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You’d Probably Be Straighter than Straight and Wouldn’t Have So Much Hate

Mark Kriegel on Scott Raab,  Lebron James and the NBA Finals.

I don’t expect this series to be settled in fewer than six games. Both teams are strong and fast and athletic.  I’m pulling for OKC big time–though I wouldn’t mind seeing James continue his fine play–but think Miami has a strong chance to win it.

Pressed, I’ll give it to OCK in seven. But it could go either way.


1 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 12, 2012 10:58 am

It's interesting which act people think is more unforgivable: elite, somewhat smug, players orchestrating their free agent signings to form the dominant core of a thin team or a carpetbagger owner and sniveling commissioner conspiring to remove a team from a supportive fan base.

I find the latter much more off-putting.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 12, 2012 11:06 am

Fuck 'em all. So long as we see two great teams play great basketball, so long as there's close, competitive games, I'll be satisfied.

3 bags   ~  Jun 12, 2012 12:19 pm

well, i thought the whole "i'm taking my talents to south beach" was rude self aggrandizing and tone deaf. and i strongly suspect that the real root of anti-lebron-ism is people having a the visceral sense that he took the easy way out instead of choosing a team he'd have to carry. there is a difference between rooting for/against a player and rooting for/against a gm or owner. we don't do much of the latter.

that said, if lebron keeps up the superhuman thing, then i'd be happy to see him win it all. he'd deserve it.

4 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 12, 2012 12:28 pm

I followed the Sonics/Thunder intensely for their last year in Seattle and their first three years in OKC because they drafted my favorite player from Georgetown. The OKC fan base hated him so much, despite the fact that they improved every year, they decided he was the reason they weren't already champions and complained about him until he was traded.

They were improving all the time anyway, but that trade accelerated the pace and put them from a solid playoff team to a title contender. In short, the d-bags were right. And I'm very bitter about the whole experience. I really don't want to see them have any more success, though it seems inevitable to me.

5 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 12, 2012 12:39 pm

[3] Simmons was simultaneously pissed that Lebron chose Miami because it was the easy way out AND because it wasn't the best chance at a dynasty. I think that's hypocritical and, in hindsight, inaccurate.

The easy way out basektball-wise was Chicago, whose team w/o Lebron is already better than Miami w/ Lebron, and the easy way out publicity-wise was Cleveland.

Lebron's dick move w/ the presser and all the preening those guys have done make them the villains in some sense, but those stories were already written about those guys the instant they started thinking about playing together. I don't think there's any way Lebron could have chosen Miami w/o a firestorm, he just poured lighter fluid on it.

6 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 12, 2012 12:42 pm

"I don't think there's any way Lebron could have chosen Miami w/o a firestorm, he just poured lighter fluid on it."


Westbrook is a guy who was criticized a lot last year for shooting too much, especially in critical moments in favor of Durant. A friend of mine is still not convinced that Russell will make the right decisions late in a Finals game. Curious to watch his play.

7 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 12, 2012 12:51 pm

[6] I wonder how the Heat will match up in crunchtime w/ Westbrook, Durant and Harden all threatening. I expect Harden to be at the foul line all fourth quarter of both games in OKC. He'll have a stat line like 4/8 from the floor and 11/12 from the line.

8 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 12, 2012 1:24 pm

Be curious to see how Harden and Bosh impact the series. If Miami's guys like Chalmers, Miller and Battier are hitting their three's with consistency that'll be rough.

9 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 12, 2012 1:27 pm

[8] both southpaws right? harden's ability to get to the hoop and to the line is mystifying. he doesn't have length or speed, but precise timing and control.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 12, 2012 2:41 pm

Yeah, that's right, didn't even think of that, both lefties.

11 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 12, 2012 2:48 pm

I fully expect this thing to be a grudge match. As a Bron-Bron hater I'm pulling for OKC, yes even though Clay Bennett is a total CHUD. But I think, and fear, that last year was our treat and this is the year he shuts all of us up.

Reading Raab's book right now, love it so far. Laugh out loud in parts.

12 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jun 12, 2012 6:08 pm

Go Go Miami. Love watching Durant and Westbrook but the OKC owners are wretched for so many reasons..could never pull for them.

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