NBA Finals Heading for History

June 16, 2010

Before I start I’m going to promise my friend Ray, who works for an unnamed professional basketball team, that I’m not going to get too snarky when discussing basketball, and I’ll keep the NBA bashing to a minimum.

Last night I tuned in to Game 6 of the NBA finals to see if the Celtics would be close to closing out the Lakers late in the game. Instead, I found the Lake Show giving a dark alley beatdown to the Celtics at the Staples Center. I couldn’t help but think. ‘Wow, David Stern must be loving this.’ A Game 7 between the two legendary franchises to decide the title must be a comissioner’s dream, and will add some much needed hype to the Finals in a year when they’re competing for airtime with the World Cup (I’m being serious here, folks).

The problem that I can’t get away from is how south the ratings will go after halftime when the Lakers have another 25 point third quarter lead like last night. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Celtics are really good, they showed us that in Boston, but that’s precisely the problem, it was in Boston. It’s been a tale of two cities, with the excpetion of Games 2 and 3, each home team and pretty much ruled supreme. If game 7 were in Boston, I think I might put money on the Celtics. But, it isn’t. Which comes around to my point- Why I like Home court (field, ice) advantage. Why are the Lakers at home for Game 7? Because they earned it. The were a firestorm during the regular season, unlike the Celtics, who endured a roller coaster season en route to a solid but unspectactular winning record.

Why I’m talking about this is because I’ve heard it before, talks about moving everything to a neutral site in the Finals, especially in Baseball, and sometimes in Basketball and Hockey. Which I find a little ridiculous. Would it be fun to host a Superbowl-like two weeks of Games to determine your MLB, NBA and NHL champions? Sure. Would it be a huge corporate event like the Superbowl? Maybe. But unlike the Superbowl, played in the dead of winter for us up north types, it’s just not necesary. I’d rather home field advantage be decided by the fruits of that team’s labor throughout the season, like the NBA and NHL wisely do. Do NOT get me started on baseball’s idea, as we’ll be here for hours during an expletive-laced tirade about Bud Selig.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see a crazy dramatic game 7, with a last second Kobe jumper sealing the deal, or a buzzer beating Ray Allen trey turning the dagger, but I just don’t see it. At home, the Lakers are just too deadly, and now the apex predator in the NBA, Kobe Bryant, smells blood in the water in his home pool. I anticipate a Jordanesque performance, and plenty of lower jaw photo ops.

But on the other hand, KG yelling whatever Adidas’ slogan this year at the top of his lungs would be pretty entertaining, too.

Call it a push.

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