It's Maaaa-gic. No, Really. It Just Might Be.
The scariest part about this quote isn't the fact that he said it while sober and in front of all types of media. The scariest part about this quote is he might actually be dead on with it.
Yes, this is the sad, watered down, dilapidated state the JV Conference...consider it 'Parity Gone Wild'. No, Mediocrity Gone Wild. Looking at the moves that certain lottery and playoff teams have made in this off season, have me shaking my head with much disdain. Here was a conference that at one point in time had heavyweights like the Bulls, Celtics, Pistons, Knicks, Hawks and Heat among its elite.
Well, only the first four actually were Finals contenders in the 80s and 90s, the others were window dressing. Now this conference is a running joke of itself from the so called "executives" to the "coaches" that are just as clueless. The Magic's grand move to reappear in the Finals was to get Seattle's second best player for a future Summer League star that won't have his name called by Adolf Stern and about $9 million that Seattle will put towards its continuing rebuilding campaign out West.
Meanwhile, Orlando has itself what could be a team that...dare we say it, is actually more potent than the reigning JV Conference Champions (and no, I'm not saying it as a biased fan, I'm saying it because it's the truth). With D-Howard, Lewis in pretty much the same role he was in back in the Emerald City. Jury's still out on J.J. Brick, but with Jameer Nelson running the point this team's young and pretty good in a really bad conference. Actually, with his addition, all of a sudden the top half of the Southeast Division looks pretty good with Miami, Orlando and Washington which will have Agent Zero back healthy again. Billups resigning with the Pistons doesn't change my initial thoughts on them, the window's shut on these clowns. If they couldn't put the Cavs away with a 2-0 lead, they're done for. Plain and simple. As for the Knicks, man oh man, we thought the Jail Blazers were bad...let these guys get Artest.
Alright, quick story personally speaking. About ten years ago, I was a Knicks fan. Loved em'. Passionate about em', couldn't stand Riles for leaving for Miami, couldn't stand the Bulls and Jordan. Couldn't stand Reggie and the Pacers. Had the towel and the whole nine that was a part of their Finals run in 1994, the works. Even knew the song that was sung during that 1994 campaign.
Anyway, back in 1999, I was excited because of the Finals run and the Draft which had home product Ron Artest coming out. I watched that night anxiously awaiting when Stern would say Ron Ron's name when the Knicks picked 18th. He went 19th...to Chicago. The Knicks took some big dummy from France whose biggest career highlight was being dunked on by Vince in 2000. Artest goes on to be the most mercurial defensive specialist not named Rodman, Weis...vanishes into thin air. When the Knicks didn't draft Artest and traded away Ewing for absolutely spit, I was done as a fan.
Honestly, I'm mixed about the possibility of the Knicks getting him. Zeke's looking like that ruler who's realizing the end is near and is making any and every move possible to keep his position...even if it means hiring a bunch of mercenaries to protect him that aren't exactly...kosher. Zeke's given up on Frye who was a nice young forward for a guy who broke his former teammate's eye socket (even if it was Ruben Patterson) in a fight during practice. Normally, adding Artest to this mix is like dropping hydrochloric acid into a vat of chemicals. You're begging for an explosion of epic proportions. But the crazy thing is...talent wise, this might actually work. Talent wise, a lineup of Curry, Randolph, Artest, Crawford and Marbury might actually get the Knicks back to the Finals. It'd be the most chemically imbalanced lineup in the history of team sports, but again, given how mediocrity reigns supreme in the JV...it'd make them favorites over...well, do I really need to go there again?
Right now, the Eastern Conference sorta resembles the National League in baseball and the NFC in football. If it weren't for the fact that rules state that conference MUST have a representative in the title game, we wouldn't see these clowns past May. As expected, the Cavaliers have stood pat. Not a single move to ensure LeBron's playing in June, nothing.
I won't even add a 'yet', because let me tell all of you something. I've lived in Ohio for the past six years and change and there's been one consistent thing with these clowns from the Browns to the Cavs to the Indians. Either they aren't spending money or if they are, they're spending it foolishly. Honestly, I don't know what repulses me more. The state that the JV Conference has rapidly degenerated into or how horribly repugnant Team US has become.
I mean, the game of basketball was born in the States. We play it as often as a fish breathes and since 2000, we've yet to win gold. The JV Conference last won a title a year ago, not because they were better...but because Dallas forgot the first to four, not two wins the prize. Miami and Detroit are the only two JV Conference teams to win it all since the West rose after Jordan retired in 1998. Since then, either the Spurs or Lakers have raised that trophy in the past nine years. Think about that for a moment and then rethink the whole 'the East isn't that bad' crap.
Ultimately, the only sport where you can honestly point to about 10 to 15 teams as legitimate title contenders is college football and at least there you've got legitimate parity. Aside from the usual suspects every year, there's always one or two teams that will crash the party...like Rutgers a year ago. :-) In the NBA, you know the pecking order out West is all but set. Phoenix, San Antonio and Dallas have their playoff passes. You know that Houston will find a way in and with Adelman as their head coach, he's gonna run a bulk of that offense through Yao much like he did with Duckworth in Portland. Utah's going to be a year wiser after their Western Conference Finals run and I expect Denver to improve and possibly make a run IF they can avoid the Spurs in the first round again (they're the only team that's consistently put Melo out since he entered the league).
All told, the way it's shaping up, the West will continue to crank out championship teams until the JV Conference resets itself back to where it was 10 years ago when it really was that damn great. Until then, Westside is the best side.
There are currently no trackbacks for this item.
Use this TrackBack url to ping this item (right-click, copy link target). If your blog does not support Trackbacks you can manually add your trackback by using this form.