Wednesday, June 16, 2004

NBA title = Not for Phil

I've disliked Phil Jackson since his zen bulls-t and whining about the Knicks in the 1990s. So I am pleased that the Lakers were thrashed in the NBA Finals by the ugly-ball Pistons.

The best thing about the Pistons, however, was their attitude. Only Rasheed Wallace is a big-name star, and he is for many wrong reasons (his tantrums on the court). Ben Wallace is a Division II ox who was largely overlooked and worked his way into being a top defender and team leader. Chauncey Billups was a high draft pick who bounced around with a bunch of teams and never quite fit until landing in Detroit. Rip Hamilton was a college star with skills and determination who was deemed a 'tweener -- too small for wing forward, not good enough with the ball in his hands for shooting guard. So much for all that -- the Pistons came together, played great defense (especially Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince), outworked and outhustled the Lakers and whacked the overwhelming favorite in what is probably the biggest sports finals-series upset since the '69 Mets. The Pistons' fans had it right -- this was the first five-game sweep (the Pistons honked game 2 with a defensive lapse) in the history of four-of-seven series. Kudos.

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