Michael Jordan’s Flu Game. Jordan’s “Shrug” Game, Willis Reed’s injured ankle game, Magic Johnson’s Baby Hook. These are some of the greatest games in NBA Finals History. After last night, we have to add one more to the pantheon of the “Holy shnikies! We are watching history! Games”. The “No Headband Game”.
It was like Superman shed his suit and glasses** and donned a cape and instead those stupid glasses are equivalent to a headband that protects a certain hairline from being shown over and over on really high definition televisions. Wait…that doesn’t do it justice. It was really like when Steve Urkel from Family Matters decided he had to take drastic measures to win Laura’s heart. He invented “Cool Juice” and what resulted can only be described as television history. Stefan Urquelle. LeBron totally drank “Cool Juice” with about 9 minutes left in the game and became Stefan Urquelle.
**Quick Tangent: Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman absolutely started the fake glasses trend that has maneuvered its way into pop culture with hipsters and NBA players. The only problem is NBA Players/Hipsters aka Plipsters. You aren’t hiding your identity! We totally know who you are. All Superman has to do is put on some generic reading glasses from CVS and BOOM. Clark Kent and everyone is fooled. It’s ridiculous.
LeBron pre-headband was having a pedestrian game, a game where people would question his ultimate legacy in another loss to the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. But no, headband off, “Cool Juice” chugged and voila, LeBron and company not only came back in epic fashion. They destroyed the smartest, most headstrong team in recent memory. This is Spurs team is a team that never shakes, never questions itself, always finishes off quarters and games, but on the biggest stage they folded. Manu Ginobili had a +/- of -21 and 8 turnovers. Kawhi Leonard couldn’t hit both free throws to make a two possession game. Parker took uncharacteristically bad shots.
They literally roped off floor with time left on the clock, the NBA even brought out the trophy. You cannot get any closer to destroying the fake dreams of the fake fans of Miami. They were leaving for South Beach so they could see Chris Brown & Drake fight again, I’m sure.
But no, we were privileged to see the best NBA Finals game since 1998 and Jordan’s game-winning shot against the Utah Jazz.
Stefan Urquelle LeBron James’ no headband did it. THAT HAS TO BE THE REASON.
How do the Spurs recover from this? Game 6 on the road against the best team in the NBA and they choked. How do they even show up for Game 7 after such heartbreak? If one team can do it, it is the Spurs.
But the real question is: Will LeBron be wearing a headband? Is this a new statement like when Jordan wore 45 or Kobe cut his afro and sported #24? Or is it LeBron’s superhero, his Superman, his Stefan Urquelle that only comes out when they need a Super Hero.
I loved Family Matters. It goes down as one of the greatest sitcoms of the ’90s. My friday nights were epic #TGIF. Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Step by Step and Family Matters. How do you beat that? YOU ADD STEFAN URQUELLE.
LeBron, for the love of Basketball please rock the no headband and take what is rightfully yours. Your second NBA Title. The Laura to your Urkel.
– Lance Cartelli
It’s finally here, the NBA Finals! After an excruciatingly long playoffs that started in April and saw great series like the Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers, the rise of Steph Curry and the dominating backcourt that was Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock of the Los Angeles Lakers (J/K), we finally made it. The two best teams in the NBA tip off in what should be the best NBA Finals in the past 10 years sans Lakers vs Celtics in 2010.
We could go over the X’s and O’s, the pick and rolls, the rotation help defense but that shit is boring. Let’s take a look at the real storylines of the 2013 NBA Finals:
LeBron James – LeBron is obviously the best player in this series and the world and he can and will take over games whenever he pleases. He’s like Will Smith, whenever he wants to come back and dominate the box office – he will. Oops, just saw the news about “After Earth”…I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a M. Night Shyamalan movie and your characters name is Cypher Raige. Guess I’ll have to come up with something else to name my first born son.
On the other side, Tony Parker is playing like the best point guard in the NBA and Tim Duncan had to have visited Germany to inject his whole body with what Kobe did for his knee. If Parker remains unguardable, the Heat are in for a long series. Duncan is a better matchup for Bosh than he was against Hibbert, but going up against the greatest power forward in the NBA is never an easy task.
Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh – Let’s face it, LeBron is the only legitimate superstar on Miami now. I’m not saying that DWade and Bosh can’t be huge factors in this series – – they will be — but, if you had to rely solely on those guys then Wade wouldn’t be able to carry them like in ’06 and Bosh would bring you back to the days when he was a Raptor and looked like he was adopted out of Jurassic Park.
Manu Ginobli – Manu is a shell of his old self as well. He’s still a high-energy player that comes through whenever you need him. If Ginobli outplays Wade this series, the Spurs will win. The only problem is Ginobli is falling apart faster than Rob Stark’s peace offering in Game of Thrones. #RedWedding.
You know you’re a Spurs fan when…
- Your team always “plays the right way” since, apparently, they are the only ones in the NBA that actually do play the “right way”.
- You say, “It’s not boring basketball, it’s beautiful basketball”. If anyone ever says that they are a soccer fan. They are really into passes and not seeing a score. (BTW, the Spurs are definitely not boring, they are fun to watch…wait, what’s happening to me?!)
- You are the most annoying lady in the building. #SceamingSpursLady
You know you’re a Heat fan when…
- You became a fan in the past 3 years and call everyone a “hater” because they don’t like LeBron and the new Flo-Rida CD.
- You can’t point out Miami on a map.
- You’re a lady that flips off opposing teams and was once wanted for her husband’s murder.
- You look like this:
Gregg Popovich – Arguably the best active coach in the NBA and one of the greatest coaches of all-time and creator of the greatest sideline interviews. Ever.
I want to see Popovich on Christmas morning as a child. I bet he hated it.
Popovich can cement his legacy with a win over the Heat and it may be the end of his prolific career (Duncan’s as well).
Erik Spoelstra – Spoelstra is an underrated coach, if you can be one with four hall-of-famers on your team. He is only 42, has a championship under his belt, and has kept this team together through a lot of adversity. And he takes a shoulder bump like a champ. Out maneuvering and out-coaching Popovich might be an impossible task, but if he can match him and find ways for “The Others” to contribute, it will be his greatest achievement as a coach and cement his legacy as one of the best coaches in the NBA. No pressure, Spoel.
Red Mamba / Birdman –
I could write a whole 250 page manifesto on whether to love or hate Matt “Faux Red Mamba” Bonner. KOBE HOW COULD YOU?! One day, when Kobe and I become BFF4L and he reads my columns, he’s gonna totally regret that move then we’ll live happily ever after! But until then, I hate you, Matt Bonner. It also doesn’t help that announcers have latched on to this great nickname and call him it at every opportune moment. These NBA Finals are gonna force me to drink more than I actually do. Oh well.
The Birdman is scary. So scary that I picked him to be the #10 athlete I’d love to see chase down Beiber. But, like I said before I’m pretty sure they are best buds and that when this season is over Beiber will invite The Birdman into his entourage and have him featured on one of his songs. As Americans, we can only hope that Birdman the Rapper is featured as well and they have a rap battle. Mind = Blown. That would probably go down as the worst song ever made and it’d probably win a Grammy.
This series is tough to predict. I usually go with the best player in the world, but the Spurs are a different beast. LeBron will put up his points, but after a week and half off and the greatest coach in the NBA has that much time to prepare for an opponent, he will shut down “The Others” and the Spurs will take this series and solidify some of the greatest careers in NBA history.
Even if you aren’t a fan of these teams, this series has a chance to be epic and will be a joy to watch the two best teams faceoff.
SPURS IN 6.
In case you were to enthralled with Justin Beiber doing an Amanda Bynes impression** at the Miami Heat game on Monday, then you already know that the Heat decimated the Indiana Pacers and have advanced to the NBA Finals to take on the wily vets, the San Antonio Spurs.
**Best celebrity couple ever? (If you can still call Amanda Bynes a celebrity). What would their celebrity nickname be? I love these things: Jamanda Byber? Amastin Beibynes? Jumandin Bebyners? Jumanji, for short?! The possibilities are endless! I must make an iPhone app that does this for me.**
ESPN posted that great video from illustrator Richard Swarbrick. Now, I don’t know this illustrator from any other illustrator, but clearly he has an appreciation for the history of Basketball. From Willis Reed playing on his hurt ankle to Michael Jordan celebrating his six championships and the most famous layup of all time to Magic Johnson’s skyhook. I would buy posters for every single one of those images, but the one image that stood out among the rest – LeBron’s cramps.
