Finally, I cannot stand having to hear van gundy say "random cut" one more time. It is basketball, it is a cut, stfu.
OT NBA Finals: The Coronation of King James
Seriously, no cut is random, that's the entire point. I have a feeling he just means a cut that's not a part of a play, but he ought to use a different term.
Is that the location of the cut is not premeditated. Often times, a double team will come on a player and the cutter is supposed to cut right behind the double in the vacated area.
The 'random' part means it can be at any time and not necessarily in response to a double and its purpose is to make it harder to defend the player with the ball if you are concerned with where your man is at. Since LeBron and Wade aren't necessarily complementary (both ball stoppers and offensive initiators), they need unpredictable off ball movement to deflect OKC's attention away from the ball and allow the player with the ball to work.
The latter part of the article talks about the 'unplanned' improvisation that JVG is correctly referring to.
Not part of a play (there are no plays in the NBA), but a cut is a cut, he shouldn't act surprised and gush about the guy. Although if he just stood, he'd be part of the norm in the association.
If that's your attitude, I highly doubt you coach anything beyond 7th grade.
My point is you need to play as a team and move without the basketball, rarely seen in the NBA. And yes, I coach beyond the point where you've ever had the opportunity to play.
Shameless bump to the top, but worth it.....
I hate LeBron, but it makes me slightly happy that the Stolen Sonics are cursed. They deserve to be. I feel bad for Durant.
They're in the NBA Finals. That's not a bad malediction to suffer.
Sacremento will be saying the same thing soon after the Kings move up to Seatle.
When the Kings become the Soncs, they will still be the Kings..unless they're the Sonics. In either case they will be watching Durant win a championship while they struggle to get above mediocrity.
Can people stop complaining about the Sonics? There's absolutely nothing special about them, they're not the first (or the last) team to have been "stolen"
Join the club
It's a bit diffrerent than the other relocated teams. The only one that is as bad is the Colts leaving Baltimore in the middle if the night.
How is it different? A few lackluster seasons, financial/arena issues, it's the same exact blueprint for Seattle as other relocated teams. The only thing separating Seattle is they might have some proof the new owners only wanted to move the team rather than the suspicions that others have had
I think the lies from ownership and Stern's cronyism with Bennett that enabled the theft are a couple of reasons why Sonics fans are so indignant.
And what about fans of the Winnipeg Jets or the Quebec Nordiques? Fan support was there, but it was the weakness of the Canadian economy that hurt them. And rather than protect the teams, Bettman left them on their own. Or what about the Hartford Whalers fans being lied to by new owners. They were promised that the team would stay, only to surprise! Have the team move.
So again, nothing special about Seattle
Edit: I almost forgot to include others like the Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Giants (baseball), or recently, the Cleveland Browns
Feel bad for Durant? In four years, this team turned from one of the worst at 23-59 to making The Finals. He loves it in OKC and has explicitly stated that many times, and he is playing for the second youngest team in the NBA with their three best players all under 24 years old. He has a better setup for future success than Lebron when he moved to Miami.
Also, I don't know how you could say a team is "cursed" when the majority of the team just lost their FIRST finals. Lebron didn't win until his third try. This statement is wrong on so many levels.
Whatever you say Stephen A
Thunder are extremely explosive and just keep coming. They won't fold. Only 10 point game at half. Also, Mike Miller won't shoot 4-4 on threes again
Little-known fact about Lee Corso: the reason he always waves a pencil on the air is that he's actually Director of Business Development for Dixon Ticonderoga (seriously).
Once my friend brought it up whilst we were drunk and I couldn't contain my laughter
Lebron James has killed five hook-suspended title banners in his career.
what that even means.....
Craig James KILLED FIVE HOOKERS while at SMU.
The guy is a frontrunner. He hasn't earned anything. He took a shortcut and landed on a ring (assuming the Heat close this out).
He's the best player in the league. If Miami wins it, ask KD or Westbrook what they think. Let's not leave analysis to the lightweights, homers and folks forced to live in cleveland.
Lebron said that part of the reason he left Cleveland is that he didn't want to be " the guy". He didn't want to carry the load and have the largest share of the responsibility for his team's performance.
Explain to me how he is not a frontrunner and didn't take the easy way out?
the "only" guy. haters gonna hate.
The guy planned this thing over a year out, quit in the playoffs for the Cavs, and took the easy way to a ring.
You can try to deflect my argument, but his actions and attitude speak for themselves.
would you know what's easy and what's not with respect to pro basketball? You really ought to just appreciate watching his game. At the end of the day, he's going to get his ring(s) and what'll all the haters have, but more hate.
When the going gets tough, Ill just pull together other top talents and push responsibility off to them.
There's no need to hate on those who think Lebron took a shortcut and should have taken an alternate path. Next time, lets have a real argument instead you continuously deflecting with "haters gonna hate".
Why wouldn't you take the shortcut? You'd have to be fucking stupid not to.
Would you really choose to stay in Cleveland for the rest of your career if you had the option to live in a better city, work with some of your best friends, make as much if not more money, and give yourself the best chance to achieve the ultimate goal of your profession?
First, thank you for making a legit counter-argument. You make good points here.
Lebron is an unbelievable basketball talent, there is no denying that. And when you have as much talent as that, the ultimate goal of your profession is not to win a title, or multiple titles: it is to build a legacy that lasts long beyond your playing days. And a part of building that legacy mean doing things the right way: showing patience, loyalty, and respect for the game and the fanbase.
I'm of the opinion that Lebron would have won titles regardless of where he played. If he had stayed, gone to New York, or gone to Chicago, he would have attracted more talent around him to build towards a title. Or he could have tried to convince others to come to Cleveland and play, instead of deciding far in advance that he was giving up on the cavaliers.
As for money and better city, I can't argue with you on those.
I wanted to see Lebron win a title for Cleveland because I wanted to see the the next NBA legend, who built a team around him from nothing and in the end achieved the glory. I'm disappointed I didn't get to see this.
