COMMENTARY | Both the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder appeared poised for a collision course this season, one the NBA hasn't seen since the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz did battle in back-to-back NBA Finals in the '90s. While the Heat have a favor to return with the Mavericks, arguably, the battle with the most ego perks is one with Kevin Durant and company. Minus Russell Westbrook, forget about it.
Like Dwayne Wade's Outfit, OKC Came Up Short in Game 4 against the Memphis Grizzlies
Hey, I admire Wade and how he set the bar high in the world of fashion for athletes. But last night he missed the mark when he arrived for Game 4 donning a pair of Zubaz pants (pictured here). Had it not been for the bag boy walking alongside the injury-plagued guard, the whole thing would have flopped. A bag boy, really?
Perhaps, the outlandish threads foreshadow what fans and the Heat likely regret: a near-zero chance of LeBron and KD meeting in an NBA Finals duel.
The Thunder appeared to follow suit as if they were cursed by the pants that, in my opinion, fell short of a new fashion trend.
For a moment, Scott Brooks' offense -- built around Durant's laser-guided jumpers and points in the paint with his albatross length -- appeared to be working.
Memphis had no answer for KD and Serge Ibaka in the first half. The Thunder's 17-point lead appeared to be a sure sign the night would end with a 2-2 series. But the Grizzlies recovered, used their asphyxiating defense and held Durant to 10 of 27 shooting en route to a commanding 3-1 series lead.
The Russell Westbrook effect
Similar to LeBron and the Heat having their way without the Bulls' Derrick Rose (not that it would have changed the results), the Grizzlies are imposing their will on OKC.
The Los Angeles Lakers paid the price without Kobe Bryant and the Boston Celtics showed their age and lack of wherewithal when Rajon Rondo went down. Injuries are part of the game, but it tips the scale in favor of the opponent when a go-to baller is missing from the starting lineup.
When James is asked about his team's fading chances of a "Thriller in Manila" with Durant and company, he'll likely respond diplomatically by saying, "It doesn't matter who we play; I just want to win another championship."
Fans know better; LeBron would love to lock horns with the Thunder's scoring frontman and greased lighting offense. Who knows what kind of highlights would pepper YouTube should the two teams meet? However, only one game stands between the epic series that likely won't take place.
While a Heat-Thunder NBA 2013 Finals is likely not in the cards, the two teams are now indelibly attached by whimsical fashion statements.
Just blame the non-meeting in the Finals on the pants, those blimey pants.
Bradley is a professional writer, journalist, sportswriter, and avid fan of the NBA, NFL, PGA and all things tennis. He keeps a watchful eye on Miami Heat developments.
- Sports & Recreation
- Miami Heat
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Kevin Durant
- Russell Westbrook
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Dwayne Wade
- Chicago Bulls