Feb 6, 2008

Follow the Bouncing Ball

Wow. I take what feels like a day off to survive the Super Bowl fallout, and all hell breaks loose. After my little break, I was ready to dive headlong into my other love, the NBA, but apparently the address has changed. Hell, basketball in general seems to have relocated. These were originally going to be three posts, but I wanted to capture just how weird these last few hours have been.


How dare you. You have gone ahead and handed the old purple and gold a ticket to the finals. Rake Colson, I thought you were insufferable during college football season, but now you have even a greater reason to be annoying. After watching the Lakers beat the Nets by 15 on a night when KB24 dropped a staggering 6 points, the Lake-Show has to be considered not only having the inside track to the Conference Finals, but maybe the O'Brien Trophy Finals themselves. Just thinking about the possibility of a Boston/LA finals, that includes neither the Great Western Forum or the Garden makes me want to puke. This will sour any stories or videos I ever have partaken in regarding the amazing nature of those 1980s wars.

This also feeds into my serious conspiracy theory that when players from old teams become GMs elsewhere, they are actually entering a top secret, undercover operation to destroy other teams/improve their old squad. Jerry West handed Gasol to the Lakers, Kevin McHale giftwrapped KG for the Celtics, and if you can entertain the thought that Isaiah has been submarining the Knicks on purpose, the last few years almost make sense.

Just a thought.


"What up, Knight?" This week we say goodbye to one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports. For all the nonsense that the talking heads in the media have slung at Robert Montgomery Knight, he will be remembered as one of the rare coaches for whom personal integrity and principles trumped money and fame.

He never left Texas Tech for a fatter contract and greater prestige at a larger, wealthier school. He also made sure his players graduated, unlike most of his colleagues, who could care less as long as the team is winning games. Just last year, he benched his top star for half the season because his grades weren't up to par. What other top coach in the D1 ranks would have the moral fiber to do that? It's unbelievable, especially when the vast majority of college coaches are duplicitous, liars in search of their next big contract, despite what they spew with a microphone in their face.

Most importantly, boosters, shady recruitment deals, and NCAA sanctions were completely foreign terms to Coach Knight. He followed the book, never cheated, and STILL managed to be the winningest, greatest coach in NCAA history.

Detractors point to his now famous blow-ups as evidence that he was a 'bad coach', but I take them as further evidence that he had a strict code of honor and how things should be done, and if you violated this code, you were subject to his wrath. If I were a basketball player, I would have been honored to play for the man, a sentiment felt echoed by most of his former players. His detractors are those who never played for him, or barely know him at all.


What the hell. Okay, let's try to follow the reasoning. You sit at 34-14, using a brand of highly entertaining, up-tempo basketball and unique chemistry, and you decide to improve by getting rid of your literal glue guy on the court, and acquiring a washed up (sorry), injured (double sorry), giant ego for your team.

My head hurts, I think I'm getting dizzy. Do you see what you have done Memphis? By giving away Gasol, you are forcing other teams to consider ridiculous deals. There are rumors that even the Spurs are thinking about moving pieces. WHAT HAVE YOU WROUGHT???

The argument is that Amare is deplorable defensively (true), and that Shaq will be good to send against the Spurs in the Finals (false). This is a big man who can't help but foul out anymore, and is on the books for 20 million for each of the next two years. WHAT??? I'll be in the fetal position, crying, if anyone needs me. I can't even remember what basketball was supposed to be like.


DNasty said...

Ok, listen. Coach Knight integrity winning character moral fiber blah blah blah.

Can't somebody please just step up to the plate and admit that Bobby Knight is a huge dickhead?

DPalm66 said...

You cannot admit that which is not true. Sure, ESPN has been running the Bob Knight 'highlight' film, but there is no film catching him telling kids to go to class, explaining man-to-man defense, or being the example of amazing college coaching, right behind the Wizard of Westwood.

Besides, how can a man who gave us this:


be a 'dickhead?'