Friday, February 6, 2009

The NBA Pulls Back the Curtain on the Wizard of MSG


Scratch all those articles written about LeBron James triple-double in Madison Square Garden. The powers-that-be in the National Basketball Association have decided that LBJ's final line was actually 52 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds. The tenth board (technically it was the ninth) really belonged to Ben Wallace.

To which I have a couple responses:

1. Thanks to Eric Adelman, I saw this coming. Eric posted a link to the clip on my profile and, any time the announcer casually says that player A secures the rebound and tips it to player B, it's a pretty good indication that player A deserves credit for the rebound. Good call by the NBA.

2. Whoever's next on the Cleveland Cavaliers' schedule is in a world o' hurt. If Kobe hanging 61 on the New York Knickerbockers prompted King James to wrestle with a trip-dub and light it up to the tune of 52, what is this gonna do?

Especially considering LeBron and the Cavs were already rightfully peeved about Mo Williams being personally snubbed by David Stern.

I think it's a pretty serious injustice (in the sports-sense of the word) that, while the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics have three All-Stars each, the Cavs have only the One to Whom We Wear Witness. Nothing against Ray Allen, but both he and Williams were deserving so I think it's relatively obvious that Williams should've been given the nod due to Cleveland's overall success.

I think it's also pretty obvious why Stern gave Allen the nod and that stinks, but such is the double-edged sword of capitalism. And it's not like Allen didn't deserve to go so whatever.

Then again, I am not an ardent supporter of the Cavs nor am I one of their players. Try offering such platitudes to someone who fits that description.

Regardless, if I were an NBA player and in the way the next time the James Train rolled through the Big Apple? Or—basketball gods forbid—on the tracks in the next couple evenings?

I'd be finding the closest case of the flu available and gettin' really intimate with its source. Toot sweet.

Because I've written several times that I'm of the firm belief that truly great players can do almost anything they want when he/she gets particularly motivated. With a guy like Kobe Bryant or LeBron James or Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, there should be a cartoon bubble constantly hanging over his head reading, "Handle with Care." If you get a player like that agitated, you might just see history fall.

And David Stern plus the rest of his henchmen have just placed a rather large burr under King James' saddle.

Hope they have the good stationary ready because I wouldn't be surprised if some poor schmuck ended up in the record books for the wrong reasons in the not-too-distant future. It won't be his fault—who amongst us mortal men could stop LBJ on a mission?

But there he'll be and the NBA front office will owe him an apology.

It's unwise to place yourself in LeBron James' cross-hairs. It's downright criminal to place someone else there.

No comments: