ESPN/ABC – our Worldwide Leader In Sports – has discovered at last that other team in LA is not walking through the locker room door anytime soon.
As ESPN/ABC have the rights to televise the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs, they have finally caved in and are now in the process of not only introducing the Dallas Mavericks to the nation but elevating both the Mavs and the Oklahoma City Thunder to new heights.
This is necessary in order to convince Mr. and Mrs. Casual NBA Fan this year’s Finals will be worth watching for if LeBron James and Company don’t get to “dessert” (you might have heard earlier in the Playoffs he compared each round to four meals, starting with Philly as “breakfast”)…the Worldwide Leader In Sports faces promoting a best-of-seven that might not capture Mr. and Mrs. Casual NBA Fan’s attention.
Sports fans all have to watch these folks to at least some extent because aside from the NHL, Professional Rodeo and Pro Cycling they own part of if not all broadcast rights to every sporting event. And as such they – like the folks who run network news covering the real world – determine what they want you to care about daily and make sure you know what is to be considered “newsworthy.”
Enter Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, who after last night we are now being told is one of the greatest players of all time. He scored 48 points (half from the free throw line, ponder that one) and led Dallas to a 121-112 win to open the series (defense, anyone?). Most of the network’s pundits selected the Mavs as most likely to fold during the “breakfast” part of the Playoffs but now Dirk has transformed from “aging” and “can’t win the big one” to “experienced” and “destined.”
The guy is a future Hall of Famer, but let us not turn on a dime just because we need to keep an audience. However, it is nice “aging” has become “experienced”…at least for one night. It is also nice to see Dallas join the Playoffs.
Youth – not experience – was served in Boston last night. You probably did not see this much on ESPN but believe it or not an NHL Playoff game was played. Game 2, Eastern Conference Final. Boston 6, Tampa Bay 5. Series tied at 1.
Bruin Tyler Seguin, slightly older than Justin Bieber and getting younger with each blog posted about him, had two goals and two assists. The #2 pick in last year’s Draft was in the lineup due to Boston’s injury situation. Understatement of the day…he made the most of being put in for the first two contests of this series…after being benched for Boston’s first 11 games of the Playoffs. He had a goal and assist in the series’ opener. It is reported his defense is lacking. Apparently, his offense is not. It will be interesting to see how Tampa Bay adjusts to his presence, especially if the Bruins get starter Patrice Bergeron back from his concussion issues. How Boston will continue to use the youthful Seguin then will be fun to watch.
Last night, Tyler and Dirk showed us youth and experience are both important and can co-exist. Let us not rush to judge or elevate either’s greatness or legacy. Time will tell.