I have one problem with this LeBron James commercial for the Cub Cadet riding mower. Watch it to the end and see if you pick up on the one real issue I've had since the first time I watched the commercial. I'll wait.
Stern dismissed the idea of Nowitzki's victory prompting a change in voting to include some or all of the playoffs. It's worth noting that five of the previous seven MVPs did not lead their team to the championship; however, it had been 25 years (Houston's Moses Malone in 1981-82) since an MVP failed to win a single playoff series.
Also provided graciously by SI, in 1974 75, MVP Kareem Abdul Jabbars Lakers finished a distant fourth in their division, so if the league didnt change the MVP rules then, they sure arent now for the best regular-season team in the NBAs best player. Remember kids, its a relatively meaningless regular season award, not a Finals MVP.
On a somewhat related note, NBA fanboy and (former) Stern suck-up Bill Simmons has written his best column since before Ralph Wiley died, rightfully taking the NBA to task for the lousy officiating, and lousy interpretation of the Dont leave the bench rule as applied to Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw (and not to Tim Duncan, who did the same thing earlier in the series after a teammate received a hard, normal foul and not a cross-check).
Generally, as a follower of Godwins Law, Im against all Nazi comparisons, but in this case, Len might be right with his characterization of David Adolph Stern. Much like the King of Town trying to eat The Cheat, David Stern has gone mad with power.
I've had a belief over my years of watching the playoffs that sometimes, no matter how deep or talented a team is, that certain past failures can doom a team. In baseball, we call them curses. In hockey...uh, Ron can take that one. In basketball, there are no "curses" to speak of. Neither is it in football. After last night, the Mavericks joined a club they'd rather not be a part of. The first team to EVER blow a 2-0 lead in a Finals series and then follow that up the following year with a loss to an 8 seed in a seven game format. And after hearing something on I believe it was ESPN last night, I agree. When teams get dropped in 5 games, anybody can get lucky three out of five times. But when you can take four out of seven or in this case, four out of six from a team, there isn't that much "luck" in the world to justify or rationalize it. You're just better than they were. And to be brutally honest, there's no denying that the Mavs will be near the top of the Vegas oddsmakers list of teams to win the 2008 title. But what do those degenerate gamblers know? They're gamblers. However, I can tell you this...no matter what Cubes does in the offseason or in the NBA Draft, this franchise is finished. Let me run down a few notables and show you just exactly what I'm talking about.
In my lifetime, I've been fortunate enough to say I've seen three #8 seeds knock off the top seed in the first round of the playoffs. In 1994, I'm not sure how the Sonics got that top spot, but they clearly were NOT the best team that year as Denver proved in 5. In 1999, the Knicks were a #4 or 5 seed POSING (this word will be used often) as an 8 seed. This year, we saw a #8 flat out play the way everyone thought the #1 would, only it never happened. Of all the numbers I can throw out at you right now, this one says it all for me...
2 for 13, 8 points. 1-11 in the first half, 0-2 in the second.
To be perfectly honest with you, if there was ever a statistic that backed up my ranting on how overrated Dirk Nowitzki is, this is it. If there was ever a statistic that backed up my claim that Dirk should NOT win the MVP award this year from Big Stevie Cool, this is it. If the mere fact that the league's supposed Most Valuable Player is going home in 6 games before the Conference Semis and Steve Nash is gearing up for another playoff tilt with the Spurs doesn't say it all, nothing will. I sat through the second half last night, expecting the Mavs to make a run to get back in the game and then accelerate to silence the crowd and finish this series in Dallas. I sat through thinking that Dirk would ignite and flat out prove me wrong. He'd put his team on his back and take them to Dallas where they'd run the Warriors into the ground in Game 7.