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Nice Job, ESPN
Anybody watching (OK, it was just me and probably six others with nothing better to do) the Nuggets-Sonics game Wednesday night on ESPN witnessed perhaps the worst television producing of the year. There wasn't much reason to watch in the first place. Neither Carmelo nor Kenyon Martin played, the Nuggets already locked up their playoff spot, the Sonics already locked up their offseason plans. In fact, there was only one reason to watch: to see Ray Allen break the single-season record for three-pointers.

Allen needed six treys to overtake Dennis Scott, and hit five in the first quarter. So far, so good. But then in the second quarter, ESPN cuts away from the game for a "live look-in" NCAA-style at the Lakers-Hornets. Huh? What if Allen hits the magic sixth three-pointer while ESPN is "looking in" at the other game.

Well, sure enough, that's what happened. Viewers didn't get to see Allen hit the record-breaking shot. They had to settle for a replay. How did ESPN lose track of what was going on? If you must break from the game, wait until a timeout.

It wasn't Heidi, but it was pretty annoying and inexplicable.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 4/20/2006 12:17:00 PM

Comments (0)

The "Dave Chappelle of the NBA"
The self-described Dave Chappelle of the NBA, Gilbert Arenas says he plays online poker at halftime. "It's just a mental challenge, to keep my mind going." Let's just hope he doesn't quit the NBA for a sabbatical in Africa to "purify himself."

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 4/17/2006 2:19:00 PM
Comments (0)

Looking for Superstars
Where did all the superstars go? Yeah, the NBA still has plenty of Kobes, LeBrons and others to fill enough highlight reels to last until David Stearn is an old old man. But what happened to those bigger-than-life players who transcend the game? Bird, Magic, Jordan, Kareem, Moses, even Dominique; these guys weren't just great, they seemed bigger than the game itself. The NBA doesn't seem to have any of those guys anymore. LeBron might become like that, but Kobe's been in the league 10 years and he hasn't reached that transcendent level. Neither has Shaq or Duncan or ... anyone else. Maybe my memories of those aforementioned "bigger-than-life players" is clouded by the remnants of youthful romanticism. Maybe Kobe's superstardom is no less than Bird's. But it sure doesn't seem that way. And, I think, it partly explains why the approaching of the NBA playoffs does little to excite me.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 4/17/2006 1:59:00 PM
Comments (3)

Playoff Problems
The NBA's playoff seeding needs re-working. The division winners get the top three seeds in each conference, regardless of record. But home-court advantage is still decided by record. That encourages non-division winners to tank, as the Clip Joint did Sunday, so they can angle for home-court advantage. The No. 6 seed in the West (the Grizzlies or the Clippers) will play Northwest Division champ Denver in the first round, but will still have home-court advantage by virtue of a better record. The No. 5 seed will play Dallas on the road. Who wants that? So, tanking to get the lower seed is a better strategy. But that's not really the best way to ensure competitive integrity. Maybe this is a one-year anomaly.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 4/17/2006 1:36:00 PM
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