I agree that it's cool to watch a player spend his whole career on one team. If I were a player, I wouldn't want to change teams often, if at all. But to be fair, LeBron did give the Cavs seven good years. He re-signed with them the first time he was a free agent. He didn't bail until after he'd come up short repeatedly there. I do think he'd have eventually won it all in Cleveland, but it might have been awhile longer. The Cleveland front office didn't do the best job surrounding him with talent. Michael Jordan got to play with Pippen. Magic had Kareem and Worthy. Bird had McHale and Parrish. LeBron had . . . Mo Williams?
Again, a very fair point.
When Lebron was in Cleveland, he ran the front office. Once Dan Gilbert became owner, he decided that the best way to keep Lebron happy in Cleveland was to give him whatever he wanted, when he wanted it. He spoiled him, and learned his lesson.
As for the names you presented, Pippen, McHale, and Worthy were all high draft picks acquire soon after Jordan, Magic, and Bird came on board. Kareem had been with the Lakers already. Only Parish was a legit trade, adn that was soon after Bird joined the league. The cavs had terrible luck drafting up until they took Kyrie, and got screwed over by Carlos Boozer after he renegged on a handshake deal and jumped to Utah.
It could have been done if he wanted it that way.
True. Those other stars definitely were fortunate to play with star teammates. But regardless, if you're LeBron and after seven years you haven't had the chance to play with another star player, maybe you wonder if it'll ever happen. For some guys, like Charles Barkley or Allen Iverson, it never happened and they didn't win a title. If you've got the chance to walk into a situation where you might win a title right off the bat, it's got to be tempting.
I thought "the Decision" was really tacky and I don't like to see Miami build a championship team just by signing a bunch of guys in one offseason, but I can't get too worked up about LeBron at this point. At least he had to wait until his second year in Miami to get the ring.
I figured LeBron was going to leave from the moment he started talking about how he wanted to be a "global icon." I'd basically come to terms with the fact that he'd be leaving at the earliest conceivable moment.
What pisses me off about the way he left is the goddam tire fire he left in his wake. Over and over he demanded trades that compromised the long range viability of the team for temporary roster upgrades. Cleveland overpaid (in $ and draft picks) for guys like Mo Williams, Shaq, Larry Hughes, Antawn Jamison, the corpse of Ben Wallace, all b/c LeBron demanded to win now.
You want to go, go. Don't fuck the team over on your way out.
I still laugh at all the people who get pissed off over The Decision. Keep in mind Lebron donated all the proceeds to the Boys & Girls Club of America. Did it piss off some people? Sure it did. Wouldn't you piss off some people in order to donate MILLIONS of dollars to a charity that helps kids?
Ok, fair point, but what the hell was that event the Heat held the next day where Lebron, Wade, and Bosh just came out, slapped hands, and promised 8 championships before thy played a game together? Where was the rest of their "team"? It doesn't piss me off that he left Cleveland, but don't act like you're a champion when you haven't won anything yet, let alone step on the court. That's why I see him as a self-serving asshole
when your home city is in Ohio
He should have gone to New York. Would have been a legend on the biggest stage. Congrats to him though - he's been unfairly criticized for too long
His home city is Akron.
He also wasn't a Cavs fan growing up.
Who is to say what Lebron's "ultimate goal" should be? Lebron isn't obligated to adhere to some fans' notion of greatness just because, well, they think he should. He should use his talent in whatever manner he sees fit. This will sound corny, but heck, it's his life. Why should he sacrifice his happiness just to satisfy those who think he should behave in a certain way?
Your goal in his situation might be X. Lebron's goal might be Y. And that's ok.
It's perfectly fine to be disappointed by his decision, but I always felt that the vitriol was ridiculously overboard.
People would have torn apart Lebron no matter where he went. Is it really that different that he went to Miami instead of Chicago? Would it have cheapened his title if he won it with Derrick Rose instead of Dwyane Wade?
I don't follow basketball that much but I will give you a hockey reference. Ray Bourque left Boston to win a Cup with the Avalanche. Do you think his career is tarnished by having to leave Boston to win it? I bet if he had the chance to go back in time and leave sooner for a shot to win multiple Cups he would do so in a heartbeat. Congrats to Lebron. This surely won't be his last title.
This is utter bullshit. The man's legacy will be established by his championships and performance on the court, NOT on whether or not he pissed off a few Cleveland residents.
Ok, so you think that the decision and all of the fallout will be forgotten when we look back on Lebron in 20 years?
I disagree. It was more memorable than anything he did on the court and will be remembered for a long time.
In Cleveland, yeah, but no one else will care.
People have already stopped talking about it over the past year.
In two years, it has already gone from, "One of the worst things an athlete has EVER done in the HISTORY of sports!" to, "Yeah, it was unfortunate, and looking back he probably should have done things differently."
The hate is out of control and absolutely unbelievable.
If I came to you and was like, "Did you hear about these three guys who took significantly less money, and sacrificed their egos, all for the sole purpose of winning?" you'd be like, "Wow! Those guys are what sports are supposed to be all about! Team first, and winning above all else!"
Then when you mention that's exactly what Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh did, people start foaming at the mouth and having a hater induced spaz attack.
How is this flamebait??
He toiled away in Cleveland for 7 years. They never made a serious effort to build around him; they expected LeBron to carry them to a title. He realized that he needed a change of scenery to a title-contender. Was "The Decision" tacky? Absolutely. But LeBron has grown a lot since last season. He's a different person now.
um...he averaged nearly a triple double in the finals, and was the most hated man in sports for nothing more than leaving cleveland in an arrogant manner. I'd say he earned it
This ring was bought, not earned.
The NBA is full of overpaid divas anyway.
oh, please. Lebron asked for help in cleveland, and all he was given was a 40 year old obese shaq with broken knees, and antawn jamison. He realized his only way to get a supporting cast was to do it himself.
Michael Jordan didn't buy his championship rings.
