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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 20, 2006 10:20 PM. The previous post in this blog was Derrick's new gig. The next post in this blog is Soccer nuts may sleep in for a change. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

No time for losers

Congratulations to Pat Riley, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat, the new NBA champions. Riley is a master motivator, and often that is what counts most. Wade is a likeable superstar of a kind not seen since Michael Jordan retired. The rest of the Miami cast was also superb.

I must confess that with "football" on the telly every morning, I almost missed the U.S. pro basketball finale. Note to David Stern: Every fourth year, at least, you might want to get it over with by the first weekend in June. And unless you can require our overpaid hoopster heroes to play in the Olympics, be prepared to move down a notch as true world sports take hold in the States.

Comments (11)

Bill Simmons is right. Just when the NBA finally became watchable again, Riley, Wade, and Shaq set the league back another five years. This is not a good thing.

Seriously, Bill Simmons nailed it with his take on the referees. Not that the Heat didn't deserve to win last night, and not that the Mavs didn't suck. They did. But even Jordan wouldn't get some of the calls that Dwayne Wade got. It was ridiculous. Frankly, it doesn't make it very much fun to watch.

I got wrapped up in some household chores and forgot to turn on the game until there was about 30 seconds left. Normally, I'd be happy to see the end of a close NBA Finals game. The only play I saw was Wade driving, giving Nowitski a hard forearm push into the abdomen and Nowitski getting called for a foul. Yeah, right. Nowitski must have fouled Wade's forearm with his stomach.

It turned off the TV because it was extrememly obvious at that point who had been picked to win.

Go USA on Thursday (and Italy too)!!!

They should definitely consider a schedule change in World Cup years, especially if they want to continue their vaunted efforts to take over Europe and Asia.

I'm always glad when longtime veterans like Zo get a ring, even though I was for Dallas. It was also fun at the beginning hearing the sports pundits talk about how Avery Johnson is now a better coach than Pat Riley. Please. I've never been a huge Gary Payton fan, even going back to the Brandon-Payton duels here in Oregon.
I always thought he ran his mouth too much in an annoying way, but I have to admit he came up with two huge shots in this series, and showed some championship heart. Still, I loved it last night when he passed the ball and started talking to the ref so he didn't see the ball being passed back. That was classic.

Every year they keep talking about the NBA Finals
yet near 60 days later the nonsense starts all over again.

All we can do is hope!

Stop whining about the calls Dwayne Wade gets. Yes he does, but no more than Michael Jordan did (remember how MJ cleared out the defender with his left hand before his infamous game winning shot?). At least DW plays the game at both ends of the court. His defense is as impressive as his shot-making ability.

Michael Jordan could play great defense as well. I think he led the league in steals some years althought that's from memory.
DW sure can block some shots. There were some ridiculous shot blocks in this series, from Zo and Stackhouse and Wade.
As for that push by Michael to win against Utah, that was an example of putting the whistles away at the very end - something the refs didn't do in Game 5.
I believe Shannon Anderson was on that Utah team so at least last night he got a ring.

See I like Dwayne Wade. I think he's a phenomoal baller and a good guy to boot. I don't think he needs the extra help from the refs. But they're giving it to him, and thus it makes me like him and the league less.

It's my biggest gripe about the NBA. I don't think it's rigged; I just think there is no consistency in calls and it makes the games less fun to watch.

Here's a great video clip summary of last night's phantom foul calls favoring Dwyane Wade. The two classics are Nowitzky flagrantly throwing his abdomen into Wade's fist, and Marquis Daniels unlawfully fleeing from Wade as he shoots a runner. Awful.

http://www.ericfolkerth.com//B1082610743/C1360270701/E20060621011743/index.html

For the record, MJ pushed off on Bryon Russell in that final Utah game. I remember watching it on TV and shaking my head. He just pushed him into the ground and took the open shot. It sort of took away the magic of the moment.

I still feel bad that Stockton and Malone never won a championship.


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