18th edition – 03/27/2004
How about my man Spike Lee? He sure does know how to ruffle a few feathers. During his NBA minute on NBA Hangtime, Spike said that Larry Bird was the most overrated player in league history. Larry Bird?! The Basketball Jesus? I would’ve paid money (very little I might add) to witness The Sports Guy’s reaction after he heard that. At any rate, Spike went on to say that the white media was never shy about relaying how hard Bird worked to achieve greatness. This, compared to the assumption that, “black athletes come out of the womb dunking.” That was funny. But did Spike do (or say) the right thing? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Anyway, Larry Bird is one of the greatest players ever, (which Spike agreed with) however to say that he’s overrated is a little farfetched. Especially considering what he used to do to the Lakers in the ’80s.
Nevertheless, it reminded me of the discussion I had with a few of my boys at the barbershop the previous day. I don’t recall how we got on the subject, but when I BOLDLY stated that Ben Wallace was overrated, it didn’t go over too well with the fellas. Afterwards, they proceeded to go on and on about how he led the league in rebounding last season, that he was a great defensive player, and that he was a starter in the All-Star game. I responded that he was an offensive liability who had to work EXTREMELY hard on other aspects of the game to mask his inability to put the ball in the hole without dunking. I also went on to say that he was more of a help defender who get his blocked shots from the weak side and that being voted the starting center for the Eastern Conference All-Star team is akin to seeing the moon every night; in other words, no big deal. It was an interesting debate. I was pronounced crazy, but that’s aiight, I’m used to that.
Anyhow… Ben Wallace: Overrated. Larry Bird: I love ya Spike, but come on.
AS THE LEAGUE HAPPENS
* In a blowout loss to the Detroit Pistons, Carmelo Anthony refused to re-enter the game in the fourth quarter because his teammates were questioning his shot selection. Now we know who Carmelo’s favorite player was growing up, Scottie Pippen.
* Things in New Jersey are going just as I predicted, downhill. Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin are both out with knee injuries. Lets just call it The Curse Of Byron Scott.
* I don’t want to toot my own horn about my preseason prediction that the Memphis Grizzlies would make the playoffs, but HONK!!!
* Losing to the Sixers without Allen Iverson+ Losing to the Pacers without Jermaine O’Neal + falling to sixth place in the Western Conference + A most likely first round dismissal = Don Nelson not coaching the Mavericks next season.
* Is it me or does Chris Webber move like he’s 50 years old? It looks like it’s a struggle for him to get up and down the court. I know he’s coming off a knee injury, but he looks like he’s playing in slow motion. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that Karl Malone was younger.
* Can someone explain to me how Vince Carter won the tip in a jump ball against Yao Ming? I mean I know Vince got ups, but Yao is 7-5!!!
* So that’s what happened to Damon Stoudamire’s game the last few years. He stopped smoking hydro and is currently having one of the best seasons of his career.
* When the Pistons vs. Spurs game last Thursday was described as a possible Finals preview did anyone else cringe? How UNSEXY would that be?
* Only in the NBA can you have a team (Philadelphia) twelve games below .500 and STILL be in contention for a playoff spot. The Eastern Conference…absolutely shameful.
* Michael Olowokandi is the new Benoit Benjamin.
* Congratulations to the great Charles Barkley for being inducted into the Phoenix Suns’ Ring of Honor. Unfortunately for Chuck, that’s the only ring he ever got playing basketball.
* Speaking of the Suns, I’m thinking the Boston Celtics regret trading Joe Johnson for Rodney Rogers (New Jersey Nets) and Tony Delk (Dallas Mavericks).
* Trying to determine who deserves the Coach of the Year Award between Hubie Brown and Jerry Sloan is like having to choose between A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Low End Theory” and “Midnight Marauders.” I say the league does it King Solomon style and give each half of the trophy.