June 13, 2002

Lakers win the Championship.: At this point, does anyone even give a crap? A team with Shaq and Kobe would have to TRY to lose. Let's get some retirements, career-ending injuries, or trades to make NBA basketball interesting again.

posted by Succa to basketball at 02:09 AM - 19 comments

It gets boring when the same teams are in the championship games (and subsequently win) year after year after year...

posted by jerseygirl at 09:07 AM on June 13, 2002

I do; I'd rather have a league with dynasties over the current-day NFL, where half the teams in the league are as likely to reach the conference championship game as they are to be out of the playoffs. It's a shame that the Lakers are playing at a level above everyone else, but the same was true twice of the Bulls during some great NBA seasons. The question I'm wondering today is if Jordan's Bulls in their prime could have beaten these Lakers. Which three-peating team is better? Regarding last night's game, I thought it was weak for Scott to throw in the towel instead of fighting to the bitter end. A six-point lead with 44 seconds left can be overcome. It isn't likely, but by fouling on the inbound pass and making some three-pointers, it's possible. Any coach who would let his team give up on a close NBA Finals game doesn't deserve to be there.

posted by rcade at 09:11 AM on June 13, 2002

I'm glad it's over. Now only 4 months till college basketball. . .

posted by corpse at 10:03 AM on June 13, 2002

A team with Shaq and Kobe would have to TRY to lose. Hmm. Did anyone else see the Kings v. Lakers? The Lakers' reign is already being challenged. Okay, so the finals were not so entertaining, but the conference finals were the most exciting in years. And I agree with rcade that dynasties are good for the game. You need an identifiable monster that other teams are seeking to slay. Dynasties have identities. Usually they have a group of players that remain on the team. I, for one, am looking forward to the 2002-2003 NBA season, so that I can root for the up and coming Pacers to take down the evil Lakers.

posted by jacknose at 10:26 AM on June 13, 2002

Why are dynasties good for basketball but not good for baseball? How come everyone complains about the Yankees winning every year (or being in the World Series at least)?

posted by grum@work at 10:55 AM on June 13, 2002

It's more of a love hate relationship, grum.. We love to have an enemy to focus our anger on, someone to blame. When the leafs lose, I can complain about the Red Wings, or the Avalanche (the two teams closest to being called a dynasty today, but they don't compare to any of those great Canadiens teams). I think the Bulls would have killed the Lakers. Jordan would have owned Kobe, and Scottie Pippen, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr, and Dennis Rodman would have provided additional scoring and defense, plus Jordan would have raised all of their levels of play... it would be fun to watch, but I would bet on the Bulls anyday over the Lakers.

posted by insomnyuk at 11:48 AM on June 13, 2002

That series was like watching a baby seal get clubbed. But yes, I think the answer is that the rest of the league has to get better, not that the Lakers have to get worse. Raising the standard of play is always a plus.

posted by kafkaesque at 11:52 AM on June 13, 2002

With Shaq playing the way he played the last 6 games (during which the Lakers were, uh, 6-0, including vs. Sacto), it's hard to see anyone beating them 4 out of 7, ever. Even if the refs do call his foul-line transgressions and offensive fouls.

posted by ajax at 12:08 PM on June 13, 2002

What happens when Phil Jackson retires? I believe Shaq has said that he will leave basketball if Phil does. That could end the dynasty rather quickly.

posted by emoeby at 12:52 PM on June 13, 2002

I don't know about the "Bulls any day over the Lakers"... Wasn't the original three-headed center Scott Williams, Bill Wennington and Bill Cartwright? Shaq would kill those guys...in fact, I'd say that NJ's MacCulloch, Williams and Collins would probably take them as well. Like him or not, Shaq tips the balance too much to the Lakers side for those Bulls to win. I think the interesting question is whether that Bulls team could replace Jordan with Kobe and still win a championship. I say no way. I don't know if he handles the ball well enough to allow him to effectively run the point and put a 6'6" Ron Harper on the floor to lock down the other team's PG, the way Jordan allowed the Bulls to. We'll find out soon...Shaq has 2 seasons left, tops...

posted by smithers at 01:36 PM on June 13, 2002

How come everyone complains about the Yankees winning every year (or being in the World Series at least)?

Two things, I'd say: Everyone hates NYC. (Or, for us Canucks, substitute T'ronna; they've been trying to do it for years...) And: the Yankees dynasty represents and is a prime example of the underlying economic rot and corruption of baseball.

posted by Cap'n Swing at 02:31 PM on June 13, 2002

Shaq and Phil-J will be gonezers are they go 93-3 next year, they're only 3 losses to the Blazers during the regular season (who will be upset by the Mavs in the conference semis). Then By-Sco will bring J-Kidding over and the dynasty will begin anew, with Tom Glavine playing power forward.

posted by djacobs at 02:36 PM on June 13, 2002

I'd say that the Kings will continue to have a chance next year; I also expect Jason Kidd to go to San Antonio, which allows San Antonio to think about trading Parker for another piece of the puzzle, which produces a pretty scary team. (Kidd got a very harsh lesson in reality this series; it seems unlikely that he'll win a championship with the Nets. So why stay?)

posted by Bryant at 02:55 PM on June 13, 2002

So why stay? So he can make it to the NBA finals, instead of the Western Conference playoffs (see past years).

posted by jacknose at 02:59 PM on June 13, 2002

Re: the Yankees and baseball dynasties vs. the NBA - see jayson stark's article from a couple of days ago: http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/stark_jayson/1393206.html an excellent read about what's wrong with baseball's marketing department....

posted by Bernreuther at 03:06 PM on June 13, 2002

Bernreuther: I was going to link that article in my complaint, but it really didn't fit the question I was posing. Great article though.

posted by grum@work at 05:55 PM on June 13, 2002

I would like to hereby proclaim my loathing for every professional sports team to ever hail from the city of LA. Most of all the LA Kings and the Lakers. The rest are guilty by association.

posted by adampsyche at 07:58 AM on June 14, 2002

insomnyuk, I noticed the absence of the center matchup in your analysis. As a Spurs fan for years, I'm not really a huge fan of shaq but the Bulls had nobody at center that could even contend with him. Jordan could pour in fifty, but that would be cancelled by shaq's fifty plus. Then it comes down to the second guys and I think Kobe is currently better than Pippen was. I don't see how the bulls win. Close series, no doubt about it. But the Bulls would be able to do nothing against shaq. The Nets are exhibit A in that case.

posted by srw12 at 09:00 AM on June 14, 2002

jacknose: Jason Kidd plus Tim Duncan have a better chance of winning the Finals than Jason Kidd plus the Nets. There's no joy in getting to the Finals just to get crushed every year. And there's no guarantee that the Nets will make the Finals next year; they have to be the favorites but the Celtics will be hungry again and who knows? Perhaps Grant Hill will be healthy. So if Kidd was the kind of guy to settle for reaching the Finals -- yeah, he might stay with the Nets. He might stay around anyhow. But he does not strike me as the kind of competitor who's satisfied to just make the Finals.

posted by Bryant at 12:49 PM on June 14, 2002

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