Phil Jackson came out today and talked about how the Pistons would grab, hold, push and hit the shooter and it wasn’t called. All true. How in the world does a defense as physical and aggressive as Detroit only have 10 fouls midway through the 4th quarter? That’s unheard of in a regular season game let alone a very physical playoff game. It also meant that they had to call 6 fouls the rest of the way. What changed? Who was officiating?
Larry Bird’s preference of defenders was big news this past week. Personally, I thought there was some big news that came out of Jim Gray’s 4-way interview with Larry, Magic, Lebron and Carmelo, but it wasn’t Bird’s comments.
What caught my attention was when asked about race in the NBA today, the future of the NBA, two African American teenagers responded in unison that race wasn’t an issue to them or their friends growing up, and it still isn’t. The Baby Boomers, raised in the 1950s thought race was an issue then, and it probably was an issue now. That the league could use more “larry birds”. Skip over Gen X and Gen Y to whatever they are calling today’s teenagers, maybe Gen Colorblind, and they talked about looking up to Dirk, Peja and Yao Ming. Thank you Lebron and Carmelo from saving us from the obligatory old man dialogue about hip hop, bling-bling, tattoos and posses being the end of the NBA. The only divide that was sensitive they could come up with was based on sponsor, both within the same company! Team Jordan vs the rest of Nike I guess…Horror of horrors.
And was anyone else surprised when they referred to Shaq as the Dad of the NBA. The guy any player could call and talk to? To me, that is the ultimate compliment.
Back to the Pistons vs Lakers last night (notice it’s pistons vs lakers, not lakers vs pistons.), where was Hack a Ben? I guess Phil didn’t want to win badly enough to put a guy who is shooting 28.6 Pct in this series onthe line. Big Ben makes Shaq look like Reggie Miller at the line. Why would you not put him at the line to break up the Pistons momentum and get a great chance of getting the ball back. It also would have given a breather to Shaq, who was definitely looking a little tired towards the end.
Finally, I’m really looking forward to the expansion draft. It’s the first time I have been through one, and I think it will befascinatingto watch how teams strategize, plan and work this through.
And as far as who I want to win this series… I just want it to go seven games… More revenue, lower luxury tax…