This season almost didn’t happen. And what a shame that would’ve been.
For the objective fan (a group which I am certainly not a part of), it would be hard to find a better finish to the season that almost wasn’t. The two best players in the league, two young stars (yes, LeBron is still only 27 years old) who are in their primes, squaring off in the NBA Finals. One has three scoring titles, the other has three MVPs. One is making his third appearance in the Finals, while the other
is appearing there for the first time. Each seeks his first ring.
For the objective fan, this matchup is perfect. One team that is easy to love, another that is easy to hate. One team everyone expected to reach the Finals, another that everyone wants to see win the Finals. Two fast-paced, offensive juggernauts with athletes to spare. What more could an objective fan want?
But when it comes to the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, few will be objective. Few have neutral feelings about LeBron and Co., and most have strong feelings against the Big Three (the James, Wade and Bosh version). Kevin Durant and the Thunder are an easy team to cheer for, and fans from across the nation will be jumping on board to support the team with the last chance to stop the Heat from winning a ring.
But if we could just be objective, take a step back and appreciate the series we’re about to witness, we’d see that the NBA has given us something special. For the first time since the 1980s, the 2012 NBA Finals features what could be a rivalry in the making.
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson squared off three times in the span of four years in the early ’80s. The Celtics and Lakers already had a storied rivalry, but Bird and Magic brought it back to life — two of the best players in the league squaring off, head-to-head, leading their teams.
But since then, NBA Finals rivalries have been hard to come by. The Pistons won two championships, defeating two different teams in the process. Michael Jordan and the Bulls won six championships in eight years and faced five different teams in those series. During the Lakers’ three-peat in the early 2000s, three different teams failed to knock them from their perch as NBA champions. And even as the Lakers and Celtics tried to renew their rivalry recently, they only faced twice in the Finals, and no single matchup came close to the one between Bird and Magic decades before.
Even in an era of teams with multiple stars, it’s clear who are the best two players in this year’s Finals. James and Durant play the same position, will likely guard each other throughout the series, and, for the first time in nearly 20 years, they will provide a single one-on-one matchup of historic proportions.
When James and the Heat are involved, it’s nearly impossible to cialis online pharmacy be objective. For most, the desire to see LeBron fail makes cheering for the Heat impossible. And for the rest, defending the Big Three takes precedent over objectivity because so many others are against them.
possible, take a step back and watch this year’s Finals for what they really are, or at least really could be — the beginning of an era. An era of two great basketball players leading their teams to victory, battling each other for the most coveted prize in all of sports — a ring.
This year could be something special. It could be history in the making. And it almost didn’t happen.
Be thankful that we just get to witness it.
Powered by Facebook Comments