Larry Bird didn't buy his championship rings.
Bill Russell didn't buy his championship rings.
Michael Jordan played with Scottie Pippen, not Sasha Pavlovich
Larry Bird played with Kevin Mchale, not Anderson Varejao
Bill Russell played with Bob Cousy, not Boobie Gibson
I don't understand why people expected LeBron to singlehandedly carry Cleveland to a title. He got no serious support. Don't forget that Kobe wasn't even the best player on his own team for his first 3 titles.
I'm not crazy about Lebron either but get over it. The dude has a right to sign with other teams WHEN HE IS A FREE AGENT!! He played the games, he does put in work in the off season and won.
Since you hate the NBA so much then don't click the fucking topic.
you mean every team that won the championship prior to this played for free?! so that's what the lockout was for.
Um, you realize all NBA teams pay their players quite a bit of money right? I'm too lazy to look up, but I'm guessing Heat aren't heads & shoulders over the soft cap.
Now, if you want to talk Yankees/Bosox we can have a discussion...
If he wins one, he wins one. But the King James nickname is the most absurd thing in sports. Try catching up with MJ, Kobe, Bill Russell, Bird, and Magic then we can talk about a coronation.
opinion means a lot to him. Go Cleveland!
I'd be shocked if he didn't win at least one more. And, FWIW he's still a year younger than Jordan was when he won his first.
With three more years in the league then Jordan had. Please, no MJ comparisons.
At Least Juwan Howard will be the first member of the Fab 5 to win any championship of any kind
Only silver lining I see in this whole Heat/Big 3 debacle would be Juwan getting a ring. There was a good Deadspin article today on the topic:
Juwan's been really committed to the game. I hope he gets a ring and works his way into coaching.
Fine by me!
First since the Fab Five formed. They won titles in high school
With the way the Heat are shooting LeBron is a lock for a triple double
Fucking haters, man
Haters give me more entertainment for my time.
say well deserved but he'll most likely get it
Whoever wins, it will be "much deserved"... Not only one person will get a "much deserved" championship.
My gut said the Thunder would fold and that's exactly what's happening. The Heat have been here, they know how important each game is and they've been playing with a sense of urgency all series. The Thunder seem to just go out and play basketball as if it's a regular season game, they're good enough to get this far by that alone but they were not prepared for a game this important against a team this good.
Love him or hate him, you have to give James some credit. It seems like he has matured a lot in the last year—as both a player and a person.
But I don't know him as a person. Do tell about this growth, I love happy human growth stories.
Also, I give Shane Battier credit too. And the other guys on the team.
End of 3rd, 95-71 Miami Heat.
4th Quarter, Miami up by 24. Time for Juwan-watch
I refuse to live in a world where the Miami Heat (and LeBron James) are NBA Champions, so I'm taking matters into my own hands: I'm going to start running really fast in the opposite direction of the earth's rotation in an attempt to reverse time so that none of us have to live in this hell. Wish me luck.
Too late. Thunder gonna need Uncle Drew to get back into this one.
I guess I didn't run fast enough.
He's got a certain meathead Sparty look about him.
This thread is awful. if you don't like/watch the NBA don't fucking comment.
Big ups to Juwan. He deserves it.
Whenever the NBA is brought up on the MGoBoard the anti-NBA trolls come out in full force. And watch out if Lebron is mentioned, because then it just becomes a clusterf*ck.
Where is the dude that says " Didn't know the lock out ended?" har har!!! Seriously people,.. The NBA ratings got up to like a 14 which is huge. People are watching..
Ratings were up, but they weren't huge.Thursday's Game was a 12.6. It was on pace to be the highest rated in awhile, but now their numbers somewhere in the 11's are somewhere around catching 2010 or 2004, depending on how the final numbers come in.
Now they're definitely up from the dark days, but huge numbers would have to at least approach the glory days of the NBA...and there's still a long way to go.
Did anyone else see the ref high-five Erik Spoelstra as he ran by?
But this is the NBA finals and the Heat look like they are playing the Washington Generals mostly because of Bron Bron
James just missed that shot to get his triple-double.
/it's all a conspiracy.
Long live King James.
Here comes Juwan!!!
OKC breaks 100 but it isn't enough.
Congrats Juwan!!! So nice to see him win
Gotta give it to Spoelstra too
121-106 Miami final. Heat win series 4-1.
Juwan Howard wins a title, nice.
It's great to see Juwan (probably?) end a long, long playing career with a ring.
Awesome player but no way I call him a king. Never ever! :)
man, lotta butthurt cleveland fans on here, huh?
The only reason I like seeing this is for Juwan.
I cringe at the thought of the fresh wave of ringwhores that will find their way to Miami in free agency.
A ringwhore is a frontrunner, specifically one that desperately prioritizes being on a championship roster when they could start/make more money/have a more defined role elsewhere.
Karl Malone on the Lakers in 2004 is a prime example.
Lebron played for the worst team in the NBA in cleveland (seriously, look what happened when he left). He knew he wasn't winning a ring with that supporting cast. Jordan couldn't have won with that team.
In regards to having a more defined role elsewhere, I think it's clear that lebron preferred his role in Miami of being an all around player who could distribute to superstars over being the only option in cleveland.
I wasn't talking about LeBron, but the vets that will inevitably be eager to ride his coattails now that the Heat have won.
That's asinine. You can't criticize a player for wanting to be part of a high-quality team.
Would you call a recruit who joined Team 134 a 'ringwhore' because he though we were building a national championship caliber team? No, you wouldn't. You'd say he's making a great deciison and he wants to be a part of a great team. Yes, he could have 'started' at Indiana, had a 'more defined role' on Michigan State, or 'make more money' at Ohio State. But people want to be a part of a team, becuase in the end it's teams that win championships.
And it's exponentially greater in professional sports, where whether or not you win a championship completely defines your career. Out of curiousity, is KG a ringwhore too? What about some of the guys who have taken lower salaries to play for the Red Wings?
cheliose and borque are nothing but ring whores
of the most insightful comments on this thread. I am so sick of people getting mad at someone for leaving their "home team," to go play for a better team.
