Why the NBA is unfair
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on June 17, 2007
At the end of the day that’s what is all about in the NBA.
So what can a 76ers blogger write after the San Antonio Spurs won their fourth NBA title, beating the Cavs (the team I was rooting for) 4-0?
Well, a Sixers-related thought came to my mind after game 4 of the 2007 finals. Actually more Iverson-related than Sixers-related, but you got the point…
It came when Michael Finley (in the picture) checked in for the last seconds of game 4. He even scored a free throw to secure the win, before Ginobili made another couple. So Finley has a ring and he played a part in this last Spurs achievement. How big was this “part”?
Numbers (and some basketball knowledge, since I watched the games) say that it was really small. Just for the record, here are Finley’s numbers for the four games of the Finals: 3.7 pts, 6/23 FG (!!!), 2/3 FT, 2 reb, 1 ass in 20 minutes. Difficult to say he did well, uh?
Now I’m not a Finley hater, he’s a 18 PPG scorer over more than a decade in the League, he’s an excellent player and even a good guy, according to team mates, media etc. But let’s face it, he SUCKED BIG TIME in these four games vs Cavs, and his stats amazingly dropped from the first round (16 PPG with 46% and 52% from 3pt) to the Finals.
One could fairly say that he disappeared when it counted the most: I stopped counting how many wide open shots Finley bricked vs Cleveland. And they signed him, a veteran, only for this purpose, knock down shots from the perimeter.
But his team won, and he won the ring, at the end of his (very good, I repeat) career.
Now what Micheal Finley, Alonzo Mourning, Gary “The Glove my ass” Payton, Antoine “Why are you still around” Walker, Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson (…), Mitch Richmond, Glenn Rice – and many others I am perhaps forgetting now – have in common?
They all had excellent careers as leaders fo their respective teams, but won a ring playing a back up role for another.
Uhm, wait, actually Big Puppy with the Spurs and Richmond with the Lakers were more towel waivers than real players… talking about asses literally glued to the benches… anyway….
In many cases they were contributors, or specialists coming off the bench. This means they didn’t have to carry their teams on their shoulders, because the Kobes, the Shaqs, and the Duncans were doing it for them.
Reggie Miller, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone (*) ended their careers without a ring. We’re talking about Hall of Fame players. I think soon we will add to this list players such as Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett etc etc. I mean, former MVPs and serious candidates to the HOF !!!
So why the League is unfair? Because in the US if you haven’t won a ring you are labeled as a loser. You won something? You’re a winner.
Mike James, Corliss Williamson, Brent Barry, Udonis Haslem (I am purposely mentioning nice role players that I DO like) = winners, while Stockton, Miller, Sprewell, the two Hardaways + Nash, Iverson etc = losers.
Something is wrong here.
So Sixers4Guidos standard to judge a winner is this: if you reached excellent INDIVIDUAL accolades (MVPs or other awards: scoring, rebounding, assist, defensive POY etc) + very good TEAM results (Finals or close) in the NBA and/or in College, playing a big role for your team’s successes, always being clutch and a LEADER, you are a WINNER in my book, no matter how many rings you have.
(*)= I am not considering Malone cheap shot at a title with the Lakers… glad he had his ass spanked by the Pistons !!