In this little riff on the NBA championship series, consider yourself forewarned. I am going to reminisce about a moment from the Louisville Cardinals’ first national crown.
As if you’re surprised in the least.
First, the lead in.
As overwhelming as Kevin Durant’s offensive numbers were in the title run, as stifling as his previously underappreciated defense was — ask Kevin Love about that play late in Game 5 when he had it in the post and KD wouldn’t even allow him a breath — and as magnificent as he was holding off the last gasp of the LeBrons Monday night with key buckets, the transfer from OKC sealed the deal in Game 3.
Recall that Golden State tallied the last 11 points in that win in the City By The Burning Lake to take a 3 zed — Read: Insurmountable — advantage.
The capper in that tilt was a walk up trey from the left elbow extended with but a handful of seconds to play. Durant just about skipped into the shot. His adversary Mr. James, already showing signs of over exertion, peeled back to the hoop a bit quickly and couldn’t get out to cover.
Almost nonchalantly, KD fired. All twine.
He was ready for his Cecil B. DeMille moment.
Thus, as I’m wont to do, I was reminded of the evening of March 24, 1980. Market Square Arena, may it rest in peace. Continue reading Riffing on the Warriors’ Title
Now that the Warriors have done what champions do, i.e. rising from the ashes as if domiciled in Phoenix not Golden State and overcoming a 1-3 deficit to win the Western Conference title, now that order has been restored in that half of the NBA, what are we to make of the vanquished?
Specifically, of Russell Westbrook?
When the Great Scorer comes to call shall he remember the OKC sparkplug for his on court actions as a hell bent for leather, point guard of fury?
Or, shall it be for that thinly veiled press conference snicker? The one Westbrook took no pains to hide, when his running partner Kevin Durant was giving a diplomatic if dismissive response to a question about arch foe Steph Curry’s D.
At that juncture the Thunder were riding high, on the brink of the seemingly insurmountable, beating San Antonio and Golden State in consecutive series to make their first championship round as Sooners. The Spurs had been defeated. Three chances remained to close out the Warriors.
So, Westbrook, overconfident, full of himself after leading his charges to consecutive beatdowns at home, couldn’t contain his premature glee.
Forgetting it ain’t over til the Valkyrie Brünnhilde lets loose with her Götterdämmurungian aria, Westbrook giggled at the prospect of charging past the vulnerable checking of his two time MVP counterpart.
Tsk, tsk, my man. He who laughs last laughs best. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Dubs Laugh Last in the West
So, I awoke in my favorite recliner in repose in front of the telly from my usual mid-evening nap, just as OKC’s Thunder and and Washington’s Wiz started OT.
And a splendid five minutes of extra time it proved to be. Back and forth, until Russell Westbrook zipped through an opening in the defense wide enough to allow the Bud Clydesdales passage . . . with room to spare . . . for the winning layup.
But I’m here to consider Kevin Durant, whom the D.C. crowd kept imploring to pull a LeBron/E.T.and come home. He’s listed as 6-9, but he knows that you know that I know that Adam Silver knows that’s a considerable misundermeasurization.
Lithe and silky smooth, the guy handles the ball like a PG, slithers to his spots like a SF and his shot reminds me of Pete Rose in his heyday. Which is to say that, so wicked was his way with a Louisville Slugger, when Ramblin’ Gamblin’ man didn’t get a hit, you had to wonder what happened? Continue reading Thursday SportsFlash: Elevation, Deflation, Exasperation