The 2010 – 2011 NBA season will be one of the most competitive in more than 20 years. Everybody has it in for somebody. The Celtics are threatening to cool down the Heat. The Magic say they’re overlooked but will shut everybody up (in the East). The Bulls think they can sneak in and spoil all of the big talker’s fun. The Thunder believe they have a chance to steal the West. The Spurs are always a quiet amphibious like threat to the entire league. The Laker’s are sitting back hoping to stay healthy so that next June, they can say to all comers “bring it on!” It will be a long nasty road to the Finals.
Then there are the singles who want to be matched up with other singles so they too can live happily ever after. Chris Paul is pouting in New Orleans and wants to move on possibly to the biggest stage in sports – Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony speaks his mind through his entourage, also targeting New York. Deron Williams thinks he’s the best player in the world and will likely want out of Utah in a year or so. Amare Stoudemire made his move and is awaiting his mail order bride from somewhere to make the Knicks more believable.
But this whole thing really started four seasons ago when Kevin McHale gave Kevin Garnett to the Celtics, then they just happened to land Ray Allen satisfying Paul Pierce’s trash talking fetish. The Lakers answered with the help of Jerry West by getting Pao Gasol in a trade, and the Suns and then the Cavaliers in consecutive seasons thought they had a winner by acquiring Shaq. But nobody in the history of the NBA (the Nasty Basketball Authority) drools more than Pat Riley.
Riles does not like to be out done. He’s pedigree. He was groomed by collegiate basketball royalty Adolph Rupp at Kentucky, then scrimmaged against “the Logo”, Jerry West every day in Laker practice, sat in the announcers booth with the legendary Chick Hearn, became “Dapper Dan” winning four titles with the “Showtime Lakers”, moved on to MSG (the biggest stage in sports), then to ‘caliente’ South Beach where he courted Shaq to win another title. The man craves attention. It was his stream of drool that flooded Cleveland and Toronto, and with a strong undercurrent swept LeBron and Bosh right down to Miami. Brilliance.
Lastly, to spoil all of the fun that we thought we were going to have this upcoming season, David Stern and his front office host of Grinch with new rules changes are making all of the players behave like robo-pros, better yet like the British Grenadier Guards – “Evil be to him who evil thinks.”