I mean he did leave one of the "worst states ever!" I would have left also.
I am on my iPhone and don't know how my post did not reply to a2_electricboogaloo even though I clicked reply on his post
I can roll my eyes at players who settle and opt to be carried rather than compete and contribute to their fullest. It happens every time a new champion is named and is hardly a new phenomenon.
Apples and oranges.
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were both traded to Boston and thus the ring chaser label wasnot applicable. They are free agents now but as they've already won their rings with Boston and have ridden it out until that window has almost completely closed, they are almost immune to scrutiny.
I dont follow hockey but I am aware that the Wings are not just the new hotness flavor of the week but are one of the best franchises historically.
Say what you want about it, but I maintain, if I was in that situation, I would do that exact thing. Pro careers are defined by whether or not they won a championship. Players like Charles Barkley and Dan Marino will always have the little asterisk on their career saying that they never won it all. So if your a guy, heading towards the end of your career what do you do? Waste away on a dead end team that has little-to-no shot of winning anything and have your career forever marred by the lack of jewelery? Or do you sign for less on a championship caliber team, and end your career fighting for it all and a chance at late redemption of your long career?
It's an absolute no brainer for me. You can say you wouldn't do it, and you can roll your eyes at them, but my money says that if you had one year left in your career and you are choosing between a mediocre team like the current iteration of the Pistons and a champion team with a chance to redeem your career, you'd sign with Miami as well.
Your monopoly money is no good here. That's not what I'd do. I'd likely sign with my hometown team and/or take the opportunity to play for a legendary coach and/or see what it's like to be part of a historically great franchise. I'd look at the Pistons, Spurs, Lakers, and Celtics (and even retirement) before I considered the Heat.
I've never been a fan of the "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" mentality, of the rich getting richer, or anything that would not promote parity.
I don't hold Barkley or Malone's lack of a title against them any more than I revere Robert Horry for having 7 rings.
Taking less money to sign with a good team isn't all about rings and posterity. Anyone who has any competitive drive prefers winning to losing, and you're likely to do a lot more of the former if you surround yourself with a good team.
When I used to play at the CCRB, I'd go out of my way to not run with teams composed of middle aged guys with ankle weights and 130-lb kids who had never touched a basketball before. The game is a lot more fun when you're on the right side of ass beatings.
I don't remember everyone being up in arms about the 2002 Red Wings. The roster was stocked with end-of-career legends who were looking for a Stanley Cup to add to their resumes. Professional athletes want to win championships. Yes, they like the $$ and the fame, but, ultimately, they want a ring.
Would get his ring. The kid was just way too talented and plays the game the right way. Well deserved LeBron, well deserved...
The only guy to hand it to Ohio harder than coach hoke in the last five years. The man is a constant team player and hard worker. I don't hang out with him but I enjoy watching him play. Well done Lebron.
It took 19 years for a Fab Five player to win an NBA Ring and Juwan did it in his last year (probably) in the NBA
Cleveland had their chance to build a team around him in which the next best player was Mo Williams. You would do the same damn thing and James and Co. did everything in a respectable and business manner. You can't not have respect for the way the handled themselves throughout this year
I live in the Oklahoma City metro area, so obviously I'm a tad bitter about the outcome, but I feel like this was the Heat's year. Honestly, I expected this outcome. The Thunder are so young, and this was most of their lineup's first Finals (minus Fisher and Perkins). You could tell it affected them in the first two games especially when they started off so cold.
Honestly, I could very easily see these two teams back in the Finals next year. The top teams in the West besides the Thunder are basically just another year older, so I have a hard time seeing any of them improving much without a little player shuffling. In the East, I think the only team that will challenge the Heat are the Bulls, and that is IF Rose is healthy. The Thunder and the Heat have a potential rivalry building here. It's possible it ends up as the next Lakers/Celtics rivalry.
Either way, I'm happy with the continue progress the Thunder have shown over the last four years. The potential is endless with this team.
OKC really needs Harden and Ibaka both back. One of them is gonna have to cope with being underpaid
I'd sure love to see Ibaka next to Greg Monroe, yes this is a Piston thread hijack!
Same here. I was horribly disappointed when he was picked up 5 spots before we selected...DJ White...
I thought we were getting a mulligan when another uber athletic shot blocker from the Congo was up for selection last year, but alas Bismack Biyombo wasn't meant to be, either.
Yeah, I agree. As you point towards, Harden and Ibaka's contracts are both up at the end of next season.
I haven't looked at the numbers as to what the Thunder will be able to offer them, but I believe Russell left the possibility of getting them both locked up by not getting the full max deal everyone expected he would get. Harden will be the tough pull I think. I know there will be teams willing to shell out some major cash to get him, so the Thunder will have to compete with that. I think it's possible though.
As someone in living in Seattle...lol
I'm not a basketball fan, but I usually keep tabs on the sport during the playoffs so that I can sound semi-intelligent during work conversations. I can't pick apart what is good and bad about specific plays or players most of the time, but I have seen Lebron play this game for nearly a decade now in the playoffs and he has been flat out awesome this year. There is no way around it. Miami was his team. Not Wade's. Not a Big 3. Battier, Chalmers, and Miller stepped up at big times. Bosh was good when he came back. Wade was up and down, but had some great second halves. But Lebron carried the Heat through the playoffs and it was really damn impressive.
I watched basketball more this year because he is so amazing to watch. He is a team player with absolutely incredible court vision. And he plays good to great defense against anyone on the court. He isn't a ball hog. He makes his teammates better. He puts up with more pressure than any other athlete (in America at least). I understand people have a problem with the Decision, but how can you not enjoy watching him play? Or doubt how great he is? I hope Lebron and Durant go head to head for a long time. Say what you want, but Lebron dealt with two years of crap and stepped up his game when it mattered. He earned this.
