I'm on pins and needles, anxiously awaiting tonight's opening game of the Finals. And Bawful's fantastic recap of the Lakers-Celtics feud over the years has only made me even more giddy with anticipation.
Some quick basebawful before we get to the rest of the post: My buddy Corey and have tickets to the Cubs/Mariners series in Seattle in three weeks. I was hoping to finally see Ken Griffey, Jr. play in person. Alas, no such luck. Griffey announced his retirement yesterday (which was of course overshadowed by this, one of the pinnacles of basebawful. And you really should watch this West Virginia man's reaction to the blown call -- dude flips out while wearing short shorts and spitting chewing tobacco). The truly sad part of this, however, is that none of the players featured in the legendary Homer at the Bat episode of The Simpsons are still active players. Damn I'm getting old.
Worst of the last Conference Finals Weekend in Pictures:
Nash's teammates hate to say anything, but his Dr. Evil impression just plain sucks
Okay, this is just uncomfortable...
Tony Allen helping Paul Pierce up - It's almost like watching Pierce flop in reverse
Our final in-game shot of the playoffs of Stan Van Gundy is appropriately a quintessential SVG picture
"Superman" Dean Cain's two weaknesses are kryptonite, and sharting himself watching the Suns and Lakers play
Speaking of Superman, hey Kobe, you know you can't fly, right?
NBA Finals - Game 1: Celtics at Lakers - ABC, 9:00pm Series tied 0-0
The Zen Master is trying to convince his team to take more charges instead of always making a play on the ball. Drawing a charge is great, right? You get the ball, and the other team gets a foul against them. What's not to like about it? According to Ron Artest, everything:
"I don't even know how to take a charge. To get the charge you have to fall. I'd rather not fall. You call an offensive foul, possibly be a fight. That's just how we grew up playing basketball."
The subtle difference between playground pick-up hoops and the NBA flippin' Finals seems to have escaped Ron-Ron. Then again, does this surpise any of us? This is the same man who jacked up that absolutely indefensible three pointer against the Suns, but was later forgiven because he got the game-winning rebound and shot. And that's completely ignoring the Malice in the Palace, since I'd like to think he's a slightly different man in 2010 than 2004.
One last tidbit... There was a great article in this week's Sports Illustrated in which we learn about Kobe's shooting stroke getting changed this year by Chuck Person. First off, it's interesting to read about why his shooting percentage dropped after the broken finger aside from just, you know, having a broken finger. It was because Person had Kobe work on getting his arms up and into the shooting motion quicker, keeping his elbow more in line with the basket, and using the index finger just to balance the ball so he could create more backspin with his middle and ring fingers. Obviously it took awhile to adjust to this, but now (much to my chagrin) Kobe has put up insane shooting percentages in the playoffs because of the improved accuracy and more favorable bounces and rolls on the rim. And it's also just plain cool to hear Chuck Person's name again. The last time I heard that name I was draining 80 footers while on fire in NBA Jam.