If you haven’t read this column yet, then you need to.
You see, as I’ve reiterated time and time again on this site, I’m an old school basketball fan. I believe in real basketball, team basketball. I couldn’t care less about this fuckwit one-man-show bullshit. I hate hearing kids kiss LeBron James’ and Dwyane Wade’s asses all the time for their statistical performances. I hate hearing crybaby fucktards whine about how great Tim Duncan is, as he wins with stats AND numbers that don’t have a place on the box score. Basketball revolves around a team game.
And while I want to see a Celtics/Spurs series SO BADLY, I agree with Jemele Hill: there’s nothing better (besides the Celtics/Spurs series) than seeing another Spurs/Pistons NBA Finals.
Here’s what this dazzling chick wrote on ESPN on Saturday evening:
But if it’s Pistons-Spurs, the NBA Finals will be conspiracy-free.
I anticipate the crybabies will complain that the Spurs and Pistons are boring to watch. But most real basketball and sports fans won’t think that way — just those casual NBA viewers who want it both ways. You know, the ones who deride the NBA for promoting individuals, but whine when Kobe, LeBron or some other one-named superstar isn’t in the Finals. The ones who claim they love underdogs, but won’t give the Pistons or Spurs a chance.
If you’re someone who grumbles that NBA players don’t play defense, you should root for Pistons-Spurs (although Boston may play the best defense of the remaining playoff teams). If you complain you’re sick of seeing NBA teams that don’t play hard, root for Pistons-Spurs. If you love teams that win because of their commitment to team basketball, root for Pistons-Spurs. If you’re sick of seeing basketball dominated by And-1 wannabes, root for Pistons-Spurs.
These are two teams loaded with unselfishness — and they feature players who are among the NBA’s best citizens.
When people call Tim Duncan milquetoast, it makes me want to break kneecaps. First, Duncan is a thoughtful quote — as are most of the Spurs. Second, Duncan shouldn’t be penalized because he’d rather frustrate his opponents with precise passing out of double-teams and unstoppable bank shots, rather than trying to make the Top 10 Plays on “SportsCenter.”
Duncan is perhaps the best player of his generation. The Pistons, who are in their sixth straight Eastern Conference finals, are maybe the closest thing the Eastern Conference has had to a dynasty since Jordan’s Bulls.
If it’s Pistons-Spurs, it’s our core sports values at work.
Besides, unlike the Lakers and Celtics, the Pistons and Spurs didn’t get to the conference finals with the help of questionable blockbuster deals. Talk about your NBA conspiracy theories. The Lakers got Pau Gasol for 10 rubles and a John Tesh DVD. And Kevin McHale forked Kevin Garnett over to the franchise he just so happened to win three NBA titles with. Nothing suspicious about that, right?
The Pistons and the Spurs built their teams the old-school way — through coaching, drafting and crafty pickups. The Pistons drafted Tayshaun Prince as well as key reserves Jason Maxiell and Rodney Stuckey. They signed Antonio McDyess and Chauncey Billups — nobody wanted “Bad Knees” McDyess, and Billups had played for five NBA teams before the Pistons. And they traded for Rasheed Wallace and Rip Hamilton — Wallace had a bad rep as a hothead but propelled them to the NBA championship in 2004 , and when they traded for Hamilton, people thought they were crazy because it meant giving up Jerry Stackhouse.
The Spurs drafted Duncan, as well as sleeper-picks Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — pretty good choices, no? And who would have guessed Michael Finley would win a championship before former teammates Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash? But that’s what happens when you roll with the smartest organization in the NBA.
Pistons-Spurs — that’s what we all should be dying to see.
Good God. I don’t think I’ve agreed more with an ESPN columnist in years. After reading that article, she has instantly become my favorite columnist on ESPN.
High scoring games, low scoring games, who gives a damn? Great basketball is played by teams like the Spurs and Pistons. You don’t get this every season in the NBA, every year of your life. I’ve liked the Celtics longer than you’ve probably been alive. I’ve been a huge Spurs advocate since the Spurs — not the Celtics — drafted Tim Duncan in the ’97 draft. The 2005 Pistons/Spurs Finals is my second favorite this decade (first being the 2003 Finals for my own personal, sentimental reasons that, if you’ve read this blog enough, you’d know).
I could preach all day about why I love fundamental, team basketball. How I don’t give a rat’s ass if a game is low scoring or not, as long as I see exertion provided by both teams (which you see on almost a gamely basis from the Spurs and Pistons). These two teams are the true top tier clubs in the league. One has four titles in nine seasons, the other has one title and a string of six consecutive Eastern Conference Final appearances.
If it’s Celtics/Lakers, then so be it, but let’s see something new. The Celtics are my boys, but I’m not one of the same old dudes who’s wanting to relive the past and see another Celts/Lake Show Finals again. Not yet, anyway. I want to see the Spurs and Celtics play, first and foremost, mainly because I want to get one of those Spurs v. Celtics 2008 NBA Finals shirts; but also because I’ve dreamed about it for the past 10-11 years.
But, if we do happen to see a Pistons/Spurs Finals, I can’t say I’m going to be complaining, just as long as the Spurs can solidify their dynasty with a 5th championship. But the conference finals series have to be played first, and the Spurs are down 2-0, while the Celtics are in a heavy bout with the Pistons.