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An Ode to Shakespeare and the Upcoming NBA Season
Posted By Mohamed Mohamed On Oct 27 2012 @ 2:17 pm In NBA | 7 Comments
Shakespeare and the NBA? Shakespeare and the NBA? A guy who has been dead for hundreds of years is being compared to the upcoming NBA season, a season that might be the greatest one since 1992-1993? You’re damn right I’m going there. Why? Uhh… I don’t have a reason, but I’m doing it. A lot like Gary Bettman, I’m doing it because I can. (By the way, this won’t be the first and last time Gary will be mentioned in this column). I’m sure you’ve read articles and columns detailing the upcoming NBA season, bloggers (like the one’s we have here on Pro Sports Blogging. I know it’s a shameless plug, but I’m the new kid) have detailed storylines and division previews locked and loaded. Teams have spun their fans into a false sense of confidence (including one that I’ll rip later), and the hope that players such as DeMarcus Cousins and Javale McGee can replicate the comedy bloggers like me crave for. So with all that said, really Shakespeare? Let me explain, I needed a challenge. OK that’s a lie, this won’t be a challenge, I’ll fall flat on my face. However, uhh…. Ya I’m reaching with this gimmick, but just nod and let’s get this over with. You nodding? Good. Without further ado:
“The course of true love never did run smooth” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
To the Miami Heat, and they’re journey over the last two years. Although in reality, this is all about LeBron. After nine years of picking his game apart, he’s become the player he needs to be. Or at least the player we always wished he can get. I have to say this and get this out of my chest, he dominated the playoffs last season in a way we never saw someone dominate since Shaq in 2000. We saw what happened to Shaq after the 2000 NBA Finals, he coasted the next two years, using the regular season as a platform to get into shape, and ripped through the playoffs lie nobody could. It worked, even though the next eight years of his career was significantly screwed as a result.
So where does LeBron go from here? Does he go the Shaq/Wilt rout or the MJ/Bird/Magic rout? We don’t know, and maybe even LeBron doesn’t know. Just know that this could be a swag year for LeBron. With his performance in the playoffs last season, he basically told us “stop picking my game apart, stop picking my personality apart. Leave me alone. I’m the best player in the NBA, I have nothing to prove to you, I’m one of the 15 greatest players ever and nothing withstanding, I’m going to rip through the next 5 yrs like nobody has since MJ in his mega-apex.” He’s won a championship, now he’s battling for something greater.
“That it should come to this!” (Hamlet)
To the Sacramento Kings, who if it has to come to it, would be the odds-on favourite to have a fist fight within their team. I cannot say this strongly enough, just look at their roster. I mean for gods sake: Marcus Thornton, John Salmons, Tyreke Evans (contract year), Jimmer, Boogie Cousins, Aaron Brooks. It’s a fantasy team. No wait, it’s like a rec league dipped in acid. Don’t forget, this team could still move, David Stern isn’t going to be there after 2014, and he’s been hard-headed when it comes to helping the viability of the small markets (see Hornets, New Orleans). Now Adam Silver, who by all accounts seems like he’ll bend on issues more so than Stern did. Wouldn’t he see Seattle and say “Why do I have to deal with the Maloofs, I’m just going to frame them so they can be removed by the Board of Governors and then we can get Seattle Boogie cousins.” Thinking… OK maybe that won’t happen, but damn that would be great.
“This is the very ecstasy of love” (Hamlet)
The Mile-High City, who should be very proud of the team they have assembled, gets the role call. That team is going to be a bitch to deal with. Over the last couple of yrs, they went from a team that was held captive by Melo to a wheeling and dealing son of a gun. (Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Ric Flair videos lately, I think it’s a phase). Now, George Karl has this pot luck dinner in his hands and he gets to serve it to the rest of the league. (OK I promise, that’s the last time I’ll use analogies). Point is, as a Lakers fan, I am scared to death of seeing this team 3-4 times a season. They can go 10 deep, they’ve got a defensive monster in Iguodala, and this could be McGee’s breakout year. Both in the comedy department, and on the basketball court.
“The fact of the matter is there are just sometimes that you need to take time off because it’s clear that you can’t do anything to move the process forward.” (Bettman)
Sorry. I mistakenly mixed up my Shakespeare with Gary Bettman. Man, even in an NBA column, Gary’s got me disappointed. But hey, any time a commissioner has the chance to lockout its players after generating over three billion dollars in revenue and had an exciting, riveting Stanley Cup Playoff, you’ve got to do it.