And congratulations Juwan!
The refs were awful during the series. They had a huge effect on the series espically Game 2 and 4. The calls definately favored the Heat.
Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.
This is a completely ridiculous lie propagated by LeBron haters.
The Thunder shot more free throws in 2 of the 5 games, and in game 5 they were ahead in free throws shot until the midway through the fourth quarter, when the game was already out of hand.
For the series the Thunder shot 93 free throws to the Heat's 136.
So the Heat basically shot 8 more free throws per game, which makes total sense seeing as the Thunder are a jump shooting team while the Heat rely heavily on taking the ball to the hoop and drawing contact.
It's not all about just the free throws. It's about fouls called against OKC in general. Durant was in foul trouble for a couple games and had to sit at key times. If OKCs best players are on the bench, how do they stand a chance? And as your stat pointed out Miami still shot more free throws. Now I'm not saying that was deciding factor in the series because Miami played well. But to say the refs didnt factor into a couple of those games wouldn't be right either.
Durant was in foul trouble because LeBron put him in foul trouble, not because the refs were playing out some super duper secret agenda and/or wink and a nod agreement between the NBA and the Heat. The Heat shot more free throws because they drove to the hoop and played for contact, while the Thunder settled for jump shots.
The refs always "factor into a game," but to say that they were biased, or even one sided, against the Thunder is completely ridiculous.
If anything, it would've been far better for the NBA if the Heat lost.
I generally agree, with the two exceptions being Westbrook in Game 4, when he must have driven to the hoop 20 times and got hit numerous times, and only shot 3 free throws, and Durant at the end of Game 2. The latter I could write off as a ref not wanting to decide the game, but Westbrook did seem to get refereed differently than, say, Wade (who's much better at accentuating the contact). It might be that because Westbrook is so athletically explosive, that it's harder for the refs to see the contact, but on slow motion, they definitely missed 4 or 5 clear fouls to his upper body and head that should have been called.
I agree that Westbrook should have gotten a few more calls in that game, but I would counter with 2 or three 3 where bosh was smashed to the ground with no call on a lay up inside.
I don't have a dog in this fight, but I find these arguments that somehow the refs swayed or had a meaningful impact on the series, totally ridiculous, especially when the facts don't support that argument.
In Game 2, that "goaltending" call was huge on top of some wierd foul calls against OKC. Game 4 was really bad with the James Harden foul on Lebron on top of the foul that called on Durant....I mean Westbrook.....I mean...Casper the Ghost on D. Wade dunk attempt. Not even a minute later, Westbrook came down the lane and got hammered, no call. Game 5, the Flagrant foul on D. Fisher was not a a flagrant...and that right there changed the game.
Opinions are awesome, but facts are better, and the facts disagree with your assessment of series.
The Heat won because they were a better team. They outplayed the Thunder.
They got more calls because they didn't settle for jumpshots, or jack up terrible shots (Westbrook). They took the ball to the rim and initiated contact.
Quit crying, and blaming the refs.
Is it possible to believe that the Heat were the better team and still believe that a few calls had a dramatic impact on the series without believing in a conspiracy? Whether Game 2 went to overtime was basically decided on a call/no call decision and Game 4 had a number of close calls that, had they gone the other way, would likely have allowed OKC to even the series.
That's the nature of the NBA. It's an incredibly difficult game to referee because the action is so fast and refs have to see so many things simultaneously (feet, hands, bodies, ball, trajectory, etc) from a very close vantage point. And these games were mostly went down to the wire so that a few calls did have a big impact. Can't that all be admitted without alleging some kind of pro-Heat conspiracy on the part of the league (and I'm as impatient with all the NBA conspiracy mongering as you seem to be)?
If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas. You don't know how the series would have played out had those calls been made. We might have ended up with the exact same result, or maybe the Thunder would've won every game by 15. It's all bullshit speculation that serves no purpose, and most of it sounds like butthurt LeBron haters feebly trying to clutch at anything to diminish his championship.
Also, if that's just the nature of the NBA, why the need to bitch about calls, and argue over them? Just take your own advice, accept it and move on.
I don't think I'm bitching about calls so much as pointing out how a few calls in a series with close games can have a meaningful impact on how it plays out.
But full credit to LeBron. He significantly changed his game by developing a post game and totally taking over when his team needed it most (game 6 in Boston). He's long been the most talented player in the NBA. Now he's figured out how to most effectively use that talent. It'll be interesting to see if Durant evolves his game after this series revealed some of the same issues he had against Dallas last year (ie getting open to receive the ball when facing heavy, off the ball, denial defense.
We could see these teams a couple more times in the finals, if Wade's legs hold up.
Yeah, I'm not even a LeBron guy, or a Heat fan (Stones all day), but it gets tiresome hearing people consistently bash on LeBron to the point where you can't discern the people with something good to say from the blind haters.
I'm also a little prickly from the onset because the NBA is my thing. It's my favorite sport, and the one I follow the most.
I'm going to sound like a complete and total hipster douche bag, but I was livestreaming Sonics/Thunder games from Durant's first few seasons because I'm a big fan off him (and an even bigger fan of Russ), and their games were never on TV.
If given a choice between the NCAA Tournament and the NBA Playoffs, sign me up for the NBA. No hesitation, it's not even close.
The Thunder are going to have some serious questions to answer going into the offseasonn. Namely, who to keep, Ibaka, or Harden. The probability of signing both is extremely low, and even if they do, good luck managing the salary cap, let alone bringing in/keeping solid role players.
I haven't followed the Thunder closely; What would be the reason for keeping Harden over Ibaka? For me, from afar, it's an easy decision. You keep Ibaka if you can only keep one.
I would agree. You have to keep one of the best interior defenders and shot blockers in the game over someone who, while a really good player, basically does the same things your other two stars do.
Lebron did put pressure on Durant but some of those were ticky tack calls that Durant and Westbrook weren't getting on the other end when they were putting pressure on the Heat. I just like things fair. If you call it on one end, call it on the other. And the only thing ridiculous would be for you to think the NBA/refs wouldn't influence the game one way or another. A little interesting read for those interested.
