If any of you old bastards complain about today’s NBA while living in the glory years of the Celts-Lakers in the ’80s you need to open your eyes. For sentimental reasons, I would like the city of Cleveland to get a title, and I do like Lebron James, but the Cavs have no chance.
You know why?
HERO BALL IS DEAD!
Thank God and praise every assist man from the Cooz to the Big O to Tiny Archibald to Chris Paul. Those old men in San Antonio black with Kawhi Leonard carrying their oxygen tanks taught the superstar-laden Miami South Beach act that passing the ball from point A to point B is always faster than dribbling it.
In the outstanding hoop series from the late ’70s and early ’80s, The White Shadow, coach Ken Reeves, played by the late Ken Howard, challenges his players to outrun one his full court passes. Of course, they can’t and when the Spurs took it to the Heat four games to one in 2014, I thought of that scene.
The numbers do not lie. In that 2014 series, the Spurs had 127 assists to the Heat’s 76. Last season, Golden State posted 138 assists to the Cavs 95. We should note Cleveland did not have Kevin Love and lost Kyrie Irving after one game in last year’s finals. However, the trend continued last night with the Warriors putting up 29 assists to the Cavs 17.
Furthermore, the MVPs for the anti-hero ball teams were not the stars of the team. Now, you could say Kawhi Leonard is a star now in San Antonio, but that 2014 series was his true coming out party and, of course, last year Andre Iguodala won the damn thing for the Splash Brothers.
Somewhere, Red Auerbach is smiling even though his Celtics are not in the hunt. Like Red, any true basketball fan has to feel reborn when watching this game return the style that it was created to play.