Thursday, June 17, 2010

Game 7

Regardless of my feelings about the NBA, which have been duly expressed before now, it's impossible not to be excited for a game 7. I'm not sure if there's any sport, anywhere, that could hold a game 7 and not pique my interest. I would be up for 2-3 game 7s every week, if that kind of thing were possible. Every day? I might get sick of it. But I could be down with a Monday-Wednesday-Friday game 7 schedule.

I'll be watching. I'm not even going to try to dick around with insight into the game. I know Kendrick Perkins is hurt. I know Kobe Bryant is awesome. I know Rajon Rondo is awesome and Paul Pierce is always clutch. Other than that, I hope Boston loses, and I hope Kevin Garnett makes a fool of himself. It's game 7; I like to keep it simple.

Here's a fantastic Sports Illustrated article written by Bill Russell and some other guy about his ability to psych out an opponent. The whole thing is really interesting, and proves one of my long-held theories: you have to be kind of a dick to excel in basketball. If everyone in the world was polite, you could have nice polite pro basketball games where the best players stood out. But there will always be some asshole to ruin it, and because of that, the really good players have to follow suit. Basketball is unique in that way. In football and baseball, you can kinda just do your own thing and hope it works out. Not much psychology involved there, except in the case of pitchers who are constantly trying to assert themselves by brushing people back. Hockey and soccer, eh. It's a flow of the game sport, and psyching someone seems unnecessary in all situations except penalty shots.

But basketball is a close, physical, interpersonal game, and the psychological dynamic can change an outcome. If you look at a lot of the great players who have won titles, you'll find a lot of dicks. Kobe and Jordan are obvious examples. Bill Russell is another. And what's great about it is that we end up admiring them and praising their competitiveness. I'm no exception; you have to respect a talented dude who can be a real prick. They have a kind of weird competitive anger motivating them, and aren't the least bit hesitant to pull out all the stops. Lebron lacks this; he seems funny, entitled, talented, and arrogant by turns, but never a dick. If he and Kobe or he and Jordan ever had a street fight, you know those guys would have bitten half his face off before he could blink. He'd be about to throw baby powder in the air and wait for the flashbulbs, and all the sudden MJ's incisors are planted in his skull.

Tomorrow is USA soccer at 10am. Also, the bastard ("technician") from Sleepy's is coming at 9am tomorrow to tell me my overpriced piece of shit mattress doesn't sag enough to be replaced. This will be their fourth visit in 2 years. It's really rich to watch them take out their clamps and string and complicated rulers like they're railroad engineers before telling me that it hasn't reached some arbitrary sagging depth even though THE FUCKING BED DOESN'T SAG UNTIL YOU PUT 200 POUNDS OF HUMAN ON IT, YOU SONS OF BITCHES.

Last time, I missed the replacement by like .2 inches. Heartbreaker. So I'll be spending game 7 jumping up and down on it on my living room floor, trying to gain an edge against the invincible Sleepy's bureaucratic machine, but I'm not sure about the blog status for tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to update in the early afternoon. Enjoy game 7.

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