Swarbrick, you crazy son of a gun, you illustrate some of the most historic and glorious moments in NBA History and then give a little backhand to Bron Bron? Is he a Cavs fan? Did he hate the decision as much as the rest of the world? Or he hates male baldness? Maybe he doesn’t like that LeBron is being compared to Jordan. Whatever it is, it’s hilarious. When his artwork for this inevitably comes out I shall frame LeBron writhing in pain.
No homo, No offense, Bron Bron.
My only question: Where was the iconic Paul Pierce getting wheelchair-ed off the court from the NBA Finals against the Lakers?
Other than the one LOL moment from the video, it’s pretty awesome. But, seriously can we get Beibs and Bynes to date already? She might throw her bong at him though.
Oh, you want to know what happened this week in sports? Why don’t you let me tell you…
- The San Antonio Spurs rested their “Big Three” in a closely contested loss to the defending champions, the Miami Heat last night and sparked a controversy between the Spurs and NBA Commissioner David Stern. Since nobody knew who these players were, the Miami Heat Public Address Announcer had to make up names during the pre-game introductions. He came up with crazy names like: Tiago Splitter (the bad guy from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies), Boris Diaw (Russian Bad Guy in every movie featuring Russian bad guys), Matt Bonner (hehehe…Oh wait, no, not boner…Nevermind), Patty Mills (The name of the Leprechaun from Lucky Charms), and my personal favorite — Nando de Colo (Just a great name.). Breaking News: That was actually the San Antonio Spurs starting line up.
- The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints last night 23-13 and ended Drew Brees touchdown passing record in consecutive games at 54. The Falcons ended other famous streaks of Drew Brees, such as: Throwing as many interceptions as his team has wins (5), most awful commercials that Drew Brees has been in in a loss, Most consecutive days where you ask yourself, “What the hell is on Drew Brees’ face? Is it a birthmark or a scar? OR did he get some crazy disease like ring worm on his face? I hope it’s the latter”.
- On his Facebook, Rolando McClain said “Officially no longer an Oakland Raider…Looking forward to playing for an actual team”. Fans were actually more angry that McClain Instagrammed the picture of his status update and then tweeted his Instagram picture. Due to McClain’s terrible social networking he was suspended two games by the Raiders and lost over 200,000 followers.
- David Wright signed the largest contract in New York Mets history – an 8-year, $140 million contract. Not to be outdone, the New York Yankees decided to sign Rolando McClain (10-year $100 million), Angus T. Jones (Whatever he makes on Two and a Half Men plus one dollar and the copyright to the word “Filth”, and Lindsay Lohan (Whatever bottle of alcohol she wants whenever she wants it a.k.a. always).
- Rajon Rondo was ejected and later suspended two games by the NBA for pushing Kris Humphries and tackling him into the stands after an altercation. After Kim Kardashian saw the push, she quickly ended her relationship with Kanye West to start dating Rajon Rondo. This just in: They have officially gotten married…And now they are divorced.
- On Thanksgiving, Ndamakong Suh’s foot collided with force against the groin region of Texans QB Matt Schaub. Suh’s thinking may have been a little flawed, overheard by NFL Films microphones, Suh said “I thought if I kicked him hard enough he wouldn’t have testicles anymore and you have to have testicles to play in the NFL! Right?…RIGHT?!”
– Lance Cartelli
Just think, a year ago we were all telling jokes about how LeBron James had no rings, no killer instinct, and couldn’t put the team on his back. Now after he won the NBA Championship, MVP, NBA Finals MVP, and an Olympic Gold Medal in the past year we are now asking what’s next? Can LeBron take himself to MJ levels? Can he be the greatest of all-time? And that has to be the main storyline for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
The Miami Heat: The Heat come into 2013 as the defending champions and all the pressure is on them to take control of the NBA like they did last year. The big storyline is can they repeat? If so, can they go on a historic run like Jordan did with the Bulls and win multiple titles in a row? Miami not only has the best player in the NBA, LeBron, but they now surrounded that man with shooters all around him signing the best 3-point shooter off all-time, Ray Allen. Last year in the Playoffs, the Heat figured out who they are and it only took them two years to do it! The Heat run an unprecedented offense with “no positions”, it will consist of LeBron doing whatever he wants and surrounding him with shooters. The Miami Heat are clearly the team to beat in the NBA.
