Before I begin, I must announce that somebody has been going on the Italian Wikipedia and linking my 2007-2008 blog post about Tim Duncan being the greatest power forward ever. I’m not sure whether to say “thanks” or “what the hell?” Either or, sweet!

Last June I gave LA Lakers power forward Pau Gasol a little too much lovin’. Too much, I say, because I called him the 2009 NBA Finals MVP. Hell, this year I’ll even go as far as calling him the true de facto Finals MVP (but Stern wants to beef up Kobe Bryant’s resume). But the fact remains: I’m givin’ that dude too much verbal lovin’ on here, because 1.) I hate the Lakers, and 2.) Gasol is a pansy. I don’t care how many hits he can take or how aggressive he is, he’s a pansy and he can’t shave worth a damn. That scruff makes me want to get rid of my beard completely, but thankfully, I trim it up and keep it lookin’ good!

Anywho, Pau Gasol….a lot of people are touting him as the best power forward in the league. I can’t really detest that, because hell, he’s pretty damn good. But I think a lot of forwards would be pretty damn good playing the 4 for the Lakers when you have a pretty damn good center — when healthy — in Andrew Bynum, a physical specimen in Ron Artest, the game’s best player at shooting guard (I don’t even need to throw out his name), and a veteran point guard in Derek Fisher who can get you the ball.

As I sit here, reading blog after blog, message board after message board, of people calling Gasol the best power forward in the game, I smirk at one offering: someone comparing him to how Tim Duncan played in his prime.

Yikes. Let’s recap a little somethin’ somethin’ here: Tim Duncan, in my totally honest opinion, is the greatest POWER FORWARD to ever play the game of basketball. Call him a center all you want, but he’s a forward in my book. Duncan has won four NBA titles by pretty much carrying the San Antonio Spurs on his back. Do you really think Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker would be somethin’ without Duncan? Hell no — exactly as I thought. David Robinson could never get to the Finals until Duncan came along, and then it was Duncan who carried his geriatric ass to two championships in ’99 and ’03 (sorry for the harsh lingo; I love “The Admiral”!)

The point is, one of the most amazing game 7s I’ve ever watched (game 7 of the 2005 NBA Finals) featured Tim Duncan being double and triple teamed by one of the best defensive teams in the league who had just won a championship the previous year — the Detroit Pistons — and OWNING them in the fourth quarter. Kickouts, hookshots, you name it. That was Timmy D.

Look at the two key phrases in the above paragraph: double and triple teamed.

Look at how defenses play Gasol — tough, yes, but where’s the doubles and triples? It’s hard to do that to the guy when Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest are at your heals. Hey, Gasol’s probably the best power forward in the league, but don’t compare him to Tim Duncan in his prime. That’s a crime! Remember when Gasol was the star in Memphis? Yeah, where were the wins coming from, chief?

Sit down, Pau, get a haircut, effin’ shave, and prove a critic like me wrong when defenses start ragging you from every angle. Until then, you ain’t no Timmeh D!

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