Spice and ice
by rick olivares pic borrowed from the sporting news
I love this “feud” between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. While people are buzzing over the alley-oop pass from Durant to his former Oklahoma teammate during the All-Star Game, Russell dismissed it in the post-game interview.
The atmosphere in the Western Conference All-Stars locker room was described to be quiet and stifling as a result of the space between the two superstars. And that’s fine. The only thing I enjoy about the association’s mid-season classic is the dunk contest and the three-point shoot-out. At least that have been somewhat entertaining again. The USA versus the World game is more interesting in my opinion because there’s a modicum of tension. The USA is top dog when it comes to basketball and any nick they can take even in an All-Star Game is something others can crow about.
This “feud” is the sort of thing that this popcorn league needs. I can dig the association’s making this a family-oriented game but it looks too prefab.
In a game of characters, the league lacking some character.
The lack of physicality, players teaming up on the national team, and real rivalries has made the seasons long and at times – dare I say it – boring.
Just to be clear, we do not want a league of punks with fights breaking out every night. Not at all.
We know the league has moved on from the 1970s/80s/90s and that’s fine. That exists in a special place we call history and memories.
Having said that, it would be nice for rivalries to develop organically rather than mooching off a “legacy” or because this team is a “traditional rival”.
There have been attempts – there was the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings but the latter couldn’t get over the hump. Both Cleveland and Miami almost had something going a few years ago except that it was too one-sided and that is a sure-fire way to kill any rivalry. The Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors had a nice one going for a while until the latter’s dominance ended it.
I enjoyed it when Kobe Bryant was the anti-hero because teams just wanted to beat him but he became the league’s senior statesman and he received a nice send-off.
I prefer the association with some spice. Sugar? Mind your blood sugar, dude.
Spice and ice.
And I love the post-game ice. I dig that Westbrook played the artful dodger post-game. “He threw a lob and that’s all that happened. That’s basketball.”
On any high fives?
“Did you see it?”
Hopefully, I’ll see some serious rivalries so the regular season will have greater meaning rather just being focused come the second season.