SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Not Your Father's 76ers and Celtics

I had a chance to watch most of the second half of the 76ers-Celtics game today, and I have the following observations:

1. These most certainly aren't your father's or grandfather's Celtics or 76ers.
2. What's with all of the headbands, especially for the Celtics? I just couldn't imagine Dennis Johnson, Tiny Archibald, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and Larry Bird wearing headbands. Sure, they have utility, but they just look awful.
3. How desperate are NBA fans? I saw one Celtics' fan holding up a poster cheering on Ricky Davis. What's that fan going to do for an encore? Hold up a sign extolling the virtues of the hot dogs they sell at the concession stands?
4. How selfish was Davis today? Who gets teed up in the waning moments with the game still on the line?
5. Have you taken a close look at the hairdo of 76ers' coach Jim O'Brien? It resembles that of Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos.
6. The 76ers blew a 26-point lead but still held on to beat the Celts, who were without Antoine Walker. I don't know what this says about either team except that neither are very good.
7. The Celtics' rookie PF Al Jefferson, he with the high socks, looks like a keeper. Let's see if the Celtics can develop him amidst the ball hogs that they have in the lineup.
8. It was interesting watching this game after the clinic on unselfishness Illinois put on last night. Gary Payton can still find the open man, but the cutting and intensity just isn't there in the NBA. Now, I know that this wasn't a playoff game, but these teams are in the hunt for playoff spots and positions, and while close, I wasn't feeling a whole lot of magic.
9. They showed some clips of the Russell-Chamberlain rivalry (why do they always show Wilt missing when shooting over Russell; he probably scored more off Russell than anyone else did?) and the Bird teams versus the Erving teams. Somehow, the Pierce-Iverson rivalry doesn't merit being mentioned on the same page, let alone in the same sentence.
10. Do you think that either Doc Rivers or Jim O'Brien will be coaching their respective teams by the end of next season?

If I were David Stern, I'd watch the NCAA setup closely and then try to emulate it.

Before people stop caring as much as they do.

Some people might love your merchandise and the bling that surrounds the NBA, but one day they'll wake up that inside the fancy packaging is an old model product that your core customers do not want.

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