You realize it would have been better for the NBA if the Thunder had won, right?
Another year of the intense drama of "Will he, won't he?" with LeBron.
Endless speculation over whether Spoelstra will be fired and if the Heat's big three will be broken up via a trade.
Now that LeBron has won a championship, the main NBA storyline that had been driving the past few seasons is gone.
The LeBron soap opera is dead.
Most of that is talking heads stuff. It doesn't do anything for ratings. (Who CARES whether Spoelstra is fired? Or would have been. Or Bosh is traded?) I can't imagine they want Okie City as titletown over Miami in NBA image and ratings. The story just morphs to "How many can he win?" Win 2 as all great champions do? Three to match Bird? Catch Magic? Kobe? Can he ever pass Jordan? (Ring in Tiger Woods kinda talk). Him winning doesn't change the interest in the Heat. Those that love Lebron will want him to win more. Those that hate him won't want him to win again. Same as 0 vs. 1. It just means the talking heads won't bring it up. But there's not much difference. I mean really, does anyone think his career is made by only winnin1 "a" title? And does anyone think that's his last?
What's good for the NBA is if the Thunder keeps challenging them and at least passing them now and then so they can have a great rivalry. If they can have a poor man's Lakers vs. Celtics, THAT'S good for NBA ratings. The League's been hurting for real rivalries for awhile. Mini-corporations are all too chummy with each other.
I hardily disagree. Speculation over whether or not the big three would be broken up or Pat Reilly, maybe Phil Jackson coming to coach them would be a HUGE boost in eyeballs and interest in the NBA, as opposed to, "Welp, good for them, they finally won."
Have you not seen the rise in ratings of the Finals/general viewership the last two years? There is a reason for that. LeBron hate.
Now that he has won the haters will die down and if they make the Finals again next year I bet you just about anything we'll see a dip in viewership. We certainly won't see another significant uptick in ratings like the past 2 years.
Can you name me any bigger storylines this offseason than the potential ones had the Heat lost?
"LeBron James and the Miami Heat blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. Most epic collapse in NBA history. Will he ever win a ring?"
"Are the big three going to be broken up? Is Dwayne Wade going to be traded?" (He would be the most likely guy to go if they'd have broken up the team)
"Will Pat Reilly come back to coach the Heat? Phil Jackson inquired about the Knicks job and was shot down. Will Phil come back to coach the Heat?"
I'll save you the time. You can't.
You can chalk all of the offseason talk up to being just for the talking heads, but you'd be wrong. The Decision, and all of the offseason build up to it, completely revitalized the NBA. If no one cared, 10 million people wouldn't have tuned in to watch "The Decision," and if it didn't drive ratings, talking heads wouldn't give two shits about it.
If the real reason people are watching is they hate James, then they'll just hate him more. Quick- Name me who and where all the talk about Lebron losing last year made people watch this year? I'll save you the time...you can't. Because it had nothing to do with coaching or trade rumors. The only people who pay attention to those things are NBA diehards (this isn't the NFL that captures everyone), and they're watching no matter who plays. No one else cares about any of the "big questions" the NBA faces. Which is why you got a big "who cares?" when they shut down the League. People can do without it.
Ratings go up because the average fan watches, and why do they watch? Great players playing great players. The NBA ratings went up because in the last couple of years you've actually had more than one or two good teams, good players facing off against good players again, and teams that could become rivals. It's still not up to par with the glory days of the NBA, which is why the ratings aren't up to the glory days of the NBA. But it's a good bit better than the late 90's and early-mid '00's, where you had maybe one good guy per team, and the play was awful. I mean, you had a good tandem with the Lakers...but everyone knew they were going to win because the competition was so godawful. (Look who their NBA Finals wins were against). Old Guard vs. New Guard, Celts/Heat, Spurs/Thunder, the two best players in the League going head to head for the title. THAT'S where ratings come from.
No one who's last name isn't "Spoelstra" gives two shits who's coaching the Heat.
Most of the haters are tuning in to watch him fail though, and now that he has succeeded their hate will dissipate. You'd be shocked at the number of casual fans who "hate LeBron and tuned in to see him lose, because, well, you're supposed to hate LeBron.
Will some of them return to watch him fail next year? Sure, but they probably won't care as much, because he already won. The Skip Bayless' of the world can't drive them into a ferver calling him Prince James, or cracking jokes about his lack of a ring. The local media types can't bash him with the same zealotry without seeming fake or hokey.
The casual fans who love James saw him finally win one, and so seeing him win two won't be nearly as interesting.
A lot of "casual" fans are not merely people who don't pay attention to sports, they might be die hard NFL fans, who watch all of the same ESPN shows as diehard NBA fans, who listen to all of the same radio programs, and read all of the same newspapers or sports publications.
Those are generally the people you're trying to pull in, and if they see an interesting story about the big three being broken up on sports center, they will be far more likely to "consume" NBA related material. Whether it be eyes on games, or clicking links to articles, which in turn, drives the popularity of the NBA.
Dynasties are certainly an important aspect of the NBA, but to ignore the factor that LeBron/Heat hate has played in driving interest in the league to levels that haven't been seen in over a decade is ridiculous.
The entire sports world last year was buzzing with talk about LeBron's collapse during the NBA offseason, so to say that no one cared, or that I can't name "Who and where all the talk was coming from" is incredibly stupid. It was coming from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, talk radio, major newspapers, blogs, and just about everyone that has anything to do with sports.
You're really coming across as an NBA hater when you say ridiculous things like that.
It's just fact. You're the NBA lover...did you suddenly start watching Vikings games because you wanted to see what all the Favre talk was on ESPN? When they beat over your head all summer long YANKEES-SOX!!!!! do you tune into more baseball games? The idea that other sports fans care about that stuff to the extent that it makes them tune in if they had no interest before is ridiculous. You completely dodged the question about Jordan below- the highest ratings ever were for a guy winning over and over. And after that it's great teams playing great teams.
