June 14, 2004

Get Ready, Detroit Riot Police

Despite all the excitement thatís come out of the NBA in the decade-and-a-half since Michael Jordanís first championship, thereís always been one thing about the league that, in my view, has held it back: the outcome of the Finals have never been in doubt. Three titles for Jordan, two for Olajuwon, three more for MJ, and two for Duncan and Robinson, bisected by another Phil Jackson three-peat, this time with the Shaq/Kobe Lakers.

Thatís thirteen years, and in them not a single Finals upset, or a year in which the team with the best player didnít win. Baseball and football have such upsets all the time- Brett Favre lost one Super Bowl, John Elway lost more than one, and the Yankees have lost the World Series to small-market NL teams two of the last three years. But those things just donít happen in the NBA.

Until this year, that is. Barring a huge collapse, the Pistons will knock off the finally-imploding Lakers, both ending all those streaks, in addition to the end of the Western Conferenceís dominance. All, if you ask me, good for the NBA. Itíll just be a bit disconcerting that after the series ends, Charles Barkley wonít have a championship ring, but Darko Mlicic will.

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 14, 2004 09:37 PM
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