Friday, June 06, 2008

NBA Finals Game 1

The Boston Celtics did what they had to do. They won game 1. Had they lost, the series would have been over.

The two teams are evenly matched. Every game is a must-win game for the home team. The team that first loses at home will probably lose the series.

The Lakers need to stay in their offense and make a lot of passes. That is what the triangle offense is all about: passing and cutting until someone gets an open look. The Celtics need to force the Lakers into breaking down on their offense so that the game turns into Kobe Bryant trying to do it all and the rest of the guys standing around and watching. Lakers fans know all too well that Kobe forcing shots does not work. Kobe knows it, too.

I am glad the Boston-LA rivalry is renewed. The difference in advertising revenue between a Boston-LA finals and a Detroit-San Antonio finals is probably in the tens of millions. It's good for basketball, although it might get on the nerves of fans from Detroit or San Antonio or Philadelphia. I know that if I were, say, a Portland Trailblazers fan, I would be sick of the hype. Happily, I'm not a Portland Trailblazers fan.

I hate the Boston Celtics. I respect the Boston Celtics. How can that be, you ask? How can one both hate and respect at the same time? Only in sports does this work. The more you respect a rival, the sweeter it is when your team beats them.

Yes, I hate the Celtics. They can't even pronounce their name right. The word has a hard C, as in keltics. I look forward to lighting up a cigar to tweak the memory of Red Auerbach when the Lakers win.


This conservative blogger complains that some modern players are selfish. Is it selfish to want to win? Was Bill Russell selfish when he scored 30 points and pulled down an astonishing 40 rebounds in a playoff game? How does one compete against an opponent and at the same time be selfless? All competitive sports are inherently selfish; this is why we watch them. By being displays of selfishness, they distill the essence of human action.

Contrary to the players' selfishness, what bothers me most is the advertisements of their selflessness in the "NBA Cares" segments. The NBA hopes that turning their players into social workers will buy the right to play basketball for big money. "Aw, that center is wiping a baby's ass. I guess he's not a bad guy after all."

An announcer last night read a promo touting the NBA's commitment to "social responsibility." We must put up with these nauseating moments of commie propaganda in order to enjoy human excellence. It is grotesque how altruism perverts our culture.


Anonymous said...

Note that the charge of "selfishness" only arises in team sports. You won't hear commentators use it in tennis and golf, both individualist sports – but tennis players and golfers pursue winning only for themselves. But then, so does each individual in team sports—or so that should be their ultimate goal. Sure, some players do focus on building their individual statistics, sometimes to the subordination of winning. A player, for example, may hog the ball when another, better player should have it more and thereby give the team a better chance to win. But then, if winning is the ball-hog’s goal, then he is sacrificing his higher goal: winning. If winning isn’t his ultimate goal, then he is sacrificing it to something less important and should not be on the team.

Anyway, the important point here is that even the team goal of winning -- of beating the other team, of not sacrificing the points they’ve earned by redistributing them to their opponents – is selfish. So long as winning is the athlete’s ultimate goal, as well it should be, then it makes no difference if he is alone on a tennis court or part of a 52-man football team: the pursuit of winning is selfish.
~ Joseph Kellard

Myrhaf said...

You nailed it, Joseph. There are players who shoot too much to make themselves look good at the expense of the team. Those players are not selfish in the long run, because the rest of the league knows who those guys are and they take that into account when they consider signing them. Those guys are not selfish players, they're bad players.