Posts Tagged ‘Golden State Warriors’

What’s on the line? Another look at legacy.

May 5, 2016

Every year, in every walk of life, people start careers and retire, work hard or quit and succeed or fail. From the beginning of an endeavor until the very end, everything we do contributes toward our reputation.

If you’re an actor, every role you take gets added to your IMDB page. For better or worse, if your name’s on it, it’s there forever. Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors of all time, with roles in Godfather Part II, The Deer Hunter, Goodfellas and the Untouchables (among many others), but even De Niro has a few things on his resume he’d probably sooner forget. He’s great, but I don’t know if Dirty Grandpa and Meet the Fockers are going to be ones he remembers fondly on his death-bed. The good news for De Niro is that we tend to forgive actors for the terrible projects they’re a part of. When we look back at careers, we don’t care about the awful movies or shows, we just look at the things we love.

Fockers? What Fockers?

Like actors, athletes are judged based on what they produce throughout their careers. Unlike actors, we don’t forgive and forget  athletic failures quite as quickly and easily. We look at individual legacies in every sport, but with the exception of starting quarterbacks in the NFL, nobody is judged nearly as harshly as an NBA player. Karl Malone and Charles Barkley combined for 60,685 points and played significant roles on playoff teams throughout their careers, but they’re the first two players mentioned when lists of players without championships are put together.  Despite all the highlights and dominance, all we remember is Karl Malone clanking free throws against the Bulls and Charles Barkley’s forlorn expression as Jordan celebrated another title. With the end of Kobe Bryant’s career and the dwindling lights of Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan, legacy has been at the forefront of this whole season, and the playoffs are no exception. Every players’ reputation is going to be altered forever, but there are a few guys or teams who have more at stake than the rest.

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I love this game

April 17, 2015

It’s playoff time!

It’s amazing how memories can stick in our brains. My first memory in life is a hazy one of burying our dog Bo in the backyard in California. I don’t remember much about it, but I can remember being sad and hearing crickets. I’ve confirmed that this event did occur, so I’m not completely crazy, but the existence of the alleged crickets has yet to be verified.  While the memory of Bo is far from clear, my first sports memories are in HD quality. The first one is being devastated because the White Sox had lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 ALCS. My dad told me then and again in 2003, “Don’t love this team, they’ll break your heart.” The other memory that stands out is more of a series of events. From 1991-1993 I was lucky enough to experience the Chicago Bulls winning 3 straight championships, and since we didn’t have a TV at this time, this meant that I was lucky enough to watch the games with my dad at Flakey Jake’s; a local bar and restaurant in Tacoma. The first 2 title runs are a little fuzzy, but I’ll always remember the 3rd. Going up against a juggernaut of a Phoenix team that had Barkley, Majerle, Ceballos and KJ, this was the one series in the title runs where I felt the Bulls didn’t have the clear edge in talent. What they did have was the best player on the planet. Jordan absolutely took over the series, averaging 41 points per game in over 45 minutes per game, including 55 points in a triple overtime thriller. The champs asserted their will over the length of the series, which culminated in token 3 point shooting white guy, John Paxson nailing the clinching jumper in the closing seconds of Game 6. . Between the video games in the lobby, spending time with my Dad and watching my favorite team cement their dynasty, this is one of my favorite sports memories of all time. The potential for these iconic moments and great memories is a big part of what makes the NBA playoffs so special to me. A lot of people don’t care much for NBA basketball, citing a lack of effort, thuggishness by players or even boredom with  the game itself. I won’t worry about that too much, because as much as I wish everyone would enjoy basketball as much as I do, if you don’t like something, no argument from me is going to change your mind.
While there are 16 teams in the playoffs, it’s widely assumed that there are 3 legitimate contenders to go along with 3 more teams that could make  run if things break the right way.
My official pick is Warriors over Cavs in 6, and while I’m excited for the playoff debuts of ‘The Brow’, ‘Greek Freak’ and Coach Brad Stevens, I’ll focus more on the contenders and what to expect from them.
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