’s great and its more than can be said for the majority of the teams in this league. But (again ASSUMING Miami wins) that doesn’t help when the team you’re playing has 2 guys like that. It’s time to stop using small sample sizes (3 games) to annoint someone the leader of a team and another player as someone who shrinks from the big moment. And I won’t even get into how unfair it is towards James (who is actually shooting 51% from the field and 44% from behind the arc in the finals) for most journalists to use these 3 games to label him as Wade’s sidekick. We could have done the exact same thing to Wade in the conference finals (when LeBron thoroughly dominated Chicago, was the definition of clutch, and just torched this year’s near unanimous league MVP…it didn’t look fair), and yet no one did.

The Decision, and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9BqUBYaHlM&feature=related were clearly very poor decisions. And I think if LeBron could do them over again, or not at all, he probably would. But I also think we are making illogical decisions by using a 3 game sample size to crown Wade as THE guy on his team, when the argument is really just flat out not necessary.

It’s time to stop fretting over who should be taking the last shot or labeled as the leader (Erik Spoelstra, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade will figure that out based on the matchups on the court). Its time to stop worrying about who scored more 4th quarter points or who was more clutch (THEY WON THE GAME…WINNING IS WHAT BROUGHT JAMES TO MIAMI IN THE FIRST PLACE). And it is time to start being very afraid of what this team may accomplish in the next 5 or so years.

One-third of you will love this post. One-third will want to rip my face off. And the last third probably didn’t make it far enough to read this sentence. So how ’bout LeBron?