It's not hate, it's just looking at reality from the "everyone loves the NBA" fan mindset. There's a reason it doesn't create the interest that the NFL, MLB, college football, or even racing does. That's it's place right now, and it's trying to get back to the glory days. Most of the NBA off-season was spent talking about lock out. And that was greeted with a big "so what?" by the majority of Americans. Sure, guys like Bill Simmons who live and die with it like you were freaking out, but even he acknowledged that most people didn't care, and it was a problem for the NBA. That's what the LONG off-season talk was about. Not Lebron. How you can think any of that was the biggest NBA story THIS off-season borders on delusional.
The NBA is a funny animal, because more than other sports it seems that it has a subset of fans who love the game, rather than a particular team. Probably because the game is so personality-centric and individualized. We'll watch the NFL because it's football, but people seem to root for NBA teams, and root hard, that they're not even a fan of, because they adopt some player or personality. It happens in other sports, but not to the level where people think they're hating on the whole sport for not bowing to a particular guy.
You must be in marketing...you're like the marketing guy who says it's all the PR that's filling the stadium, and not the team winning. Off-season blather is good for keeping the sport in people's mind's, but no one flips their channel in June because of what's said in July. I'm guessing if the Heat and Thunder can meet again next year, and the Thunder can take it to 6 or 7 games, rather than becoming the 80's Rockets, 90's Jazz. pr the '00 Nets, the ratings will be as good or better. And if they're playing someone without a star and not that exciting, the ratings will be down.
Because getting ratings better than they have been in over a decade isn't saying a lot...because they've sucked. And the "hate" level of the Heat isn't even a needle mover. People hated the Pistons. They hated the Celtics. Heck, if you weren't just generic NBA fan or a Chicago fan, you hated the Bulls because of how much they won. People used to chant BEAT LA. The Heat hate? Medium warm. It helps to have a villain, but it's just villain-lite. Rose-Lebron, Lebron-Durant, Durant-somebody not 110 years old out West, there's your ratings. They have it, they will be good. If they don't, hello bad ratings.
It's funny because on PTI they are having the exact same discussion we're having. Tony is on my side, while Mike is on yours.
As to the Jordan thing, it's different though, and I don't think LeBron is Jordan. He doesn't have the same cultural impact, or the same level of fame. At the height of his success Jordan was on another level of fame from any human being on the entire planet. What with all of those "Jordan is more well known around the world than Muhammad Ali or Jesus" surveys. Can LeBron become that? I don't know, but I don't think I'm in the wrong for saying you'd be a bit foolish to believe it.
In the immediacy, the interest in the NBA is going to drop. It won't be the same next year. Now, if the Heat repeat, or if they lose to the Thunder in the Finals next year, things will pick back up again, but there will be a drop off next year. The LeBron hate is going to wane, and people are going to tune out, or lose a bit of interest.
Regardless, this discussion has basically turned into a we'll wait and see sort of thing. So I suppose we will have to do just that.
Edit: I'd also like to add that comparing the NBA of today with the NBA of the mid 90s and 80s in terms of ratings success is just as ridiculous as comparing the NFL of today with the NFL of the mid 90s and 80s in terms of ratings success.
It probably means we're both wrong.
And I'm not sure why that's not a valid comparison, especially with the NFL as an example. This year's Super Bowl was one of the highest rated, most watched ever.
that's ridiculous. Did less people watch when Jordan was competing for his 2nd championship? Or his 6th for that matter? Hell no.
Apples and Oranges.
I'm sorry but i just don't see how. OKC is full of young studs and primed for many championship runs. This wasn't their time. Lebron losing another finals was not a better option than him winning one.
See the above.
Just because you don't get it, doesn't mean it's not true.
James Harden was pretty awful all series. Perkins did nothing. Westbrook laid an egg in game 3. They had a huge effect on the series especially game 3 and 4. Their play definitely favored the Heat.
yay the NBA is finally over!!
I never had a problem with James,(except when he put up like 45 against my Pistons )..Seriously though, what's the worst this guy has done? Left Ohio,got out of Cleveland, who the fuck wouldn't want to get out of that place...Good for him...
LBJ handled his departure for Cleveland clumsily, and he may have some character flaws. Fine. I'm still dazzled at the number of people who buy into the simple-minded narrative that he's a punk (if you like MLive) / the devil (many others).
The hate really is amazing.
Shaq left Orlando for LA to win a title. Favre refused to play for Atlanta to play for a better team. Brendan Shannahan couldn't win won until he took a pay cut with the wings.
Lebron wasn't accused of rape (Kobe), womanizing (tiger), cheating (pete rose). He didn't kill a man (ray lewis). Yet he is hated more than any professional athlete for nothing more than leaving a worse team for a better team (granted, in the most immature way possible) and not trying to do it all himself.
I believe most of the hate is born from the media annointing him the "king" before he had ever won anything and the endless hype. The same thing happened with Sidney Crosby, who is just as despised in hockey circles. I simply think that most fans don't like athletes who seem entitled by their respective leagues without earning it first. Add in some ridiculous "Decisions" on the athlete's part and you have yourself a real tire fire.
How many people get hyped up by espn and never live up to it? The man deserves a little credit for still working his ass off to do what he's done.
I agree, but that would require the typical sports fan to be both rational and forgiving. Good luck with that.
I generally agree, but have no idea what you're talking about with the Favre reference. Favre was traded from Atlanta after his first year to a team that had won nothing for twenty years. That trade wasn't about Favre's demands at all (and how would a third string QB have the ability to force his way out of a situation he didn't like in any case). It was about Ron Wolf going and getting a player he had liked in the previous year's draft.
The Big Three: Lebron James, D. Wade, & da refs.
I was rooting for the Thunder, but I'd complain a lot more about Scottie Brooks' coaching than the refs. For me, the only refereeing point is Westbrook only going to the line 3 times in Game 4, which he dominated by taking the ball aggressively to the hole.
