June 01, 2009
"Where will amazing happen this year?"
It's the question that appears in all the NBA commercials. It brings forth the memories of where you were when Magic hit the hook-shot over the Celtics' front line, or when Jordan hit the mid-range J to beat the Craig Ehlo Cavaliers.
It would appear that this season, amazing happens in almost every game. Yes, I've read the articles by Bill Simmons and others, criticizing officiating and other things from this year's playoffs, and I do agree with a lot of the points. Still, some crazy stuff has happened.
I was at an important dinner, getting score updates on my phone via NBA.com two Fridays ago. I had my phone hidden beneath the table, checking the score whenever the auto-update coincided with a break in the table conversation. With 13 seconds left the score was tied. I sat there, silent, awaiting what seemed to be a full timeout. I took a sip of water and almost spit it right back out when the score changed to show that Orlando was now up two points on Cleveland with one second left. I know I made a funny noise because some other patrons turned and gave me a look.
Thinking that the game was over, I began to relax. I was now only waiting for the recap to come up. I reached for a roll and looked back at my phone. Cavs won by one point. I jumped out of my seat screaming, clearly hitting my knees on the bottom of the table. Now everyone was forced to ask. I told them "I'm not sure, but I think LeBron James(notes) just did something legendary." Crazy.
On another night, I sat in the living room of a close friend of mine (the same guy who told everyone I was Plaxico.) As four of us sat down to start watching the Lakers and Nuggets go head-to-head, one of my boys started talking about how much he likes Dahntay Jones(notes). I told him that I've seen Dahntay dunk on something like ten people live in the D-League, but that I hate playing against him because he will do whatever it takes. When my friend asked me what that meant, I told him that I've definitely been tripped by Jones on more than one occasion. I also said that in the D-League a lot of guys go that hard because they are trying to get called up. I informed my boy that he may try to trip me but there’s NO WAY he'd do it to a guy like Kobe with the bright lights shining on him.
Twenty minutes later, ESPN showed a little "Dirty Play" highlight reel featuring none other than Mr. Jones. The same foot that got me a few times before sent Kobe to the ground. Crazy.
A few days later, while driving back to the Bay Area from San Diego, I listened as Kobe and the Lakers won a series that people had thought they might lose. The Nuggets took the defending conference champs and beat them up, played them rough, and made it a great series. Crazy.
Now it's time for the NBA Finals and I wonder what craziness awaits? Maybe Jordan Farmar(notes) slaps Rafer Alston(notes) just because. Maybe Dwight Howard hits his first legendary game winner. Maybe it's a three.
Maybe Kobe misses Game 1 due to the shower he needs to take after LeBron's talcum powdered their whole house.
Maybe LeBron moves out of Kobe's house altogether and rents a copy of "Return of the King." He'll be back.
Maybe Spike Lee drops "J.J. Redick: Shootin' Treys." It follows him as he shoots treys in practice. It'd probably be as interesting as "Doin' Work" was.
Maybe a "Reggie's Mailbag" spot will be witty and funny.
Maybe Orlando wins it all, putting Howard in a new class of NBA big men.
Maybe the Lakers win it all and VitaminWater crowns Kobe as the best.
Who knows what will happen? I guess that's the point. I don't exactly know where amazing will "happen this year." I do know that just because the King didn't make it to his throne doesn't mean that I won’t be watching to see if Dwight goes from Tom Welling Superman to Christopher Reeves status.
Who knows? Maybe Superman is suspect to the venom of a Black Mamba and nobody knows it.
Rod Benson is a Cal grad who plays for the D-League's Reno Bighorns. When he's not busy watching the NBA Playoffs, he blogs one or two times a week on Ball Don't Lie. Read his archive, pay a visit to TooMuchRodBenson.com and always support the Boom Tho movement.