“What’s done is done” (Macbeth)
To the NY Knicks who turned a weird team into.. A weird team. Only in New York. Their front court is still a mess. Amare is out with a knee injury that from reports, will need 3-5 weeks to heal. Which would give people like me 5 weeks to yell at our TV screen that Melo is a 4 and the Knicks have to bring Amare off the bench. They didn’t handle the Lin situation well to say the least, and their bench is a bunch of spare, rusty parts that don’t complement the big 3. Hold on I’m not done…
I’ve played in the league seven years, about to be eight, I came in out of shape one year and that’s all anybody wants to talk about. … (Raymond Felton)
I’m sorry, but I had to put this quote up. Thank you Raymond Felton. You’ve made this column 25% more enjoyable just cause of that one quote. In fact for every dollar I make, I’ll give you 20%. Wait I don’t get paid for this? Really? OK never mind, but thanks Ray.
“For you and I are past our dancing days” (Romeo and Juliet)
Lots of candidates to choose, so little words to spare. I say we go.. West and specifically to the barbecue capital of the world. Where the weather might be great, but their star player, Dirk Diggler, might be hitting the wall. We know what’s happened since 06 for Dirk: punked by the warriors in 07, a four year abyss where he performed remarkably but never went far in the playoffs, wins a ring, condition lacking during the lockout and now has his knee scoped and is out for 6 weeks. The mounting evidence suggests that Dirk sold his soul for a ring, and hell, he probably agrees. But now you’re asking him to play with the likes of Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Vince Carter and OJ Mayo. Ya you’ve got a ring, but boy if I’m Dirk, I might take Mark Cuban hostage until the knee gets better.
“I’ll not budge an inch” (Taming of the Shrew)
Kobe!!!! As a lakers fan/homer, it’s ironic that arguably, The Greatest Laker ever is the guy I’m most worried. He recently got into a little feud with Smush Parker over how he should be glad to have his 20 minutes of fame. Trust me, it was as uncomfortable as it sounds. One of the eight greatest players in the history of the NBA, one of the most famous players of all time has now gone over the deep end and turned into the NBA’s version of Charlie Sheen. Strangely enough, I kind of like it for Kobe. I wanted him to go heel after the Shaq trade in 04 and I guess we’re getting the heel turn 8 yrs later. Ohh well, better late than never.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in”t” (Hamlet)
Actually, for the Washington Wizards, the quote’s a complete lie. This team is a mess. The fact that Ernie Grunfeld, the same guy who traded away the fifth overall pick in the 09 draft for Randy Foye and Mike Miller, is still the GM of the Wizards should allow the fans to take legal action against them. Hey look, I’m all for getting rid of guys who are making the locker room toxic. That’s great. Hell I’ll even look past the Nene trade just because I’m in a good mood courtesy of Raymond Felton. The idea that you would waste such an expiring contract in Rashard Lewis for cap-crippling contracts in Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor where you could have picked up guys like Elton Brand, Dorrell Wright, Luis Scola to name a few, for a tenth of the price just astounds me. You’re essentially saying to your fans “hey, people don’t want to come here, it doesn’t matter that you’re in a big market and the president is in The White House, Washington isn’t a destination for free agents.” But hey, what do I know.
“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” (Romeo and Juliet)
Sadly, Derrick Rose’s ACL is making me write about this. It’s such a shame that one of the great athletes we’ve seen won’t be back until maybe March if he’s lucky. It’s even more sad considering there are many more people who I’d rather see get their ACL torn apart. Off the top of my head:
“This above all: to thine own self be true” (Hamlet)
To the upcoming NBA season, a season in which it might rival everything we saw in the 1992-1993 season: MJ was at his mega-apex, Chuck at his apex, the Knicks were relevant, Petrovic and Reggie Miller were fighting it out for most annoying shooter in the NBA, Hakeem dolling out 25-13′s like it’s nothing. It was just something that we never saw, until now. We’ve got feuds (LA/NY interstate rivalries), my team possibly doling out four future HOF’s in the starting lineup. The Kings possibly starting a self-inflicted brawl, the Thunder potentially having an “Eff You” season, Rose’s comeback, teams (Minnesota if healthy, Denver) making the leap. Fun, engaging sub-plots that bloggers and talking heads will conjure up to past the time.
Just know that it all comes back to LeBron. His performance last season was the most important revelation the NBA has had since the one season Shaq decided to stay in shape. It’s his year and nobody knows how he’ll handle it. Just know that his embracing of a position-less lineup might be the most scariest thought any fan outside of Miami will have. When Erik Spoelstra said the words, “Thinking conventionally that first season with LeBron — that was my biggest regret as a coach. I put LeBron in a box. And that’s the worst thing I could have done.” I nearly cried. Of all the storylines, that’s the one I come back to. As a Lakers fan, I’m frightened, as a basketball fan, I’m jumping for joy.
Like it or not, we are all witnesses!
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