Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sour Grapes

So the Miami Heat have won their first NBA championship. On the plus side, my beloved Nets were now evicted from the playoffs in the second round, not just by any team, but by the NBA champions, so that pill is a little easier to swallow. I like that.

But otherwise? No. No, I am not happy seeing the Heat celebrate their first-ever NBA title. Why? Two reasons, mostly:

I don't like seeing the egomaniacal Pat Riley rewarded for basically only deciding to coach when he thought his team had a chance of winning, kicking out a fine, hard-working coach in Stan Van Gindy in the process. For the past few years, Riley has stayed on the sidelines, not willing to put in the hard work of coaching if the chance at a title was not real. Then, suddenly, when it looks possible, he all of a sudden decides that it's time to get back in the ring? The ego and arrogance astound me.

But, as a Nets fan, seeing Alonzo Mourning rewarded with his first NBA title galls me the most. When Mourning first came to basketball back after undergoing a kidney transplant, after it seemed like he was never going to play again, after his career was all but over, it was with the Nets--who gave him a very sizable contract and took a huge risk on a player who, obviously, could have fizzled in a big way, physically. But when the Nets made some moves Mourning didn't like, when he didn't feel they were a real contender, he immediately started pouting, basically demanding a trade. Then, this year, after the Nets had gotten rid of him and he was back with Miami, he publicly accused management of (and excuse the all-caps, but I still can't believe the audacity) DELIBERATELY PLAYING HIM TOO HARD IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET HIS KIDNEY TO FAIL SO THAT THEY COULD GET RID OF HIS CONTRACT. Of, more or less, trying to kill him to get out of paying him. Remarkable. So, no, I don't fell good - at all - for Mourning's inspirational comeback tale.

As an aside, back in October, I predicted where I thought the teams would shake out in each division. Boy, was I wrong! (For just one example - I had the Mavericks only taking the 8th seed in the playoffs. Hee-hee.)

Until Whenever

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