Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mamba Queens

So, Shaq wins his fourth ring. Dwayne Wade wins his first. But since I'm a hater, this is really all about Kobe.

Throughout most of this season--and particularly after his 83-point outburst--people cluck-clucked about what a genius Jerry Buss was. Of course he traded the right player! Of course Shaq was washed up! The Mamba is the future!

Really? It's obvious that Shaq isn't what he used to be. But the Lakers almost certainly could have traded Kobe straight-up for Wade (and maybe they could have gotten some extra goodies, too). Maybe the Wade-Shaq Lakers could have won a title. Maybe not. But would the franchise be in better shape than it is now? You betcha.

Choosing Shaq over Kobe was an affront to the basketball gods. Last night's game was the beginning of their retribution. Having Wade and Shaq win the title and Kobe being exposed is so satisfying that the thought of Riley also getting another ring hardly bothers me at all.

PS: I would have preferred a Game 7 in the Finals, but even without that, this was the best playoffs the NBA has had in a long time, despite the fact that the Heat aren't a team for the ages. Could it be that the league has finally found its post-Jordan feet?

Update: Galley Brother B.J. weighs in on the Mamba and the post-game:
Could Shaq’s speech at the end have been any better? When he said, “Dwyane Wade is the greatest player in the NBA,” what he meant was, “Fuck you Kobe, I carried you to those rings and you were interchangeable with 10 other players in the league. I’ve won without you and you ain’t never gonna win without me unless you follow Payton’s career path.” When he said, “Pat Riley is the best coach I ever had,” what he meant was, “Phil, for going back to Kobe, you’re dead to me.”

I hope everyone really liked the shot of Mark Cuban clapping on court because it’s the last we’ll see of him for about 2 months. He won't surface again until someone stumbles across him in either a Eastern European hostel or a Southeast Asian opium den.


epinionated1 said...

Does this mean that the Lakers have called down the Curse of the Diesel? They're screwed!

Anonymous said...

You are right in a sense. But Shaq's contract will hamstring Miami for years to come, especially when they have to pay up for D Wade. But give Shaq his due, he helped bring a championship to Miami.

Anonymous said...

What do you think about Bill Simmons' theory that the Heat's victory betokens the Reuglification (or Rerileyfication) of the NBA for the next five or ten years?

Ralphie said...

I think the Heat victory represents Dallas' failure to double-team Wade and the reappearance of the famous Nowitzki disappearance.



Matt said...

I hate to burst your no-Mark Cuban bubble, but the rumors have been swirling that he will buy the Pittsburgh Pirates sometime after the all-star game.

It's been well known for at least a year that he'd want to buy the team if it was ever put up for sale. At the end of last season, the current owner said the Pirates weren't up for sale, but there are plenty of rumors that he might sell sometime this season.

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Michael said...

Shaq was lazy for his last few years in LA. He has gotten in better shape for his two years with the Heat, but it remains to be seen if he'll revert back to lazy.

A Kobe/Wade trade couldn't be done because of the salary cap and Kobe was a free agent, he'd have to agree to a sign and trade.

What might be a more disturbing trend is completely disgusting basketball players getting championships. Last year is was Glenn Robinson, this year Mourning. Their success undermines the existence of a just God.

Anonymous said...

you my friend are a dumbass. Trade Kobe for Wade?? Kobe was a free agent.....Kobe wasn't about to be part of a sign and trade. I stopped reading after that comment.