Thursday, May 17, 2007
MANNNN THATS SOME BULLLLLSHITT
The Suns should have won last night, except they couldn't because when they needed to score in the 4th quarter, they had to run pick and rolls with Kurt Thomas instead of Amare or Diaw. This enabled Duncan to cheat of Thomas cutting off Nash's penetration. As usual, I defer to Simmons when describing the NBA; the Spurs have the edge on the Suns right now because 1) The NBA is retarded (suspensions etc.) and 2) Duncan is amazing. The Spurs are not a great team, they execute very well and put their players in positions where they can succeed. But there entire defensive scheme (pressuring the ball up top) is based on the fact that Duncan will save their ass if they get beat on dribble penetration. Which he did last time. Every freaking time.
Which is why the loss of Amare hurt so much. Amare is a young stud who actually has the ability to take it the rim with Duncan there and finish. Which is what he did twice in the last minute of game 4, to put the Suns on top. While everyone was focusing on Nash's passes, that was the real key to victory for the Suns. It's also why they still have a chance in Game 6.
On the suspension, it's made clear that David Stern has lost his ability to be an effective executive. Giving someone authoritarian control over a business enterprise works, until the power foes to said person's head and he/she starts making bad decisions that aren't questioned by outside sources because everyone is afraid of jeapordizing their own position. The first sign of this is when Stern lengthened first round series from 5 games to 7 in the middle of the season in 03 because the Lakers were in danger of getting a 5 seed and he wanted to ensure that they made it out of the first round. Changing a rule in the middle of the season? Who does that?
Of course Stern couldn't change this rule in the middle of the season because that would make him look incompetent. Which is more important than the integrity of the game of course.
Or not. I've written on the Smoking Section about the connection between basketball and hip-hop in the public eye, as two of the main avenues whereby young black males are famous and get exposure. What I wrote there, is that while elements of hip-hop exploit the "gangster" image, the NBA patronizes their players and fans. Everything done by the NBA in the last ten years has been aimed at taming this image, even if it's impossible, so that they can sell young black males to upper middle class white people.
What the NBA needs is an executive who can balance the positives of hip-hop culture, the style and expressiveness, with the corporate interests tied into the game, and market the product to youth. Jay-Z for NBA commissioner?