With all the talk of the impending NBA Lockout and the incessant chatter about Carmelo Anthony that final came to a culmination the other day, I have been thinking about the NBA way more than normal lately. For those of you who don’t know, I was actually a huge NBA fan growing up. I was a big Kevin Garnett fan and followed the Minnesota Timberwolves very closely. I suffered through seven straight years of Minnesota first-round playoff exits before they finally broke through in 2004, making it to the Western Conference Finals. Unfortunately they fell to Kobe, Shaq and the Lakers and then spiraled downward for a few years before Garnett was traded to Boston.
During these few messy years I slowly realized how bad the NBA had gotten. No one played defense, they had to channel music into the arena during games (which was absolutely pitiful when juxtaposed with the amazing atmosphere of college basketball), few players hustled, the 16 team playoff was a joke and the players I had found to be truly fun to watch had dwindled to only a handful. So finally I gave up the NBA all together, switching my basketball allegiance exclusively to the college ranks (I know it has it’s faults too, but they are far fewer than the NBA). Since then, I can probably count the NBA games I have watched from start to finish on one hand. Other than Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and a few others, there just aren’t any compelling players to watch these days.
With that in mind, I wanted to introduce this series leading up to the lockout. There were days, most of them actually before even I followed the NBA, when the league was exceptionally entertaining. Our first installment is a Reggie Miller clip. Let me set the scene for you: It’s game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Knicks lead the Pacers 105-99 with 18.7 second left in regulation and the Pacers are taking the ball out-of-bounds… Enjoy!
Two words: cold blooded. Stay tuned for more clips from “When the NBA Didn’t Suck”!