I think you can question Brooks for not getting his team to move the ball effectively, for playing Derrick Fisher and Perkins way too much and Collison not enough. The Thunder also looked unprepared at key moments in the series (the Westbrook foul at the end of game 4 and Sefalogia giving a cramping LeBron space for a killer 3 when he likely didn't have the legs to do anything else).
Definitely Fisher and Perkins played way to much with very little production to show for. For me just watching the series OKC had way more fouls called against them. Durant definitely got fouled at the end of game two and the series hasn't been the same ever since. I don't take anything away from Lebron because he was a monster the whole series, but I do think Durant had way to many called against him and caused him to have to sit for stretches during the series. Harden was a no show and the Thunder in general turned the ball over way to much.
Yeah, that's a good call about the end of Game 2. I had forgotten about that missed call which everyone seems to agree was a foul and would have given Durant the chance to tie it up. If OKC goes to Miami up 2-0, it's obviously a very different series.
Harden no-showing was huge. He became incredibly hesitant in games 4 and 5 and it really hurt OKC's rhythm. I think that having to guard LeBron in the post really hurt his confidence. The other thing was that Miami's role players shot incredibly well from 3 in the games in Miami (and Battier the whole series). A lot of that was good ball movement getting them open looks, and OKC's defense being two steps behind Miami's, but a lot was just the ball going in for Miami when it rattled out for OKC on their open looks.
OKC shouldn't change much personell-wise. They look well set up for the future if they can figure out how to manage the Ibaka-Harden cap situation. Durant needs to keep developing a post game or at least a reliable way to get the ball when teams are denying him (maybe he should watch old Rip Hamilton tapes). They could also use a guy in the Bruce Bowen/Shan Battier mode of defensive stopper, floor spacer, and genral glue guy. That was supposed to be Sefalogia, but he didn't perform the shooting or loose ball parts of that role, at least in this series. They generally seemed markedly slower to any loose balls.
I do think Presti should at least think about a coaching change. Brooks might go down with Doug Collins and Rick Carlisle (until last year) as coaches that get teams to the cusp before another guy takes over.
but not conspiratorial. What about Wade's foul for giving an OKC player a soft landing point diving for a lose ball or the goaltending call on his legit block of KD.
OKC is a great squad. Excellent series. The best team clearly won, fair and square. Long live the KING!
I agree with all this (apart from the King bit), except the objection to Wade's foul. I thought that was a great call. That dive had no chance of getting the ball and it had the effect of taking out Harden, who was the closest player to the ball, creating a clear breakaway for LeBron. It was a typical Wade play. Sneaky, a little dirty, and done to give his team a subtle competitive advantage. Good for the refs in calling it.
I have no issues with this guy going where he thinks he will win a championship. And he was never going to do that in the shithole that was Cleveland. I hope Ohio goes up in flames tonight.
Well don't really care for basketball, but the only reason this guy is a douche is because he had an hour long special to announce where he's going. He couldn't just phone it in like everyone else? The other thing that rubbed me the wrong way and I know it wasn't his idea, but it was the way they all acted for their parade when they first got together. You have to think that Miami really dropped the ball here, you have been a professional franchise for years. How many other big name free agents have gone to other teams in years past and you didn't see a championship parade and fog machines going off? The quick answer is 0, someone whether it was Wade, Lebron, Bosh, or hell even Pat Reily should've said, hey this is getting ridiculous there is no need for all this pageantry. These are all of the main reasons people hate the guy, He has taken way more ridicule than he should have ever faced. Yes he made an ass of himself, but he clearly wants everyone to like him and I think that's why you saw him getting upset and pissy last year when people were crushing him. It was only a matter of time until he was going to win and everyone knew that deep down. I don't follow basketball, but I am at least educated on the situation somewhat, Lebron is a bit immature and that's because he has never had too much responsibility aside from playing basketball and none of this is his fault. He's kind of a crybaby as an athlete, but who am I to judge it's just my opinion.
The problem isn't leaving Cleveland, at the time the chances of retaining him were unlikely. The problem was drawing attention to himself with his own television show. That's what really irked the American public.
Compare that, and his cocky "8 Championships" boast, to yesterday, when he appeared to be a lot more humble than the asshole of years past, and a lot of the LeBron hatred has been reduced.
There are worse athletes than LeBron right now, worse athletes that we should focus our hate on. Players like Mike Smith, who did nothing but bitch and whine after the Kings knocked the Coyotes out. I'm a LeBron hater, but he really humbled himself last night. Good for him
Mark Cuban is crushing Skip Bayless right now on First Take. Asking him very specific, pointed questions about basketball knowledge and Skip can only answer in vague generalities, then Cuban is saying, "You can only speak in vague generalities, you don't know basketball." It's comical.
Yea he ate Skip for breakfast. Skip couldn't answer any of his questions about what defense OKC was running against Lebron versus what Dallas did against him last year. Quite funny and obvious Skip couldn't handle those questions.
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"And they are dancing, the board floor slamming under the jackboots and the fiddlers grinning hideously over their canted pieces. Towering over them all is the judge and he is naked and dancing, his small feet lively and quick and now in doubletime and bowing to the ladies, huge and pale and hairless, like an enormous infant. He never sleeps, he says. He says he will never die. He bows to the fiddlers and sashays backwards and throws back his head and laughs deep in his throat and he is a great favorite, the judge. He wafts his hat and the lunar dome of his skull passes palely under the lamps and he swings about and takes possession of one of the fiddles and he pirouettes and makes a pass, two passes, dancing and fiddling at once. His feet are light and nimble. He never sleeps. He says that he will never die. He dances in light and shadow and he is a great favorite. He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die."
Hell yeah, the NBA is over!!! worst fucking league ever.
in a way, glad to see lebron win a title.. he put the hard work in to get to the top.. glad a fab fiver juwan got a ring too....