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The No Headband Game

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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.

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**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

NBA Finals Storylines and Prediction: What Really Matters

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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:

The Stars:

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.

Former Stars:

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.

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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.

Fans: 

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:
#Swag

#Swag

Coaches:

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.

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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.

Prediction: 

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. 

Follow Lance the real “Red Mamba” Cartelli on Twitter!

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