June 2, 2009 |
Thursday, we embark on another couple of weeks of silliness, aka the NBA Finals. Think of it as the prelude to the parade. The silliness is not the players, who are all marvelous athletes. Nor is it the competition format, which only follows the lead of most organized sports these days.
June 21, 2000 |
The Indiana Pacers weren't consulted in voting for the most valuable player of the NBA finals. But if they had been asked, they would have added their voices to the unanimous chorus in support of Laker center Shaquille O'Neal. "He's very dominating," Coach Larry Bird said Monday. "We had our problems. He was phenomenal throughout the series." Jalen Rose agreed. "Shaquille O'Neal was great. He was dominant from beginning to end," Rose said.
June 15, 1996 |
How cool is Rodman? Just ask Clint Filichia and John Tamkin, co-owners of the "Daddy 66" clothing line, who were struggling designers until the Chicago Bulls' eccentric forward wore one of their T-shirts. The Chicago-based company sold apparel out of the trunks of their cars, and with minimal success, until Rodman wore a sleeveless T-shirt with the company's "Daddy 66," logo on MTV's "House of Style." Since then, the company's owners say that their entire stock has sold out.
October 23, 2013 |
The 2-3-2 NBA Finals format is following David Stern out of the league. NBA owners unanimously voted Wednesday to return to the 2-2-1-1-1 format, believing the travel inconveniences that teams faced when Stern became commissioner nearly 30 years ago no longer exist. Beginning with the 2014 Finals, the higher-seeded team will host Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower seed gets Games 3, 4 and 6, following the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds. The current format was instituted in 1985, Stern's first full year in charge, in part to ease the amount of cross-country travel with the Lakers and Boston Celtics frequently meeting for the championship.
May 28, 2010 |
Reporting from Boston -- Hollywood, beware. And that means you, L.A. The aging Boston Celtics have gone Benjamin Button on the NBA, a curious case of reversing the aging process as a playoff team. Looking too old and broken down the last half of the season, the Celtics are back in the NBA Finals. They ousted the Orlando Magic, 96-84, on Friday night at TD Garden to win the Eastern Conference crown. The Celtics won the NBA title in 2008 by beating the Lakers and will be playing in the championship round for the second time in three seasons.
June 3, 2010 |
Maybe there's a West Coast bias after all. If you're a Boston Celtics fan, is your head exploding? Besides watching your team be dominated by the Lakers on Thursday — the defending NBA champions won, 102-89, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals — you also got the added bonus of watching the Kobe Bryant show. After Bryant made a second-quarter layup, ABC/ESPN analyst Mark Jackson yelped, "Bryant, this is just too easy." His fellow analyst Jeff Van Gundy made up his mind early what this game was about.
May 23, 2010 |
From Phoenix Sit him down. Sit him down from now until Boston. Send Andrew Bynum back to Los Angeles and stick him into ice or plug him into a machine or slide him into a microwave or something. How much more can you watch? How much more can the Lakers endure? The tear in Bynum's knee has officially become a pain in everyone else's neck. End the charade. Begin his rest. From this point, he will have at least a week off before the start of the NBA Finals.
June 17, 2012 |
MIAMI - Dwyane Wade playfully ambled onto the interview platform with an announcement to make. "No LeBron questions," the Miami Heat guard said Saturday afternoon, "because he's sitting there" behind some nearby curtains. Wade smiled as he spoke, his teammate's sterling play making him no longer a taboo subject in the NBA Finals. LeBron James has averaged 31 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists as the Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder split the first two games in a best-of-seven series that resumes Sunday with Game 3 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
May 29, 2010 |
One old nemesis was summarily dismissed by the Lakers, the sight of the vanquished Suns looking spectacular in the rear-view mirror in the aftermath of the Western Conference finals. Redemption accomplished? Not quite. Next up: The biggest, baddest Lakers nemesis of all: the Celtics. They may have shelved memories of twin past playoff losses to the Suns, with a 111-103 victory over Phoenix in Game 6 at US Airways Center, winning the best-of-seven series, four games to two. It was anything but straightforward because of a thrown elbow by the Lakers' Sasha Vujacic early in the fourth quarter, which almost single-handedly revived the Suns.
June 10, 2005 |
Maybe this isn't a glamorous NBA Finals featuring big names with big mouths and unique viewpoints. The Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs simply play good team basketball. Is that good enough? Even though Game 7 of the Miami-Detroit series on TNT was the most-watched NBA playoff game on cable -- 6.75 million households tuned in -- playoff ratings are off from a year ago, when the Laker soap opera generated high drama going into the Finals. ABC went into the Finals averaging a 3.