As noted a week ago, I’ve got a phone stalker. Freak Boy is the guy who accosted me in the office chair section at Costco a few weeks back. For some reason I gave him my cell phone number and he left a message a little over a week ago saying he was looking forward to talking to me. Since that message, he’s called five more times. Twice when I was in Portland. Once over the weekend. Last night. Tonight. Which begs the question: unless you’re dating someone and getting the cold shoulder, why do you continue to call someone who isn’t answering nor returning your messages? It’s becoming equal parts scary and sad.
I know there’s a certain element (mostly those who don black and gold during college football and basketball seasons) who roll their eyes each time I expound on the genius of Larry Brown. Now that the NBA Finals are over, I think we can all agree that Larry is a true basketball genius. What the Pistons did to the Lakers is absolutely amazing. They made a team that was compared to the 96 Bulls, 87 Lakers, and 84 Celtics look bad. Really bad. If you don’t watch much NBA basketball, you have to understand, there just aren’t upsets in the Finals. There are upsets in the earlier rounds of the playoffs, but not in the Finals. It doesn’t happen. Ever. If you told me Detroit was going to win, I would have thought it could only happen if they somehow extended the series to seven games and got lucky in the fourth quarter of game seven. I would have expected that either Shaq or Kobe would have missed at least one game to injury. Never would I have thought it was going to be a fairly easy five game triumph, which could have been a sweep if not for one amazing shot. Much like the 1988 Kansas team he coached to an NCAA title, Brown coached the Pistons to believe in themselves at exactly the right time. The Pistons were lucky to score 25 points a quarter against the Pacers in the Conference Finals. Against the Lakers, they suddenly found their flow, started scoring more easily, and became a team that was fun to watch instead of an embarrassment to the game. The fourth quarter of game five was a joy to watch. The Pistons were all grins, playing free and loose, and until the last two minutes when things got silly, they were hitting everything. Bravo to Larry and the Pistons. Now the Pacers need to trade for Tracy McGrady so they can compete with Detroit next year.
I’m off to Arizona later today, but someone remind me that I need to comment on Larry Bird’s statement regarding white players in the NBA.