Wednesday , Aug , 24 , 2011 J.N.

Street ball games are not special. Why so much hype?

The NBA lockout has definitely affected coverage of pro basketball during the summer, which is obvious because there is no basketball to report. People are desperate for NBA action that they have to resort to covering recreational leagues around the nation. Kevin Durant’s street ball exploits, Kobe Bryant dominating, John Lucas III lighting it up, and LeBron James getting dunked on by little Asian kids was just the stuff shown around networks and Internet. Fans are that thirsty for that action.

Before I start this off, I’d like to talk about Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Watch the Throne” album. It’s refreshing to hear this among the endless sea of pop techno rap started off by David Guetta. The death of auto tune was witnessed and now the rap scene is mixed with electronic music. I thought I never hear the day. Is it bad? Yes, because rap beats are watered down. Simply put, it’s soft. Rap was not built on soft. That is where Jay-Z and Kanye West stand out because they try to avoid that. “Watch the Throne” is not a classic, but it is great to hear. There are only three tracks that stand out: Murder to Excellence, Who Gon Stop Me, and Why I Love You. Otis is annoying after awhile because the background vocal is too repetitive. You’ll focus on Otis Redding more than Jay and Kanye.

I suppose that is how things are during the NBA lockout. Among the sea of “no NBA action,” any action is great. People are making a huge deal out of Kevin Durant’s playground exhibition scoring. We do see that in the NBA, people. Why even report it? Air the entire sucker somewhere on television.  The same goes for Kobe Bryant dominating and hitting game winners in the Drew League and John Lucas III lighting it up for 60 points against Kevin Durant.

Oh. You didn’t know about John Lucas III? He plays for the Chicago Bulls backing up the backup point guard, C.J. Watson. He is usually found sitting on the bench in nice suits. He cost the Chicago Bulls a game against the Denver Nuggets by choking at the line. He came back with a vengeance against Kevin Durant by doing 60.

If anything should have been blown up, Lucas' performance should have been that. Why is this news significant?

This shows how an NBA bench player can dominate street ball leagues. They may not look like much during a real NBA game since they’re barely used, but they look like Michael Jordan in every day normal street games. Do not be fooled. They got game. It also says a lot about regular recreational league guys who think they can be useful in an NBA environment.

The truth is you’re not. Stop dreaming.

It is fun to see Michael Beasley matching up against Kevin Durant trying to prove something and Derrick Rose catching a lob pass from Kobe Bryant dominating 5-7 and under Asian leagues, but after awhile it gets boring. The game dilutes to one on one dribbling battles. There are no strategy and organization; just a lot of hot dogging and no defense.

So please stop hyping up Kevin Durant or Kobe Bryant’s adventures in exhibition land in the midst of no NBA news. Who cares? When John Lucas III tosses it up like that, it makes Durant’s and Kobe’s exploitations boring and less special.

And for players signing on with international teams, what is the point of that for NBA fans? It does not bring back our NBA game any quicker. Wake us up when the NBA is actually back.

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