Los Angeles Lakers: Arguably the next biggest storyline of the off-season was the Lakers making trades to give a three-year window to allow Kobe Bryant to at least (and hopefully surpass) Michael Jordan’s six NBA Titles. The Lakers shocked the world by not only getting Steve Nash (the best point guard that Kobe will ever play with), they traded for the much maligned and best Center in the NBA, Dwight Howard. The Lakers are now four-deep in their starting lineup with potential Hall-of-Famers, and the Artest formerly known as Ron, Metta World Peace will only have to be a spot up shooter and play defense. The question is can this team gel and do they have enough in their legs to last a grueling 82 game season with a long playoff run? Dwight Howard is the great equalizer and one of the best defenders in the NBA who can clog the middle. The Lakers will be learning to play with each other on the run and are installing the new Princeton offense. The Lakers will start slow but will hit their stride later in the season, don’t panic if the start off around .500.
James Harden Trade: The Los Angeles Lakers main competition to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals to a big step when the Oklahoma City Thunder abruptly traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets. As a small market team, the Thunder “said” they couldn’t have three max players and decided to low-ball James Harden after paying Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge . In the short-term, the Thunder are hurt by this trade in the Western Conference, they get a big-time scorer in Kevin Martin and a developmental two-guard with Jeremy Lamb, but that won’t replace the Sixth-Man of the Year. In the long-term the Thunder might be better off. Westbrook and Durant are still in their early 20’s and will eventually have to sign another contract, Sam Presti and the Thunder want to make sure that the talent they have will get better and they know in three years that the Lakers will potentially be without Nash and Bryant.
The Takeover of New York: The New York Knicks used to own New York, despite being terrible mediocre for the past two decades, having an incompetent owner and now getting rid of a potentially great and marketable Point Guard (Jeremy Lin), who they replaced with Jason “Please Ice My Knees” Kidd and Raymond “Man Titty” Felton. Not only that, the Knicks are now without Amar’e Stoudamire for at least six weeks and this team is in trouble in the East. But here come the Brooklyn Nets — they’ve moved into the Barclays Center (if it’s still in one piece after Hurricane Sandy — and they have an owner who may not go to games, but has the deepest checkbook in the NBA. The Nets signed Deron Williams to a $100 million contract, traded for Joe Johnson and the $90 million left on his contract, gave Brook Lopez a max-contract (I can’t type that with a straight face) and resigned Gerald Wallace to $40 contract (still laughing). The Battle for New York will be a funny mediocre one!
Derrick Rose Comeback: Despite being the top team in the Eastern Conference last year, the Chicago Bulls fought off the injury bug all season, none-worse than Derrick Rose tearing his ACL in the first round of the playoffs. Rose has a long comeback ahead of him and the Bulls are hoping he’s back by midseason. The Bulls are talented enough to stay afloat and potentially be a 2-4 seed while he’s out, but what will DRose be when he comes back? Are the Bulls going to be ready to unseed the Miami Heat? Lots of questions in Chicago.
David Stern Farewell Tour: The man with potentially the biggest ego in all of sports is finally taking his Swan Song and retiring in 2014 after thirty years of being the NBA Commissioner. Stern has taken the NBA to unseen levels of popularity, after the booming 90s, the NBA now has a chance to pass the Golden Age of the 90s into the Platinum Age of the 2010s. The NBA has never had as many marketable superstars and great rivalries than it does now. Stern will look to solidify his legacy by bringing a franchise back to Seattle after he helped the former Sonics leave to Oklahoma City. The Dictatorship may be ending soon, but Stern still has a bunch of tricks of that sleeve of his.
Western Conference Playoff Teams (no particular order): Lakers, Jazz, Thunder, Denver, Clippers, Spurs, Grizzlies, Rockets.
Eastern Conference Playoff Teams (no particular order): Heat, Bulls, 76ers, Celtics, Pacers, Nets, Pistons, Knicks.
NBA Finals: Miami Heat def. Los Angeles Lakers in six games.
– Lance Cartelli