I really hope Larry Brown will stink up the joint with the New York Knicks, and that he and Isiah Thomas get the boot. The franchise has been moribund the past few years, and no one can make some headway with the bad contracts they have been taking on.
Besides, I believe Larry is a manipulative pr*ck who deserves his comeuppance. Ditto for Isiah.
I keep on wondering why more people don't see Kobe Bryant for who he is - a flawed human being. It's not as if he is a demigod or anything (on the one hand) or a certified devil incarnate on the other. Yeah, I think Phil will fall flat on his face in getting them to championship contention. Unless they find a way to trade Kobe for some pieces (to Memphis most probably, natch). Kobe is a great player, no doubt, but there are layers and layers of being a winner, and not just championship rings and megabuck contracts.
The Miami Heat are an exciting but flawed team - I still believe in having etiher a star-less system or megastars surrounded by role players. Expect Antoine Walker and Jason Williams to sublimate their egos to Shaquille? Or how about James Posey, who is living proof that mediocrity shouldn't be over-rewarded? I like Miami, mainly because of Shaq and Wade. But please, I'd rather avoid that crapshoot.
The Pistons are looking very good. Vulnerable, but very good. Dumars is a classy guy, but the rest of their brain trust --- hmmm. Dumars deserves more credit than he is getting. A few years ago, the PR quotient of Detroit was equivalent to a train wreck. No wonder Grant Hill walked (I think it wasn't for the money).
The Spurs are the best. If they don't win another championship next year, it means some team has transcended its current capability as a group.
(Let's take a move in another direction)...
Sportswriters, next to entertainment writers, are perhaps the most unforgiving journalists and however, the most subject to hype. How many athletes have we deified on the say-so of these people? How many flashes-in-the-pan have we elevated to the level of "next... (fill in the blanks)"? At the same time, people have to understand athletes in a continuum - the signs of the times, the athletes they competed against, the general popularity of the sport - to make judgments.
Well, of course, there is always the matter of gambling in sport. Need some excitement to stoke up the desire for gambling. How many fortunes were made and destroyed because of sports gambling. And so, the hype machines go off, the oracles are crowned (or self-proclaimed), and the legion of analysts come forth.
So where now is the purity of the game, of humans struggling against one another, of the drive to achieve and succeed against odds? On the one hand you have the passion and bravado of a dedicated athlete. On the other, you have the spectator, wanting to connect with something greater than himself or herself.
Put in gambling, sex, bigotry, us-against-them and unused aggression and the whole kit and caboodle explodes!
Would I give up ogling at Maria Sharapova, Amanda Beard, Jennie Finch? Hell, no!
Would I give up looking and thinking of the what-might-have-beens on my favorite teams? Probably not.
Would I forego the use of obscenity in the search of a cool line, especially those uttered by athletes? Definitely not.
Hehe, gotcha there!