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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ramble On ... For the NBA, "These ARE the Good Old Days"

"We can never know about the days to come... But we think about them anyway; And I wonder if I'm really with you now; Or just chasing after some finer day.

"Anticipation, anticipation. Is making me late; It's keeping me waiting; And tomorrow we might not be together, I'm no prophet, and I don't know nature's ways. So I'll try to see into your eyes right now, And stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days!

"These are the good old days, And stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days.
These are the good old days. These are the good old days. These are the good old days; These are the good old days."


Old school New York Knicks fans will never, ever believe a Knick team will be as good or fun to watch as the 1969-70 and 1972-73 version of the team, skillfully coached by Red Holzman.
The Reed-Frazier-DeBusschere-Bradley-and-(Barnett/Lucas/Monroe,etc) team played a brand of ball that defined a generation of NBA basketball. That team was PERFECT for New York.

I am sure that the fans in Chicago from the late 80s to MJ's final shot in the 1998 NBA Finals at Salt Lake City believe that "it will never, ever get any better than that." I'm sure you can hear more of the same for fans of the great Showtime Lakers or the rugged Boston Celtics during their title runs in the '80s and beyond. After some great ABA days, the loyal Baseline Bums from the San Antonio Spurs enjoyed 1999+ while the fans from Detroit never had it better than the Bad Boys era and they might feel the same way as those '70's NYK fans, ... and so on.

Well, a lot of the old-timers refuse to believe it actually can get better than the days when they played/participated/coaches/administered the game.

Oscar Robertson comes to mind. He would always have that scowl on his face, never happy, never appreciating the new level of defense and athleticism in the modern game. He would often shout down the NBA of today, many times to a national TV audience.


I am here to say this:

For the NBA ... These are the GOOD OLD DAYS. So, stay right here, because the NBA Playoffs of 2009 are, indeed, the "Good Old Days." I truly believe the global audiences tuning in for the intensity, the sacrifice, the athleticism, the strategy, the coaching, the defense, the clutch shooting, the 'impossible to officiate, but somehow being monitored to perfection' games are enjoying the most entertaining basketball that any generation has witnessed during any decade of the league's brief history.

It began with the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls, a series some stepped up to describe as the "Best first-round series ever played" and it continued in towns and cities throughout the USA, including an amazing Game 7 thumping of the Celtics by the Orlando Magic, a reversal of fortunes for the defending NBA champs but a coming out party for the Magic who were playing without their all-star point guard, Jameer Nelson. The great games and the drama took a bit of a lull while media attention wandered to difficult matchups, physical play, referee mediocrity which resulted in some suspensions and nonsense. Thankfully, the NBA Conference Finals have BEEN SO, SO GOOD, that the focus of the basketball world is back on the players and the game, right where it should be everynight.

Lebron James' amazing last second game winner has been matched in overtime by the lies of Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthong and the amazing Dwight Howard and Hedo Yurkoglu.

Great Stuff, all around.

NEWS ITEM: TL RIPS his native NY and prefers BOSTON:
After a posting an item on Facebook yesterday after I returned to South Station in Boston after a long 3-day stint in NYC working long days on some new business, I made note that the "temperature in Boston was about 15 degrees cooler than NYC, but that Boston was 1,000x cooler than NYC" as a place to live.

A good friend, from my grammar school days, quickly piped in with a pleasant wall post but terse reminder, "that I should remember where I grew up" etc.

My thoughts were these:

1. My NYC tolerance level is at all time low. I just don.t have the patience to deal with: All the rude people, the heat, the congestion, the noise, the rats on the subway tracks, the dirt, the busses, the crowded subways, the traffic, the horns, the lack of respect for human decncy and all of the other things we as native New Yorkers "allow" to happen on a daily basis, usually just blaming it on "New York being New York."

Think about it.

2. Boston is just plain out - A NICER PLACE TO LIVE. The city has everything to offer. Yes, the Peete's coffee and DD were closing too early, and yes, I had to shovel snow A LOT this past winter and the winters are TOUGH. But, the 'average' days are just simply, beautiful, scenic, inspiring and generally more wonderful when compared to what I experienced in NYC over the past few days.

3. I'll always have New York. My kids grew up as 'real New Yorkers." I'll always have Long Island, the Nets and the Isles. I'll always love NYC, Bayside to Forest Hills to the village to the West Village to the West Side to UES and the cool Yorktown area in the 90s. My kids will have Manhattan, the history of Manhattan Island taught to them inch-by-inch by their parents and their teachers at pre-school and later, more in-depth at NBS. I love The Garden and it will always be my one favorite room/venue in the world. I won't forget any of it. I wouldn't trade one moment. But, I like Boston much, much better.

Happy Memorial Day.
Take a second to think about the Vets, past and present who are serving to defend our country and our dream of a real democracy. Let's hope we achieve it after we let the American dream slip the past few years. The future is bright, but, like our forefathers, we're going to have to work hard to get it right.

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